The Harbarthsljoth is a poem of the Regius Codex (poetic edda) which follows Skirnir’s journey.
Official mythology, which is supposed to be the written memory of the ancient tradition (forn sidr),

was modified at the convenience of the Judeo-Roman church with the purpose of domination and
control of the population by the installation of their dogmatic Christian religion. Fortunately, we
still have the Oral tradition, this living memory that passed through generations from grandfather to
grandson, grandmothers to grandchildren, and came to us. Here is the original version from the
living memory, of the myth of Harbard the ferryman :
Harbard the ferryman.
Authentic version from the few Hyperborean oral transmissions that survived until this day :

During the discovery of Midgard.
The young Thor Prince of Asgard,
Travels along a large river.
He meets a traveler who shares sincere.

The knowledge of a ferryman !
Harbard is his name the idea pleases.
Thor hates water and likes to stay dry.
At his sight begins the vile discussion!

“Hey there, man, are you the ferryman ?
Harbard is your name, hurry, vigor! ”
“It’s my name and I’m a ferryman!
You demand I pass you with fury! ”

“I am the powerful Thor son of Odin
Do it fast I want to get across before morning! ”

“I am Harbard son of no one.
I impress no one I am the ferryman ! ”

“I am Thor husband of Sif prince of Asgard
I defeated many giants you old howler!
Hurry, and get me across,
And your words I will forget I promise! ”
“I am Harbard river’s husband I am the ferryman
Many women have granted me sweetness.
No man or god did enough exploits
For the great Harbard to change his own laws!

I killed Hymir during the miraculous fishing!
I lifted the giant snake with hideous head!
And you Harbard the ferryman,
During that time what did you do?

I conquered the heart of nine beautiful virgins!
They also raised a snake, my huge penis!
For a whole night they took turns!

Even the virgins can lift monsters!
See me as the most ferocious man
Since the death of Hrungnir of incredible strength!

Was I a virgin when I faced
And killed the giant Hrungnir with his stone fist!
I defeated him and made it fall the ground trembled!
I am the great Thor, Jord is my mother!
And you Harbard the ferryman,
Meanwhile what have you done?

I sat at the Thing, the wisest I appeared.
I was able to convince to let me lie down
Near seven beauties, I was able to collect their desire.
All night we shared pleasure!
And you, Thor, the great and the mighty
What were you doing during this sweet moment?

I fought witches’ spells
Transformed into She-wolves they ate the spirit
But me powerful Thor the brave the proud.
My hammer defeated these perverted women!
And you Harbard the ferryman,
Meanwhile what did you do?

Powerful Thor assassin of women, I laugh!
The feat is weak compared to this one!
I faced a powerful giant wizard!
By cunning I obtained his enchanted staff!
A gift he offered me for my deception.
With this one I overcame him and corrupted his Spirit.
And you, Thor, the great and the mighty
What were you doing during this glorious moment?

Tell me Harbard you always rewards like this
The one who offers you and gives you, by your evil spells?
Curious is your loyalty and lonely must be your life!
Shame on you to use deception and malice!

The oak takes root in the dead wood
The dead wood becomes soil it is our fate.
So goes the fortune of one
Turn for the other every morning!
But I repeat my question
Unless it is a sign of abandonment.
And you, Thor, the great and the mighty
What were you doing during this audacious moment?


I never turn back even in the Eastern War
When countless Giants walked west.
Mjollnir was never so purple!
Thanks to me, every man had the courage raised!
I pushed all these giants with my strength alone!
I am Thor the powerful nothing is more fierce!

Brave are these men too I was there
I only had my own fists.
But you, courage, I doubt that this was.
Everyone says it and remembers the kid!
He who in terror put his hand in a glove.
Even a child with such magic would be great.

It’s enough miserable do you want me to come to you!
Mjollnir is thirsty and in a single stroke she will flatten you!
Beware I am crossing! You’ll see old shaggy beard!
I’m no god you insult!

I beg you big and powerful Thor.
I’ll tell you what I learned when I came back from the war
Keep your strength for important and sincere things.
As for the lover of Sif who every night made you wrong!

That’s enough! See my power, man, and come this time
Make me cross otherwise the second hit is for you.

A lightning falls down next to the ferryman.
And almost kills him!
Without saying a word he began to row
While Thor promises him with heart.
To forget the affront he gave him.
Thor gets into the boat, Harbard looks down.
He sails between two shores to the middle!

You forgot Great and powerful Thor?
What I told you is that I avoid death!

Row fast or my anger will fall on you!
Do not have that revengeful and sardonic smile!

Harbard throwing the oars into the water:
All I said is not quite the truth.
You are neither big nor powerful, Sif is loved
Not by one but by three lovers in your hall!
I am Harbard the lousy the dirty!
And you Thor the strongest the biggest!

Harbard orders you to swim now!

Thor rises mjollnir he his about to flatten Harbard in the bottom of the boat!
But he disappears in a cloud of crows!
The big warhammer pierces the little ship.
The water rushes and Thor curses him!

