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liarvar& College Xit)rarf 



Owaf ilM 






woDAifs WHO umnt 



Tales and Ji^aditions of our Northern Ancestors, 

formiho a couplbtg manual op hortb mytholoor. 

adaptxd fkom ths wobk op . 





W. S. W. ANSON. 

£JiHr tf Dr. tPSpur't "Efia «W R§m«mu ^UU MUOt Axa." 

mm ma/ssovs /LLUsrjurroifs. 


i: „'i., Guuj"(;k" 



or ov*. 




unAio coiiEfiE uBunr 


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A COMPLETE and popular English account of the 
**■ religious beliefs and superstitious customs of the old 
Norsemen, suited to our younger readers, has hitherto 
been left unwritten. The editor feels sure that our elder 
children can easily be brought to take a beneficial interest 
in a subject of such great intrinsic -worth to all of us, and 
has therefore brought out the accompanying book. 

Our old ancestors were a hardy, conservative race, and 
tenaciously held by the treasured relics of their former be* 
liefs and customs long after they had been shattered by the 
onset of Christianity. They retained their primitive Odinic 
belief as late as a.d. 800^ and we therefore possess it in a 
very complete state, far more so than any other European 
system of mythology. We English have to this day in- 
herited this conservative trait of their character, and are 
still continually in every-day life coming across new and 

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unexpected remnants of our earliest beliefs. Paragraphs in 
the newspapers, containing reports of police trials, etc., very 
frequently bring forward new and as yet undiscovered 
superstitions, which clearly hark back to the once popular 
and all-extcnsive faith of the North. 

Who would think, for instance, that in tlie time-old May- 
day festivals, we should discover traces of the oldest cele- 
brations of the triumph of the Summer Odin over the 
Winter Odin, or that through the baby rhymes and nursery 
sayings of to-day, we should be able to trace the common 
creed of a nation of thousands of years ago ? To him un- 
used to this kind of research, such things will appear im- 
possible ; buk we think our book will considerably extend 
the sceptic's line of vision, if indeed it does not convert 
him to an ardent student in the iield he has before made 
light o£ 

With r^;ard to the translation of ilie passages quoted 
from the Old Norse, Icelandic, etc, the original metres, 
alliterative poems, etc, have been imitated as accurately as 
possible, though it must be confessed that in one or tn'O 
places the effect appears somewhat weak and laboured, a 
result that might have been anticipated, and one which it 
b hoped the reader will overlook. 

With reference to the orthography adopted : in most 
cases the proper names have been anglicized io form. 


according to established rules, as far as has been possible. 
Let us take a few instances : — 

The Icelandic nominatival r has always been dropped, as 
in the words Ragnardkr, Thrymf, etc. 

In the case of reduplicated letters, tlie last has been 
eliminated, unless an alteration in sound would have been 
thereby occasioned, e.g., Jotun has been adopted instead of 
Jotunn, Gunlod instead of Gunnldd, etc 

W has been throughout used in place of V, since scholars 
have pretty generally decided that it more nearly represents 
the original pronunciation than the English V; thus we 
spell Walhalla, Wilting, Walkyries, etc! 

Many words have -heim affixed to them : -heim means 
abode, dwelling, and is the same word as the English ^m»; 
as instances, Nifelheim, the dark home; Jotunheim, the 
home of the Jotuns, giants, etc 

The suffix -gard appended to a word mcan&pitue (Eng- 
lish yard, ward, gard-en), and is found tn such words as 
Asgard, the place of the Ases, the gods; Midgard, the 
middle place, the earth ; U^;ard, the out or lower place. 

W. S. W. ANSON. 
October ut, 188a. 

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THE rapid exhaustion of the first edition of this work 
has called for its immediate reprint ; and the book is 
therefore issued in its second edition with but very slight 

We have to thank our kind reviewers for their favour- 
able critiques o( our work, and to hope that they will " ex- 
tend it to Dr. Wagner's new volume, which we are about 
to bring out, forming a continuation of the present woik, 
and dealing with the Epics and Romances of the Middle 
Ages, of the Teutonic and Carloving^an cycles. The two 
books together will, we believe, constitute a fairly complete 
treatise of the mythical and traditional lore of the Ger- 
manic ram. 

W. S. W. A 

A/ril, 188a. 

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Myths and stories of the gods, 3— The gods, their worlds sod deeds, 4— 
Odin, Wodan, Wuotan, 5 — Tiigg, or Freya, and her handmaids, 6 — Thor 
or Thunar, 6— Tyr, Tius or Ho, <^~Hem, Cberu ot Saxnot, 9 — Hoia- 
dal or Rigcr, 10— Bragi and Idnna, 10 — The Wanes, NUIrder, Freyer, 
Freya, to— Fate, Noms, Hel, Walkyries, 10— ibgir and his com- 
panions, 1 1— Lold, 1 1— The other gods, 13— The Golden Age, I3 — Sii^ 
13— Iduna's departure, 13 — Baldur's death, 14— Ogii's banquet, 15— 
Loki in cha)ns,i5— RagnarSk:,i6— Lay of the None gods and heroes, iS 1 



Creation of the world, 33— Day and Night, 34 — Two first human beings^ 
35— Allfatber, 35— Yggdrasil, the World-Ash, 36— The divineldngdon^ 
31— lofluence of Christianity', 33 — The Runic language, 33 . . , ss 


Tbs Cods, Thsir Worlds ahd Dudk 

The Horns, 36— I>irar& and E]ve% 38— Giants, 43— Wodds and heavenly 
palaces,47 -..j6 

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OppoNfims or THK Com. 



\ King Gvlphi and the Ases. 

Gefion, 53— Gylpbi in Aagard, 6» . 5S 

Odin, Father or the Gods and or the Asts. 
i. Wodan, according to tbe oldest concepUoni, 71 — Tlie myths of tbe Wild 
Hunt and of the Raging Host, 7i~Tbe tleeinng heroes, 7S— The hi^^ 
conceiKion of Wodan, Si — Odin at Geirfid's Palace, 83 — Odin, the dii> 
coverer of the Rnnei^ and god of poetry and of wisdom, 86— Tlie 
draught of inspiration ; Odin's vi«t to CunlOd ; Journey to Wafthnid- 
nir, 88 — Odin's descendants, 94. 

iL Frigg and her maidena, 96 — Other goddesses related to Frigg, 
iiL HoIda,0staTa,io7— Bercbta, 115— The White Ladjf.lifi. 
ir. Thor,7:iiunar(T1iunder),i3i— Tlior'sdeedsaDdjounicys; Malting 
of Mifibir, 135— Journey to Utgard, 139— Duel with Hnmgnir, 137 — 
Journey to Hymir, 141— Journey to Thrymlieim to get back Miai&ir,i43 
journey to CrirOd's-gaid, 147— The Harbud Lay, 151. 
T. Innin, 151. 
vL Tyr or Zio, 15s. 
vii, Heiu or Gieru, Saxaot, 161. 
Tiii. Heimdal. Riger, 166. 

ix. Bragi and Iduna, 173 — Giant Thiairi steab Iduna, 174. 
X. UOer, 177 66 

TUE Wan'ee. 
si HiStder and Skafi, 183. 

xH. Freyer or Fro, 189— The wondeiful Quen Stonei. 191— SUmii^ 
Journey to Gerda, 199— Young Swendal, so^ 

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xiiL Freya, Frea or Frouira, 3o6—Fre}'a and tbe young bunt»nan,3o6 
— Rerir and his love Helga, 309 — Swipdager relumt to Menglada'i 
Castle, 313 181 


Fate, 317— Legend of Starlcad, 3t9~Kins Fridlei^ 3»— The Norm, 123— 
Hel,3is— The Walkyrici, 337 — Legend of King Kraki, 337— Disa, 
335— Mandrake ntot, 334 317 


OciK AND His Foixowxu. 

LejendoftheLakeMaiden, 336— Legend of the Loreley, 341 — The Water- 
Neck, 34S 336 

' LoKi AMD His Rack. 

The giant Slcrymsli and the peasant, 347 — Loki'a progenr. 150— LokPa net. 


Thk Othek Ase& 
Widar, 353— Hermodnr the Swift, 354— Wali or AU, Skeaf, 256— Legend of 
King Skeaf, 357— Baldur and H6dur, 359— Forieti, 264 . . .3 


Signs or the Approacuino Destruction or Ti» Worldl 

The Golden Age, 365— Sin, 366— Idnna's departore, 370 . . . , ai 


Baldur's Dkatb. 

How Wala was conjured up, 373— Laid visits Frigg in the dm ■ of an old 

woman, 376— Death of Baldur, 37S— Hermodur sent to the realm of lbs 

shades, 383— Wali appears at Walhalla, and avenges Baldnr, 385 . 2 






3gir's banquet, 387— Lold Tevilei the sods, 389 — Loki flc«>, !■ captured and 
put in cbaint, 390— The fiutUnl Sigyn, 394 3S7 



TheFimbnl-Wiater, 196— The Last Batth^ 398 — Snitur fljngi Ida fire-bnnda 
over the lune worlds, 301 — Renewal of the World, 301 — Lif and LiAhn- 
Mr,303— The Fieldof Ida,305— TlieLa]rofWala,309 . . .396 




Frontiipicce • ■ • . faeit^tUU. 

Frigga engaged in buotiilg 7 

Aocient Hindu idea of the worid . ...••• 17 

Sutue after ProC Engdhard 19 

Dar a4 

Night ....^ '^S 

Tlie Ash Yggdra^ 37 

A NoTthem landscape •■■•••••■36 

Elvea 3> 

Roclu in the Riesengelnrge ... ...*>44 

The ileepiiig pant ....41 

Surtur with hb flaming tword ..*..>• 51 
Sylphi beholding Asgaid . , . ■ ... 63 

Odin between two firet in CeirSd's palace ..... Ss 

Odin't visit to GnnUd 91 

Frlgg and her mddens ..... • . . 97 

Hilde, one of the Walkj-rici I05 

Holds, the Idnd protectress . . Itl 

Thor and Lolu's journey in women's dothei. . . . .135 

Sluymir attacked by Thor, when asleep 133 

Chaining of the Fenris Wolf ^ '^1% 

Tyr, the Sword-God • ■ 159 

Bragi and Heimdal receiving the warriors in WaQuJIa . . 172 

UUer the Bowman 179 

NiSrder and Skadl on their waj to Nounn 187 





Skirnir conjures Gerda to follow bim 199 

Walkyrics conduclinf the fallen heroet to WalhaHa . . . 3i6 

VValkyriei Icadins (fae n-amors ob to battle . . ' . . . 117 

Fingal'sCave ~ ". . . . 136 ' 

Ogir and Ran 243 

Frcya among the Dnaift 365 

Ogit'f banquet 387 

Luki in chains *'. .. 291 

RagnarSk, the Last Battle • . . 399 

Tity^ in her chariot 303 

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JUST as in the oldca time, Odin, the thoughtful god, gave Us 
eye in pledge to the wise giant, Mimir. at Mimir's Well, for a 
draught of primeval wisdom, so men, longing for knowle^e and 
lovii^ the history of old Germany, sought for the great goddesf 
Sa^a with untiring diligence, until at length they found her. She 
dwelt in a house of crystal beneath the cool flowing river. The 
eager enquirers went to her, and asked her to tell them about the 
olden times, and about the vanished races which had once ruled, 
suffered, foughtand conquered, in the north of Europe. They found 
the goddess sunk in dreamy thought, while Odin's ravens fluttered 
around her, and whispered to her of the past and of the future 
She rose from her throne; startled by the numerous questions 
addressed to her. She pointed to the scrolls which were lyii^ 
scattered around her, as she said : "Are ye come at last to seek 
intelligence of the wisdom and deeds of your ancestors t I have 
written on these scrolls all that the people of that distant land 
thought and believed, and that which they held to be eternal truth. 
t went with these migh^ races to their new homes, and have 
faithfully chronicled their stru^les and attainments, thdr deed% 
sufferings and victories, their gods and their beroeiL No one baa 
inquired for these documents in the long years that are past ; so 
the storms of time and the glowing flames of Surtur have caused 

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the loss and destruction <^ many of them. Seek out and gather 
together such as remain. Ye will find much wisdom hidden there- 
in, when ye can read the writii^ and understand the meaning of 
the picture*." 

The men sought out and collected as many of the scrolls as they 
were able; They arranged them in order, but found, as Saga had 
told them, that very many were lost, and others only existed ai 
fragments. In addition tothat,tbe runic \vriting on the documents 
was hard to read, and the true meanii^ of the faded pictures un- 
certain. Nevertheless, th«y allowed no difficulties to terrify them, 
but courageously pursued their work of investigatioa. Soon they 
discovered other records, or fragments of records^ which they had 
supposed to have been lost What the storms of time had scattered 
in different directions, what ^orance had cast aside as worthies^ 
they broi^ht to the l^ht of day, often from hidden dusty comers 
and &om the cottages of the poor. They arranged their discoveries 
in proper order, learnt to read the mystic signs on the document^ .. 
and the veil fell away before their increased knowledge. The old 
Germanic world, with its secrets and wonder^ and the views of its 
ancient people r^ardii^ their gods and heroes, which were for- 
merly lost in the daricness of the past, were now visible in the l^[ht 
of the present We intend to give^ in the following pages, the 
treasures that were thus rescued from oblivion, and to interweave 
with them many scraps of information which are rapidly dying out 
and being forgotten. We have endeavoured to make the book as 
interesting as possibly to induce both the young and the old to 
exanUne of what Teutonic genius was capable in the early dawn of 
its history, a history which in modem times has shown its descend- 
ants crowned with immortal laurels on many a blood-red field of 
battle. The religious conceptions of the most famous nations of 
antiquity are connected with the beginnings of civilization amongst 
the Germanic races. If we imflinchingly follow out the traces of a 



common origin, in spite of the difficulties in our wajr, we shall often 
find that the gods of the heathen A^^ard, and the tales about them, 
though apparently dissimilar, really have their basis in the cus- 
tonu and opinions held in the country in which thqr all had their 
birth, and that in their early stages they were more or less con- 
nected. Although in Central Asia,, on the banks of the Indus^ 
in the Land of the Pyramids, in the Greek and Italian peninsulas, 
and even tn the North, whither Kelts, Teutons and Slavs wan- 
dered, the religious conceptions of the people have taken dif- 
ferent forms, yet their common origin is still perceptible We 
point out this connection between the stories of the god^ and 
the deep thoi^ht contained in them, and their importance in order 
that the reader may see that it is not a magic world of erratic 
fancy which is opened out before him, but that, according to 
Germanic intuition. Life and Nature formed the basis of the exist- 
ence and action of these divinities. Before we proceed to study 
each individual deity in his fulness and imposing grandeur, let u^ 
for the better understanding of the subject, rapidly pass their dis- 
tingruishing characteristics in reWew. 

The Myths and Stories of the Gods of Norse antiquity come 
first in order. We shall see^ as our work goes on, that tbdr 
origin is to be found in the early home of the Aryan races in 
the far East, when the spirit of man in the childhood of the world ,,_ 
bowed down before those phenomena of surrounding nature which 
exercised a decisive influence on the stru^les and life of humanity. 
Our ahcestors, like all other primitive folk, believed firmly in the ^^ 
personality of these phenomena. All occurrences in the external 
world, the causes of which were unknown, and all facts xA men- / 
tal perception gradually assumed a human f<Min in the mind of 
the people. During their wanderings these were as yet vague ; 
but after thdr settlement in their new home they got further / 
developed by wise seen and bards into typical forms ; and then, as 

W1>IJ..] I . I 1 | | II 



time went on, increased in number, until at length they faded away 

as the old faith died oat, or was thrust ande by a new reti^on. 

Besides this, we find that many mythical figures arose fiom the 

Teutons being brought in contact with other nations; others again, 

and these the greater number, were due to the idio^ncraaes and 

— 'characteristics of the Germanic race; and to the climate and mode 

of life pursued in their new home. Next come the myths about the 

creation of the world, the gods and thdr deeds. 

The Gods, their Worlds and Deeds. — In the abyss of iro< 

^^^easurable space the tee streams, Eliwagar, roll thdr blocks of ice ; 

the heat from the South creates life in the frozen watery and the 

giant Ymir, the blustering, boisterous, erratic untamed power of 

^^^'''^ature, comes into being. At the same time as the clay-giant, arises 

the cow, AudumU. She licks the salt-rock, and then the divine 

^^^uri is bom. His grandsons, Odin, Wili, and W^ conquer and kill ' 

f the raging Ymir, and create the world out of his body. The 

I gianf s children are all drowned in his blood, except Bergelmir, who 

saves himself in a boat, and becomes the father of the giants. The 

flood is here described, and the giants are to the northern mtnd 

what Ahriman, the Principle of Evil, was to the Iranian. The gods 

point out to the sun and moon, day and nighty the courses they 

must follow in chariots drawn by swift horses, after having com- , 

pleted which they are allowed to sink into the sea to rest The 

deities created the first men out of trees — Ask (the ash), and Embla 

^ (the alder). Odin gave them life and soul, Honir endowed litem 

with intellect, and Lodur with blood and colour. 

In the dark caverns of the earth the Black-Dwarf% or Elves of 
/^Oarkness, creep about and make artistic utensils for the divine 
M&vt, the Ases, by whom they were created. The Elves of Light 
on the contrary, have their dwelling-place in the heavenly realms. 
The latter arc pure and good, while the former are often wily and 
treacherous, bi:t still are not bad enough to be the companions of 




the wicked giants (known as the Jotuns), who continually fig^t 
agunst both gods and man. As we learn from the myths which 
follow, two horrible monsters are allied with these giants, and diqr 
are to help to decide the Last Battle They are the Fenris-Wolf 
and the Midgard-Snake, which latter, lying at the bottom of the 
sea, encircles the earth (the dwelling-place of the living) ; and they 
are abetted by direful Hel, the goddess-queen of the country of 
the dead. 

Hidden or chained in the depths out dL ught; these monsten 
await th«r time; In like manner dark Surtur, with his flaming 
sword, and the fiery sons of Muspel, lie in ambush in the hot south 
onintry. They are preparing themselves for the decisive battle^ 
when heaven and earth, gods and man, are all to pass away. 

Odin; Wodan, Wuotan.— The scene changes; the separate 
figures of the gods stand out in their characteristic forms as 
northern imagination and Germanic poets have created them in 
the likeness of their heroes. First of these is Wodan, the Odin of 
Southern Germany, the god of battles, armed with his war-spear 
Gungnir, the death-giving lightning-flash, and followed by the 
Walkyries, the choosers of the dead, who consecrate tiie fallen 
heroes with a kiss, and bear them away to the halls of the god^ 
where they enjoy the feasts of the blessed. In the very earliest 
times all Germanic races prayed to Wodan for ^ctory, as we shall 
see further on. He it is who rushes through the air in the midst of 
the howling storm, with his tumultuous host, the Wild Hun^ fol- 
lowihg after hinu In the arms of Gunidd he quafis Odr6rir, the 
draught of inspiration, and shares tt with the seers and bard^ and 
with those warriors who, for the sake of freedom and fatheriand, 
liave thrown themselves into the fiery death of battie. Trusting in 
his wisdom, he goes to Wafthrudnir, to take part in that contest in 
which the fighting ronusts of the dash of intellect against intellect 
in enigmatical speech, and be is Wctorious in this dar^j^crout combat 



Later, he invents the Runes, through which he gains the power 
of understanding, penetrating and ruling aU things. Thus he 
becnmes the Spirit of Nature, — he becomes Allfather. 

Frigga, or Freya, and her Handmaidi.— Next to Odin appears 
Fri^a, the mother of the gods, seated on her throne HlidskialC 
Amongst the Germans she was looked upon as the same as Frea, 
the northern Freya, and was worshipped as the all-nourishing 
mother Earth. Three divine maidens form the household of the 
' goddess ; her favourite attendant FuUa or Plenty, helps her to 
dress, and carries her jewel-case after her; the undaunted horse- 
woman Gna, bears her orders to all parts of the nine worlds ; and 
the faithful Hb'n protects her votaries. Frigga holds coundl with 
her husband r^arding the fate of the world, or sits in her hall 
Fensat, with her handmaids, and spins golden thread with 
which to reivard the diligence of men. In later traditions she 
is sometimes represented as a cunning houscnife gaining all her 
ends by craft ; but in the old legends she is uniformly represented., 
under the names of Holda and Berchta, as the benefactress of man- 
kind. She furthers agriculture, law and order, apportions the 
fields, consecrates the land-marks, keeps and takes care of the 
souls of unborn children in her lovely gardens under the streams 
and lakes, and takes back there the souls of those who die yout^ 
that their mothers may cease to weepi As Holda or Dame 
God^ she appears as a mighty huntress; devoted to the noble pur- 
suit of the chase. The maidens of the northern Freya are called 
Siofna, the lady of sighs ; Lofna, whose work it is to bring loven 
together in spite of e\-eiy obstacle ; and the wise Wara, who listens 
to the desire of each human heart; and avenges eveiy breach of 

Thor or Thunar, whose turn it now is to be described, is the 
ideal of the German peasant, as untiring at work as in eating and 
drinking ; open-hearted, therefore often deceived, but when made 



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aware of the deception that has been practised on him, terrible in 
his wrath, and overthrowing his opponent with fierce and mighty 
blow3L He receives Miolnir, the storm-hammer, from the dwarfs 
who made it for him : he conquers Alwi^ the all-wise, in a battle 
of words, The ^ant Hrungnir pays for his temerity in challenfrjng 
him to figh^ with a broken head. When deceived by U^rard-Lold's 
magi^ it is only want of opportunity, not of power, that prevents 
him taking vengeance. V^lien he goes to the ice-giant Hymir to 
get the cauldron for bremng the beer for the feasts of the gods, he 
appears in all the fulness of bis god-like power. Enveloped in 
Freya's bridal raiment, he gets back the stolen hammer from the 
mountain^iant Thrym, destroys the whole race of giants in Thiym- 
hcim, and makes the place over to his hard-working peasantry to 
till. He docs the same at Geirod^ard after having overthrown 
the wily Geirod. Although not to be withstood in bis anger, he is 
yet mild and gracious when with his hammer he is fixing the land- 
marks, sanctifying the marriage bond, or consecratti^ the funeral- 
pile. Then he is the god who blesses law and order and eveiy 
pious custom. For this reason he was deeply reverenced in all 
German and Scandinavian lands, and it is only the later skald^ 
as is seen in the Harbard lay, that make his glory less than that of 
the hero-god Odin. 

Tyr, Tlus, or Zio. — And now, tall and slender as a pin<^ brave 
Tyr comes forward. He has only one hand ; for when Ae terrible 
Fenris-\VolfETCVBO powerful that he even threatened the gods 
themselves in A^ard, Tyr ventured to chain him up with bonds 
that could not be unloosed, and in to doing lost bis hand. He 
bears a sword as bis proper badge, for he is the god of war. The 
German people held him in h^b honour under the name of ,Tiiis 

Heru, Cheni or Saxnot — ^Another naked sword flashes on the 
wooded hdghts in the land of the Cherusci ; it is the weapon of 

, .^^^^, .^^^is.-^.,..,..:^^... ,. .... 


the sword-god Hem. Cheru or Saxnot, v4u> some think is no other 
than Tyr. Of thii weapon Saga telb us that it causes the de- 
stnictioa of its possessor, should he be unworthy of owning it ; but 
that in the hand of a hero it brings victory and sovere^nty. 

Helmdal or Riger^-The third sword-god is known as Heimdal 
or Riger ; he always appears with his sword girded to his ^de, and 
is the watchman stationed at the Bridge BifrOst to protect A^^ardL 
He lives on his heavenly hill near the bridge, and drinks sweet 
mead all day. The faintest sounds are heard by him. and bis 
piercing gaze penetrates even rocks and forests to the farthest 
distance. Then again he goes out into the world of men, and 
makes laws and ordinances. He blesses the human race, and 
keeps clear and visible the line of demarcation between the differ- 
ent classesi 

Bragi and Id una. —Heimdal is bom of nine mothers, tiie wave- 
maiden^ and Bragi also, the god of poetiy, rises upon the waves 
from the depths of the sea. Nature receives him with rejoicing, and .. 
the blooming Iduna marries the divine bard. She accompanies 
him to Asgard, where she gives the gods every morning the apples 
of eternal youth. 

The Wanes, NiSrder, Freyer, Freya.— The Wanes are probably 
a race of gods who were worshipped by the earlier inhabitants of 
Germany and Scandinavia. Their war with the gods points back 
to the battles fought between these people and the invadii^ 
Germanic races. At the conclusion of peace, the Prince of mei^ 
Ni6rder, his son bright Freyer, and his daughter Freya, are given 
as hostages to the gods, who on their side give up Mimir and H&nir 
to the Wanes. These Wanes rise to high honour and receive 
wide-spread adoratiom 

Fate, Norns, Hel, Walkyries.— Oriog, Fate^ a Power impossible 
to avoid or gainsay, mles over gods and men ; it is impersonal, and 
bestows its gifts blindly. Out of the dense darkness surrounding 

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it on every side, it also comes forth in visible shape as Regin, and 
guides and rules all things, and sometimes in the form of the 
gods, determines the life and actions of mortals. The Norns come 
out of the unknown distance enveloped in a dark veil, to the Ash 
Yggdrasit They sprinkle it daily with water from the Fountun 
of Urd, that it may not wither, but remain green and fresh and 
strong. Urd, the eldest of the three sisters, gazes thoughtfully into 
the Pas^ Werdandi into the Present, and Skuld into the Future, 
which is either rich in hope or dark with tears. Thus they make 
known the decrees of Orlog, or Fate ; for out of the past and 
jM'csent the events and actions of the future are bom. Dark 
inscrutable Hel holds sway deep down in Helheim and Nifelheim. 
According to most ancient tradition she was once the earth-mother 
who watches over life and growth, and who finally calls the weary 
pilgrim home to her through the land of death. 

In the poems of the skalds she becomes the darl^ terrible Queen 
of the Realm of Shades, who brought death into the world. She baa; 
however, no power over the course of battles where brave men 
struggle for the honour of victory. There Odin's Wish-maidchs, the 
Walkyries, rule and determine the fate of the combatants. Armed 
with helmet and shield, they ride on white cloud horses to choose 
their warriors as the Father of the gods has commanded them. 
They consecrate the fallen heroes with the kiss of death, and bear 
them away to Walhalla to the feast of the Einheriar, 

dpr and his companions.— Ogir or Hler moves about on 
the stormy seas accompanied by his wife Ran. dgir is of the 
race of giants, but lives in friendly alliance with the gods. His 
comrades are the Mumel-king, the wonderful player, and the 
nixies, necks, and water-sprites. 

Loki, the father of terrible Hel, the Fenris-Wolf and Midgard* 
Snake ; Loki, the crafty god who is ever deviung evil, now steals 
forward that we may observe his corrupt practices and his real 

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character. In primeval times he was Odin's brother by blood, the 
god of life-giving warmth, and in particular of the indispensable 
household firt. As a destructive conflagration arises from a hidden 
spark which gradually increases in strength and volume until at 
last it bursts out furiously and consumes the house and all that it 
contains, thus, as we shall show later on, the conception of Lold 
was developed in the minds of these old races, until be was at last 
held to be the corrupter of the gods^ the principle of evil 

The other Gods.— As regards the other gods, the silent Widar, 
son of Odin, first appears, armed with a sword and wearing iron 
shoes. Joyfully he hears the prophecy of the Noms, that he should 
• on a future day avei^e his father by killing the destroying wol( 
and that he would afterwards live for ever in blissful peace in the 
■ I renewed world. Then comes Hermodur, the swift messenger 6S 

the gods, who fulfils bis office at a agn from Odin. Another 
avenger, the blooming Wali, is received with acclamation when 
he enters the halls of Odin, for he is the son of Odin and the... 
northern Rioda, is chosen to avenge bright Baldur the well-be- 
loved, and to give the deadly blow which shall send daric H6dur 
down to the realms of HeL So the steiy brings us to Baldur, the 
giver of all good, and to Hddur, who rules over the darkness. The 
myth tells us bow both fought for the sake of tbe lovely Nanna, 
and how the former received his death wound by magic art. His 
son Forseti, who resembles his father in holiness and righteousness, 
is the upholder of eternal law. The my^ shows him to us seated 
on a throne teaching the Northern Frisians the benefits of law, 
and surrounded by his twelve judges, all of whom are somewhat 
like him both in face and form. 

The Golden Age.— From this brief glance at the individual 
gods we pass on to the description of the events which concern 
these divinities as a whole, and which lead up to the epic poems in 
which they figure. The golden ag^ the time of innocence, is next 




to be described, when the lust for gold was as yet unknown, when 
the gods played mth golden disks, and no passion disturbed the 
rapture of mere existence; All this lasts till Gullwcig (Gold- 
ore), the bewitching enchantress, comes, who, thrice cast into the 
fire, arises each time more beautiful than before, and fills the souls 
of gods and men with unappeasable longing. Then the Noms, 
the Past; Present and Future^ enter into being, and tlie blessed 
peace of childhood's dreams passes away, and sin comes into 
existence with alt its evil consequences. 

Sin. — The poems of the skalds give another account of the 
way in which sin makes its first appearance. The gods wish 
to have a strong wall of fortification round thar A^ard, to pro- 
tect it against the assaults of the Jotuns, the giants. Acting 
on Loki's advice they swear by a holy oath to give the sua 
and moon, and even Freya herself, the goddess of grace and 
beauty, to an unknown builder, on condition that he finishes the 
wall in the course of one winter. The master-builder turas out to 
be a Hrimthurse (Frost-giant), who, with the help of his horse, 
seems about to finish the high wall of ice, the sides of which are 
as smooth as polished steel, within the allotted time. If the bar- 
gain were to hold good, darkness would envelop, the world, and 
sweetness and love would disappear from life; so the gods com- 
mand Loki, as he values his head, to tell them what to da He 
outwits the giant by means of treachery and magic, and Thor pays 
the master-t>uikler in blows of his hammer. Thus the gods break 
their oath, and inexpiable guilt rests upon them. 

iduna's departure. — Evil portents precede the coming horrors. 
Iduna, the distributor of the apples <A immortal youth, sinks firom 
her bright home amid the boughs of the Ash Yggdrasil, into the 
gloomy depths below. She can only weep when the messengers 
ask her the meanii^ of her leaving them. Brag^ remans with 
her, for with youth, games and song also pass away. 



Baldur's death. — ^The day of judgment approadies, and new 
signs bear witness of its coming. Baldur, the holy oncv who alone 
is without sin. has terrible dreams Hel appears to him in his 
sleepy and signs to him to come to her. Odin rides through the 
dark valleys «4iicb lead to the realm of shades, that he may 
enquire of the dead what the future will bring forth. His incanta- 
tions call the long deceased Wala out of her grave, and she foretells 
what he has already feared, Baldur^s death. Whereupon Frigga, 
who is much troubled in spirit; entreats all creatures and all lifeless 
things to swear that they wilt not injure the Well-beloved But she 
overlooks one, the weak mistletoe-bough. Crafty Lola discovers 
this omission. When the gods in boisterous play throw their 
weapons at Baldur, all of which turn aside from striking bis holy 
body, Loki gives blind Hsdur the fatal boi^h, whidi he has made. 
into a dart. He guides the direction of the blow, and the murder 
is committed — Baldur lies stabbed to the heart on the bloodstained 
sward. Peace and joy, righteousness and holiness disappear with 
him. For this reason the gods and men, and even the dwarfs who 
fear the light, the elves in their caverns, and the malicious race 
of giants weep for him. They all assemble round his funeral pile. 
Two corpses are stretched on the litter ; for Nanna, Baldur's beau- 
tiful bride, has died of a broken heart. When the sunny-hearted 
god of light dies, the flowers must also wither. At Odin's com- 
mand Hermodur rides along the road leading to Hel's dominions, 
to entreat the terrible goddess to permit the return of the Well- 
beloved. He finds Baldur and Nanna seated at a table on which 
are placed cups of mead, but they leave the foaming draught un- 
touched; they sit there as ulent and sad as the other 6itting 
shades, which glide past them like misty phantoms. The dreadful 
queen of the realm of the dead is seated on her throne; grave and 
silent This is her reply to Hermodur*! message : " If every crea- 
ture weeps for the Beloved he shall return to the upper world. 

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MltMiWi tiiiinMMiat 


otherwise he must remain in his place." The messenger of the 
gods brings back this answer. Every creature weeps for her son at 
Fri^a's entreaty ; but one giantess alone, dwelling in an obscure 
cleft in a rock, refrains from weeping, and so Baldur remains ta 
Hel's possession. But vengeance has yet to be executed on the 
god who lives in darkness, and that duty is fulfilled by Wali, who 
kills strong Hddur with his darts. Wali is the god of spring, who 
destroys dark gloomy winter ; he is the risen Baldur. 

dglr's banquet. — The northern poems, apparently to break 
the course of these tragic events now lead us to Dglr's palace, 
where the gods are assembled to hold a joyous feast after a long 
period of mourning. The hall is brilliantly lighted by the golden 
radiance of the treasures of the deep, and the tankards are full 
of foaming beer or mead ; but the bard no longer sings to the 
music of the harp. Instead of that, Loki forces his way into the 
assembly ; he does not now hide his wickedness under the cloak 
of hypocrisy, but openly boasts of what he has done: As the evil- 
doer amongst men does not become a villain or a hardened 
criminal all at once, but gradually ascends the ladder of wicked- 
ness step by step until he reaches the summit, so it is with Loki ; 
at first his actions are beneficial and good, then he begins to 
give bad advice ; after that he plots against the general peaces 
steals a costly treasure, and pitilessly works to \mxxg about murder. 
At last he shows his diabolical nature without disguise; when, 
throwinfr aside the veil of hypocrisy, he hurls invectives at the 
gods, and openly acknowledges bis horrible deeds of wickedness. 
The appearance of Thor forces him to take flight, and he barely 
escapes tlie dread hammer of the god. 

Loki In chains. — ^The murderer of Baldur, the blasphemer of 
the gods, cannot remain unpunished. In vain he conceals himself 
In a solitary house on a distant mountain, in vain he takes the 
form of a salmon and hides himself under a waterfall, for the 

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avengers catch him ia a peculiar net which he had formerly in- 
vented for the destnictioo of otben. They bind him to the sharp 
ledge of a rock with the sinews of his son, which are changed into 
iron chains. A snake drops poison upon his faccv making him yell 
with pain, and the earth quakes with his convul^ve tremblings. 
His faithful w^e Sigyn catches the poison in a cup ; but still it 
drops upon him whenever the vessel is felL 

Ragnarok.— The destroyer lies in chains on the sharp ledge of 
rock ; but be is not bound for ever. When the salutary bonds of 
law arc broken, when discipline and moralify, uprightness and the 
lear of God vanish, destruction comes upon states and nations. - 
This is what is to happen at the time oS which the legend now 
tells us. Nothii^ good or holy is respected. Fals^ood, peijury, 
fratricidal wars, earthquakes, Fimbul-Winter (such severe winter as- 
was never known before), are to be the signs that the end of the 
world is near. The sun and moon will be extinguished by thdr 
pursuers, the stars fall from the heavens, Yggdrasil will tremble^ 
all chains be broken, and Loki and his dread sons be freed. 
Then the fiery sons of Muspel with dark Surtur at their head come 
from the South, and the giants from the East ; the last battie shall 
be fought on the field of Wigrid. There the enemy's forces are 
drawn up in battie array, and thither Odin goes to meet them with 
his host of gods, and his band of Einheriar. And now the moun- 
tains fall down, the abyss yawns showing the very realms of Hel, 
the heavens split open and are lost in chao^ the chief warriors^ 
the strong are all slain in that deadly fight Surtur, terrible to 
look upon, raises himself to the very sky; he flings his fiery darts 
upon the earth, and the universe is all burnt up. Our forefathers' 
conceptions as to the last battle^ the single combats of the strong, 
the burning of the world, are all to be learnt from ancient tradi- 
tion^ as we find them described in the poems of tbe skalds. 

