087 SVIPDAG SAVES FREYJA
Now Egil was back with Sif, together with his sons Svipdag and Ull.
One day Sif remarked to her stepson, who was both handsome and able, that he had now reached manhood and must do a heroic deed of some kind.
Most of all
she wanted him to save Freyja from the
Svipdag was not exactly willing to do this, but Sif, who was prescient and inspired by Urd, made it a sacred duty of his.
his stepmother of malice, arose in the middle of the night, went to his mother
Groa's burial mound, begged her to wake up, reminded her of the promise
she had given him, and told
her of the duty Sif had demanded of him.
Groa encouraged him, and
sang magic songs to help him on his quest.
Ull, who loved his brother dearly, sought permission from his mother to accompany him.
Egil supplied them with strong weapons and hardy steeds.
As they were
Völund's nephews, they were thought to be giantfriends, and were welcomed
wherever they went in Jötunheim.
After a long and arduous journey, they came to the land of Beli.
There they found both Frey and Freyja, who at Völund's bidding were treated as royalty among the Giants.
Even so they were bound by magical spells, as if entranced. So distracted was Freyja that she hardly noticed that one of the Giants, name of Grepp, meant her to be his wife.
managed to speak to Frey, who was so ashamed of his life among the Giants
and his helplessness against the powers of destruction, that
he wouldn't return to Asgard, but begged them to save his sister and take her away from the Giants.
This they managed to do, but on
their way back Svipdag fell in love with the Goddess, who was still in a coma with her eyes closed.
One night she disappeared.
The brothers searched long and far for her, and finally found her, where she had become the shepherdess of an anchorite ogress.
Svipdag befriended the ogress, and asked to marry her shepherdess.
While the ogress went to fetch her kinsmen to the wedding, the brothers escaped with Freyja They made it all the way to Egil's abode.
Sif was overjoyed by the brothers' success, but Svipdag was distressed by Freyja's indifference.
Sif then made preparations for the wedding of Svipdag to a maiden of some beauty, whereupon Freyja could no
longer hide her willingness to marry him, and became his lawful wife.
Freyja must be returned intact to Asgard.
Such was Sif's will and Svipdag's design, even if the Gods were his kinsmen's enemies.
He therefore placed a naked sword between himself and the bride on the wedding night.
On the next day Sif led Freyja into Asgard, whereupon
Freyja again sank into a dreamy trance.