I. King Gylfi ruled the land that men now call Sweden. It is told of him that he gave to a wandering woman, in return for her merry-making, a plow-land in his realm, as much as four oxen might turn up in a day and a night. But this woman was of the kin of the Ćsir; she was named Gefjun. She took from the north, out of Jötunheim, four oxen which were the soils of a certain giant and, herself, and set them before the plow. And the plow cut so wide and so deep that it loosened up the land; and the oxen drew the land out into the sea and to the westward, and stopped in a certain sound. There Gefjun set the land, and gave it a name, calling it Selund. And from that time on, the spot whence the land had been torn up is water ...

II. King Gylfi was a wise man and skilled in magic; he was much troubled that the Ćsir-people were so cunning that all things went according to their will. He pondered whether this might proceed from their own nature, or [14] whether the divine powers which they worshipped might ordain such things. He set out on his way to Ásgard, going secretly, and- clad himself in the likeness of an old man, with which he dissembled. But the Ćsir were wiser in this matter, having second sight; and they saw his journeying before ever he came, and prepared against him deceptions of the eye. When he came into the town, he saw there a hall so high that he could not easily make out the top of it: its thatching was laid with golden shields after the fashion of a shingled roof...

In the hall-doorway Gylfi saw a man juggling with lances, having seven in the air at one time. This man asked of him his name. He called himself Gangleri, and said he had come by the paths of the serpent, and prayed for lodging for the night, asking: "Who owns the hall?" The other replied that it was their king; "and I will attend thee to see him; then shalt thou thyself ask him concerning his; name;" and the man wheeled about before him into the hall, and he went after, and straightway the door closed itself on his heels. There he saw a great room and much people, some with games, some drinking; and some had weapons and were fighting. Then he looked about him, and thought unbelievable many things which he saw...

[15] He saw three high-seats, each above the other, and three men sat thereon,-one on each. And he asked what might be the name of those lords. He who had conducted him in answered that the one who, sat on the nethermost high-seat was a king, "and his name is Hárr;[=High] but the next is named Janhárr;[Equally High] and he who is uppermost is called Thridi."[=Third] Then Hárr asked the newcomer whether his errand were more than for the meat and drink which were always at his command, as for every one there in the Hall of the High One. He answered that he first desired to learn whether there were any wise man there within. Hárr said, that he should not escape whole from thence unless he were wiser.....

III. Gangleri began his questioning thus: "Who is foremost, or oldest, of all the gods?" Hárr answered: He is called in our speech Allfather, but in the Elder Ásgard he had twelve names: one is Allfather; the second is Lord, or Lord of Hosts; the third is Nikarr, or Spear-Lord; the fourth is Nikudr, or Striker; the fifth is Knower of Many Things; the sixth, Fulfiller of Wishes; the seventh, Far-Speaking One; the eighth, The Shaker, or He that Putteth the Armies to Flight; the ninth, The Burner; the tenth, The Destroyer; the eleventh, The Protector; the twelfth, Gelding."

Then asked Gangleri: "Where is this god, or what power hath he, or what hath he wrought that is a glorious deed?" Hárr made answer: "He lives throughout all ages and governs all his realm, and directs all things, great

 [ 16 ] and small." Then said Jafnhárr: "He fashioned heaven and earth and air, and all things which are in them." Then. spake Thridi: "The greatest of all is this: that he made man, and gave him the spirit, which shall live and never perish, though the flesh-frame rot to mould, or burn to ashes; and all men shall live, such as are just in action, and be with himself in the place called Gimlé. But evil men go to Hel and thence down to the Misty Hel; and that is down in the ninth world." Then said Gangleri: "What did he before heaven and earth were made?" And Hárr answered: "He was then with the Rime-Giants."

IV. Gangleri said: "What was the beginning, or how began it, or what was before it?" Hárr answered: "As is told in Völuspá:

Erst was the age | when nothing was:
Nor sand nor sea, | nor chilling stream-waves;
Earth was not found, | nor Ether-Heaven,--
A Yawning Gap, | but grass was none."

Then said Jafnhárr: "It was many ages before the earth was shaped that the Mist-World was made; and midmost within it lies the well that is called Hvergelmir, from which spring the rivers called Svöl, Gunnthrá, Fjörm, Fimbulthul, Slídr and Hríd, Sylgr and Ylgr, Víd, Leiptr; Gjöll is hard by Hel-gates." And Thridi said: "Yet first was the world in the southern region, which was named Múspell; it is light and hot; that region is glowing and burning, and impassable to such as are outlanders and have not their holdings there. He who sits there at the land's-end, to defend the land, is called Surtr; he brandishes a flaming [17] sword, and at the end of the world he shall go forth and harry, and overcome all the gods, and burn all the world with fire; thus is said in Völuspá:

Surtr fares from the south | with switch-eating flame,--
On his sword shimmers | the sun of the War-Gods;
The rock-crags crash; | the fiends are reeling;
Heroes tread Hel-way; | Heaven is cloven."