The Renewal of the World.— Tbe myth compensates for the 



tragic end of the divine drama by concluding with a descriptioa 
of the renewal of the world. The earth rises green and blooming 
out of its ruin, as soon as it has been thoroughly purged from sin, 
refined and restored by fire. The gods assemble on the plains erf" 
Ida, the gods Widar and Wali are there, with Magni and Modi, 
the sons of Thor, who bring with th«n their lather's Miolnir, a 
weapon no longer used for striking, but only for consecrating what 
is right and holy. They are joined by Baldur and Hfidur, who 

AXCUNT HinnU IDU ow THl wotxo. 
Ana ti, diaml^ ifm 9 iIiiIb 

are now reconciled, and united in brotherly love. Human brings 
are also to be found tbere^ Ltf and ijfUirasir, who^ hidden in 
Hoddmimir's wood, dreamed the dreams c^ childhood, while the 
horrors of the last battle were taking place, and who, being, pure 
and innocent and free from sinful desires, are permitted to enter 
the world where peace now reign& 
We have thought it requisite for the better understanding of our 





history, to throw a cursory glance over the whole of the great 
drama, whidi describes to us the creation, priou^ fall, destruction^ 
and restoration of the world and the gods. The separate parts of 
the drama are not always connected with one another ; they have 
grown up gradually in the course of centuries, and therefore are 
not calculated to 6t into each other. Sometimes, itxleed, they 
are in complete opposition to each other ; yet in spite of this, one 
fundamental idea runs through all myths : we 6nd in all that sin 
causes universal destruction, and that the world, purified by fire, 
rises again more beautiful and glorious than befcwe. We have 
classifie<rthe myths as much as posuble in accordance with this- 
leading idea, and have also added their interpretations. 

A good many parts of the Edda have, most likely, arisen in the 
land of the Cherusd, in Osning or Asening, and have been founded 
on songs in honour of the gods and heroes worshipped there. 
Moreover, it is an undoubted fact that the Northern skalds trans- 
lated those songs, changing partially their form, and incorporating 
them with their own poems, so that the whole gained a northern 


Step out of the misty veil 
Which darkly winds round thee; 
Step out of the olden day% 
Thou great IHviidty I 
Across thy mental visioa 
Passes the godly host, 
That Bragfs melodies 
M^de Asgard't proudest boast 



!f "■ ' ""■ 

, I ! 

Ml V 



There rise the sounds of music 

From harp strings sweet and clear. 

Wonderfully enchanting 

To the receiving ear. 

Thou wast i^ thou hast carried 

Sagas of northern famev 

Did'st boldly strike the harp strings 

Of old skalds ; just the same 

Thou spann'st the bridge of Bifrdst, 

The pathway of the gods ;— 

O name the mighty heroes 

Draw pictures of the gods I 

Let the reader now follow us into the world of Germanic gods, 
^ants, dwarfs, and heroes. These fairy tales are not senseless 
stories written for the amusement of the idle ; they embody tfie 
profound religion of our forefathers, whidi excited them to brave 
deeds, inspired them with strength and courage enough to Shatter 
the Roman Empire, and to set up a new order of things in its stead. 
But when four hundred years after their dreadful battles against 
Germanicus, the Teutons victoriously entered their new country, 
the old faith had already faded, and they exchanged without 
difficulty tbdr hero^od for St Martin or the archangel Michael, 
and their Thunar for St Peter or St Oswald. The Saxons alon^ 
in whose land the much revered holy places were to be foond, 
clung to their god^ and when thty were afterwards conquered by 
Charles the Great, some of them fled the country, carried their old 
religion to tbdr northern brothers, and preserved it, until, at the 
time of the Wiking wars^ it lost its gloiy in Scandinavia, and fell 
before the preaching d the Crosa. 





IN the beginning was a great abyss; neither day nor night - 
existed ; the at^ss was Ginnungagap, the yawning gulf, without 
beginnii^, without end Allfather, the Uncreated, the Unseen, 
dwelt in the depth of the al^rss and willed, and what he willed 
came into bang. Towards the north, in immeasurable space where 
dwell darkness and icy cold, arose Nifelheim (the Home of the 
Mists), and to the south was Muspelheim (the Home of Brightness), 
fieiy, glowing «ath intense heat The spring Hwergelmir (the 
seething cauldron) sprang into life in Nifelheim, and out of it flowed 
twelve and more infernal streams (Eliwagar) with their ice-cold 
waters. The dreadful cold soon froze the waters, and blocks 
of ice rolled over and under each other through the boundless 
gulf towards the south and Muspelheim. In the air above, tlie 
stonns roared from Nifelheim, rooting up the icebergs ; while 
from the Home of Brightness rays of beneficent heat poured forth 
over Ginnungj^p, and when the great blocks of ice b^an to melt 
under the influence of this warmth, and drops of water to form and 
run down their ndes, then it was that life first showed itself, and 
there arose a monster, the giant Ymir, or Oigelmir (seething clay). 


terrible to look upon. From him are descended the Hrimthuraes 
or Frost-^ants. 

The warm rays awakened more life in the waters. The cow 
Audumla, the nourisher, oame into being ; from her flowed four 
streams of milk which fed the dreadful Ymir and lus children, the 
Hrimthurses. But she had nothing to graze on except the salt 
of the ice-rock^ which she licked. On the flrst day after she had 
licked the rocl^ a head of hair was visible ; on the second day, the 
whole head ; and on the third, the rest of the body, beautiful and 
glorious of limb. This was now Bun (the Producer), who had a 
son named B<>r (bom), and Bdr married Bestla, daughter of the 
Hrimthurses, by whom he had three sons, Odin (spirit), Wili (will) 
and We (holy). 

After this, war was made on the violent Ymir, and the sons of 
Bdr slew him, and flung his great body into Ginnungagap, which 
was filled with it But the blood of the monster flowed out cover- 
ing all things so that there was a great flood (Deluge) in whi^ the 
Hrimthurses were drowned. One of them alone^ the wise Ber- 
gebnir, saved himself and his wife from destruction l^ taking 
refuge in a cunningly made boa^ and he became the father of 
the race of giants. This is the northern version of the story cS 

Space was now void and drear, as we leam from an andent 
German lay : — 

* I regarded unong men oi the freUcat o 
TbU Ibe evth wu not, nor yet the finnament. 
Nor was there yet a tree, nor mountain, nor evea ranihiii^ 
Kor moon ao radiant, nor ever a migbqr sea.' 

The new rulers, who called themselves Ases, if^ pillan and 
supports of the world, did not like this state of thii^^s at alL So 
they began to create as Allfather willed that they should. They 
made the earth of Ymir's body, the Ka of his sweat, the hilli 




of his bones, and the trees of his curly hair. Of his skuU they 
made the firmament, and of bis brain the clouds which float 
below. Then, out of the giant's eyebrows the gods formed Mid- 
gard (Middle-garden), the dwelling-place of the children of men, 
who as yet unborn slept in the lap of tim& 

Darkness reigned throughout space ; only a few fiery sparks 
from Muspelheim wandered aimlessly through the air; the sun 
did not know her place, nor the moon bis* course, nor did the stars 
know where they were to stand. But the gods collected the sparks. 

made them into stars and fastened them in the firmament They 
created the chariot of the sun, harnessed to it the horse Anvaker 
(Early-n-aker), which was driven by the maiden Sol; she was 
rapidly followed by the shining moon drau-n by the horse Alswider 
(All-swift), bridled and managed by the beautiful bt^ Mani. 
klother Night talked lovingly to Mani as she preceded him on her 
dark horse Hrimfaxi (Frost-mane), whilst her son Day followed 
her with his bright Skinfaxi (Shining-mane). 

* In Ccnnaa the ion U fcmialae, ibc moon mascnlioA 

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Creatures of all sorts crept like maggots in and out of Ytnir's 
body and bones. The gods therefore consulted blether as to 
what was best to be done, and they thought that their wisest 
course would be to change these creatures into a useful people. 
So they at once changed them into Dwarfs and Trolls, who were 
gifted with a wonderful knowledge of minerals and stones of all 
kinds, and an extraordinary power of working in metalsL One 
class of dwarfs was of dark complexion, cunning and treacherous ; 
the other was fair, good and useful to gods and men. Three 
mighty gods once left the place where the Thing or council was 

held ; they were Odin, H6nir or Hahnir (the Bright One) and 
Lodur. ■ While wandering over the face of the earth, which was 
green with grass and with the juicy leek, they found two human 
fomts l}^ng near the shore. Ask (the ash), and Embla (the alder), 
both of whom were without power or sense, motionless, colourless. 
Odin gave them souls ; HSnir, motion and the senses ; and Lodur, 
blood and blooming complexions^ From these two are descended 
all the numerous races of men, 
Allfather dwelt in the deep and mllcd, and what be willed came 

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to pasi Then the ash Yggdrasjl grew uj^ the tree of the universe 
of time and of life; The boughs stretched out into heaven ; its 
h^fhest point, L£rad (peace-giver) overshadowed Walhalla, the hall 
of the heroes. Its three roots reached down to dark He), to Jotun- 
heim the land ot the Hrimthurses, and to Midgard the dwelling- 
place of the children of men. The World-tree was ever-green, for 
the fateful Noms sprinkled it daily with the water of life from the 
fountain of Urd which flowed in Midgard But the goat Heidrun, 
from whom was obtained the mead that nourished the beroe^ and 
the stag Eikthymir broivsed upon the leaf-buds, and upon the 
bark of the tree, while the roots down below are gnawed by the 
. .! ■'' dragon Nidbi^ and inoummerable worms : still the ash could 

^1 ! not wither until the Last Battle should be fought, where life, time 

1'[ and the world were all to pass away. So the eagle sang its song 

I ] ' of Creation and Destnictton on the highest branch of the tree, 

I This is what a skald, a Northern bard, related to the warriors 

f- who were resting from the fatigue of fighting, by tables of mead: 

' ' He and his comrades, intoxicated with the divine mead of enthu* 

.;( siasm, used to tell these stories to the listening people The 

■■\ ■ myths were founded on the belief of the Norse people regarding 

.j the creation of the world, gods and men, and as such we find them 

I preserved in the Songs of the Edda. At the same time the cata- 

\ ' strophe is hinted at by which, in the opinion of these races, the great 

world-drama was to end. It is true that many unlovely and even 
coarse ideas are to be found mixed up with the rest, and that they 
cannot be compared with the beautiful fancies of Hellenic poetry ; 
but the drama as a whole is grand and philosophical, and had its 
lurth in that heroic s^nrit which forced the Teutons and Northern 
Wikings out into their battles of life or death. We have also the 
idea ot Allfathcr, the unquestionable original cause of all things, 
though he is scarcely more than mentioned in the poems. This idea 
came more prominently forward in later times, but could not grow 









to its full proportions, because the preaching of the Gospd soon 
afterwards did away with the old faith. Whilst stripling against 
the horrors of a northern climate and sending out armies into 
distant land, the Teutons fixed their eyes on certain aspects erf 
nature, and could not rise to distinct conceptions of the EtemaL 
Still this idea lay originally at the foundation of the Northern 
religion, and the kindred Aryan race in India developed and 
exhibited it in a wonderful and poetical manner. 

Neither in the one case nor in the other, did the myths arise 
complete and perfect in the minds of these kindred people io the 
fonn in which we read them in the ancient documents. They 
needed a long time, a long period oi development, before they 
appeared as regular myths or mythical tales. We must try to 
make clear to ourselves the process oS tiie formation and devel<^ 
ment of the myth. Nations, like individuals, have thar childhood, 
youth, prime and old Sf e. In thdr childhood they cannot look 
upon the inexplicable facts and manifestations of the forces 
of nature, and on those of their own soul, otherwise than undet 
certain forms. Nature on which they feel themselves dependent, 
seems to them a Personality possessed of thought, will and per- 
ception. Nature is the Divinity they worship; she is the Self- 
existent Power of the Indian Aryans, the Eros cS the Hellenes ia 
thur earliest home by the Acherusian Lak^ and the Allfather 
who dwelt less clearly in the mind of the Germanic races. Amongst 
the Greeks tiie first departure from their earliest religious con- 
ceptions was the deification of Gaia, the all-nourishing earth ; 
amongst the Hindus and Teutons, it vras that of the shining firma- 
ment with its stars, its moon, its life-giving sun and its clouds with 
th«r refreshing rains. 

The vague notion of a deity who created and ruled over all 
things had its rise in the impression made upon the human mind 
by the unity of nature, but was soon overcome by that produced 



by certain particular aspects of nature. The sun, moon and stars, 
clouds and mists, storms and tempests, appeared to be higher 
powers and took distinct forms in the imag^ation of man. The 
sun was r^arded now as a fiery bird which flew across the sky, 
now as a horse and now as a chariot and horses ; the clouds were 
cows from whose udders the fruitful rain poured down, or nur«i^ 
mothers, or heavenly streams and lakes ; the storm-wind appeared 
as a g^antic e^le that stirred the air by the flapping of bis great 
wings. As the phenomena of nature seemed to resemble animals 
either in outward form or in action, they were represented under 
the figure of animals. The beast whidi does not think, and 
whidi yet acts in accordance with some incomprehenuble impulse, 
appears to be something extraordinary, something divine; 

After riper consideration, it was discovered that man alone was 
gifted with the higher mental powers. It was therefore acknow* 
ledged that the figure of an animal was an improper representation 
of a divine being. Thus in inverted relation to that described in - 
Holy Writ, when ** God created man in His own imag^ in the 
image of God created He him," men now made the gods in their 
own likeness, but at the same time r^arded them as greater, more 
beautiful and more ideal than themselves. 

The monotheistic idea of Allfather, which formed the basis of the 
Germanic religion, soon gave place to that of a trilt^y, con^stii^; 
at first of Odin, Wili and We^ and afterwards of Odin. HOnir and 
Lodur. From these proceed the twelve gods of heaven, and they 
agun are associated ^nth many other divinities. 

Polytheism has its origin in a variety of causes. The primary 
reason for it is to be found in tJie numerous qualities attributed to 
each one god, and also in his varying spheres of action. Hence 
the nui^ additional names bestowed upon him. In course of time 
his identity with nature is forgotten, and people grow accustomed 
to accept his attributes as so many separate personalities. Thui^ 


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for instance, the powerful storm-god Wodan, tiie Northern Odin, 
was r^arded as the highest god, the king of heaven. He it was 
who inspired both warlike and poetical enthusiasm. But still, the 
dispossessed king of heaven, Tyr, was worshipped as the god of 
war, while the art of poetry was placed under the protection of the 
divine Bragi, who vras unknown in earlier times. Freya, the god- 
dess of beauty and love, was essentially the same as the goddess 
of Earth, yet the German Nerthus and the Northern Jdrd and 
Rinda were honoured as such ; from Freya was also derived Frigg,. 
the queen of heaven, who was raised to the position of Odin** 
lawful wife; Another cause of the increase of the number of 
divinities is attributable to the vast extent of country over ndiich 
the great Germanic race was spread, viz., over Germany, Scan- 
dinavia, and far away to the east amongst the Russian stef^ies. 
The numerous tribes into which the race was divided was another 
circumstance in favour of polytheisoL These tribes preserved their 
langu^e and their faith as a whole, but each had its own distinc- 
tive peculiarities and its own particular tribal god. They were 
sometimes communicated to other tribes, and in times of war the 
conquerors either dethroned the gods of the vanquished at else 
accepted them in addition to thdr own. 

The divine kingdom at described in the trends of the 
gods and heroes.— After the gods, the giants and Uie dwarfs 
had become personalities capable of free action; they were supposed 
to have stood in human relation to each other. They were given 
family ties and were finally brought under the laws of a divine 
kingdom. As people had now forgotten that the origin of the gods 
was to be found in the phenomena of nature, other motives for 
their fate and actions had to be sought, and thus the myth was 
added to^ was made of wider significance^ and its former meaning 
completely altered. 

Diuing the centuries tiiat were necessary to bring about tUa 

IIJUpi, _. .■■iiiiijiiy I J I..MI..UPU ..,..11 II... ..I.I...I 
'•'. D,Bi,z,db,Google 


I development, there had been many changes in the fortunes of the 

Gertoanic tribes. They had destroyed the Roman empire^ and 
had made their dwellii^ amongst its ruins. After that the proud 
vvAon bent their heads beneath the Crosa^ and accepted the 
Christian faith. Then the teaching of the Cross gradually made 
its way into Germany, the home of these warhlce tribes ; the 
j i 1. messengers who broi^ht it endeavoured to root out all relics of 

jjl '; I heathenism, and when preaching was of no avail, the power of the 

K \ . already converted ruler was broi^ht into play. Thus was the old 

,| j • religion expunged from Germany proper. Still remnants of It are 

I ! . 1 1 to be found in popular customs and traditional and in a few 

'l,ji fragmentary writings which suffice to show us the connection 

Y j between the rdigion of our fathers and that preserved in the 

:'■ \ I i nortiiem mythology. 

I , ,. j ; It was different in the north. In Scandinairaa. The preachers of 

.. 1 1 , the Gospel did not make their way there untQ much later. In that 

JL 'j, land the warlike chieftains dwelt in thnr towers and castles 

j : , : surrounded by their retainers, drinking sweet mead and beer, or 

i'. the foreign wine they had brought home from their campaigns^ 

^ ' , 1 There the victorious warriors delighted to tell of their adventurous 

voyages and Wtking raids, of battles with in-giants, with winds 
and waves^and with the men of the south. There the skalds 
I |i ' sai^ their lays in honour of the gods and heroes, and formed the 

L '. \ myths into an artistic whole, a world-diama, which a happy chance 

has preserved to us. How this was done we shall now proceed to 
ii'\ In the tenth centuiy Harald Harfager (fair hair) was ac- 

knowledged King of the whole realm of Norway. Many of the 
Jarls and Prince^ who had formerly been independent rulers, were 
too proud to bear the yoke of the conqueror, and set out in search 
of other homes. The brave Rollo and his followers conquered 
1 1 ' Normandy and Brittany in Fran^ others of the emigrants settled 





in the Shetland and Faroe islands^ while others again under Ingulf 
and Horleif landed on the inhospitable coasts <^ Iceland, and 
cultivated and peopled the island as far as its severe climate vrould 
permit These people carried with them from their native land the 
old songs of the skald^ which the fathers sang to their som^ and 
the sons again to their sons, passing them on to each new genera- 
tion as a most precious heritage; It is true that Christianity was 
introduced into Iceland towards the end t£ the tenth century, but 
before that time the people bad preserved the songs of thdr fore- 
fathers, first by means of veiy imperfect runes, and then by the 
use of tetters which had been brought to them from other lands, 
besides which the Christian priesta; who were mostly Icelanders, 
were far from wishing to destroy the old tales. Many of them went 
so far as to listen to the songs of the people and afterwards write 
them down, and thus these treasures were saved from oblivion both 
in Iceland and in the Faroe islands. It is believed that the learned 
Icelander, Szmund the Wise (aj>. 1056-1133), compiled the Elder 
Edda, the first collection of these old songs, partly from oral tradi- 
tion and partly from imperfect runic writings which had been cofued 
in Latin characters. This collection, which is called Ssemund's 
Edda after its supposed compiler, contains first in the Wiiluspa 
(Song of Wala) the mythical account given by the northern ima^ 
nation of the creation of the world, of giants, of gods, of dwarfs, and 
of men ; then there is a description of the Last Battle and <A the 
destruction and renewal of the world ; after that come songs about 
the adventures and journeys of the individual gods, and lastly 
others are given in honour of the Heroes^ especially the Niflungs, 
Sigurd the slayer c^ the dragon Fafnir, and so on. The Younger 
Edda, a collection of the same kind, is supposed to have been 
compiled by Bishop Snorri Sturlason (A.D. 1178-1241), and for 
that reason generally goes by the name of the Snorra-Edda. It it 
for the most part written in prose, and serves as a commentary on 

, ' • '■' D,r„,ib,CoOgle 




the Elder Edda, but was originally meant more parttcutarty for the 
Instruction of the Icelandic skalds. 

The Runic language and characters. — The word Hkna really 
means "secret"; runes are therefore "mysterious signs requiring 
an interpretation." The shape of the letters leads to the supposi- 
tion that they were formed in imitation of the Phoenician alfdiabet 
It is clear that the runes wer^ from various causes, regarded even 
in Germany proper as full of mystety and endowed with super- 
natural power. 

After Ulphilas made a new alphabet for Uie Goths in the fourth 
century by ingeniously uniting the form of the Greek letters to 
that of a runic alphabet consisting of twenty-five letters which 
was nearly related to that of the Anglo-Saxons ; the runes 
gradually died out more and more, and as Christianity spread, the 
Roman alphabet was introduced in place of the old Germanic 

The runes appear to have served less as a mode of n-riting than 
as a help to the memoty ; they were principally used to note down 
a train of thought, to preserve wise sayings and prophecies, and 
the remembrance of particular deeds and memorable occurrences. 
Tacitus informs us that it was also customary to cut beech tmgs 
into small [neces and then throw them on a cloth which had been 
previously spread out for the purpose and afterwards to read future 
events by means of the signs accidentally fonned by the bits of 
wood as they lay on the clodi. 

The heroic lays of the old time have died out, and the runes 
have with few exceptions been rooted out of our fatherland by 
priestly zeal which looked upon them as m^caL Our knowledge 
of tiie full-toned, powerful language of our ancestors is therefore 
veiy imperfect But we know that it belonged to the great Aryan 
brandi, and was thus related to the noblest of the Aryan Ian- 
guage^ the Sanscrit (m* holy tongu^ and was rich in inflexions, 

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In tlie Chiaese and Indo-Chinese languages the ancient poverty of 
expression is still to be found, and even at the present day we 
find in them monosyllalnc roots placed next to each other with 
hardly a connectii^ link ; in the Turanian lai^uage of Central 
Asia the people have endeavoured to express the assodatioo of 
their ideas by the use of suffixes^ but these suffixes are in them* 
selves complete words, and thus the combination is as distinctly 
visible as the separate strokes of the brush in a bad painting. The 
language ol the Teutonic race had already got beyond that p<unt 
before the different tribes set out on their wanderings in search erf 
a new home; The added words had fused with the others, and 
were capable of expressing an unbroken current of tboi^ht The 
language had been developed by means of the S%as and songs 
which had been handed down amongst the people from g«ieration 
to generatioa. 

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to appear by the cradle of many a royal infiat to give it presents. 
On such occasions two of them were generally friendly to the 
child, while the third prophesied evil concerning it Sometimes 
title Noros were su|^>05ed to be on<^ and then they were called 

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Urd ; but they were oftener looked upon as many, especially as 
the twelve Urds. In the pretty story of the "Sleeping Beauty" 
thirteen fairies appear. The king invited twelve of them to the 
birthday feast given in honour of bis little daughter. Eleven bad 
endowed the child with intel%ence, beauty, wealth, and other good 
gift^ when suddenly a thirteenth fairy entered unbidden and or- 
dained that the princess should die early of the prick of a sfundle. 
The twelfth now came forward and took some of the bitterness 
out of the terrible prophecy by saying that the girl should not 
die, but should fall into a sleep of a hundred years* duration, out 
of which she should at last awake when the right hour for setting 
ber free should strike; This hour came when a young hero f(»ced 
his way through the thorn hedge that surrounded her, and awoke 
the sleeper with a kiss of love; 

Urd or Wurd is also connected with Hel, the goddess of death : 
fix the Past, beti^ dead, falls into tiie nether woiid. Hel herself 
appears in the story as the Norn who span the irrefragable thread 
of fate, and in the German version of the tale in which tiie fatal 
sisters appear, she was the bad fairy whose nam^ Held, betrays 
her identity with the goddess. 

The origin of the Noms is wrapped In mystery; while the 
dwarfs, who are at times somewhat difficult to distinguish from the 
elves, wer^ as we have seen, created by the godi. 




msa t \\ Jj *'".3i-" ^ *>'<■ ooTiian poems we oiten 
find descriptions of dwarf-kings, who ruled over underground 
realou, and the Norse nations regarded Modsc^ir's and Durin's 
people as especially great and powerful, more, however, from thdr 


miraculous strength and knowledge of magic than from thdr 
having rule over any definite territory. The ideas respectii^ these 
deformed and goblin-like creatures, some writers stat^ are coo- 
nected with the appearance of the Phcenicians in the Nwth. 
Wherever these roving merchants went^ they always endeavoured 
to get at the raw products of the countries they viuted. They 
fished for the purple mussel on the shores of Greece and Asia 
Minor ; they dug for gold in the rich auriferous vdos they found 
in Lemnos, where a volcanic mountain was looked upon as 
the forge of Hepluestos, and also in the bland of Thaso^ and in 
the Fangean mountains. They mined for silver in Spun, in 
which country old shafts and passages, mining implements and 
even vaulted underground chapels have been discovered. In 
Ireland they dug for silver, in England for the much esteemed 
tin-ore, and in the North also, they undoubtedly worked in the 
mines, and had furnaces and smithies above ground for smeltif^ 
and forging the minerals they obtained. It was veiy natural 
that a barbarous people should imagine the existence id_ the 
Kobolds, when they heard the noise of working and hammering, 
and saw the sooty figures of what seemed to be a short; weakly 
race emerging from the earth. They r^aided the strangeiB as 
m^hty and powerful, because their minds were deeply impressed 
by thdr magical surroundings; and by the excellent weapon^ 
beautiful ornaments, and delicately fashioned works of art they 
made in thdr flaming furnaces. The shrewd craftsmen must often 
have brought disaster upon the simple-minded barbarians 1^ thdr 
decdt and cunning, and the dwarfs were therefore considered false 
and treacherous, and every one was warned agjunst Uidr malice: 

These features, however, might with equal probabili^ >pply to 
the former inhalHtants of the country who had been dispossessed 
by the Germanic invaders, peihaps even better than to the Phce- 
nicians. These people were of a much weaker race than their 



conquerors ; they took fcfi^ to lake-dwdlii^ or io subtenaneui 
caverns, hid in the mines they themselves had made, forged utensO* 
d[ all sort^ and often over-reached th^ invaders l^the sharpness 
of tbeirwits. 

Foetiy created out vX these dwellers in holes and caves of the 
lock those fantastic beings called Dwaris and Black-Elves, because 
they were blade and grimy, and because they rummaged in the 
dark places of the earth, did smith's work, were learned in the 
black art; and treadierous. The gloomy wwld in which Uiey lived 
was called the Home of the Black-EhnsL 

In Germany they were known under Uie same name, but 
slightly altered in form. Tbdr ruler in the middle ages was 
King Goldemar, whose brother Albericb or Elberich, and the sly, 

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as the spirits of the later faiiy-worlcL There are do myths about 
these kindly beings, which is a dear proof that Uie difference 
between the Black and Light-Elves was originally unknown. 

The elves were popularly believed to be siMrit-like beii^^ «4io 
were deeply versed in magic lore, and who had charge of the 
growth of plants. Some of them lived under the earth and otben 
in the water; they often entered into friendly alliance with 
mortals, and demanded their help in many of their difficulties, 
handsomely rewarding all who assisted them. They were not 
always ugly to look upon ; indeed, their beauty was sometimes 
extraordinary, and whenever they showed themselves amongst 
men, they used to wear splendid ornaments of gold and precious 
stones. If ever any one of mortal birth' approached them, while 
they were dancing their rounds at midnight in the light of the full 
moon, they would draw him within their drcl^ and he never re- 
turned again to his people. The dwarfe and elves possessed rings 
by means of which they discovered and gained for themselves the 
treasures of the earth ; they gave their friends magic rings wliich 
brought good-luck to the owner as long as they were carefully 
preserved ; but the loss of them was attended with unspeakable 

A Polish count once recdved a ring of this kind from a tloy 
Riannikin, whom he had allowed to celebrate his marriage festivitiet 
In the state rooms <rf' his castle. With this jewd on his finger be 
was lucky in all his undertakings; his estates prospered; his 
wealth became enormous. His son enjoyed tiie same good ton- 
tone, and his grandson alsc^ who both inherited the talisman in 
turn. The last heir gained a prince's coronet and fought with 
distinction in the Polish army. He accidentally lost the ring while 
at play, and could never recover it, although he offered thousands 
of soverdgns for its restoration. From that moment his luck 
forsook him : locusts devoured his harvest ; earthquakes destroyed 

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his castles. It even seemed as if the disasters of his native land 
were connected with his, for the Russians now made good their 
entrance into the country, and when Suwarrow stormed Praga, the 
unhappy prince recrived a sabre-cut over one of his eyesL When 
somewhat recovered, but quite disfigured by his wound and almost 
in as wretdied pl^ht as a b^gar, he reached his ancestral castle; 
and there he was crushed to death under the falling building on 
the very first night Exactly a hundred years had elapsed since 
that fateful hour in which his ancestor had placed his halls at the 
disposal of the underground spirit 1 

Besides these rings, the dMi*arfs and nights, like the elve^ had 
other valuable possessions, such as hoods of darkness, by means of 
which the mannikios became invisible^ and girdles that made the 
wearer supremely beautiful. 

This was the reason why so many noble knights n*ere over- 
mastered by love for beautiful elf-women ; but the marriages 
which were thus contracted had always a sad ending, because the 
natures of husband and wife were too dissimilar, and because there 
can be no real bond betn-een men and spirits. For the elves were 
also regarded as the souls of the dead, and it was therefore 
impossible that any alliance formed by them with the living could 
be happy. 

To the traveller passing through some desolate valley in the 
dusk or in a fog, the rocks jutting out from amongst the woods or 
ravines at his side seem to take strange, fantastic shapes. Not 
less spectral than these is the uncertain outline of the mountain 
tops, and especially of the bare granite or basaltic horns of rock 
which are scattered in great number o\-er the face of the earth. In 
the old time, when man was more susceptible to impressions made 
by the life and working of nature, when he peopled the mldemess 



with the creatures of his own fancy, those dead stones appeared 
to htm as living beings moving about busily in the grey mist. 
endowed in the dusk or moonlight with magic powers and 
approaching him as giants and monsters, but which were once 
more turned into stone as soon as they were touched by the first 
rays of the morning light 

These figures grew far more monstrous^ far more weird in the 
great Alpine ranges and in Scandinavia. There the peaks, the 
ridges; and the ravines are covered With eternal ice and snow ; 
there the swollen, destructive mountain-torrents, growing glaciers, 
falling rocks and thundering avalandies, were regarded as the 
work of the infemal powers^ the rime and frost-^ants oS 
northern legends. These t\\\ beings are also to be found in the 
tower ranges of mountains. The Riesengebirge owe thdr name to 
them, while the Harz mountains were haunted by the Harz spirit 
and other demons. 

Nearly related to these were the spirits of the storms and 
tempests, who came out of their dwellings in the clefts of the hill^ 
massed up the storm-clouds, and spread destruction over the fields^ 
The raging sea also was sometimes regarded as a giant, sometimes 
as a huge snake which encircled Midgard. As a snake they 
likewise personified those waters, which, breakii^ down the' 
artificial breast-work man had built for thdr restraint, dashed and 
roared over the fruitful plains, engulfing towns, villages and their 
uihabitants in their course. The giant Lc^ (Flame), with bit 
children and kindred, finally made themselves known as the 
authors of every great conflagration, when they might be seen in 
the midst of the flames, their heads crowned with diaplets of 
fire. These demons were all enemies of man, they strove to 
hinder his work and to destroy what be had made; 

For the elenwBU are hoidle 

To ibe work of bomaa hand SeJUBtr 

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Men therefore sought to propitiate them io ancient times by 
ofiering them sacrifices, and consecrating altars and holy places to 
them, until the moral powers the gods^ rose and fought against 
them and their worshii^ but did not succeed in rooting them out 
of the minds of the people. In the Greek myth, the rude destruc- 
tive powers of nature which were personified in die Titans and 
Giants, were completely overcome and abandoned ; but in the 


North, where these forces are more wild and terrible, the struggle 
lasted until the Fire-giant Surtur, together vrith the sons of 
Muspe), set out for the Last Battle to destroy gods, men and 
worids, and make place for a better order of things. 

The legends of the i^ants and dragons were developed gradually, 
like all myths. At first natural objects were looked upon as 
identical with these strange beings, then the rocks and chasms 



became their dwelling-places, and finally they were regarded u 
distinct personalities, and had their own kingdom of Jotunhdm. 
They showed themselves now in this place, now in that, and met 
gods and heroes in peace and in war. Perhaps they were not 
originally held to be wicked and altogether hostile^ for springs and 
brooks flowed out of the earth for the refreshment of man and 
beast They watered the fields so that they bore rich harvests ; 
storms purified the air ; the sea was an open roadway for ships, 
and the household fire, or the spirit which dwelt .in i^ was the 


most cheering companion of the Northman during bis long winter 
evenings. But the thinking, ordering gods took thar place, and 
then they only appeared as the wild unbridled forces of nature, 
against which man had to strive with tiie help of the heavenly 

In the North the giants were called Jotuns^ signifying the 
voracious ones, and perhaps connected with the name of a 
German trib^ the jUten, that chased the aborigines out of Jut- 
land. They were also called Thurses, tjt. the thirsty, the great 



drinkers. In Germany the giants were named Hiinen, after their 
old enemies, the Huns. In Westphalia the gigantic grave-mounds 
and sacriiicial places belonging to heathen times, that are to be 
found by the Weser and Elb^ are des^ated Huns' beds ; 
and in the same way we recognise the Huna^ rings. These are 
circular stone-walls, intended to enclose holy objects zaA con- 
secrated spots of ground, in like manner as the dwellings of the 
gods are described in the Edda as surrounded by a fence or 

Here in conclusion let us relate a myth made up of two kindred 
stories put together. We can still recognise the natural phe- 
nomena in the nameai 

From the first gian^ Ymir, were descended three mighty sons : 
Kari (air, storm), Hler (sea), and Lc^ (fire). Kari was the father 
of a numerous race, and his most powerful descendant, Frosti, 
ruled over a great empire in the far north. Now Frosti often made 
raids and incursions into neighbouring states, and on one occasion 
he went to Finland, where King Sn^ (snow) reigned. There be 
saw the king's daughter, fair Midll (shining snow), and at once fell 
in love with her. But the haughty monarch refused him the hand 
of the maiden. He therefore sent a message to her secretly to 
tell her: "Frosti loves the^ and will share bis throne with thee." 
To which she replied : " I love him also, and will await his coming 
by the sea-shore:" Frosti appeared at the appointed time and took 
bis bride in his strong arms. Meanwhile the plot had been dis- 
covered ; Suit's fighting men lay in ambush to attack the lovers^ 
and shot innumerable arrows at the bold warrior. But Frost! 
laughed at them all ; the arrows fell from his silver armour tike 
blunted needles, his storm horse broke throueh the ranks of the 

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** Nine homes I know, utd branches niof^ 
Growing from out the ttalwait tree 
Down in the deep abytt." 

This is the saying of WaU the prophetess, who sang of tiie 
creation, of the gods, and of the destruction of the world. She 
describes the Ash Yggdrasil as if the homes or worlds grew out 
of it like branches. Still the nine woilds are never enumerated 
io succession Or in their full number, but are only to be dis- 
tinguished by their characteristics. 

In the centre of the imiverse the gods placed Midgard, the 
dwelling>place of man, and poured the sea all round it like A 
snake. They fortified it against the assaults of the sea and die 
inroads of the (pants, by building a wall for its defence; The 
giants lived far away by the sea-shore in Jotimheim or U^fard, 
the giants' worki Above the earth was Waoaheim, the home of 
the wise shining Wanes^ whom we shall describe further oil 
The Home of the BUck<Elves was to be found under the eardi, 
perhaps in those gloomy vales that led to die river which 
separated the realm of the dead from that of the living. This 
kingdom of the dead, Helheim, surrounded the Northern Mist 
world, Nifelhdm. 

