Þrymskviða

Reiðr var þá Vingþórr     er hann vaknaði
ok síns hamars     um saknaði;
skegg nam at hrista,     skǫr  nam at dýja,
réð Jarðar burr     um at þreifask.

Ok hann þat orða     alls fyrst um kvað:
‘Heyrð nú, Loki,     hvat ek nú mæli,
er eigi veit     jarðar hvergi
né upphimins:     áss er stolinn hamri!’

Gengu þeir fagra     Freyju tuna,
ok hann þat orða     alls fyrst um kvað:
‘Muntu mér, Freyja,     fjaðrhams ljá,
ef ek minn hamar     mættak hitta?’

Freyja kvað:
‘Þó munda ek gefa þér,     þótt ór gulli væri,
ok þó selja,     at væri ór silfri.’

Fló þá Loki,     fjaðrhamr dunði,
unz fyr útan kom     Ása garða
ok fyr innan kom     jǫtna heima.

Þrymr sat á haugi,     þursa dróttinn,
greyjum sínum     gullbǫnd snøri
ok mǫrum sínum     mǫn  jafnaði.

Þrymr kvað:
‘Hvat er með Ásum?     Hvat er með álfum?
Hví ertu einn kominn    í Jǫtunheima?’

‘Illt er með Ásum,     illt er með álfum;
hefr þú Hlórriða     hamar um fólginn?’

‘Ek hef Hlórriða    hamar of fólginn
átta rǫstum     fyr jǫrð neðan;
hann engi maðr     aptr um heimtir,
nema fœri mér     Freyju at kvæn.’

Fló þá Loki,     fjaðrhamr dunði,
unz fyr útan kom     jǫtna heima
ok fyr innan kom     Ása garða;
mætti hann Þór     miðra garða,
ok þat hann orða     alls fyrst of kvað:

‘Hefr þú erendi     sem erfiði?
Segðu á lopti     lǫng tíðindi;
oft sitjanda     sǫgur um fallask
ok liggjandi     lygi um bellir.’

‘Hefir ek erfiði     ok ǫrendi;
Þrymr hefir þinn hamar,     þursa dróttinn;
hann engi maðr     aptr um heimtir
nema hánum fœri     Freyju at kván.’

Ganga þeir fagra     Freyju at hitta,
ok hann þat orða     alls fyrst um kvað:
‘Bittu þik, Freyja,     brúðar líni.
vit skulum aka tvau     í Jǫtunheima.’

Reið varð þá Freyja     ok fnasaði,
allr Ása salr     undir bifðisk,
stǫkk þat it mikla     men Brísinga.
‘Mik veiztu verða     vergjarnasta,
ef ek ek með þér     í Jǫtunheima.’

Senn váru Æsir     allir á þingi
ok Ásynjur     allar á máli,
ok um þat réðu     ríkir tívar
hvé þeir Hlórriða     hamar um sœtti.

Þá kvað þat Heimdallr,     hvítastr Ása-
vissi hann vel fram,     sem Vanir aðrir-
‘Bindum vér Þór þá     brúðar líni,
hafi hann it mikla     men Brísinga.

Látum und hánum     hrynja lukla
ok kvenváðir     um kné falla,
en á brjósti     breiða steina
ok hagliga     um hǫfuð typpum.’

Þá kvað þat Þór,      þrúðugr Áss:
‘Mik munu Æsir     argan kalla,
ef ek bindask læt     brúðar líni!’

Þá kvað þat Loki     Laufeyjar sonr:
‘Þegi þú, Þórr,     þeira orða;
þegar munu jǫtnar     Ásgarð búa,
nema þú þinn hamar     þér um heimtir.’

Bundu þeir Þór þá     brúðar líni
ok inu mikla     meni Brísinga;
létu und hánum     hrynja lukla,
ok kvennváðir     um kné falla,
en á brjósti     breiða steina,
ok hagliga     um hǫfuð typðu.

