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that all the champions become quite drunk from it." Then said Gangleri: "That is a wondrous proper goat for them; it must be an exceeding good tree from which she eats." Then spake Harr: "Even more worthy of note is the hart Eikthyrni,which stands in Valhall and bites from the limbs of the tree; and from his horns distils such abundant exudation that it comes down into Hvergelmir,and from thence fall those rivers called thus: Sid, Vid, S0kin, Eikin, Svol, Gunnthra, Fjorm, Fimbulthul, Gipul, Gopul, Gomul, Geirvimul. Those fall about the abodes of the /Esir; these also are recorded: Thyn, Vin, Tholl, H611, Grad, Gunnthrain, Nyt,_N6t, Nonn, Hronn, Vina, Vegsvinn, Thjodnuma."
XL. Then said Gangleri: "These are marvellous tidings which thou now tellest. A wondrous great house Valhall must be; it must often be exceeding crowded before the doors." Then Harry answered: "Why dost thou not ask how many doors there are in the hall, or how great? If thou hearest that told, then thou wilt say that it is strange indeed if whosoever will may not go out and in; but it may be said truly that it is no more crowded to find place therein than to enter into it; here thou mayest read in Grimnhmal:
Five hundred doors and forty more
So I deem stand in Valhall;
When they fare to fight with the Wolf."
XLI. Then said Gangleri: "A very mighty multitude of men is in Valhall, so that, by my faith, Odin is a very great chieftain, since he commands so large an army. Now what isthe sport of the championsTwhen they are not fighting?" Harry replied: " Every day, as soon as they are clothed, they stra'ightway put on their armor and go out into the court and fight, and fell each other. That is their sport; and when the time draws near to undern-meal, they ride home to Valhall and sit down to drink, even as is said here:
All the Einherjar in Odin's court
Deal out blows every day; The slain they choose and ride from the strife,—
Sit later in love together.
But what thou hast said is true: Odin is of great might. Many examples are found in proof of this, as is here said in the words of the iEsir themselves:
Ash Yggdrasill's trunk of trees is foremost,
And Skidbladnir of ships;
XLII. Then said Gangleri: "Who owns that horse Sleipnir, or what is to be said of him?" Harry answered: "Thou hast no knowledge of Sleipnir's points, and thou knowest not the circumstances of his begetting; but it will seem to thee worth the telling. It was early in the first days of the gods' dwelling here, when the gods had established the Midgard and made Valhall; there came at that time a certain wright and offered to build them a citadel in three seasons, so good that it should be staunch and proof against the Hill-Giants and the Rime-Giants, though they should come in over Midgard. But he demanded as wages that he should have possession of Freyja, and would fain have had the sun and the moon. Then the iEsir held parley and took counsel together; and a bargain was made with the wright, that he should have that which he demanded, if he should succeed in completing the citadel in one winter. On the first day of summer, if any part of the citadel were left unfinished, he should lose his reward; and he was to receive help from no man in the work. When they told him these conditions, he asked that they would give him leave to have the help of his stallion, which was called Svadilfari; and Loki advised it, so that the wright's petition was granted. He set to work the first day of winter to make the citadel, and by night he hauled stones with the stallion's aid; and it seemed very marvellous to the jEsir what great rocks that horse drew, for the horse did more rough work by half than did the wright. But there were strong witnesses to their bargain, and many oaths, since it seemed unsafe to the giant to be among the iEsir without truce, if Thor should come home. But Thor had then gone away into the eastern region to fight trolls.
"Now when the winter drew nigh unto its end,the building of the citadel was far advanced; and it was so high and strong that it could not be taken. When it lacked three days of summer, the work had almost reached the gate of the stronghold. Then the gods sat down in their judgment seats, and sought means of evasion, and asked one another who had advised giving Freyja into Jotunheim, or so destroying the air and the heaven as to take thence the sun and the moon and give them to the giants. The gods agreed that he must have counselled this who is wont to give evil advice, Loki Laufeyarson, and they declared him deserving of an ill death, if he could not hit upon a way of losing the wright his wages; and they threatened Loki with violence. But when he became frightened, then he swore oaths, that he would so contrive that the wright should lose his wages, cost him what it might.
"That same evening, when the wright drove out after stone with the stallion Svadilfari, a mare bounded forth from a certain wood and whinnied to him. The stallion, perceiving what manner of horse this was, straightway became frantic, and snapped the traces asunder, and leaped over to the mare, and she away to the wood, and the wright after, striving to seize the stallion. These horses ran all night, and the wright stopped there that night; and afterward, at day, the work was not done as it had been before. When the wright saw that the work could not be brought to an end, he fell into giant's fury. Now that the iEsir saw surely that the hill-giant was come thither, they did not regard their oaths reverently, but called on Thor, who came as quickly. And straightway the hammer Mjollnir was raised aloft; he paid the wright's wage, and not with the sun and the moon, Nay, he even denied him dwelling in Jotunheim, and struck but the one first blow, so that his skull was burst into small crumbs, and sent him down below under Niflhel./But Loki had such dealings with Svadilfari, that somewhat later he gave birth to a foal, which was gray and had eight feet; and this horse is the best among gods and men. So is said in Voluspa:
Then all the Powers strode to the seats of judgment,
Broken were oaths then, bond and swearing,
XLIII. Then said Gangleri: "What is to be said of Skidbladnir, that which is best of ships? Is there no ship equally great?" Harr replied: "Skidbladnir is best of ships and made with most skill of craftsmanship; but Naglfar is the largest ship; Muspell has it. Certain dwarves, sons of Ivaldi, made Skidbladnir and gave the ship to Freyr. It is so great that all the iEsir may man it, with their weapons and armaments, and it has a favoring wind as soon as the sail is hoisted, whithersoever it is bound; but when there is no occasion for going to sea in it, it is made of so many things and with so much cunning that then it may be folded together like a napkin and kept in one's pouch."
XLIV. Then spake Gangleri :ifl A good ship is Skidbladnir, but very great magic must have beeTTusedTIponTtrbefore it got to be so fashioned; Has Thor never experienced such a thing, that he has found in his path somewhat so mighty or so powerful that it has overmatched him through strength of magic?" Then said Harr: "Few men, I ween, are able to tell of this; yet many a thing has seemed to him hard to overcome. Though there may have been something so powerful or strong that Thor might not have succeeded in winning the victory, yet it is not necessary to speak of it; because there are many examples to prove, and because all are bound to believe, that Thor is mightiest." Then said Gangleri: "It seems to me that I must have asked you touching this matter what no one is able