To the south was Muspelheim, where Surtur ruled with his 
flaming sword, and where the sons of Muspel lived. Over Mid- 
gard in the sunny sether was the Home tX die IJ^t>Elves, the 
friends of gods and men. Over the earth also, but higher than 
the Home of the Light-EIveS) the gods founded their stroi^ Idi^- 
dom of A^ard, which shone with gold and precious stones, and 
where eternal spring r«gncd, The broad river Ifing divided the 
home of the gods from that of the Jotun^ but was not sufficient 
protection against the incursicma of the giants, who were learned 




The gods built tbemsdves castles in Asgvd, and halls that 
shooe with gdd. It is recorded that then were twehre such 
hcavenljr palaces^ but the poems differ ftom each other in de- 
scribing Uiem. 

H^ above A^^aid was Hlidsldalf (swayiiqr gate), the throne of 
Odin, whence the all-ruling Father looked down upcm the worlds 
and watdwd the doings of men, elves and giants. The palaces 
of the Ases were : Bilskimir, the dwdling of Tbor,- $40 stories 
high and ntuated in his province of Thrudheim ; Ydalir (yew- 
valeX where Uller, the Inave bowman, lived ; Walaskialf, the 
^ver halls of Wah' ; SSlcwabel^ the dwellii^ of Saga goddess 
of history), of iriiidi the Edda tells us : " Coot waters always flow 
over it, and ia it Odin and Saga drink day after day out of gxdden 
beakera." In this palace the holy goddess Saga lived, and sai^ 
cX the deeds of gods and heroes. She sang to the sound of the 
murmuring watery until the flames of Surtur destroyed the nine 
homes and all the holy places Then she rose and joined the ' 
laithful, who had escaped fire and sword, and fled with them to 
the NiHth, to the inhabitants of Scandinavia. To these she sang 
in another tongue of the deeds of the Germanic heroes. But her 
songs did sot pass away without leavii^ a trace behind ; some of 
them are probably preserved in tiie Edda, and remain a treasure 
of poetry whidi caA never be lost 

The fifth palace was called Gladsbetm (shining-home) ; it be- 
loi^ed to dte Father of the god% and contained Walhalla. the halt 
of the blessed heroes, with its 500 doors. The whole shining 
building was enclosed within the grove Gtaur of golden foliage. 
Thrymheim (thunder-home), where Skadl, daughter cX the mur- 
dured giant Thiassi, lived, was originally supposed to be ia 
Jotunbeim, but the poems place it in A^wL 

Breidabltck (wide out-look) was the dwelling of glorious Baldur, 
and in it no evit could be done. Hdmdal, the watchman of the 

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gods, lived in HiqiinbiOig <Heaven-haU), and there the blessed 
god drank sweet mead. Folkwang, the ninth castle^ belonged to 
the mighty Freya. It was there that she brought her share of the 
fallen heroes from the field of battle In GHtnir dwelt Forseti. 
the righteous, whose part it was to act as umpire and smooth away 
all quarrels. Noatun was the castle of Nidrder, the prince of men 
and protector of wealth and ships. Saga recc^ised as the twelfth 
heavenly palace Landwidi (broad-land), the dwelling of the silent 
Widar, son of Odin, who avenged his father's death in the Last 

It is enough to say here regarding the mythol<^cal signification 
of these heavenly castles, that it is very probable that they were 
meant for the twelve constellations of the zodiac. For amongst 
these palaces none were allotted to the warrior god Tyr, nor do 
they count amongst thrir number Wingolf, the hall of the god' 
desses, or Fensal, the palace of Queen Frigga. According to this . 
hypothesis the deities who possessed these twelve palaces were 
gods of the months. For instance, Uller, who lived at Ydalir,' 
was the god of archery, and used to glide over the sflvery ice-wajn 
on skates. He ruled, m his quality of protectcM* of the chase^ 
when the sun passed over the constellation of Sa^tarius in winter. 
Frey or Freya was called after him in the myth, and to him the 
gods gave, as a gift on his cutting his first tooth, the Home of the 
Light-Elves, which lies in the sun and is not to be found amongst 
the dwellings of Aq^ard. 

The sun-god was also reborn at the time of the winter solstice 
as Day was in the North. The Yuie-feast was therefore celebrated 
in honour of tiie gromng light with banquets and wine ; Frey*> 
boar was then sacrificed, and the drinkii^-hom was passed down 
the rows of guests. Wair« palace was, the story tells, covered 
with silver. By this the constellation of Aquarius was meant ; 
when the sun passes over that part of the heavens where thii 

wmmnmrn m ^ rn 'm^ matM 


D,s-z.= b,Coo<^le' 

I i 


constellation rules, it is a splendid sight in the far North to see 
the silveiy sheen of the snow that covers the mountains and 
valleysi We refrain from further discussion of this theme, for 
these are only hypotheses, and myths of deeper meaning are 
awaiting vm. 

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their white horses. They bore the hero-siurits they had taken from 
bloody battle-fields back with them to Asgard. On reaching the 
grove Glasir, they dismounted from their horses, and led the 
heroes under the shade of it* golden foli^;e to WaDulla. There 

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the mists of death passed from the eyes of the warriors ; they 
recc^ntjcd the ball intended for them on seeing Odin's coat of 
arms, the wolf and the eagl& They saw the roof made of the 
shaf.s of spears covered mth shields, and the seats spread with 
soft chiin-maiL Weapons flashed as they entered, and foaming 
goblets were emptied in their honour by the great band of heroes, 
who had reached the balls of blessedness before them. And they 
drank erf' the sweet mead provided for them by the goat ^eidrun, 
and feasted on the roasted flesh of the boar Sshrimnir, which was 
restored to life every evening, that it m^t again furnish a repast 
for the heroes on the following day. 

The ruling gods sat on twelve thrones^ and highest amongst 
then was Odin in all his gloiy, his spear Gungnir in his right 
hand, and bis golden helmet on his head. He was not now 
terribte to took upon, as when he led armies on to battle or when 
he buried the death-spear over their ranks ; a gentle smile lighted 
up his face, for he rejoiced io the arrival of the noble warriors. 
Two pet wolves played at bis feet and fawned upon him, when 
he threw them the food provided for himself at the board. For 
he needed no food to eat ; for bim it was sufficient to drink of 
the blood-red wincv which refreshed and strengthened bis mind. 
Then great Odin rose from the board, walked through the hall, 
and went to his throne Hlidskialf, all Asgard trembling beneath 
his tread. He seated himself, and gazed thoughtfully over the 
worlds. Far away in the distance gleamed Muspelheim, where 
dark Surtur, flame-girdled, and holdii^ his fiery sword in his 
hand, watched his opportunity as yet in vaia ; in Midgard were 
the mortal men; in the depths below, the Dwarfs toiled and 
laboured. The mighty god's two raven^ Hugin (thought) and 
Munin (memorjOi flew quickly up to him ; they perched one on 
his right shoulder and the other on bis left, and whispered in his 
ears the secrets the}- had heard during their flight through the 




worlds. Anxiously the monarch turned his gaze toward* Jotun- 
heim, for things were going on there which threatened the general 


In the grey twilight envelopii^ the giants* world, the kbg 
rec<^nised his old comrade Lold, with whom he had sworn 
brotherhood at the be^nm'ng of time. Lold had set up house 
in Jotunheim and had married the dreadful giantess Angurboda, 
(bringer of anguish). They had three children, all horrible 
monsters : the Wolf Fenri^ the Snake JQrmungander, and terrible 
Ilel, at the sight of whom all livii^ creatures stiffened in death. 
One side of her face was of corpse-like pallor, and the other was 
dark as the grave The young wolf was not less appallii^ to 
look upon, when he opened wide his blood-red jaws to devMir the 
food his father offered him ; nor the snake which wound itself 
round Angurboda as though deurous of crushing her to death In 
its coils. • , , 

Allfather turned away from the horrible sight with a shudder 
of di^us^ and saw his bright son Hermodur standing before him. 
Pointing down at Jotunheim, he desired him to bear his com- 
mands to the gods, that they should at once go and bring him the 
brood of giants. In obedience to the king's orders, the powerful 
gods at once arose^ and with brave Tyr at their head, crossed the 
bridge Bifrost and the river Ifing, and so reached the inho^itoble 
land of the Hrimthursea. 

Loki was beautiful like all the gods, but his heart was full of 
guile. They found him in the court-yard of his castle He went 
on playii^ with his monstrous pn^ny, and took no notice of the 
messengers, until they approached quite close to him, and made 
knon-n the commands of Odin. He would have refused to obey, 
but strong Tyr shook his fist threateningly, upon which he gave 




heavenly palaces. " Gird on your armour," said Allfather, "keep 
your swords drawn, ye faithful ones, for the day approadies when 
the heavens shall fall and the Destroyer shall come up from the 
South across Bifrost with bis lieiy hosts. The spirit 6[ prophety 
has come upon mc^ and I foresee that the monsters, nliose power 
we have broken for the present, wilt one day join the Destroyer 
and fight against usl Up, brave ones 1 Watch lest any An defile 
the purity <^ the holy towers, fiv thus only can we ward off the 
hour of our destruction." 

Having said this, great Odin went on belbre his 1c^ subjects 

Meanwhile the wicked race of giants remained hostile to die 
gods; They brooded over schemes for avenging the murder of 
their ancestor, Ymir. The warlike Hruognir awaited his oppot- 
tunity in Jotunhdm ; Thrym, who was hard as bis native rocki; 
Tbiassi and Geirdd, who dwelt in proud castles, and other giants 
bende^ were all armed for the fight, and often made onslaughts 
upon the hated gods. But Heimdal watched over the safety of 
Aigard, and strong Thor was always ready to go out and fight 
the monsten. 

This myth reveals to us !n its deeper meaning, the Ideas ttf these 
northern races respecting the struf^le between good and evil 
in the worlds the eternal warfare waged by the kingdom of light 
against the kingdom of darkness, by the mild beneficent powen 
of nature against those that are hurtful and destructive. The 
terrors of the long dark winter, or die dreadful snow-storms, of 
the wild mountain ranges with their glaciers, and of the tempes- 
tuous ocean, appeared in the imagination of the people to take die 
form of pernicious monsters intended to bring about the destruc- 
tion of the world. Thus Hel, the secret, healing goddess, who was 
or^inally the all-nourishing Mother Earth, became the goddess 
of dead], a ludeous monster the very sight of whom caused death ; 

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the stormy sea, which according to the northern idea encircled 
the round earth, was transformed to the Midgard-Snake ; the uni- 
versal destruction which was to come at the end of days was 
tyfnfied in the all-devourer, the Fenris-Wolf, who was to devour 
the Father of the world himselC It is striking, that Loki, who in 
earlier times was looked upon as a beneficent being, as the god of 
Hie, of the warming domestic hearth, is accounted one of the 
pon-ers of evil in the forgoing legend, and that he grows evea 
more diabolical io the later poems, in spite of the fact that fire is 
absolutdy indispensable to the Noitb-man. -^ 

The first divine tril<^ given us was that of the sons of B5r, i^ 
Odin, \ViU and We ; and these correspond to the elemenj<ur, 
water and fire. The last of the three gave the newly created 
human beings blood and blooming complexion ; he was therefore 
a beneficent god. Nevertheless he was also represented as a giant 
ifi the tril<^y Kari, Ogir, and Lt^i, another form of air, sea and 
fire; That he belonged to Uie race of grants is proved from further 
evidence; by which it appears that bis father was the g^ant Far- 
bauti (oarsmanX and bis mother the giantess Laufey (leafy isle), 
the former of whom was perhaps the giant who saved himself 
from the flood in a boat^ and the latter, the island to which he 

At the beginning Loki was a helpful and a great god, as the 
pret^ Faroe-island song of the Peasant and the Giant shows. He 
was not regarded as the prindple of evil, until he had been com- 
pletely separated from the element to which be belonged, and bad 
been developed into an independent personalis. The idea of the 
destructive power of fire was equally connected with the g^t 
Iiluspel, but he never showed himself as an active agent of harm. 
His sons, die flames, alone threatened evil in Glow>heim or Muspel- 
heim, and finally mustered in great force for the Last Battle cm 
the field of Wigrid. Their leader, however, was not Muqiel, but 



dark Surtur (black smoke), out of which flashed a tongue of flame^ 
like a shining sword. 

That these ideas were common to all the Germanic races is 
shown by some Bavarian and Saxon manuscripts of the 8th and 
9th centuries which contain the mysterious word Muspel, as will 
be seen from the following translations : " Muspel's (worid-fire's) 
power passes over man," " Muspel creeps in stealthily and sud- 
denly, like a thief in the darkness of night" " Then will a friend 
be of no profit to his friend because of Muspel, for even the broad 
ocean will be burnt up," viz. at the Last Day. 

This stru|^le was an eternal one ; it went on and on without 
being decided. But if the Aryans believed Ormuzd to be pure 
and spotless, the gods certainly were not so ; they were neither 
sinless nor immortal. Like the Grecian Herakles, thqr fou^t 
against harmful monsters ; they were victorious over them to a 
certain extend but not entirdy; they sinned, and at las^ like 
the Greek hero who burnt himself to death, they passed away 
in the universal iire that burnt up the world These conceptions . 
are peculiar to the Germanic races ; it is possible, however, that 
they brought the seeds of their grand poems from the common 
home of the Aryans, then developed and polished them in their 
own peculiar way, when settled in the land they had colonized, 
and when surrounded by the influences of a climate and country 
favourable in some points and disadvantageous in othent 


NCE upon a time when, as tradition infonns ua^ Swithiod 
(Sweden) still lay hidden under the sea, yawning chasms 
suddenly opened in the depths below, and swallowed up the waters 
until the land appeared. As soon as it was diy, the fowb of 
heaven brought there the seeds of all kinds of trees, grass and 
herbs. Then the face of the country grew green, and flowen 
sprang up and adorned it, so that it was brilliant to look upon, as 
the carpet in a king's banqueting hall. Animals of all sorts were 
there also, some of which were useful and serviceable to man, 
while others dwelt shyly hidden away in remote places ; and 
besides these there were wild beasts, such as bears, lynxe^ and 
grim voradous wolves. 

Men afterwards settled down in Sweden, tilled the land and 
began to trade; they spread themselves out over the country as 
they grew more numerous, and built vill^es, towns, and proud 
castles for the nobles. They were a warlike race. They fought 
against the wild beasts that lived in the forests, and against the 
marauding Jotuns and Trolls of the mountains. They were a free 
people and chose out the bravest of their heroes to be their leaders^ 
Jarls and Princes, who protected the country from the inroads of 

"D,;rze<ibyGOO<^lC " 



any enemies who might venture to disturb the diligent hnsbaikU 
men in their toil The mightiest of the JaHs was called King, and 
lived in the town of Sigthuna. 

Now King Gylphi once ruled over this people who were greater 
in power, righteousness and wisdom than any of the other nations 
tiiat dwelt in Midgard. Ndther hostile armies nor robbers dated 
to cross the borders of the kingdom, and it was said that even die 
wild beasts refrained from harming any of the people so much 
did they hold their chief in awe. Thus Gylphi ruled in und^ 
turbed peac^ and had abundant Idsure to indulge his thirst after 
the highest knowledge and wisdom. He knew about the start 
in the heavens ; he visited the dwarfs in the interior of the earth, 
from whom he learned how to discover vdns of gold and how to 
work metals into household utenuls, weapons and shining <Niia- 
ments. Moreover, he understood the art of using magic nme^ 
by means of which he was able to get rid of snakes, to conjure up 
the spirits of the dead from tbdr graves, and to change his fonn 
so as to escape reo^nition. He often feasted with his warriMi, . 
and tc^ether they drank mead and foaming al& During these 
entertainments, skalds were always present to delight him and his 
heroes by the melody of their harps, and by thdr songs ; for he 
loved mu»c above all things, and would rather have gone without 
food than It 

The king once thrust his frothing cup from him impatiently, for 
the skalds who used to make his feasts pleasant to him had not 
comfe Suddenly the sound of harp-playing was beard without ; 
so sweet that all hearts were filled with longing, and the chords 
vibrated as powerfully as if twelve skalds had assembled to tune 
their strings. The door opened, and a tall female figure entered . 
die hall ; she was gentle and beautiful to look upon, and like ft 
goddess in her bearing. Approadung the king she touched the 
harp-strings, and sang: 




In griMiome grave no knowledge grows t 
Yet the king tliall ken what thingt mutt conn. 
High np to Heaven I nUse my hymn. 
And louder and louder I let it sound. 

My wistful eyes watch Walkyrie* 
WaAing the wairiort hy weirdly kist^ 
From blood-itaincd field to UessM rest, 
\Vbere night and death are never knowik 

And 1 see here In the lofty haO 
■ The Iwsts of heroes who vrith tbdr lord 

Shall wander to Walhall, the battle won. 
And meet the muden^ melodious huL 

They soar in silence on wingtd tteeds. 
Alighting on grave-groundi, green with [UDes, 
And unging lays of the light and love 
That e'er abide in Odin's Home. 

Gloomy and sad the song began, 1ik« a voice from the grave; 
but the music grew deeper and fuller as it went on to praise the 
fate of glorious warriors, and then again it sank soft and low as the 
whisper of the mnd on a warm spring day, which tells of nature's 

Once more the figure repeated : " That e'er abide in Odin's 
Home," and as she did so^ the notes of her harp were so sweet and 
thrilling, that Uie hearts of all the heroes present were filled with 
rapture, and they thought they saw the warrior-maidens who were 
to bear them to Walhalla. 

Deep silence reigned in the hall ; but as soon as the intoxication 
of the sounds, which had held their senses in thraldom, gradually 
passed off) the king rose from his sea^ and said: "Speak^ fair 
maiden, tell me thy name, and what guerdon thou askest for the 
song with which thou hast delighted ns. Be it even to the half 
of Swithiod, it shall be thin^ and this I swear by my kingly word" 

" Gefion, the Giver," she replied, " is what I was called by Asea 

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and Jotuns, when I was young. If tbon, indeed, desirest to reward 
me, I shall only ask thee to give me as much land as I can plot^ 
round with my four bulls in a day and a o^ht" 

Gylphi was surprised that the maiden did not ask for a larger 
gift, and at once granted her request She took her departure^ and 
soon afterwards returned, bringing with her four bulls, the like <^ 
whicli had never been seen in Swithiod before; so huge and well- 
formed were they. They were, In sooth, like moving mountain^ 
and their white foreheads Aone with the lustre of the full moon. 
They were harnessed to a plough with a hundred shares, which 
cut down into the lowest depths of the earth, and tore the soil 
away from its foundationSL The bulls walked on dra^ng die 
ploughed land with them ; they waded into the sea with it, and 
Gefion, who drove them, grew before the eyes of the astonished 
king and people until she was so tall- that tiie great wavea^ Ugh as 
they were, reached only to her waist, and seeined to be but sport- 
ing with her knees. She went on without stopping day and night, 
and then at length the land site had taken away with her rested ■ 
in a shallow place. She fastened it down firmly there; and called 
it Zealand (sea-land). Having done this, she stepped upon it 
followed by the four bulls, which at <H)ce raised dienuelvea up^ 
and touched t^ her magic spells were changed into four strong 
youths, for they were her sons by a giant The beautiful island 
soon flourished under her care: Wooded hilts, green pastures and 
rich com-6etds provided the numerous population of Zealand not 
only with foo3, but also with all the pleasures and comforts of life. 
Hledra, a splendid royal reudenc^ was next built; and there 
Gelion lived, and exercised undisputed sway over her subjects. 
She married a man named Skiold^ and became the mother of a 
long line of renowned Idngi. 



wnicn oaa uucea tne place oi cne 
land the bulls bad dragged away with their plonj^ He heard from 
travellers that the promontories of Zealand running out into the 
sea had the same form as the bays of Lake Maelar in his own 
country. He knew that Gefion was of the race of the Ases, and 
be puzzled day and night over how they had come to be so power* 
fill. He enquired of the skalds and wise men of bis kingdom, 




h« consulted his runic signs ; but he gained no information from 
an/ of these regarding that which he wished to find out As his 
longing after wisdom gave him no rest, he determined to set off 
on a journey in search of the land where the mighty Ases lived, 
even though the attempt to find it might cost him his life: His 
heart was set on making his way into Asgard that he might leam 
from its inhabitants of the creation and the end of the worlds of 
the Ases' power and dieir mode of goveniment, and of the fate 
of mankind, that he might afterwards make all these thii^ known 
to mortal men. 

King Gylphi was learned in magic. He took the unpretentious 
form of a common traveller, and called himself Gangleri (weaty 
wanderer). He walked on a long way through Midgard, until 
he at length reached a palace, the ha'ght and circumference of 
which he could not measure. When he entered the doorway, he 
saw a vast hall before him, whose length his eye could not pierce 
He perceived other mansions to the right hand and to the leA; 
each of which was crowned with turrets that shone like gold in 
the sunlight There was a tree there also, whose top rose to the 
immeasurable skies, and whose branches seemed to spread out 
over the whole world. 

A man, playing with seven knives, was standing at the entrance 
of -the palace. He threw them up into the air and caught them 
again so that they seemed to form a shinii^ circle. He asked 
the traveller what he wanted ; Gylphi answered that his name 
was Gai^leri, that he wished to have a night's lodging and to be 
admitted to the presence of the lord of the palace. 

"He is our king^" replied the door-keeper; "follow me^ and 
thou shalt see his face." 

Having said this, he preceded the traveller up the halL 

There they saw many noble warrion assembled, who were 
amusing themselves wassailing, playing and wrestling. Three 

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men of venerable aspect were seated on thrones, one of which was 
higher than the other two, watching the games. 

"The first of these chieftains is Har (High)," said the guide, 
"the other is Jafenhar (Equally high), and die last is Thridi (the 

While he was still speaking, Har turned to Uie new>conier, 
and said: "Dost thou need food, strainer; if so, thou wilt find 
abundant store in Mar's hospitable haU. Sit down, and share out 

Gangleri replied : " Higher than food and foaming beakers do I 
prize wisdom, which lifts' the mind above earthly things. So I 
would fain find a wise man, who can answer my questions.* 

"Ask," said the chieftain, "and thou shalt be answered. But 
beware Uiy head, for it is forfeited if thou provcst thyself unwise." 

Gangleri drew nearer to the thrones, and began: "Who is the 
highest and the oldest of die gods, and what are his works and 
deeds that are most worthy of man's admiration ?" 

Har answered : " Allfather is bis name in our tongue, but all 
the nations of the earth give him a different name, each in didr 
own way. He is the highest and mightiest at all times, and rules 
over aU things, the smallest as well as the greatest" 

Jafenhar went on : "He created heaven and earth, the sea and 
the air, and everything that lives and moves therein. He alone is 
the greatest Ruler." 

"The greatest and most glorious of Eus works,* said Thridi, 
"was the creation of man, whose spirit, given by him, will live on, 
and will not die even when the body containing it is turned to 
dust The good will live with him for ever in the place that is 
called Gimil, or WingolC The wicked shall also live, but they 
will descend to Hel, or even to Nifelhet deep down below in the 
ninth world." 

After tbat^ Gangleri asked many more questions regarding the 

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creation and the end of the world, about the gods and their works, 
and about all the riddles of life, and he received answers and ex- 

But when he still went on enquiring further, the great hall 
suddenly burst with a terrible, loud crash, and in another moment 
ei-erything had vanished. Gylphi found himself alone on a wid^ 
desolate plain, where neither palace tree nor shrub were to be 
seen. He set out at once on his homeward journey, and at last 
reached his own realm. There he related what he had seen and 
heard, and wise skalds sang of the marvellous things he bad told 
them, and so knowledge grew and spread from land to land and 
from, generation to generation, and did not die out of Uie memoiy 
of the people. 

We see from this, what idea the Northern people had formed 
of the way in whidi the dinne revelation was made. The con- 
ception of Allfather and his works appears to us to be the most 
rcmaikable part of thb story, and fully con6nns what we have 
before said on this subject 


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npHE prophetess Wdla sat before the entrance of her cave^ and 
-■■ thought over the fate of the world. Her prophetic power 
enabled her to pierce bounds that are impenetrable to the human 
eye; She saw what was going on near her, what was taking place 
at a distance. She watched the labours and battles, the patient 
endurance and the victories of nations and heroes She saw how 
AUfather ruled the world, how he kept the ^ants in submission, 
bow he flui^ the spear of death over the armies, and afterwards 
sent his Walkyries to bring to his hall those heroes who had 
fallen victoriously. Let us now turn our attention to what was 
revealed to her penetrating sight 

Mother Night was driving in her dark chariot on her accustomed 
course above Midgard, bringing peaceful slumber to all creatures. 
The bi^ht boy, Mani (Moon)^ followed quickly in her steps, and 
the gloomy mountains were bathed in the light he shed around. 
Down below in the valley, the maiden, Selk^ was wandering 
beside a stream, which playfully rippled and murmured at the feet 
of its mistress, and then flowed on quickly, and dashing over the 
stones that barred its course, flung itself into the depth below. 
But Selke saw nothing of all this ; her eyes were fixed on the 
fountain from out of which the brook flowed, for there sat a 
woman wondrously beauteous of countenance, with long shining 
golden hair, looking down into the dear water in which her form 
was mirrored. After awhn« she ros^ and went higher up the 



steep sid« of the mountain to the place where grew the healing 
herbs that the goddess needed for the cure of wounds and sores. 

While employed in this peaceful task, the rocky door leadii^ 
into the interior of the mountain suddenly opened, and a mon- 
strous giant came out from it No sooner did the fiend sight the 
lovely maiden than he rushed towards her with a wild yelL She 
fled, while he pursued her, as higher and higher she climbed, until 
at length she reached the summit of a lofty rocl^ which hung over 
the edge of a great abys& The hunt-cry from the distance now 
fell upon her ear, and the baying of hounds, and she knew who 
was coming to her assistance ; but her pursuer drew nearer and 
nearer, and his icy talons almost grasped her neck ; boldly she 
ventured the tremendous leap — the ground was reached in safety. 

The mark of her foot is still to be seen on the rock, and the 
truth of this assertion can be verified by any one who chooses to go 
and look at the Maiden's Leap in the Selkethal (Harz Mountains). 

The giant saw her take the fearful spring, and, surprised, he 
he»tated for a moment ; but soon r^aining coiir^^ he rushed 
on and took the mighty leap a&er her. But, like a flash erf* light- 
ning and accompanied by loud peals of thunder, a shining spear 
came flying through the air, and the monster fell with a crash 
dead into the deep abyss. 

The storm rose; it howled through the wood, and Wodan's 
ragii^ host, the Wild Hunt, rushed past The great god's 
nightly following was composed of armed men, armed women and 
children, hounds and ravens and eaglet; and he; the King, 
preceded them all on horseback ; t<^tber they stormed over the 
trembUng fields and throu^^ the dark quaking forests. Ancient 
pines were broken down, rodcs fell, and the mountains shook to 
their foundations, for the Father of Vtctoiy was on his way to 4 
great battle. 

The King had far to go, and his horse had lost a shoe; which 

■ai^iP^w -i ' " . I .. I .... - I 1 . 1 . iM. , 1 ,^. 1 



Torced him to halt for a tim& Master OlaT, the smith of Heligo- 
land, was still in his smithy at work in the midnight hour. A 
storm was howling round the hous^ and the sea was beating on 
the shore, when suddenly he heard a loud knocking at his gate 
" Open quick and shoe my horse ; I have a long journey to 
makc^ and daybreak approaches." 

Master Olaf opened the door cautiously, and saw a stately rider 
standing beside a giant horse. His armour, shield, and helmet 
were black, a broad sword was hanging at his side^ his horse shook 
its mane, champing the bit and pawing the ground impatiently. 

" Whither art thou going at this time of nigh^ and in such 
baste f asked the smith. 

" I left Xordemey yesterday. It is a clear nigh^ and I have no 
time to lose^ as I must be in Xonvay before daybreak." 
" If thou hadst wings, I could believe thee," laughed the smith. 
" My horse is swift as the n-ind. But see, a star pales here and 
there ; so make thee haste, good smith." 

Master Olaf tried on the shoe; It was too small, but, 1o ! it 
gradually grew and grew, until it had fastened itself round the 
hoo£ The smith was awe-struck; but the rider mounted, and as 
he did so his sword rattled in its sheath. 

" Good-night, Master Olaf," he cried. " Thou hast shod Odin's 
horse r^ht well, and now I hasten to the battle." 

The horse gallopped on m*er sea and land. A light shone round 
Odin's head and twelve eagles flew after him swiftly, but could 
not overtake him. He now began to sing in magic words <^ the 
stream of time; and the spirit that works in it^ of birth, and of the 
passage to eternity. And all the time the storm-wind roared, and 
the waves dashed upon the shore, a harp-like accompaniment to 
the song. He who has e\'er heard that, music straighhvay forgets 
his home and his craving for the hearth. The sailor on the 
foaming water, the traveller in the \'alley and the shady grov^ 



each feels it strangely stirring his soul, each longs to go out at once 
to Odin. 

The ^varriors were gathered together in the grecn-\vood, armed 
for the combat ; the brave sons of King Eric of the bloody axe, 
who had lately fallen in battle, were there, and Hakon, too, his 
brother, the powerful king of Norway. All at once ibcy heard 
sweet soft sounds in the air, like the s^hing of the wind and the 
whisper of green leaves. Quickly the sounds grew louder, and the 
storm wind roared through the trees and over the assembled host 
" Odin is coming," cried the warriors, " he is choosing his Einheriar" 
And then the Father of Battles came with his following ; he came 
in the storm that he might rule the combat He halted high up 
above the armies in a grey sea of clouds. He called the Walkyries, 
Gondu) and Skc^l, before him, and bade them so to lead the 
chances of the fight, that the. bravest should be victorious, and 
should then be received into the ranks of the Einheriar. 

He flung his spear over the contending heroes, and immediately. 
the blast of horns and loud war-cries were beard. A cloud of 
arrows hissed through the air; javelins and heavy battle-axes 
broke through helmet and shield ; swords were crossed in single 
combat ; blood streamed from innumerable wounds, reddened 
the armour of the men-at-arms and trickled down upon the flon'en 
that carpeted the crimson ground. 

Foremost in the battle was King Hakon lighting with sn'ord 
and spear. As he cut his way through the enemy's ranks over 
the fallen men, he heard the Walkyries talking beside him. They 
were in the midst of the strife^ mounted on their white horses, 
holding their bright shields in front of them, and leaning upon 
then- spears. 

" The army of the gods is waxing great," said Gondul, " for the 
Ases are preparing to welcome Hakon with a goodly train of 
followers to the glorious home** 




The King beard it, and asked : " Is it just that ye should 
reward me with death, instead <^ the victoiy for which I am 
striving with my might?" 

Skogul answered : " We have decreed that thine enemies should 
give way before thee. Thou shalt win the battle, and then take 
thy part io the feast of the Einheriar. We will now ride on bef<H« 
thee, and announce that thou ait coming to look upon the face of 
the Father of Victory himset£* 

When King Hakon ascended to A^ard from the field of glory, 
Hermodur, the swift, and Bragi, the divine singer, went out to 
meet him, and said : " Thou shalt have the peace of the Einheriar ; 
receive therefore the draught prepared for the heroes <A the Ases." 
Hereupon the king's helmet and coat of maU were taken oS, but 
he retained his sword and spear, that he might enter the presence 
of the Father of Victory with his arms in his hands. 

This was how the Northern skalds sang of the God of Battles, 
of the choosers of the dead, and of the fate <iS heroes. Is it then 
to be wondered at, that the princes and nobles of those races 
should have gone forth joyously on their bold Wikiog raids, 
and that they should have esteemed a glorious death on the field 
of battle far better than to sink to inglorious rest at home? The 
German bards also ^ang after this fashion of their heroes ; hence 
the stru^le against Rome which lasted four hundred year^ and 
the Germanic raids upon Britain, Gaul, Italy, Spain, and even 
upon far Africa. The War-god sang his storm-song in their ears ; 
they heard the voices of the Walkyries through the din of the. 
battle ; they saw the gates of Walhalla open before them, and 
the Einheriar s^ning to them to approach. Therefore Ihe day 
of battle was in their ^es either a feast of victoiy, or of entrance 
into the verdant home of the heroes. 

In the foregoing tale, the events of which have been derived 
from German and Norse 'sagas and lays, we have seen the chiel 


god oT the North as leader of the Wild Hun^ conqueror of th« 
earth-bom giant, god of the storm and niler of the battle ; but wr 
must try to get a still deeper in^ht into his nature 

WodaHt Odin in the North, according to the oldest concep- 
tions. — Wodan was the highest and holiest god oi the Germanic 
races. His name is connected with the German word Wutk, and 
used to be both spelt and pronounced Wuotan, which word did not 
then mean rage or wrath, as tVuth does now, but came from the 
Old-German watatt, im|rf'. vmot, i ^ to penetrate, to force oo^s way 
through anything, to conquer all opposition. The modern German 
waUn, and the English wadt, are derived from the old word, 
though considerably restricted in meanii^. Wuotan was there- 
fore the all-penetrating, all-conquerii^ Spirit of Nature. The 
Longobardf, by a letter-change, called him Gwodao ; the Franks 
Godan or Gudan; the Saxony Wode; and the Frisian^ 
Woda, The Scandinavians called him Odin, frcnn which the 
mythological name Odo was derived. He was Imown under 
the names of Muot {courage) and Wold by the South Germans: 
But everywhere he was regarded as the same great god, and was 
worshipped as such by the whole Germanic race. 

When man had freed himself from the power of the impresaons 
made upon him by nature as a wholes he began to have a mme 
distinct consciousness of certain manifestations of the forces of 
nature; and after that to pay them divine honours. He then 
regarded the storm which tore through the forests with irreustible 
violence^ which blew down the cottages of the peasants^ and 
wrecked vessek out at sea, as the niler of all things, as the god 
whose anger must be appeased by prayers and sacrifices. At first 
he was worshipped under the form of a horse or of an eagle; as 
these were types of strei^th and swiftness. But when the mastery 
of the human race over the animal world was better understood, 
the god was endowed with a human form. He was described 

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in the trends and stories, now as a mighty traveller who studied 
and tried the dispositions of men, and now as an old man with 
bald head, or with thick hair and a beard which gained him in the 
North the name of Hrosshar^rani (horse-hair bearded). He had 
usually only one eye, for the heavens have but one sun, Wodan's 
eye: He wore a broad-brimmed hat pulled down low over his 
forehead, which represented the clouds that encircle the sun, and 
a blue mantle with golden spangle^ ij., the starry heavens. 
These attributes ^ain prove him to have been the Spirit of 
Nature. In the completely developed myth r^arding him in the 
Edda, be was described as being of grand heroic form, with a 
golden helmet on his head, and wearing a sliining breast-plate of 
chain-maiL His golden ring Draupnir was on his arm, and his 
spear Gungnir in his right hand. Thus attired, he advanced to 
attack the Fenris-Wolf, when the Twilight of the Gods was 
banning to fall ; thus attired, he sat on his throne HHdskialf, 
wrapped in the folds of his mantle, and governed gods and men. 

