Chapter 1 - Of King Alrek (14th century text)

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The upcoming album, entitled Hjørleifs Ljóð, will feature four chapters from an Old Norse saga, written during the 14th century by icelandic monks.

In order to give you a taste of the story, and of its mythological/esoteric content, I will publish here my own translation from Old Norse of the first chapters that precede Hjørleifs Ljóð.

Chapter 1: Of King Alrek

There was a king named Alrek, who lived in Alreksstaðir. He ruled over Hordaland. He married Signy, the daughter of the king of Voss. He had a servant called Koll, who followed him north to Sogn and praised the beauty of Geirhild, Drif’s daughter - since he had seen her brewing ale ; he told him they would match well. Hött, who was in fact Odin, came to meet Geirhild as she was dressing. He made a deal that King Alrek would marry her, yet she should rely on him for all things. The king saw her as he was going home, and they got married the next autumn.

King rewarded Koll for his faithfulness, and gave him a jarlsdom and a residence in Kollsey, south of the Harðsæ, which is a populated province.

As King Alrek could not stand the mutual disapproval of his wives, he said that the one who would have made the best ale would stay with him, when he comes back from his expedition. They competed for brewing. Signy invoked Freyja, but Geirhild, Hött. He spat on the yeast and said he would come for what was between the cask and her. And it turned out to be a good ale. Then sang Alrek :

Geirhild, girl,
Good is this ale,
Is this a shortcoming,
And not a Follower ?
I see hanging,
High on the gallows,
Your son, my wife,
Sold to Odin.

Within the same year was born Vikar, son of Alrek and Geirhild.

(Translation: Valenten)

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Picture (Iceland): The Sea by Massimo Margagnoni

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