This short story has only been preserved in Flateyjarbk, where it occurs as a chapter in lafs saga Helga. Many stories tell of St. Olaf's missionary activities in various parts of Norway. This one is hardly older that the 14th century, but may have preserved a genuine tradition of a phallic cult, existing in pre-Christian times. The author seems to be more interested in the comic aspects of the idea than in either the historical reality of such cults or their threat to orthodox Christianity.

The English translation below is a fair approximation of the source text. The verses have been translated literally; and as a result they are extremely unpoetic. The Icelandic spelling has been modernized.

Eftir v sem einu fornu kvi vsar til, byggi einu andnesi norarlega Noregi, ar sem g langskipa hfn var undir, fjarri meginbygginni og svo jlei, einn bndi og hsfreyja, nokku ldru. au ttu tv brn, son og dttur, a v sem upphafi kvisins segir og svo hefur:

As is related in an ancient poem, a farmer and his wife, advanced in age, lived on a promontory in the north of Norway, where there was a good harbour for warships, far from the main inhabited areas and the high road. They had two children, son and daughter, according to the beginning of the poem:

Karl hefur bi
og kona ldru
andnesi
einu hverju.
tti son
vi seima Bil
drengur og dttur
drjgskrlega.
There lived an old man
with his aged woman
on an unnamed
promontory.
He had a son
with the Bil of gold
and a daughter
who was quite intelligent.
Bil (gyja) seima (gullra) er kenning fyrir konu. Bil (goddess) of gold is a circumlocution for woman.

ar var og rll og ambtt. Bndi var spakur maur og hlutdeilinn, en kerling var svarkur mikill og r mjg fyrir hblahttum daglega. Bndasonur var ktur og gleifullur, glensugur og uppivslumikill. Bndadttir var eldri, nm og nttruvitur, a hn hefi eigi vi fjlmenni upp vaxi. Bndi tti etjutk stra, er Lrir ht. Engar skynjar hfu au heilagri tr.
 

Svo bar til einu linu hausti, a eykhestur karls d. Var hann mjg feitur, og me v a heinir menn hfu hrossakjt sr til fu, var hesturinn til gerur og nttur. Og fyrstu, er fleginn var, rak rll af honum einu ann lim, sem eftir skapan nttrunnar hafa ess kyns kvikindi til getnaar sem nnur dr, au sem aukast sn milli, og eftir v, sem fornskldin vsa til, heitir vingull hestum. Og svo sem rllinn hefur hann af skori og tlar niur a kasta vllinn hj sr, hleypur bndason til hljandi og grpur vi og gengur inn stofu. ar var fyrir mir hans, dttir hennar og ambtt. Hann hristir a eim vingulinn me mrgum kallsyrum og kva vsu:

They also had a slave and a slave-woman. The farmer was sensible and passive, but his wife was bossy, and ruled over the household. The son was merry and good-humoured, prankish and rowdy. The daughter was older, possessing quick wits and common sense, in spite of having been raised far from other people. The farmer owned a big hunting bitch, called Lrir. The true faith was unknown to these people.

In late autumn the farmer's horse died. Heathen men ate horse-meat, and since the horse was fat, it was utilized as meat. While skinning it, the slave cut off that member, which nature has given to all animals that multiply by intercourse, and which is named "dangler" on horses, according to the ancient poets. As the slave cut off this member, and was about to throw it away, the farmer's son ran by laughing, caught it, and took it into the parlour. There, his mother was sitting, accompanied by her daugther and the slave-woman. He shook the phallus at them, shouting mocking remarks, and uttered this stanza:

Hr megi sj
heldur rsklegan
vingul skorinn
af viggs fur.
r er, ambtt,
essi Vlsi
alldauflegur
innan lra.
Here you may see
a vigourous phallus
severed from
a father of horses.
For you, slave-woman,
this Vlsi
is not at all dull
between your thighs.
Vingull (hestreur) er s sem vinglar, ea dinglar. Vigg er heiti hests, fair hests er sthestur. Vingull, the name for the horse's phallus, means "the dangling one". A father of horses is a stallion, stud.

