Ár valtívar In ancient times the victorious gods(1)
veiðar námu hunted
ok sumblsamir and feasted together,(2)
áðr saðir yrði, before having had their fill,
hristu teina they cast twigs
ok á hlaut sáu; and inspected the sacrificial blood;(3)
fundu þeir at Ægis at Ægir's they found
örkost hvera. every provision.
Sat bergbúi The rock-dweller(4) sat
barnteitr fyr glad as a child,
mjök glíkr megi much like a child
miskorblinda; of a mash-brewer;(5)
leit í augu Ygg's son(6) looked in his eye
Yggs barn í þrá: provocatively:
"Þú skalt ásum "You must for the Æsir
oft sumbl gera." often make a feast."
Önn fekk jötni The taunting fellow
orðbæginn halr, was setting labour for the jǫtunn;
hugði at hefndum immediately he thought
hann næst við goð, of revenge against the god,
bað hann Sifjar ver he asked Sif's husband
sér færa hver, - to bring him a cauldron -
"þanns ek öllum öl "in which for all of you
yðr of heita." I will brew ale."
Né þat máttu They were not able,
mærir tívar mighty gods
ok ginnregin and great regin,
of geta hvergi, to obtain one anywhere,
unz af tryggðum until in loyalty
Týr Hlórriða Týr gave
ástráð mikit a big piece of good advice,
einum sagði: aside to Hlórriði(7):
"Býr fyr austan "Far to the east
Élivága of the Élivágar(8)
hundvíss Hymir lives very wise(9) Hymir
at himins enda; at the end of the sky;
á minn faðir my father,
móðugr ketil, the fierce one, has a kettle,
rúmbrugðinn hver, a spaciously made(10) cauldron,
rastar djúpan." a league(11) deep."
Þórr kvað: Thor said:
"Veiztu ef þiggjum Do you know if we can get
þann lögvelli?" that boiler of liquids?"
Týr kvað: Týr said:
"Ef, vinr, vélar "If, friend, we bring
vit gervum til." some tricks to bear."
Fóru drjúgum They travelled much
dag þann fram that day on their way
Ásgarði frá, from Asgard,
unz til Egils kvámu; until they came to Egil's(12) home;
hirði hann hafra he then stalled the goats,
hurfu at höllu, they wended their way to the hall
er Hymir átti. that belonged to Hymir.
Mögr fann ömmu The young man(13) found his
mjök leiða sér, very ugly,
hafði höfða she had heads
hundruð níu, nine hundred,
en önnur gekk but another woman(14) came
algullin fram forward all golden,
brúnhvít bera white-browed, to bring
bjórveig syni: a drink of beer to her son:
"Áttniðr jötna, "Child of the race of jǫtuns,
ek viljak ykkr I will put you
hugfulla tvá bold two
und hvera setja; under the cauldrons;
er minn fríi my man(15) is
mörgu sinni many times
glöggr við gesti, mean(16) towards guests,
görr ills hugar." quick to ill will."
En váskapaðr But the woe-maker(17)
varð síðbúinn was a late arrival,
harðráðr Hymir harsh Hymir,
heim af veiðum, home from the hunt;
gekk inn í sal, he came into the hall,
glumðu jöklar, icicles chimed,
var karls, en kom, when he arrived the churl's
kinnskógr frörinn. chin-forest(18) was frozen.
Frilla kvað: His lady said:
"Ver þú heill, Hymir, "Hail now, Hymir,
í hugum góðum, in good cheer;
nú er sonr kominn now our son is come
til sala þinna, to your halls,
sá er vit vættum who we were waiting for
af vegi löngum; from a long way away;
fylgir hánum he is accompanied by
hróðrs andskoti, the enemy of reputation,(19)
vinr verliða; the friend of mankind;
Véurr heitir sá. Véurr(20) he is called.
Sé þú, hvar sitja See where they sit
und salar gafli, under the hall gable,
svá forða sér, so protecting themselves,
stendr súl fyrir." a pillar stands before them."