V. Gangleri asked: "How were things wrought, ere the races were and the tribes of men increased?" Then said Hárr: "The streams called Ice-waves, those which were so long come from the fountain-heads that the yeasty venom upon them had hardened like the slag that runs out of the fire,--these then became ice; and when the ice halted and ceased to run, then it froze over above. But the drizzling rain that rose from the venom congealed to rime, and the rime increased, frost over frost, each over the other, even into Ginnungagap, the Yawning Void." Then spake Jafnhárr: "Ginnungagap, which faced toward the northern quarter, became filled with heaviness, and masses of ice and rime, and from within, drizzling rain and gusts; but the southern part of the Yawning Void was lighted by those sparks and glowing masses which flew out of Múspellheim." And Thridi said: "Just as cold arose out of Niflheim, and all terrible things, so also all that looked toward Múspellheim became hot and glowing; but Ginnungagap was as mild as windless air, and when the breath of heat met the rime, so that it melted and dripped, life was quickened from the yeast-drops, by the power of that which sent the heat, and became a man's form. And that man is named Ymir, but the Rime-Giants call him Aurgelimir; [18] and thence are come the races of the Rime-Giants, as it says in Völuspá the Less: ... “All the ogres | of Ymir come.” ...

Then said Gangleri: "How did the races grow thence, or after what fashion was it brought to pass that more men came into being? Or do ye hold him God, of whom ye but now spake?" And Jafnhárr answered: "By no means do we acknowledge him God; he was evil and all his kindred: we call them Rime-Giants. Now it is said that when he slept, a sweat came upon him, and there grew under his left hand a man and a woman, and one of his feet begat a son with the other; and thus the races are come; these are the Rime-Giants. The old Rime-Giant, him we call Ymir."

VI. Then said Gangleri: "Where dwelt Ymir, or wherein did he find sustenance?" Hárr answered: "Straightway after the rime dripped, there sprang from it the cow called Audumla; four streams of milk ran from her udders, and she nourished Ymir." Then asked Gangleri: "Wherewithal was the cow nourished?" And Hárr made answer: [19]

"She licked the ice-blocks, which were salty; and the first day that she licked the blocks, there came forth from the blocks in the evening a man's hair; the second day, a man's head; the third day the whole man was there. He is named Búri: he was fair of feature, great and mighty. He begat a son called Borr, who wedded the woman named Bestla, daughter of Bölthorn the giant; and they had three sons: one was Odin, the second Vili, the third Vé. And this is my belief, that he, Odin, with his brothers, must be ruler of heaven and earth; we hold that he must be so called; so is that man called whom we know to be mightiest and most worthy of honor, and ye do well to let him be so called."

VII. Then said Gangleri: "What covenant was between them, or which was the stronger?" And Hárr answered: "The sons of Borr slew Ymir the giant; lo, where he fell there gushed forth so much blood out of his wounds that with it they drowned all the race of the Rime-Giants [=Frost Giants], save that one, whom giants call Bergelmir, escaped with his household; he went upon his ship,[1] and his wife with him, and they were safe there. And from them are come the races of the Rime-Giants ...

VIII. Then said Gangleri: "What was done then by Borr's sons, if thou believe that they be gods?" Hárr replied: "In this matter there is no little to be said. They took

 [20] Ymir and bore him into the middle of the Yawning Void, and made of him the earth: of his blood the sea and the waters; the land was made of his flesh, and the crags of his bones; gravel and stones they fashioned from his teeth and his grinders and from those bones that were broken." And Jafnhárr said: "Of the blood, which ran and welled forth freely out of his wounds, they made the sea, when they had formed and made firm the earth together, and laid the sea in a ring round. about her; and it may well seem a hard thing to most men to cross over it." Then said Thridi: "They took his skull also, and made of it the heaven, and set it up over the earth with four corners; and under each corner they set a dwarf: the names of these are East, West, North, and South. Then they took the glowing embers and sparks that burst forth and had been cast out of Múspellheim, and set them in the midst of the Yawning Void, in the heaven, both above and below, to illumine heaven and earth. They assigned places to all fires: to some in heaven, some wandered free under the heavens; nevertheless, to these also they gave a place, and shaped them courses. It is said in old "songs, that from these the days were reckoned, and the tale of years told, as is said in Völuspá:

The sun knew not | where she had housing;
The moon knew not | what Might he had;
The stars knew not | where stood their places.
Thus was it ere | the earth was fashioned."

Then said Gangleri: These are great tidings which I now hear; that is a wondrous great piece of craftsmanship, and cunningly made. How was the earth contrived?" And Hárr answered: "She is ring-shaped without, and round about [21] her without lieth the deep sea; and along the strand of that sea they gave lands to the races of giants for habitation. But on the inner earth they made a citadel round about the world against the hostility of the giants, and for their citadel they raised up the brows of Ymir the giant, and called that place Midgard. They took also his brain and cast it in the air, and made from it the clouds, as is here said:

Of Ymir's flesh | the earth was fashioned,
    And of his sweat the sea;
Crags of his bones, | trees of his hair,
    And of his skull the sky.
Then of his brows | the blithe gods made
    Midgard for sons of men;
And of his brain | the bitter-mooded
    Clouds were all created."

IX. Then said Gangleri: "Much indeed they had accomplished then, methinks, when earth and heaven were made, and the sun and the constellations of heaven were fixed, and division was made of days; now whence come the men that people the world?" And Hárr answered: 'When the sons of Borr were walking along the sea-strand, they found two trees, and took up the trees and shaped men of them: the first gave them spirit and life; the second, wit and feeling; the third, form, speech, hearing, and sight. They gave them clothing and names: the male was called Askr, and the female Embla, and of them was mankind begotten, which received a dwelling-place under Midgard. Next they made for themselves in the middle of the world a city which is called Ásgard; men call it Troy. There dwelt the gods and their kindred; and many tidings and tales of it have [22] come to pass both on earth and aloft. There is one abode called Hlidskjálf, and when Allfather sat in the high-seat there, he looked out over the whole world and saw every man's acts, and knew all things which he saw. His wife was called Frigg daughter of Fjörgvinn; and of their blood is come that kindred which we call the races of the Ćsir, that have peopled the Elder Ásgard, and those kingdoms which pertain to it; and that is a divine race. For this reason must he be called Allfather: because he is father of all the gods and of men, and of all that was fulfilled of him and of his might. The Earth was his daughter and his wife; on her he begot the first son, which is Ása-Thor: strength and prowess attend him, wherewith he overcometh all living things.

X. "Nörfi or Narfi is the name of a giant that dwelt in Jötunheim: he had a daughter called Night; she was swarthy and dark, as befitted her race. She was given to the man named Naglfari; their son was Audr. Afterward she was wedded to him that was called Annarr; Jörd [=Earth] was their daughter. Last of all Dayspring had her, and he was of the race of the Ćsir; their son was Day: he was radiant and fair after his father. Then Allfather took Night, and Day her son, and gave to them two horses and two chariots, and sent them up into the heavens, to ride round about the earth every two half-days. Night rides before with the horse named Frosty-Mane, and on each morning he bedews the earth with the foam from his bit. The horse that Day has is called Sheen-Mane, and he illumines all the air and the earth from his mane."

 [ 23] XI. Then said Gangleri: "How does he govern the course of the sun or of the moon?" Hárr answered: "A certain man was named Mundilfari, who had two children; they were so fair and comely that he called his son Moon, and his daughter Sun, and wedded her to the man called Glenr. But the gods were incensed at that insolence, and took the brother and sister, and set them up in the heavens; they caused Sun to drive those horses that drew the chariot of the sun, which the gods had fashioned, for the world's illumination, from that glowing stuff which flew out of Múspellheim. Those horses are called thus: Early-Wake and All-Strong; and under the shoulders of the horses the gods set two wind-bags to cool them, but in some records that is called 'iron-coolness.' Moon steers the course of the moon, and determines its waxing and waning. He took from the earth-two children, called Bil and Hjúki, they that went from the well called Byrgir, bearing on their shoulders the cask called Sćgr, and the pole Simul. Their father is named Vidfinnr. These children follow Moon, as may be seen from the earth."

XII. Then said Gangleri: "The sun fares swiftly, and almost as if she were afraid: she could not hasten her course any the more if she feared her destruction." Then Hárr made answer: "It is no marvel that she hastens furiously: close cometh he that seeks her, and she has no escape save to run away." Then said Gangleri: "Who is he that causes her this disquiet?" Hárr replied: "It is two wolves; and he that runs after her is called Skoll; she fears him, and he shall take her. But he that leaps before her is called Hati Hródvitnisson. He is eager to seize the moon; and so it must be." Then said Gangleri: "What is the race of the [ 24] wolves?" Hárr answered: "A witch dwells to the east of Midgard, in the forest called Ironwood: in that wood dwell the troll-women, who are known as Ironwood-Women. The old witch bears many giants for sons, and all in the shape of wolves; and from this source are these wolves sprung. The saying runs thus: from this race shall come one that shall be mightiest of all, he that is named Moon-Hound; he shall be filled with the flesh of all those men that die, and he shall swallow the moon, and sprinkle with blood the heavens and all the lair; thereof-shall the sun lose her shining, and the winds in that day shall be unquiet and roar on every side. So it says in Völuspá:

Eastward dwells the Old One | in Ironwood,
And there gives birth | to Fenrir's brethren;
There shall spring of them all | a certain one,
The moon's taker | in troll's likeness.

He is filled with flesh | of fey men.
Reddens the gods' seats | with ruddy blood-gouts;
Swart becomes sunshine | in summers after,
The weather all shifty. | Wit ye yet, or what?"

XIII. Then said Gangleri: "What is the way to heaven from earth?" Then Hárr answered, and laughed aloud: "Now, that is not wisely asked; has it not been told thee, that the gods made a bridge from earth, to heaven, called Bifröst? Thou must have seen it; it may be that ye call it rainbow.' It is of three colors, and very strong, and made with cunning and with more magic art than other works of craftsmanship. But strong as it is, yet must it be broken, when the sons of Múspell shall go forth harrying [25 ] and ride it, and swim their horses over great rivers; thus they shall proceed." Then said Gangleri: "To my thinking the gods did not build the bridge honestly, seeing that it could be broken, and they able to make it as they would." Then Hárr replied: "The gods are not deserving of reproof because of this work of skill: a good bridge is Bifröst, but nothing in this world is of such nature that it may be relied on when the sons of Múspell go a-harrying."

XIV. Then said Gangleri: "What did Allfather then do when Ásgard was made?" Hárr answered: "In the beginning he established rulers, and bade them ordain fates with him, and give counsel concerning the planning of the town; that was in the place which is called Ida-field, in the midst of the town. It was their first work to make that court in which their twelve seats stand, and another, the high-seat which Allfather himself has. That house is the best-made of any on earth, and the greatest; without and within, it is all like one piece of gold; men call it Gladsheim. They made also a second hall: that was a shrine which the goddesses had, and it was a very fair house; men call it Vingólf. Next they fashioned a house, wherein they placed a forge, and made besides a hammer, tongs, and anvil, and by means of these, all other tools. After this they smithied metal and stone and wood, and wrought so abundantly that metal which is called gold, that they had all their household ware and all dishes of gold; and that time is called the Age of Gold, before it was spoiled by the coming of the Women, even those who came out of Jötunheim. Next after this, the gods enthroned themselves in their seats and held judgment, and called to mind whence the dwarves had quickened in the mould and underneath in the [26] earth, even as do maggots in flesh. The dwarves had first received shape and life in the flesh of Ymir, and were then maggots; but by decree of the gods had become conscious with the intelligence of men, and had human shape. And nevertheless they dwell in the earth and in stones. Módsognir was the first, and Durinn the second; so it says in Völuspá.

Then strode all the mighty | to the seats of judgment,
The gods most holy, | and together held counsel,
Who should of dwarves | shape the peoples
From the bloody surge | and the Blue One's bones. They made many in man's likeness, Dwarves in the earth, | as Durinn said....

XV. Then said Gangleri: "Where is the chief abode or holy place of the gods?" Hárr answered: 'That is at the Ash of Yggdrasill; there the gods must give judgment everyday." Then Gangleri asked: "What is to be said concerning that place?" Then said Jafnhárr: "The Ash is greatest of all trees and best: its limbs spread out over all the world and stand above heaven. Three roots of the tree uphold it and stand exceeding broad: one is among the Ćsir; another among the Rime-Giants, in that place where aforetime was the Yawning Void; the third stands over Niflheim, and under that root is Hvergelmir, and Nídhöggr gnaws the root from below. But under that root which turns toward the Rime-Giants is Mímir's Well, wherein wisdom and understanding are stored; and he is called Mímir, who keeps the well. He is full of ancient lore, since he drinks of the well from the Gjallar-Horn. Thither came Allfather and craved one drink of the well; but he got it not until he had laid his eye in pledge. So says Völuspá:

All know I, Odin, | where the eye thou hiddest,
In the wide-renowned | well of Mímir;
Mímir drinks mead | every morning
From Valfather's wage. | Wit ye yet, or what?

The third root of the Ash stands in heaven; and under [28] that root is the well which is very holy, that is called the Well of Urdr; there the gods hold their tribunal. Each day the Ćsir ride thither up over Bifröst, which is also called the Ćsir's Bridge. These are the names of the Ćsir's steeds: Sleipnir[=Slipper] is best, which Odin has; he has eight feet. The second is Gladr,[=Glad] the third Gyllir,[Golden] the fourth Glenr,[Starer] the fifth Skeidbrimir,[fastrunner] the sixth Silfrintoppr,[Silvertop] the seventh Sinir,[Sinewy] the eighth Gisl,[Beam] the ninth Falhófnir,[Hairyhoof] the tenth. Gulltoppr,[Goldtop] the eleventh Léttfeti.[Lightstopper] Baldr's horse was burnt with him; and Thor walks to the judgment, and wades those rivers which are called thus:

Körmt and Örmt | and the Kerlaugs twain,
    Them shall Thor wade
Every day | when he goes to doom
    At Ash Yggdrasill;
For the Ćsir's Bridge | burns all with flame,
    And the holy waters howl."

