Poetic Edda/Grímnismál

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Poetic Edda
by Unknown

King Raudung had two sons, one named Agnar, the other Geirrathr. Agnar was ten, and Geirradr eight winters old. They rowed out in a boat with their trolling lines to catch small fish. The wind drove them out to sea. During the night they were wrecked on the shore and went up, where they found a cottager; they stayed there through the winter. The wife brought up Agnar, and the cottager, Geirrod, and gave him good advice. In the spring the man got them a ship. When she accompanied them to the strand, the man talked apart with Geirrad. They had a fair wind, and reached their father's place. Geirrothr was at the ship's prow: he sprang on shore, but pushed the ship out, saying: «Go where a crack may get thee.» The vessel was driven out to sea. Geirrodr went up to the town, where he was well received; but his father was dead. Geirradr was then taken for king, and became a famous man.

Odin and Frigg were sitting in Lidskjalv, looking over homes all. Odin said, «Seest thou Agnar, thy foster-son, where he is, getting children with a gyden in Hellinom? While Geirrothr, my foster-son, is a king residing in his country.» Frigg answered, «He is so inhospitable that he tortures his guests, if he thinks that too many come.» Odin replied that that was the greatest falsehood; and they wagered thereupon. Frigg sent her waiting-maid Fulla to Geirrodar. She bid the king to be on his guard of the sorcerer who was coming to the land; she says that a token whereby he might be known was, that no dog, however fierce, would attack him. But that King Geirrothr was not hospitable was mere idle talk. He, nevertheless, caused the man to be secured whom no dog would assail. He was clad in a blue cloak, and was named Grimni, and would say no more concerning himself, although he was questioned. The king ordered him to be tortured to make him confess, and to be set between two fires; and there he sat for eight nights. King Geirrothr had a son, ten years old, whom he named Agnar, after his brother. Agnar went to Grimni and gave him a full horn to drink from, saying that the king did wrong in causing him to be tortured, though innocent. Grimni drank from it. The fire had then so approached him that his cloak was burnt; whereupon he said:

1. «Fire! Thou art hot,
and much too great;
flame! Let us separate.
My garment is singed,
although I lift it up,
my cloak is scorched before it.

2. Eight nights have I
sat between fires here,
and to me no one
food has offered
beyond Agnar,
the son of Geirrothar,
who alone shall rule
over the land of Goths.

3. Whole shall thou, Agnar!
Entire you become,
a Veratyr you will be;
for only one draught
thou never shalt have
a better drink.

4. Holy is the land,
which I see lying
to esir and elfs near;
but in Trudheim
Thor shall dwell
until the powers perish.

5. Ydalir it is called,
where Ull has himself
a dwelling made.
Alfheim Frey was given
in days of yore
by Tivar in Tannfe.

6. Lives in the third dwelling,
the kind powers,
with silver decked halls;
Valaskjalv is named,
loaded lived there
Ás in days of old.

7. Sökvabekk is the fourth;
which the gelid
waves resound;
Odin and Sága there,
joyful each day,
from golden beakers quaff.

8. Gladsheim the fifth is named,
there the golden bright
wide Valhall stands;
there Ropt kiss
each and every day
those who die by weapons.

9. Easily to be known is,
by those who to Odin come,
the mansion by its aspect;
with spears it is fenced,
with shields is decked,
with corslets the benches strewed.

10. Easily to be known is,
by those who to Odin come,
the mansion by its aspect;
wolf there hangs
before the western door,
over it an eagle hovers.

11. Trymheim is the sixth,
where Tjatsi dwelt
that all-powerful jotun;
but Skadi now inhabits,
the bright bride of gods,
her father's ancient home.

12. Breidablik is the seventh,
where Balder has
his temples built,
in the land
I know exist
the fewest runes of harm.

13. Himinbjorg is the eighth,
where Heimdall,
it is said, rules the land;
there the god
in his tranquil hall,
drinks joyful the good miod.

14. Folkvang is the ninth,
there Freya directs
the sittings in the hall.
She half the fallen select
and kiss each day,
but Odin th' other half.

15. Glitnir is the tenth;
it is on gold pillars build,
and with silver decked;
there Forsete dwells
most of the days,
and every strife allays.

16. Noatun is the eleventh,
there Njord has
his temples made;
mans outlet,
the harmless vanir
rules o'er high-built timber fane.

17. O'ergrown with corn
and high grass
is Vidar land wide;
think's the cult now sitting
on his horse,
bold to avenge his father.

18. Andrimne let
in Eldrimne,
show Serimne
pork the best;
but few it knows
what onelord eats.

19. Garm and Freki
is feed by the geirholy
high Herjafather;
but on wine only
the famed in arms,
Odin, ever lives.

20. Hugin and Munin
fly each day
over Iormunground.
I fear for Hugin,
that he come not back,
yet more anxious for Munin.

21. Tund roars;
Tjodvitnis fish;
joyful in the river,
hard runs the river,
hard does it seem
for warriors to wade.

22. Valgrindi is named,
she stand on the plain,
holy before the holy gates;
ancient is that lattice,
but few only know
how it is closed with lock.

23. Five hundred doors
and forty more I think
in Valhall there is.
Eight hundred onelord's
at once from one door
when they issue with the wolf to fight.

24. Five hundred floors
and forty more
is Bilskirne with and length;
of all places
I know build,
my son's the greatest.

25. Heidrun the goat is called,
stands on Herfather's hall,
and bites from Lerad's tree;
a bowl she fill
with the bright mead;
that drink shall never fail.

