Hymiskvia

 

1. 1.

r valtvar In ancient times the victorious gods(1)

veiar nmu hunted

ok sumblsamir and feasted together,(2)

r sair yri, before having had their fill,

hristu teina they cast twigs

ok hlaut su; and inspected the sacrificial blood;(3)

fundu eir at gis at gir's they found

rkost hvera. every provision.

 

2.

Sat bergbi The rock-dweller(4) sat

barnteitr fyr glad as a child,

mjk glkr megi much like a child

miskorblinda; of a mash-brewer;(5)

leit augu Ygg's son(6) looked in his eye

Yggs barn r: provocatively:

" skalt sum "You must for the sir

oft sumbl gera." often make a feast."

 

3. 3.

nn fekk jtni The taunting fellow

orbginn halr, was setting labour for the jǫtunn;

hugi at hefndum immediately he thought

hann nst vi go, of revenge against the god,

ba hann Sifjar ver he asked Sif's husband

sr fra hver, - to bring him a cauldron -

"anns ek llum l "in which for all of you

yr of heita." I will brew ale."

 

4. 4.

N at mttu They were not able,

mrir tvar mighty gods

ok ginnregin and great regin,

of geta hvergi, to obtain one anywhere,

unz af tryggum until in loyalty

Tr Hlrria Tr gave

str mikit a big piece of good advice,

einum sagi: aside to Hlrrii(7):

 

5. 5.

"Br fyr austan "Far to the east

livga of the livgar(8)

hundvss Hymir lives very wise(9) Hymir

at himins enda; at the end of the sky;

minn fair my father,

mugr ketil, the fierce one, has a kettle,

rmbruginn hver, a spaciously made(10) cauldron,

rastar djpan." a league(11) deep."

 

rr kva: Thor said:

6. 6.

"Veiztu ef iggjum Do you know if we can get

ann lgvelli?" that boiler of liquids?"

 

Tr kva: Tr said:

"Ef, vinr, vlar "If, friend, we bring

vit gervum til." some tricks to bear."

 

7. 7.

Fru drjgum They travelled much

dag ann fram that day on their way

sgari fr, from Asgard,

unz til Egils kvmu; until they came to Egil's(12) home;

hiri hann hafra he then stalled the goats,

horngfgasta; proud-horned;

hurfu at hllu, they wended their way to the hall

er Hymir tti. that belonged to Hymir.

 

8. 8.

Mgr fann mmu The young man(13) found his

grandmother

mjk leia sr, very ugly,

hafi hfa she had heads

hundru nu, nine hundred,

en nnur gekk but another woman(14) came

algullin fram forward all golden,

brnhvt bera white-browed, to bring

bjrveig syni: a drink of beer to her son:

 

9. 9.

"ttnir jtna, "Child of the race of jǫtuns,

ek viljak ykkr I will put you

hugfulla tv bold two

und hvera setja; under the cauldrons;

er minn fri my man(15) is

mrgu sinni many times

glggr vi gesti, mean(16) towards guests,

grr ills hugar." quick to ill will."

 

10. 10.

En vskapar But the woe-maker(17)

var sbinn was a late arrival,

harrr Hymir harsh Hymir,

heim af veium, home from the hunt;

gekk inn sal, he came into the hall,

glumu jklar, icicles chimed,

var karls, en kom, when he arrived the churl's

kinnskgr frrinn. chin-forest(18) was frozen.

 

Frilla kva: His lady said:

11. 11.

"Ver heill, Hymir, "Hail now, Hymir,

hugum gum, in good cheer;

n er sonr kominn now our son is come

til sala inna, to your halls,

s er vit vttum who we were waiting for

af vegi lngum; from a long way away;

fylgir hnum he is accompanied by

hrrs andskoti, the enemy of reputation,(19)

vinr verlia; the friend of mankind;

Vurr heitir s. Vurr(20) he is called.

 

12. 12.

S , hvar sitja See where they sit

und salar gafli, under the hall gable,

sv fora sr, so protecting themselves,

stendr sl fyrir." a pillar stands before them."