Ambttin skellir upp og hlr, en bndadttirin ba hann t bera andstygg essa. Kerlingin stendur upp og gengur a rum megin og grpur af honum og segir, at hvorki etta n anna skulu au nta, a sem til gagns m vera, gengur fram san og urrkar hann sem vandlegast og vefur innan einum lndki og ber hj lauka og nnur grs, svo a ar fyrir mtti hann eigi rotna, og leggur niur kistu sna.
 

Lur n svo hausti, a kerling tekur hann upp hvert kvld me einhverjum formla honum til drkunar, og ar kemur, a hn vendir anga til llum snum trnai og heldur hann fyrir gu sinn, leiandi smu villu me sr bnda sinn og brn og allt sitt hyski. Og me fjandans krafti vex hann svo og styrknar, a hann m standa hj hsfreyju, ef hn vill. Og a svo geru tekur kerling ann si, a hn ber hann stofu hvert kvld og kveur yfir honum vsu fyrst manna, fr san bnda og svo hver fr rum, ar til sem kemur a lokum til ambttar, og skyldi hver maur kvea yfir honum vsu. Fannst a hvers eirra ummlum, hversu hverju eirra var gefi.

The slave-woman roared out and laughed, but the farmer's daughter begged her brother to take away the disgusting thing. The old woman stood up, approached her son, and took the thing from him, saying there was no need to waste a thing which might be of use. She then went into the kitchen, dried the member carefully, and wrapped it in a linen cloth along with leeks and other herbs, to prevent it from rotting, and then laid it into her coffer.

All that autumn she would retrieve it every evening and address it with a prayer of worship, believing it to be her god, and making the rest of the housuhold accept this heresy. By the power of the devil the thing grew and became so strong, that it could stand upright by the old woman, when she wanted it to. She made it her custom to carry it into the parlour every evening, where she, first of the household, recited a verse over it. She would then hand it to her husband, who then handed it to the next person, and so on, until the slave-woman received it. All were expected to recite a verse. Each person's attitude was apparent from their statements.

a hafi veri einhverju sinni, ur en lafur konungur var landfltta fyrir Knti konungi, a hann hlt skipum snum norur me landi. Hann hafi frtt af essu andnesi og eirri tr, er ar fr fram. Og me v a hann vildi ar sem annars staar flkinu sna til rttrar trar, segir hann fyrir leisgumanninum, a hann skal af vkja leiinni og til eirrar hafnar, er liggur undir fyrrgreindu andnesi, v a byr var hgur. Koma eir s dags essa hfn. Ltur konungur tjalda yfir skipum, en segir, a eir skulu skipum liggja um nttina, en hann vill ganga heim til bjar og biur fara me sr Finn rnason og orm Kolbrnarskld.

It so happened, before King Olaf was forced to leave the country by King Knut, that he directed his ships along the northern coast. He had learned of this promontory and the pagandom practiced there. Since he ever strove to convert his people to the true faith, he told his pilot to change course, and make for the harbour, which lay below the promontory, since the wind was favourable. They arrived there late in the day. The king ordered awnings to be spread over the ships, and told his men that they should spend the night there, while he wished to visit the farmstead. He was accompanied by Finn Arnason, and Thormod Kolbrunarskald.

lafur var landfltta ri 1029. Finnur rnason var norskur, mjg ninn vinur lafs. ormur var slenskur (sj Fstbrra sgu), hirskld konungs. Viurnefni hans var dregi af nafni orbjargar Kolbrnar, sem hann tti tygjum vi.

The historical event referred to occured in 1029. Finn Arnason was Norwegian, a loyal follower of the king, and a close friend. Thormod was Icelandic, one of the king's chief poets. His nick-name refers to his entanglement with a girl named Kolbrn ("coal-brow").

eir taka sr allir grkufla og steypa utan yfir kli sn og ganga svo heim til bjar um kvldi hmi, vkja af til stofu og setjast bekk annan og skipa svo sessum, a Finnur situr innstur, ormur, en konungur yztur, ba ar, til ess er myrkt er ori, svo a enginn maur kemur til stofu. Og eftir kemur innar kona me ljsi, og var a bndadttir. Hn heilsar mnnum og spyr a nafni, en eir nefndust allir Grmar. Hn gerir upp ljs stofunni. Hn sr jafnan til gestanna, og lengst horfir hn ann, er yztur situr. Og svo sem hn bst fram a ganga, verur henni lj munni og mlti svo:

Wearing grey cloaks over their garments, they walked towards the farm, when evening fell. They entered the parlour and seated themselves on a bench. Finn sat in the innermost place, Thormod in the middle, but the king closest to the door. They waited until it was dark, but no one entered the parlour. Finally the daughter came, carrying a light. She greeted them, and asked them their names, but they all said they were called Grmur. She kindled lights, and looked frequently toward the guests, especially the one who occupied the place closest to the door. As she was about to leave for the kitchen, she uttered the following verse:

Menn nefndu sig gjarnan Grm, vru eir dularklum og vildu ekki lta nafns sns geti, bi slendingasgum og Fornaldarsgum. Grmnismlum ykist inn heita Grmnir, egar hann skir heim Geirr jtun.

Although a common personal name, Grmur ("masked one, disguised one") was traditionally adopted as a pseudonym for a diguised person in the sagas. In Grmnisml, Odin masquerades as Grmnir.

Eg s gull gestum
og guvefjar skikkjur.
Mr fellur hugur til hringa.
Heldur vil eg bjg en ljga.
Kenni eg ig, konungur minn,
kominn ertu, lafur.
I see gold on the visitors
and velvet robes.
I fancy those rings.
I'd rather be crippled than tell a lie.
I recognize you, my king,
you have come, Olaf.

svarar hann tilkomumaur, s er yztur sat: "Lt kyrrt yfir v, ert kona hyggin."

Ekki skiptust au fleiri orum vi. Gekk bndadttir fram, og litlu seinna kemur inn bndi og sonur hans og rll. Sezt bndi hgsti, sonur hans upp hj honum, en rll yfir lengra fr honum. Eru eir ktir vi gestina af kyrt eirri.

Then replied the visitor, who was closest: "You are a wise woman, so you will keep quiet about this."

They exchanged no other words. The farmer's daughter left them, and soon the farmer entered, with his son and his slave. He seated himself, and his son next to him, and the slave farther away. They teased the visitors about their courteous manners.

Merking orsins kyrt er vafasm. Hugsanlega a standa hr kurt, .e. kurteisi, hverska, en yrfti a breyta eirri eirra.

The translation of the last sentence is dubious. The meaning of kyrt is uncertain. The translation offered here is only a likely possibility.

San er sni hblum lei og teki bor og settur matur fram. Bndadttir settist upp hj brur snum, en ambtt hj rli. Grmar sitja allir samt, sem fyrr var sagt. Sast kemur innar kerling og ber Vlsa fangi sr og gengur a hgstinu fyrir bnda. Ekki er ess geti a hn kveddi gestina. Hn rekur dkana af Vlsa og setur kn bnda og kva vsu:

Then things were readied for a meal, a table pulled forth, and food served. The farmer's daughter sat beside her brother, the slave-woman beside the slave. The three men named Grmur all sat together. The old woman was the last to arrive, carrying Vlsi in her arms, and approached her husband's seat. She is not said to have greeted the visitors. She unwrapped Vlsi, placed him on her husband's knees, and recited this verse:

Aukinn ertu, Vlsi,
og upp of tekinn,
lni gddur,
en laukum studdur.
iggi mrnir
etta blti,
en , bndi sjlfur,
ber a r Vlsa.
Enlarged art thou, Vlsi,
and raised aloft,
enriched with linen,
supported by leeks.
May giantesses
accept this holy object,
but now, my husband,
you must accept Vlsi.