There arc many tales and traditions about Wodan in his original 
form of storm-god. They are to be found in Germany, England, 
France, and Scandinavia, which shows how wide-spread the 
worship of him was. Chief amongst the stories referring to 
the old Teutonic god are those of die Wild Hunt, and of the 
Raging Host 

The Myths of the Wild Hunt and of the Raging Host.— 
These myths have their origin in the belief that the supreme One 
takes the souls of the dead to himself, carries them through the air 
with him, and makes them his followers on his journeys by night. 
As the Romans regarded Mercury as the leader of the dead, they 
thought that the Teutons also honoured him as the highest god. 
The soul was looked upon as aerial, because it was invisible like 
air. It was held that when a dying man bad drawn his last 
breath, his soul passed out of him into the invisible clement Thus 


the Hebrews bad the same word to express spirit and breath, and 
the old Caledonians, as Ossian's poems prove, heard the moans 
and loving words of their dead friends in the whisper of the breeze, 
in the soft murmur of the waves ; they felt that the invisible 
was near them, when a solitary star sent down its rays to them 
through the dusk of the evening. The idea of a god has no place 
in these poems. The Teutons, on the contrary, believed that tt 
was the god himself who bore the spirits of the dead up into his 

The traditions of the Woensjager, the Wild Huntsman, Wuotan's 
or the Raging Host; have their origin in heathen times, as thdr 
names show, although they have undei^ne considerable modifica- 
tions in many respects »nce then. They arose from the impres- 
sion made upon the people by phenomena that they could not 
understand, and which they consequently supposed were caused 
by some diinnity. Every noise sounds strange and mysterious on 
a quiet night The solitary traveller passing through forests or 
over heaths or mountains, when the light of the moon and stars 
was obscured by drifting clouds, heard the voices of spirits in the 
hooting of owl% in the creaking of branches and in the roaring, 
whistling, and howling of the tempest, and his excited imagination 
made him think that he saw form^ which became the more 
distinct the more his superstitious fan^ was drawn upon. Forest 
rangers, solitary dwellers in remote places, especially charcoal- 
burners, who often spend long stretches of time mthout seeing 
a human being, tell strange stories even now-a-da)'s. These tales 
are founded on the ancient beliefs of the rac^ are repeated by one 
man to another, and detached fr^ments of the old faith are stiU 
preserved by tradition. 

In Pomerania, Mecklenburg, and Holstein, Wode is said to be 
out hunting whenever the stormy winds blow through the wood& 
In Western Hanover it is said to be the WoejSger, in Satertand 


the Woipjager, and in other places, the Wild Huntsman that haunU 
the woods. He is supposed to ride on a white horstv to wear a 
broad-brimmed hat slouched over his folrehcad, and a wide cloak 
(the starry heavens) wrapped round his shoulders. This cloak has 
gained him the name of Hakel-barend (Mantel-wearing) in West- 
phalia. Indeed, the stoiy has even been transferred from the 
divine to the human. 

It was said that Hans von Hakelberg, chief huntsman of the 
Dulce of Brunswick, and an enthusiastic sportsman, liked hunting 
better than going to church, and used to devote his Sundays as 
well as week-days to this amusement, for which reason he was 
j condemned to hunt for ever and ever with the stonn. His grave 

' is shown near the -Klopperkrug, an inn not far from Goslar, and 

j a picture of both him and his hounds ts carved on the headstone 

^ ; of the grave. His burial place is also pointed out in the Sdllinger 

] I wood, near Usiar. 

, I Wode seldom hunted alone, He was generally surrounded by 

a lai^ pack of hounds, and accompanied by a number of hunts- 
men, who all rushed on driven by the storm, shouting and holloa- 
ing, in pursuit of a spectral boar or wild horse. He was also said 
to chase a spectral woman with snow-white breas^ whom he could 
only catch once in seven years, and whom he bound across his 
saddle when he had at length succeeded In overtaking her. In 
Southern Germany it was a moss-woman or wood<maiden, a kind 
of dryad or wood-nymph, whom the Wild Huntsman pursued, 
and whom he bound to his horse in the same way as the other, 
when once he had caught her. Perhaps this story represents the 
autumnal wind blomng the leaves oflTthe trees. 

When the people heard the Wild Huntsman approaching them 

they threw themselves upon their face on the ground, as otherwise 

they would have been in danger of bang carried off by the hunts- 

>i>vu.i .T^e storytells us 'that thb was the fate of a ploi^hman 

II.. n. .■■-p-fa<t 



who was cai^ht up by them and taken away to a hot country 
where black men lived. He. did not come home again until 
many years afterwards. Whoever joined in the holloa of the 
wild huntsmen was given a stag's leg which became a lump of 
gold ; but whoever imitated the shout jeeringly had a horse's 1^ 
thrown to him, which gave out a pestiferous smell and stuck to the 
scoffer. A little dog was sometimes left on the hearth of a house 
through which the Wild Huntsman had gone. It immediatdy 
b^an to whine and howl miserably, so as to disturb the \i4ioIe 
household. The people had then to get up and brew some beer in 
egg-shelb, whereupon the creature would exclaim: "Althoi^ I 
am as old as the Bohemian Forest, I never saw such a thing In my 
life before." Then it would jump up, rush off and vanish. But if 
this charm was not applied, the people of the house were obl^ed 
to- feed the creature well, and let it lie upon the hearth for a whole 
year, until Wode returned and took it away with him. 

The V^d Hunt generally went on in the sacred season, between . 
Christmas and TwelfUi Night When its shouts were particularly 
loud and distinct, it was said that it was to be a fruitful year. At 
the time <^ the summer solstice, and when day and night become 
of equal length, the Wild Hunt again passed in the mnd and run, 
for Wodan was also lord of the rain, and used to ride on his cloud- 
horse, so that plentiful rains might refresh the earth. 

The traditions of the Raging Host much resemble those of the 
Wild Hunt They are stories about the army of the dead under 
the leadership of Wodan. People thought they could distinguish 
men, women and children as the host passed them at n^ht 
Those who had lately died were often seen in i^ and sometimes 
the death of others was foretold by it 

" Walther von Milene I " cried out voices in that terrible army, 
and Walther, a celebrated warrior, was soon afterwards killed in 
battla In this instance the story reminds us of Wish-(ather, the 


i ■ 


chooser of the dead, who called the Einheriar to bis Walhalla ; and 
still more is this the case, when the Raging Host is described as 
rushing past like a troop of armed men, when knights and men-at- 
arms were seen in shining or even fiery armour, and mounted upon 
black horses, from whose nostrils shot forth sparks of flame. 
Then it was said that the war-cries of the combatants, the clash <rf 
arms and trampling of horses' feet, could be heard above the din 
•of the storm. 

Wodan has long since died out of the minds of the people, yet 
his character and actions are clearly shown in tradition, and his 
name also appears in proverbial sayings, charms, and invocations. 
Seven^ years ago the Mecklenburg farmers, after the harvest 
was brought home, used to give their labourers Wodel-beer, a 
feast at which there was plenty to eat and drink. The people 
poured out some of the beer upon the harvest field, drank some 
themselves, and then danced round the last remaining sheaf of 
com, swinging thar hats and singing : 
"Wfild! W«dl W«dl 

bivcnhiine writ wat tchiit, 

jttmm fa«i dal van hilven sOC 

VuUe kruken ub tangen bit hd, 

upen faolte wiut manigeilei ; 

bd ii nig bam tiii weit nig old. 

W«ldl WAld! WUdl"* 

" Wold ! WoW I Wold I 
Tbe HeavcD-Giant knows what bnppmt here ; 
From Heaven downwards be does peer. 
He has full pitchers and cans. 
In the wood grosrs manjr a thing. 
He ne'er was child, and ne'er giows old, 

W<4dl Wold 1 Wold 1' 

In Hesse and in Lippe-Schaumbtui; the harvesters stick a 

* Grimm'* "Teutonic Mythology" trantUted t 
p. I5&i (London : Sonnenscbria & Allen.} 

' J. S. Stallybntts, vol.L 

' C7(.xH^Ti 


bunch of flowers into the last sheaf, and beat their scythes to- 
gether, exclaiming. Waul ; in Steinhude they dance round a bon- 
fire they have lighted on a hill-toi^ and shout, Waude: In many 
parts of Bavaria they dance round a straw figure called Oanswald or 
Oswald (Ase Wodan). But the people have now quite forgotten 
the Ase and think only of St. Oswald. In these instances the 
god appears in his highest form as the god of heaven, the giver of 
good harvests. The Aar^u riddle shows him as lord of the starry 
heavens, who raises the dead up to his bright mansions above : — 

** Der Huot init dcm Brdtliuot 
Hu mebr ClUte, ak der Wald Taancn&stfc' 

*< Moot witb the Uvttd hat 
Hat more goeiU than the wood hu £r-tw^' 

In England the Wild Hunt it called Herletbing, from a mythi- 
cal king Heria, who was once invited by a dwarf to attend his 
marriage. He followed his entertainer into a mountain, and three 
hundred years elapsed before he and lus attendants returned to 
the world. Amongst other parting gifts the dwarf gave him a 
beautiful dc^ which the head huntsman was desired to take before 
him on his horse. At the same time every one was warned not to 
dismount until the d<^ jumped dowiL Several of the king's fol- 
lowers disregarded this, and got down from their horses ; but no 
sooner did they touch the ground than they cnmibled away to 
dust The Aog is still sittii^ on the saddle bow, and the ^^d 
Hunt is still going oik 

In the time of Henry II. it was said to have shown itself in a 
meadow in full daylight The blowing of the horns and shouts of 
the hunters drew the people of the neighbourhood to the plac&* 
They recognised some of their dead friends among the huntsmen, 
but when they spoke to them, the whole train rose m the air, and 
vanished in the river Wye. 

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In France^ in Wale^ and in Scotland, King Arthur is the leader 
of the Wild Hunt In France, the Wild Hunt, or Raging Host, is 
called iftsnie HelUquin, the last word of which is evidently de- 
rived from Hel (kingdom of the dead), for the leader of the hunt 
is called the HeUhuntsman. According to other traditions, Charles 
the Great, Charlemagne, rides in front of the band, while strong 
Roland carries the banner. We recc^ise, moreover, the Raging 
Host {pamUe furUuse) under the name of Chasst de Cain (Cain's 
Hunt), or Chasse d'H/rode (Hunt of Herodias, ' who caused the 
murder of John the Baptist). Perhaps, however, Hirode really 
means Hrodso (glory-bearer), one of the names by which Odin 
was known. Equally famous is U grand venatr dt FontainebUau, 
(the great Huntsman of Fontaincbleau), whose shouts were heard 
beside the royal palace the day before Henry IV. was murdered 
by Ravaillac. The Raging Host also passed over the heavens 
twice, darkening the sun, before the Revolution broke out The 
populace everywhere believes that its appearance is the fore- 
shadowing of pestilence, or war, or of some other, great misfortune., 


The l^end of the Wild Huntsman has, as we have seen from 
the forgoing, been applied to human beings, and circumstance 
and place have been added to the tale. There was not always an 
infernal element clinging to the appearance of the Hunt, foe 
emperors, kings, and celebrated heroes were amongst the repre* 
sentatives of the Father of the Gods. In Lausitz, Dieterberaet — 
in Altenbuig, Bemdietrich, the great Ostrogothic kii^ Theoderick 
of Bern (Verona) was supposed to rush through the air, and vanish 
in the mountains In the same way, according to the Northern 
myth, the Summer Odin, who brought green leaves and fiowen^ 
and ripened the golden ears' of com, used to wander awty through 



dark roads in Autumn, and then a false Odin earner and seating 
himself on the other's throne, sent snowstorms over the wintiy 
earth. Or, as another tale has it, the good god passed the period 
during which the impostor reigned, sunk in a deep enchanted sleep 
within a mountain. But no sooner did Spring return, than he rose 
again in his power, drove the intruder from his throne; and once 
more scattered his blessings over gods and men. 

These conceptions of Allfather, derived trom natural phenomena, 
were so deeply impressed in the mind and very being of the 
Teutonic race, that they personified them by appl)^ng to their 
early kings and heroes the attributes of Odin. King Heniy the 
Fowler, whose victories over the Slavs, Danes and Hungarians 
restored the power of the German empire is supposed to be lying 
sunk in m^c sleep in the SUdemer bill near Goslar. Amongst 
other sleeping heroes is Frederick Barbarossa, the story of whose 
death in the East is believed by no one, and who was and is still 
said to lie slumbering in Kyfih&user. 

There are a number of traditions about the ruins of KyflfhSuser 
and the great Hobenstaufc; who still lives in the memory of his 
' people. The high castle-hill rises sheer above the green fields 
away over in Thuringia. On its western side, a tower is stilt ia 
existence. It stands eighty feet h^h, although with broken walK 
and overlooks the wood and piles of stone below. On solemn oc> 
.canons the emperor is supposed to lead his processions thenc^ and 
afterwards to dine there with his followers. According to the 
legend, the weaty old emperor sleeps his " long sleep " in an under- 
ground chamber of the castle, with the companions of his travels; 
Christian of Mayenc^ Rainald of Cologne, Otto oS Wittflsbach, 
the ancestor of the royal house of Bavaria, and many others besides. 
BaiiMuossa's beard has grown round and through the stone table, 
casks of good old wine; treasures of gold, silver and pi^oui 
stones are lying about in heaps, and a magic radiance lights up tlw 


high vaulted hall ; that this is the case is proved by many for* 
tunate eye-witnesse^ who at different times have been permitted to 
enter the room. One of these was a herdsman, who left his cattle 
browsing amongst the ruins, and went to gather flowers for his 
sweetheart He found a strange blue blossom, and no sooner had 
he put it in his nosegay than his eyes were opened, and he per- 
ceived an iron door that he had never seen before It opened at 
his touch ; he went down a flight of stairs and entered the lighted 
banqueting halL There he saw the heroes and their imperial 
leader sitting round the table, all sound asleep in their chairs. 

Barbarossa was awakened by the noise. " Are the ravens still 
flying round the battlements f " he asked, looking ap. 

The herdsman said that they were, and the emperor went on : 
" Then I must sleep for another hundred yean." 

After that he invited the youth to help himself to as much as 
he liked of the treasures he saw before him, and not to foiget 
the best 

The herdsman filled his pockets as he was told. When he got 
out into the open air once more, the door shut behind him with a 
crash, and he could never find it again, for he had forgotten the 
best thi[^. the little blue flower. So the emperor is still sleeping 
with his heroes in his favourite palace: But the time will a>me 
when the empire is in greatest need of him, when the ravens will 
no longer fly round the battlements ; then - he will arise in all his 
might, will break the m^ic bonds that hold him, and sword in 
hand fight a great and bloody battle against the enemies of his' 
country upon the Walser Field or on the Rhine, Then he will hang 
his sliield on a withered pear-tree, which will immediately be^'n to 
sprout again, and blossom and bear fruit : the glorious old times 
of the German Empire will return, bringing with ttiem unity and 
peace in their train. 

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Wodan, the xiver of victory. Ambri and Asst the Winilen, 
stood fully aimed before the warlike Vandals. Thdr victoiy or 
servitude would be decided by the coming battle. 

"Give us the victory, Father of Battles," prayed the princes of 
the Vandals, as they offered up sacrifices to Wodan. And the god 
answered : " To them will be given the victory who come first 
before me on the morning of the day of battle:" 

On the other hand Ibor and Ajc^ dukes of the A^nilers, went 
by the counsel of thdr wise woman, Mother Gambara, into the holy 
place of Freya, Wodan's wif^ and entreated her to ud them. 

" Well," said the Queen of Heaven, " let your women go out ere 
daybreak dressed in armour like the men, their hair combed down 
over their cheeks and chini^ let diem take up a position towards 
the east, and I will give ye a glorious victoiy." 

The dukes did as she commanded. 

As soon as the first rosy tints of dawn appeared In the sky, 
Freya wakened the great Ruler, and pointed eastwards towardi 
the armed host 

"Hat" said the god io astonishment, "what long-bearded 
warrior* are these ? " 

"Thou hast named them," answered the queen, "so now do 
thou give them the victoiy ." And thus the WinDers gained great 
glory, and were henceforth known by the name of Long Beardi 

As in the Northern myths, the Longobards also held great 
WnHan tn h^ th» friver of mctorv. But above all Other qualitiei^ 
ind, and brou^t joy and pros- 
is and processions were held In 



his honour, of which traces stilt remain in the customs and beliefs 
of the people^ In many district^ for instance, the battle of the 
fobe Odin, who usurped the throne for the seven winter months, 
vitb the true Odin, wiio brought blessings and summer into the 
world, was celebrated by a mimic l^h^ succeeded by sacrifices and 
feasting. This lasted for centuries, and was continued until quite 
recent times in the festivals of "Out first tX May. 

A May Count or May lUng was chosen, and he was generally 
the best runner or rider, or the bravest in the parish. He was 
dressed in green and adorned with garlands of may and other 
flowers. He then hid himself in the wood ; the village tads 
went out to seek him there; and when they had found him, they 
put him on horseback, and led him with shouts and songs of joy 
through the village. The May Kii^ was allowed to choose a 
queen to share his honours at the dance and at the feast. 

In other places the most modest and diligent of the girls was 
chosen as Queen of May, and led into the vill^e with the King, 
which was intended to commemorate the marri^e of tlie 
Summer Odin with the Earth, whose youth was renewed by the 
genial Spring. It was at one time a regular practice to have a 
May-ride in Sweden, at which the May Count, decked in flowers 
and blossoms, had to fight agahut Winter, «dio was wra(^ied up 
in furs. May won the victory after a tnirlesque Iiand-to-hand 

Odin, the good and beneficent god, was also called Oslo, i.a, 
"wish" in Norse, a word that is related to the German Wennt 
(rapture) : he was the soum of all joy and rapture; 

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King Hraudung had two handsome sons, Gdrod and Agnar, 
the one ten and the other eight years old. The boys one day 
went out in a boat to fish. But the wind rose to a st<Min. vmI 
carried them far away from the ihunland to a lonely Isle^ where 
the boat struck and broke in pieces. The boys managed to reach 
the shore to safety, and found there a cottager and his wif^ vho 
took compassion on them and gave them shelter. The woman 
took great care of the younger brother Agnar throughout the 
winter, while her husband taught Getrod the use of arms and gave 
him much wise counsel That winter the children both grew 
wonderfully tall and strong, and this was not surprising, for their 
guardians had been Odin and his wife Frigg. When spring re- 
turned, the boys recdved a good boat and a favourable wind frran 
their protectors, so that they soon reached their native land. But 
Geir5d sprang on shore first, shoved the boat out to sea a^n, and 
cried, " Sail thou away, Agnar, into the evil spirits' power I " The 
great waves, as though in obedience to the crud boy's behest, 
carried the boat and Agnar far away to other shores. GeirOd 
hastened joyfully up to the palace, where he found his father on 
his death-bed. He succeeded to the kingdom, and ruled over all 
his father's subjects and those he had gained for himself by force 
of arms and gold. 

Odin and Ftigg were once sitting on their thrones at Hlidsldalf 
gazii^ down at the world of mortal men and at thdr worka. 
"Seest thou," said the Ruler, "how Gdr6d, my pupil, has gained 
royal honours for himself? Agnar has married a giantess in a 
foreign land, and now that he has returned hom^ is living in his 
brother's palace poor and despised." " Still GeirOd is only a base 
creature^ who hoards gold and treats his guests cruelly instead of 



showing them hospitality," replied the thot^htful goddess. Then 
AUfather determined to prove his favourite, and to reward him 
if all were well, but to punish him should he find that the accusa- 
tion was just H^ therefore, in the guise of a traveller from a 
far country, started for GeirOd's palace. A broad-brimmed hat, 
drawn well down over his brows, shaded his fac^ and a blue cloak 
was wrapped around his shoulders. But the King had been 
warned by Fri^ of a wicked enchanter, so he had the stranger 
seized and brought before his judgment-seat 

To all the questions asked him, the prisoner would only reply 
that his name was Grimnir, and disdained to give further informa- 
tion about himself Whereupon the king got into a passion, and 
commanded that the obstinate fellow should be chained to a chair 
between two iires upon which fresh fuel was to be continually 
thrown, so that the pain he suffered might induce him to speak 

The stranger remained there for dght nights, suSerii^ bitter 
agony, without having had a bite or a sup the whole time^ and 
DOW the flames were beginning to lick the seam of bJs mantle. 
Secretly Agnar, the disinherited, gave him a full horn of beer, 
which he emptied eagerly to the last drop. Then he began to 
sing^ at first low and softly, but afterwards louder and louder, so 
that the halls of the castle echoed again, and crowds assembled 
without to listen to the strain. He sang of the manuons of the 
blessed gods, of the joys of Walhalla, of the Ash Yggdrasil, of those 
that dwelt within it, and <A its roots in the depths of the worida. 

The halls trembled, the strong walls shook as be sai^ of Odln'f 
deeds, and of him whom Odin's favour had raised on high, but 
who was now delivered over to the sword because he bad drunk 

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hands, the flames played harmlessly about his gannents ; he stood 
theie in all his Ase's strength, his head surrounded by rays of 
heavenly light Geir6d had at first half drawn his sword in anger; 
but now, when he tried to descend from his throne in haste to 


attempt to propitiate the god, it slipped quite out of its sheath, 
he tripped over it and fell upon it, so that its blade drank in his 
heart's blood. After his death, Agnar ruled over the kii^om, and ' 
by the favour of Odin his reign was long and glorious 

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Odin's power and wisdom and knowledge are described in the 
Edda and in many of the lays of the skalds. He went to Mimir, 
the mse Jotun, who sat by the fountain of primeval wisdom, 
drank daily of the water and increased his knowledge thereby. 
The Jotun refused to allow the god to drink of his fountain, unless 
he first pledged him one of his eyes. Allfather did as he requested 
him, in order that he might create all things out of the depth of 
knowledge, and from that day forward Mimir drank daily of the 
crystal stream out of Allfather's pledge. Other accounts make 
out that the water was drawn out of Heimdal's Giallarhom. Both 
accounts are given in the Northern poemsL The myth from which 
they came shows us the meaning that lay at their foundation. 
Mimtr, a word related to the Latin ttumor, ntanim, signifies 
'jj metnory; that it was known to the Germans is indicated 1^ the 

*- »milar sounds of the names of the MUmling, a stream in the 

Odenwald, and of Lake Mumel in the Black Forest, where the 
I' fairies lived. Mimir drew the highest knowledge from the foun- 

Ij tain, because the world was bom of water ; hence, primeval wisdom 

v' was to be found in that mysterious element The eye of the god 

i of heaven is the sun, which enlightens and penetrates all thii^s ; 

I his pther eye Is the moon, whose reflection gazes out of the deep, 

and which at \zA, when setting, sinks into the ocean. It also 
< \ appears like the crescent-shaped horn with wluch the Jotun drew 

I the draught of wisdom. 

Accordii^ to other poems, Mimir was killed, but his head, 
which still remained near the fountain, prophesied future events. 
Bef<Mv the Twilight of -the Gods came to p&ss, Odin used to 



whisper mysterious ttui^s with him about the Destruction and 
Renewal of the worid. 

At one time when the god was standing with bis golden helmet 
on, by the side of the holy fountain on the h^h hill, and learning 
the runic signs from Mimir's head, he discovered the Hugruncs 
<spirit-nines). As we have already shown, these runes were not 
exactly used as formulae for writing connected sentences. They 
were only the accented tetters used in Northern and Old-German 
poems ; that is to say, they were letters of similar sound used for 
alliterative purposes The following examples are some. of those 
that remain to us from olden time : hearth and home ; wind and 
weather ; hand and heart. They were intended as a help to the 
memory when learning and singii^ the lays. 

Odin gained power over all things by means of the runes, 
throi^h which he was able to make all bend to his mil, and to 
obtain authori^ over the forces of nature. He knew runic 
songs that were effectual in battle, in discord, and in time of, 
anxiety. They blunted the weapons of an opponent, broke the 
chains of noble prisoners, stopped the deadly arrow in its flight, 
turned the arms of the enemy against themselves, and calmed the 
fury of angry heroes. When a bark was in danger on the stormy 
sea, the great god stilled the tempest and the angry waves by his 
song, and brought the ship safe to port When he sang his magic 
strain, warriors hastened to his assistance and he returned unhurt 
out of the battle. At his command a man would arise from the 
dead even after he bad been strangled. He knew a song that gave 
strength to the Ases, success to the elves, and even more wisdom 
to himself; another that gave him the love of woman so that her 
heart was his for ever more. But his h^best, holiest song was 
never sung to woman of mortal birth, but was kept for the Queen 
of Heaven alon^ when he was ntttng peacefully by her ddfc 

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Kwastr. a man whom the Ases and Wanes had created amongst 
tiiem, and whom they had inspired with their own spirit, was loved 
by gods and men for his wisdom and goodness. He travelled 
<Jirough all lands, teaching and benefiting the people. Wherever 
he went he tamed down the wild passions of all men, and taught 
them better and purer manners and customs. 

The enl race of Dwarfs alone, they that burrowed in the earth 
in search of treasures, cared noi^ht for the lov^ although tbey 
envied the wisdom of Kwasir. Fjalar and Galar, brothers of this 
people, invited him one day to a feast, and then murdered him 
treacherously with many wounds. They caught his blood In three 
vessels, the kettle Odrarir ^inspiration), and the bowls Son (expia- 
tion) and Boden (offering). They mixed rum-honey with it, and 
made it into mead, which gave all who drank of it the gift of song 
and of eloquence that won every heart 

As the wicked deed of the Dwarfs had brought them such good 
luck, they invited the rich giant GilHng and his vrife to visit them, 
and took the former out fishii^ with them. Then they upset the 
boat in the surf under great over-hangii^ rocks, so that GUlii^ 
was drowned, while they, being good swimmers, righted the boat 
t^n, and rowed to land. 

When the giantess heard the sad fate of her husband, she wept 
and moaned, and refused to be comforted. The Dwarfs offered 
to take her to the rock on which the body had been washed. But 
as she was leaving the house, Galar threw a mill-stone from above 
down upon her head, so that she also was killed. Now Suttung, 
son <^ the murdered giant's brother, beard of the evil deed, and 
set out to avenge it He snzed the Dwarfs and made ready to 

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bind them to a soliury rock out in th« sea, that they might die 
there of hunger. . They begged for mercy, promising to give him 
the wonderful mead concocted out of Kwaur's blood, in atonement 
for what they had done. The giant accepted the expiation tiered 
him ; he took the three vessels containing the liquor to a hollow 
mountain that belonged to him, and set his dai^hter GuolOd to 
keep guard over the m^c drink. 

Odin, the God of Spirit, was told of all these things by his 
ravins Hugin and Munin. He detennined to get possession of 
the Draught oi Inspiration at any cost to bimsell^ that it might no 
longer be kept uselessly hidden away 1^ the giant in the intei^ 
of the earth, but might refresh gods and heroes, so that wisdom 
and poetry might delight the world. He therefore; in the guise 
of a «mple traveller, started for Jotunheim. He came to a field 
where nine uncouth fellows were mowing hay. He offered to 
sharpen their scythes for them, and make them cut as well as the 
best swords. The men were pleased with his offer, so he puUet} 
a whet-stone out of his pocket and whetted and sharpened the 
scythes. When he at last returned them to the mowers, they 
found that they could work much quicker and better than before^ 
and each wanted to have the whet-stone for btmselC So the 
traveller threw it amongst them, and they stru^led and fought 
for it with thdr scythes, untO at length th^ all lay dead on the 

The traveller went on his way till he came to the master of the 
estate the Jotun Bai^, a brother d Suttung, who received him 
hospitably. In the evening the giant complained that his farm- 
servants were all killed, and that Ms splendid crop of hay oouM 
not be harvested. Then Bfilwerker (Evil-doer), as the traveUer 
called himself, offered to do nine men's work if hit host would get 
him a draught of Suttung's mead. 

" If thou wilt serve me faithfully," answered the Jotun, ".I irill 

' • I ^— 



try to fulfil thy desire ; but I will not hide from thee that my 
brother is very chary of giving a drop of it away." , 

Bolwerker was satisfied with this promise, and worked as hard 
as the nine fann-servants Ux the whole summer. 

When winter came, Baogi, true to his promb^ drove to his 
brother's dwelling with the traveller, and asked for a draught of 
the mead. But Suttung declared that the vagabond should not 
have a «n^e drop, 

"We must now try what cunning will do," said Bfilwerker; "for 
I most and shall taste that mead, and I know many enchantments 
that will help me to what I want Here is the mountain in which 
the mead is hidden, and here Is my good auger. Rati, which can 
easily make its way through the hardest wall of rock. Take it 
and bore a hole with it, no matter how smaU." 

The Jotun bored as hard as he could He soon thought that he 
had made a hole right through the rock, but Bdlwerker blew into 
it and the dust came out into the open air. The second time they 
tried, it blew into the mountain, and Bolwerker, changing himself 
into a worm, wriggled through the hole so quickly that treacherous 
Bangi, who stabbed at him with the auger, could not reach hioL 

When he had got into the cav^ the Ase stood before the bloom- 
ing maiden Gunldd, in all his divine beauty and wrapped in his 
stany mantl& She nodded her acquiescence when he asked her 
for shelter and for three draughts of the inspiring mead. 

Three days he spent in the crystal mansion, and drank three 
draughts of the mead, in which be emptied Odr6iir, Son and Bodeo 
He was intoxicated with love, with mead, and with poetry. Then 
he took the form vX an eagle, and fl«v with liiythmical motion to 
the divine heights, even as the skald ruses himself to the dwellings 
of the immortals on the wings of the song that is bom of lov^ of 
wine, and inspiration. But Suttung heard the flap of the wings 
and knew who had robbed him of his mead. His eaglenlress was 




^ jiii i wi i .,..mj 



at hand, he therefore threw it round bis great shonldei^ and flew 
so quickly after the Ase that he almost came up with him. The 
gods watched the wild diase with anxiety. They got cups ready 
to receive the delicious beverage. When Odin with difficulty 
reached the safe precincts of holy A^ard, he poured the mead 
into the goblets prepared for it Since that time Allfather ha* 
given the gods the Draught of Inspiration, nor has he denied drops 
of Odrorir to mortal men when they felt themsdves impelled to 
sing to the harp of the deeds of the gods and of earthly heroes. 

Odin possessed knowledge of all past, present and future events, 
since he had drunk of the fountain of Mimir and of Odrdrir. He 
therefore determined to attempt a contest with Waftbrudnir, the 
wisest of the Jotuns, in which the conquered was to lose his bead. 

In vain Frigg strove, in her fear, to dissuade him from the 
perilous undertaking ; he set out boldly on his way and entered 
the giant's hall as a poor traveller called Gangnider. 

Stopping on the threshold of the banqueting ball, be said, " My 
name is Gangrader, I have come a long way ; and now I ask thee ' 
to grant me hospitality and to let me strive with thee in wise 

Wafthnidnir answered bim: "Why doit thou stand upon tiie 
threshold, instead of seating thyself in the room? Thou shalt 
never leave my hall unless thou hast the victory over me io 
wisdom. We must lay head against bead on the chance; come 
forward then and tty thy luck," 

He now proceeded to question his guest about the horses thai 
carried Day and Night across the sky, the river that divided 
A^ard from Jotunhdm, and the field where the Last Battle waa 
to be fought When Gangrader had shown his knowledge of all ' 
these things, the g^ant offered him a seat by his sid^ and in hif 
turn answered his guest's questions as to the origin of earth and 
heaven, the creation of the godi^ how Nidrder had come to tbem 


from the wise Wanes, what the Einheriar did in Odin's halls, what 
was the origin of the Noms, who was to rule over the heritage of 
the Ases after the world had been burnt up, and what was to be 
the end of the Father of the gods. 

After WafUinidnir had answered all of these questions, Gang- 
rader asked: "I discovered much. I sought to find out the 
meaning of many things, and questioned many creatures. What 
did Odin whisper in the ear of his son before he ascended the 
funeral pHe ? " 

Rect^ntsing the Father of the gods by this question, the 
conquered Jotun exclaimed : " Who can tell what thou didst 
whisper of old in the ear of thy son ? I have called down my fate 
upon my own head, when I dared to enter on a strife of knowledge 
with Odia Allfather, thou wilt e\'er be the msest" 

The poet does not tell us whether the visitor demanded the head 
of the conquered Jotun. Nor does he mention' the word that 
Odin whispered to his son before he went down to the realms of 
Hel; but the context leads us to suppose that it was the word 
Resurrection, the word which pointed to the higher, holier lif^ to 
which Baldur, the god of goodness, should be bom again, when a 
new and purer world should have arisen from the ashes of the old, 
sin-laden world 

From later poems Odin appears not only as Ruler of the world, 
and Father of all Divine beings^ who gradually as time went on 
became more and more subordinate to him, but also as pn^enitor 
of Idngs and heroic races, such as the kings of the Anglo-Saxons 
and Franks as well as of the rulers of Denmart^ Norway, and 



According to the Edda, Odin bad three sons, Wegdegg, the East 
Saxon ; Beld^g (Baldur or Phol), the West Saxon (Westphalian) ; 
and Sigi, to whom Franconia was given ; and three others, Sldbld, 
Saming, and Yngwi, who were made kings of Denmark, Norway, 
and Sweden. Other sagas show that Wals, Sigmund, and Sigurd, 
the hero of the Niflung Lay, were descended from Sigi, while 
Brand and Heingest or Hengist, Horsa and Swtpd^er were de- 
scended from Belde{^. The Anglo-Saxon genealogical tables 
make out that Vodcn (Wodan) and Frealaf (Freya) had seven 
sons, who were the founders of the Ai^lo-Saxon kingdom. 
Others, on the contrary, only show three sons here also, whidi 
makes them more in agreement with the northern genealop'esL 

According to the higher ideas regarding him, Odin was the 
father of gods and men ; the latter were created by him, while the 
former were his direct or indirect descendants. His son by Jdrd 
(the Earth) was strong Thor, father of Magni and Modi (Strength 
and Courage) ; by Frigg he had Baldur and Hddur ; by Rinda» . 
Wali, who afterwards became the avei^er of Baldur ; and by the 
nine mothers, the mysterious watchman HeimdaL Besides these^ 
there were the poet-god Bragi ; the divine messenger, Hermodur ; 
the brave archer, Uller ; and even the god of heaveiv Tyr, who 
otherwise received the highest honours Related to him were 
Forseti, son of Baldur, and Widar, who were to rule over the new 
world of holiness and innocence. Thus he was the Father of the 
Ases. On the other hand, Hdnir, who gave to newly created man 
senses and life, and Loki, who gave him blood and blooming ' 
complexions, were Odin's brothers or comrades in primeval time& 
Great NiSrder, his bright son Freyer and his daughter Freya 
belonged to another divine race, that of the Wanes ; tbqr were 
first brought into Asgard as hostage^ but were received into the 
tanks of the Ase^ 





After the birth of Thor, whose mother was Jdrd (the Earthy 
daughter of the giantess Fldrgyn, Odin left the dark Earth^oddess 
and married bright Fi^, a younger daughter of FiOrgyn ; hence- 
forth she shared his throne Hlidskialf, his divine wisdom and 
his power, becoming the joy and delight of his heart, and the 
mother of the Ases, She ruled with him over the fate of mortals 
and granted her votaries good fortune and victory, often bringii^ 
about her ends by woman's cunning. Just as in Hellas a feast 
was held each year in commemoration of the marriage of Zeus 
and Hera, so did the old Teutons in like manner bold festivity 
to celebrate the union of Odin and Freya. 

Freya's palace was called Fensaler, that Is, the hall of the sea. 
It probably got this name from the dwellers on the coast, who 
looked upon Frigg as the ruler of the sea and protector of ships. 
A soothing twilight always reigned, and it was adorned with pearls 
and gold and silver. And the goddess would bring all lover^ 
and husbands and wives who had been separated by an early 
death, to this peaceful palac^ where they were reunited for ever. 
This belief of the old Teutons shows us that th^ regarded lov« 
in its truest and highest aspect and built their hopes on beii^ 
reunited after death to the objects of their affections. What we 
learn from the Latin annals of Armtn and Thusnelda, of the hi^ 
poution of women as seers of future events, proves to us that noble 
women were always treated even by rude, fighting men, with 
req>ect and reverence; while the romance of love is dearly shown 
in the Northern myth of Brynhild, who threw herself upon the 
bumii^ pyre in order that she might be reunited to her beloved 

In her gorgeous palace Frigg ^ts si^nnlng, on her golden dlstafl^ 



, f 



FRIGG. 99 

the silken threads, which she afterwards bestows on the most 
worthy housewives. The goddess' spinning-wheel was visible to 
man every night, for it was that shining, stany zone which we in 
our ignorance now point out as the Belt of Orion, but which to out 
ancestors was the Heaven*queen's spinning-wheeL The goddess 
had three friends and attendants always beside her, and with these 
she used to hold council on human affairs, in the hall of the mooo. 

