The Deluding Of Gylfi

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Translated from the Original Old Norse Text into English BY I.A. BLACKWELL.


1. King Gylfi ruled over the land which is now called Svithiod (Sweden). It is related of him that he once gave a wayfaring woman, as a recompense for her having diverted him, as much land in his realm as she could plough with four oxen in a day and a night. This woman was, however, of the race of the Æsir, and was called Gefjon. She took four oxen from the north, out of Jotunheim (but they were the sons she had had with a giant), and set them before a plough. Now the plough made such deep furrows that it tore up the land, which the oxen drew westward out to sea until they came to a sound. There Gefjon fixed the land, and called it Sælund. And the place where the land had stood became water, and formed a lake which is now called "The Water" (Laugur), and the inlets of this lake correspond exactly with the headlands of Sealund. As Skald Bragi the Old saith:—

"Gefjon drew from Gylfi, Rich in stored up treasure, The land she joined to Denmark. Four heads and eight eyes bearing, While hot sweat trickled down them, The oxen dragged the reft mass That formed this winsome island."