Ekki eru allir einu mli um merkingu orsins mrnir. Flestir telja a a s fleirtala kvenkynsorsins mrn, og i "trllskessur, jtunmeyjar". Haustlaung koma fyrir jtunkenningarnar fair mrna og fair mrnar.

The meaning of mrnir is not absolutely certain, although most agree that it means "giantesses, female trolls". In the poem Haustlaung it is used in a kenning for "giant", fair mrna, which strongly supports this.

Bndi lt sr ftt um finnast, tk vi og kva vsu:

The farmer responded coldly, but accepted it anyway, and recited a verse:

Mundi eigi,
ef eg um ri,
blti etta
bori aftan.
iggi mrnir
etta blti,
en , sonur bnda,
sj vi Vlsa.
Were I in charge,
this object of worship
would not be presented
on this evening.
May giantesses
accept this holy object,
but now, my son,
take care of Vlsi.

Bndasonur greip vi honum og yppir Vlsa og vindur a systur sinni og kva vsu:

The farmer's son grasped Vlsi, cocked it up, handed it to his sister, and recited:

Beri r beytil
fyrir brkonur.
r skulu vingul
vta aftan.
iggi mrnir
etta blti,
en , dttir bnda,
drag a r Vlsa.
May your bridesmaids
bring you a cock.
They will make the prick
wet tonight.
May giantesses
accept this holy object,
but now, farmer's daughter,
pull Vlsi into your embrace.

Hn gerir sr heldur ftt um, en var a fylgja hblahttum, tk heldur tpt honum og kva vsu:

She was far from enthusiastic, but was bound to follow the custom of the house. She handled the object hesitantly, but spoke a verse all the same:

ess sver eg vi Gefjun
og vi goin nnur,
a eg nauug tek
vi nosa rauum.
iggi mrnir
etta blti,
en rll hjna,
rf vi Vlsa.
I swear by Gefjun
and the other gods
that against my will
do I touch this red proboscis.
May giantesses
accept this holy object,
but now, slave of my parents,
grab hold of Vlsi.

Snorra Eddu er Gefjun sg gyja hreinna meyja. Ekki er a samrmi vi a sem um hana er sagt Lokasennu. Engu a sur virist Snorri eitthva hafa fyrir sr, v a Breta sgum er henni lkt vi Dnu/Artemis, og Trjumanna sgu vi Mnervu/Pallas Aenu.

In Snorri's Edda Gefjun is characterized as a goddess of virgins. This may be seen as conflicting with what is said about her in Lokasenna, but there seems to be some basis for Snorri's statement. In Breta sgur she is identified with Diana/Artemis, and in Trjumanna saga with Minerva/Pallas Athene.

rllinn tekur vi og kva:

The slave received it, and recited:

Hleifur vri mr
hlfu smri,
ykkur og kkvinn
og vur,
en Vlsi essi
verkdgum.
iggi mrnir
etta blti,
en , hjna,
rstu a r Vlsa.
I'd much rather
have a loaf of bread,
thick and lumpy
and very broad,
than this Vlsi
on a working day.
May giantesses
accept this holy object,
but you, slave-woman,
press Vlsi against your bosom.

Ambttin tekur vi honum mjg bllega, vefur hann a sr og klappar honum og kva vsu:

The slave-woman took it tenderly into her hands, embraced it and stroked it, and uttered this verse:

Vst eigi mttag
vi of bindast
mig a keyra,
ef vi ein lgjum
andktu.
iggi mrnir
etta blti,
en , Grmur, gestur vor,
grp vi Vlsa.
Surely I would not be able
to overcome the temptation
of thrusting you into myself,
if we were lying alone,
pleasuring one another.
May giantesses
accept this holy object,
but you, Grmur, our guest,
get a hold on Vlsi.