Then said Gangleri: "Does fire burn over Bifröst?" Hárr replied: "That which thou seest to be red in the bow is burning fire; the Hill-Giants might go up to heaven, if passage on Bifröst were open to all those who would cross. There are many fair places in heaven, and over everything there a godlike watch is kept. A hall stands there, fair, under the ash by the well, and out of that hall come three maids, who are called thus: Urdr,[Past] Verdandi,[Present] Skuld;[Future] these maids determine the period of men's lives: we call them [29] Norns; but there are many norns: those who come to each child that is born, to appoint his life; these are of the race of the gods, but the second are of the Elf-people, and the third are of the kindred of the dwarves...

Then said Gangleri: "If the Norns determine the weirds (fates) of men, then they apportion exceeding unevenly, seeing that some have a pleasant and luxurious life, but others have little worldly goods or fame; some have long life, others short." Hárr said: "Good norns and of honorable race appoint good life; but those men that suffer evil fortunes are governed by evil norns."

XVI. Then said Gangleri: "What more mighty wonders are to be told of the Ash?" Hárr replied: "Much is to be told of it. An eagle sits in the limbs of the Ash, and he has understanding of many a thing; and between his eyes sits the hawk that is called Vedrfölnir. The squirrel called Ratatöskr runs up and down the length of the Ash, bearing envious words between the eagle and Nídhöggr; and four harts run in the limbs of the Ash and bite the leaves. They are called thus: Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr, Durathrór. Moreover, so many serpents are in Hvergelmir with Nídhöggr, that no tongue can tell them, as is here said:   “Ash Yggdrasill | suffers anguish,
    More than men know of: [30]  The stag bites above; | on the side it rotteth,
    And Nídhöggr gnaws from below.”

And it is further said: “More serpents lie | under Yggdrasill's stock
    ...    Tear the trunk's twigs.

It is further said that these Norns who dwell by the Well of Urdr take water of the well every day, and with it that clay which lies about the well, and sprinkle it over the Ash, to the end that its limbs shall not wither nor rot; for that water is so holy that all things which come there into the well become as white as the film which lies within the egg-shell,--as is here said:

I know an Ash standing | called Yggdrasill,
A high tree sprinkled | with snow-white clay;
Thence come the dews | in the dale that fall--
It stands ever green | above Urdr's Well.

That dew which falls from it onto the earth is called by men honey-dew, and thereon are bees nourished. Two fowls are fed in Urdr's Well: they are called Swans, and from those fowls has come the race of birds which is so called."

XVII. Then said Gangleri: "Thou knowest many tidings to tell of the heaven. What chief abodes are there more than at Urdr's Well?" Hárr said: "Many places are there, [31 ] and glorious. That which is called Álfheimr[=Elf-home] is one, where dwell the peoples called Light-Elves; but the Dark-Elves dwell down in the earth, and they are unlike in appearance, but by far more unlike in nature. The Light-Elves are fairer to look upon than the sun, but the Dark-Elves are blacker than pitch. Then there is also in that place the abode called Breidablik,[Broadbeam] and there is not in heaven a fairer dwelling. There, too, is the one called Glitnir,[Glittering] whose walls, and all its posts and pillars, are of red gold, but its roof of silver. There is also the abode called Himinbjörg;[HeavenCrag] it stands at heaven's end by the bridge-head, in the place where Bifröst joins heaven. Another great abode is there, which is named Valaskjálf;[Ledge-of-the-Fallen] Odin possesses that dwelling; the gods made it and thatched it with sheer silver, and in this hall is the Hlidskjálf,[Gate-seat] the high-seat so called. Whenever Allfather sits in that seat, he surveys all lands. At the southern end of heaven is that hall which is fairest of all, and brighter than the sun; it is called Gimlé.[=Himill/Heaven?] It shall stand when both heaven and earth have departed; and good men and of righteous conversation shall dwell therein: so it is said in Völuspá.--

A hall I know standing | than the sun fairer,
Thatched with gold | in Gimlé bright;
There shall dwell | the doers of righteousness
And ever and ever | enjoy delight."

Then said Gangleri: "What shall guard this place, when the flame of Surtr shall consume heaven and earth?" Hárr [32 ] answered: "It is sad that another heaven is to the southward and upward of this one, and it is called Andlangr;[ Wind-bringer?] but the third heaven is yet above that, and it is called Vídbláinn,[Wind-chill] and in that heaven we think this abode is. But we believe that none but Light-Elves inhabit these mansions now."....

XX. Then said Gangleri: "Who are the Ćsir, they in whom it behoves men to believe?" Hárr answered: "The divine Ćsir are twelve." Then said Jafnhárr: "Not less holy are the Ásynjur, the goddesses, and they are of no less authority." Then said Thridi: "Odin is highest and eldest of the Ćsir: he rules all things, and mighty as are the other gods, they all serve him as children obey a father. Frigg is his wife, and she knows all the fates of men, though she speaks no prophecy,--as is said here, when Odin himself spake with him of the Ćsir whom men call Loki:

Thou art mad now, | Loki, and reft of mind,--
    Why, Loki, leav'st thou not off?
Frigg, methinks, | is wise in all fates,
    Though herself say them not!

