Fjölsvinnsmál

An English translation of The Lay of Fjölsvid by Bellows



1. Before the house he beheld one coming To the home of the giants high. Svipdag spoke:
"What giant is here,
in front of the house,
And around him fires are flaming?"

2. Fjolsvith spoke:
"What seekest thou here? for what is thy search? What,
friendless one,
fain wouldst thou know? By the ways so wet must thou wander hence,
For,
weakling,
no home hast thou here."

3. Svipdag spoke:
"What giant is here,
in front of the house,
To the wayfarer welcome denying?" Fjolsvith spoke:
"Greeting full fair thou never shalt find,
So hence shalt thou get thee home.*

4. Fjolsvith am I,
and wise am I found,
But miserly am I with meat;
Thou never shalt enter within the house,-- Go forth like a wolf on thy way!"

5. Svipdag spoke:
"Few from the joy of their eyes will go forth,
When the sight of their loves they seek;
Full bright are the gates of the golden hall,
And a home shall I here enjoy."

6. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Tell me now,
fellow,
what father thou hast,
And the kindred of whom thou camst." Svipdag spoke:
"Vindkald am I,
and Varkald's son,
And Fjolkald his father was.

7. "Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
Who is it that holds and has for his own The rule of the hall so rich?"

8. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Mengloth is she,
her mother bore her To the son of Svafrthorin;
She is it that holds and has for her own The rule of the hall so rich."

9. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What call they the gate? for among the gods Ne'er saw man so grim a sight."

10. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Thrymgjol they call it;
'twas made by the three,
The sons of Solblindi;
And fast as a fetter the farer it holds,
Whoever shall lift the latch."

11. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What call they the house? for no man beheld 'Mongst the gods so grim a sight." 12.Fjolsvith spoke:
"Gastropnir is it,
of old I made it From the limbs of Leirbrimir;
I braced it so strongly that fast it shall stand So long as the world shall last."

13. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What call they the hounds,
that before the house So fierce and angry are?"

14. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Gif call they one,
and Geri the other,
If now the truth thou wouldst know;
Great they are,
and their might will grow,
Till the gods to death are doomed."

15. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
May no man hope the house to enter,
While the hungry hounds are sleeping?"

16. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Together they sleep not,
for so was it fixed When the guard to them was given;
One sleeps by night,
the next by day,
So no man may enter ever."

17. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
Is there no meat that men may give them,
And leap within while they eat?"

18. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Two wing-joints there be in Vithofnir's body,
If now the truth thou wouldst know;
That alone is the meat that men may give them,
And leap within while they eat."

19. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What call they the tree that casts abroad Its limbs o'er every land?"

20. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Mimameith its name,
and no man knows What root beneath it runs;
And few can guess what shall fell the tree,
For fire nor iron shall fell it."

21. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What grows from the seed of the tree so great,
That fire nor iron shall fell?"

22. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Women,
sick with child,
shall seek Its fruit to the flames to bear;
Then out shall come what within was hid,
And so is it mighty with men."

23. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What cock is he on the highest bough,
That glitters all with gold?"

24. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Vithofnir his name,
and now he shines Like lightning on Mimameith's limbs;
And great is the trouble with which he grieves Both Surt and Sinmora."

25. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What weapon can send Vithofnir to seek The house of Hel below?"

26. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Lævatein is there,
that Lopt with runes Once made by the doors of death;
In Lægjarn's chest by Sinmora lies it,
And nine locks fasten it firm."

27. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
May a man come thence,
who thither goes,
And tries the sword to take?"

28. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Thence may he come who thither goes,
And tries the sword to take,
If with him he carries what few can win,
To give to the goddess of gold."

29. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What treasure is there that men may take To rejoice the giantess pale?"

30. Fjolsvith spoke:
"The sickle bright in thy wallet bear,
Mid Vithofnir's feathers found;
To Sinmora give it,
and then shall she grant That the weapon by thee be won."

31. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What call they the hall,
encompassed here With flickering magic flames?"

32. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Lyr is it called,
and long it shall On the tip of a spear-point tremble;
Of the noble house mankind has heard,
But more has it never known."

33. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What one of the gods has made so great The hall I behold within?"

34. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Uni and Iri,
Bari and Jari,
Var and Vegdrasil,
Dori and Ori,
Delling,
and there Was Loki,
the fear of the folk."

35. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What call they the mountain on which the maid Is lying so lovely to see?"

36. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Lyfjaberg is it,
and long shall it be A joy to the sick and the sore;
For well shall grow each woman who climbs it,
Though sick full long she has lain."

37. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What maidens are they that at Mengloth's knees Are sitting so gladly together?"

38. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Hlif is one named,
Hlifthrasa another,
Thjothvara call they the third;
Bjort and Bleik,
Blith and Frith,
Eir and Aurbotha."

39. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
Aid bring they to all who offerings give,
If need be found therefor?"

40. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Soon aid they all who offerings give On the holy altars high;
And if danger they see for the sons of men,
Then each from ill do they guard."

41. Svipdag spoke:
"Now answer me,
Fjolsvith,
the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
Lives there the man who in Mengloth's arms So fair may seek to sleep?"

42. Fjolsvith spoke:
"No man there is who in Mengloth's arms So fair may seek to sleep,
Save Svipdag alone,
for the sun-bright maid Is destined his bride to be.""

43. Svipdag spoke:
"Fling back the gates! make the gateway wide! Here mayst thou Svipdag see! Hence get thee to find if gladness soon Mengloth to me will give."

44. Fjolsvith spoke:
"Hearken,
Mengloth,
a man is come;
Go thou the guest to see! The hounds are fawning,
the house bursts open,-- Svipdag,
methinks,
is there."

45. Mengloth spoke:
"On the gallows high shall hungry ravens Soon thine eyes pluck out,
If thou liest in saying that here at last The hero is come to my hall."

46. Mengloth spoke:
"Whence camest thou hither? how camest thou here? What name do thy kinsmen call thee? Thy race and thy name as a sign must I know,
That thy bride I am destined to be."

47. Svipdag spoke:
"Svipdag am I,
and Solbjart's son;
Thence came I by wind-cold ways;
With the words of Urth shall no man war,
Though unearned her gifts be given."

48. Mengloth spoke:
"Welcome thou art,
for long have I waited;
The welcoming kiss shalt thou win! For two who love is the longed-for meeting The greatest gladness of all.

49. Long have I sat on Lyfjaberg here,
Awaiting thee day by day;
And now I have what I ever hoped,
For here thou art come to my hall."

50. Alike we yearned;
I longed for thee,
And thou for my love hast longed;
But now henceforth together we know Our lives to the end we shall live."