Sundr stökk súla The pillar exploded
fyr sjón jötuns, at the jǫtun's gaze,
en áðr í tvau and before that a roof beam
áss brotnaði. broke in two.
Stukku átta, Eight [cauldrons] sprang
en einn af þeim from the pegs,
hverr harðsleginn but only one of them,
heill af þolli; a stoutly hammered cauldron, intact;(21)
fram gengu þeir, out they came
en forn jötunn and the ancient jǫtunn
sjónum leiddi clapped eyes
sinn andskota. on his enemy.
Sagði-t hánum To him his mind spoke
hugr vel þá, of nothing good
er hann sá gýgjar græti when he saw the sorrow of ogresses(22)
á golf kominn, had walked onto his floor;
þar váru þjórar then three bullocks
þrír of teknir, were brought,
bað senn jötunn [and] the jǫtunn ordered
sjóða ganga. them to be cooked at once.
Hvern létu þeir Each one they made
höfði skemmra a head shorter
ok á seyði and to the fire-pit
síðan báru; then they took;
át Sifjar verr, Sif's husband ate,
áðr sofa gengi, before he went to bed,
einn með öllu alone, the whole of
öxn tvá Hymis. two of Hymir's oxen.
Þótti hárum Seemed to the hoary
Hrungnis spjalla companion of Hrungnir(23)
verðr Hlórriða Hlórriði's meal
vel fullmikill: very much large enough:
"Munum at aftni "We three will
öðrum verða live on other food,
við veiðimat from what we catch,
vér þrír lifa." for the evening."(24)
Véurr kvaðzk vilja Véurr said he was keen to
á vág róa, row out to sea,
ef ballr jötunn if the stern jǫtunn
beitr gæfi. would provide bait.
Hymir kvað: Hymir said:
"Hverf þú til hjarðar, "Go to the herd,
ef þú hug trúir, if you trust your courage,
brjótr berg - Dana, breaker of rock-Danes,(25)
beitur sækja. to seek bait.
Þess vænti ek, This I expect,
at þér myni-t that for you
ögn af oxa bait from oxen
auðfeng vera." will be easy to get."
Sveinn sýsliga The youth(26) briskly
sveif til skógar, turned towards the woods,
þar er uxi stóð where there stood an ox,
alsvartr fyrir. all black, before him.
Braut af þjóri He wrested off the bull,
þurs ráðbani the plotter of the bane of the þurs,(27)
hátún ofan the upper high enclosure
horna tveggja. of its two horns.(28)
Hymir kvað: Hymir said:
"Verk þykkja þín "I believe your deeds
verri miklu are far worse,
kjóla valdi steerer of boats,
en þú kyrr sitir." than [when] you sit still."
Bað hlunngota The lord of goats bade
hafra dróttinn the offspring of apes
áttrunn apa take the steed of the speedway
útar færa, out to sea,(29)
en sá jötunn but that jǫtunn
sína talði stated his
lítla fýsi desire to be little
at róa lengra. to row any longer.
Dró meir Hymir Hymir pulled up more(30),
móðugr hvali the fierce one, whales,
einn á öngli on his own, on his hook
upp senn tváa, two at a time,
en aftr í skut but back in the stern
Óðni sifjaðr Óðin's in-law(31)
Véurr við vélar Véurr with tricks(32)
vað gerði sér. was making his line.
Egndi á öngul, He baited the hook,
sá er öldum bergr, he who saves mankind,
orms einbani sole slayer of the dragon,
uxa höfði; with the ox's head;
gein við agni, he whom the gods loathe,
sú er goð fía, the encircler in the depths
umgjörð neðan of all the lands,
allra landa. gaped to take the bait.(33)
Dró djarfliga Boldly courageous
dáðrakkr Þórr Thor pulled
orm eitrfáan the poison-gleaming dragon
upp at borði; up against the side of the boat;
hamri kníði with his hammer he beat down
háfjall skarar on the very hideous
ofljótt ofan high-fell of hair
ulfs hnitbróður. of the wolf's clasped brother.(34)
Hraungalkn hlumðu, The rock-monsters howled,(35)
en hölkn þutu, and the stony fields sighed,(36)
fór in forna all the old
fold öll saman; world fell in on itself;(37)
sökkðisk síðan then sank
sá fiskr í mar. that fish in the sea.