Fulla or VoUa was the first of Fri^s attendant-goddesses, and 
chief of the mudens ; according to Teutonic belief she was also 
the sister of the Queen of Heaven. She wore a gotdea drclet 
round her head, and beneath it her long hair floated over her 
shoulders. Her oflice was to take chai^ of the Queen's jewels^ 
and to clothe her royal mistress. She listened to the prayen 
of sorrowful mortals, repeated them to Frigg, and advised her bow 
best to g^ve help. 

Htin, the second of Frigg's maidens, was the protector of all 
who were in danger and of those who called upon her for hdp 
in hour of need. 

The messenger of the Queen of Heaven was Gna, who rodcv 
swift as the wind, on a horse with golden trappings, over land and 
sea, and through the clouds that floated in the air, to twing her 
mistress news of the fate of mortal men. 

Once as Gna was hovering over Hunaland, she saw Kii^ Rerir, 
a descendant of Sigi and of the race of Odin, sitting on the side 
of a hilL She heard him praying for a child, that bis family might 
not be blotted out of memory ; for both be and bis wife were 
advanced in year^ and they had got no diild to cany on their 
noble race. She told the goddess of the prayer of the king, «4io 
had often presented fine fruit as a sacrifice to the heavenly powen. 
Frigg smilingly gave her an apple which would ensure the fulfil- 
ment of the king's desire. Gna quickly remounted her bone 
Hoof-flinger, and hastened over land and sea, and over the country 


i<K> ascaud and the cods. 

of the wise Wanes, who gazed up at the bold rider In astonish- 
ment and asked : 

" What flies up there, » qiuckly driring put f " 

Her answer from the clouds, as rusbins bj : 
" 1 fly not, nor do drive, but hurry fast 

Hoof-flioger swift through doud and mist and l]^." 

Kine Rerir was still seated on the hillside under the shade of 
a fir-treci when the divine messenger came down to earth at the 
skirt of the wood close to where he sat She took the form of a 
hooded-crow, and flew up into the flr-tree. She heard the prince 
mourning over the sad fate that had befallen him, that his family 
would die out with him, and then she let the apple fall into his 
lapk At first he gazed at the fruit in amazement, but soon he 
understood tlie meaning of the divine gift, took it home with him 
and gave it to his spouse to eat 

Meanwhile Gna guided her noble horse rapidly along the star-lit 
road to A^[ard, and told her mistress jc^ously of the success of 
her mis^on. In due time the Queen of Hunaland had a son, the 
great Wol^ng, from whom the whole family took its name. He 
was the father of brave Sigmund, the favourite of Odin, and he 
in his turn of Sigurd, the fame <^ whose glory iras spread mrer 
every Northern and Teutonic land. 

When the Queen of Heaven heard of the success that had accom- 
panied her divine gift, she herself decided to be the bearer of the 
news to the assembled gods and heroes, and determined to appear 
in her most glorious array. FuUa spread out all the Queen's 
jewels until they shone like star^ yet Fri{^ was not satisfied. 
Then Fulla pointed to Odin's statue of pure gold, that stood in the 
hall of the temple. She thought a worthy ornament might be 
made for the goddess out of that gold, if the skilful artificers who 
had made such a marvellous likeness of the Father of the gods could 


FRrCG. tOf 

only be won over. The artists were bribed with rich presents 
and they at last cut away some of the gold from a place that 
was covered by the folds of the floating mantle, so that the theft 
could not easily be discovered. They then made the Queen a 
necklace of incomparable beauty. When Frigg entered the as- 
sembly and seated herself on the throne beside Odin, she at once 
made known to all present how she had saved a noble family 
from extinction. Every one gazed at her beauty in amazement 
and the Father of the gods felt his heart filled anew with love 
for his queen. 

A short time afterwards Odin went to the hall of the temple 
in which his statue was placed. His penetrating eye at once 
discovered the theft that no one else had noticed, and his wrath 
was immediately kindled. He sent for the goldsmiths, and as 
they confessed nothing, he ordered them to be executed. Then he 
commanded that the statue should be placed above the high gate 
of the temple, and prepared magic runes that should give it sense 
and speech, and thus enable it to accuse the perpetrator of the 
deed. The Goddess^]ueen was greatly alarmed at all these pte- 
parations. She feared the anger of her lord, and still more the 
shame of her deed being proclaimed in the presence of the ruling 

Now there happened to be In the Queen's housdiold a serving 
demon of low rank, but bold and daring^ who had already ventured 
to show his admiration for bis mistress. Fulla went to him and 
assured him that the Queen was touched by his devotion, upon 
which the demon declared himself willing to run any risks for her 
sake. He made the temple watchmen fall into a deep sleep, tore 
down the statue from above the door, and dashed It In pieces so 
that it could no longer apeak or complain. 

Odin saw what he was doing and guessed the reason. He 
raised Gungnir, the spear of death, ready to fling at all who bad 

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been conceraed in the evil deed. But his love for Fi^ triumphed 
over all else ; he determined on another punishment 

He withdrew from gods and men ; he disappeared into distant 
r^ions, and with him went every blessing from heaven and earth. 
A false Odin took his place, who let loose the storms of winter 
and the Ice-giants over field and meadow. Every green leaf 
withered, thick clouds hid the golden sun and the light of the 
moon and stais; the earth, lakes and rivers were frozen by the 
raging cold which threatened to destroy all forms of life. Every 
creature longed for the return of the god of blessing, and at length 
be came back. Thunder and lightning made known his approach. 
The usurper fled before the true Odin ; and shrubs and herbs 
of all kinds sprouted' anew over the face of the earth, which was 
now made young i^ain bjr the warmth of spring. 

In the forgoing tale^ we have endeavoured as much as possible 
to make a connected narrative out of the confused, and now and 
then contradictory, myths r^arding Fri^ and her handmaids. 
We will only add that the myth which completes it, dates from 
a time when the gods had paled in the cy^ of the people, and 
had become less exalted in character than of old. There are 
many versions of it differing from one another, and it serves 
here to show the di0erence between Summer-Odin and Winter- 


Let us now agun turn our attention to the great goddess Frigg. 
The Northern skalds first raised her to the throne and distin- 
guished her from Freya or Frea, the goddess of the Wanes. She 
was originally identical with her, as her name and character show. 
For Fri^ comes from frigm, a Low-Gennan word connected 
with frtun in H^h-German, and meaning to woo, to many, thus 

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pointing to the character of the goddess. The cdd Germaidc races, 
tlierefor^ knew Frea alone as Queen of Heaven, and Ait and her 
husband Wodan together ruled over the world. The name Tn^sf^ 
or Frick was sdso used for her, for in Hess^ and especially in 
Darmstadt, people used to say fifty years ago of any (at old 
woman : " Sie ist so dick wie die alte Frick." (She is as thick [fatj 
as Old Frick.) The word frigtH is also related to siek /rout 
(rejoice) ; thus Fngg was the goddess of joy (Frtttdt). She took 
the place of the Earth-goddess Nerthus (mistakenly Hertha), who^ 
Tacitus informs us, was worshipped in a sacred grove on an 
island in the sea. Nerthus was probably the wife <^ the god of 
heaven, in whom we recc^tse Zio or Tyr. He was the hidden 
god who according to the detailed account of Tacitus was so 
reverently worshipped in a sacred grove by the Semnone% the 
noblest of the Swabian tribes, that the pet^le never set foot on 
the ground that was consecrated to him withoat having their 
hands first bound. The Earth-goddess may also have been the 
wife and sister of NiSrder, and separated from him when he was 
received amongst the Ases. In this case she belonged to the 
earlier race of gods, the Wanes, and her husband must have then 
been called Nerthus, a name afterwards changed into NiSrder. 

In Mecklenburg the same goddess appears under the name of 
Mistress Gaude or Gode, which is the feminine form of Wodan or 
Godan. The country people believed that she brought good luck 
with her wherever she went 

One story informs us that she once got a carpenter to mend a 
wheel of her carriage, which had broken when she was on a jour- ■ 
ney. She gave him all the chips of wood as a reward for Us 
trouble. The man was angry at getting so paltry a remuneration, 
and only pocketed a few of the chips ; but next morning he saw 
with astonishment that they had turned to pure gold. 

According to another tale. Dame Gode was a great huntress, 




who together with her twenty-four dau^ters devoted herself to the 
noble pursuit of the chase day and n^t, on week-days and on 
Sunda}rs. She was therefore made to hunt to all eternity, and her 
pack of hounds consisted of maidens who were turned into dogs 
by endiantment ; she was thus forced to take part in the Wild 

In France the goddess was called Bensocia ^ood neighbour, 
bona soda), and in the Netherlands, Pharaildis^ (>, Frau Hilde 
or Vrouelden, whence the Milky Way was named Vrouelden- 

Hilde (Held, hero) signifies war, and she was a Walkyri^ who 
with her Asters exercised her office in the midst of the battle. 
Later poems make her out to be dau^ter of King Hogni, who 
was carried oflT, while gathering magic herbs on the seashore t^ 
bold Hedin when he was on a Wiking-raid. Her father pursued 
the Wiking with his war-ships, and came up with him on an island. 
In vain Hilde strove to prevent bloodshed. H^ni bad already 
drawn his terrible sword, Dainsleif, the wounds made by which 
never healed. Once more Hedin offered the king expiation and 
much red gold in atonement for what be had dtme. 

His father-in-law shouted in scorn : " Hy sword Dainslei^ which 
was forged \jy the Dwarfs, never returns to its sheath until it has 
drunk a share of human blood 1 " 

The battle began and n^ed all day without beii^ decided one 
way or the other. 

In the evenii^ both parties returned to their ships to strengthen 
themselves for the combat on the moirow. 

But Htlde went to the field of battle, and by means of runes and 
mag^c agpi awakened all the dead warriors and made whole their 
brokra swords and sbietdft. 

As soon as day broke, the fight was renewed, and lasted until 
the darkness of night obliged the combatants to stop^ 









The dead were stretched out on the battle-field as stiff as figuret 
of stone ; but before morning dawned the witch-maiden bad 
awakened them to new battl^ and so it went on unceasingly until 
the gods passed away. 

Hitde was also known and worshipped in Germany, as Is shown 
by the l^end about the foundation of the town of Hildeshdm. 

One year, as soon as snow had fallen on the spot dedicated to her, 
King Ludw^ ordered the cathedral to be built there. The Vii^ 
Mary afterwards took her plac^ and several churches Mrere built 
in honour of Maria am Schnee (Marie au neige) both in Germany 
and in France. 

Nehalennia, the protectress of ships and trade, was worshipped - 
1^ the Keltic and Teutonic races in a sacred grove on the island 
of Walcheren ; she had also altars and holy places dedicated to 
her at Nivelles. The worship <A Isa or Eisen, who was identical 
with Ndialennia, was even older and more wide-spread throughout 
Germany. 5t Gertrude took her place in Christian times, and her 
name (Geer, is^ spear, and Trude, dai^hter of Thor) betrays iti 
heathen oii^a 


Once upon a time, in a lonely valley of the Tyrol, where snow* 
capped glaciers ever shone, there lived a cow-herd with his wife 
and children. He used to drive his small herd of cattle out to 
graze in the pastures, and now and again would shoot a cham<Ms^ 
for he was a skilled bowman. His cross-bow also served to protect 
his cattle from the beasts of prqr, and the numerous bear-skins and 
wolf-sktns that covered the floor <A his cottage bore witneu to his 
success as a hunter. 

One day, when he was watching his cattle and goats on a fra- 
grant upland pasture^ he suddenly perceived a splendid chamcn^ 

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whose horns shone like the sun. He immediately s«zed his bow 
and crept forward on hands and knees until he was within ^ot 
But the deer sprang from rock to rock higher up the mountain, 
seeming every now and then to wait for him, as though it mocked 
his pursuit. He continued the chase eagerly until he reached the 
glacier which had sunk below the snow-fietds. 

The chamois now vanished behind some huge boulder% but at 
the same time he discovered a high arched doorway in the glader, 
and in the background beyond he saw a light shining. 

He went through the dark entrance boldly, and found himself in 
a large hall, the walls and ceiling of which were composed of dazz- 
ling crystal, ornamented with fiery garnets. He could see flowery 
meadows and shady groves through the crystal walls ; but a tall 
woman was standing in the centre of the hall, her graceful limbs 
draped in glancing, silvery garments^ caught in at the waist by a 
golden girdle, and resting on her blond curls was a coronet of car. 
bundes. The flowers in her hand were blue as the eyes with which 
she gently regarded the cow-herd. Beautiful maidens, their heads 
crowned with Alpine roses, surrounded their mistress, and seemed 
about to begin a dance. But the herdsman had no eye for any 
except the goddess, and sank humbly on his knees. 

Then she said in a voice that went straight to the heart of the 

" Choose what thou thinkest the most costly of all my treasures, 
lilver, gold, or precious stones, or one of my maidens." 

"Give me, kind goddess," he answered; "give me only the 
bunch of flo%vers in thy band ; I de^re no other good thing upon 
the earth." 

She bent her head graciously u she gave him the flowers, and 

"Thoa hast chosen insety. Take them and live as long as 
these flowers bloom. And here^" pcunting to a com measure "is 



leed with which to sow thy land that it may bear thee many blue 
flowers such as these." 

He would have embraced her knee^ but a peal of thunder shook 
the hall and the mountain, and the vision was gone. 

When the cow-herd awoke from hb vision, he saw nothing but 
the rocks and the glacier, and the wild torrent that flowed out of 
it ; the entrance to the palace of the goddess had vanished. The 
nosegay was still in his hand and beside him was the wooden 
measure full of seed. These tokens convinced him that what had 
happened was not a mere dream. 

He took up his presents and his cross-bow, and descended the 
mountain thoughtfully to see what had become of his cattle. Th^ 
were nowhere to be seen, look for them where he might, and when 
he went home he found nothing but want and misery. Bears and 
wolves had devoured his herd, and only the swift-footed goats had 
escaped from the beasts of prey. 

A whole year had elapsed since he had left home, and yet he- 
had thought that he had only spent a few hours chamois-hunting 
in the mountains. When he showed his wife the bunch of flowers, 
and told her that he intended to sow the seed that had been gjven 
him, she scolded him, and mocked him for his folly ; but he would 
not be turned aude from his determination, and bore all his infe't 
hard words most patiently. 

He ploughed up a field and sowed the seed, but there was still 
a great deal over ; he sowed a second and a third field, and yet 
much seed remained. The little green sprouts soon showed io 
the field\ grew longer and longer, till at length the blue flowert 
unfolded themselves in great numbers, and even the cow-herd*t 
nnfe rejoiced at the sight, so lovely were they to look upcuL 

The man watched over his crop day and nigh^ and he offcen 
saw the goddess of the mountain wandering throi^h Us fields 
in the moonlight with her maidens, blessii^ them with uplifted 


When the flowers were all withered and the seed was rip^ she 
came again, and showed how the flax was to be prepared, after 
which she went into the cottage and taught the cow-herd's wife 
how to si^n and weave the flax and bleach the linen, so that it 
became as white as newly fallen snow. 

The cow-herd rapidly grew ridi, and became a benefactor to his 
country, for be introduced the cultivation of flax throughout the 
land, which gave employment and w^es to thousands of countiy* 
people. He saw children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren 
around him, but the bunch of flowers the goddess had given him 
was still as fresh as ever, vica when he was more than a hundred 
years old and very tired of life. 

One monu'ng while he was looking at his beloved flowers, they 
all bent down their head^ withered and dying. Then he knew 
that it was time to say farewell to earthly life. Leaning on bis 
stafl*, he toiled painfully up the mountains. It was already evening 
^en he reached the glacier. 

The snow-fields above were shining gloriously as though in 
' honour of the last walk of the good old man. He once more saw 
the vaulted doorway and the glimmering light beyond. And then 
he passed with good courage through the dark entrance into the 
bright morning which greets the weary pilgrim, when, after his 
earthly journey is over, he reaches Hulda's halts. The door now 
closed behind him, and he was seen no more on earth. 

This and other traditions of the same kind are told in the Tyrol 
of the old Germanic goddess Hulda or Holda. Her name shows 
that she was a goddess of grace and mer^, and she must have 
been worshipped both ia Germany and in Sweden, but still no 
traces are to be found of her at the present day in the Teutobuig 
Forest, where so many of the places and names point back to the 
old Germanic religion, nor yet do the Northern skalds give an 
account of her. However, German laiiy l^ends and tales call to 

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HOLD A. 113 

OS the great goddess whose character and deeds live on in the 
memory of the people and the Northern Huldra, who drew men 
to her by means of her wondrous song, is exactly identical with 
her. Her name has been derived from the old Northern Hulda, 
it.. Darkness ; and it has been thought that she was the imper- 
sonation of the dark side of the goddess of Earth and Death ; but 
the derivation which we gave before, from Huld, grace, mercy, 
seems more suitable 

A Northern fairy-tale makes Hulla or Hulda, queen of the 
Kobolds. She was a daughter of the queen of the Hulde-men, 
who killed first her faithless husband and then herself. She enticed 
wise King Odin by means of a stag, to her mansion, which was 
hidden in the depths of a wood. She gave him of her best; and 
then begged him to act as umpire in a legal dispute that had 
arisen between her and the other Kobolds and Thurses, alx)ut the 
murder of her husband. He consented to do so, and his decision 
made her queen of all the Kobolds and Thurses in Norseland. - 
This tale is quite modem in its form, but tt certainly is based on 
ana'ent beliefs. 

A poem dating from the middle ages places Holda in the 
Mountain of Venus, a place that is generally supposed to be the 
Hdrselben; in Thuringia. She was then called Mistress Venu^ 
and held a splendid court with her women. Noble knights, 
amongst whom was Ritter Tannhauser, were drawn by her into 
the mountain, where they lived such a gay, merry life of pleasure 
that they could hardly ever again free themselves from her spell 
and make their escape, even though thoughts of honour and duty 
might now and then return to them. 

It was finally said of Holda, that those who were crippled in any 
way were restored to full strength and power 1^ bathing in her 
Quickbom (fountain of life), and that old men found their vanished 
youth there once more. This tradition connects her with the 




Northern Iduna, who had charge of the apple tfut preserved the 
immortality aod vigour vS the Asa. But she also resembled 
Ostara, who was w<xstupped by the Saxons, Franks and other 

Ostara, the goddess of Spring, of the resurrectioo of nature after 
the long death of winter, was h^hly honoured by all the old 
Teutons, nor could Christian zeal prevent her name being im- 
mortalised in the word Easter, the period of spring at which time 
the Saxons in En^and worshipped her. The mem(»y of these 
old times has long since passed away, althot^h the " hare " still 
lays its "Easter-eggs;" The custom » very old of giving each 
other coloured c^gs as a present at the time when day and ni^t 
became equal in length and when the frozen earth awakens to 
new life after the cold of winter is gone^ for an egg was ty^Acal 
of the bq;inning tA life. Christianity put another meaning on the 
old custom, by connecting it with the feast of the Resurrection of . 
the Saviour, who^ hlce the hidden life m the egj^ slept in the grave 
for three days before he wakened to new life 

There are no legends about the goddess of firing. One mono- 
ment alone^ and that a newly discovered one; remains oS the old 
worship, the Extern-stone^ which are to be found in the Teuto- 
buig Forest at the northern aid of the wooded hills. It is stated 
in the chriHiide of a neighbouring village; dating frtMn last century, 
that the ^norant peasantry were guilty of many misdemeanours 
there when doing hcMiODr to the heathen goddess Ostara. Had the 
clergyman only told us whether there were processions, dance% 
feasts; scattering of flowers, or any other kind at sacrifice a dear 
l^it might have been shed over the manner in which the goddess 
was worshipped. Still, this fact proves that not only the nam^ but 
also the worship erf* Ostara was kept in the memories of the people 
for hundredi^ perhaps thousands; of year^ and shows how deeply 
rooted it warn. The rocks may perbaps have been called Eastern 

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or Eostem-stones, and may have been dedicated to Ostaia. There, 
as elsewhere, the priests and priestesses of the goddess probabljr 
assembled in heathen times, scattered Mayflowers, l^ted boo* 
fires, slaughtered the creatures sacrificed to her, and went in pro- 
cession on the first night of May, which was dedicated to her. 
Very much the same as this used to be done at Gambach, in Upper 
Hesse, where, as late as thirty yean ago even, the young peo[4e 
went to the Easter-stones on the top of a hill, every Easter, and 
danced and held sports. Edicts were published in tbe dghth cen- 
tury forbidding these practices ; but in vain, the people would not 
give up their old faith and customs. Afterwards the priestesses 
were declared to be witches, the bonfires, which cast their l^ht to 
great distances, were said to be (^ infernal origin, and the festival 
of May was looked upon as the witches* satibatb. Nevertheless 
young men and maidens stilt continue, near tbe H«ssner-GetH^ 
in Hesse, to cany bunches of Mayflowen and throw them into 
one of the caves that are to be found there. For Ostara, who 
gives new life to nature, is the divine protectress of youth and 
the giver of married happiness. 


The dusk of evening has fallen over Beriin. A great yet silent 
crowd is rapidly moving through the chief s tree t towards tbe royal 
palace; and eveiy now and then a low whisper is heard. In whkb 
can be distinguished the words: "The King UveiytIL" Indie 
palace itself yet greater silence reigns. The King's guardsmen 
stand motionless, the servants' steps are inaudible on tbe carpets of 
the corridors and the rooms. Now the tower clock strikes mid- 
night ; all at once a door opens, and through it glides a ghottly 
woman, tall of stature queenly vS bearing. 

She is dressed in a trailing white garment, a white veil covers her 

w?mmm ^, ' I" ■ ' ■ ■ ii j i uj i u 



head, below whicfa her lot^^ flaxen hair hangs, twisted with string* 
of pearls ; her face is deathly pale as that of a corpse. In her 
right hand she carries a bunch of keys, in her left a nosegay of 
Mayflowers. She walks solemnly down the long corridor. The 
tall guardsmen present arms, pages and lackeys give way before 
her, the guards who have just relieved their comrades open thrir 
ranks ; the figure passes throi^h them, and goes through a folding 
door into the n^ral ante^room. 

" It is the White Lady ; the King is about to die," whispers the 
officer of the watch, brushing a tear from his eye. 

"The White Lady has appeared," is whispered through the 
crowd, and all know what that portends. 

At noon the King's death was known to all " Yes," said Master 
Schneckenburger, "be has been gathered to his fathers. Mistress 
Berchta has once more announced what was going to happen, for 
she can foretell everything, both bad and good. She was seen - 
before the misfortunes of i8o6, and again before the battle of Belle- 
Alliance; She has a key with which to open the door of life and 
happiness. He to whom she gives a cowslip will succeed in what- 
ever he undertakes." 

Schneckenbuiger was right It was Bertha, or Berchta, who 
made known the King's approaching death, but she was also the 
prophetess of other important events. Berchu (from perdu, 
shbing) is almost identical with Holda. except that the latter 
never appears as the White Lady. Many Germanic tribes wor- 
shipped the Earth-^^dess under the name of Berchta, and there 
are numbers of legends about her both in North and South 

One evenii^ in the year was dedicated to her, and was called 
Perchten-evening(30th December or 6th January), when she was sup< 
posed, as a diligent spinner, to oversee the labours of the spinning- 
room, or, magic staff in hand, to ride at the head of the R^iy 

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Host, in the midst of a terrific storm. She generally lived id hoUov 
mountains, where she, as in Thuringia, watched over and tended 
the " Heimchen," or souls of babes as yet unborn, and of those who 
died an early death. She busied herself there by plouf^tng up 
the ground under the earth, whilst the babes watered the fields. 
Whenever men, careless of the good she did them, disturbed her 
in her mountain dwelling, she left the country with her train, and 
after her departure the fields lost all their former fruitfulnesiL 

Once when Berchta and her babes were passing over a meadow 
across the middle of which ran a fence that divided it in two^ the 
last little child could not climb over it ; its water-jar was too 

A woman, who a short time before bad lost her little baby, was 
close by, and rec<^^ised her dead darling, for whom Ait had wept 
night and day. She hastened to the child, clasped it in her amu, 
and would not let it ga 

Then the little one said : " How warm and comfortable I fed in 
my mother's arms ; but weep no more for m^ mother, my jar is full 
and is gromng too heavy for me; Look, mother, dost thou not 
see how all thy tears run into i^ and how I've spilt some on my 
little shirt ? Mistress Berchta, who loves me and kisses me, has 
told mc that thou shouldst also come to her in tim^ and then we 
shall be together again in the beautiful garden under the UU." 

Then the mother wept once more a flood of tears, and let the 
child ga 

After that she never shed another tear, but found comfort In the 
thought that she would one day be with her child again. 

Berchta appears in many legends as an endiantress, or as ao 
enchanted maiden, who pnnn'ded a rich treasure for him who was 
lucky enough to set her free from the magic spelt that bound ber. 
Still more frequently, however, she took up her abode In princely 
castles as the " Ahnfrau," or Ancestress tX the family to whom tbe 

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castle belonged. In these stories the Goddess fA Nature is hardly 

It is told that the widowed Countess Kunigunde of OrlamUnd 
fell in love with Count Albrecht the beautiful, of Hohenzollera. 
He told her that four eyes stood in the way t^a marriage between 
them, and she; thinking that be referred to her children, had them 
secretly murdered. Bu^ as the tale informs us, he bad meant his 
parents, who disapproved of the taaxna^t. He felt nothing but 
abhorrence of the murderess when he found out what she had 
don^ and she, repenting of her sin, made a plumage to Rome, 
did severe penance^ and afterwards founded the nunneiy of the 
Heavenly Crown, where she died an abbess. Her grave; as well 
as those of her children and of the Bui^raf Albrecht, are still 
shown there. From that time she appeared at the Plassenburg, 
near Balreuth, as the " Ahnfrau," who made known any evil that 
was going to happen ; later on she went to Berlin with the Count's - 
family, and is still to be seen there as the tale at the b^inning of 
this chapter shows. 

Another account makes the apparition out to be the Countess 
Beatrix of Cleve, who was married to the Swan-Knight so often 
mentioned amoi^ the old heroes of the middle ages. The House 
of Oeve was nearly related to that of HohenzoUem, and in the 
mysterious Swan-Knight we recognise the god of Light, who 
comes out of the darkness of night and returns to it a^in. 

A more ^mple version refers to a Bohemian Countess, Bertha 
of Rosenberg. She was unhappily married to Johann of Ltchten* 
berg, after whose death she became the benefactress fA her sub- 
jects, built the Castle Neuhau^ and never laid aside the white 
garments of widowhood as long as she lived. In this dress she 
appeared, and even now appears, to the kindred families of Rosen* 
berg, Neuhaus and Berlin, on which occasion she prophesies either 
good or evil fortune. 




The Germanic races carried the worship of this Earth^^dcss 
with them to Gaul and Italy, in the former of which countries 
a proverbial expression refers to the underground kingdom of the 
goddess, by reminding people "du temps que Btrtht Jilait^ It was 
that time of innocence and peace, of which almost every nation 
has its tradition, for whidi it longs, and to which it can only 
return after death. 

Historical per$on:^es have also been supposed to enact the part 
formerly given to the Earth-mother. 

A tradition of the I2th century informs us that Pepin, father of 
Charlemagne, wished to many Bertrada, a Hungarian princes^ 
who was a veiy good and diligent spinner. His wooing was suc- 
cessful, and the princess and her ladies set out on tteir journey ' 
to Pepin's court The bride's marvellous beauty was only marred 
by her having a very large foot. 

Now the chief lady-in-watting was a wicked woman, and jealous 
of Bertrada ; so she gave the princess to some villains she had 
bribed, in order that she might be murdered in the forest, and then 
she put her own ugly daughter in her mistress's place; Although 
Pepin was disgusted with his deformed bride, he was obliged to 
many her according to compact ; but soon afterwards, on finding 
out the deception that had been practised upon him, he put her 
from him. 

Late one evening when out hunting, he came to a mill on the 
river Maine. There he saw a girl 8|»nning bunly. He recognised 
her as the true Bertrada by her large foot, found out how her 
intended murderers had taken compassbn on her, and how she 
had finally reached the mill He then discovered his rank to her, 
and entreated her to fulfil her engagement to him. The fruit of 
this marriage was Charlemagne: 

In this tale we recognise the old myth under a modem form. 

We see how Mother Earth, the protectress of souls and ances> 

' ■' \lM.&h^ 


tress of man, especially of those of n^al or heroic race, is thrust 
aside by the cunning, wintry Bercbta, but is joined again by her 
heavenly husband, and becomes the mother of the god of Spring. - 
Even the lai^e foot reminds us of the goddess, who was (Migioally 
supposed to show herself in the form of a swan. This is the 
reason why in Frendi churches there are representations of 
queens with a swan's or goose's foot {jwu pidauqui^ 

Other French stories show Berchta in the form of Holda : how 
she sheds tears for her lost spouse, so bitter that the very stones 
are penetrated by them. Both goddesses are identical with the 
Northern Freya, who wept golden tears for her husband. 

There is an old ballad that is still sung in the neighbourhood 
of Hayenc^ which tells of the bright, blessed kingdom of the 
goddess. We can give only the matter of it here, as the verses 
themselves have not remained in our memory. 

A huntsman once stood sadly at the water's edge, and thought 
on his lost love. He had had a young and lovely -mtt, who^ when 
he came wearied home from the chase, would welcome him with 
the warm kiss <^ love. She bare him a sweet babev and made him 
perfectly happy. But ere long both were taken from his side \aiy 
grim, envious death, and now he was alone. Gladly would he 
have died with them, but that was not to be. Three months bad 
flown by, but bis wife and child were still always in his thoughts. 

One night his way led him beside a flowing stream ; he stopped 
still on the bank, gazed long into the water's depths, and asked : 

"Is the broken heart to be made whole in a wateiy grave 

Thereupon sK-eet dlveiy notes fdl upon his car; and as he 
glanced upwards, he saw before him a beauteous, queenly woman, 
sitting opposite him on the other side of the stream ; she was spin> 
ning gdden flax, and singing a wondrous sot^: 



" Youtb, enter thou my >htntn{ bal^ 
Where Jo]r and peace e'er rest ; 
\Vlien the weary heart at length fiods iD 
Its loved one*, 'gvn Vi Ueft 1 

The coward calif my baU the grare, 

My Um he fean 'twere death ; 
But the leap if bohUy made by the bnre— 

His the gain by the loH of life's breath I 

Youth, leave thou, Vsxa, the lonetome, deflate ihotc^ 
And boldly gain the joy enduring evermore." 

The huntsman listens; do the thrilling tones come from the 
beauteous woman on the opposite bank, or is it from the watery 
deep that they proceed ? 

Wildly he leaps into the flood, and a fair, white arm is extended, 
encircling him and drawing him down beneath the water's surface 
away from all earthly cares, away from all earthly distress and 
pain. And his loved ones greet him, his youthful wife and his 
babe. " See, father I how green the trees grow here, and how the 
coloured flowers sparkle with silver I And no one cries here^ no 
one has any trouble* I " 

This tale is based upon the oM heathen belief as to the life in 
a future state ; it shows us that the connction of our forefatheis 
has always been, that for the virtuous death was merely a trand* 
tion to a new life^ to a life purer, more complete^ than that on 


Arwaker (Early-waker) and Alswider (All'Swift^ the hc»«et <rf 
the sun, were wearily drawing the fiery chariot to its rest The 
sea and the ice-clad mountuns were glowing in the last rays of the 
setting sun. The clouds that were rising in the west received 
them in their lap. Then flashes of lightning darted ftnrth fnun the 



clouds, thunder b^an to roll in the distance, and the waves dashed 
in wild fury upon the rock-bound coast of the fiord. 

" Hai^ up the snow-shoes, lad, and take off thy fur cap ; 6ku- 
thor (Thor of the chariot) is driving over to waken old Mother 
J5rd, Put the 'jar of mead on the stone tabl^ wif^ that he may 
find something to drink ; and you, you lazy fellows, why are you 
sittii^ idly over the fire, instead of rubbing up the ploughshares 
until they shine again ? This is going to be a fruitful year, for 
Hlorridi (heat-bringer) has ctune early. Com^ Thialf, pull ofi" my 
fur boots." 

Thus spoke the yeoman to vdiom BalshofT belonged, as he sat 
on the stone bench by the fire. But then he stopped short, and 
stared open-mouthed ; Thialf let the fur boots fall from his hand ; 
the mistress of the house dropped the jug of mead, and the farm- 
servants the plough. Wingthor drove over from the west in all hts 
fury ; he struck the house with his hammer Midlnir, and the flash 
broke through the ridge of the tocS beside the pillar that supported 
it, and penetrated a hundred miles below the clay floor. A sul- 
phureous vapour filled the room ; but the yeoman, shaking off his 
stupefaction, rose from hts stone bench, and when he saw that no 
more damage was don^ he said : 

" Wingthor has been gracious to us, and now he has gone on to 
fight against the Frost and Mountain Giants. Do ye not hear the 
blows of his hammer, the howls of the monsters in their caverns, 
and the crashing of their stone heads as though they were nothing 
but oatmeal dumplings ? But to us he has g^ven rain, which even 
now Is falling heavily, rain that will soon melt away the snow 
and prepare the soil to receive the seed we shall sow later on. 
The tiny sprouts will grow ra^ridly, and grass and herbs and the 
green leek will reward us for our industry. Preserve the golden 
ears of com for us, O Thor, until the harvest tim^" 

In such manner people used, in the olden time, to call on the 


strong god of thunder, Thunar, — in the Nortb, Thor. He was held 
in great reverence, and was perhaps even regarded as an equal 
of the God of Heaven. Traces of tlwt are still recognisable, for 
wherever he was spoken of in connection mth the other gods, he 
was ^ven the place of honour in the middle; The Saxons had to 
renounce Wodan, Donar, and Saxnot In the temple of Upsala, 
Thor Is placed between Odin and Freyer. In "Sldmir's Journey," 
a poem of the Edda, it is said: "Odin Is adverse to tbe^ the 
Prince of the Ases (Thor) is adverse to thec^ Freyer corses thee;" 
He retained this high position in Norway, where he fought against 
the Frost and Mountain Giants, who sent die destructive east irind 
over the country. And not less honour was paid him in Saxony 
and Franconia. The oak was sacred to him, and his festivals were 
solemnized under the shade of oak trees. When thunderclouds 
passed over the earth, Thor was said to be driving his chariot 
drawn by two fierce male goats, called Tooth-cracker and Tooth- 

Odin — not he who sat on Hiidskialf overlooking the nine worlds, 
but the omnipotent God of Heaven — married J5rd, MoAer Earth 
and the offspring of this marriage was strong Thor, who b^pji 
even in the cradle, to show his Ase-like strength by lilting ten 
loads of bear-skins. 

Gentle old Mother Jdrd, who was known by several other names 
in different parts of Germany, could not man^e her strong son, so 
two other beings, Wingnir (the cringed), and Hlora (heat) became 
his foster-parents. These were personifications tX the winged 
lightning. From them were derived the god's names of Wingthor 
and Hlorridi. 

Thor married Sif (kin), for he, the protector of households, was 
himself obliged to have a well-ordered household. The beautiful 
goddess had golden hair, probably because of tfie golden com of 
which her husband was guardian, and her son was the swift ard>er. 


Uller, who hunted in snow-shoes every winter, and ruled over As- 
gard and Mtdgard in the cold season, while the sunmier Odin 
was away. By the giantess, Jamsaxa ironstone) Thor had two 
sons, Magni (Strength) and Modi (Courage), and by hts real wife 
a dai^hter, Thnid (Strong), the names of whom alt remind us of 
his own characteristics. 

