Lokasenna

English translation based on Benjamin Thorpe's work



1. 0. Ægir,
who was also called Gymir,
had prepared ale for the gods,
after he had got the mighty kettle,
as now has been told. To this feast came Odin and Frigg,
his wife. Thor came not,
as he was on a journey in the East. Sif,
Thor's wife,
was there,
and Brag,
with Ithun,
his wife. Tyr,
who had but one hand,
was there;
the wolf Fenrir had bitten off his other hand when they had bound him. There were Njorth and Skathi his wife,
Freyr and Freyja,
and Vithar,
the son of Odin. Loki was there,
and Freyr's servants Byggvir and Beyla. Many were there of the gods and elves. Ægir had two serving-men,
Fimafeng and Eldir. Glittering gold they had in place of firelight;
the ale came in of itself;
and great was the peace. The guests praised much the ability of Ægir's serving-men. Loki might not endure that,
and he slew Fimafeng. Then the gods shook their shields and howled at Loki and drove him away to the forest,
and thereafter set to drinking again. Loki turned back,
and outside he met Eldir. Loki spoke to him:
"Speak now,
Eldir,
for not one step Farther shalt thou fare;
What ale-talk here do they have within,
The sons of the glorious gods?"

2. Eldir spoke:
"Of their weapons they talk,
and their might in war,
The sons of the glorious gods;
From the gods and elves who are gathered here No friend in words shalt thou find."

3. Loki spoke:
"In shall I go into Ægir's hall,
For the feast I fain would see;
Bale and hatred I bring to the gods,
And their mead with venom I mix."

4. Eldir spoke:
"If in thou goest to Ægir's hall,
And fain the feast wouldst see,
And with slander and spite wouldst sprinkle the gods,
Think well lest they wipe it on thee."

5. Loki spoke:
"Bethink thee,
Eldir,
if thou and I Shall strive with spiteful speech;
Richer I grow in ready words If thou speakest too much to me." Then Loki went into the hall,
but when they who were there saw who had entered,
they were all silent.

6. Loki spoke:
"Thirsty I come into this thine hall,
I,
Lopt,
from a journey long,
To ask of the gods that one should give Fair mead for a drink to me.

7. "Why sit ye silent,
swollen with pride,
Ye gods,
and no answer give? At your feast a place and a seat prepare me,
Or bid me forth to fare."

8. Bragi spoke:
"A place and a seat will the gods prepare No more in their midst for thee;
For the gods know well what men they wish To find at their mighty feasts."

9. Loki spoke:
"Remember,
Odin,
in olden days That we both our blood have mixed;
Then didst thou promise no ale to pour,
Unless it were brought for us both."

10. Odin spoke:
"Stand forth then,
Vithar,
and let the wolf's father Find a seat at our feast;
Lest evil should Loki speak aloud Here within Ægir's hall."

11. Then Vithar arose and poured drink for Loki;
but before he drank he spoke to the gods:
"Hail to you,
gods! ye goddesses,
hail! Hail to the holy throng! Save for the god who yonder sits,
Bragi there on the bench."

12. Bragi spoke:
"A horse and a sword from my hoard will I give,
And a ring gives Bragi to boot,
That hatred thou makst not among the gods;
So rouse not the great ones to wrath."

13. Loki spoke:
"In horses and rings thou shalt never be rich,
Bragi,
but both shalt thou lack;
Of the gods and elves here together met Least brave in battle art thou,
(And shyest thou art of the shot.)"

14. Bragi spoke:
"Now were I without as I am within,
And here in Ægir's hall,
Thine head would I bear in mine hands away,
And pay thee the price of thy lies."

15. Loki spoke:
"In thy seat art thou bold,
not so are thy deeds,
Bragi,
adorner of benches! Go out and fight if angered thou feelest,
No hero such forethought has."

16. Ithun spoke:
"Well,
prithee,
Bragi,
his kinship weigh,
Since chosen as wish-son he was;
And speak not to Loki such words of spite Here within Ægir's hall."

17. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Ithun! thou art,
I say,
of women most lustful in love,
Since thou thy washed-bright arms didst wind About thy brother's slayer."

18. Ithun spoke:
"To Loki I speak not with spiteful words Here within Ægir's hall;
And Bragi I calm,
who is hot with beer,
For I wish not that fierce they should fight."

19. Gefjun spoke:
"Why,
ye gods twain,
with bitter tongues Raise hate among us here? Loki is famed for his mockery foul,
And the dwellers in heaven he hates."

20. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Gefjun! for now shall I say Who led thee to evil life;
The boy so fair gave a necklace bright,
And about him thy leg was laid."

21. Odin spoke:
"Mad art thou,
Loki,
and little of wit,
The wrath of Gefjun to rouse;
For the fate that is set for all she sees,
Even as I,
methinks."

22. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Odin! not justly thou settest The fate of the fight among men;
Oft gavst thou to him who deserved not the gift,
To the baser,
the battle's prize."

23. Odin spoke:
"Though I gave to him who deserved not the gift,
To the baser,
the battle's prize;
Winters eight wast thou under the earth,
Milking the cows as a maid,
(Ay,
and babes didst thou bear;
Unmanly thy soul must seem.)"

24. Loki spoke:
"They say that with spells in Samsey once Like witches with charms didst thou work;
And in witch's guise among men didst thou go;
Unmanly thy soul must seem."

25. Frigg spoke:
"Of the deeds ye two of old have done Ye should make no speech among men;
Whate'er ye have done in days gone by,
Old tales should ne'er be told."

26. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Frigg! thou art Fjorgyn's wife,
But ever lustful in love;
For Vili and Ve,
thou wife of Vithrir,
Both in thy bosom have lain."

27. Frigg spoke:
"If a son like Baldr were by me now,
Here within Ægir's hall,
From the sons of the gods thou shouldst go not forth Till thy fierceness in fight were tried."

28. Loki spoke:"Thou wilt then,
Frigg,
that further I tell Of the ill that now I know;
Mine is the blame that Baldr no more Thou seest ride home to the hall."

29. Freyja spoke:
"Mad art thou,
Loki,
that known thou makest The wrong and shame thou hast wrought;
The fate of all does Frigg know well,
Though herself she says it not."

30. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Freyja! for fully I know thee,
Sinless thou art not thyself;
Of the gods and elves who are gathered here,
Each one as thy lover has lain."

31. Freyja spoke:
"False is thy tongue,
and soon shalt thou find That it sings thee an evil song;
The gods are wroth,
and the goddesses all,
And in grief shalt thou homeward go."

32. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Freyja! thou foulest witch,
And steeped full sore in sin;
In the arms of thy brother the bright gods caught thee When Freyja her wind set free."

33. Njorth spoke:
"Small ill does it work though a woman may have A lord or a lover or both;
But a wonder it is that this womanish god Comes hither,
though babes he has borne."

34. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Njorth;
thou wast eastward sent,
To the gods as a hostage given;
And the daughters of Hymir their privy had When use did they make of thy mouth."

35. Njorth spoke:
"Great was my gain,
though long was I gone,
To the gods as a hostage given;
The son did I have whom no man hates,
And foremost of gods is found."

36. Loki spoke:
"Give heed now,
Njorth,
nor boast too high,
No longer I hold it hid;
With thy sister hadst thou so fair a son,
Thus hadst thou no worse a hope."

37. Tyr spoke:
"Of the heroes brave is Freyr the best Here in the home of the gods;
He harms not maids nor the wives of men,
And the bound from their fetters he frees."

38. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Tyr! for between two men Friendship thou ne'er couldst fashion;
Fain would I tell how Fenrir once Thy right hand rent from thee."

39. Tyr spoke:
"My hand do I lack,
but Hrothvitnir thou,
And the loss brings longing to both;
Ill fares the wolf who shall ever await In fetters the fall of the gods."

40. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Tyr! for a son with me Thy wife once chanced to win;
Not a penny,
methinks,
wast thou paid for the wrong,
Nor wast righted an inch,
poor wretch."

41. Freyr spoke:
"By the mouth of the river the wolf remains Till the gods to destruction go;
Thou too shalt soon,
if thy tongue is not stilled,
Be fettered,
thou forger of ill."

42. Loki spoke:
"The daughter of Gymir with gold didst thou buy,
And sold thy sword to boot;
But when Muspell's sons through Myrkwood ride,
Thou shalt weaponless wait,
poor wretch."

43. Byggvir spoke:
"Had I birth so famous as Ingunar-Freyr,
And sat in so lofty a seat,
I would crush to marrow this croaker of ill,
And beat all his body to bits."

44. Loki spoke:
"What little creature goes crawling there,
Snuffling and snapping about? At Freyr's ears ever wilt thou be found,
Or muttering hard at the mill."