Sundr stkk sla The pillar exploded

fyr sjn jtuns, at the jǫtun's gaze,

en r tvau and before that a roof beam

ss brotnai. broke in two.

 

13. 13.

Stukku tta, Eight [cauldrons] sprang

en einn af eim from the pegs,

hverr harsleginn but only one of them,

heill af olli; a stoutly hammered cauldron, intact;(21)

fram gengu eir, out they came

en forn jtunn and the ancient jǫtunn

sjnum leiddi clapped eyes

sinn andskota. on his enemy.

 

14. 14.

Sagi-t hnum To him his mind spoke

hugr vel , of nothing good

er hann s ggjar grti when he saw the sorrow of ogresses(22)

golf kominn, had walked onto his floor;

ar vru jrar then three bullocks

rr of teknir, were brought,

ba senn jtunn [and] the jǫtunn ordered

sja ganga. them to be cooked at once.

 

15. 15.

Hvern ltu eir Each one they made

hfi skemmra a head shorter

ok seyi and to the fire-pit

san bru; then they took;

t Sifjar verr, Sif's husband ate,

r sofa gengi, before he went to bed,

einn me llu alone, the whole of

xn tv Hymis. two of Hymir's oxen.

 

16. 16.

tti hrum Seemed to the hoary

Hrungnis spjalla companion of Hrungnir(23)

verr Hlrria Hlrrii's meal

vel fullmikill: very much large enough:

"Munum at aftni "We three will

rum vera live on other food,

vi veiimat from what we catch,

vr rr lifa." for the evening."(24)

 

17. 17.

Vurr kvazk vilja Vurr said he was keen to

vg ra, row out to sea,

ef ballr jtunn if the stern jǫtunn

beitr gfi. would provide bait.

 

Hymir kva: Hymir said:

"Hverf til hjarar, "Go to the herd,

ef hug trir, if you trust your courage,

brjtr berg - Dana, breaker of rock-Danes,(25)

beitur skja. to seek bait.

 

18. 18.

ess vnti ek, This I expect,

at r myni-t that for you

gn af oxa bait from oxen

aufeng vera." will be easy to get."

Sveinn ssliga The youth(26) briskly

sveif til skgar, turned towards the woods,

ar er uxi st where there stood an ox,

alsvartr fyrir. all black, before him.

 

19. 19.

Braut af jri He wrested off the bull,

urs rbani the plotter of the bane of the urs,(27)

htn ofan the upper high enclosure

horna tveggja. of its two horns.(28)

 

Hymir kva: Hymir said:

"Verk ykkja n "I believe your deeds

verri miklu are far worse,

kjla valdi steerer of boats,

en kyrr sitir." than [when] you sit still."

 

20. 20.

Ba hlunngota The lord of goats bade

hafra drttinn the offspring of apes

ttrunn apa take the steed of the speedway

tar fra, out to sea,(29)

en s jtunn but that jǫtunn

sna tali stated his

ltla fsi desire to be little

at ra lengra. to row any longer.

 

21. 21.

Dr meir Hymir Hymir pulled up more(30),

mugr hvali the fierce one, whales,

einn ngli on his own, on his hook

upp senn tva, two at a time,

en aftr skut but back in the stern

ni sifjar in's in-law(31)

Vurr vi vlar Vurr with tricks(32)

va geri sr. was making his line.

 

22. 22.

Egndi ngul, He baited the hook,

s er ldum bergr, he who saves mankind,

orms einbani sole slayer of the dragon,

uxa hfi; with the ox's head;

gein vi agni, he whom the gods loathe,

s er go fa, the encircler in the depths

umgjr nean of all the lands,

allra landa. gaped to take the bait.(33)

 

23. 23.

Dr djarfliga Boldly courageous

drakkr rr Thor pulled

orm eitrfan the poison-gleaming dragon

upp at bori; up against the side of the boat;

hamri kni with his hammer he beat down

hfjall skarar on the very hideous

ofljtt ofan high-fell of hair

ulfs hnitbrur. of the wolf's clasped brother.(34)

 

24. 24.