Thor was handsome, targe and well-proportioned, and stroi^. 
A red beard covered the lower part of his fac^ his hair was long 
and curly, Iiis clothes were well-fitting and his arms were bare, 
showing his strongly-developed muscles. In his right hand he 
carried the crashing-hammer, Mi6lnir, whose blows caused the 
destructive l^htning flash and the growling thunder. 



and the doors of Bilskimir were standing <^>en that the castle 
might be filled with the aromatic perfume of the summer flowcn. 
Thor slept quietly in the great hall, until momii^ dawned and 
chased away the shades of night The god then rose from hit 
couch, but his first glance fell on his wife 5if> who looked very 
sad. All her golden hair had vanished in the night, and she was 
standing before htm with a bald head, like the earth when the 
golden com has been harvested. He guessed who the author of 



the mischief was, and rushed angrily over the hills and through the 
groves of A^ard until he came to spiteful Loki, whom he seized 
by the throat and held till his eyes almost started from his head. 
He would not let him go until he promised to obtain another head 
of hair, the same as the old one, from the dwarfs. As soon as the 
mischief-maker was free he hastened to Elfheim, and after paying 
A heavy pric^ brought away with him not only the hair but also 
Gungnir, the spear that never failed in its blow; and the ship Skid- 
bladnir, which could sail whatever wind was blomng, and which 
was so cunningly madc^ that it could be folded up and put in the 
pocket when it was no longer wanted. He gave Thor the hair for 
his wif^ and it was no sooner put upon her head than it took root 
and began to grow apace; To Odin he gave the spear, and to 
Frey« the ship^ that he might go to sea with the merchants' gal- 
leys and save shipwrecked persons. 

Delighted with the praise his gifts received on all sides, Loki 
asserted that his smiths, the sons of Iwaldur, were the best workers 
in metal that had ever lived. Now it happened that the Dwarf 
Brock was present when he said this, and Brock's brother, Sindri, 
was generally regarded as the best «nith. So he scornfully re> 
plied that no one could beat his brother, and that he would wager 
his head for Sindri's fame. Brock informed his brother of the 
dreadful bet, but was told to be of good courage ; he was g^ven 
the bellows and de»red to keep on blowing the Are without stop- 
ping, Kt that there might be no interruption in the ma^c worK a 
circumstance which would at once bring all their efforts to naught 
Sindri then put a pig-skin in the fir<^ and went away to draw the 
m:^c circle, and command the assistance of the hidden powers in 
his labours. Brock, meanwhile, worked hard at the bellows, in 
sfHte of tfie attacks of a fly which continually stung him on the 
hand till the blood flowed. When Sindri returned there was life 
in the 6r^ and he drew out of it the enonnous wild boar Gulltn- 

'iPWI^IPiiPW. « W."-«lWl"'«P»JIW^M""«t«llllWWPIII|ll ^ 

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bursti, with golden bristles, the radiance of which made the dark 
smithy as lig^ as day. 

The second work of art had now to be made. Siadri laid some 
red gold in the furnace, and Brock blew the bellows in spite of the 
cruel stings of the fly, until at last the ring Draupnir was formed, 
from which eight other rings exactly .similar dropped every ninth 

Lastly, the smith threw a bar of iron into the iiiniace^ and 
desired his brother to blow steadily. Brock did as be was told, 
and bore the agony caused by the fly, which he knew cunning Lold 
had sent But when all at once it stui^ him on the eyelid, and 
the blood ran down into his eye; he dashed his hand at it to crush 
it Then the flames rose in the air and suddenly sunk again and 
were extinguished. Sindri rushed into the hall In terror, but hii 
face br^htened when he had looked into the furnace: 

" All is well,** he said ; " it is flnished— only the handle is some- 
what short" 

Then he drew a great battle-hammer out of the fumac^ and gave 
it to his brother, as well as the two other works of art, addii^ : ' 

"Go now; thou hast won the be^ and thine enemy's head 

Brock entered the assembly of the Ases,- who were sitting in 
council He gave Odin the ring Draupnir, and to bright Freyer 
he gave the boar GuUinbursti, which he said would carry him swift 
as the wind throi^h mists and clouds, and over mountains and 
valleys. When Thor received the hammer, and swung it in hii 
right hand, then h^ the prince of the Ase^ grew Ull as a giant ; 
daric clouds piled themselves around his waist ; l^htning flashed 
from the clouds, and rolling peals of thunder shook the heigbu of 
A^rd and Mi<^rd, terrifsring both Ases and mortal men. Odio 
alone, to whom fear was impoulU^ sat unmoved upon his thmoc; 




" MiSlnir is the greatest of treasures, for In the hand of my SKOi 
it will protect Asgard from every assault of tAe (^ants." 

So Brock won the wager and Loki's head as well, and he refused 
to accept anything else in exchange: But the son of Laufey had 
already taken refuge in flight, so Thor hastened alter him, and 
soon brought him bade 

"The head is thinc^ but not the neck," cried the mischief-maker, 
as the dwarf raised his sword. 

« Then I will sew up thy great mouth," answered Brock, trying to 
make holes through his opponent's lips ; but all in vain, the knife 
made no impression. So he got his brother's awl, and that did 
not fail He sewed up the mouth, and Loki stood in the midst of 
the laughing Ases unable to speak ; yet he soon found means to 
unfasten the string. 

The hair of the earth-goddess, Sif, is the flowers and com that 
grow upon the earth. These are cut down in the harvest, and the 
winter-demon robs the goddess of her hair, and leaves her head 
quite batd. But the Dwarfs who live under the earth provide her 
with a fresh supply of hair, and with the help of the Thundef'^od 
punish the evil-doer. 

Alwismai, the Song of Atwis — Alwis, the King of the Dwarfs, 
who bad travelled throi^hout the nine worlds and had learnt all 
the langiu^es and wisdom of the dwellers therein, once went to 
A^ard. He met with a friendly reception there^ for all the Ase« 
knew about his palace which shone with gold and precious 
stones, and of his widely extended power over the undeiground 
people. He saw beautiful Thnid, Asathor's strong daughter, fell 
in love with her, and asked for her hand in marriage. The Ases 
approved of the proposal of the King of the underground treasure^ 
and were tX opinion that Thor would be pleased with the arrange- 
ment So the marriage day was fixed. But Thor came home 
before the wedding-day, and was very wroth when he was told th« 



' Who art thou, thou pasty-faced fellow ? " he asked of the would- 
be bridegroom ; ." Hast thou been with the dead i Hast thou 
arisen from the grave to snatch the living back with thee to thy 
dismal kingdom f* 

Alwis now asked him who he was that pretended to have power 
over his bride and to be able to prevent the marriage «^ch was 
already arranged ; but when be found that it was Wingtbor, 
Thrud's father, he told him of his possesions and of his wisdom, 
and entreated him to consent 

Thor, in order to prove him, asked what certain words were in 
the different languages of men, Ases, Wanes, Jotuns, Elves, and in 

The Dwarf answered eveiytfaing right ; but lo I day began at that 
moment to break, and Alwis was touched by a ray of sunlight, 
whereupon he stiffened into ston^ and remained on the heights of 
Asgard, a monument of Thor's victory. 


The Hrimthurses sent out cold winds from the interior of Jotun- 
heim over the fields of Midgard, so that the tender green shoots 
were blighted and the harvest spoilt Thor, therefor^ ordered hit 
chariot to be got ready, and hastened away to force the giants to 
keep within bounds. Loki joined him with flattering speecheit and 
the Thunderer thought that it might be as well to take him with 
him, as he knew his way about the wilderness so weU. 

Thor's goats went so quickly that the travellers reached the bare 
rocks of the giants' country by the evening. 

They saw a lonely farmhouse, and the owner offered them hos* 
pitality, but could only give them a poor supper. Thor, therefore^ 
slew his goats and boiled them in a pot He then invited bis host. 
and all his people to join him at supper, but commanded them to 


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throw all the bones on the skins which he had spread out on the 
floor, and to beware how they broke any. 

Cunning Loki whispered to the farmer's son. Thialfi, that he 
ought to break one of the thigh bones, as the marrow in it was good 
to eat Thialfi followed the evil counsel, and found that the mar- 
row was indeed most excellent 

Next morning Thor waved hb hammer over the skins and bones, 
and immediately the goats jumped up, but one of them was lame 
in the hind leg. The god was very angry, his eyt% flashed, his 
right hand closed round the handle of his liammer, and a thunder- 
clap shook the house to its foundations. The farmer, who had been 
flung upon his fac^ b^ed for mercy, and his wife and children 
joined him in liis entreaties ; he offered liis son Thialfi and his 
dau^ter Roskwa in atonement for the broken thigh-bcme. 

Then tlie angry god grew calm, and accepted the expiation 
ofTered him ; he left his goats and chariot t>ehind and walked on 
with his companion and the sturdy children (rf* the farmer towards 

They crossed high mountuns, and went through deep valleys 
until they came to a broad sound. When they bad crossed the 
sound, their way led them over a stony country and through a 
dark wood that seemed as if it would never end. The ground was 
covered with a grey mist, out of which an icebet]g, resembling a 
corpse-like ghost, here and there reared its head. All was dim 
and uncertain, as though surrounded fay enchantment 

The travellers pursued their journey all day long, Thialfi, the 
quickest runner in the country, always keeping in front with 
Thor's travelling bag. 

In the evening they reached a strai^e, roomy inn, in which 
there was neither inhabitant nor food to be found ; yet they lay 
down to rest, as they felt very hungry. 

At midnight a violent earthquake shook the house, but th<7 


succeeded in findii^ a place within the buildii^ that seemed to be 
more secure than the rest ; there Tbor*! companions took refuge^ 
whilst he, hammer in hand, kept watch by the entrance; Loud 
sounds of roaring and snorting disturbed the sleep of the travdlcn. 
The Prince of the Ases awaited the mcHning. 

When it grew %ht^ he perceived a man of mi^i^ stature 
whose snoring had been the cause of all the noise they had heard. 
He fdt very mudi inclined to bless the snorer's sleep with a 
goodly blow of his hammer, but at that veiy moment the giant 

In reply to bis question, " Who art thou ? " the giant answered 
that his name was Skrymir, and added that he knew perfectly 
well that his questioner was Asathor. As he said this, he b<|[«a 
to look about for his gIov& And how great was the astonishment 
of the Ase, when he discovered that he and his companions had 
spent the night in the giant's glove; and that when they had been 
startled out of their first resting.plac^ they had taken refuge in 
the thumbi 

Skiymir gave himself no further trouble about the surprise of 
the. strangers, but laid out his breakfast and devoured i^ iritHst 
the travellers took some provisions for themselves out of Thorns 
b^. The giant then tied up all his belongings in a bundle^ threw 
it over his broad back, and walked on before the others through 
the wood at such a pace that they could hardly follow him. In 
the evening they took up their quarters for the night under an 
oak tre^ the top of whidi reached the douda. 

The Jotun gave the travellers the remains of the food in his 
bundle; because he said, sleep was more necessary lor him than 
food. The stroi^ Thunderer vainly strove to unfasten the cord tied 
round the bundle Enraged by this failure; he pulled Us girdle of 
strength tighter round his wais^ and seising BliOhiir with both 
hands, dealt a terrible blow on the head of the snoring gian^ who 


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merely rubbed the place with his hand, and aslced whether a leaf* 
had fallen on his head. 

At midnight the \rood again re-echoed with his snores. Thor 
now bit the monster again as hard as he could on the crown. The 
hammer made a deep hole, but Skrymir thought that it was only 
an aoom that had fallen upon him, and soon b^an to snore i^^ain. 

Towards morning the angry Ase dealt a third dreadful blow at 
the giant ; the earth trembled, rocks fell with a horrible crash ; 
the hammer penetrated the giant's skull, so that the end was 
hidden. Nevertheless, Skrymir rose quietly and said : — 

" So, thou art awake already, Asathor. Look, some bird^ when 
building their nests, have let a little bit of stick fall on my temple ; 
it is bruised. We must part here ; my way lies to the north, and 
yours to Utgard in the east You will soon see U^rard-Loki's 
castle before you. There you will find bi^er men than I. 
Beware lest any of you open your mouths too wide in boastful 
talk ; for if you do> you will get into difficulties." 

Skiymir went straight on through the wood, while the others 
turned in the direction he had pointed out to them. 

About noon they came in s^ht of the giant's castle, which was 
lai^e and shining as an iceberg. They slipped in between the 
bars of the postern gat^ and entered the royal haU. 

There sat Utgard-Loki, Prince of the Thursea^ on his throne, 
and ranged around him on benches were his warriors and courtiers. 
He stared at the travellers in surprise. 

" I know ye welt, little people," he cried, in a voice that re- 
sembled the rumbling of a falling rock. " I know thee, Asathor, 
and guess that thou canst do more than thy appearance would 
justify one in supposing. Now tell me what each of you can do^ 
for no one is allowed to sit down here without showing himself 
to be good for something.'* 

First of all Loki vaunted \Ja powers la eatii^ 

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"Agood thii^ to be able to do on a jounKy," said the King; 
"for then one can eat enough at one meal to last for eight days. 
Logi, my cook, shall try with thee which is the better trencher- 
man. We shall see which of you can eat the most' 

A large trough was filled with meat^ and the two heroes stood 
one at each end of it, and tried which could devour the fastest 
They met in the middle ; Loki had eaten one half <A the mea^ 
and Logi the other; but as the latter had at the same time 
disposed of the bones and the trough as well, he walked away 
from the table proud of his victory. 

Thialli announced that he was swift of foot, and challenged the 
courtiers to race with him in the lists. A young fellow named 
Hugin accepted the challenge^ He turned back at the goal just 
as the farmer's son reached it 

" Well run for a stranger, by my beard," growled the Prince of 
the Thurses ; " but now make better speed." However, Thialfi was 
farther behind at the second turn, and at the third he had full 
half the course to run when Hugio turned at the goal. 

It was now time for Thor to show what he could da .He first 
said that he could drink a long draught The Thuise commanded 
that the horn should be brought that some could empty at one 
draught, many at twc^ and the weakest at three; The Ase looked 
at the horn. It was long but it was narrow, and he thought 
he could easily dispose erf' the contents. Nevertheless, the first 
drat^ht hardly uncovered the rim, the second veiy little more, 
and the, third a few inches at most Much ashamed, be gave 
back the horn ; he could drink no more. 

He then spoke of His strength.' Utgard-Lold told him to pick 
up the grey cat which was lying puiriog at his feet The hammer- 
thrower imagined that he could fling the cat up to die ceiling ; 
but his first attempt to lift it only made it arch its bacl^ at the 
second it arched its back a little mor^ at the third be raised one 

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paw from the ground; farther than that he could not move it 
He heard with r^e the scornful laughter with which his fruitless 
cflforts were greeted from the benches. Lightning flashed from his 
eyes ; he challenged the courtiers to wrestle with him in the lists. 

" That will go ill with thee," said the King, stroldng his beard ! 
" tiy first what thou canst do here against Elli, my old nurse ; she 
has conquered stronger men than a shrimp lik6 thee before now." 

The old woman was ready by this time^ and seized strong Thor, 
who exerted all his strength to try and overthrow her. But she 
stood as immovable as a rock, and used her owa strength so well, 
that be sank upon one knee. 

"Enough," cried the Jotun. "Sit down, strangers, and enjoy 
my hospital!^." 

On the foUowii^ . morning the king accompanied them as far 
as the wood. 

" Here," he said, " are the borders of my domain, which you 
should never have crossed had I known more about you. Let roe 
now tell you how I have tricked you. Three times, Asathor, didst 
thou strike at my head ; but I always shoved a mountain between 
me and thee. Look, dost thou see the marks made by thy 
hammer, three deep abysses, the last of which reaches down to the 
Home of the Black-Elves ? The cook Logi, who measured his 
strength against Loki, and who devoured even the bones and the 
trough, was wild-lire; Hugin. was Thought; whom neither Thialfi 
nor any other runner could expect to overtake. The drinking 
horn was connected with the ocean. Thou didst drink so much 
that every shore was left uncovered, and the people said : ' It is 
ebb tide;' Thine eyes were blinded when thou didst lift the grey 
cat, for then thou didst swing the Midgard-snake as high as 
heaven, and she had nearly wr^led herself free and done irre- 
parable injury. EUi, the nurse, who looked so weak, was old ^e; 
which none can withstand when his time has come. Go now, for 

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this is my realm, where I have dominion over the Hrimthurses 
and thdr rocky fastnesses. Where I rul^ there is no space for 
men to cultivate the land, yet Asathor m^t split the mountains 
and the eternal ice with his thunder." 

Tbor had already raised his hammer to punish the Jotun for hit 
magic spells, but he had vanished. A bare^ stone-strewed wilder- 
ness surrounded him and his companions. Columns of mist 
hovered here and there, out of which Jotuns were peering, now with 
a smile of scorn and again looking down grimly, now sinking and 
again rising in the air, so that the travellers did not know what 
was real and what enchanted. They then set out on thdr return 
to Thnidhdm. 

The natural myth which gave rise to this poem of the Youi^er 
Edda is very suitable for our coUectioL Not even the mighty Ase 
could make it possible for man to cultivate the soil amongst the 
great mountains, where rock is piled upon rock, and all are covered 
with ice and snow. Thialfi is the diligence which must animate 
the farmer, and his sister Rdskwa is the quickness and activity 
which must attend him. 

Diul with Hrungnir, — Thor passed some happy days in his halls 
of Bilskimir. His fair wife Sif, who kept the house in good order, 
was beautiful as the May moon ; her artistically-made golden hur 
grew daily longer, and fell over her neck and shoulders in rit^leta. 
The god had great pleasure in his son Magni, yAva, althou^ only 
three years old, was as tall and strong as a maa The Jotuns in 
the neighbourhood were all quiets for they did not care to harm 
the husbandmen's crops. Still, the fanners who lived far away to 
valleys amid the inhospitable mountains, often called upon the 
helpful Ase to defend them against the monsters, who sent storms^ 
floods, avalanches, and falling rock^ to disturb them in their peace* 
ful labours. Thor then hastened with Midlnir to punish the peace- 
breakers in the east 




AlUather Odin was away on his travds, now ruling the battles 
of mortal men, now searching after vnsdom, and now wooing the 
favour of women with loving words. Upon one of these journeys 
he arrived at the castle of the Mountain-giant; Hrungnir, where 
he was hospitably received. Whilst they were talking together, 
the JotuD remarked that Slcipnir was a good hors^ but that his 
own horse, GullfaxI ^Iden mane), was better, and that it could 
leap farmer with its four feet than the former with its ei^t 

"Well," cried Odin, "I will w^er my head upon my horse. 
Catdi me if thou canst" 

He jumped upon Sl«pnir and galloped away, the giant pursuing 
him with a giant's rage. 

Swift as the storm-mnd, the Father of the gods galloped on far 
ahead. Hrungnir was not awar^ in his hast^ that his golden- 
maned horse was thundering over the bridge Bifrdst until he 
stopped at the gates of Walhalla. Then the King of the Ases 
came out to meet him, and in return for his hospitality led htm 
into the halL To Hrungnir was given the enormous goblet, full 
of foamii^ beer, from which Utor was accustomed to drink. In 
his ilUhumour, he emptied it in a few draughts, and asked in his 
intoxication for more and morcL 

" Ha 1 " he excUimed, "none of you know me yet 1 wM take 
Walhalla upon my Cack and carry it off to Jotunhdm. 1 will 
throw Asgard into the abyss of Nifelhel, and strangle you all, 
except Freya and Sif, whom I will take home with me; I will 
empty all your beer banek to tiie sediment Bring me what you 
have. Frejra shall be my cup-bearei." 

The tremblii^ goddess poured him out a bumper, but the other 
Ases called aloud for Thor. 

The god appeared in the hall with the speed of the lightning 
that flashes down from the sl^ 

• Who has permitted the Tl 

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he demanded in a vCHCe of thunder. " Why does Freym give him 
the drinking-hom ? His head shall be broken in pumshment for 

And as he said these words, his ^es sparkled and his hand 
closed round the shaft of bis hammer. 

Then Hrungnir immediately at once became sober. He stam> 
mered out that Odin had invited him to the feast; and that it 
would be dishonourable of Tbor to attack an nnanned man. Yet 
he would be ready to l^ht with him at Griottunagard (rolling* 
stone, or also tock-wall) in the borders of Jotunheim. 

The Ase could not withdraw from this challenge and the Jotun 
made all the haste he could to reach home with a whole sldn. 

Everywhere and in all countries the coming duel was talked 
about The Jotuns knew that their best fighting man was going 
to venture on a dai^erous undertaking. They consulted together 
how they might ensure him the victory. 

They made a clay man nine miles high aad three miles across 
the chest, MSckerkalfi (Mist-wader) l^ name, who was to help their 
hero in the fight, but who had only a trembling mare's heart in 
his breast The Jotun himself had a triangular heart of stonc^ and 
his skull was also of ston^ and his shield and his club toa 

Hrungnir and his clay squire awaited Thor at Griottunagard on 
the appointed day. The Ase did not waste time: He drove op 
in the midst <^ rolling thunder and flashing I^htning, surrounded 
by clouds. His quick-footed senrant; Thialfi, ran on before him, 
and called out to the Jotun that he was mistaken in holdii^ his 
shield before him, for the god would come up out of the ground 
to attack him. 

Then Hrungnir flung his shield under his feet and seized his club 
in both hand, to be in readiness to throw it, or to hit out widi it 
He now perceived the Ase smnging MiOlnir, so be threw bis dub 
at him with fearful strength. The weapons crashed together in 

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the middle or the lists ; but the force of the hammer was so great 
that it splintered the club and broke the stone-head of the giant 
in pieces, felling him almost dead to the ground. Meanwhile a 
splinter from the club had penetrated Thor's fordiead, so that be 
also fell, and as it happened, right under the leg of the fallit^ 
giant Sturdy Thialfi had in the meantime despatched the clay 
giant with a spade, and had broken him up into the clay from 
which he had been made. He now tried to help his master, but 
could not lilt the giant's leg. Other Ases tried also, until at length 
the strong boy Magni came up. And he pushed aside the heavy 
weight as though it were a mere trifle^ saying:' 

" What a pity it i^ Father, that I did not come sooner ; I could 
have broken that fellow's stone head with my fist** 

" Thou wilt be a strong man," said Thor ; " and thou shalt have 
the good horse Gullfaxi as a reward for helping me." 

He then strove to pull the stone splinter out of his brow, but 
could neither move it nor could he even loosen it, so be was forced 
to drive home to Thnidhetm with an aching head. 

Loving Sif and anxious Thnid vainly endeavoured to alleviate 
the pain Thor was enduring. The prophetess Groa (green-makin(^ 
now came to the house; She could move rocks with her m^c 
spells, and also stop the course of wild floods. She oRered to cure 
Thor. Then she drew her circles and sang her wondrous soc^ 
The stone began already to shake and grow looser, and the 
wounded Ase hoped for a speedy cure. In order to give Groa 
pleasure he told her, while she murmured her spells, that he had 
waded across the ice-stream Eliwagar, carryii^ her husband, 
drwandil, on bis bacl^ and had broken oS* one of Orwandil's 
frost-bitten toes, which he had flung up into the sky, where it way 
now fining Iflce a star. 

" And now," be said, "he is on bis way home to thee." 

Scarcely were the words out of his mouth, when Groa sprang up 



joyfully, forgetting all about her magic qtells. And so the ^Itnter 
remained in Thor's forehead. 

According to the poet Uhland, this is a. poetical descriptuw 
of the flitting of the rocks by the crashing hammer of the god. 
Thialfi, the diligent husbandman, conquered the clay giant; the 
uncultivated ground, v4ule Thor made agriculture pos^ble amtHig 
the rocks. He was hurt by the falling stones when dmng this. 
Groa (the green-making), the sprouting pover in plants, was manied 
to Orwandil (living seed), whom ThcK- carried on his shoulders 
throi^h the wintiy ice-streams EUwagar. Mannhardt looks upon 
Orwandil as lightning sparks. We refrain from noticing further 
the diRerent interpretations put upon the stoiy. The skald found 
the natural myth, touched the strings of his harp and sang his song 
with all his heart, careless whether he gave the old myth in all its 
part iculars ot not 

a^ourney to Hymir. — In this myth the terrors of the pohw r^ons 
are described. It was in that northern realm that the Frost-giant 
Hymir (the dusk-maker) ruled, and in his house lived the golden^ 
white-browed goddess trf' li^^ who had been stolen from her 
home, and also the nine-hundred headed grandmother, the moun- 
tains of ice and snow. 

Hymir was guardian of the great brewing vat, whose deptii 
might be counted by miles ; by this was probably meant the 
Arctic Ocean, through which the summer god, Thor, opened a 
passage for seafaring men. Thor conquered the terrors of the 
Arctic (limate before which even the bold ^^^ings drew back 
appalled, while in our days, brave North Pole voyagers face them 

Thus Uhland explains the myth, and we feel inclined to agree 
with him ; nevertheless, this joum^ to H}-mir is said by other 
commenUtors to mean a descent Into Uie Under-worid. Feriiapa 
both explanations are admissible, for all nature Is dead in winter. 


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buried under a pall of snow, and the ideas (^ winter and death 
are frequently interchangeable. Strong Thor, therefore, descended 
into the Under-world, conquered its terrors, as he did those of the 
Hrifflthurses, and returned home victorious, in like manner as 
Herakles did in the Greek myth^ which ascribes to him a heroic, 
deed of the same kind as tU& 


N^t with her stany diadem had spread her mantle over 
Asgard. Every creature was asleep; the Ases in their golden 
chambers^ and the Kinheriar stretched out oo the benches <i Wal- 
halla after a goodly feast on the flesh of Sahrimnir, and many a 
draught of delicious mead. They dreamt hapf^ dreams of brave 
deeds and of the joys of victory. 

Wingtiior alone tossed restlessly about on his cushions of down. 
He heard in his dreams the murmur of wicked runes^ and saw a 
^gantic hand seize hold of Miolnir. At length he was awakened 
by hollow peals of thunder. He snatched at the hammer which 
always lay by his bedskle, but could not find it Angrily he 
sprang to his feet and felt about for it ; but it was gone ; the faint 
light of mcMning showed that the place where he had laid it was 
empty. He shook his head wrathfully and his eyes flashed Are. 
His beard grew redder than ever, and the house trembled at his 

" Midlnir is gone ; it has been stolen by enchantment* 

Lold heard his cry, and said to him : 

" I will get thee back thy hammer, whoever has stolen it if 
Freya will lead me her Falcon-dresi;'' 


So they went to Folkwang and entered the presence of Freya. 
They addressed her in courteous words, and asked her to lend 
them her feather-gannen^ that they might spy out who had stolen 

And the gentle goddess answered : " You oiay have it I would 
lend it to you willingly, even if it were made of silver or gold." 

She then took the dress out tX a chest and gave it to the Aseii 
And now Loki flew with rhythmic strokes of his wii^s, h^h above 
the precincts of Asgard and the snift river Ifii^, uatH he reached 
the barren mountains of Jotunheim. 

Thrym, a prince of the Thurses, was sitting there on a hilL He 
was decorating his dogs, that ran quickly as the wind, with golden 
ribbons, and making the manes of his fieiy horses shine: 

" What news dost thou bring from A^ard, that thou comest 
alone to Thiymheimf" he called out to the new-comer: "how 
goes it with the Ases and how with the Elves ? " 

" Badly with both Ases and Elves^" answered Lold, " for UiOl- 
nir is lost Speak, hast thou ludden it anyn^ere \ " 

Then the Thurse laired, and said : " I have hidden Jt dght 
miles deep in a cleft <^ the earth ; and no one shall have It unless 
he brings me Freya as a bride to my balls.* 

Enraged at his mess^r^ Loki flew back over the liing river to 
Asgard, where Thor awaited bira. He gave the message of the 
wicked Thurse. 

Again Thor and Loki went to viut the goddess in her shinii^ 
hall at Folkwang. 

"Up and dress thyself, Freya," said Thor; "put on thy snowy 
bridal garments, and I will take thee to Thrym, prince of the 
Thurses." . 

Then the goddess' anger was kindled at this address and she 
started from her throne^ making the palace shake to its founda> 

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" You may call me mad," she cried, " if ever I follow thee in 
bridal array to Thrymheim, to the Prince of the Thurses, monster 
that he is." 

Having thus spoken, she dismissed the Ases from her presence 
without a word of farewell 

The Ases now all assembled on their seats of justice near the 
fountain of Urd, that they might consult together as to the best 
means of rescuing the hammer from the power of the Giants. 

The first to speak was Heimdal, the god who resembled a Want 
in wisdom ; he said : — 

" Let Thor himself put on the bridal garments, let a bunch of 
keys jingle at his waist, let precious stones sparkle upon his neck, 
let his knees be covered by the petticoats of a woman, and a veil 
be put before his face. 

The Prince of the Ases did not approve of the advice of wbe 
HeimdaL He would, he said, be always called a woman in future, 
if he ever put on female apparel But when Lold replied that if 
he did not get back the hammer the giants would soon come to 
live in Asgard, he consented to do as the Ases entreated. 

Soon afterwards he sat in his chariot dressed as a brid^ and 
Loki, son of Laufey, in the guise of a serving maid, seated him- 
self by his side. 

The goats set off ; they rushed in wild leaps through A^ard 
and Midgard ; the earth smoked, and rocks and mountains split 
with loud reports wherever tfaey went 

Thrym was sitting comfortably at the threshold of his ball He 
watched his golden-homed cows coming home, he saw his laige 
herds of black buUock^ his stores t^ gold and precious stones in 
their iron caskets. 

" I have a great store of riches," he said ; " the only thing 
wanting now is that Freym should be my wife. And to-morrow 
she will enter my balls ; so strew the benches my men, and have 


r . 


plenty of food and mead in readuiesa, for it beseems a spacious 
hall tike mine that the wedding should be a meny one." 

Early next momii^ the visitors arrived, and soon afterwards 
his bride was sitting beside Thryo^ well-veiled, as modesty and 
custom demanded. 

The tables were laden with costly food and win^ whidi were a 
pleasure to look at as well as to eat and drink. No one could 
rival the bride, however. She ate a fat ox in no time; then d{^t 
huge salmon, and all the sweet cakes that were made for the 
women, and in addition she drank two barrels of mead. The 
Thurse was astonished at her hunger. 

" WeH," he exclaimed, "I never before saw a bide with sudi aa 
appetite^ nor did I ever see a girl drink mead in such a degree 1" 

But the ser^nng mud assured him that her mistress had tasted 
neither bite nor sup for a weel^ so exdted had she been at the 
thought c^ her wedding. 

The Jotuo wished to kiss his bride on hearing this, and rused 
her veil for the purpose ; but at the s^ht of Freya's flaming eye^ 
which seemed as though th^ flashed fire at him, he shrank back 
to the end of the room. 

But the wise maid calmed down his apprehensions. * Hy lady," 
she said, "has not slq>t for a week; and that is the reason her 
^es are so fieiy." ' 

The gaunt sister of the Thurse dow approached the bride to 
ask for a weddii^ present 

"Givf m^" she entreated, "golden rings and a pair of bucklo^ 
and thou shalt enjoy my lov&" 

Unmoved by this appeal, the bride sat silent in her wedding 
array. Then the Prince; intoxicated «nth love and mead, com- 
manded that the hammer should be broi^[ht from its hiding-plac^ 
that the marriage m^ht be solemnized in the usual way. 

"And then," be added, "place it in the lap of the bride* 

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It seemed at that moment as though the bride were stifling 
a laugh beneath her veil, and indeed a ferocious Uugfa was heard 
when the Prince's command had been obeyed. 

Now the bride rose, and threw off her veil ; it was Asathor, 
terrible to look upon \ he raised bis bare arm and held Midlnir 
aloft in his mighty r^ht band. The walls of the room tottered 
and cracked, a peal of thunder shook the house and a Bash of 
lightning darted through the halL Thrym lay stretched on the 
floor with a broken head ; his guests and his servants fell under 
the blows of the hammer ; not even his gaunt sister escaped. The 
flames made their way out through the roof; and house and hall 
fell with a loud crash. A smoking heap of ruins alone remained 
to show the place where the powerful Thiym had ruled. 

The spring sun rose ; it shone down upon the devastated dwelling, 
the broken rocks, fallen stone^ torn and uprooted soil, and upon 
the victorious god who had conquered the power of the enemy. 

The storm-clouds of anger were gone from Thor's txow. He 
stood upon the he^ht and gazed at his work of destruction with 
a gentle and kindly look upon his face; Then he called his 
children of men to come and instil new life into the destruction, 
so that farms and dwelling houses agriculture and commerce, 
civic order, law and morality should arise and flourish there. And 
so into this conquered land came farmers and builders, with 
hatchet, spade, and plough ; herdsmen with their cattle and sheep, 
and mighty hunters to keep down the numbers of bears and 
wolveii And Thor was in the midst of them, setting up stones 
to mark the boundaries consecrating the tilled land with his 
hammer ; then the grateful people erected an altar to him, Eoade 
a great feast io his honour, and promised him the first-fruita of 
their labour. After that Thor got into his chariot followed by 
Loki, and t<^ther they returned to Asgard rejoidng in what they 
had done. 

T,\:.oo]jic ■ 


We have pmnted here to the natural myth wludi ties at Uie 
foundation of this poem. The myth is one of the most beautiful 
in the Elder Edda. The poet has made free use of the matcriab 
that were at his disposal, so that the most minute details of Uie 
primitive myth can never be discovered; yet the fcdlowii^ caa 
be made out with certjun^. 

The beneficent Thunder god, who ruled over sommeiv was 
deprived of his hammer in the winter; Thrym (Thtuidei) hid 
it eight miles deep in the ground, it., iac eight montiiSL He 
desired to have possesion of Fr^a, the lair goddess of qirin^ 
in order that he m^ht deprive man of the br^t weather she 
brought with her. But Thor regained his hammer, and slew the 
Frost-giant and bis followen, and his gaunt uster too^ iriio accord- 
ing to Uhland was the famine that haunts rude mountain districti. 
Thus the god opened a new field to homaa indusby. 


Lold once took Fogg's falcon-dress; he wrapped himself in 
it and hovered over many an abyss and broad stream until he had 
Bown right above the barren rocks and ice of JotnnheinL He 
saw a chimney in the distance out of n^ch fire and smdce were 
issuing. Quickly he flew ther^ and perceived that the diimney 
belonged to a rambling grai^e. 

This was Geirdd's-Gard, where Prince GeirSd, the Hrimthnrse^ 
dwelt with his peojde; The Ase was curious to know vdiat was 
going on in the large hall, and fluttered down dose to Uk window. 
But the Thuise caught nght of the falcon, and sent a servant 
out to catdi it Loki amused himself by making the man climb 
the b^h railii^; above which he fluttered, taking care to keep^ as 
he thought, just out of readi; but suddenly he was caught by the 
leg and given to die giant 

D,3 zB<ibyCOO<^Ie 


"This is a strange-looking tMrd," said GwSd, staring Into the 
falcon's eyes as though he thought he could thus discover its 
character. "Tell me^" he asked, addressing it, "whence thou ' 
comes^ and what thou really art ? " 

But the bird remained silent and motJonlessL 

So the Prince determined to tame him through hunger, and 
locking him up in a chest left him there for three months without 

When he was taken out at the end of that time^ Loki told 
who he was and b^[cd to be set free: 

At this the Thurse laughed so loud that he ^ook the hall and 
the whole giai^e. 

"At let^^" he exclaimed, *I have got what I have long 
desired, a hostage of the Ases. I will not let thee go until thou 
hast sworn a holy oath to bring me Thor, the Giant-killer, without 
his hammer and girdle of strength, that I may fight him hand 
to hand. I expect that I shall conquer him as easily as I would 
a boy, and then I shall send him down to Hel's dark realm.* 

Ix>ki promised with a holy oath to do as the giant bad^ and 
flew quickly away. 

