Thor resorts to cross-dressing in a bid to recover his stolen hammer. The hero Widrick Waylandsson comes face to face with a troll in the forest. A king's daughter is seized from a convent in rural Sweden. A young fighter has to show off his skill in skiing and shooting for King Harald Hardrada. And more...
The medieval Scandinavian ballads in this collection take the reader back in time into the fells and forests of the far north. They tell stories of champions and fighters, vikings, and trolls, drawing on Norse mythology and heroic legend. There are riddles, and there are appearances from Thor, Loki, Sigurd, and other figures from the myths of the Edda and from history.
Narrative ballads were part of an oral folk music tradition in Scandinavia, and were first written down around 1600, although the ballads themselves are older. These new English verse translations are mainly based on Swedish tradition.
All the ballads included are:
Widrick Waylandsson's Fight with Long-Ben Reyser; Twelve Strong Fighters; Hilla-Lill; Sir Hjalmar; The Hammer Hunt; The Stablemates; Sven Swan-White; The Cloister Raid; Heming and the Mountain Troll; Heming and King Harald.
"A charming introduction to Scandinavian Lore." -- Sam Smith, in The Journal (once 'of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry')