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The stag bites above; on the side it rotteth,
And it is further said:
More serpents lie under YggdrasilFs stock
Goinn and Moran (they 're Grafvitnir's sons),
Grabakr and Grafvolludr;
Ofnir and Svafnir I think shall aye
It is further said that these Norns who dwell by the Well of Urdr take water of the well every day, and with it that clay which lies about the well, and sprinkle it over the Ash, to the end that its limbs shall not wither nor rot; for that water is so holy that all things which come there into the well become as white as the film which lies within the egg-shell,—as is here said:
I know an Ash standing called Yggdrasill,
That dew which falls from it onto the earth is called by men honey-dew, and thereon are bees nourished. Two fowls are fed in Urdr's Well: they are called Swans, and from those fowls has come the race of birds which is so called."
XVII. Then said Gangleri: "Thou knowest many tidings to tell of the heaven. What chief abodes are there more than at Urdr's Well?" Harr said: " Many places are there, and glorious. That which is called Alfheimr1 is one, where dwell the peoples called Light-Elves; but the Dark-Elves dwell down in the earth, and they are unlike in appearance, but by far more unlike in nature.The Light-Elves are fairer to look upon than the sun, but the Dark-Elves are blacker than pitch. Then there is also in that place the abode called Breidablik,2 and there is not in heaven a fairer dwelling. There, too, is the one called Glitnir,3 whose walls, and all its posts and pillars, are of red gold, but its roof of silver. There is also the abode called Himinbjorg;'' it stands at heaven's end by the bridge-head, in the place where Bifrost joins heaven. Another great abode is there, which is named Valaskjalf;5 Odin possesses that dwelling; the gods made it and thatched it with sheer silver, and in this hall is the Hlidskjalf,6 the high-seat so called. Whenever Allfather sits in that seat, he surveys all lands. At the southern end of heaven is that hall which is fairest of all, and brighter than the sun; it is called Gimle.7 It shall stand when both heaven and earth have departed; and good men and of righteous conversation shall dwell therein: so it is said in Voluspa:
A hall I-know standing than the sun fairer,
Then said Gangleri: "What shall guard this place, when the flame of Surtr shall consume heaven and earth?" Harr answered: "It is said that another heaven is to the southward and upward of this one, and it is called Andlangr;1 but the third heaven is yet above that, and it is called Vidblainn,2 and in that heaven we think this abode is. But we believe that none but Light-Elves inhabit these mansions now."
1 Elf-home. 2 Broad-gleaming. 3 Glittering.
* Heaven-crag. 5 Seat or shelf of the Fallen. 6 Gate-seat.
7 Either dative of H'mill = Heaven (!) (Cl.-Vig.), or Gem-decked (Bugge).
XVIII. Then said Gangleri: "Whence comes the wind? It is strong, so that it stirs great seas, and it swells fire; but, strong as it is, none may see it, for it is wonderfully shapen." Then said Harry: "That I am well able to tell thee. At the northward end of heaven sits the giant called Hrssvelgr: he has the plumes of an eagle, and when he stretches his wings for flight, then the wind rises from under his wings, as is here said:
Hrassvelgr hight he who sits at heaven's ending,
Giant in eagle's coat;
All men-folk over."
XIX. Then said Gangleri: "Why is there so much difference, that summer should be hot, but winter cold?" Harry answered: "A wise man would not ask thus, seeing that all are able to tell this; but if thou alone art become so slight of understanding as not to have heard it, then I will yet permit that thou shouldst rather ask foolishly once, than that thou shouldst be kept longer in ignorance of a thing which it is proper to know. He is called Svasudr5 who is father of Summer; and he is of pleasant nature, so that from his name whatsoever is pleasant is called 'sweet.' But the father of Winter is variously called Vindljoni' or Vindsvalr;2 he is the son of Vasadr;3 and these were kinsmen grim and chilly-breasted, and Winter has their temper."
1 Wide-reaching, extensive. 2 Wide-blue. 3 Delightful.
XX. Then said Gangleri: "Who are the JEsh, they in whom it behoves men to believe?" Harry answered: "The divine iEsir are twelve." Then said Jafnharr: "Not less holy are the Asynjur, the goddesses, and they are of no less authority." Then said Thridi: "Odin is highest and eldest of the iEsir: he rules all things, and mighty as are the other gods, they all serve him as children obey a father. Frigg is his wife, and she knows all the fates of men, though she speaks no prophecy,—as is said here, when Odin himself spake with him of the iEsir whom men call Loki:
Thou art mad now, Loki, and reft of mind,—
Frigg, methinks, is wise in all fates,
Odin is called Allfather because he is father of all the gods. He is also called Father of the Slain, because all those that fall in battle are the sons of his adoption; for them he appoints Valhall4 and Vingolf,5 and they are then called Champions. He is also called God of the Hanged, God of Gods, God of Cargoes; and he has also been named in many more ways, after he had come to King Geirrodr: We were called Grimr and Gangleri,
1 Wind-bringer ? (Simrock). "Wind-chill.
3 Wet and sleety (Cl.-Vig.). * Hall of the Slain.
* Friendly Floor.
Sadr, Svipall, Sann-getall,
Grimnir, Glapsvidr, Fjolsvidr.
Sidhottr, Sidskeggr, Sigfodr, Hnikudr,
Alfodr, Atridr, Farmatyr;
Svidurr, Svidrir, Jalkr, Kjalarr, Vidurr,
Thror, Yggr, Thundr;
Then said Gangleri: "Exceeding many names have ye given him; and, by my faith, it must indeed be a goodly wit that knows all the lore and the examples of what chances have brought about each of these names." Then Harry, made answer: "It is truly a vast sum of knowledge to gather1 together and set forth fittingly. But it is briefest to tell thee that most of his names have been given him by reason of this chance: there being so many branches of tongues in the world, all peoples believed that it was needful for them to turn his name into their own tongue, by which they might the better invoke him and entreat him on their own
1 Literally, to rake into rows.