When the cumiing Ase had recovered from his fatigue he 
remembered his oath. He told strong Thor that Geirod had 
received him most hospitably, and that he had expressed a great 
Irish to see the unconqueratde protector of A^^ard face to face, 
but mthout the terrible ^gns of his power, of which he was much 
afnud. Loki went on to say that there were strange things to be 
seen at the Rant's house which were not to be seen elsewhere; 
Thor listened to the tempter, and at once set out on his journey, 
accompanied by I^kL 

On his way to Geircids-gard he met the giantess Grid, \ty whom 
Odin had once had a son named Widar, the silent She told him 
what the true character of GeirOd wa:^ and lent him her girdle 

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of strength, and her staff and iron glove as a defence gainst the 

The day after thia^ he and Loki reached the broad river Wimur, 
which stretched out before them like a sei, and was so wide that 
the other shore was invisible; When Thor b^;an to wade across 
steadyii^ himself by means of his staff, the water rose^ and the 
waves beat wildly against Us shoulden 

" Do not rise, Wmur," he criet^ *'for I must wade over to the 
giant's house." 

Then he saw GeirOd's dai^hter, Gialp, standing in the deft 
of a rock and making the water rise. He forced her to Bee by 
throwing a great stone at her, and afterwards got safely over 
to the other bank, which he managed to dimb^ swinging himself 
up l^ means of a service tree. Lold also got safely over, for 
he clung to Tbor's girdle the whole way. 

When the travellers saw the chimney irith the fire issuing 
from it, and the castle high as a mountain just in front of 
them, they knew that th^r had got to the end of their journey. 

They went into the entrance halL Thor seated himsdf wearily 
upon the only chair that was to be seen. But he soon discovered 
that it was rising higher and higher, so that he was in danger 
of being crushed against the ceiliiq[; He pressed the end of 
his staff gainst the beams that ran across the top of the hall, 
and with all his Ase-strength tried to force the chur down again. 
A terrible crack and a ciy of pain told him that he had hurt 
some Kving creature in his strug^es. Gialp and Greip^ Geir&d's 
daughters, had raised the chair on which he was sittii^ and 
they now lay under it with broken backs^ victims of their own 
cunning: ' 

A monster senni^-mao now challenged Thor to a fendng 
bout in the great halL On entering it the Ase saw with 
amazement that fires were bumii^ all round the walla, tlw 

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flames and smoke of which rose through the chimney he had 
seen before; 

Instead of giving him courteous greeting, the Jotua king flung 
an iron wedge at him, which he had taken red hot out of ibz 
furnace with a pair of tongs. But Thor cai^ht it in his iron glove 
and threw it back with such impetus that it broke through the 
brazen breastplate and body of the Jotun, and tiien crashed 
through the wall, burying itself deep in the earth on the other 
side of it Thor looked down on the cowering giant who had 
at once turned into ston& He set him up as a monument 
of his -victoty, and there the petrified monster remained for 
centuries, reminding succeeding generations of men of the great 
deeds done by Asathor. 

This is said to be another of the natural myths which tell 
how the bene5ceot god of summer conquered the destructive 
tempest with his own weapons ; the two daughters are supposed 
to be personifications of the mountain torrents which caused rivers 
to overflow. 

According to som^ however, this legend, like the last one; 
describes a descent of the god into the Underworid, and there 
is also a similar one related by Saxo Grammaticu^ of which 
Thorkill is the hera 

But we are of opinion that it is far more likely to have been 
in the volcanic island of Iceland that Thor was victorious over 
the demon. The island was known to the skatd^ from the 
descriptions of bold sailors, long, before its colonization by the 
Northmen. Tales of volcanic eruptions and hot springs must 
have excited the imagination of the poets extremely. Thus 
perhaps arose the myth of Thor's journey to Geirdds^ard, in 
which the god conquers the demon of subterranean fire This 
«ew is supported by the shape of a rock near Haukadal, where; 
within a circle of 900 feet, are geysen and strocks. The rock 

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is said to resemble a gigantic man coweric^ Atytm, his body brokea 
in the middle 


In this poem Odin acts the part of a fenyman, under the name 
of Harbard, refuses to row Thor, the god of a^culture; over ' 
the river, and sends him on bis way with opprobrious words. 

The reason wa^ that Odin was the god of the SfHrit and the 
warlike courage which animated the nobles and their retainers. 
The proud warriors and skalds despised the peaceful peasantiy 
who remained quietly at home^ lived upon heirings and oatmeal 
porridge, and hated the devastation caused by war ; while they, 
on the contrary, were continually fighting for wealth and gloiy» 
and hoped to rise to Odin's halls after death upon the field of 

This contempt for the tiller of the soil is deariy shown in the 
Lay, which makes the protector of agriculture play a very pitiful 
part The myth had its rise in later time^ when the old faith 
in the gods and deep reverence for them had already b^un to 

The bold Wiklngs did not hesitate to say that they trusted 
more in their own good swords than in the help of Odin and 
Asathor. The Lay was perhaps composed at that timi^ but 
stilt, it rested on an older one, in which the myth of agriculture 
of the apparent death of Fiorgyn or Jord, mother of Thor, throt^h 
the devastation caused by war, and of the renewed life of the 
Earth-goddess, were more clearly described 


As we have before remarked, the Prince of the Ases was 

worshipped as one of the holy ones by the Teutonic race ; it it 

probable that he was also adored under the name of Innin, and 

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that the different Irmin-columas were dedicated to him. But 
Irmin means universal, and it was to the universal, omnipotent 
god that the Innin-coluoms were erected. It was he who helped ' 
the Teutons to victory in their battles against the Romans ; for 
this reason the celebrated Irmin-column, which was destroyed 
nearly 8oo years later by Charlem^^e; was set up in his honour 
at Osning (in the Teutobui^ Forest). It also reminds us of 
the hero Armin, who was held in great reverence, and whose 
name and character were in process of. time confounded with those 
of the god. 

Irmin was also supposed to be identical with the mythical 
hero Iring, who, when the Franks and the Saxons were fighting 
against the Thurii^ians; traitorously slew his lord, Irminfried, 
and then killed the false-hearted ruler of the Franks. After this 
be cut his way through the ranks of the enemy, sword in hand, 
and did many other heroic deeds. If this hero was the same as 
Irmin, he was very different from Thor, whose nature in all the 
mjrths regarding him was always true-hearted, and never cunnii^. 
But the legend also makes out the traitor to have been different 
from the god, for, after their victoiy, the Saxons erected a pillar 
to Irmin, and not to the Tburingian Iring. 

Irmin was the common god of many tribes, and some philolo- 
gists derive the name " German " from him. He was the guardian 
deity of the Thuringians, Katti, and Cherusd, and showered 
down his blessings upon them as he drove over the firmament of 
heaven in the Irmio-waJn (Great Bear or Charles' Wain). The 
Milky-way, Iring or Irmin-road, the way of soul^ was also sacred 
to him, and thus he was the ruler of souls, and identical wiUi 
Aryama, the national god of all the Aryan races in the oldest 
times. The Kelts worshipped the same god under the names of 
Erimon and Erio, whence Ireland and the Irish are called after 
him. The chariot in which he drove through the heavens showed 

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ciui!*tito or Tm rutin wow, 

l [l,MllLlllJilL I J- I .Limj il H. i n I I . nn mi ii i ii ,!-. I I II II.I I L II J II 




hu relationship to Thor accordia|r to the oldest ideas ; but still 
Odin, the Leader of souls, had much io common with him. Tyr, 
the ancient god of heaven, the sword^od, wa^ however, yet more 
nearly kin to him, because he was depicted in warlike array, and 
because the monuments of victoiy, the Irmtn-columos, were called 
after him. Several places have also derived their oamcs from 


Who is there, who, after a hard day's work, has not rqotced to 
see the approach of quiet Mother N^ht, when, wrapped in her 
stany mantl^ she brings back peace to the world which has been 
robbed of it by restless Day? 

This feeling of peace has often been destroyed by a sound that 
has something mysterious and strange about it It is only the 
long-drawn howl of a dc^, a sound that is heard most frequently 
when the moon is shining brightly ; but it has something grue- 
some in it, and this accounts for the popular belief that it betokens 
the death of the person who hears it 

A circumstance of this kind happened once upon a time withia 
the holy precincts of Asgard. 

Mani (the moon) was follomng Mother Night merrily in his 
chariot, when suddenly he started and his happy face became 
clouded, for out of a great abyss there arose a howling noise which - 
quickly swelled to a dreadful roar, so that the whole earth 
trembled as after a peal of thunder. 

The Ases were awakened by i^ and the Einheriar snatdied at 
their weapons, for they thought that RagnarOk had come. 
Amongst them stood Tyr, tall and slender as a pini^ and unmoved 
by the terrors that they bad expected. 

" Fenris," he said, "has been wakened by the moon, and wants 
something to eat ; I will go and feed hiuL** 

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Then he set out in the night, laden with living and dead animals 
with which to appease the monster's rapacity. Once more the 
terrible roar was heard, then it seemed that the monster was 
quieted ; only the cracking and crunchii^ of the bones <^ the 
antmab he devoured could now be heard. 

lo the morning the Ases held council as to what was to be 
dcme ; for the Wolf was slinking about, casting greedy looks at 
A^ard, as though he were deinsing how to break into the castles 
of the gods and cany off the spoil They saw how gigantic he 
had grown, and knew that he daily increased in size and strength. 

Heimdal pointed at Thor's hammer, and at Gui^nir, the death- 
spear, in Odin's hand ; but Allfather said gravely : 

" The black blood trf'the monster may not soil the sacred courts 
of the gods. A chain must be made, so strong that it cannot be 
broken ; then let him be bound with it, that his n^e may be held 
in check." 

The word was spoken, the work must be done; The Ases 
forged the chain Leuthing as quickly as th^ could, and took it to 
the Lyngwi island, where the Wolf, enticed by Tyr, followed them 

The Wolf peacefully allowed himself to be bound, for he knew 
his own stretch. When he was fully chained, he twisted and 
stretched himself, and the iron^ropes broke in pieces like weak 

A second chain, called Droma, mudt stronger than the first, 
was mad<^ and he bore it for a moment ; then he shook himself 
violently, and it fell clattering to the ground, broken to pieceiL 

The Ases stood round him silent and not knowing what to do^ 
while Fenris increased his strength by devouring the food tiiat 
had been thrown to him. 

Wishfather now sent Skimir, a young but wise and able servant 
of Freyer, to the Home of the Black<Elves, to get the Elves^ who 

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were versed in magic tor^ and who lived in the boweb of the 
earth, to make fetters that should bind the Destroyer. 

The underground people made a chain, small and al^ht as a 
»)ken thread, which they called Gleipnir. They said that it 
would grow stronger and stronger the more the prisoner strove to 
free himself from it 

Skimir took the chain to the Ases. The All-Devourer rensted. 
and opened his mighty jaws threatening to swallow up all who 
tried to bind him ; for he guessed that there was magic power 
concealed in the slight fetten 

Then brave Tyr came forward, petted and stroked the monster, 
and put his right hand into his jaws. Fenris thought this a nga 
that no evil was meant, so he allowed the slender chain to be 
bound around his neck and feet 

When this was done, he stretched himself nolently, en> 
deavouring to break his bonds, but they only became the sbXM^er 
and cut into his skin and flesh. He had already bitten off 1yt% 
hand, and now he opened his blood-red jaws to seize the god 
himself and the other Ases toa But they feared the wild beast 
no longer ; they thrust a sharp sword into his gaping moudi tiU 
the point penetrated the palate above and prevented him 

Then they fastened Gleipnir to two great rocks, that the Wotf 
might not get away. In vain the monster howled day and n^it 
while the blood ran down between his jaws and collected la the 
river Wan ; he could not break his bonds. 

Thus is crim^ which threatens to corrupt the human racev bound 
by the apparently slight fetters of law, and as the power of the 
Wolf was broken 1^ the sword, that of crime is kept under by die 
awards of justice. When a people no longer heeds the law, and 
throws aside all civic order, crime frees itself from its fetters; and 
the nation rushes to its ruin as surely as Gleipnir would be broken 

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in the Twilight of the Gods, as surely as the AlUDevourer would 
become freed from his chains and from the sword. 

Tyr was called Tius by the Goths, Tio or Zio by the Anglo-' 
Saxons, and the same \sf the Suevi, a tribe tX whom, the Jut-' 
hungen, lived beside the Lake of Constance. They were called 
Ziowari (servants of Zio), because they regarded this god as 
their guardian deity ; the name of their chief town was Ziesbuig 
(now Augsburg). The nine that sUnds for i^ and is called 
after the god, is the agn of the sword. It bears the names of 
Tius, Tio, in Old High-German Zio, and besides thes^ is known 
as Eor, Erch, Erich, and in old Saxon Er, Em, Hem or Cheru. 
These different appellations were all borne by the god, whose 
worship was so wide-spread. 

Moreover the religion of the Suen acknowledged a goddess Zisu, 
as is proved from the fragment of a Latin chronicle. She had a 
tnnple in Augsburg, and was of a warlike nature ; she must there- ~ 
fore have been the female representative of the god Zio or Tyr. 
This god was the expression in ancient times of the impression 
that nature as a whole made upon the minds of those who were 
influenced by her. He was without form, and originally without a 
3 name. When the Romans first knew the Germanic race he had 
already become a personality and was endowed with attributes, 
for they compared him with their own Mars, and therefore recog- 
nised lum to be the god of war. Thus he had lost his original 

Tyr or Tius, meant brightness, gI(Hy, then the shining firmament, 
and was derived from the same root as the Hindu Djaui^ the 
Greek Zeus, and the Roman Jupiter (Diu-piter, Dies-pater). Rays 
of sunlight and forked lightning both come finm the sky, and 
were Qrpified in arrows and deadly misules. In the middle ages 
arrows were still called rays in German. Hence an arrow became 
^ attribute and also the symbol of the <Hnnipotcnt god of 

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heaven ; in later times a sword took the place of the arrow as it 
was a stronger weapon in battle; This symbol remained to him 
in the rune and also in the groves which were dedicated to him. 
When his place was afterwards given to Wodan and Thor as the 
ruling gods of heaven, Tyr was looked upon as the god <A battle^ 
whose help must be entreated during the light and whose rune 
of victory was scratched on the handles and blades of swords while 
ejaculating the name of the god. 

Tyr was held in much less honour in the time of the skalds ; 
he was then regarded as the son of Odin and the god d unnatural 
warfare that could never be appeased. Odin, the god of the mind, 
of martial courage and of poetic enthusiasm, had taken his place 
as the ideal of Kings and brave Jarls. Thor also^ the god <^ the 
peasant, the benefactor of mankind, helped to force him into the 
bacl^round and gained some of the devotion Tyr had lost 


Nearly related to the warlike Tyr, perhaps Identical with him, 
were Hem or Cheru and Saxnot They were essentially German 
sword-gods, and were not known to the northern skalds. Their 
worship was wide-spread ; for the Alanes, Quades, Getes and 
Markomanns paid divine honours to the sword, and even the 
Scythians, as Herodotus tells u% planted it in a lugh pyramidal 
heap of brush-wood, and called upon it as the symbol of the 
divini^. Many legends are still la existence about i^ one <A 
which ^ve give as an example^ 

Ghent's sword was made in the mysterious smithy vS the Dwar^ 
whose artistic workmanship was celebrated among Ases and men. 
The sons of Iwaldi, who had made Odin's spear, and Sindr^ vbio 
had forged Midlnir, had united thdr efforts In making the mar- 
vellous weapon oo which the late cokings and nati<»u was to han^ 



The zealous master-smiths worked bu^ly within the earth, when 
Sdkwabek was built under the flowing river, until at length the 
shining sword was completed, which Cheni the migh^ god re- 

This sword shone every morning on tiie high-place <& die 
sanctuary, sending forth its light afar when dawn aros^ like a 
flame of Are ; but one day its place was empty and die rosy light 
of morning only shone upon the altar from which the god had 

The priests and nobles sought the advice of the wise woman. 
This was the inscrutable answer diey rec«ved. 

"The Noms wandered on the ways of night; the moon had 
hidden his face ; they laced the thready strong and powerful, of 
gods and men, that none might break. One towards the east, 
the other towards the west, and one towards the south ; the black 
thread towards the north. They spake to Cheru : * Go, choose out 
the ruler, the lord of the earth \ give him the two-edged sword to 
his own hurt' He has il; he holds it in his bands ; but yet Cheru 
the lord will bring it back after a time." 

Startled at. this dark oracl^ the men b^ged for an explanati(m ; 
but the maiden of the tower gave no reply. Meanwhile the stoiy 
relates the course of events, and throws the only light that is given 
upon the riddle. 

Vitellius, the Roman prefect of the Lower Rhine, was supping 
past midnight in his house at Cologne for he liked the pleasures 
of the table better than all the gloiy and all the diadems in the 

When he was told that a stranger, bearing important news from 
Germany, wanted to speak to him, he rose impatiently. He 
desired to get rid of him as soon as possible ; but when he entered 
the anteroom, be found himself in the presence of a man of such 
distinguished appearance, that he could not treat him dis- 

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courteously. He would have at once taken him for one of tbe 
Immortal if his self-indulgent life had not long i^ destroyed 
his faith in the religion of his anccfton. 

The stranger gave him a sword of beautiful wortananship^ and 

"Take this weapon; keep it carefully and use it well, and it 
will bring thee glory and empire. All luUI, Caesar Ai:q;iistus I " 

The prefect examined the sword; when be looked np^ tlie 
stranger was gon^ and tbe guard bad nather seen him come nor 
ga He returned to the supper-room and told what had happened. 
He drew tbe sword out of its sheatl^ and it was as though a flad 
of lightning passed through the room. 

Immediately a voice, exclaimed, but whether in the room or no^ 
no one could say : " That is the sword of tbe divine Caesar I All 
hail,Vitellittsl AU bail. Emperor I " 

The guests at tbe supper-table jdned in the ciy and spread 
abroad the news ; next morning the legions greeted Vltellius as 
Emperor. Messei^ers were despatched on horseback to the other 
provinces, and Fortune seemed to have chosen him as her favourite. 
His general conquered the army of bis opponent Rome opened 
her doors to him auid tbe whole East acknowledged his sway. 

* It wau the sword of the divine Cesar that made me master of 
the world," said the Emperor, as he seated himself at table to 
enjoy the delicacies which had been imported by land and water 
from distant countries. He ceased to care for the sword ; he left 
it standing in a comer of tbe peristylium, where a Teutonic soldier 
of Ae body-guard found it and XioxM it in exchange for bis own 
clumsy old weapon. 

Tbe new possessor of tbe sword watched the conduct of tbe 
Emperor with displeasure; for Vltellius cared for nothing but tbe 
pleasures of eating and drinking ; he paid no attention to tbe 
affdrs of the Empire or to the wants of &e soldiers; be took no 



notice wben lar away in Asia brave Vespauan bad been proclaimed 
Caesar by his legions 

The German soldier left the Emperor's service and mixed 
himself with the idle populace. Meanwhile one misfortune after 
another befel the gluttonous Emperor. Provinces, general^ armies 
forsook him ; the enemy's troops approached the capital ; then 
Vitellius had recourse to the sword which had before brought him 
inctory ; but instead of it he found ' only an old and useless 

Now all his courage forsook him; he wished to escape, and 
aept away to buiy himself in a corner of the palace; The populace 
tore him from his hiding-place, dragged him through the streets, 
and when he reached the foot of the Capitol, the German soldier 
stabbed him to death with the sword of Cheru or of the divine 
Csesar. In this manner was the prophe^ of the wise woman 
fulfilled : " to Us own hurt." 

Afterwards the German soldier left Rome and went to Pannonia, 
where he re-entered the Roman service. He fought in many 
battles and was victorious in all, and soon became so famous that 
he was made centurion, and then tribune. When he grew old 
aiid was incapable of further service, he made a hole on the bank 
of the Danube, hid the good sword in it, and covered it up t^rain 
with eartib. Then he built himself a hut and lived there until his 
end. On his death-bed, he told the neighbours who had assembled 
round him, of his battles^ and how he had got possession of the 
sword of Cheni ; but he did not betray the place where he had 
hidden it, yet the saying that whoever should find the sword 
would become ruler of the world, remained current among the 
people from generation to generation. 

Centuries came and went The storm of the miration of races 
swept over the Roman empire; the Germanic races shared the 
spcnl amongst them ; &e nomads of Asia, the mid Huni^ made 

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their way over from the East, like the waves of a sea, in order to 
have a share in the booty. Attila, or Etzel, raised his blood- 
bespriakled banner in the desire for land and militaty fam<^ but 
his efforts were fruitless for a long time. 

As Attila was once riding with his troopers along the banks of 
the Danube, he busied himself with framing in his own mind 
gigantic plans <A gaining for himself the empire of the world. He 
happened to look up and saw a peasant driving a lame cow and 
carrying a beautifully made sword under bis arm. On bdng 
questioned, the man replied that his cow had hurt her foot against 
something sharp that was hidden in the grass* and that when he 
sought fOT the cause of the injuiy he found and dug up the sword. 

The king desired that the sword should be brought to him, and 
drew it out of Its sheath with joyful emotion ; its bright blade 
shone fiery red in the evening light and all present stared at it in 

But Attila, holding up the shining weapon in hit strong hand, 
exclaimed : 

" It is the sword of the war-god with which I shall conquer the 

Ha^nng said thi% he galloped away to the camp, and soon after- 
wards marched on to battles and victoiy. Whenever he drew the 
sword of the war-god the earth trembled from the east to the very 

After his last campaign in Italy he married the beautiful Ildiko, 
daughter of the King of Burgundy whom he had slain. The 
youthful bride adorned herself unwillingly for the wedding she - 

An old woman came to her secretly, and gave her Uie sword 
with which to revenge her father's death. 

At length the king entered the bridal chamber in a state of in- 
toxication and threw himself upon his couch. Ildiko now drew 

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the weapon from under her dress and stabbed hiin to the heart 
with its sharp blad& 

The rule of the Huns came to an end with the death of Attila, 
and the Germanic races chased these hordes back to the steppes 
whence they came ; but tradition does not inform us whether these 
later deeds of war were done mth the help of the miraculous 
sword. Yet it tells us of many strange things performed by 
means of it in the middle ages, and of how Duke Alba buried it 
in the earth after the battle of MUhlberg. 


Once upon a tim^ when there was peace in the worlds^ Kiger 
arose and set out to visit his children of men, to see bow they 
lived and what they did. 

He walked along the green road, and arrived at last at a badly 
built house with a low roof. On the wooden bench beude the 
hearth were seated a man and his wife. 

Ai and Edda ^reatr^randfather and great-grandmother) were 
their names, and they were very pooriy clad. Riger addressed 
them Idndly, seated himself between them, and ate with them of 
their coarse bran cakes^ and thdr porridge In earthenware dishes. 

The Ase remained in the cottage for three days and three nights, 
giving good couubel to them, and then went on from the sea-sand 
to the better ground for cultivation. 

Nine moons after lus departure a little boy was bom to Al and 
Edda, whose skin was of a dark colour and whose forehead wai 
low. His parents called the lad TfaralL He grew and flou- 
rished, and soon learnt to use his strength. He tied up bundles 
with his muscular arms, and carried heavy weights upon his back 
all day kn^ 

When be bad grown to man's estate he married a girl with black 

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feet and sunburnt hand^ called Thyr, who worked with the greats 
est dil^nce. From them are descended the race of Thralls. 

Meanwhile Rjger pursued lus journey. He came to a roomy, 
well-built house In the middle of a cultivated field. There he 
found Afi and Amma (giandfatber and grandmother) neatly 
dressed and working busily. The husband was maldng a loom, 
and the wife was spinning snowy linen thread on her whed, A 
pot of good food was bubbling on the fire: Amou soon filled the 
plates, and at the same time gave her guest a cup of foaming beer 
as was the custom of the free-bom farmer. Riger gave them much 
good advice r^rarding the management of house and land ; and 
after remaining with them foi three days and three nights, he set 
out again along the road which ran through shady groves and 
across green meadows 

Nine moons passed, and then came a happy time^ for a little 
boy was bom to Uie great delight c^ his parents. He was called 
Karl (l»l)> sn^l grew and fiourished ; rosy were his cheeky and 
bright and clear his eyes. 

The boy soon learnt to drive the ploi^h, to yoke the. oxen and 
make carts In the same way as his father. In omrse d( time be 
married SnOr (cord), who was rich in keys and wore finely-woven 
dresses ; and he brought her home to his new house: Sdns and 
daughters were bom of this marriage ; all grew up active ■ocfTy, 
aiid free^ and dwdt upon thdr own land. 

Meanwhile Riger walked on through beautiful fields and bloom- 
ii^ gardens up to the manor house on the top of a sloping hilL 
The door with its shinii^ handle was not lodced, so he entered the 
richly furnished halL The fioors were carpeted, and the father and 
mother were sitting on cushiony dressed in silken garments and 
playing with ddicate toyi. 

Then the master of the house tried his bow, made arrows and 
whetted his tword, wbOe his wife came out to watch him in a blue 



dress with a long train, and with a kerchief crossed over her white 
neck and shoulders. 

Riger seated himself between them. He knew how to advise 
them for the glory and weal of their houses 

Afterwards the lady spread the table with a beflowered linen 
cloth ; she brought in well-cooked dishes of game and poultry, 
and filled the golden beakers and jugs with sparkling win& They 
drank and talked till ntght-fall, and then Riger was shown his 
comfortable bed. 

He remained with his hosts for three days and three nights, and 
then went away to continue his joum^. 

Nine moons passed, and a son was bom in the manor hous^ 
iair-haired, with beautiful rosy cheeks and eyes like shining stars. 

He was called Jarl ; he grew and flourished, learnt to draw the 
sword, to throw the spear, to bend the bow, to carry the shield, to . 
ride the horsey and to swim across the Sound. The boy learnt 
even more than this as he grew older, for Riger came to him out of 
the dark grove, and taught him to understand the runes, inspirit^ 
him at the same time to do deeds which should bring hun and his 
house honour and glory. 

Then Jarl went out to battle; conquered the enemy, and won (or 
himself renown and booty, castles and land, rewarding his com- 
panions In arms generously with golden clasps and rings. 

He became a great ruler, but still he felt sad and lonely In his 
luxurious halL So he sent messengers to ask for the hand of Lady 
Ema, the slender-waisted. His ofier was accepted, and the noble 
maiden entered his shining halls where the Earl received her with 
joy. They grew to love each other and lived together to a good 
old age. 

Sons and daughters came c^ this marriage^ and increased the 
number of the Jarls. The youngest son, Konur, understood the 
runes, both of the present and the future, and also the language 



fif birda. Be«des tlu% he was a mighty warrior, and afterwanls 
became the first King of Denmarlc This is what the " Rigsmal," 
a poem of the Edda, teaches us of the begtnning of class dis- 

When Riger (or Heimdal) had finished his labours he mounted 
his horse, Gulltop ^Iden-mane), and rode home to Himiobidi£ 
to fulfil hu duty as watehman. 

He drank sweet mead late eadi night, for alt things in A^ard 
and without it were sunk in sleep. At midnight he once heard a 
noise of footsteps, but so faint was the sound that no ear but his 
could have heard it It came from Follcwang, where Frqra, the 
goddess of love and beauty, dwelt 

Heimdal cast a penetrating glance in the direction whence the 
sound came, and saw the sleeping goddess restii^ upon her couch. 
She was lying on her ude, one arm resting upon her shinii^ neck- 
lac^ Brisingamen. Loki vms standing beside her bed gazing 
covetously at the ornament He seemed in doubt as to how he 
could get possesion of it He murmured magic spells, and lol 
he grew visibly smaller and smaller. At last he became a tiny 
Uttle creature, with bristles and a sharp set of teeth, a creature that 
thirsts for blood and attacks both gods and men ; in the form of 
a flea he jumped upon the bed, and slipped beneath the sheets ; he 
stung the sleeping goddess in the side so that she turned. The 
necklace was now free, and the cunning As^ rq;uiiing his natural 
form, untied the ribb<«) that fastened It round her neck, and made 
off with'it 

The faithful watchman on the heavenly tower was very wroth 
with the night-thieC He drew bis sharp sword, and, as he bad his 
seven-league boots on, came up with him in a few strides He 
struck out at the robber, but his sword only went through a pillar 
of fire that towered up into the sky in which.Loki's form I-|m1 dia> 



la a moment Heimdal rose in the sbape c^ a cloud, from which 
such a torrent of rain descended that it threatened to extinguish 
the fire. 

Loki immediately changed himself into a polar bear, that 
opened its mouth and drank up the rain. Before he could escape 
he was attacked by Hdmdal as a still larger bear. 

Loki fled from the deadly embrace in the form of a seal, but 
his flight was useless, for he was caught by another larger seal 

The two creatures fought furiously; they bit and scratched each 
other till the waters were stained with their blood. After a long 
and fierce stni^le, Heimdal was victorious; and Loki slipped out 
of his torn and mangled seal's skin ; but when Heimdal whiried 
bis sword round his head, he begged for mercy and gave up the 
necklace to his opponent 

Heimdal stood leaning on his sword and holding Brisii^amen in 
his left hand, rejoicing in his victory in spite of the pain his 
wounds caused him. But Iduna, Bragi's lovely wife, came to him 
and gave him an apple of eternal youth. As soon as he had 
tasted i^ his wounds were healed and he ceased to suffer pain. 
He bade the goddess take the necklac^ back to Freya. 

Then he returned to Himinbidrg, mounted his good horse 
GuUtop and rode down Iring's road, which men now call the 
Miilcy Way; immediately the black storm-clouds vanished and 
the shining stars lighted up the expanse of heaven In the same 
way that Brisingamen did Asgard's hatis, until day came and 
called up gods and men to their work. For Hdmdal is the same 
as Hrimdellinger for HeimdSglinger, he who brought day to the 
home of the world. His name Riger sbon-s that he was also 
related to the German Erich, Erk, Heru or Cheru, the sword-god, 
and consequently to Tyr or Zio. The Edda calls him the Sword- 
As^ and makes him wander on the green wa}-s of earth, as Iring 
did on the Milky Way, which was called after him. Certain roads 


HEmOAL. 171 . 

bore the same name, such as those which ran through England 
from south to north, and the Irmin-streets in Geniuny that led 
to and from the Innm-columiu ; thus RIger resembled the 
universal god, the giver irf' victoiy. 

R^er's wanderings reminds us of (5rwandil, iriiom TbtM' carried 
through the ice-streams Eliwagar. He was identical with the 
mythical hero Orendet, a son of King Eigel di Treves whose 
travels and adventures on every sea have much resemblance to 
those of Odysseus. It b very doubtful whether these stories were 
known to the Teutons at the time of Tadtu^ as this author, 
mentions that the Hellenic hero had been in Germany, and had 
founded the town of Asdbuigum (Ase-burg). It was rather to 
the poets of the middle ages that daric rumours of the Odyssee 

Heimdal was bora of nine mothers <the wave-nuudens), whose 
names are taken from waves and cliffs ; he was nursed and 
strengthened by Mother Earth, the cold sea and the rays of the 
sun ; hence he appears as a god of heaven, raised aloffc by the 
waves of the sea, which aftenvards fall to the earth as fruitful run 
or dew. This was his position in the natural myth. The skalds 
made him out to be the watchman of Aq^ard, to whom was 
entrusted the care of Bifrdsl; the rambow-bridg^ that all attadcs 
oS the pants might be prevented. 

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In the beginning the silence of death rested upon the Immeasur- 
able ocean, not a breath of wind stirred the air, not a wave rose on 
the surface of the deep ; everything was motionless, dumb, with- 
out breath or life; 

A vessel, the ship of the Dwarfs, crossed tlie silent waste of 
water. Bragi, the divine singer, was lying on the dedc asleep, 
sunk in the dream of life ; he was without spot or blemish, and 
his golden-stringed harp lay at his side. When the vessel glided 
over the threshold of Nain, the Dwarf of Death, the god awokc^ 
touched the strings of his harp and sang a song that echoed 
throughout the nine worlds, describii^ the rapture of existence^ 

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the rage of battle and the chaim of victoiy, and die joy and 
happiness of love. This song wakened dumb nature out of ber 

Whether the god of poetry were the son of Odin or no^ we ' 
cannot tell ; the skalds do not inform ua. But poetry cannot die, 
it always rises out of death to a new life and rejoices the hearts of 
both gods and men. 

Bragi landed on the shor^ singing his noUe song about tiw 
awakenii^ of nature and the blossoming of new life; and be 
wandered through the growing, budding woods as he sang. Then 
Iduna rose before him from amongst the grasses* flowers and 
foliage, the goddess of immortal youth, the youngest daughter of 
Iwaldi, the Dwarf, who hid life in the deep and afterwards sent it 
again to the upper world when the right time had com& 

Iduna was beautiful in her crown of flowers and leaves ; she was 
beautiful as the dawn. When the god saw her, his song of love 
became more glowing and intense. He stretdied out his arms 
and she sank upon his breast, for the poet mtist needs many youth 
and beauty. 

After they were united, they went to the blessed ever-green 
heights of Asgard, where the Ases received them with joy. Then 
Iduna gave them to eat of the apple of ever-renewed youth. 

When the gods and Einheriar had eaten their fill of the flesh dt 
S^rimnir, Br^ touched the strings of his harp and sang the 
praises of the heroes. But this pleasant life in Asgard, and the 
married happiness of the divine poet, were once broken by a severe 
trial, as we shall presently wet. 

Odin, Hdnir and Loki were travelling about the world together 
to see what were the joys and sorrowi^ works and labours of 
the dwellers upon earth. They went a long way, and at length 
came to a densely wooded mountain where there was nothii^ 
to eat Tliey could find oo bospiuble house in which to take 




shelter; could hear no friendly voice calling to them. The 
autumn wind was blowing the tops of the oaks and firs. 

When they reached the valley, they saw a herd of cattle grazing ' 
in the meadow. They caught one of the animals and slaughtered 
it ; they cut it up and prepared to cook it for their supper. The 
fire, kindled by Loki, blazed up, and they thought the beef would 
soon be cooked. But when they looked to see^ it was still quite 
raw. This happened a second and a third time ; the Ases were 
astonished and wondered what to da 

Suddenly they heard a voice above them saying that he who 
prevented the beef from cooking was sitting above them in a 
branch of the tree. On looking up they saw a gigantic eagle 
through the leaves <A the oak, busily engaged in trying to put out 
the fire by flapping his wings. He promised to allow them to 
cook their supper if they would give him some of it When they 
had agreed to do so, he flew down, fanned the fire^ and very soon 
supper was ready. 

They all sat down together, but the eagle ate so quickly that it 
seemed as though he would devour the whole bullock. Loki was 
dreadfully hungry, and getting into a rag^ snatched up a stake 
and stabbed at the gigantic bird with it The e^le flew up into 
the air when he felt the blow. The stake had fastened itself to 
the feathers of the bird and Loki's hands were glued to the other 

The eagle flew so low that Loki's feet dragged alot^ the ground 
and hit against any stones and stumps that might be in the way, 
while bis arms felt as if they were dislocated. He shrieked and 
groaned and b^ged for mer^ of the Storm-giant, who^ as he 
well knew, was hidden under the eagle's dress. 

" Very weH." said the giant " I will set thee free if thou wOt 
promise to bring me Iduna and her golden applef^" 

Lold swore to do so^ and, as soon as he was set fre^ limped 

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back to tiis companioos. Under the circumstances the travdlert 
detenniiied to go hom^ and they must have been provided with 
seven-league boots, for they arrived at Asgard on die following 

Beautiful Iduna was going about her faousdiold duties^ dressed 
in green and wearing a garland of leaves^ the crown of unfading 
youth. Br^ was away from home joum^ing as a ninstrd. 
She collected her applej^ which abe usually gav^ the Ases at 
breakfast time. 

At this moment Loki came up to her quickly, and looldi^ 
round to see that no one was near, whispered : 

"Gentle and lovely goddess, follow me quickly out of &e castle 
gate, for I have discovered a strange tree covered with gtddeo 
fruit like thine." 

This was a request the goddess could not decline. She put 
some of her apples in a crystal dish and followed the traitor 
through A^[ard, and on into the dark wood. 