On shore the crow flock congregate
Letting Odin appear on the beach.
He will have a sentence for his swimming son
“Let the icy water and your anger cease. ”
This is how Thor the powerful learns!
Beautiful lesson of humility: the magic against the sword.
Odin hold his ribs and his laughs still resonate
In the sounds of rivers and water that never sleeps!

And here is the Judeo-Christianized version that was admitted by Rome:
Thor called out:
1. “Who is the fellow yonder, | on the farther shore of the sound?”
The ferryman spake:
2. “What kind of a peasant is yon, | that calls o’er the bay?”
Thor spake:
3. “Ferry me over the sound; | I will feed thee therefor in the morning;
A basket I have on my back, | and food therein, none better;
At leisure I ate, | ere the house I left,
Of herrings and porridge, | so plenty I had.”

The ferryman spake:
4. “Of thy morning feats art thou proud, | but the future thou knowest not wholly;
Doleful thine home-coming is: | thy mother, me thinks, is dead.”
Thor spake:
5. “Now hast thou said | what to each must seem
The mightiest grief, | that my mother is dead.”
The ferryman spake:
6. “Three good dwellings, | methinks, thou hast not;
Barefoot thou standest, | and wearest a beggar’s dress;
Not even hose dost thou have.”
Thor spake:
7. “Steer thou hither the boat; | the landing here shall I show thee;
But whose the craft | that thou keepest on the shore?”
The ferryman spake:
8. “Hildolf is he | who bade me have it,
A hero wise; | his home is at Rathsey’s sound.
He bade me no robbers to steer, | nor stealers of steeds,
But worthy men, | and those whom well do I know.
Say now thy name, | if over the sound thou wilt fare.”
Thor spake:
9. “My name indeed shall I tell, | though in danger I am,
And all my race; | I am Othin’s son,
Meili’s brother, | and Magni’s father,
The strong one of the gods; | with Thor now speech canst thou get.
And now would I know | what name thou hast.”
The ferryman spake:
10. “Harbarth am I, | and seldom I hide my name.”
Thor spake:
11. “Why shouldst thou hide thy name, | if quarrel thou hast not?”
Harbarth spake:
12. “And though I had a quarrel, | from such as thou art
Yet none the less | my life would I guard,
Unless I be doomed to die.”
Thor spake:
13. “Great trouble, methinks, | would it be to come to thee,
To wade the waters across, | and wet my middle;
Weakling, well shall I pay | thy mocking words,
if across the sound I come.”

Harbarth spake:
14. “Here shall I stand | and await thee here;
Thou hast found since Hrungnir died | no fiercer man.”
Thor spake:
15. “Fain art thou to tell | how with Hrungnir I fought,
The haughty giant, | whose head of stone was made;
And yet I felled him, | and stretched him before me.
What, Harbarth, didst thou the while?”
Harbarth spake:
16. “Five full winters | with Fjolvar was I,
And dwelt in the isle | that is Algrön called;
There could we fight, | and fell the slain,
Much could we seek, | and maids could master.”
Thor spake:
17. “How won ye success with your women?”
Harbarth spake:
18. “Lively women we had, | if they wise for us were;
Wise were the women we had, | if they kind for us were;
For ropes of sand | they would seek to wind,
And the bottom to dig | from the deepest dale.
Wiser than all | in counsel I was,
And there I slept | by the sisters seven,
And joy full great | did I get from each.
What, Thor, didst thou the while?”
Thor spake:
19. “Thjazi I felled, | the giant fierce,
And I hurled the eyes | of Alvaldi’s son
To the heavens hot above;
Of my deeds the mightiest | marks are these,
That all men since can see.
What, Harbarth, didst thou the while?”
Harbarth spoke:
20. “Much love-craft I wrought | with them who ride by night,
When I stole them by stealth from their husbands;
A giant hard | was Hlebarth, methinks:
His wand he gave me as gift,
And I stole his wits away.”
Thor spake:
21. “Thou didst repay good gifts with evil mind.”

Harbarth spake:
22. “The oak must have | what it shaves from another;
In such things each for himself.
What, Thor, didst thou the while?”
Thor spake:
23. “Eastward I fared, | of the giants I felled
Their ill-working women | who went to the mountain;
And large were the giants’ throng | if all were alive;
No men would there be | in Mithgarth more.
What, Harbarth, didst thou the while?”
Harbarth spake:
24. “In Valland I was, | and wars I raised,
Princes I angered, | and peace brought never;
The noble who fall | in the fight hath Othin,
And Thor hath the race of the thralls.”
Thor spake:
25. “Unequal gifts | of men wouldst thou give to the gods,
If might too much thou shouldst have.”
Harbarth spake:
26. “Thor has might enough, | but never a heart;
For cowardly fear | in a glove wast thou fain to crawl,
And there forgot thou wast Thor;
Afraid there thou wast, | thy fear was such,
To fart or sneeze | lest Fjalar should hear.”
Thor spake:
27. “Thou womanish Harbarth, | to hell would I smite thee straight,
Could mine arm reach over the sound.”
Harbarth spake:
28. “Wherefore reach over the sound, | since strife we have none?
What, Thor, didst thou do then?”
Thor spake:
29. “Eastward I was, | and the river I guarded well,
Where the sons of Svarang | sought me there;
Stones did they hurl; | small joy did they have of winning;
Before me there | to ask for peace did they fare.
What, Harbarth, didst thou the while?”
Harbarth spake:
30. “Eastward I was, | and spake with a certain one,
I played with the linen-white maid, | and met her by stealth;
I gladdened the gold-decked one, | and she granted me joy.”

