Svipdagsmál II: Fjölsvinnsmál – The Sayings of Fjölsvinnr

Svipdag spake:

11. “Now answer me, Fjolsvith, | the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What call they the house? | for no man beheld
‘Mongst the gods so grim a sight.”

Fjolsvith spake:

12.”Gastropnir is it, | of old I made it
From the limbs of Leirbrimir;
I braced it so strongly | that fast it shall stand
So long as the world shall last.”

Svipdag spake:

13. “Now answer me, Fjolsvith, | the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
What call they the hounds, | that before the house
So fierce and angry are?”

Fjolsvith spake:

14. “Gif call they one, | and Geri the other,
If now the truth thou wouldst know;
Great they are, | and their might will grow,
Till the gods to death are doomed.”

Svipdag spake:

15. “Now answer me, Fjolsvith, | the question I ask,
For now the truth would I know:
May no man hope | the house to enter,
While the hungry hounds are sleeping?”

12. Gastropnir: “quest-Crusher.” Leirbrimir’s (“Clay-Giant’s”) limbs: a poetic circumlocution for “clay”; cf. the description of the making of earth from the body of the giant Ymir, Vafthruthnismol, 21.

13. The Bellows translation has been changed to match the Old Norse, for Bellows has moved the six stanzas regarding Yggdrasil to cause the translation to not match the Old Norse manuscript. The last two lines have been variously emended.

14. Gif and Geri: both names signify “Greedy.” The first part of line 3 is conjectural; the manuscripts indicate the word “eleven,” which clearly fails to make sense.

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