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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

 

Freyja's Warrior

It happened when Freyja was in her anger--
the Brisinga-necklace flew from her neck;
Loki secretly took it and brought
the twinkling necklace to two giants,
Fasolt and Fafnir,
to whom Loki had a debt,
and who would not accept anything as payment,
but that Freyja be a wife to one of them.

Only, Freyja desires to marry neither!
Thus Loki slyly assured her
that he would get the necklace back to her.
But in reality, Loki desires
the Brisingamen for himself.

So Loki suggested to Fasolt and Fafnir,
that they decide who between them
should marry the Goddess:
They would have to gather
their own giant kin,
let them fight, one kin against the other,
then he whose side won
should have the Lady of the Vanir
as wife.

Then Loki went to two dwarves,
Alfrik and Berling,
who both had a debt with him.
Loki bid Alfrik to fashion
a gigantic sword, whose bearer
will not be able to use it to defend himself,
but only to attack.

Then Loki bid Berling to fashion
a gigantic sword, whose bearer will not
be able to use it to attack,
but only to defend himself.

Loki had the two dwarves crush
the two giagantic swords
to thousands of smaller pieces
so that each of Fasolt’s and Fafnir’s warriors
should have one to himself.
The battle between the two Jotun groups
was waged in Midgard;
they raged volcanoes to erupt,
they sang the earth to quake.

Loki slyly assured Freyja
that, because he had specially chosen
the weapon used by the giants,
she would but have to wait, then the battle
would end in a draw--
None of Fasolt and Fafnir
would win to marry her,
and the golden necklace
would be returned to her.

But in reality,
Loki had advised Fasolt’s warriors,
whose weapons are the attacking sword,
to attack and never defend,
while he advised Fafnir’s warriors,
whose weapons are the defending sword,
to defend and never attack.
Thereby no one would be harmed;
the battle would go on and on.

The Hjathningavig´,
the Brisingamen itself
is in the hands of Loki,
and because Freyja and the two giants
would have to wait for the battle’s result,
Loki believed that the Brisingamen
should forever stay in his secret possession.

The great Goddess
started to become restless,
and suspected Loki;
but for all her efforts,
she could not make the battle
to end in a draw immediately.

Then there came a third giant,
Thymr,
who boasted that he knows two dwarves,
Grer and Dvalin,
who both had debts with him,
that he could bid these dwarves
to make the most illustrious sword
which could finish all
of Fasolt’s and Fafnir’s warriors,
thereby ending Hjathningavig
in a draw.

But-- that only if Freyja would consent
to marry him!
Since she refused,
the Gods and Goddesses held a council.
and since she was in such a wrath,
she advocated Thor’s advice
which was to simply
annihilate all three suitors.

Freyja slyly agreed
to Thymr’s condition;
for the illustrious sword
surely would be crucial
for the annihilation.
For the making of the sword,
it was required that Freyja
give a drop of her golden tears,
and so she did.

When Grer and Dvalin were finished with the work,
the sword was sent to Freyja.
It was indeed the most illustrious sword,
its blade not made of iron, but of light--
the color of Freya’s tears.
Whoever used the sword
could slash it as fast
as the speed of light Itself.

In Midgard, warriors of men
had started assembling
by the largest number,
for they knew well that the Goddess Freyja
to them was making a calling--
she called for the warriors of men
to end the long-standing Hjathningavig
in Midgard.

Of course the light-sword,
the swiftest sword of all,
the weapon which contains
a divine drop of tear
from the Goddess herself,
is to be used by man.

So it was then that the sword came into the hands
Of a bold warrior, Snjalli,
a name held in renown from then on.
This Snjalli was a warrior
who in the past was famed
less for exploits of strength,
than of swiftness and quickness
which justified rightly his possession
of the sword of the Lady of the Vanir.

The great Hjathningavig between the Jotuns
was finally joined by the warriors of men.
The battle was terrible:
All were slain,
all from the warriors of men --
Except he who continuously slashed
through the air with that solitary, golden light,
swifter than anything that has movement,
never ceasing to cause massive bodies to fall.
So all fiends were slain,
all Jotuns hit the ground,
all lifeless, unmoving.

Then the three giants,
Fasolt, Fafnir, and Thymr,
entered the scene. All three,
very uncomely in appearance,
all desired to marry the Lady beautiful in tears.

Thymr declared: That it is he
to marry Freyja, for the battle ended
in a draw between the two Jotun groups.
Fasolt and Fafnir were angered
by Thymr’s interference. They argued;
quite oblivious to the warrior
left standing in the fog
with that ever-glowing strip of gold in his hand.
In one swift stride, one smooth flash
of brilliant gold, Snjalli, Freyja’s warrior,
sliced the three strangers through the middle.

Then Freyja’s warrior searched for Brisingamen
among the three slain giants,
but could not find the necklace.

Then it occurred to the four dwarves,
Alfrig, Berling, Grer, and Dvalin
to claim that they had the Brisingamen;
for the four of them also desired
the Goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.
They declared that Freyja could only retain her necklace
If she herself would visit their abode
to get it.

Freyja went to the land of the dwarves.
But upon arriving, the four dwarves told her that
she could only get her necklace back
If she would spend a night
with each one of them.
But all that she only desired was
to leave with the Brisingamen at that moment.
Then, without warning, Alfrig, Berling, Grer, and Dvalin
began to urge her and press on her.
She howled, not for fear but in rage,
and the call was: ‘Hildisvini!’

Her golden-bristled boar appeared,
and riding it, none other
than Snjalli the swift, her warrior.
His stature, mounted on Hildisvini,
was peerless, with Tear-Sword aloft.
The Goddess rushed to Snjalli
to embrace her warrior in refuge.
Then, with four sleek slashes, Alfrig first went down,
Berling next, then Grer, and finally Dvalin;
Thus the dishonest dwarves were slain.

But when Goddess and warrior
searched the four fallen,
they never found Brisingamen.
Then the Goddess wept down there,
sitting beside the empty, fallen bodies.
But Snjalli set his Lady to his shoulder;
it is wondrous to tell how he perceived her
as both golden and enthralling despite her sad crying,
The Lady Beautiful in Tears.

Meanwhile Loki, the thief of Brisingamen,
had decided he better had flee,
turning himself into a seal.
At this, the help of Heimdallr
was enlisted by Freyja;
from this point, everyone felt assured
that the necklace would be returned to the Goddess of the Vanir.

But then what has become of her warrior?
The sword will remain with him --
And who knows what exploits
this warrior could do with it in Midgard?
In life, his fate might be uncertain,
but in death, his fellow warriors
knew well that the highest seat,
that which is closest to the Goddess herself,
Belongs to him, in Folkvangr.

© Bill Haile

Image: "Heimdall returns the necklace Bryfing to Freya",
Nils Johan Olsson Blommér (1816-1853), Swedish painter.

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