Hárbarðsljóð

Based on an English translation by Bellow



1. Thor was on his way back from a journey in the East,
and came to a sound;
on the other side of the sound was a ferryman with a boat. Thor called out:
"Who is the fellow yonder,
on the farther shore of the sound?"

2. The ferryman spoke:
"What kind of a peasant is yon,
that calls o'er the bay?"

3. Thor spoke:
"Ferry me over the sound;
I will feed thee therefor in the morning;
A basket I have on my back,
and food therein,
none better;
At leisure I ate,
ere the house I left,
Of herrings and porridge,
so plenty I had."

4. The ferryman spoke:
"Of thy morning feats art thou proud,
but the future thou knowest not wholly;
Doleful thine home-coming is:
thy mother,
me thinks,
is dead."

5. Thor spoke:
"Now hast thou said what to each must seem The mightiest grief,
that my mother is dead."

6. The ferryman spoke:
"Three good dwellings,
methinks,
thou hast not;
Barefoot thou standest,
and wearest a beggar's dress;
Not even hose dost thou have."

7. Thor spoke:
"Steer thou hither the boat;
the landing here shall I show thee;
But whose the craft that thou keepest on the shore?"

8. The ferryman spoke:
"Hildolf is he who bade me have it,
A hero wise;
his home is at Rathsey's sound. He bade me no robbers to steer,
nor stealers of steeds,
But worthy men,
and those whom well do I know. Say now thy name,
if over the sound thou wilt fare."

9. Thor spoke:
"My name indeed shall I tell,
though in danger I am,
And all my race;
I am Odin's son,
Meili's brother,
and Magni's father,
The strong one of the gods;
with Thor now speech canst thou get. And now would I know what name thou hast."

10. The ferryman spoke:
"Harbarth am I,
and seldom I hide my name."

11. Thor spoke:
"Why shouldst thou hide thy name,
if quarrel thou hast not?"

12. Harbarth spoke:
"And though I had a quarrel,
from such as thou art Yet none the less my life would I guard,
Unless I be doomed to die."

13. Thor spoke:
"Great trouble,
methinks,
would it be to come to thee,
To wade the waters across,
and wet my middle;
Weakling,
well shall I pay thy mocking words,
if across the sound I come."

14. Harbarth spoke:
"Here shall I stand and await thee here;
Thou hast found since Hrungnir died no fiercer man."

15. Thor spoke:
"Fain art thou to tell how with Hrungnir I fought,
The haughty giant,
whose head of stone was made;
And yet I felled him,
and stretched him before me. What,
Harbarth,
didst thou the while?" :


16. Harbarth spoke "Five full winters with Fjolvar was I,
And dwelt in the isle that is Algrön called;
There could we fight,
and fell the slain,
Much could we seek,
and maids could master."

17. Thor spoke:
"How won ye success with your women?"

18. Harbarth spoke:
"Lively women we had,
if they wise for us were;
Wise were the women we had,
if they kind for us were;
For ropes of sand they would seek to wind,
And the bottom to dig from the deepest dale. Wiser than all in counsel I was,
And there I slept by the sisters seven,
And joy full great did I get from each. What,
Thor,
didst thou the while?"

19. Thor spoke:
"Thjazi I felled,
the giant fierce,
And I hurled the eyes of Alvaldi's son To the heavens hot above;
Of my deeds the mightiest marks are these,
That all men since can see. What,
Harbarth,
didst thou the while?"

20. Harbarth spoke:
"Much love-craft I wrought with them who ride by night,
When I stole them by stealth from their husbands;
A giant hard was Hlebarth,
methinks:
His wand he gave me as gift,
And I stole his wits away."

21. Thor spoke:
"Thou didst repay good gifts with evil mind."

22. Harbarth spoke:
"The oak must have what it shaves from another;
In such things each for himself. What,
Thor,
didst thou the while?"

23. Thor spoke:
"Eastward I fared,
of the giants I felled Their ill-working women who went to the mountain;
And large were the giants' throng if all were alive;
No men would there be in Mithgarth more. What,
Harbarth,
didst thou the while?"

24. Harbarth spoke:
"In Valland I was,
and wars I raised,
Princes I angered,
and peace brought never;
The noble who fall in the fight hath Odin,
And Thor hath the race of the thralls."