Finnur tk vi og hlt . Hann kva vsu:

Finn held it in his hands. He spoke a verse:

Legi hef eg va
fyrir andnesjum,
snvgum hndum
segl upp dregi.
iggi mrnir
etta blti,
en , Grmur, grii minn,
grp vi Vlsa.
Long have I been moored
off many coasts,
hoisting sails
with agile hands.
May giantesses
accept this holy object,
but you, Grmur, my comrade,
catch hold of Vlsi.

Hann fkk ormi. Tk hann vi og hugi a allglgglega, hversu Vlsi var skapaur. Brosti hann og kva vsu:

He gave it to Thormod, who inspected the shape of Vlsi very closely. Grinning, he spoke forth the following verse:

S eg ei forum,
hef eg fari va,
flennt reur fyrri
fara me bekkjum.
iggi mrnir
etta blti,
en , Aal-Grmur,
tak enn vi Vlsa.
I have travelled wide,
but never before did I see
an erect phallus
being passed along the bench.
May giantesses
accept this holy object,
but you, chief Grmur,
now receive Vlsi.

Konungur tk vi og kva vsu:

The king took it, and recited a verse:

Veri hef eg strir
og stafnbi
og oddviti
allra ja.
iggi mrnir
etta blti,
en , hundur hjna,
hirtu bkn etta.
I have been a helmsman
and a forecastle-man
and a leader
of all the troops.
May giantesses
accept this holy object,
but you, dog of the household,
take charge of this monstrosity!

Hann kastai fram glfi, en hundurinn greip egar upp. En er kerling s a, var hn ll flugi. Br henni mjg vi og kva vsu:

He then threw the thing onto the floor, where the bitch instantly caught it. When the old woman saw this, she flew up in extreme agitation, and spoke:

Hva er a manna
mr kunnra,
er hundum gefur
heilagt blti?
Hefi mig of hjarra
og hursa,
vita ef eg borgi f
bltinu helga.

Legg niur, Lrir,
og lt mig eigi sj,
og svelg eigi niur,
srtkin rg!

Who is this man,
this stranger,
who gives to dogs
this holy object?
Lift me over the hinge
and the door-beam,
to see if I can save
the holy sacrifice.

Put it down, Lrir,
let me not see such a thing,
and do not swallow it,
you evil, murderous bitch!

Konungur kastar af sr dularklunum. ekktist hann . Telur hann tr fyrir eim, og var kerling treg til trarinnar, en bndi nokkru fljtari, en me krafti gus og kostgfi lafs verur a a lyktum, a au taka ll tr og eru skr af hirpresti konungs og hldu vel tr san, er au uru skynja, hvern au skyldu tra, og ekktu skapara sinn, su n, hversu illa og mannlega au hfu lifa og lkt llum rum gum mnnum.
 

M a slku snast, a lafur konungur lagi allan hug a eya og afm alla siu og heini og forduskap einn veg hinum yztum tskgum Noregsveldis sem mijum hruum meginlandsins. Hafi hann v mesta hugsan a draga sem flesta til rttrar trar. Er a n og ausnt ori, a hann hefur svo gert essa hluti og alla ara, a gui hefur lka.

The king then threw off his disguise, and all knew him. He then preached the true faith, but the old woman was reluctant to accept it, while her husband was rather more willing. With god's help and Olaf's zeal they all finally accepted the faith, and were baptized by the king's court-chaplain. They observed the faith ever since, as they became aware of the object of the faith, learned to know their maker, and realized the evil and perversity of their former ways, which are despicable to all good men.

This shows how king Olaf was deeply concerned with getting rid of all evil practices, paganism and sorcery, both in the remotest parts of Norway and in the central inhabited areas of the mainland. It was of great importance to him to introduce the true faith to as many as he possibly could. It has since become apparent, that in these things as well as all others, he was performing god's will.