Thor spake:
31. “Full fair was thy woman-finding.”
Harbarth spake:
32. “Thy help did I need then, Thor, | to hold the white maid fast.”
Thor spake:
33. “Gladly, had I been there, | my help to thee had been given.”
Harbarth spake:
34. “I might have trusted thee then, | didst thou not betray thy troth.”
Thor spake:
35. “No heel-biter am I, in truth, | like an old leather shoe in spring.”
Harbarth spoke:
36. “What, Thor, didst thou the while?”
Thor spake:
37. “In Hlesey the brides | of the Berserkers slew I;
Most evil they were, | and all they betrayed.”
Harbarth spake:
38, “Shame didst thou win, | that women thou slewest, Thor.”
Thor spake:
39. “She-wolves they were like, | and women but little;
My ship, which well | I had trimmed, did they shake;
With clubs of iron they threatened, | and Thjalfi they drove off.
What, Harbarth, didst thou the while?”
Harbarth spake:
40. “In the host I was | that hither fared,
The banners to raise, | and the spear to redden.”
Thor spake:
41. “Wilt thou now say | that hatred thou soughtest to bring us?”
Harbarth spake:
42. “A ring for thy hand | shall make all right for thee,
As the judge decides | who sets us two at peace.”
Thor spake:
43. “Where foundest thou | so foul and scornful a speech?
More foul a speech | I never before have heard.”
Harbarth spake:
44. “I learned it from men, | the men so old,
Who dwell in the hills of home.”

Thor spake:
45. “A name full good | to heaps of stones thou givest
When thou callest them hills of home.”
Harbarth spake:
46. “Of such things speak I so.”
Thor spake:
47. “Ill for thee comes | thy keenness of tongue,
If the water I choose to wade;
Louder, I ween, | than a wolf thou cryest,
If a blow of my hammer thou hast.”
Harbarth spake:
48. “Sif has a lover at home, | and him shouldst thou meet;
More fitting it were | on him to put forth thy strength.”
Thor spake:
49. “Thy tongue still makes thee say | what seems most ill to me,
Thou witless man! Thou liest, I ween.”
Harbarth spake:
50. “Truth do I speak, | but slow on thy way thou art;
Far hadst thou gone | if now in the boat thou hadst fared.”
Thor spake:
51. “Thou womanish Harbarth! | here hast thou held me too long.”
Harbarth spake:
52. “I thought not ever | that Asathor would be hindered
By a ferryman thus from faring.”
Thor spake:
53. “One counsel I bring thee now: | row hither thy boat;
No more of scoffing; | set Magni’s father across.”
Harbarth spake:
54. “From the sound go hence; | the passage thou hast not.”
Thor spake:
55. “The way now show me, since thou takest me not o’er the water.”
Harbarth spake:
56. “To refuse it is little, to fare it is long;
A while to the stock, and a while to the stone;
Then the road to thy left, till Verland thou reachest;
And there shall Fjorgyn her son Thor find,
And the road of her children she shows him to Othin’s realm.”
Thor spake:
57. “May I come so far in a day?”

Harbarth spake:
58. “With toil and trouble perchance,
While the sun still shines, or so I think.”
Thor spake:
59. “Short now shall be our speech, for thou speakest in mockery only;
The passage thou gavest me not I shall pay thee if ever we meet.”
Harbarth spake:
60. “Get hence where every evil thing shall have thee!”
The difference is probative in the message, when without translation and knowledge we can see that
Thor is humiliated by a simple ferryman in the written Harbarthsljoth, on the other hand we notice
the greatness and strength of the god Thor and the lesson of his father Odin who is clearly
identified. There is a lesson of humility in both versions (you can not share by placing yourself
higher) but only in the Oral version, there is the notion of self-control. The spirit prevails over the
force and even turns it against itself. This is an important message that all hotheads should meditate.
In the Harbarthsljoth one might think that Thor is weak and dominated by a mere mortal which is
critical. But in the Hyperborean version, we understand that Odin teaches his son and that he will
therefore make him better with this good lesson. The power of Thor that lives inside us has a
destructive side because it creates two things: The strength but also the bad Ego to feel superior.
Here Odin shows his son that he is strong but that his bad Ego will play tricks on him.

Thanks to S.V.

  1. Excellent, merci.

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