The Flyting of Loki
Aegir, who was also called Gymir, had made ale for the Gods when he had obtained the kettle, as now has been told. To this feast came Odhinn and his wife Frigg. But Thorr was not there, because he was in the East. His wife Sif came, as also Bragi and his wife, Idhunn. Tyr was there; he was one-handed, for Fenris Wolf had bitten off his hand, the time he was bound. There were also Njordhr and Skadhi his wife, Freyr and Freyja, and Vidhar, the son of Odhinn. Loki was there, and Freyr's servitors, By Byggvir and Beyla. Beside, there was many another Ase' and Alf. Aegir had two servitors, Fimafeng and Eldir. Shining gold served there for light, and the cups filled themselves with ale. It was a place of great peace. Now those who were there praised greatly the servantmen of Aegir. Loki hated to hear that and slew Fimafeng. Then the Gods shook their shields and raised an outcry against Loki and drove him away to the woods. Then they returned to the feast. Loki came back again and found Eldir without. "Say thou, Eldir, nor before set thou one foot forward: What the Aesir speak of, at their ale sitting, here the hall within." "Of their weapons speak, and of warlike deeds, the glorious Gods; Of the Aesir and Alfs who within do sit not one speak well of thee." "In I shall, though, into Aegir's hall-- fain would I see that feast; brawls and bickering I bring the Gods, their ale I shall mix with evil." "If in thou goest into Aegir's hall, and fain would'st see that feast: if hate and mocking thou heap'st on the Gods, they will throw it back on thee." "If with words we war, we two alone, then full well thou wotst, Eldir, that I will uppermost be, if foul of me thou fallest." Then went Loki within the hall; but when they who were there saw who had come in, they all became hushed. "Thirsty cometh to these high halls Lopt, from long wayfaring, to ask the Aesir if that anyone would pour him the mellow mead. "Why are ye hushed, ye haughty Gods, nor think me worth a word? A seat on bench at your banquet give me, or else bid me hie from hence." "A seat on bench, our banquet to share, will the Aesir not ever give thee; for well they wot what wights at the feast it behooves them to have." "Art mindful, Odhinn, how in olden days we blended our blood together? Thou said'st that not ever thou ale would'st drink but to us both it were borne." "Arise, then, Vidhar, let the Wolf Father be benched at out banquet; lest that Loki fling lewd words at us in Aegir's ale hall." Then arose Vidhar and poured ale for Loki. "Hailsa to you, Gods, Hailsa, Goddesses, Hailsa to all hallowed hosts, but to one God only who with you sits, Bragi, on his bench!" "My sword and saddle horse, I beseech thee, Loki, take, and eke mine arm ring, lest to Hallowed Hosts thy hatred thou showest: beware of the Aesir's anger!" "Of steeds and rings small store, ween I, hast, Bragi, thou to boast! Of all Aesir and Alfs within this hall thou art most afraid in a fray, and shyest where shields are hewed." "If without I were-- as within I am-- Aegir's hallowed hall: in my hands would I have thy head full soon: for thy lies it would be thy lot." "Thou art swift in thy seat, but slow to fight, Bragi, thou pride of the bench; come to battle, if bold thou art; not a whit would a stout heart stay." "I beg thee, Bragi, to bear in mind that of Odhinn's kin he is: tease not Loki with taunting words in Aegir's ale hall." "Hush thee, Idhunn: Of all women thou art most mad after men, for thy shining arms on the shoulders lay of thy brother's banesman." "I tease not Loki with taunting words in Aegir's ale hall; I but soothe Bragi with beer who is crazed, lest the bold ones do battle." "Ye Aesir twain, within this hall why do ye war with words? for Loki knoweth what nag he bears: he loathes all living things." "Hush thee, Gefjon, I have in mind who lured thee to lust: The fair-haired swain sold thee the necklace ere thou threwest about him thy thighs." Bereft of reason and raving thou art, to earn thee Gefjon's grudge; for the world's wyrd she, I ween, doth know even as well as I." "Hush thee, Odhinn; not ever fairly didst allot men luck in battle; oft thou gavest, as give thou should'st not, mastery to worser men." "Granted I gave, as give I should not, mastery to worser men: Thou winters eight wast the earth beneath, milking the cows as a maid, and there gavest birth to a brood: were these womanish ways, I ween." "But thou, say they, on Sams Isle once wovest spells like a sorceress: in warlock's shape through the world didst fare: were these womanish ways, I ween." "Your doings ye should deeply hide nor tell these tidings abroad; what in olden times ye twain have wrought, keep it from ken of men." "Hush thee, Frigg, who art Fjorgyn's daughter: thou hast ever been mad after men. Vili and Ve thou, Vidhrir's spouse, didst fold to thy bosom both." "Forsooth, had I in Aegir's hall a son as Baldr so brave: Thou'dst not get thee gone from the Gods foregathered, before thou had'st fought for thy life." "Be mindful, Frigg, what further I tell of wicked works of mine: my rede wrought it that ride nevermore hitherward Baldr to hall." "Thou art raving, Loki, to reckon up all the ill thou hast done: I ween that Frigg the fates knoweth, though she say it not herself." "Hush thee, Freyja, I full well know thee: Thou art not free from fault: all Aesir and Alfs within this hall thou hast lured to love with thee." "Thy slanderous tongue, 'twill thy sorrow be, and still will work thee woe; wroth are the Gods and Goddesses, thou'lt fare sadly home from hence." "Hush thee, Freyja, a whore thou art, and