View Full Version : Haustlong

Monday, July 25th, 2005, 08:05 PM
by Thiodolf of Hvin

The Haustlong was written either during the reign of King Harold Fairhair or up to several years after his death (c. 933). It is a very old text and was inspired by Hvin's examination of a pictorial poem found on a shield. It has also been told, with many details filled in, by Snorri in his excerpt found in Skaldskaparmal.

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

2. In olden eagle's guise did Idun's robber, screeching, fly toward the famed way-farers - it is long sithen: settled where the Æsir over the fire were broiling - The cliffy-caves' indweller(a) quailed not - the ox they slaughtered.

a. Thaitsi

3. Tough between the bones was the tool-horse's carcass; told them the Æsir's teacher(a): "it is truly someone's doing." Spoke he-who-feeds-on-fallen-foemen(b) wily words for Hoenir's friend(c) to hear, from high tree's olden branches.

a. Odin

b. Eagle

c. Odin, but also Loki in Snorri

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

a. Hoenir

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

a. Odin

b. Loki

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

a. Thiatsi

b. Loki

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

a. Freyr's wife's father" was probably intended by the translator to refer to Thiatsi, father of Skadi.

b. Loki

7. 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 - whatever he wanted.

8. 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.

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

a. The gods and goddesses

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

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

12. Blazed the bale the gods had built of spear-shaft shavings - scorched fell in the flames the fiend - it was sudden flight-stop.

Painted is this all on the etin's footsole causeway, [a shield] shown it is on the shining shield I have from Thorleif.