Odin is called Allfather because he is father of all the gods. He is also called Father of the Slain, because all those that fall in battle are the sons of his adopt on; for them he appoints Valhall[Hall of  Slain] and Vingólf,[FriendFloor] and they are then called Champions. He is also called God of the Hanged, God of Gods, God of Cargoes; and he has also been named in many more ways, after he had come to King Geirrödr:

We were called Grímr | and Gangleri,
    Herjann, Hjálmberi;
Thekkr, Thridi, | Thudr, Udr,
    Helblindi, Hárr.  ...[and many more names]

Then said Gangleri: "Exceeding many names have ye given him; and, by my faith, it must indeed be a goodly wit that knows all the lore and the examples of what chances have brought about each of these names." Then Hárr made answer: "It is truly a vast sum of knowledge to gather  together and set forth fittingly. But it is briefest to tell thee that most of his names have been given him by reason of this chance: there being so many branches of tongues in the world, all peoples believed that it was needful for them to turn his name into their own tongue, by which they might the better invoke him and entreat him on their own [ 35 ] behalf. But some occasions for these names arose in his wanderings; and that matter is recorded in tales. Nor canst thou ever be called a wise man if thou shalt not be able to tell of those great events."

XXI. Then said Gangleri: "What are the names of the other Ćsir, or what is their office, or what deeds of renown have they done?" Hárr answered: "Thor is the foremost of them, he that is called Thor of the Ćsir, or Öku-Thor; he is strongest of all the gods and men. He has his realm in the place called Thrúdvangar, and his hall is called Bilskirnir;[2] in that hall are five hundred rooms and forty. That is the greatest house that men know of...

Thor has two he-goats, that are called Tooth-Gnasher and Tooth-Gritter, and a chariot wherein he drives, and the he-goats draw the chariot; therefore is he called Öku-Thor. He has also three things of great price: one is the hammer Mjöllnir, which the Rime-Giants and the Hill-Giants know, when it is raised on high; and that is no wonder, it has bruised many a skull among their fathers or their kinsmen. He has a second costly thing, best of all: the girdle of might; and when he clasps it about him, then the godlike strength within him is increased by half. Yet a third thing he has, in which there is much virtue: his iron gloves; he cannot do without them when he uses his hammer-shaft. But no one is so wise that he can tell all his mighty works; yet I can tell thee so much tidings of him that the hours would be spent before all that I know were told."

XXII. Then said Gangleri: "I would ask tidings of more Ćsir." Hárr replied: "The second son of Odin is Baldr, and good things are to be said of him. He is best, and all praise him; he is so fair of feature, and so bright, that light shines from him. A certain herb is so white that it is likened to Baldr's brow; of all grasses it is whitest, and by it thou mayest judge his fairness, both in hair and in body. He is the wisest of the Ćsir, and the fairest-spoken and most gracious; and that quality attends him, that none may gainsay his judgments. He dwells in the place called Breidablik,[broad-gleaming] which is in heaven; in that place may nothing unclean be...

XXIII. "The third among the Ćsir is he that is called Njördr: he dwells in heaven, in the abode called Nóatún. He rules the course of the wind, and stills sea and fire; on him shall men call for voyages and for hunting. He is so [ 37 ] prosperous and abounding in wealth, that he may give them great plenty of lands or of gear; and him shall men invoke for such things. Njördr is not of the race of the Ćsir: he was reared in the land of the Vanir, but the Vanir delivered him as hostage to the gods, and took for hostage in exchange him that men call Hśnir; he became an atonement between the gods and the Vanir. Njördr has to wife the woman called Skadi, daughter of Thjazi the giant. Skadi would fain dwell in the abode which her father had had, which is on certain mountains, in the place called Thrymheimr; but Njördr would be near the sea. They made a compact on these terms: they should be nine nights in Thrymheimr, but the second nine at Nóatún. But when Njördr came down from the mountain back to Nóatún, he sang this lay:

Loath were the hills to me, | I was not long in them,
    Nights only nine;
To me the wailing of | wolves seemed ill,
    After the song of swans.

Then Skadi sang this:

Sleep could I never | on the sea-beds,
    For the wailing of waterfowl;
He wakens me, | who comes from the deep--
    The sea-mew every morn.

Then Skadi went up onto the mountain, and dwelt in Thrymheimr. And she goes for the more part on snowshoes and with a bow and arrow, and shoots beasts; she is called Snowshoe-Goddess or Lady of the Snowshoes. ...

