Loki then fled to a lonely hill;
there he lived, alone and safe.
He built a house; high were its doors.
From them he eyed all that came near.
Loki knew tricks, traps to lay.
He othered himself; a salmon he was.
He swam the river that ran below;
he hid in Franangr, the falls of grief.
One day Loki sat, safe at home,
thinking of tricks to try on the gods.
Idly he tied, with Aesir’s skill,
a fine broad net of flaxen line.
When he looked up, the Aesir were coming;
they climbed the hill, hate in their eyes.
Loki then knew that Longbeard was wise;
sitting on Hlidskjalf he saw all things.
Into the fire Loki flung the net;
then to the river he ran at full speed.
He othered himself; a salmon he was.
He leapt in the river, looking to hide.
The Aesir then reached the empty house.
Loki was gone when the gods came.
Kvasir went inside, cunningest As,
to learn what he could of Loki’s flight.
He saw the lines of something faint,
burnt in the fire, brought to ashes.
He knew what he saw, a net it was;
a thought then came, clear to his mind.
The Aesir worked and wove a net,
like the one lying in the fire.
After it was done, down they walked.
They threw the net athwart the river.
Thor held one end all by himself;
the rest of the Aesir the other held.
They drew the net and dragged the waters,
but Loki hid, lying between rocks.
The Aesir raked the river’s bed;
they hoped to find the hidden killer.
They dragged the net but never found him;
Laufey’s son lay in hiding.
The gods were wroth, glumly they sat;
they talked of their ire towards Loki.
They looked afar to Franangr;
they knew the goal of Nari’s father.
Again the Aesir grabbed the net.
They tied it to stones; it strained with weight.
The net now reached the river’s bed;
nothing could flee the net of the gods.
Loki saw the river run to the sea;
he thought of a way to ward himself.
He headed upstream, straining his skill;
he sought the falls of Franangr.
Loki rose up, leaping high;
he jumped over the Aesir’s net.
He swam upstream, swift as could be,
seeking shelter, the shade of the falls.
The Aesir saw him swimming away.
They made to follow, the falls drawing near.
They knew they must master Loki;
they could not let him leap to safety.
In haste they ran, hearts in their throats;
thoughts of Balder burned in their minds.
They reached the falls, faster than Loki;
they set to raking the river’s bed.
They split in two, and spread the net,
mighty Thor himself athwart the middle.
The Aesir walked, angry gods,
towards the sea, towing the net.
Loki saw two paths, the sea or the net.
He feared them both; both held his doom.
He tried to jump the twine-spun net;
he was caught with ease; Thor clutched his tail.
Loki was battered by the lordly gods.
To a cave they took him; they called it Gleipnir.
They put Loki there and piled up stones,
hard and heavy, with holes in the middle.
The gods called forth Fenris’ brothers;
vengeful they came, Vali and Narfi.
Vali was crazed and became a wolf;
he ate his brother, baleful Narfi.
Loki was girt with the guts of Narfi;
they were threaded through the stones.
Loki was trussed, tied to the rocks;
his bonds hardened to hateful iron.
Skadi got a snake and set it to drip;
the foulest venom fell onto Loki.
Loyal Sigyn, Loki’s wife,
stood beside him, to stop the venom.
She held a bowl above Loki;
she caught the venom that came below.
Each time the venom topped the rim,
she dashed away to dump the bowl.
Each drop she missed dripped on Loki;
Laufey’s son seethed in pain.
He thrashed his head as hard as he could;
the earth trembled, and also the gods.
In chains he lay, liar and thief,
outlaw and monster, As killer,
until the day of doom and fire;
Ragnarok, rued by the gods.
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