Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VII. Descriptive: Narrative
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VII. Descriptive: Narrative.  1904.
 
Narrative Poems: III. Norseland
Thor recovers his Hammer from Thrym
Sæmund’s Edda
 
From the Icelandic by W. Herbert

WROTH waxed Thor, when his sleep was flown,
And he found his trusty hammer gone;
He smote his brow, his beard he shook,
The son of earth ’gan round him look;
And this the first word that he spoke:        5
“Now listen what I tell thee, Loke;
Which neither on earth below is known,
Nor in heaven above: my hammer’s gone.”
Their way to Freyia’s bower they took,
And this the first word that he spoke:        10
“Thou, Freyia, must lend a wingèd robe,
To seek my hammer round the globe.”
 
FREYIA sang.
“That shouldst thou have, though ’t were of gold,
And that, though ’t were of silver, hold.”
 
Away flew Loke; the winged robe sounds,        15
Ere he has left the Asgard grounds,
And ere he has reached the Jötunheim bounds.
High on a mount, in haughty state,
Thrym, the king of the Thursi, sate;
For his dogs he was twisting collars of gold,        20
And trimming the manes of his coursers bold.
 
THRYM sang.
“How fare the Asi? the Alfi how?
Why com’st thou alone to Jötunheim now?”
 
LOKE sang.
“Ill fare the Asi; the Alfi mourn;
Thor’s hammer from him thou hast torn.”        25
 
THRYM sang.
“I have the Thunderer’s hammer bound
Fathoms eight beneath the ground;
With it shall no one homeward tread,
Till he bring me Freyia to share my bed.”
 
Away flew Loke; the winged robe sounds,        30
Ere he has left the Jötunheim bounds,
And ere he has reached the Asgard grounds.
At Mitgard Thor met crafty Loke,
And this the first word that he spoke:
“Have you your errand and labor done?        35
Tell from aloft the course you run:
For, setting oft, the story fails;
And, lying oft, the lie prevails.”
 
LOKE sang.
“My labor is past, mine errand I bring;
Thrym has thine hammer, the giant king:        40
With it shall no one homeward tread,
Till he bear him Freyia to share his bed.”
 
Their way to lovely Freyia they took,
And this the first word that he spoke:
“Now, Freyia, busk, as a blooming bride;        45
Together we must to Jötunheim ride.”
Wroth waxed Freyia with ireful look;
All Asgard’s hall with wonder shook;
Her great bright necklace started wide:
“Well may ye call me a wanton bride,        50
If I with ye to Jötunheim ride.”
The Asi did all to council crowd,
The Asiniæ all talked fast and loud;
This they debated, and this they sought,
How the hammer of Thor should home be brought.        55
Up then and spoke Heimdallar free,
Like the Vani, wise was he:
“Now busk we Thor, as a bride so fair;
Let him that great bright necklace wear;
Round him let ring the spousal keys,        60
And a maiden kirtle hang to his knees,
And on his bosom jewels rare;
And high and quaintly braid his hair.”
Wroth waxed Thor with godlike pride:
“Well may the Asi me deride,        65
If I let me be dight as a blooming bride.”
Then up spoke Loke, Laufeyia’s son:
“Now hush thee, Thor; this must be done:
The giants will strait in Asgard reign,
If thou thy hammer dost not regain.”        70
Then busked they Thor, as a bride so fair,
And the great bright necklace gave him to wear.
Round him let ring the spousal keys,
And a maiden kirtle hang to his knees,
And on his bosom jewels rare;        75
And high and quaintly braided his hair.
Up then arose the crafty Loke,
Laufeyia’s son, and thus he spoke:
“A servant I thy steps will tend,
Together we must to Jötunheim wend.”        80
Now home the goats together hie;
Yoked to the axle they swiftly fly.
The mountains shook, the earth burned red,
As Odin’s son to Jötunheim sped.
Then Thrym, the king of the Thursi, said:        85
“Giants, stand up; let the seats be spread:
Bring Freyia, Niorder’s daughter, down,
To share my bed, from Noatun.
With horns all gilt each coal-black beast
Is led to deck the giants’ feast;        90
Large wealth and jewels have I stored;
I lack but Freyia to grace my board.”
Betimes at evening they approached,
And the mantling ale the giants broached.
The spouse of Sifia ate alone        95
Eight salmons, and an ox full-grown,
And all the cates, on which women feed;
And drank three firkins of sparkling mead.
Then Thrym, the king of the Thursi, said:
“Where have ye beheld such a hungry maid?        100
Ne’er saw I bride so keenly feed,
Nor drink so deep of the sparkling mead.”
Then forward leaned the crafty Loke,
And thus the giant he bespoke:
“Naught has she eaten for eight long nights,        105
So did she long for the nuptial rites.”
He stooped beneath her veil to kiss,
But he started the length of the hall, I wiss:
“Why are the looks of Freyia so dire?
It seems as her eyeballs glistened with fire.”        110
Then forward leaned the crafty Loke,
And thus the giant he bespoke:
“Naught has she slept for eight long nights,
So did she long for the nuptial rites.”
Then in the giant’s sister came,        115
Who dared a bridal gift to claim:
“Those rings of gold from thee I crave,
If thou wilt all my fondness have,
All my love and fondness have.”
Then Thrym, the king of the Thursi, said:        120
“Bear in the hammer to plight the maid;
Upon her lap the bruiser lay,
And firmly plight our hands and fay.”
The Thunderer’s soul smiled in his breast,
When the hammer hard on his lap was placed.        125
Thrym first, the king of the Thursi, he slew
And slaughtered all the giant crew.
He slew that giant’s sister old,
Who prayed for bridal gifts so bold;
Instead of money and rings, I wot,        130
The hammer’s bruises were her lot.
Thus Odin’s son his hammer got.
 
 
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