The Lay of Fjolsvith

Fjolsvinnsmal

1. From afar he saw rise the high-timbered hall of the etins.

(Svipdag said:)

"What foul fiend is it in the forecourt who stands, about the flickering fire hovering?" (c)

(Fjolsvith said:)

2. "What are you searching for, wayfarer, what do you want? On wet roads turn straight around, theres no fire for the homeless here!"

(Svipdag said:)

3. "What foul fiend is it in this forecourt who does not welcome the wayfarer?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

"A good name, I think, you never had, so run along home!

4. "I am called Fjolsvith, famed for my lore, but do not give of my food freely: I've never seen you within this court before: be off now, outlaw, away!"

(Svipdag said:)

5. "This place is a feast for the eyes, such a lovely thing to behold; the gates gleam about its golden hall: I would love to warm up here."

(Fjolsvith said:)

6. "To whom where you born, and of what blood, youth; from what house do you hail?"

(Svipdag said:)

"Vindkald my name, Varkald my father, Fjolkald his father was.

7. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; please answer: who owns this seemly hall, so richly wrought with gold?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

8. "She is called Mengloth , whom her mother bore to Svafrthorin's son: 'it is she who owns this seemly hall, so richly wrought with gold."

(Svipdag said:)

9. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: what is the little gate called which among the gods is feared like no other?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

10. "Thrymgjoll is the gates name which three sons of Solblindi made; with strong fetters the wayfarer it wold stop from taking it off its hinges."

(Svipdag said:)

11. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: what is the wall called which among the gods is feared like no other?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

12. " It is called Gastropnir , which I built well out of Leirbrimir, the etin's, limbs; 'it is so stanchly built that it will stand as long as men do live."

(Svipdag said:)

13. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: what the ash is called which spreads its limbs over the whole land?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

14. " 'It is called Mimameith, but no man knows from what roots it does rise; no one knows how to fell such a tree: neither fire nor iron will cut it down."

(Svipdag said:)

15. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: of the fruit can it be eaten, since not fire nor iron will fell it?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

16. "Of its berries you can roast, for ailing women to eat: then out will come the vitality held within - such strength is bestowed on that tree."

(Svipdag said:)

17. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: what is the cock called, in the high tree, which sits gleaming all golden?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

18. "He is Vithofnir called and watchful he stands on the branches of Mimameith: with dreadful fear his sound fills the hearers of Surt and Sinmara."

(Svipdag said:)

19. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: what are the hounds on high, which prowl about the hall?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

20. "Gifr is one called, Geri the other, if you want to know: strong watchdogs they are, and they keep their watch until the night when the doom of the gods draws near."

(Svipdag said:)

21. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: whether any man might come within when the hungry hounds do sleep?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

22. "They have never both slept at the same time, since the beginning of their watch: one sleeps one night and the other sleeps at noon, so no outsider may enter."

(Svipdag said:)

23. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer me as I ask: is there any food that men might throw them and slip in the while they eat."

(Fjolsvith said:)

24. "'Underbeeth Vithofnir's limbs lie two wing-bits , if you want to know: that meat alone may men throw them, and slip in the while they eat."

(Svipdag said:)

25. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer please as I ask: what weapon exists which might Vithofnir may send him to the halls of Hel?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

26. " 'There is one called Laevatein , which Lopt did forge, found underneath Niflhel; in an iron kettle Sinmara keeps it safe with nine hard locks."

(Svipdag said:)

27. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: may any wight return who goes and seeks to win that sword?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

28. The ghost who seeks to win that sword could return home if he fetches that which few do own, to give to that goddess-of-gold."

(Svipdag said:)

29. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: who owns anything of such worth, that would it would make that fallow ogress want to give up that fine sword?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

30. "You must pluck the shining feather from in front of Vithofnir's gaze and steal it, only then will that sullen Sinmara sell you the weapon able to lay Vithofnir low."

(Svipdag said:)

31. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: what is the hall called which is hedged about by a wall of flickering flame?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

32. "Lyr it is called, and long will it hover over this high sword's pointed mountain; only from hearsay have men ever heared of this place."

(Svipdag said:)

33. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: of the gods, who made the golden floor, within the hall so high?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

34. "Uni and Iri, Ori and Bari, Var and Vegdrasil, Darri and Uri and Delling were there, at the time Hlithskjalf was locked."

(Svipdag said:)

35. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: what is the mountain is called which the maiden does dwell on, aloft and alone?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

36. "It is called Lyfja Mount, and long has it been there for the help of the sick: for one becomes completely healed when hopeless she does seem, the woman who wins it is called."

(Svipdag said:)

37. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: what are the maids called that sit before Mengloth's knees in sisterly wise?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

38. "Hlif one is called, Hlifthrasa another, a third, Thjothvara; eke Bjort and Bleik, Blith and Frith, Eir and Aurbotha."

(Svipdag said:)

39. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: do they give help to their worshippers, if they are in need?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

40. "Yes, they do give help to their worshippers who stand loyal with holy gifts; there is never a man that remains in need, but they are lent a helping hand."

(Svipdag said:)

41. "Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I want to know; answer as I ask: if to any man Mengloth will grant in her soft arms to sleep?"

(Fjolsvith said:)

42. "No man lives to whom Mengloth will grant in her soft arms to sleep; only Svipdag the sunbright maiden for whom wedded wife was she given."

(Svipdag said:)

43. "Open then the gates, and give a wide berth! Behold it is Svipdag you are seeing. Now go into the hall to tell Mengloth my love I am here."

(Fjolsvith said:)

44. "Mengloth, do you hear me? A man has arrived; come and greet the guest! The hounds bid welcome, the house has opened: it looks like Svipdag has returned."

(Mengloth said:)

45. "May greedy ravens gouge out your eyes and may you hang high on gallows if you lie and that from long ways afar the hero has come to my hall.

46. "Where did you come from, and what is your kin called at home? Tell me your father's name, that I may have a token to prove I am to be your bride."

(Svipdag said:)

47. "I am called Svipdag, Solbjare was my father; here wandered I wind-cold ways; 'gainst Urth's decree 'it is idle to strive, though loath be your lot."

(Mengloth said:)

48. "My wish have I won: welcome be you; with kiss I clasp you now; the loved one's sight is sweet to her who has lived in longing for him.

49. "Full long sat I on Lyfja Mount, bided you day after day: now has happened what I hoped for so long, that, hero, has come to my hall.

50. "Heartsick was I; to have you I yearned, whilst you did long for my love. Of a truth I know: we two shall live our life and lot together."