26. Eiktyrne the hart is called,
stands on Herfather's hall,
and bites from Lerad's tree;
from his horns
fall drops into Kvergjelmir,
from where water all come.

27. Sid and Vid,
Sekin and Ekin,
Sval and Gunntro,
Fjorm and Fimbultul,
Rín and Rennandi,
Gipul and Gapul,
Gamul and Geirvimul;
they runs around the gods.
Tyn and Vin,
Tall and Hall,
Grad and Gunnthorin.

28. Vina one is called,
a second Vegsvinn,
a third Tjodnuma,
Nyt and Nat,
Nann and Rann,
Slid and Rid,
Sylg and Ylg,
Vid and Ván,
Vand and Strand,
Gjall and Leipt;
they go among men,
but fall hence to Hel.

29. Kormt and Ormt
and the Kjerlaug's two
these he wades Thor
each day,
when he to council goes
at Yggdrasil's ash;
for the As-bridge
is all on fire,
the holy waters boil.

30. Glad and Gylle,
Gler and Skeidbrime,
Silvrintopp and Sine,
Gills and Falhovne,
Gulltopp and Lettfete;
on these steeds
the esir each day ride,
when they to council go,
at Yggdrasil's ash.

31. Three roots stand
on three ways
under Yggdrasil's ash;
Hel lives under one,
the second rimtussar,
under the third men.

32. Ratatosk is the squirrel named,
run on Yggdrasil's ash;
words from above
from eagle carry,
and beneath
to Nidhogg bring.

33. Harts four,
bite of green twigs,
arch-necked, gnaw.
Dain and Dvalin,
Duneyr and Duratro.

34. More serpents lie
under Yggdrasil's ash,
than ignorant ape know;
Goin and Moin,
they are Gravvitnes sons,
Grabak and Gravvollud,
Ovne and Svávne
always i think
the branches ever lacerate.

35. Yggdrasil's ash
hardship suffers
greater than men know;
a hart bites it above,
and in its side it rots,
Nidhogg beneath tears it.

36. Rist and Mist
the horn shall bear me,
Skjeggjold and Skogul,
Hild and Trud,
Lokk and Herfjotur,
Goll and Geirólul,
Rangrid and Rádgrid,
and Reginleiv,
these bear beer to onelord.

37. Arvak and Allsvinn,
they up from here
fasting sun drag;
and under the bow
bend tender regent,
esir, cold iron.

38. Svalin he is called,
stands before the sun,
shield, the shining god;
mouantains and ocean
i know burn shall,
fell it from its place.

39. Skoll the wolf is named,
follows the shining god
all to safeguarded ground;
another named Hate,
he is Rodvitnes son
that heaven's bride precede.

40. From Ymir comes
the cultivation of earth,
and from earth the ocean,
fortress of bones,
bush from hair,
from his head heaven.

41. And of his brows
did the gentle powers
Midgard for the sons of men;
but from his brain
was the mind-wondering
clouds all created.

42. Ull and all the gods'
favour shall have,
who first shall fire extinguish;
then opens pasture-land
to the esir's sons,
then begins the settle of land.

43. Ivaldes sons
went in days of old
Skidbladne to form,
of ships the best,
for the bright Frey,
Njord's benign son.

44. Yggdrasil's ash
is of all trees most excellent,
Skidbladne of all ships,
of the esir, Odin,
and of horses, Sleipne,
Bilrost of bridges,
and of skallds, Bragi,
Habrok of hawks,
and of dogs, Garm.

45. Rove I now have done
around Sigtivars sons,
then assuming help I get:
all the esir
that in shall come,
in Egis fireplace sit,
Ægis drinks with.

46. Grim is my name,
Ganglere is my name,
Herjan and Hjalmbere,
Tekk and Tridje,
Tunn and Unn,
Helblinde and Hár.

47. Sathr and Svipall,
and Sanngjetall,
Herteit and Nikar,
Bileyg, Baleyg,
Bolverk, Fjolne,
Grim and Grimne,
Glapsvinn, Fjolsvinn.

48. Sidhatt, Sidskjegg,
Sigfader, Nikud,
Allfather, Valfather,
Atrid and Farmaty;
only one name
I never had
when I with folk mingle.

49. I used the name Grimne
in the halls of Geirradar,
but Ialc in Asmund's place,
Kjalar was my name
when sledge I pull,
Tró at the council,
Vidur in the wing,
Oski and Ómi,
Javnhár and Bivlindi,
Gandlir and Hárdbard with the gods.

50. Svidur and Svidri
at Sókkmimis I call my self
and fooled that old jotun,
then to the pride
Midvitnes's son
I was the sole destroyer.

51. Drunken art thou, Geirrothr,
thou hast drunk too much,
greatly by mead beguiled.
Much did you lose when my help you lost,
and no support from
onelord and Odin.

52. Many things I told thee,
but thou hast few remembered,
thy friends mislead thee;
the friend's sword
lying I see, here,
with blood all dripping.

53. Ygg shall own
the fallen by the sword,
thy life is now run out;
hard was the woman,
now Odin you see,
draw near to me if thou canst.

54. Odin I now am named,
Ygg I was called before,
before that, Tund,
Vak and Skilving,
Vávud and Roptatýr,
Gaut and Ialc with the gods,
Ofnir and Svavni,
which I believe to be
coming all from me.

King Geirrothr was sitting with his sword lying across his knees, half drawn from the scabbard, but on finding that it was Odin, he rose for the purpose of removing him from the fires, when the sword slipt from his hand with the hilt downwards; and the king having stumbled, the sword pierced him through and killed him. Odin then vanished, and Agnar was king for a long time after.