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should be laid upon me. Yet rather than that ye should impugn my courage, let some one of you lay his hand in my mouth, for a pledge that this is done in good faith.' Each of the iEsir looked at his neighbor, and none was willing to part with his hand, until Tyr stretched out his right hand and laid it in the Wolf's mouth. But when the Wolf lashed out, the fetter became hardened; and the more he struggled against it, the tighter the band was. Then all laughed except Tyr: he lost his hand.

"When the iEsir saw that the Wolf was fully bound, they took the chain that was fast to the fetter, and which is called Gelgja, and passed it through a great rock—it is called Gjoll—and fixed the rock deep down into the earth. Then they took a great stone and drove it yet deeper into the earth—it was called Thviti—and used the stone for a fastening-pin. The Wolf gaped terribly, and thrashed about and strove to bite them; they thrust into his mouth a certain sword: the guards caught in his lower jaw, and the point in the upper; that is his gag. He howls hideously, and slaver runs out of his mouth: that is the river called Van; there he lies till the Weird of the Gods." Then said Gangleri: "Marvellous ill children did Loki beget,but all these brethren are of great might. Yet why did not the JEsir kill the Wolf, seeing they had expectation of evil from him?" Harry answered: "So greatly did the gods esteem their holy place and sanctuary, that they would not stain it with the Wolf's blood; though (so say the prophecies) he shall be the slayer of Odin."

XXXV. Then said Gangleri: "Which are the Asynjur?" Harr said: "Friggis the foremost: she has that estate which is called Fensalir, and it is most glorious. The second is Saga: she dwells at S0kkvabekkr, and that is a great abode. The third is Fir: she is the best physician. The fourth is Gefjun: she is a virgin, and they that die maidens attend her. The fifth is Fulla: she also is a maid, and goes with loose tresses and a golden band about her head; she bears the ashen coffer of Frigg, and has charge over her footgear, and knows her secret counsel. Freyja is most gently born (together with Frigg): she is wedded to the man named Odr. Their daughter is Hnoss: she is so fair, that those things which are fair and precious are called hnossir. Odr went away on long journeys, and Freyja weeps for him, and her tears are red gold. Freyja has many names, and this is the cause thereof: that she gave herself sundry names, when she went out among unknown peoples seeking Odr: she is called Mardoll and H6rn,Gefn, Syr. Freyja had the necklace Brisinga-men. She is also called Lady of the Vanir. The seventh is Sjofn: she is most diligent in turning the thoughts of men to love, both of women and of men; and from her name love-longing is called sjafni. The eighth is Lofn: she is so gracious and kindly to those that call upon her, that she wins Allfather's or Frigg's permission for the coming together of mankind in marriage, of women and of men, though it were forbidden before, or seem flatly denied; from her name such permission is called 'leave,' and thus also she is much 'loved' of men. The ninth is Var: she harkens to the oaths and compacts made between men and women; wherefore such covenants are called 'vows.' She also takes vengeance on those who perjure themselves. The tenth is Vor: she is wise and of searching spirit, so that none can conceal anything from her; it is a saying, that a woman becomes 'ware' of that of which she is informed. The eleventh is Syn: she keeps the door in the hall, and locks it before those who should not go in; she is also set at trials as a defence against such suits as she wishes to refute: thence is the expression, that syn' is set forward, when a man denies. The twelfth is Hlin: she is established as keeper over those men whom Frigg desires to preserve from any danger; thence comes the saying, that he who escapes 'leans.' Snotra is thirteenth: she is prudent and of gentle bearing; from her name a woman or a man who is moderate is called snotr" The fourteenth is Gna: her Frigg sends into divers lands on her errands; she has that horse which runs over sky and sea and is called Hoof-Tosser. Once when she was riding, certain of the Vanir saw her course in the air; then one spake:

What flieth there? What fareth there,
Or glideth in the air?

She made answer:

I fly not, though I fare

And in the air glide
On Hoof-Tosser, him that Hamskerpir

Gat with Gardrofa.

From Gna's name that which soars high is said to gnafa.1 Sol and Bil are reckoned among the Asynjur, but their nature has been told before.

XXXVI. "There are also those others whose office it is to serve in Valhall, to bear drink and mind the table-service and ale-flagons; thus are they named in Grimnismal:

1 Denial, refutation. a Wise, prudent.

3 Project, be eminent, tower.

Hrist and Mist I would have bear the horn to me,

Skeggjold and Skogull;
Hildr and Thrudr, Hlokk and Herfjotur,

G6ll and Geirahod,
Randgridr and Radgridr and Reginleif—

These bear the Einherjar ale.

These are called Valkyrs: them Odin sends to every battle; they determine men's feyness and award victory. Gudr and Rota and the youngest Norn, she who is called Skuld, ride ever to take the slain and decide fights. J6rd,the mother of Thor, and Rindr, Vali's mother, are reckoned among the Asynjur.

XXXVII. "A certain man was called Gymir, and his wife Aurboda: she was of the stock of the Hill-Giants; their daughter was Gerdr, who was fairest of all women. It chanced one day that Freyr had gone to Hlidskjalf, and gazed over all the world; but when he looked over into the northern region, he saw on an estate a house great and fair. And toward this house went a woman; when she raised her hands and opened the door before her, brightness gleamed from her hands, both over sky and sea, and all the worlds were illumined of her. Thus his overweening pride, in having presumed to sit in that holy seat, was avenged upon him, that he went away full of sorrow. When he had come home, he spake not, he slept not, he drank not; no man dared speak to him. Then Njordr summoned to him Skirnir, Freyr's foot-page, and bade him go to Freyr and beg speech of him and ask for whose sake he was so bitter that he would not speak with men. But Skirnir said he would go, albeit unwillingly; and said that evil answers were to be expected of Freyr.

"But when he came to Freyr, straightway he asked why Freyr was so downcast, and spake not with men. Then Freyr answered and said that he had seen a fair woman; and for her sake he was so full of grief that he would not live long if he were not to obtain her. 'And now thou shalt go and woo her on my behalf and have her hither, whether her father will or no. I will reward thee well for it.' Then Skirnir answered thus: he would go on his errand, but Freyr should give him his own sword — which is so good that it fights of itself;—and Freyr did not refuse, but gave him the sword. Then Skirnir went forth and wooed the woman for him, and received her promise; and nine nights later she was to come to the place called Barrey, and then go to the bridal with Freyr. But when Skirnir told Freyr his answer, then he sang this lay:

Long is one night, long is the second;

How can I wait through three?
Often a month to me seemed less

Than this one night of waiting.

This was to blame for Freyr's being so weaponless, when he fought with Beli, and slew him with the horn of a hart." Then said Gangleri: "'T is much to be wondered at, that such a great chief as Freyr is would give away his sword, not having another equally good. It was a great privation to him, when he fought with him called Beli; by my faith, he must have rued that gift." Then answered Harry: "There was small matter in that, when he and Beli met; Freyr could have killed him with his hand. It shall come to pass

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