XXIV. "Njördr in Nóatún begot afterward two children: the son was called Freyr, and the daughter Freyja; they were fair of face and mighty. Freyr is the most renowned of the Ćsir; he rules over the rain and the shining of the sun, and therewithal the fruit of the earth; and it is good to call on him for fruitful seasons and peace. He governs also the prosperity of men. But Freyja is the most renowned of the goddesses; she has in heaven the dwelling called Fólkvangr,[1] and wheresoever she rides to the strife, she has one-half of the kill, and Odin half...

... When she goes forth, she drives her cats and sits in a chariot; she is most conformable to man's prayers, and from her name comes the name of honor, Frú, by which noblewomen are called. Songs of love are well-pleasing to her; it is good to call on her for furtherance in love."

XXV. Then said Gangleri: "Great in power do these Ćsir seem to me; nor is it a marvel, that much authority attends you who are said to possess understanding of the gods, and know which one men should call on for what [ 39 ] boon soever. Or are the gods yet more?" Hárr said: "Yet remains that one of the Ćsir who is called Týr: he is most daring, and best in stoutness of heart, and he has much authority over victory in battle; it is good for men of valor to invoke him. It is a proverb, that he is Týr-valiant, who surpasses other men and does not waver. He is wise, so that it is also said, that he that is wisest is Týr-prudent. This is one token of his daring: when the Ćsir enticed Fenris-Wolf to take upon him the fetter Gleipnir, the wolf did not believe them, that they would loose him, until they laid Týr's hand into his mouth as a pledge. But when the Ćsir would not loose him, then he bit off the hand at the place now called 'the wolf's joint;' and Týr is one-handed, and is not called a reconciler of men.

XXVI. "One is called Bragi: he is renowned for wisdom, and most of all for fluency of speech and skill with words. He knows most of skaldship, and after him skaldship is called bragr,[=poetry] and from his name that one is called bragr-man or -woman, who possesses eloquence surpassing others, of women or of men. His wife is Idunn: she guards in her chest of ash those apples which the gods must taste whensoever they grow old; and then they all become young, and so it shall be even unto the Weird of the Gods." Then said Gangleri: "A very great thing, methinks, the gods entrust to the watchfulness and good faith of Idunn." Then said Hárr, laughing loudly: "'T was near being desperate once; I may be able to tell thee of it, but now thou shalt first hear more of the names of the Ćsir.

XXVII. "Heimdall(r) is the name of one: he is called the White God. He is great and holy; nine maids, all sisters, bore him for a son. He is also called Hallinskídi [Ram] and Gullintanni;[Goldenteeth] his teeth were of gold, and his horse is called Gold-top. He dwells in the place called Himinbjörg, hard by Bifröst: he is the warder of the gods, and sits there by heaven's end to guard the bridge from the Hill-Giants. He needs less sleep than a bird; he sees equally well night and day a hundred leagues from him, and hears how grass grows on the earth or wool on sheep, and everything that has a louder sound. He has that trumpet which is called Gjallar-Horn, and its blast is heard throughout all worlds. Heimdallr's sword is called Head. ...

XXVIII. "One of the Ćsir is named Hödr: he is blind. He is of sufficient strength, but the gods would desire that no occasion should rise of naming this god, for the work of his hands shall long be held in memory among gods and men. ...XXXII. "Forseti is the name of the son of Baldr and Nanna daughter of Nep: he has that hall in heaven which is called Glitnir. All that come to him with such quarrels as arise out of law-suits, all these return thence reconciled. That is the best seat of judgment among gods and men...

XXXIII. "Also numbered among the Ćsir is he whom some call the mischief-monger of the Ćsir, and the first father of falsehoods, and blemish of all gods and men: he is named Loki or Loptr, son of Fárbauti the giant; his mother was Laufey or Nál; his brothers are Býleistr and Helblindi. Loki is beautiful and comely to look upon, evil in spirit., very fickle in habit. He surpassed other men in that wisdom which is called 'sleight,' and had artifices for [42] all occasions; he would ever bring the Ćsir into great hardships, and then get them out with crafty counsel. His wife was called Sigyn, their son Nari or Narfi.

XXXIV. Yet more children had Loki. Angrboda was the name of a certain giantess in Jötunheim, with whom Loki gat three children: one was Fenris-Wolf, the second Jörmungandr--that is the Midgard Serpent,--the third is Hel. But when the gods learned that this kindred was nourished in Jötunheim, and when the gods perceived by prophecy that from this kindred great misfortune should befall them; and since it seemed to all that there was great prospect of ill--(first from the mother's blood, and yet worse from the father's)-then Allfather sent gods thither to take the children and bring them to him. When they came to him, straightway he cast the serpent into the deep sea, where he lies about all the land; and this serpent grew so greatly that he lies in the midst of the ocean encompassing all the land, and bites upon his own tail. Hel he cast into Niflheim, and gave to her power over nine worlds, to apportion all abodes among those that were sent to her: that is, men dead of sickness or of old age. She has great possessions there; her walls are exceeding high and her gates great. Her hall is called Sleet-Cold; her dish, Hunger; Famine is her knife; Idler, her thrall; Sloven, her maidservant; Pit of Stumbling, her threshold, by which one enters; Disease, her bed; Gleaming Bale, her bed-hangings. She is half blue-black and half flesh-color (by which she is easily recognized), and very lowering and fierce.