Hraungalkn hlumu, The rock-monsters howled,(35)

en hlkn utu, and the stony fields sighed,(36)

fr in forna all the old

fold ll saman; world fell in on itself;(37)

skkisk san then sank

s fiskr mar. that fish in the sea.

 

25. 25.

teitr jtunn, Unhappy the jǫtunn [was]

er aftr reru, when they were rowing back,

sv at r Hymir so that the whole time Hymir

ekki mlti, did not speak,

veifi hann ri he pulled the rowing

vers annars til. to the other side of the wind.(38)

 

Hymir kva: Hymir said:

26. 26.

"Mundu of vinna "Will you do

verk halft vi mik, half the job with me,

at heim hvali by hefting the whales home

haf til bjar to the dwellings

ea flotbrsa or making fast

festir okkarn." our floating he-goat(39)."

 

27. 27.

Gekk Hlrrii, Hlrrii took a step,

greip stafni grabbed the bow

vatt me austri [and] hoisted up the sea-steed(40)

upp lgfki, with its bilge-water,

einn me rum alone, with the oars

ok me austskotu and with the bilge-scoop,

bar hann til bjar he carried to the dwellings

brimsvn jtuns the jǫtun's wave-pig(41),

ok holtria and across

hver gegnum. every wooded ridge.(42)

 

28. 28.

Ok enn jtunn And yet the jǫtunn

um afrendi, regarding strength,

rgirni vanr, wont to be obstinate,

vi r sennti, gibed at Thor,

kva-at mann ramman, saying no one [was] strong,

tt ra kynni even if he could row

krfturligan, mightily,

nema klk bryti. except if he broke a goblet.

 

29. 29.

En Hlrrii, And Hlrrii,

er at hndum kom, when it came into his hands,

brtt lt bresta at once broke apart

brattstein gleri; a tall stone structure with the glass;(43)

sl hann sitjandi seated, he threw

slur ggnum; it at and through pillars;

bru heilan but they brought it whole

fyr Hymi san. back to Hymir.

 

30. 30.

Unz at in fra Until the fair-faced

frilla kenndi lady-love shared

str mikit, a big piece of loving advice,

eitt er vissi: one that she knew(44):

"Drep vi haus Hymis, "Strike it against the skull of Hymir,

hann er harari, the jǫtunn weary after his meal(45) -

kostms jtuns that is harder

klki hverjum." than any goblet."

 

31. 31.

Harr reis kn Hardy, rose using his knees

hafra drttinn, the lord of goats,

frisk allra strove with the whole(46)

smegin; of his godly might;

heill var karli whole was the churl's

hjalmstofn ofan, helm-footing(47) up top,

en vnferill but the round wine-roadway

valr rifnai. split in two.

 

32. 32.

"Mrg veit ek mti "Many good things I know

mr gengin fr, to be gone from me,

er ek klki s now that I see the goblet

r knum hrundit;" destroyed from the knees(48) ";

karl or of kva: the churl uttered the words:

"knkat ek segja "I cannot say

aftr vagi, ever again,

ert, lr, of heitt. 'Ale, thou art brewed.'

 

33. 33.

at er til kostar, "That is on condition

ef koma mtti that you two can get

t r ru out of our court

lkjl hofi." the ale-ship(49)."

Tr leitai Tr tried

tysvar hrra; twice to budge it;

st at hvru each time stood

hverr kyrr fyrir. the cauldron still in place.

 

34. 34.

Fair Ma Mi's father(50)

fekk remi took hold of the rim

ok gegnum steig and in reaction the floor

golf nir sal; sank lower in the room;(51)

hf sr hfu upp Sif's husband hoisted

hver Sifjar verr, the cauldron up onto his head, (52)

en hlum and at his heels

hringar skullu. the chain-rings clanked.

 

35. 35.

