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~ By Courtesy of Others ~

 

In Utgard-Loki´s Hall

 

Then traveled Thor to the giants´ far tracts:

Mjolnir´s master, most mighty in mettle;

Loki came with him, clever and keen-eyed

Quickest to ation, questioning always.

Also, his servant, swift-footed Thialfi

Sure as the sunrise, trustworthy as time.

Challenges offered: of racing, of wrestling,

Imbibing and easting; they bragged they were best.

 

First came the feasting; Loki lunged for the trough;
tried tireless to empty it, but failed from the start.
The trencher was truncated, bone and bark bolted,

Logi the champion clearly was called;

the giants grew jovial, enjoying the games.

Wolf´s-Father was wroth, felt wronged and offended;
his ire was immense, but the wrangle was won;
fuming and frowning, he forced back his fury.

 

Then raced Thialfi against his raw rival;

Hugi´s steps hasted sharply, hurried along.

Outspeeding the other, the ogre pulled past him;
three times the race ran, swifter than sky-candle

draws dawn from the darkness. Subdued was the servant,
now chastened and cowed.

 

Impatient, the jotuns jeered at Thor´s joust,

brought forth the biggest bug-chaser of all

Silk-tailed slinker, claws like steel scythes:

Eyes of old emerald, coat grey and grim.

Fate favored the flame-bearded, in fury frenzied,
wrestled he then with worry and woe.

Beast barely budging, as bright fire flickered,

Strained so to lift it, struggling sore.

Withal would its paws, padding and playing,

not lift from the level, nor leave go the floor.

 

Ever did mouse-murderer purr all the merrier.

Finally, one foot failed, lifting up faintly;

At cat´s cost, he faltered, let fall the feline:

Huffing, Hlorridhi now sullen and scorned.

 

Of drinking, he drained the drought

Three times most deeply; barely the brew

Slipped low past the lip;

Of wrestling, an elderly etin-wife held him;

Bore him to the bottom, his knee hitting stone.

However he strove, he hardly could stir her;

her hands held him captive, kept him from the coup.

 

Then did their host hurry them homewards;

Out to the hall´s gate he escorted them.

Sternly and sober, the Jotuns´ sovereign

Bade them to return to the border remote.
 

As they were leaving, he let slip the lies;

lax, senses lulled, they saw not the tricks.

No foolish feaster, howsoever hungry

could chomp his fare faster than fire.

Thialfi raced thought, swifter than steeds;

from shore to shore in the squint of an eye.

Cat ´twas the world-circler, writhing and wily;

too heavy to heft, too huge to heave.

Horn had its heel buried deep in the brine;

Old Age was the ancient whose grasp he had grappled;

No man and no maid may master her hold.

All eyes imposed on by evil illusion.

Then the Thunderer hoisted his hammer:

The giant-king, Jotuns, and hall all had

vanished, and vanquished, the company headed for home.

 

© Jennifer Lawrence

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