ay wast bent on ill; in thy brother's bed the blessed Gods caught thee, when, Freyja, thou did'st fart." "Little sin me seemeth, though beside her mate a wedded wife have a lover: that the unclean Ase with us should dwell, I wonder, who was a woman." "Hush thee, Njordhr, thou hence wast sent as hostage for Hollowed Gods, and Hymir's handmaids had thee as pot, and used your mouth as a toilet." "My reward had I that hence I was sent as hostage for Hallowed Gods: a son I gat on whom smile all wights, who is highest held among gods." "Have done now, Njordhr, thy darling to praise; I'll no longer let it be hidden: with thy own sister that son didst get-- a wonder he is not worse." "Freyr is the best among blessed hosts here in the gardhr of the Gods: aggrieves not maids nor men's spouses, and frees all bondsmen from fetters." "Hush thee, Tyr, ne'er no heed gavest thou that man meet man halfway; thy sword hand from thee was snatched, I ween, by Fenrir's greedy fangs." "I lost my hand, Hrothvitnir thou, a baleful loss to us both: in bondage now must bide his time the Wolf, till the world is doomed." "Hush thee, Tyr, with thy housewife I slept, so a son she bore; nor a penny didst get to pay thee back for this wrong, thou wretch." "By the River fettered Fenrir will lie till draws night the twilight of the Gods; and nigh to him, but thou hush thee now, wilt be bound, thou breeder of ill." "With gold thou boughtest Gymir's daughter, and sold the thurse thy sword; but when Muspell's Sons through Myrkvith ride what weapon, wretch, wilt then wield?" "If an Ase I were like Ingunar-Freyr, and such blessed abode were mine, I would crush to marrow this crow of ill, and break his every bone." "Who is that wee wight, pray, that makes water there, and sniffling snoops about? About Freyr's ears art ever hovering, or cluckst around the quern." "I am called Byggvir, and brisk in work as both Aesir and Einherjar know; I glory now that all the Gods quaff Gymir's ale together." "Hush thee, Byggvir, at board thou dealest but ill their meat to men; in the straw of the floor men strove to find thee, when forth to fight they went." "Ale-crazed art and out of thy mind: Why let not, Loki, be? O'ermuch of mead ay maketh one know not what twaddle he talks." "Hush thee, Heimdallr, to a hatefull life wast doomed in days of yore: with a stiff back thou must stand always, and awake as the watch of the Gods." "Thou are lusty, Loki, but long thou wilt not a loose tail wag as thou list; for on a rock with thy ice-cold son's guts will bind thee the Gods." "If on a rock with my ice-cold son's guts will bind me the Gods: know that first and foremost in the fray was I, when Thjatsi, thy father, we felled." "If first and foremost in the fray thou wast, when ye felled my father Thjatsi: from my hallowed groves and hallowed shrines will cold counsel ever come for thee." "More of love didst lisp to Laufey's son, when thou bad'st me share thy bed: if our faults and blots to bare we are, this truth shall also be told." Then came Sif forward and poured mead for Loki in a crystal cup. "Hailsa to thee, Loki! To thy lips now raise this cup full of good beer, so that me alone among the Gods without a blot thou let'st be." "That one thou wert, if thou wert indeed shy and didst shrink from men; but one I wot, whom well I know, made a whore of Hlorrithi's wife: sly Loki, Laufey's son." "All mountains shake: fares Mjollnir's wielder, Hlorrithi, hitherward; he will quickly quell the quarrelsome knave who mocks both Aesir and men." "Hush thee, Beyla, who art Byggvir's wife, and ever bent on ill: a worser wench never was with the Gods: all dirty art thou, drab!" "Hush thee, ill wight, or my hammer of might, Mjollnir, shall shut thy mouth; I shall shatter thy shoulder-cliff-- no longer then wilt thou live." "The son of Jordh now in hath come: why threaten and bluster, Thorr? Not so forward wilt be to fight the Wolf: he will swallow Sigfadhir himself." "Hush thee, ill wight, or my hammer of might, Mjollnir, shall shut thy mouth; up I'll hurl thee to Etin-Home where men will see thee no more." "Of thy eastern jaunts not ever should'st thou boast to any wight born: in a mitten's thumb since, thewless, didst crouch nor seemed then Thorr himself." "Hush thee, ill wight, or my hammer of might, Mjollnir, shall shut thy mouth; my right hand will hew thee with Hrungnir's bane, and break every bone in thy body." "To live I mean a long time yet, though with the hammer thou threaten: great Skrymir's strings seemed stout to thee, nor mightest thou get at thy meat and, unharmed, thou wast hungry." "Hush thee, ill wight, or my hammer of might, Mjollnir, shall shut thy mouth; will Hrungnir's bane to Hel send thee, even to Nagrind beneath." "To the Aesir said I, and to Aesir's sons, what my heart did whet me to say; for thee alone I leave the hall, for I well know thy hammer's weight. "Ale madest thou, Aegir, but not ever shalt henceforth brew for a banquet: all that thou hast this hall within may flames set on fire and burn on thy back!" After uttering this curse, Loki left Aegir's hall in great haste. He hid himself in the Franangr waterfall in the shape of a salmon, and there the Gods caught him. They bound him with the guts of his son Nari; but his son Narfi became a wolf. Skadhi took a venomous serpent and hung it above Loki's face so that its poison dripped on him. Loki's wife Sigyn, sate by him and held a bowl under the poison, and she carried it out whenever it was full; but meanwhile the poison dripped on Loki. Then he writhed so fearfully that all the earth shook: men call this "earthquakes" nowadays.