Óteitr jötunn, Unhappy the jǫtunn [was]
er aftr reru, when they were rowing back,
svá at ár Hymir so that the whole time Hymir
ekki mælti, did not speak,
veifði hann ræði he pulled the rowing
veðrs annars til. to the other side of the wind.(38)
Hymir kvað: Hymir said:
"Mundu of vinna "Will you do
verk halft við mik, half the job with me,
at þú heim hvali by hefting the whales home
haf til bæjar to the dwellings
eða flotbrúsa or making fast
festir okkarn." our floating he-goat(39)."
Gekk Hlórriði, Hlórriði took a step,
greip á stafni grabbed the bow
vatt með austri [and] hoisted up the sea-steed(40)
upp lögfáki, with its bilge-water,
einn með árum alone, with the oars
ok með austskotu and with the bilge-scoop,
bar hann til bæjar he carried to the dwellings
brimsvín jötuns the jǫtun's wave-pig(41),
ok holtriða and across
hver í gegnum. every wooded ridge.(42)
Ok enn jötunn And yet the jǫtunn
um afrendi, regarding strength,
þrágirni vanr, wont to be obstinate,
við Þór sennti, gibed at Thor,
kvað-at mann ramman, saying no one [was] strong,
þótt róa kynni even if he could row
nema kálk bryti. except if he broke a goblet.
En Hlórriði, And Hlórriði,
er at höndum kom, when it came into his hands,
brátt lét bresta at once broke apart
brattstein gleri; a tall stone structure with the glass;(43)
sló hann sitjandi seated, he threw
súlur í gögnum; it at and through pillars;
báru þó heilan but they brought it whole
fyr Hymi síðan. back to Hymir.
Unz þat in fríða Until the fair-faced
frilla kenndi lady-love shared
ástráð mikit, a big piece of loving advice,
eitt er vissi: one that she knew(44):
"Drep við haus Hymis, "Strike it against the skull of Hymir,
hann er harðari, the jǫtunn weary after his meal(45) -
kostmóðs jötuns that is harder
kálki hverjum." than any goblet."
Harðr reis á kné Hardy, rose using his knees
hafra dróttinn, the lord of goats,
færðisk allra strove with the whole(46)
í ásmegin; of his godly might;
heill var karli whole was the churl's
hjalmstofn ofan, helm-footing(47) up top,
en vínferill but the round wine-roadway
valr rifnaði. split in two.
"Mörg veit ek mæti "Many good things I know
mér gengin frá, to be gone from me,
er ek kálki sé now that I see the goblet
ór knéum hrundit;" destroyed from the knees(48) ";
karl orð of kvað: the churl uttered the words:
"knákat ek segja "I cannot say
aftr ævagi, ever again,
þú ert, ölðr, of heitt. 'Ale, thou art brewed.'
Þat er til kostar, "That is on condition
ef koma mættið that you two can get
út ór óru out of our court
ölkjól hofi." the ale-ship(49)."
Týr leitaði Týr tried
tysvar hræra; twice to budge it;
stóð at hváru each time stood
hverr kyrr fyrir. the cauldron still in place.
Faðir Móða Móði's father(50)
fekk á þremi took hold of the rim
ok í gegnum steig and in reaction the floor
golf niðr í sal; sank lower in the room;(51)
hóf sér á höfuð upp Sif's husband hoisted
hver Sifjar verr, the cauldron up onto his head, (52)
en á hælum and at his heels
hringar skullu. the chain-rings clanked.
