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Rocks shook, and crags were shivered;
Swiftly the shining shield-rim
Shot 'neath the Cliff-Ward's shoe-soles;
That was the wise gods' mandate,
The War-Valkyrs willed it.
The champion of the Waste-Land
Not long thereafter waited
For the speedy blow delivered
By the Friend of the snout-troll's crusher.
He who of breath despoileth
Then the hone hard-broken
Stood there all besprinkled
Until the wise ale-goddess,
With wondrous lays, enchanted
The vaunted woe, rust-ruddy,
From the Wain-God's sloping temples;
Painted on its circuit
I see them clearly pictured:
The fair-bossed shield, with stories
Figured, I had from Thorleifr."]'
XVIII. Then saidiEgir: "Methinks Hrungnir was of great might. Did Thor accomplish yet more valorous deeds when he had to do with the trolls?" And Bragi answered: "It is worthy to be told at length, how Thor went to Geirrodr's dwelling. At that time he had not the hammer Mjollnir with him, nor his Girdle of Might, nor the iron gauntlets: and that was the fault of Loki, who went with him. For once, flying in his sport with Frigg's hawk-plumage, it had happened to Loki to fly for curiosity's sake into Geirrodr's court. There he saw a great hall, and alighted and looked in through the window; and Geirrodr looked up and saw him, and commanded that the bird be taken and brought to him. But he who was sent could scarce get to the top of the wall, so high was it; and it seemed pleasant to Loki to see the man striving with toil and pains to reach him, and he thought it was not yet time to fly away until the other had accomplished the perilous climb. When the man pressed hard after him, then he stretched his wings for flight, and thrust out vehemently, but now his feet were stuck fast. So Loki was taken and brought before Geirrodr the giant; but when Geirrodr saw his eyes, he suspected that this might be a man, and bade him answer; but Loki was silent. Then Geirrodr shut Loki into a chest and starved him there three months. And now when Geirrodr took him out and commanded him to speak, Loki told who he was; and by way of ransom for his life he swore to Geirrodr with oath s that he would get Thor to come into Geirrodr's dwelling in such a fashion that he should have neither hammer nor Girdle of Might with him.
1 Passages enclosed within brackets are considered by Jonsson to be spurious.
"Thor came to spend the night with that giantess who was called Gridr, mother of Vidarr the Silent. She told Thor the truth concerning Geirrodr, that he was a crafty giant and ill to deal with; and she lent him the Girdle of Might and iron gloves which she possessed, and her staff also, which was called Gridr's Rod. Then Thor proceeded to the river named Vim ur, greatest of all rivers. There he girded himself with the Girdle of Might and braced firmly downstream with Gridr's Rod, and Loki held on behind by the Girdle of Might. When Thor came to mid-current, the river waxed so greatly that it broke high upon his shoulders. Then Thor sang this:
Wax thou not now, Vimur,
"Then Thor saw Gjalp, daughter of Geirrodr, standing in certain ravines, one leg in each, spanning the river, and she was causing the spate. Then Thor snatched up a great stone out of the river and cast it at her, saying these words: 'At its source should a river be stemmed.' Nor did he miss that at which he threw. In that moment he came to the shore and took hold of a rowan-clump, and so climbed out of the river; whence comes the saying that rowan is Thor's deliverance.
"Now when Thor came before Geirrodr, the companions were shown first into the goat-fold' for their entertainment, and there was one chair there for a seat, and Thor sat there. Then he became aware that the chair moved under him up toward the roof: he thrust Gridr's Rod up against the rafters and pushed back hard against the chair. Then there was a great crash, and screaming followed. Under the chair had been Geirrodr's daughters, Gjalp and Greip; and he had broken both their backs. Then Geirrodr had Thor called into the hall to play games. There were great fires the whole length of the hall. When Thor came up over against Geirrodr, then Geirrodr took up a glowing bar of iron with the tongs and cast it at Thor. Thor caught it with his iron gloves and raised the bar in the air, but Geirrodr leapt behind an iron pillar to save himself. Thor lifted up the bar and threw it, and it passed through the pillar and through Geirrodr and through the wall, and so on out, even into the earth. Eilifr Gudrunarson has wrought verses on this story, in Thbrsdrapa:
[The winding sea-snake's father
1 So Cod. Reg. and Cod. Worm.; Cod. Upsal. and Cod. Hypn. read gesta hus =guest's home. Gering, Simrock, and Anderson prefer the latter reading, I have followed Jonsson in accepting geita hus.
Of the life of the gods' grim foemen;
—(Ever was Loptr a liar)—
The never faithful Searcher
Of the heart of the fearless Thunderer
Declared green ways were lying
To the walled stead of Geirrodr.
No long space Thor let Loki
Further in the faring
And the war-wonted journeyed