“Thus,” continued Thridi, “whilst freezing cold and gathering gloom proceeded from Niflheim, that part of Ginnungagap looking towards Muspellheim was filled with glowing radiancy, the intervening space remaining calm and light as wind-still air. And when the heated blast met the gelid vapour it melted it into drops, and, by the might of him who sent the heat, these drops quickened into life, and took a human semblance. The being thus formed was named Ymir, but the Frost-giants call him Orgelmir. From him descend the race of the Frost-giants (Hrimthursar), as it is said in the Voluspa, ’From Vidolf come all witches; from Vilmeith all wizards; from Svarthofdi all poison-seethers; and all giants from Ymir.’ And the giant Vafthrudnir, when Gangrad asked, ’Whence came Orgelmir the first of the sons of giants?’ answered, ’The Elivagar cast out drops of venom that quickened into a giant. From him spring all our race, and hence are we so strong and mighty.’”
“How did the race of Ymir spread itself?” asked Gangler; “or dost thou believe that this giant was a god?”
“We are far from believing him to have been a god,” replied Har, “for he was wicked as are all of his race, whom we call Frost-giants. And it is said that, when Ymir slept, he fell into a sweat, and from the pit of his left arm was born a man and a woman, and one of his feet engendered with the other a son, from whom descend the Frost-giants, and we therefore call Ymir the old Frost-giant.”
OF THE COW AUDHUMLA, AND THE BIRTH OF ODIN.
6. “Where dwelt Ymir, and on what did he live?” asked Gangler.
“Immediately after the gelid vapours had been resolved into drops,” replied Kar, “there was formed out of them the cow named Audhumla. Four streams of milk ran from her teats, and thus fed she Ymir.”
“But on what did the cow feed?” questioned Gangler.
“The cow,” answered Har, “supported herself by licking the stones that were covered with salt and hoar frost. The first day that she licked these stones there sprang from them, towards evening, the hairs of a man, the second day a head, and on the third an entire man, who was endowed with beauty, agility and power. He was called Bur, and was the father of Bor, who took for his wife Besla, the daughter of the giant Bolthorn. And they had three sons, Odin, Vili, and Ve; and it is our belief that this Odin, with his brothers, ruleth both heaven and earth, and that Odin is his true name, and that he is the most mighty of all the gods.”
HOW THE SONS OF BOR SLEW YMIR AND FROM HIS BODY MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH.
7. “Was there,” asked Gangler, “any kind of equality or any degree of good understanding between these two races?”
“Far from it,” replied Har; “for the sons of Bor slew the giant Ymir, and when he fell there ran so much blood from his wounds, that the whole race of Frost-giants was drowned in it, except a single giant, who saved himself with his household. He is called by the giants Bergelmir. He escaped by going on board his bark, and with him went his wife, and from them are descended the Frost-giants.”