45. Byggvir spoke:
"Byggvir my name,
and nimble am I,
As gods and men do grant;
And here am I proud that the children of Hropt Together all drink ale."

46. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Byggvir! thou never couldst set Their shares of the meat for men;
Hid in straw on the floor,
they found thee not When heroes were fain to fight."

47. Heimdall spoke:
"Drunk art thou,
Loki,
and mad are thy deeds,
Why,
Loki,
leavst thou this not? For drink beyond measure will lead all men No thought of their tongues to take."

48. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Heimdall! in days long since Was an evil fate for thee fixed;
With back held stiff must thou ever stand,
As warder of heaven to watch."

49. Skathi spoke:
"Light art thou,
Loki,
but longer thou mayst not In freedom flourish thy tail;
On the rocks the gods bind thee with bowels torn Forth from thy frost-cold son."

50. Loki spoke:
"Though on rocks the gods bind me with bowels torn Forth from my frost-cold son,
I was first and last at the deadly fight There where Thjazi we caught."

51. Skathi spoke:
"Wert thou first and last at the deadly fight There where Thjazi was caught,
From my dwellings and fields shall ever come forth A counsel cold for thee."

52. Loki spoke:
"More lightly thou spokest with Laufey's son,
When thou badst me come to thy bed;
Such things must be known if now we two Shall seek our sins to tell."

53. Then Sif came forward and poured mead for Loki in a crystal cup,
and said:
"Hail too thee,
Loki,
and take thou here The crystal cup of old mead;
For me at least,
alone of the gods,
Blameless thou knowest to be."

54. He took the horn,
and drank therefrom:
"Alone thou wert if truly thou wouldst All men so shyly shun;
But one do I know full well,
methinks,
Who had thee from Hlorrithi's arms,-- (Loki the crafty in lies.)"

55. Beyla spoke:
"The mountains shake,
and surely I think From his home comes Hlorrithi now;
He will silence the man who is slandering here Together both gods and men."

56. Loki spoke:
"Be silent,
Beyla! thou art Byggvir's wife,
And deep art thou steeped in sin;
A greater shame to the gods came ne'er,
Befouled thou art with thy filth."

57. Then came Thor forth,
and spoke:
"Unmanly one,
cease,
or the mighty hammer,
Mjollnir,
shall close thy mouth;
Thy shoulder-cliff shall I cleave from thy neck,
And so shall thy life be lost."

58. Loki spoke:
"Lo,
in has come the son of Earth:
Why threaten so loudly,
Thor? Less fierce thou shalt go to fight with the wolf When he swallows Sigfather up."

59. Thor spoke:
"Unmanly one,
cease,
or the mighty hammer,
Mjollnir,
shall close thy mouth;
I shall hurl thee up and out in the East,
Where men shall see thee no more."

60. Loki spoke:
"That thou hast fared on the East-road forth To men shouldst thou say no more;
In the thumb of a glove didst thou hide,
thou great one,
And there forgot thou wast Thor."

61. Thor spoke:
"Unmanly one,
cease,
or the mighty hammer,
Mjollnir,
shall close thy mouth;
My right hand shall smite thee with Hrungnir's slayer,
Till all thy bones are broken."

62. Loki spoke:
"Along time still do I think to live,
Though thou threatenest thus with thy hammer;
Rough seemed the straps of Skrymir's wallet,
When thy meat thou mightest not get,
(And faint from hunger didst feel.)"

63. Thor spoke:
"Unmanly one,
cease,
or the mighty hammer,
Mjollnir,
shall close thy mouth;
The slayer of Hrungnir shall send thee to hell,
And down to the gate of death."

64. Loki spoke:
"'1 have said to the gods and the sons of the god,
The things that whetted my thoughts;
But before thee alone do I now go forth,
For thou fightest well,
I ween.

65. "Ale hast thou brewed,
but,
Ægir,
now Such feasts shalt thou make no more;
O'er all that thou hast which is here within Shall play the flickering flames,
(And thy back shall be burnt with fire.)" And after that Loki hid himself in Franang's waterfall in the guise of a salmon,
and there the gods took him. He was bound with the bowels of his son Vali,
but his son Narfi was changed to a wolf. Skathi took a poison-snake and fastened it up over Loki's face,
and the poison dropped thereon. Sigyn,
Loki's wife,
sat there and held a shell under the poison,
but when the shell was full she bore away the poison,
and meanwhile the poison dropped on Loki. Then he struggled so hard that the whole earth shook therewith;
and now that is called an earthquake.

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