Þá kvað Loki     Laufeyjar sonr:
‘Mun ek ok með þér     ambótt vera,
vit skulum aka tvær     í Jǫtunheima…’

Carl Larsson (1893)

The Lay of Thrym

Then Ving-Þórr was angry when he awoke
and he missed his hammer;
his beard began to shake, hair began to quiver;
the son of Jǫrð started to grope about himself.

And this of words he said first of all:
‘Hear now, Loki, what I now say;
it is not known on earth anywhere
nor in up-heaven: a god is stolen of his hammer.’

They went to the abode of fair Freyja,
and these words first of all said:
‘Will you loan to me, Freyja, your feather-shape,
so that I might find my hammer?’

Freyja said:
‘I would give it you, even were it of gold;
and I give it you, even were it of silver.’

Loki flew then, the feather form shook
until he came out of the court of the Æsir,
and instead came into the home of the giants.

Þrymr sat upon a mound, lord of giants,
twisted gold-bands for his bitches;
and trimmed manes for his mares.

Þrymr said:
‘How is it with the Æsir? How is it with the elves?
Why are you come alone into Giantsholme?’

‘It is bad with the Æsir, bad with the elves;
have you hidden the hammer of Hlórriða?’

‘I have hidden the hammer of Hlórriða
eight rǫstum beneath the earth;1
a man cannot recover it back,
unless he brings Freyja to me for wife.’

Loki flew then, the feather-shape shakes;
until he came out from Giantsholme
and came into Ásgarðr;
he meets Þórr in the middle courtyard
and he said these words first of all:

‘Have you a difficult message?
Tell the long story while aloft;
often seated stories break down
and one who’s lying down utters lies.’

‘I have a difficult message,
Þrymr has your hammer, lord of giants;
one cannot recover it back
unless he brings Freyja to him as wife.’

They went to pretty Freyja to meet,
and he said these words first of all:
‘Bind you, Freyja, with a bride’s belt.
You two shall drive into Giantsholme.’

Freyja became angry then and snorted;
the entire hall of the Æsir shakes underneath;
the great necklace of the Brísingr-people sprang away.
‘You will know that I became man-crazy
if I go with you into Giantsholme.’

‘All the Æsir went straightaway to a Thing
and all the goddesses at discussion,
and discussing that with the wealthy gods-
how should they seek the hammer of Hlórriða.

Then said Heimdallr, whitest of the Æsir, that
he knew well forward like those others, the Vanir.
‘Let us then bind Þórr with a bridal dress;
let him have the great necklace of the Brísingr-men.

Let us jangle the key beneath him
and women’s clothes hang down over his knees,
then on his breast jewellery be spread out,
and upon his head let us neatly put a head-dress.’

Then quoth Þórr, mighty of the Æsir;
‘The Æsir may call me a poofter2
if I let myself be tied with a bridal dress.’

Then said Loki, son of Laufey:
‘Be silent you, Þórr, regarding these words;
the giants will immediately dwell in Ásgarðr,
unless you recover your hammer for yourself.’

They then bound Þórr into the bridal head-dress
and the great Brísingan necklace;
let the key jangle beneath him,
and women’s-clothes fall over his knees,
then spread out jewellery on his breast,
and dressed a head-dress neatly upon his head.

Then Loki, son of Laufey, said:
‘I will stay with him as a handmaid;
we two shall drive into Giantsholme…’

To be continued! What is next in store for our heroic gods? Will they ever recover Þórr’s hammer? Will the other Æsir call him names? Will Þrymr see through Þórr and Loki’s cunning disguises? Tune in next week to find out…

1: What are rǫstum? I don’t know, and neither did my glossary. Presumably a unit of distance, the general idea seems to be ‘ner ner you can’t get at the hammer, boo ya sucks to be you.’
2: The word argan is clearly a sexual epithet of some kind. I feel that this translation captures the nastiness of the word, and Þórr’s petty-mindedness. Needless to say, Þórr’s fear at being called homosexual while he is missing his hammer is hilarious.