I that am I alone,
cruelest and most clever;
I that am flame
without true form, a thousand things in one,
and every one of them a lie:
A fly when I stole the Brisingamen
A seal when I fought Hjeimdall for it
A red-headed man with my lips sewn shut
A red-headed bridesmaid for a thunderous bride
who sows slaughter between the sheaves
A leaping fish caught in the net of tears
An old woman who will not weep, ever,
not even for the light of the world.
This is what you let in
as a guest, and more, Odin One-eye—
this is what you mixed your blood with,
who you let marry into your All-family
and live proudly childless
while he bred monsters elsewhere.
Do you not feel foolish?
Even now, pinned beneath mountains,
writhing in my poisoned bonds,
I cannot be contained.
My song goes on and on,
spawning many lines of liars—
Kveldulfr, Skalla-grimr, Egil in his turn:
hamrammrs, poets and killers,
who bend to fit the world around them
only in order to trick it
into breaking to fit them.
Thor Odinsson, mighty one,
when we lay together in the Jotun's mitt;
poor sad Hodi, when I handed you the arrow
of mistletoe, kiss-attractor, to send
your brother's bright face down
into my daughter's clutches—
You felt my sparks dance
across your blind knuckles,
and laughed—admit it!
All of you, in pain or otherwise—
I could always make you laugh.
Look to me, therefore, on that day,
that dreadful time of reckoning,
when my ship made from dead men's nails docks
at the very foot of the rainbow.
I promise you, cousins:
when all my brothers take up stones against you,
when one son takes the sun in his jaws
and the other coils 'round the world's root,
squeezing, 'til your rotten tree cracks—
There will be much laughter then.