Fóru-t lengi, They did not travel for long
áðr líta nam before he took a look
aftr Óðins sonr behind, Óðin's son,
einu sinni; one time;
sá hann ór hreysum from stony dens he saw,
með Hymi austan eastwards with Hymir,
folkdrótt fara a troop of fighters coming,
Hóf hann sér af herðum He hefted off his shoulders
hver standanda, the settled cauldron,
veifði hann Mjöllni he waved Mjǫllnir
morðgjörnum fram, the murder-eager before him,
ok hraunhvala and the whales of the rocky ground(53)
hann alla drap. he killed, all.
Fóru-t lengi, They did not travel for long
áðr liggja nam before fell down
hafr Hlórriða a goat of Hlórriði's,
halfdauðr fyrir; half-dead in front of them;
var skær skökuls the steed of the pole(55) was
skakkr á beini, sprained in a leg,
en því inn lævísi and that the devious(56)
Loki of olli. Loki had caused.
En ér heyrt hafið, - For you have heard -
hverr kann of þat every teller of tales of the gods
goðmálugra can of that
görr at skilja? - spin the tale(57) -
hver af hraunbúa what reward he took
hann laun of fekk, from the dweller on rocky land,(58)
er hann bæði galt when he paid with both
börn sín fyrir. his children for it.
Þróttöflugr kom Great in might he came(59)
á þing goða to the assembly of the gods
ok hafði hver, and had the cauldron
þanns Hymir átti; that Hymir had owned;
en véar hverjan and the powers(60)
vel skulu drekka will drink well
ölðr at Ægis ale at Ægir's
eitt hörmeitið. every single flax-cutting tide.(61)
1. Valtívar: lit. gods of slaughter, of corpses. Tívar is etymologically the plural of Týr's name.
2. Sumblsamir is a hapax legomenon (unique word) in ON, where sumbl is in any case comparatively rare. In modern Icelandic it means "fond of feasting".
3. Hlaut, explained in Hákons Saga Góða in Heimskringla as the blood from the blót (sacrifice), into which twigs (hlautteinar) were dipped. However, the word presumably derives from hlutr, orig. hlautr, a lot, and may have originally meant the twig used for divination, not the blood. It is possible that that is the meaning in this line.
4. i.e., jǫtunn (see verse 3); also a hapax legomenon. Ægir is meant, although Ægir is a sea-dweller not a mountain-giant.
5. Miskorblindi may be intended as the name of his father.
6. Yggr is a name of Óðinn; Thor is meant. "Sif's husband" in the following verse is also a heiti for Thor.
7. "Roaring Thunderer", a name of Thor.
8. Ice-waves; see "Vafþrúðnismál" verse 31.
9. Lit. hundredfold wise.
10. Another hapax legomenon, the second part not clear.
11. A rǫst is properly a stage in a journey, between two rest breaks.
12. This Egill is Týr's uncle.
13. Or "son". The reference is to Týr.
14. Týr's mother
15. The Codex Regius has frí, a hapax legomenon; A has faðir, "father", which does not match Týr's reference to Hymir as his own father. The emendation to fríi is defensible on metrical grounds but rests on a dubious analogy with Gothic; the alternative explanation, with similar implied meaning, is that it is an error or short form for friðill, "lover" (the masculine counterpart to frilla, which is used in verse 30 and in the stage direction before verse 11).
16. Glǫggr properly means "clear-sighted"; it is often used metaphorically for "shrewd", sometimes for "stingy".
17. Dronke amends this to vásskapaðr, "made for harsh weather".
18. Kenning: beard
19. Referring to Thor. Either this means "enemy of the jǫtuns" or Hróðr is a proper name, "enemy of Hróðr".
20. A name of Thor: either Hallower or Defender are possible etymological meanings. It appears in the plural in verse 39, referring to all the gods.
21. These 4 lines are interwoven in the Norse; rearranged for clarity. The pegs were in the beam.
22. Kenning for Thor, who makes giantesses widows
23. No story connects these two giants.
24. These 4 lines also rearranged for clarity. Veiðimatr (food from hunting) like the simple veiðr in verse 10, can include both hunting and fishing.
