33. There fell Sorli, at the mansion’s front; but Hamdir sank at the house’s back.
This is called the Old Lay of Hamdir.
[Footnote 118: See Str. 10, and Ghv. 9, and. Luning, Glossar.]
[Footnote 119: “The Alfar’s Lament” is the early dawn, and is in apposition to “early morn,” in the following line. The swart Alfar are meant, who were turned to stone if they did not flee from the light of day. This is the best interpretation I can offer of this obscure strophe.]
[Footnote 120: In this and the four following strophes the person alluded to is their half-brother Erp, of whose story nothing more is known. He, it appears, had preceded or outridden the others.]
[Footnote 121: Malmesbury relates a similar story of King AEthelstan and his cupbearer.]
[Footnote 122: Lit. wolf-trees; a fugitive criminal being called vargr wolf.]
[Footnote 123: According to the Skalda It would appear that they cut off his hands and feet while he was asleep. Erp, had they not murdered him, was to have cut off his head.]
[Footnote 124: Odin, as in the battle of Bravalla.]
THE DELUDING OF GYLFI.
1. King Gylfi ruled over the land which is now called Svithiod (Sweden). It is related of him that he once gave a wayfaring woman, as a recompense for her having diverted him, as much land in his realm as she could plough with four oxen in a day and a night. This woman was, however, of the race of the AEsir, and was called Gefjon. She took four oxen from the north, out of Jotunheim (but they were the sons she had had with a giant), and set them before a plough. Now the plough made such deep furrows that it tore up the land, which the oxen drew westward out to sea until they came to a sound. There Gefjon fixed the land, and called it Saelund. And the place where the land had stood became water, and formed a lake which is now called “The Water” (Laugur), and the inlets of this lake correspond exactly with the headlands of Sealund. As Skald Bragi the Old saith:—
“Gefjon drew from Gylfi,
Rich in stored up treasure,
The land she joined to Denmark.
Four heads and eight eyes bearing,
While hot sweat trickled down them,
The oxen dragged the reft mass
That formed this winsome island.”