25. Thor spoke:
"Unequal gifts of men wouldst thou give to the gods,
If might too much thou shouldst have."

26. Harbarth spoke:
"Thor has might enough,
but never a heart;
For cowardly fear in a glove wast thou fain to crawl,
And there forgot thou wast Thor;
Afraid there thou wast,
thy fear was such,
To fart or sneeze lest Fjalar should hear."

27. Thor spoke:
"Thou womanish Harbarth,
to hell would I smite thee straight,
Could mine arm reach over the sound."

28. Harbarth spoke:
"Wherefore reach over the sound,
since strife we have none? What,
Thor,
didst thou do then?"

29. Thor spoke:
"Eastward I was,
and the river I guarded well,
Where the sons of Svarang sought me there;
Stones did they hurl;
small joy did they have of winning;
Before me there to ask for peace did they fare. What,
Harbarth,
didst thou the while?"

30. Harbarth spoke:
"Eastward I was,
and spoke with a certain one,
I played with the linen-white maid,
and met her by stealth;
I gladdened the gold-decked one,
and she granted me joy."

31. Thor spoke:
"Full fair was thy woman-finding."

32. Harbarth spoke:
"Thy help did I need then,
Thor,
to hold the white maid fast."

33. Thor spoke:
"Gladly,
had I been there,
my help to thee had been given."

34. Harbarth spoke:
"I might have trusted thee then,
didst thou not betray thy troth."

35. Thor spoke:
"No heel-biter am I,
in truth,
like an old leather shoe in spring."

36. Harbarth spoke:
"What,
Thor,
didst thou the while?"

37. Thor spoke:
"In Hlesey the brides of the Berserkers slew I;
Most evil they were,
and all they betrayed."

38. Harbarth spoke:
"Shame didst thou win,
that women thou slewest,
Thor."

39. Thor spoke:
"She-wolves they were like,
and women but little;
My ship,
which well I had trimmed,
did they shake;
With clubs of iron they threatened,
and Thjalfi they drove off. What,
Harbarth,
didst thou the while?"

40. Harbarth spoke:
"In the host I was that hither fared,
The banners to raise,
and the spear to redden."

41. Thor spoke:
"Wilt thou now say that hatred thou soughtest to bring us?"

42. Harbarth spoke:
"A ring for thy hand shall make all right for thee,
As the judge decides who sets us two at peace."

43. Thor spoke:
"Where foundest thou so foul and scornful a speech? More foul a speech I never before have heard."

44. Harbarth spoke:
"I learned it from men,
the men so old,
Who dwell in the hills of home."

45. Thor spoke:
"A name full good to heaps of stones thou givest When thou callest them hills of home."

46. Harbarth spoke:
"Of such things speak I so."

47. Thor spoke:
"Ill for thee comes thy keenness of tongue,
If the water I choose to wade;
Louder,
I ween,
than a wolf thou cryest,
If a blow of my hammer thou hast."

48. Harbarth spoke:
"Sif has a lover at home,
and him shouldst thou meet;
More fitting it were on him to put forth thy strength."

49. Thor spoke:
"Thy tongue still makes thee say what seems most ill to me,
Thou witless man! Thou liest,
I ween."

50. Harbarth spoke:
"Truth do I speak,
but slow on thy way thou art;
Far hadst thou gone if now in the boat thou hadst fared."

51. Thor spoke:
"Thou womanish Harbarth! here hast thou held me too long."

52. Harbarth spoke:
"I thought not ever that Asathor would be hindered By a ferryman thus from faring."

53. Thor spoke:
"One counsel I bring thee now:
row hither thy boat;
No more of scoffing;
set Magni's father across."

54. Harbarth spoke:
"From the sound go hence;
the passage thou hast not."

55. Thor spoke:
"The way now show me,
since thou takest me not o'er the water."

56. Harbarth spoke:
"To refuse it is little,
to fare it is long;
A while to the stock,
and a while to the stone;
Then the road to thy left,
till Verland thou reachest;
And there shall Fjorgyn her son Thor find,
And the road of her children she shows him to Odin's realm."

57. Thor spoke:
"May I come so far in a day?"

58. Harbarth spoke:
"With toil and trouble perchance,
While the sun still shines,
or so I think."

59. Thor spoke:
"Short now shall be our speech,
for thou speakest in mockery only;
The passage thou gavest me not I shall pay thee if ever we meet."

60. Harbarth spoke:
"Get hence where every evil thing shall have thee!"

harbarth, grey, beard, poetic, edda, norse, viking, translated, english Original Article