25. Kenning: giants
26. This also refers to Thor.
27. Kenning for Thor: a þurs is a type of giant.
28. These two lines are a kenning for the ox's head.
29. Rearranged for clarity. Hlunngoti (horse of the launch rollers): the ship. Hafra dróttinn (lord of goats): Thor. Áttrunn apa (lineage of apes): Hymir.
30. Meir, "more", is A's reading; the Codex Regius has mærr, "famous", referring to Hymir.
31. Thor; sifjaðr properly means "related by marriage" and not blood kin like frændr.
32. The same word as Verse 6.
33. The first line of this half of the verse moved to the end for clarity. Fía: usually spelt fjá.
34. Háfjall skarar (high fell of the hair): head. Ulfs hnitbróður: Jǫrmungandr, Fenrir's brother; the force of hnit- in this hapax legomenon is uncertain, but Dronke suggests based on modern Icelandic that it means "twin". Rearrangement for clarity in the preceding three lines.
35. Both manuscripts have hreingalkn, usually read as -gálkr and emended as here from the "reindeer" word. Hraun properly meant wasteland; in Iceland it was applied to bare rock, usually lava. (It occurs in kennings at the end of the poem.) The verb is plural (A has hrutu, "rebounded"). Dronke emends to heingálkn, which she renders as "honewreckers", a metaphor for those on the side of Thor in opposing jǫtnar, via an allusion to Hymir, who used a hone (whetstone) as a weapon against him. In this reading the following line is in contrast and might better have "but" or "while" than "and".
36. The verb þjóta primarily signifies a whistling sound, but is used of the soughing of the surf or the wind and also of a wolf's howl.
37. This has been interpreted as both "quaked" and "collapsed".
38. An alternative reading is to amend ræði (rowing) to ræðo (conversation), giving "he turned the conversation to the other side of the wind", a metaphor; in this case ár would mean "at first" rather than "the whole time".
39. Flotbrúsi: kenning for a boat. It can also be taken as "floating jar": brúsi was also used by extension to mean a type of earthenware jar that was the shape of a bearded head.
40. Lögfákr - kenning for ship. Rearrangement for clarity in these two lines.
41. Brimsvín - another kenning for ship.
42. Dronke considers these two lines to have strayed from another version of the story.
43. Brattstein, "towering stone", a hapax legomenon, must mean "pillar". Instead of gleri, "with the glass", the Codex Regius here has i tvau, "in two".
44. This has also been taken as "that only she knew".
45. Order reversed with the following line for clarity.
46. Allra appears to be a rare usage meaning "entirely" but has been suggested to mean that he drew on the power of all the Æsir.
47. Hjalmstofn - kenning for head.
48. Variously interpreted as: destroyed by Thor when he was kneeling and: taken metaphorically from Hymir's knees and destroyed (since it now lies at his feet).
49. Ǫlkjólr: kenning for cauldron.
50. Like Sifjar verr below, a heiti for Thor.
51. This has been taken as: he kicked down against it across the floor of the room (Dronke) and: his feet sank into the floor (Guðbrandur Vigfússon).
52. These 2 lines rearranged for clarity.
53. Hraunhvalr: kenning for jǫtunn.
54. This and verse 38 are in both manuscripts but are probably interpolated.
55. Referring to the goat; Thor's two goats pull his cart, presumably yoked to a pole.
56. Inn lævísi is a standard epithet for Loki.
57. The question mark inserted by Guðni Jónsson suggests he takes these lines as meaning "Who could tell it better" (Olive Bray's reading).
58. These 2 lines rearranged for clarity. "He" is Thor. The hraunbúi corresponds to the crofter with whom they leave the goats in the Prose Edda version of the story, and not to the named Egill of verse 7, but the term is elsewhere used to refer to a jǫtunn. Dronke suggests scribal confusion, but the outskirts of Jǫtunheimr may well be a lava plain.
59. Or: The Mighty One came
60. Véar is a plural of Thor's name Véurr.
61. "Every" is hverjan, 3 lines above. The reading referring to harvest is literal; some modern scholars instead amend to eitrhǫrmeitið, "venom-cord cutting", a kenning for winter, when snakes (venom cord) are killed by the cold.