THE LAY OF HYNDLA

The story of this Lay:

The goddess Freya, riding on her boar, awakens the wise giantess Hyndla and invites her to mount her wolf to ride to Valholl with her. There, Óthin and Thór are to grant succes to Freya's protégé, Óttar: he has wagered with Angantýr, Another hero, and staked his all that he is of nobler descent than the other. On the way, so Freya proposes, they are to match their genealogical lore. Notwithstanding Freya's denial the giantess knows that the boar is Óttar in disguise, and addresses to him the information desired; whereupon Freya demands, still further, that she give him the "memory ale" to drink, so that he may keep in his mind until the third day what has been told him. This, the giantess refuses, but is compelled by the threat of encircling fire. Her curse on the drink is neutralized by Freya's blessing.

Freya said:

1. "Awake, good maiden, awake, my friend, sister Hyndla, good giantess who sleeps in this cave; it is darkest night, the hallowed time.

2. "Let us ask Óthin our errand to speed: he gives and grants gold to his followers. To Hermóth gave he helm and byrnie, To King Sigmund, the sword of victory.

3. "He gives riches to some, to some, victory, word skill to wights, wisdom to others, breezes to sailors, song-craft to skalds, and manliness to many a warrior.

4. "I shall worship Thór, and this ask of him that he shall not ever do ill to you, though he love not etin women.

5. "Take one of your wolves from his stable, and let us ride on our way with me on my brother's boar."

Hyndla said:

"Slow runs your boar on the road to Valholl, and I will not weary my swarthy steed.

6. "Falsely, Freya, you try to befriend me now; your eye seems to say to me that it was you who lead your lover on his last journey, Óttar the Young, Innstein's son."

Freya said:

7. "Your mind has grown dull, Hyndla, and you dream I think, to believe this of my lover on his last journey: my boar gleameth, golden-bristled, Hildisvíni, by smiths two fashioned of dwarfish kin, Dáin and Nabbi.

8. "Why not joust words with me as we sit on our saddles, match our lore of lines of lordly races, of the kin of kings who came from gods.

9. "Óttar the Young and Angantýr have both wagered Welsh gold: I am bound to help Ottar the young hero, or he will fail to get his father's share.

10. "A high altar he did make for me, heaped with stones - precious as glass it is with fire - redden it he did anew with the fresh blood of oxen; Óttar truly worships the ásynjur.

11. "Reckon up now in order, the oldest sib, and call to mind the kin of men: a Skjoldung who, a Skilfing who, an Othling who, an Ylfing who? Who a landholder, who of lordly stock, who of most worth are in the world of men?"

Hyndla said:

12. "You are, Óttar from Innstein sprung; but Innstein was born to Álf the Old, and Álf to Úlf, Úlf to Sæfari; Sæfari's father was Svan the Red.

13. "Was your father's mother a fair-bright maiden; I think she was called Hlédis the Priestess; was Fróthi her father, Fríaut her mother: this race was wholly ranked with the highest.

14. "Of old was Authi among earth's greatest; before lived Hálfdan, highest of Skjoldungs; many wars in the world waged the bold one, to the welkin were wafted his works abroad.

15. "Befriended by Eymund, foremost among men, he slew Siggtrygg with the sword's edge, and home led Álmveig, the most highborn woman - they issue had of eighteen sons.

16. "Then the Skjoldungs, then the Skilfings, then the Othlings, then the Ynglings, the landholders then, the lord's stock, who of most worth are in the world of men: they sib all these, silly Óttar!

17. "Her mother, hold I, was Hildigunn, the child of Sváva and of Sækonung; your sib all these, silly Óttar! You needs must know this--- would you know still more?

18. "Dag married Thóra, mother-of-heroes; in that kin were born the best of men: Frathmar and Gyrth, and the Freki brothers, Ám, Jofurmar, and Álf the Old; you needs must know this - would you know still more?

19. "Was Ketil their kinsman, Klypp's oldest son, your own mother's mother-father; before Kári, Fróthi lived, and Álf the hero to Hild was born.

20. "Then was Nanna born, Nokkvi's daughter; her son your father's sister did wed; of forefathers old still further I tell: your sib all these, silly Óttar!

21. "Isolf and Ásolf, Olmóth's sons these, and Skúrhild's eke, Skekkil's daughter, among them are with many heroes; your sib all these, silly Óttar!

22. "Gunnar Midwall, Grím the Hardy, Iron-Shield Thórir, Úlf the Gaping, Brodd and Horvir - both I knew them - they housecarls were with Hrólf the Old.

23. "Hervareh, Hjorvareh, Hrani, Angantýr, Búi and Brami, Barri and Reifnir, Tind and Tyrfing, and the two Haddings: your sib all these, silly Óttar!

24. "In Bolm in Eastland were born these twelve, the sons of Arngrím and Eyfura; the blare of these berserks, their baleful deeds, like wildfire swept over sea and land: your sib all these, silly Óttar!

25. "I knew both of them, Brodd and Horvir both heroes were Hrólf's followers...
In the lines evidently missing here, no doubt Jormunrekk's son were named. Since he was the husband of Svanhild, Sigurth's daughter by Guthrún, both the Volsungs and the Niflungs may be said to be his "kinsmen." For the names and occurences touched on in this and the two following stanzas, general reference is made to the entire cycle of lays dealing with the fates of the Volsungs and Gjúkungs ("Grípisspá" to "Hamðismál").

King Jormunrekk's kinsmen all: he was Sigurth's sib - what I say heed you----the folk-ruler's, who Fáfnir slew.

26. "Was Svanhild's sire the son of Volsung and of Hjordís, of Hrauthung's kin - she Eylimi's, the Othiling's daughter: your sib all these, silly Óttar!

27. "Gunnar and Hogni were Gjúki's sons, of the same sib was their sister Guthrún; but Guthorm was not of Gjúki's kin, though a brother to both his sons: your sib all these, silly Óttar!

28. "Harald Wareooth was to Hrærek born, the sower-of-rings: he the son was of Auth; Auth the Deep-Minded was Ívar's daughter; Ráthbareh was Randvér's father: were given to the gods these goodly men, your sib all these, silly Óttar!"

Freya said:

29. "To my boar bring you, that he bear all in mind, a cup so he can keep all these words, and think of them on the third morning, when the two shall tell of their kin."

Hyndla said:

30. "Go your way now, I wish to sleep; but little good would you get from me, in the night who runnest - your noble friend - in her heat as Heithrún the he-goats among."

Hyndla said:

31. "Were you ever eager to lie with Óth : under your apron still others have crept in the night, who runnest - as you noble friend - in her heat as Heithrún the he-goats among."

Freya said:

32. "The evil hag I now hedge you with fire: you shall not escape uninjured from here."

Hyndla said:

33. "A fire see I burning, flames from the earth: she who loves his life will release me gladly: in the beaker bear you the beer to Óttar, but with poisonous venom I brewed it: may it work your bane!"

Freya said:

34. "Your wicked wish shall work no harm though, etin woman, nor your evil threat; for this drink I shall bless as the good clean draught and may all the gods lend Óttar help in this!"