The Wolf the Ćsir brought up at home, and Týr alone dared go to him to give him meat. But when the gods saw. how much he grew every day, and when all prophecies [43] declared that he was fated to be their destruction, then the Ćsir seized upon this way of escape: they made a very strong fetter, which they called Lćdingr, and brought it before the Wolf, bidding him try his strength against the fetter. The Wolf thought that no overwhelming odds, and let them do with him as they would. The first time the Wolf lashed out against it, the fetter broke; so he was loosed out of Lćdingr. After this, the Ćsir made a second fetter, stronger by half, which they called Drómi, and bade the Wolf try that fetter, saying he would become very famous for strength, if such huge workmanship should not suffice to hold him. But the Wolf thought that this fetter was very strong; he considered also that strength had increased in him since the time he broke Lćdingr: it came into his mind, that he must expose himself to danger, if he would become famous. So he let the fetter be laid upon him. Now when the Ćsir declared themselves ready, the Wolf shook himself, dashed the fetter against the earth and struggled fiercely with it, spurned against it, and broke the fetter, so that the fragments flew far. So he dashed himself out of Drómi. Since then it passes as a proverb, 'to loose out of Lćdingr,' or 'to dash out of Drómi,' when anything is exceeding hard.

"After that the Ćsir feared that they should never be able to get the Wolf bound. Then Allfather sent him who is called Skírnir, Freyr's messenger, down into the region of the Black Elves, to certain dwarves, and caused to be made the fetter named Gleipnir. It was made of six things: the noise a cat makes in foot-fall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a rock, the sinews of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird. And though thou understand not these matters already, yet now thou mayest speedily find [44] certain proof herein, that no lie is told thee: thou must have seen that a woman has no beard, and no sound comes from the leap of a cat, and there are no roots under a rock; and by my troth, all that I have told thee is equally true, though there be some things which thou canst not put to the test."

Then said Gangleri: "This certainly I can perceive to be true: these things which thou hast taken for proof, I can see; but how was the fetter fashioned?" Hárr answered: "That I am well able to tell thee. The fetter was soft and smooth as a silken ribbon, but as sure and strong as thou shalt now hear. Then, when the fetter was brought to the Ćsir, they thanked the messenger well for his errand. Then the Ćsir went out upon the lake called Ámsvartnir, to the island called Lyngvi, and summoning the Wolf with them, they showed him the silken ribbon and bade him burst it, saying that it was somewhat stouter than appeared from its thickness. And each passed it to the others, and tested it with the strength of their hands and it did not snap; yet they said the Wolf could break it. Then the Wolf answered: 'Touching this matter of the ribbon, it seems to me that I shall get no glory of it, though I snap asunder so slender a band; but if it be made with cunning and wiles, then, though it seem little, that band shall never come upon my feet.' Then the Ćsir answered that he could easily snap apart a slight silken band, he who had before broken great fetters of iron,--'but if thou shalt not be able to burst this band, then thou wilt not be able to frighten the gods; and then we shall unloose thee.' The Wolf said: 'If ye bind me so that I shall not get free again, then ye will act in such a way that it will be late ere I receive help from you; I am unwilling that this band [45] should be laid upon me. Yet rather than that ye should impugn my courage, let some one of you lay his hand in my mouth, for a pledge that this is done in good faith.' Each of the Ćsir looked at his neighbor, and none was willing to part with his hand, until Týr stretched out his right hand and laid it in the Wolf's mouth. But when the Wolf lashed out, the fetter became hardened; and the more he struggled against it, the tighter the band was. Then all laughed except Týr: he lost his hand.

"When the Ćsir saw that the Wolf was fully bound, they took the chain that was fast to the fetter, and which is called Gelgja, and passed it through a great rock--it is called Gjöll--and fixed the rock deep down into the earth. Then they took a great stone and drove it yet deeper into the earth--it was called Thviti--and used the stone for a fastening-pin. The Wolf gaped terribly, and thrashed about and strove to bite them; they thrust into his mouth a certain sword: the guards caught in his lower jaw, and the point in the upper; that is his gag. He howls hideously, and slaver runs out of his mouth: that is the river called Ván; there he lies till the Weird of the Gods." Then said Gangleri: 'Marvellous ill children did Loki beget, but all these brethren are of great might. Yet why did not the Ćsir kill the Wolf, seeing they had expectation of evil from him?" Hárr answered: "So greatly did the gods esteem their holy place and sanctuary, that they would not stain it with the Wolf's blood; though (so say the prophecies) he shall be the slayer of Odin."