To Hermóðr

Hail to you Hermóðr, valorous son of Óðinn
the Chooser, whose heart has been tested in battle,
whose bond is trusted throughout the nine worlds,
and whose iron will never can be turned from its goal.
O swift-footed Hermóðr, messenger of the Gods
and friend to all but the oathbreaker, your proud father
gifted you with your gold-gleaming helm and unpierceable
chainmail when you killed your first monster,
a Troll who would attack road-weary travelers
when they tried to cross its bridge.
And that was but one of many times
you have acted for the betterment of humanity.
You, O silver-tongued Hermóðr, were taught
clever riddles and beautiful song by Bragi,
Iðunn’s husband, your boyhood companion.
With words you wove a net for the capture of Loki,
slippery as a salmon and himself supremely skilled at flyting.
And you, O Sleipnir-riding Hermóðr, won the undying esteem
of Frigga when you, alone of the Gods, were able
to shake off the shock and grief at Baldr’s death
and find your voice to answer her request for someone
to undertake the long and dangerous journey
to Hel’s kingdom and bargain with her dread sovereign
for the release of the much-mourned one.
Though you were not able to ransom him,
still you gained all of her love and all of her favor for trying.
So hail to you, O potent Hermóðr who begot
a famous line of kings, may your kindness and heroism
never be forgot by those who revere
and have remained true to the Old Gods!

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