The Northern Way

Ægisdrekka, eða Lokasenna, eða Lokaglepsa

Ægir´s Compotation or Loki´s Altercation.

Page 1

Ægir, who is also name Gýmir, had brewed beer for the Æsir, after he had got the great kettle, as has been already related. To the entertainment came Odin and his wife Frigg. Thor did not come, being in the East, but his wife Sif was there, also Bragi and his wife Idun, and Tý, who was one-handed, Fenrisulf having bitten off his hand while being bound. Besides these were Niörd and his wife Skadi, Frey and Freyja, and Odin´s son Vidar. Loki too was there, and Frey´s attendants, Byggvir and Beyla. Many other Æsir and Alfar were also present.

Ægir had two servants, Fimafeng and Eldir. Bright gold was there used instead of fire-light. The beer served itself to the guests. The place was a great sanctuary. The guests greatly praised the excellence of Ægir´s servants. This Loki could not hear with patience, and so slew Fimafeng; whereupon the Æsir shook their shields, exclaimed against Loki, chased him into the forest, and then returned to drink. Loki came again, and found Eldir standing without, whom he thus addressed:

1. Tell me, Eldir!
ere thou thy foot settest
one step forward,
on what converse
the sons of the triumphant gods
at their potation?

2. Of their arms converse,
and of their martial fame,
the sons of the triumphant gods.
Of the Æsir and the Alfar
that are here within
not one has a friendly word for thee.

3. I will go
into Ægir´s halls,
to see the compotation.
Strife and hate
to the Æsir´s sons I bear,
and will mix their mead with bale.
4. Knowest thou not that if thou goest
into Ægir´s halls
to see the compotation,
but contumely and clamour
pourest forth on the kindly powers,
they will wipe it all off on thee.

5. Knowest thou not, Eldir,
that if we two
with bitter words contend,
I shall be rich
in answers,
if thou sayest too much?

Loki then went into the hall, but when those present saw who was come in, they all sat silent.

6. I Lopt am come thirsty
into this hall,
from a long journey,
to beseech the Æsir
one draught to give me
of the bright mead.

7. Why gods! are ye so silent,
so reserved,
that ye cannot speak?
A seat and place
choose for me at your board,
or bid me hie me hence.

8. A seat and place
will the Æsir never
choose for thee at their board;
for well the Æsir know
for whom they ought to hold
a joyous compotation.

9. Odin! dost thou remember
when we in early days
blended our blood together?
When to taste beer
thou didst constantly refuse,
unless to both ´twas offered?

10. Rise up, Vidar!
and let the wolf´s sire
sit at our compotation;
that Loki may not utter
words of contumely
in Ægir´s hall.

Vidar then rising, presented Loki with drink, who before drinking thus addressed.

11. Hail, Æsir!
Hail, Asyniur!
And ye, all-holy gods!
all, save that one As,
who sits within there,
Bragi, on yonder bench.

12. A horse and falchion
I from my stores will give thee,
and also with a ring reward thee,
if thou the Æsir wilt not
requite with malice.
Provoke not the gods against thee.

13. Of horse and rings
wilt thou ever, Bragi!
be in want.
Of the Æsir and the Alfar,
that are here present,
in conflict thou art the most backward,
and in the play of darts most timid.

14. I know that were I without,
as I am now within,
the hall of Ægir,
I thy head would
bear in my hand,
and so for lying punish thee.

15. Valiant on thy seat art thou, Bragi!
but so thou shouldst not be,
Bragi, the bench´s pride!
Go and fight,
if thou art angry;
a brave man sits not considering.

16. I pray thee, Bragi!
let avail the bond of children,
and of all adopted sons,
and to Loki speak not
in reproachful words,
in Ægir´s hall.

17. Be silent, Idun!
of all women I declare thee
most fond of men,
since thou thy arms,
carefully washed, didst twine
round thy brother´s murderer.

18. Loki I address not
with opprobrious words,
in Ægir´s hall.
Bragi I soothe,
by beer excited.
I desire not that angry ye fight.

19. Why will ye, Æsir twain,
here within,
strive with reproachful words?
Lopt perceives not
that he is deluded,
and is urged on by fate.

20. Be silent, Gefion!
I will now just mention,
how that fair youth
thy mind corrupted,
who thee a necklace gave,
and around whom thou thy limbs didst twine?

21. Thou art raving, Loki!
and hast lost thy wits,
in calling Gefion´s anger on thee;
for all men´s destinies,
I ween, she knows
as thoroughly as I do.

22. Be silent, Odin!
Thou never couldst allot
conflicts between men:
oft hast thou given to those
to whom thou oughtest not -
victory to cowards.

23. Knowest thou that I gave
to those I ought not -
victory to cowards?
Thou was eight winters
on the earth below,
a milch cow and a woman,
and didst there bear children.
Now that, methinks, betokens a base nature.

24. But, it is said, thou wentest
with tottering steps in Samsö,
and knocked at houses as a Vala.
In likeness of a fortune teller,
thou wentest among people;
Now that, methinks, betokens a base nature.

25. Your doings
ye should never
publish among men,
what ye, Æsir twain,
did in days of yore.
Ever forgotten be men´s former deeds!

26. Be thou silent, Frigg!
Thou art Fjörgyn´s daughter,
and ever hast been fond of men,
since Ve and Vili, it is said,
thou, Vidrir´s wife, didst
both to thy bosom take.

27. Know thou that if I had,
a Ægir´s halls,
a son like Baldr,
out thou shouldst not go
from the Æsir´s sons:
thou should’st have been fiercely assailed.

28. But wilt thou, Frigg!
that of my wickedness
I more recount?
I am the cause
that thou seest not
Baldr riding to the halls.

29. Mad art thou, Loki!
in recounting
thy foul misdeeds.
Frigg, I believe,
knows all that happens,
although she says it not.

30. Be thou silent, Freyja!
I know thee full well;
thou art not free from vices:
of the Æsir and the Alfar,
that are herein,
each has been thy paramour.

31. False is thy tongue.
Henceforth it will, I think,
prate no good to thee.
Wroth with thee are the Æsir,
and the Asyniur.
Sad shalt thou home depart.

32. Be silent, Freyja!
Thou art a sorceress,
and with much evil blended;
since against thy brother thou
the gentle powers excited.
And then, Freyja! what didst thou do?

33. It is no great wonder,
if silk-clad dames
get themselves husbands, lovers;
but ´tis a wonder that a wretched As,
that has borne children,
should herein enter.


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