(A poem dedicated to Thorleif the Wise)

by Thiodolf of Hvin

How requite the costly
colored shielf which Thorleif
gave as gift to me - [what
guerdon make with poem]?* (*one line of the half-stanza missing)


Thewful godheads three, and
Thiatsi, see I, faring,
on the shining shield's face;
shown is knavish cunning.

In olden eagle's guise did
Idun's robber, screeching,
fly toward the famed way -
farers - 't is long sithen:
settled where the Aesir
o'er the fire were broiling -
The cliffy-caves' indweller* (*Thiatsi)
quailed not - the ox they slaughtered.

Tough between the bones was
the tool-horse's* carcass; (*ox's)
told them the Aesir's teacher*: (*Odin)
"'T is truly someone's doing."
Spoke he-who-feeds-on-fallen-
foemen* wily words for (*eagle)
Hoenir's friend* to hear, from (*Odin, but alsoa kenning for Loki.)
high tree's olden branches.

Famished, fain would have his
fill the mountain-dweller.
Snorted the Swift-footed,* (*Hoenir)
seated at holy table.
Flew the fiend from tree-top,
fierce in mind, then down to
where, unwitting, waited
the warders of all godheads.

Forthwith, Fenrir's-slayer*, (*Odin)
famed throughout the world, bade
Farbauti's-bairn* deal out (*Loki)
the burden drawer amongst them.
Up form the table, the Aesir's
adversary snatched then
craftily the hind-quarters,
caught the forelegs also.

And, greedily, gorging
the gaunt father-of-Morn* did (*Thiatsi)
eat, by oak-root crouching,
all of the gods' yoke-bear;
ere in dudgeon, dealt him
the dodgeful-one* a blow and, (*Loki)
stout-hearted, him struck with
staff between the shoulders.

(The next verse has what I would consider to be either an error of the poet or an error in translation. "Freyr's wife's father" is intended by the translator to refer to Thiatsi, father of Skadhi who married Njord.)

Then grew fast to Freyr's-wife's
father, Sigyn's lover -
he whom all the Aesir
afterwards bound strongly:
stuck the staff to the wings of
the stalwart etin-leader,
but the hands of Hoenir's-
helper* to the pole's end. (*Loki)

Long-ways with his loot then
laden flew the wound-bird,
so that Fenrir's-father
fain with hurt had perished;
must then pray for peace, and
pledge him - well-nigh breathed his
last sly Loki, hanging
limp - whate'er he wanted.

Him, crazed with cruel pain, the
kin-of-Hymir bade to
bring to the etins Idun
and her apples' physic:
brought the Brisings'-neckring's-
brazen-robber into
Giant-home the holy
hand-maid of the godheads.

Jocund joy did reign in
Giant-land because that
into Etin-home came
Idun, maid from Asgard;
but careworn, counsel held all
kin of Ingvifreyr* then: (*the gods and goddesses)
grey were all the godheads,
gaunt and pinched with old age.

Till they found the tricky
traitor of the maiden,
and bound on rack the ruthless
robber at their thingstead.
"Die thou must," then muttered
a mighty god-head wrath-filled,
"unless, Loki, thou dost
lead her back to Asgard."

Heard I have that in a
hawk's coat flew, thereafter,
game of gods who made oft
guilefully, sly Loki;
and after him, with eagle's
outspread pinions, winged his
whistling flight Morn's-father
fast, the hawk pursuing.

Blazed the bale the gods had
built of spearshaft shavings -
scorched fell in the flames the
fiend - 't was sudden flight-stop.


Painted is this all on
the etin's footsole causeway,* (*a shield)
shown 't is on the shining
shield I have from Thorleif.

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