1. Of old the gods | made feast together,
And drink they sought | ere sated they were;
Twigs they shook, | and blood they tried:
Rich fare in Ćgir's | hall they found.

2. The mountain-dweller | sat merry as boyhood,
But soon like a blinded | man he seemed;
The son of Ygg | gazed in his eyes:
"For the gods a feast | shalt thou forthwith get."

3. The word-wielder toil | for the giant worked,
And so revenge | on the gods he sought;
He bade Sif's mate | the kettle bring:
"Therein for ye all | much ale shall I brew."

4. The far-famed ones | could find it not,
And the holy gods | could get it nowhere;
Till in truthful wise | did Tyr speak forth,
And helpful counsel | to Hlorrithi gave.

5. "There dwells to the east | of Elivagar
Hymir the wise | at the end of heaven;
A kettle my father | fierce doth own,
A mighty vessel | a mile in depth."

[* Bellows has changed the way he did his footnotes, the number on the footnote reflects the stanza number.

1. Twigs: Vigfusson comments at some length on "the rite practised in the heathen age of inquiring into the future by dipping bunches of chips or twigs into the blood (of sacrifices) and shaking them." But the two operations may have been separate, the twigs being simply "divining-rods" marked with runes. In either case, the gods were seeking information by magic as to where they could find plenty to drink. Ćgir: a giant who is also the god of the sea; little is known of him outside of what is told here and in the introductory prose to the Lokasenna, though Snorri has a brief account of him, giving his home as Hlesey (Läsö, cf. Harbarthsljoth, 37). Grimnismol, 45, has a reference to this same feast.

2. Mountain-dweller: the giant (Ćgir). Line 2: the principal word in the original has defied interpretation, and any translation of the line must be largely guesswork. Ygg: Othin; his son is Thor. Some editors assume a gap after this stanza.

3. Word-wielder: Thor. The giant: Ćgir. Sif: Thor's wife; cf. Harbarthsljoth, 48. The kettle: Ćgir's kettle is possibly the sea itself.

4. Tyr: the god of battle; his two great achievements were thrusting his hand into the mouth of the wolf Fenrir so that the gods might bind him, whereby he lost his hand (cf. Voluspo, 39, note), and his fight with the hound Garm in the last battle, in which they kill each other. Hlorrithi: Thor.

5. Elivagar ("Stormy Waves"): possibly the Milky Way; {footnote p. 141} cf. Vafthruthnismol, 31, note. Hymir: this giant figures only in this episode. It is not clear why Tyr, who is elsewhere spoken of as a son of Othin, should here call Hymir his father. Finnur Jonsson, in an attempt to get round this difficulty, deliberately changed the word "father" to "grandfather," but this does not help greatly.]


1. Ár valtívar veiđar námu
ok sumblsamir, áđr sađir yrđi,
hristu teina ok á hlaut sáu;
fundu ţeir at Ćgis örkost hvera.

2. Sat bergbúi barnteitr fyr
mjök glíkr megi miskorblinda;
leit í augu Yggs barn í ţrá:
"Ţú skalt ásum oft sumbl gera."

3. Önn fekk jötni orđbćginn halr,
hugđi at hefndum hann nćst viđ gođ,
bađ hann Sifjar ver sér fćra hver, -
"ţanns ek öllum öl yđr of heita."

4. Né ţat máttu mćrir tívar
ok ginnregin of geta hvergi,
unz af tryggđum Týr Hlórriđa
ástráđ mikit einum sagđi:

5. "Býr fyr austan Élivága
hundvíss Hymir at himins enda;
á minn fađir móđugr ketil,
rúmbrugđinn hver, rastar djúpan."


© 2008 Völuspá.org | © 2008 Articles, Analysis and Artwork to their respective creators
Eddas, Sagas and Folklore Public Domain