Fru-t lengi, They did not travel for long

r lta nam before he took a look

aftr ins sonr behind, in's son,

einu sinni; one time;

s hann r hreysum from stony dens he saw,

me Hymi austan eastwards with Hymir,

folkdrtt fara a troop of fighters coming,

fjlhfaa. many-headed.

 

36. 36.

Hf hann sr af herum He hefted off his shoulders

hver standanda, the settled cauldron,

veifi hann Mjllni he waved Mjǫllnir

morgjrnum fram, the murder-eager before him,

ok hraunhvala and the whales of the rocky ground(53)

hann alla drap. he killed, all.

 

37. 37.(54)

Fru-t lengi, They did not travel for long

r liggja nam before fell down

hafr Hlrria a goat of Hlrrii's,

halfdaur fyrir; half-dead in front of them;

var skr skkuls the steed of the pole(55) was

skakkr beini, sprained in a leg,

en v inn lvsi and that the devious(56)

Loki of olli. Loki had caused.

 

38. 38.

En r heyrt hafi, - For you have heard -

hverr kann of at every teller of tales of the gods

gomlugra can of that

grr at skilja? - spin the tale(57) -

hver af hraunba what reward he took

hann laun of fekk, from the dweller on rocky land,(58)

er hann bi galt when he paid with both

brn sn fyrir. his children for it.

 

39. 39.

rttflugr kom Great in might he came(59)

ing goa to the assembly of the gods

ok hafi hver, and had the cauldron

anns Hymir tti; that Hymir had owned;

en var hverjan and the powers(60)

vel skulu drekka will drink well

lr at gis ale at gir's

eitt hrmeiti. every single flax-cutting tide.(61)

 

Notes

 

1. Valtvar: lit. gods of slaughter, of corpses. Tvar is etymologically the plural of Tr'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 Hkons Saga Ga in Heimskringla as the blood from the blt (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. gir is meant, although gir 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 inn; 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 "Vafrnisml" 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 Tr's uncle.

13. Or "son". The reference is to Tr.

14. Tr's mother

15. The Codex Regius has fr, a hapax legomenon; A has fair, "father", which does not match Tr's reference to Hymir as his own father. The emendation to fri 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 friill, "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 vsskapar, "made for harsh weather".

18. Kenning: beard

19. Referring to Thor. Either this means "enemy of the jǫtuns" or Hrr is a proper name, "enemy of Hrr".

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. Veiimatr (food from hunting) like the simple veir in verse 10, can include both hunting and fishing.

25. Kenning: giants

26. This also refers to Thor.

27. Kenning for Thor: a urs 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 drttinn (lord of goats): Thor. ttrunn apa (lineage of apes): Hymir.

30. Meir, "more", is A's reading; the Codex Regius has mrr, "famous", referring to Hymir.

31. Thor; sifjar properly means "related by marriage" and not blood kin like frndr.

32. The same word as Verse 6.

33. The first line of this half of the verse moved to the end for clarity. Fa: usually spelt fj.

34. Hfjall skarar (high fell of the hair): head. Ulfs hnitbrur: 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 -glkr 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 heinglkn, 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 jta 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 ri (rowing) to ro (conversation), giving "he turned the conversation to the other side of the wind", a metaphor; in this case r would mean "at first" rather than "the whole time".

39. Flotbrsi: kenning for a boat. It can also be taken as "floating jar": brsi was also used by extension to mean a type of earthenware jar that was the shape of a bearded head.

40. Lgfkr - kenning for ship. Rearrangement for clarity in these two lines.

41. Brimsvn - 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 sir.

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. Ǫlkjlr: 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 (Gubrandur Vigfsson).

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 lvsi is a standard epithet for Loki.

57. The question mark inserted by Guni Jnsson 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 hraunbi 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. Var is a plural of Thor's name Vurr.

61. "Every" is hverjan, 3 lines above. The reading referring to harvest is literal; some modern scholars instead amend to eitrhǫrmeiti, "venom-cord cutting", a kenning for winter, when snakes (venom cord) are killed by the cold.