Tokk's Taunt

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Written in fornyrðislag, malahattr, ljóðaháttr, and modified galdralag by Magnús hvalmagi.

I initially attempted to perform the lyrics of the song as they were, as a spoken word piece. That didn't work so well. Eventually, I revisited the project and converted the meaning of the lyrics into eddic verse. This one works far better. You can read more about my process here.

Ill the Aesir
and the Elves fared -
their games yielded
a grim result:
The brother of Thor
by thrown sprig was
pierced in the breast -
bane of Oðin’s
son sticking in
his stone of life.

Then hied to Hel
Hermoðr the Bold,
to craft a deal
with the cairn-god:
return to life
the light-bringer;
the world would bleed
the water of eyes.

All of the world
wept for Baldr.
the men and beasts,
burning fires,
trees and stones and
the track of men -
wept as if brought
to warmth from frost.

All but for one
wept as the rest.
The Aesir found
a frost giant -
lone - in a cave;
she was called "Tokk."
Then spoke Tyr of
the spear Gungnir:

"You! Weep for Baldr,
as the world now does!
You are the last one;
jotun-tears we need."

The giant sang -
joyless her voice:

"You come to me
carrying grief in
your eyes - a sorrowful sight -
asking a torrent
of tears to restore
to life the light of Asgarðr.

You come to me
carrying grief in
your hearts - bitter the blood
but cold is mine -
I mean to sleep
as long as the world weeps.

You come to me
carrying grief on
your tongues - words of woe;
no joy or pleasure
was poured for me
from the horn of Baldr’s bounty.

Tokk will water
no weeds with sorrow.
Go! Leave me alone!
Go! Leave him to lie!

Is blame my burden
to bear? Shame
makes no mark on my heart!
I was made glad -
gleeful the tale
of Loki’s clever craft!

Foolish Hoðr
felled his twin
with a hurled errant arrow.
The truth was hidden -
his hand the willing
tool of the Aesir’s enemy!

Leave me alone!
I long to be rid
of moaning, mewling gods.
Never have I wished
well for Baldr -
no sorrow I hold in my heart!

Tokk will water
the world with hate.
Let Hel hold her hoard.
Let Surtr sear his soul.

You come to me
but cannot behold
the truth of Loki's lies.
Hoðr is blind,
but the high ones
see the same as he!

You come to me
but cannot believe
the words I speak and spin.
Beloved of Aesir
loved no giants;
giants loved him less.

You come to me
but cannot remain -
my speech I've spent on you.
All these tears
to Tokk are nothing!
Go! and leave me alone!"

The Aesir knew
the name of Tokk;
Loki's final
falsehood was plain.
None but he could
know of malice
or spite enough
to spurn Baldr.

When tired of
tricks and deceit,
the high hunted
the harm of truth.
Bound by his sons,
burned by venom,
Loki awaits
to lead the dead,
to damn the world -
the doom of gods.

© Peter Olsen