36. Thurs I cut for thee, and three letters mere: ergi, and oedi, and othola. So will I cut them out, as I have cut them, in, if there need shall be.
37. Hail rather to thee, youth! and accept an icy cup, filled with old mead; although I thought not that I ever should love one of Vanir race.
38. All my errand will I know, ere I hence ride home. When wilt thou converse hold with the powerful son of Niord?
39. Barri the grove is named, which we both know, the grove of tranquil paths. Nine nights hence, there to Niord’s son Gerd will grant delight.
Skimir then rode home. Frey was standing without, and spoke to him, asking tidings:
40. Tell me, Skirnir! ere thou thy steed unsaddlest, and a foot hence thou goest, what thou hast accomplished in Jotunheim, for my pleasure or thine?
41. Barri the grove is named, which we both know, the grove of tranquil paths. Nine nights hence, there to Niord’s son Gerd will grant delight.
42. Long is one night, yet longer two will be; how shall I three endure. Often a month to me less has seemed than half a night of longing.
[Footnote 37: Hiemdall.]
[Footnote 38: Thurs, etc., the names of magical runes.]
THE LAY OF RIG.
In ancient Sagas it is related that one of the AEsir named Heimdall, being on a journey to a certain sea-shore, came to a village, where he called himself Rig. In accordance with this Saga is the following:
1. In ancient days, they say, along the green ways went the powerful and upright sagacious As, the strong and active Rig, his onward course pursuing.
2. Forward he went on the mid-way, and to a dwelling came. The door stood ajar, he went in, fire was on the floor. The man and wife sat there, hoary-haired, by the hearth, Ai and Edda, in old guise clad.
3. Rig would counsel give to them both, and himself seated in the middle seat, having on either side the domestic pair.
4. Then Edda from the ashes took a loaf, heavy and thick, and with bran mixed; more besides she laid on the middle of the board; there in a bowl was broth on the table set, there was a calf boiled, of cates most excellent.
5. Then rose he up, prepared to sleep: Rig would counsel give to them both; laid him down in the middle of the bed; the domestic pair lay one on either side.
6. There he continued three nights together, then departed on the mid-way. Nine months then passed way.
7. Edda a child brought forth: they with water sprinkled its swarthy skin, and named it Thrael.
8. It grew up, and well it throve; of its hands the skin was shriveled, the knuckles knotty, * * * and the fingers thick; a hideous countenance it had, a curved back, and protruding heels.