The Lay of Thrym

1884 Rasmus Anderson

 Lay of Thrym




Wrathful was Vingthor
As he awaked
And his hammer
Did miss;
His beard shook,
His hair trembled,
The son of earth
Looked around him.


Thus first of all

He spoke:

Mark now Loke

What I say!

What no one knows

Either on earth

Or in high heaven,—

The hammer is stolen.


Went they to Freyja's
Fair dwelling;

There in these words
Thor first spoke:
Wilt thou, Freyja, lend
Me thy feather-guise,
That I my hammer
Mjolner may fetch?


I gave it thee gladly
Though it were of gold;
I would instantly give it
Though it were of silver.


Flew then Loke —

The feather-guise whizzed;

Out he flew

From home of Asas,

In he flew

To home of giants.


On the hill sat Thrym;
The king of giants
Twisted gold-bands
For his dogs,
Smoothed at leisure
The manes of his horses.


How fare the Asas?
How fare the elves?
Why comest thou alone
To Jotunheim?


111 fare the asas,
111 fare the elves.
Hast thou concealed
The hammer of Thor?


I have concealed
The hammer of Thor
Eight rasts
Beneath the ground;
No man
Brings it back
Unless he gives me
Freyja as my bride.


Flew then Loke —

The feather-guise whizzed;

Out he flew

From home of giants,

In he flew

To home of asas.

Met him Thor

First of all

And thus addressed him:


Hast thou succeeded
In doing thine errand  
Then tell before perching
Long messages;
What one says sitting
Is often of little value,
And falsehood speaks he
Who reclines.


Well have I succeeded
In doing my errand ;
Thrym has thy hammer.
The king of the giants.
No man
Brings it back
Unless he gives him
Freyja as bride.


Went they then the fair
Freyja to find,
First then Thor
Thus addressed her:
Dress thyself, Freyja,
In bridal robes,
Together we will ride
To Jotunheim.


Angry grew Freyja,

And she raged

So the hall of the asas

Mast shake.

Her heavy necklace,

Brisingamen, broke:

Then would I be

A lovesick maid

If with thee I would ride

To Jotunheim.


Then all the asas
Went to the Thing,
To the Thing went
All the asynjes.
The powerful divinities,
And held consult,
How they should get
The hammer back.


Then spake Heimdal
The whitest god —
Foreknowing was he,
As the vans are all:
Dress we Thor
In bridal robes,
Must he wear.

Let jingle keys
About his waist;
Let a woman's dress
Cover his knees;
On his bosom we put
Broad broaches,
And artfully we
His hair braid.


Spoke then Thor,
The mighty god:
Mock me all
The asas would,

If in bridal robes
I should be dressed.


Spoke then Loke
Be silent Thor;
Stop such talk.
Soon will giants
Build in Asgard
If thou thy hammer
Bring not back.


Dressed they then Thor

In bridal-robes;


He had to wear;

Keys let they jingle

About his waist,

And a woman's dress

Fell over his knees;


On his bosom they placed

Broad broaches,

And artfully they

His hair did braid.

Spoke then Loke
For thee must I
Be servant-maid ;
Ride we both
To Jotunheim.


Home were driven
Then the goats,
And hitched to the car;
Hasten they must —
The mountains crashed,
The earth stood in flames,
Odin's son
Rode to Jotunheim.


Spoke then Thrym.
The king of giants :

Giants! arise

And spread my benches I

Bring to me

Freyja as bride,

Njord's daughter,

From Noatun.


Cows with golden horns
Go in the yard.
Black oxen
To please the giant;
Much wealth have I,
Many gifts have 1;
Freyja, methinks,
Is all I lack.


Early in the evening

Came they all;

Ale was brought

Up for the giant.

One ox Thor ate,

Eight salmon

And all the delicacies

For the women intended;

Sif's husband beside

Drank three barrels of mead.


Spoke then Thrym,
The king of giants:
Where hast thou seen
Such a hungry bride?
I ne'er saw a bride
Eat so much.
And never a maid
Drink more mead.


Sat there the shrewd
Maid-servant near;[1]
Thus she replied
To the words of Thrym:
Nothing ate Freyja
In eight nights,


So much did she long
For Jotunheim.

Behind the veil
Thrym sought a kiss,
But back he sprang
The length of the hall:
Why are Freyja's
Eyes so sharp!
From her eyes it seems
That fire doth burn.


Sat there the shrewd
Maid-servant near,
And thus she spake,
Answering the giant:
Slept has not Freyja
For eight nights,
So much did she long
For Jotunheim.


In came the poor
Sister of Thrym;
For bridal gift
She dared to ask:
Give from thy hand
The golden rings,
If thou desirest
Friendship of me,
Friendship of me —
And love.


Spoke then Thrym,
The king of giants:
Bring me the hammer
My bride to hallow:
Place the hammer
In the lap of the maid;
Wed us together
In the name of Var.[2]


Laughed then Thor's
Heart in his breast;
Severe in mind
He knew his hammer.
First slew he Thrym,
The king of giants,
Crashed then all
That race of giants;

Slew the old
Sister of Thrym,
She who asked
For a bridal gift;
Slap she got
For shining gold,
Hammer blows
For heaps of rings;
Thus came Odin's son
Again by his hammer.

[1] Loke.

[2] The goddess who presides over marriages.