Зображення сторінки

prosperous and abounding in wealth, that he may give them great plenty of lands or of gear; and him shall men invoke for such things. Njordr is not of the race of the iEsir: he was reared in the land of the Vanir, but the Vanir delivered him as hostage to the gods, and took for hostage in exchange him that men call Hoenir; he became an atonement between the gods and the Vanir. Njordr has to wife the woman called Skadi, daughter of Thjazi the giant. Skadi would fain dwell in the abode which her father had had, which is on certain mountains, in the place called Thrymheimr; but Njordr would be near the sea. They made a compact on these terms: they should be nine nights in Thrymheimr, but the second nine at Noatun. But when Njordr came down from the mountain back to Noatun, he sang this lay:

Loath were the hills to me, I was not long in them,

Nights only nine;
To me the wailing of wolves seemed ill,

After the song of swans.

Then Skadi sang this:

Sleep could I never on the sea-beds,
For the wailing of waterfowl;

He wakens me, who comes from the deep—
The sea-mew every morn.

Then Skadi went up onto the mountain, and dwelt in Thrymheimr. And she goes for the more part on snowshoes and with a bow and arrow, and shoots beasts; she is called Snowshoe-Goddess or Lady of the Snowshoes. So it is said:

Thrymheimr 't is called, where Thjazi dwelt,

He the hideous giant;
But now Skadi abides, pure bride of the gods,

In her father's ancient freehold.

XXIV. "Njordr in Noatun begot afterward two children: the son was called Freyr, and the daughter Freyja; they were fair of face and mighty. Freyr is the most renowned of the iEsir; he rules over the rain and the shining of the sun, and therewithal the fruit of the earth; and it is good to call on him for fruitful seasons and peace. He governs also the prosperity of men. But Freyja is the most renowned of the goddesses; she has in heaven the dwelling called Folkvangr,1 and wheresoever she rides to the strife, she has one-half of the kill, and Odin half, as is here said:

Folkvangr 't is called, where Freyja rules

Degrees of seats in the hall;
Half the kill she keepeth each day,

And half Odin hath.

Her hall Sessrumnir2 is great and fair. When she goes forth, she drives her cats and sits in a chariot; she is most conformable to man's prayers, and from her name comes the name of honor, Fru, by which noblewomen are called. Songs of love are well-pleasing to her; it is good to call on her for furtherance in love."

XXV. Then said Gangleri: "Great in power do these iEsir seem to me; nor is it a marvel, that much authority attends you who are said to possess understanding of the gods, and know which one men should call on for what boon soever. Or are the gods yet more?" Harr said: " Yet remains that one of the iEsir who is called Tyr: he is most daring, and best in stoutness of heart, and he has much authority over victory in battle; it is good for men of valor to invoke him. It is a proverb, that he is Tyr-valiant, who surpasses other men and does not waver. He is wise, so that it is also said1, that he that is wisest is Tyr-prudent. This is one token of his daring: when the iEsir enticed Fenris-Wolf to take upon him the fetter Gleipnir, the wolf did not believe them, that they would loose him, until they laid Tyr's hand into his mouth as a pledge. But when the iEsir would not loose him, then he bit off the hand at the place now called 'the wolfs joint;' and Tyr is one-handed, and is not called a reconciler of men.

1 Folk-plain, Host-plain. * Seat-roomy.

XXVI. "One is called Bragi: he is renowned for wisdom, and most of all for fluency of speech and skill with words. He knows most of skaldship, and after him skaldship is called bragr^ and from his name that one is called bragrman or -woman, who possesses eloquence surpassing others, of women or of men. His wife is Idunn: she guards in her chest of ash those apples which the gods must taste whensoever they grow old; and then they all become young, and so it shall be even unto the Weird of the Gods." Then said Gangleri: " A very great thing, methinks, the gods entrust to the watchfulness and good faith of Idunn." Then said Harry, laughing loudly: U'T was near being desperate once; I may be able to tell thee of it, but now thou shalt first hear more of the names of the iEsir.

1 Eragr, as a noun, means "poetry;" as an adjective, it seems to mean "foremost " (Cl.-Vig.). Thus the phrase bragr karla seems to be " foremost of men," with apparent reference to poetic preeminence.

XXVII. "Heimdallr is the name of one: he is called the White God. ffe is great and holy; nine maids, all sisters, bore him for a son. He is also called Hallinskidi' and Gullintanni;2 his teeth were of gold, and his horse is called Gold-top. He dwells in the place called Himinbjorg,3 hard by Bifrost: he is the warder of the gods, and sits there by heaven's end to guard the bridge from the Hill-Giants. He needs less sleep than a bird; he sees equally well night and day a hundred leagues from him, and hears how grass grows on the earth or wool on sheep, and everything that has a louder sound. He has that trumpet which is called Gjallar-Horn, and its blast is heard throughout all worlds. Heimdallr's sword is called Head. It is said further:

Himinbjorg 't is called, where Heimdallr, they say,

Aye has his housing;
There the gods' sentinel drinks in his snug hall

Gladly good mead.

And furthermore, he himself says in Heimdalar-galdr:

I am of nine mothers the offspring,
Of sisters nine am I the son.

XXVIII. "One of the jEsir is named Hodr: he is blind. He is of sufficient strength, but the gods would desire that no occasion should rise of naming this god, for the work of his hands shall long be held in memory among gods and men.

XXIX. "Vidarr is the name of one, the silent god. He has a thick shoe. He is nearly as strong as Thor; in him the gods have great trust in all struggles.

1 Ram (Cl.-Vig.). 2 Golden-teeth. 'Heaven-fells.

XXX. "One is called Ali or Vali, son of Odin and Rindr: he is daring in fights, and a most fortunate marksman.

XXXI. "One is called Ullr, son of Sif, step-son of Thor; he is so excellent a bowman, and so swift on snowshoes, that none may contend with him. He is also fair of aspect and has the accomplishments of a warrior; it is well to call on him in single-combats.

XXXII. "Forseti is the name of the son of Baldr and Nanna daughter of Nep: he has that hall in heaven which is called Glitnir. All that come to him with such quarrels as arise out of law-suits, all these return thence reconciled. That is the best seat of judgment among gods and men; thus it is said here:

A hall is called Glitnir, with gold 't is pillared,
And with silver thatched the same;

There Forseti bides the full day through,
And puts to sleep all suits.

** XXXIII. "Also numbered among the jEsir is he whom
some call the mischief-monger of the iEsir, and the first
father of falsehoods, and blemish of all gods and men: he y
is named Loki or Loptr, son of Farbauti the giant; his
mother was Laufey or Nal; his brothers are Byleistr and
Helblindi. Loki is beautiful and comely to look upon, evil
in spirit, very fickle in habit. He surpassed other men in
that wisdom which is called ' sleight,' and had artifices for

« НазадПродовжити »