All at once the Storm-wind roared throi^h the trees ;- and 
Thiassi, the giant in the eagle's dress; rushed up, caught the 
terrified goddess in his talons, and flew with her to dreary wintry 
Thrymheim, where spring flowers cannot bloom, not yet can youth 

Loki slunk back to Asgard, and quietly kept his secret about 
Iduna to himselC * The longer hence they notice it, the better," 
he cunningly thought to bimselC ' 

The Ases for a long time did not know that Iduna had been 
stolen ; they thought she had gone away on a journey. But when 
days and weeks had passed their hair began to turn grey, the 
colour left their cheeks and thnr faces showed the fjlds and 
wrinkles of age. The goddesses even Freya herself discovered 
signs of approaching old ^e, when th^ looked at thdr faces ia 
the mirror of a clear si 



They all asked for Iduna and sought her high and low. The 
last tune she was seen, she was walking with LokL The cunning 
Ase was questioned ; his lies did not help him ; Thor threatened to 
break all his limbs, and raised his hammer for the purpose : then 
Loki confessed, and promised to bring back the giver of yoaih, 
if Fr^a would lend him her falcon-dress^ 

The request was granted, and he flew away at once to Thfym- 
heim, the dwellii^ of the Storm-giant Thiassi. 

The giant was at sea, and Iduna was sitting lonely and sad in 
an uncomfortable room, made of roughly hewn logs. Loki told 
her to be of good coura^ and changed her into a nut . 

Then he flew over rocks and chasms with his light burden 
towards AsenheJm. 

Meanwhile the giant came home from his sea voyage. He had 
always hitherto begged bis prisoner in vain to give him a slice of 
the apple of youth, that his horrible deformity m^ht be trans- 
formed into the beauty of youth. As soon as he discovered 
Iduna's flight, he put on his eagle's dress and rxished after the 
fugitives with the speed of the storm. 

The Ases watched the wild chase anxiously. They collected 
shavings and bits of wood before the fortress and when the falcon 
had reached the shelter of the wall with his charge^ they set fire 
to die wood, and the flames towered up into the air, singeing the 
wings of the pursuing eagle and bringing him to the ground. 

Thiassi was then slain, but Thor threw his eyes up into the 
heavens where they shone henceforth as stars every night 

On his return, Bragi found his wife at home and heard from 
her all that had happened. He saw how Skadi, dai^bter of the 
Storm-giant, appeared in helmet and chain armour to avenge her 
father's death. And he afterwards told the whole stoiy, ending 
with how 6gir, the god of the sea, had made expiation to the war- 
like maiden. 



It is iateresting to see how the genius of Odin's skalds united 
the god of poetiy in marriage with the goddess d spring the 
giver of renewed youth, ^nd interwove the changes of the seasons 
into the myth. Bragi, who came out of the unknown distance^ 
awoke mental life and also nature out of their trances ; Iduna, 
who brought spring and youth into the world, became his wife. 
She gave the Ases the golden fruit of renewed youth, a fruit which 
was perhaps identical with the golden fruit that the Gredan hero 
Herakles carried away from the Hesperidea. 

In the same way as the autumn winds tear the leaves from the 
trees, the Storm-giant stole Iduna, and as the green meadows are 
covered with ice and snow in winter, so Iduna had to spend some 
time in the giant's uncomfortable house, while the gods themselves 
grew old and thdr hair turned grey. 

Then Loki, probably the south wind, had to go and set Iduoa 
free. The Stonn-giant had gone on a voyage to the north, where 
his power lasted until the coming of spring. So the imprisoned 
spring was delivered from its bonds, and when the giant made -his 
way into A^rard he was slain ; is^ the storms of winter were con- 
fined within certain bounda 

Uller appears in the Edda as the cheeiy and sturdy god of 
winter, who^ caring nothing for wind or snowstorm, used to go out 
on long journeys on his skates or snow-sboea, 

Whenever be reached a lake or fiord which was not frozen, he 
transformed his shoes into a boat, and, making Ae winds and waves 
obey him, passed over to the other side. 

Snow-shoes, as they are still worn in Korway and Iceland, are 
light shoes, very \a^ and shaped like a boat tumii^ up at the 
ends. With their help it is easy to slide quickly dowm hill, and 

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they may have been the shoes alluded to in the stories of Ullcr ; 
still, skates were also used at that time to glide over the froMii 
lakes. These shoes were also compared with a shield ; thus the . 
shield is called Uller's ship in several places. 

When the god skated over the ice, he always carried with htm 
his shield, deadly arrows, and bow made of the yew-tree. The 
pliable wood of the yew was the most suitable for making bows 
for use either in huntii^ or in war. UUer, therefore^ lived in the 
palace Ydalir, the yew-vale. 

As he protected plants and seeds from the severe attacks of the 
frosts of the north by o>vering the ground with a coating of snow, 
he was regarded as the benefactor of mortal men, and was called 
the friend of Baldur, the giver of every blessing and joy. 

Once when out hunting, Uller saw beautiful Skadi, the bold 
huntress, of whom we shall have more to tell further on. He fell- 
ia love mth her, and as she was l^ this time separated from her 
first husband, Nidrder, she willingly consented to marry him. At 
the wedding the storms all played dance music in. every tune, for 
the time when the day and night were of equal length in autumn 
was past, and winter, the happiest time for marri^e; had begun. 

Vulder with the Anglo-Saxons meant divine glory, or even God 
himself, and it seems that the Northern god Uller was thus cha- 
racterised in heathen times. This was perhaps a consequence of 
the glory of the Northern winter nif^t, which is often brilliantly 
lighted by the snow, the dazzling ice^ and the Aurora boreal!^ the 
great Northern Li^. 



i mmaiiiMn ij. ii n" I ■" ' " ■■""■ ■■ ■■ wwwm i i 





T~\ISUNION had shown itself amongst the god% as on eaidi 
*~^ amongst men, for the sake of power and gold. TheWaoet 
came up against A^ard in numbers like the stars of heavei^ and 
crowded over the broken wall into the holy predncti. 

The Ases had no Einberiar to help them as yet, for this was the 
first war which was to.decide the govemmentof the w<^d. 5p«an 
hurtled throt^h the air, swords rattled against hdmets and coats* 
of-maiL The fallen warriors felt the pang of their wounds, but not 
the agony of deatbj for the wounds soon closed again, and thqr 
stood up anew to do battle with the foe 

Weapons did not suffice ; the warrims broke off pieces of rock 
and the tops of mountains, tore pines and oaks up by their roots 
and flung them at each other. Thunder rolled ; the sun hid its 
face ; universal destruction threatened to overwbdm the world, and 
the Jotuns looked on at the battle with delight, holdii^ themselves 
ready to fall upon both victor and vanquished, and complete the 
work of destructioo. 

Then Allfather appeared, m^hty and glorious wearii^ his 
golden helme^ and swinging the spear of death, and commanded 
that there should be a truce. 



The fieiy warriors obeyed his behest ; they bowed their stubborn 
heads, and lowered their uplifted weapons, as they listened to the 
words of the King : " Let there be peace henceforth in heaven and 
upon earth, and let a treaty be made between the divine Powers, 
that neither may in future interfere with the province of the other, 
but that each race of gods may do its utmost for the weal and 
hapinness of mortal men, who offer sacrifices and gilts as be 
seems them." 

In this way a Milton would probably have described the con- 
clusion of the battle of the gods; but the Edda, in addition to 
this, relates how the Ases and Wanes each gave hostages to the 
other in token of good faith, 

HOnir, Odin's brother, who had in the olden time given man 
mind and senses, was sent to the Wanes, who in their turn made 
over to the Ases Ni&rder, the unspotted Prince d" men, with his 
children Freyer and Freya, who were held in equal reverence with 

The wise Mimir accompanied H&nir 'to Wanaheim. But the 
Wanes stew him and sent his head to the Ases. Odin, however, 
restored it to life with his magic nines, that it might always confer 
with him about the Past and the riddles of the Future, as in the 
old tim^ when after pledging his eye to Mimir he was permitted to 
drink of the fountain of wisdom. He did not return evil with evil, 
but included Ni6rder and his children amoi^st the ranks of the 
Ase^ so that th^ lived in honour whilst the rest of their race were 
almost entirely foigotteiL 

The Wanes, of whose worship but few and uncertain traces 
remun in German traditions, are supposed to ha^;;^ \m:&. '^le gods 
of feeling and of the senses. Professor Simrocl-{ has shown that 
very probably that they were not essentially ' different from the 
Ases, but that they were worshipped by other tribes than the Ases, 
presumably by those cX the Sue^ who were d wellers by the sea. 

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for the Aestyer and especially the Suiones, Suevian tribe^ prin- 
cipally adored Freyer, Freya, and NiOrder. It is also supposed 
that they may have been the gods of tribes which had been forced 
back and partially subjected to the conqueror, who at length threw 
off the yoke of the victor and in renewed battle broke down part 
of the fortifications of Asgard, but afterwards came to reastmable 
terms with the enemy. This uncertain hypothecs would quite, 
explain the war with the Wanes, and show it to have been a war of 

Some writers explain the Wanes to have been the priestly class 
and the war to have been a struggle, between ecclesiastical and 
temporal power, such as raged between Pope and Kaiser all through 
the middle ages, and which is perhaps not even yet at an end. 
This cannot be called an alt<^ether unjustifiable hypothesis, for 
in the Edda we lind many references to the wise Wanes, and wis- 
dom could not well be an attribute of the gods of sensuous impulse; 
whilst it might quite easily be found amongst the priests. So much 
only is certain, however, that with the exception of the three 
Wanes received into Asenheim, no other gods of that race take 
part in any of the mythical occurrences. It was not supposed that 
Wanaheim would disappear in the universal destruction of nature; 
for when the world was to be renewed, Hdnir would be allowed 
to choose whethei he would enter the blessed Gimil, or remain 
in Wanaheim. 


The Prince of men. as Nidrder was called, was, according to tradi- 
tion, tall and stately and of matchless beauty. He was as famous 
(or his wisdom and goodness as for his wealth. Therefore he 

listened to those who prayed him to bless their labours, especially 
attending to those who were engaged in seafaring and mercantile 



He lived at Noatun (seaport^ where be del^bted to hear the 
dash of the waves and the song of swans. The swan, which only 
sings when it is dyii^, was looked upon as the bird of the Under- 
world divinities. Hence Niorder seems to have had some connec- 
tion with them. Moreover, he was rq^arded as the ruler of the 
calm, peaceful ocean. When wild Ogir excited the sea to rise 
foaming and dashing against the shipj; threatening to engulf them, 
Ni&rder calmed its fuiy with m^^c spells, and sent a favourable 
wind to the assistance of the mariners. He did not wear Cgif's 
helmet, of which all living creatures were afraid, but a hat trimmed 
with shells, above which waved a heron's plume. A sea-^reen tunic 
clothed his slender f^ure, leaving the lower part of his well-formed . 
legs uncovered. To this circumstance he owed his marriage to 
his second wife, beautiful Skadl His residence in Asenheim had 
separated him from his first wife Nerthus, Mother Earth, who was 
also his sister, and be therefore lived unmarried in remote Noatun, 
until he was wed to Skadl 

Then, as we have already told, gentle Iduna was stolen away, 
was set free by Loki, and the storm-giant Thiassi was slain by the 

After this, Skadi, the giant's warlike daughter, arm«l herself in 
ber native Thrymheim with helmet and chain-mail, with spear and 
deadly arrows, and appeared before A^rard demanding vengeance; 
She looked gloriously beautiful in her shining armour, and the 
Ases did not wish to fight with the noble maiden, whose wrath 
seemed just in their eyes. They offered her expiation for ber 
father's death, but she would not listen to their friendly words; 
she raised ber spear to hurl it at one of those who had been accom- 
plice in his death. 

Then cunning Loki came forward, bowed low before her, and 
sprang now to the right hand, now to the left, and then danced 
backwards and forwardi^ while a long-homed, long-bearded goat 


-'- - 11 1 rB^ii'iftiiiniBlilri 


made the same movements behind him, for he bad fastened the 
creature to himself with an invisible cord. When at l^igth he 
threw himself on his knees before her like a lover, and the goat, 
bleating mournfully, followed his example Skadi burst into a fit 
of laughter. Her anger passed away, and she allowed herself to 
listen to teniUL 

Meanwhile it had grown darl^ and Odin said, as be ptunted to 
the slqr.— 

* Look, there are thy father's eyes «4uch I have placed ia the 
firmament of heaven that th^ may henceforth look down upon 
thee as stars. As for thee, thou shalt become one of us^ and shalt 
choose thyself a husband from amongst us, but thine eyes must be 
so covered with a veil that thou mayest only see the feet of the 
assembled gods." 

She gazed about her in astonishment, and as she ^ so, her eyet 
fell upon Baldur, who stood before her in his divine beauty, for he 
shone amongst the Ases like the morning star amongst the palii^ 
stars of night She hoped to recc^tse him even if she only.saw 
the hem of bis garment Her eyes were then partially bandageii^ 
and the gods formed a circle round her. She looked around her' 
on the ground, and perceived amongst them a foot of remaikable 

"I choose thee^" she said, "thou art Baldur." 

She tore the band;^ from her eyes, and — it was not Baldur, 
it was Niorder whom she had chosen ; and he was slender, stately, 
gentle and pleasant to look upon. 

The word was spoken ; the choice was made ; the marriage was 
-„i :,-^ «rf»h ™.,^i, ™m„ Tk » k..-^.^ founj he, life 

pi^one. The 
ed through it ; 
:red Walhalla ; 
fiaea delighted 



in doing her honour. Thus the honeymoon passed, and then she 
followed her husband to Noatun, his castle by the sea. 

She liked the lire she led there at 5rst, but soon she began to 
long for her native Thrymheim, for the sounds of the forests, in 
which she had been accustomed to hunt, and the frozen meres on 
which she used to skate; 

She hated to hear the beat of the waves upon the shores the 
groans and barking of the seals, and to see the fish leap ; while 
the hoarse cries of the gulls often wakened her out of her sleep. 
She could bear it no longer, and told her husband she must either 
go back to Thiymhcira or she must die, 

Nidnler listened to her kindly, and proposed that he should 
spend nine nights with her at Thrymheim, and that she should 
then live three nights with him at Noatun, and so on until R^;- 
narCk should come. She gladly consented, and this plan of life was 
kept up for some time to the satisfaction of both. 

But in course of time Nidrder himself grew weary of Thrym- 
heim. The howling of the wolves, the bellowing of the buffaloes, 
and the growling of the bears were as hateful to htm as the noises 
of the sea-side were to his wife. They therefore had themselves 
set free from the marriage tie, and each dwelt in his and her own 

Ni6rder was patron of the fisheries, and also of ships and trade. 
Skadi continued to hunt as before and ruled with her bow and 
arrows over the beasts and birds that lived in the forest Some 
time after her separation from Nitirder, she married vriutiy Uller, 
who was much better suited to her in character. 

Simrock rightly maintains with regard to the origin and inter- 
pretation of this myth, that Niorder was a beneficent summer god, 
who helped the harvest to ripen, and was the giver of material 
well-being, who uught men how to cultivate the vine and other 
kinds of husbandly. He was perhaps the masculine counterpart 

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- ■ — - ^ - 




or the Earth-^oddctt Nertbus, w1h>, probably, was both his wife and 
bis sbter in Wanaland. As be was also interested in commercial 
undertakings and vcqragea, the Edda shows him to have been 
essentially the ruler of the sea and peace-maker irith the storms. 
Skadi, too, was connected with the Earth-goddess, but only in her 
wintry dress, 

^^^nte^, regarded in its pleasantest aspect, gained a form and 
personality in the consciousness of the people ; and so beaatiftil 
Skadi ippeared in the songs of the skaldsL This myth is a crea- 
tion of Norse genius, not of that of any particular poets. It 
proves that in these poems, the Giants, Ases and Wanes were not 
inimical Powers diametrically opposed to one another, but that 
they could at one time live on friendly and intimate terms to- 


The Edda informs us that Freyer was the son of Ni&der. . He 
and bis sister Freya left Wanaland irith their father, and were 
recdved amongst the number of the Asea. 

It appears, however, that he was known in still older times than 
tha^ hanng been held in great reverence as the sun-god by the 
Scandinavians, and probably by the Southern Germans also ; as 
such he made the fields fruitful, blessed households 'and marriage 
and family life. 

We learn in the Edda, as has been already related, that imme- 
diately before the wager between Lolci and the dwarf Brod^ Freyer 
received the ship Skidbladnir, iriiich could sail in any wtshed-fbr 
direction, and which, when no longer wanted, could be folded up 
and put in the pocket And then he was given the boar Gullin- 
buistt, one of the three works of art made by Sindri, brother of 
Brock ; this boar drew the god's chariot and was at times ridden 

i -j j ^wmpi^j- ^ ■ ■ ^ II . . M I I I II n i l r 

D,3 zB<ibyCOO<^Ie 



t^ him ; it would bear him through woods and over meadows, tt> 
golden bristles rendering the darkest nig^t as light as day. 

In the ship we recc^ise the clouds, which always have a &vour- 
able wind when they scuny across the sky, and in the boar we see 
the sun's golden light Blodhughofi, a horse swift as the wind, was 
at his command whenever he rode to join the council of the Ases. 

Yule-tide^ which was sacred to this god, takes its name from the 
wheel of the stu^ for jul or giulif means wheel (hveohl). This fes- 
ti\*al, for which the sun-god awakes and lights up bis wheel once 
more, was kept by alt the Teutonic races. The special dish that 
appeared at these feasts was a boar's head, such as is still seen on 
the dinner tables at Christmas time in the University of Oxford. 

To Freyer was awarded the Home of the Ught-Elves by the 
gods as a fit gift on his cutting his first tooth, for the god of sun- 
shine and fruitful harvests must necessarily rule over the kingdom 
of the Light-Elve& 

According to one legend, Freyer once took a human form, and 
ruled over Sweden under the name of Fidlnir. At the invitation 
of King Frodi, he went to HIedra (Zealand), to take part in a great 
feast prepared in his honour. When there, he fell into an enormous 
butt of mead, and was drowned, in like manner as the sun-god 
sinks every evening into the rosy waves of the sea. 

He appeared amongst the Danes as Fridleif (peace-g^ver), the son 
or grandson of Hadding, and governed the people with a strong 
hand. In vain he sent messengers to ask for the hand of fair 
Frq^rda, King Amund's daughter. As Amund received his 
offer with scorn, Fridldf organized an expedition to force him 
to consent to the manias 

One evening as the lover sat thinking beside a pond in a wood, 
he beard the swans singing to the murmuring waters : 
* Hesnksi the robber has itolea tl7 lover } 
Tanj not, liutca the giant to lUy, 

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LnrUng in carcrni hb tKSMre to eorer t 
Geida b nouraiac ilqr wcaiy delay.* 

Scarcely w»s the sonp ended, when Fridleif perceived a giant 
tnller than the highest tree preparing to throw his stone club at him. 

The battle Immediately b^an ; and Fridleif first hewed ofi* 
one of the monster's l^s, and then, when he had fallen to the 
ground, bts three heads. 

The victor found Freygerda and a great treasure of gold hidden 
away in the cave the Jotun had tnhaUted. 

Soon afterwards Fridleif married the princess^ and on his way 
home the hero succeeded in killing a terrible dr^on, in whose 
cavern he discovered a still greater hoard of gold. 

A son was bom of this marriage named Frodt He socucded 
his father on the Danish throne, and bestowed blessii^ upon hb 
people, such as only a god can give to mortal man. 

So great was the public safety in his reign that the king had 
golden chains and je^vels kept day and night in the open air, 
and no one dared to touch them. The traveller then always 
found a hearty welcome throughout the kingdom, bxt there was 
no lack of food in the countiy : the fields bore double harvests, 
and the king was ever willing to relieve want wherever his help 
was needed. This peaceful state was accounted by all as the 
greatest of blessings, and in honour of Ffodi was ever afterwards 
called the Peace of FrodL The \ast% felt veiy happy, whether 
drinking sweet mead upon his h^b throne in the hall of his fathers, 
or making inroads upon the neighbouring tribes; followed by his 

• Among his treasures were two quern stones ; nothing much 
to look at, umply two common mill stones in appearance, and no' 

• The following legend b quoted from the channJng bool^ entitled, " Woo. 
dcrful StOfiet from Nonhen Lalid%" bjr Julia Goddud (LoMloa : 

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one who did not know what they c»uld do would think of taking 
any notice of them. Nevertheless, these quern stones were of 
more worth than anything that King Frodi had, for they could 
produce anything that the grinder of the quera or handmill wished 
for. They would bring gold, silver, precious stones, anything and 
everything ; and besides this they could grind love, joy, peace ; 
therefore it is not too much to say that these stones were worth 
more than all the treasures of the king put together. 

At least they would have been if he could have made use of 
them, but they were so heavy that few could be found to turn the 
quern, andjust at the time of which I am speaking there was no one 
at all in the land of Gotland able to work away at the quera handle. 

Now the more King Frodi pondered over his wonderful quera 
stones, the greater became his desire to use them, and he sought 
throi^hout the land from north to south, from east to wes^ if 
perchance he might find some one strong enough to help him in 
his need. But all to no purpose^ and he was utterly in despair 
when, by good luck, he happened to go on a visit to the King- 
of Sweden, and to hear of two sUve-women of great size and 
strei^;th. "Surely," thought Frodi, "these are just the women 
to grind at my quera Grotti " (for so it was called), and he asked 
the king to be allowed to see them. 

So the king ordered the slaves to be brought before Frodi, and 
when Frodi saw them his spirits rose; for certainly Menia and 
Fenia were stroi^-looking women. Th^ were ogbt feet in 
hei^^ and broader across the shoulders than any of Frodi's 
warriors, and the muscles of their arms stood out like cords. And 
tbqr lifted heavy weights^ threw heavy javelins^ and did so many 
feats of strength that Frodi felt quite sure that they would be able 
to turn the quern handle^ 

"I will buy these slavey" said h^ "and take them with me to 

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Menia and Fenia stood with their arms folded and their 
proud heads bowed down, whilst Frodi counted out the gold 
to the seller. They were slaves; with money had they been 
bpught, with money were thqr sold again. What cared Frodi 
who was their father, or how tbey had come into the land of 

And be took them home with him and bade them grind at the 
quern. Now he should be able to test the power of the wonderful 

" Grind, grind, Menia and Fenia, let me see whether ye have 
strength for the woric' 

So spake King Frodi, and the huge women lifted the heavy 
stones as though they had been pebbles. 

" What shall we grind ? " asked the slavet. 

" Gold, gold, peace and wealth for Frodi." 

Gold I gold t the land was filled with riches. Treasure in the 
king's palace, treasure in the coffers of his subjects — gold 1 gold ! 
There were no poor in the land, no beggars in the street^ no 
children crying for bread. All honour to the quern stonesi 

Peace I peace I no more war in the land, Frodi is at peace with 
every one. And more than that, there was peace in aU countries 
where Frodi's name was known, even to the far south ; and every- 
one talked of Frodi's Peace. Praise be to the quem stones I 

Wealth I yes, everything went weU. Not one of the counsels 
of King Frodi failed. There was not a green field that did not 
yield a rich crop ; not a tree but bent beneath its weight of fruit ; 
not a stream that ran dry ; not a vessel that sailed from the 
harbours of Gotland that came not back, after a fidr voyage, 
io safety to its haven. There was good luck everywhere. 

"Grind on, grind on, Menia and Fenia I good fortune is mine;'* 
said King FrodL 

And the slaves ground en. 



"When shall we res^wben may we res^ King Frodi? It it 
weaiy work toiling day and night" 

" No longer than whilst the cuckoo is stlent in the spring." 

" Never ceasing is the ay of the cuckoo in the groves ; may we 
not rest loi^r f " 

" Not longer," answered King Frodi, " than whilst the verse of 
a song is sung." 

" That is but little t " sighed Menia and Fenia, and they toiled 
on. Their arms were weaty, and thdr eyes heavy, they would 
fain have slept ; but Frodi would not let them have any sleep. 
They were but slaves who must obey their master, so they toiled 
on, still grinding peace and wealth to Frodi — 

"To Frodi and his qocen 

Joyand peace — 
May fitMS ia the land 

StiQ increase 
Frodi and hi* queen 

From danger* keep ; 
May they on beda of dowa 

Sweetly ileep. 
Ho sword be diawB 

Id Gotland old. 
By murderer bold. 

Hobarm be&n 
Tbe higb or low- 
To none be woe^ 
Good luck to an. 

Good luck to an. 
We prind, we gHnd. 

No rest we find. 
For rett we caU.* 

Thus sang the two ^aot wcunen; then they be^ed again, 
"Give us rest. O Frodit" 

But still Frodi answered, " Rest whilst the verse of a song is 
sung, or as long as the cuckoo is ^leat in the spring" 



No longer would the king give tliem. 

Yet Frodi was deemed a good kin^ but gok) and good lode 
were hardening his heart 

Menia and Fenia went on grindii^ and their wrath grew 
deeper and deeper, and thus at last they qwke: 

First said Fenia, " Thou wert not wis^ O Frodl Thou didst 
buy us because like giants we towered above the other slaves^ 
because we were strong and hardy and oould lift heavy burdens." 

And Menia took up the wail : "Are we not of the race of Uie 
mountain giants ? Are not our kindred greater tiian thine, O 
Frodi i The quern had never left the grey fell but for the giants' 
daughters. Never, never should we have grotmd as we have done, 
had it not been that we remembered from what race we qtrang." 

Then answered Menia : " Nine long irinten saw us tiainii^ to 
feats of strength, nine long winters of wearisome labour. De^ 
down in the earth we toiled and toiled until we oould move Ae 
high mountain from its foundations. We are weird women, O 
FrodL We can see far into the future Our ^es have looked 
upon the quern before: In the giants' house we whirled it unt3 
the earth shook, and hoarse tb«nder resounded tbrau^ Uie 
caverns. Thou art not wis^ O Frodl O Frodi thoa art not 
wise I" 

But Frodi heard them not ; he was sleeping the tweet sleep 
that the quern stones had ground for him. 

" Strong are we indeed," laughed Fenia, sorrowfully, "strong to 
contend with the puny men. We, whose pastime in Sweden was 
to tame the fiercest bears, so that they ate from our hands. We 
who fought with m^hty warriors and came off conquerors We 
who helped one prince and put down another. Well we fou^^t, 
and many were the wounds we received from sharp qwars and 
flashing swords. Frodi knows not our power, or he would scarce 
have brought us to his palace to treat us thus Here no one has 

'■■ '■' D,Bi,z,db,Goo<^le 


compassion upoD lu. Cold are the skies above us, and the pitiless 
wind beats upoa our breast Cold is the ground on which we 
stand, and the keen frost bites our feet Ah, there are none to 
pity us. No one cares for the slaves. We grind for ever an 
enemy's quern, and he gives us no rest Grind, grind ; I am 
weary of grinding ; I must have rest" 

" Nay," returned Menia, " talk not of rest until Frodi is content . 
with irtut we bring hiaL" 

Then Fenia started : " If he gives us no res^ let us take it 
ourselves. Why should we any longer grind good for him who 
only gives us evil ? We can grind what we please^ let us revenge 

Then Menia turned the handle quicker than ever, and in a 
wild voice she sang: 

" I (M a ihip come nninc 
With waniora bold aboard, 
Ttwre** nuny a one that in Danith blood 
Would be glad to dip bis twoid. 
Say slull we gnnd tbem hitberf 
Say shall they land to-ni^tt 1 
Say shall they set the pakce a-fiia? 
Say ahall they win die fij^itf' 

Then called Fenia in a voice of thunder through the midnight 
air: "Prodi, Frodi, awake; awake I Wilt thou not listen to us? 
Have mercy and let us rest our weary limbs." 

But all was still, and Frodi gave no answer to the ay. 

" Nay," answered Menia. " He will not hearken. Little he 
cares for the worn-out slaves. Revenge revenge I " 

And Frodi slept; not dreaming of the evil that was comiim^ upcm 

And again Fenia shouted : " Frodi, Frodi, awake I The beacon 
is blazing. Danger is nigh. Wilt thon not spare ? " 

But Frodi gave no answer, and the giant women toiled oo. 



"O FrodI, Frodi, we cannot bear our wMiiness." 

And still no answer came 

"Frodi. Frodi. danger is nigh thee. WeU-manned ships are 
gliding over the sea. It is Myunger who come% his white sail 
flutters in the wind. His flag is unfurled. Frodi, Frod^ awake, 
awalK I thou abalt be king no longer." 

And as the giant women ground, the words they spake came to 
pass ; tbey were grinding revenge for themselves and brought dw 
enemy nearer and nearer. 

" Ho I hearken to the herald t Frodi, Frodi, the town Is on fire. 
The palaces will soon be ruined heaps. Grind, Henia, ever more 
swiftly, until we grind death to Frodi" 

And Menia and Fenia ground and ground till Mynnger and his 
followers landed from the ships. They ground until they had 
reached the palaces 

"To anna, to arms," shouted die warder^ but it was too 
late. The Gotlanders armed themselves ; but who could stand 
against the army that the slave women were grinding against 

Not long did the stni^Ie last Frodi and his Gotlanders fought 
bravely, but the sea-ldng and his allies were mightier, for the 
giantesses were in giant mood, and turned the handle faster and 
faster, until down fell the quem stones Then sank Frodi pierced 
with wounds, and the fight was over. The army that Menia and 
Fenia had ground to help Mysinger vanished , and Mysingerand 
bis men alone were left conquerors on the bloody field. 

They loaded their ships with treasury and Mysinger took with 
him, Menia, Fenia. and the quem stones. 

But, alas I Mysinger was no wiser than King Frodi had been. 

Gold, however, was not his first thought; he had enough of 
that but he wanted something else that just then was more to him 
than gdd. 





There was no salt on board the sea-king's vessels; so he said, 
"Grind salt" 

And Menia and Fenia ground salt for Myunger. 

At midnight they asked if they had ground enough. 

And Mysinger bade them grind on. 

And so they ground and ground until the ship was so heavy 
with salt that it sanl^ and the sea-king and all his men were 

Where the queni stones went down there is to this day a great 
whirlpool, and the waters of the sea have been salt ever since. 

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He looked towards the eas^ the west and the south ; at last he 
turned to the north, and there he saw a maiden, taller and more 
beautiful than any he had ever before bdield. Her arms shone 
like the radiant beams of the sun, and heaven and earth were 
resplendent with her beauty. But the vision did not last long, for 
she opened the door of her dwelling, and soon had disappeared. 

waillUMw. I ' 111 ' 



In vain he hoped for her return, but she came not ; her image 
only remained fixed in hb soul, filling it with the pangs of hope- 
less love 

He no more joined the meny feasts in Odin's joyous hall, nor 
did he mingle with the other gods in their familiar talk ; he sought 
solitude and was ever gloomy and morose. 

His father Nidrder grieved to see bis son's sad listless manner, 
and wondered what was the cause of it He entreated Skimir, 
Freyer's faithful servant, wisely to search out the source of his 
master's gnawing grieC 

So Skimir went to his lord: "Tell me, O m^hty ruler of 
nations^ what I fain would know, why thou thus lonesome and full 
of sadness dost ever linger in the spacious hall ? " 

Freyer answered : " Thou art young in years and in experience ; 
how then couldst thou fathom my grief? The sun shines every 
day on happy people but his light can bring no joy to the sad at 

Yet Skimir did not cease in his efforts. He reminded Freyer of 
their happy boyhood, of their merry games, and of the time when 
they had never had a secret from each other, 

Freyer was touched by his devotion and told him of his 
undying love and of its hopelessness 

" Give me^" said Skimir, " thy good horse to bear me through 
my joum^ ; give me thy trusty sword that fights of its own 
accord against the Frost-giant's power, and I will woo the maiden 
for thee. I foresee that my mission will be successfuL" 

Soon afterwards Skimir leaped into the saddle, the good sword 
at his sid& 

"Up," he cried, "haste thee. Red bors^ on thy way over the 
steep mountain, for darkness approaches, that time which brings 
help and comfort to the Jotuns. But we shall make our journey 
safely if only we can escape the clutches of the giant" 

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The good horse galloped swiftly over hill and dalci as the 
e^le flies over the tops of the tall pines ; and Skimir soon per- 
ceived the wide demesne of the Frost-giant. 

A high hedge, guarded t^ fierce d<^^ surrounded the bower of 
the beautiful maiden, and within was a circle of flames that shot 
all round the building. At one ude was leaning the herdsman 
who watched over the stately herd of cattle. 

Skimir turned to him and asked him how he was to pais dte 
dogs and the fire, and so reach the hall tii the noble maiden, 

" Art thou already dead i " asked the herdsman ; " or dost thoa 
feel death in thy heart ? No living man is permitted to enter the 

" Boldness befits a traveller better than fear. The d^ of my 
life are all numbered, and no one can shorten them agunst the 
will of the Noms." 

With these words Skimir drove his spurs into his horse, wbSdx 
thundered over the fierce dogs, the high hedge and the flame% 
making the whole grange tremble to its foundations, 

Gerda was utting in her hall, and asked her woqien in startled 
tones why Gymir^ard was quaking so strangely. 

One of her maidens informed her that a man, who bad just 
ridden up to the door, demanded admittance 

Gerda bade tier bring the man into her presence^ and ordered 
that sweet mead should be given her guest; although she had a 
foreboding that he brought unwelcome tidings, or was pedups the 
murderer of her brother BelL 

When the stranger had drunk of the mead oflered him, she 

" Art thou an Elf, or an Ase, or one of the wise Wanes, that. 
thou, mad rider that thou art, hast dared to force thy w^ tbroi^ 
Wafurlogi and thus enter our halls i" 

"I am no Elf, nor yet am I an Ase, nor do I belong to the race 



of wise Wanes," replied the stranger. " I bring thee eleven apples 
of pure gold as a bridal gift, in order that tbou mayst own that 
there is none so dear to thee as Freyer, who yearns for thy love 
in return." 

But she answered : "I will not take thy golden apples, nor shall 
bonds of union ever link my fate to that of thy master, Freyer. 

"Then I will add the golden ring that the Dwarfs made," be 
continued ; "that ring from which ei|^t new ones drop each ninth 

"Gymir's daughter needs no golden rings," she replied; "her 
father's treasures are enoi^h for her." 

"Look, proud maiden," he cried in anger, "look at the shining 
sword in my right hand ; with it will I strike it thou dost still 
refuse him." 

"Neither will I submit to force;" she answered unabashed, 
" nor will I accept the love of any man ; and I know that Gymir 
is armed and ready to punish thy daring." 

Then Sldmir rose from his seat in wrath, and replied to her ia 
these words: 

"Maiden, seest thou this sword in my hand? With it I shall 
slay the old Jotua, thy father, if he dares offer me battle. But 
thee I shall conquer by means of my magic wand. Hearken to 
the worcU which I trace In runic staves : — 

On an cafl^t monnt tboa ihalt txAy ^ 

Looking uid turned towardt Hd. 

Food ihall lo iliee mote '"il''f"" be than b to anjr oae 

The {•lutening Mipcnt among nten. 

Solitnde, horror, bonds and impatieac^ 

Shall tbjr tears with grief ancmeiiL 

Sit thee down, and I win tcD tbee 

Of a whelming flood of care, and of a doable grieC 

Terrors shall bow thee down the live-Ioitg day 

In the Jotun's couits, in thy chamber lone) 

To the Hrimaurscsf halls tboa shah each d^. 

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Ciswl exhantfed, Joylew cnwl ; . 
Wail for pmstiiiM ibmlt thoa bav^ 
And tears and mitciT. 

With three-headed Thnne thoa ihalt be ever boand, 
Or be witboot a matb 

To the wold 1 have been, to the bmnid {rove, 
A magic wand to get i a magic wand 1 got. 

Wrath with thee ihall Odb be, and wroth the Am^ Princei 

And Frejer too shall loathe tbee. 

Flee, wicked maid, e'en ere thoa ihalt have fdt 

The gods' dire vengeance. 

List, ye Jofauu, list, ye Thnrse^ 

Sons <S Suttong t also ye, ye Aae^ sdves I 

How 1 forbid, how I prohibit 

Man's joy imto the '*""'W*, 

Man's converse to the damsA 

Ahrit^tdfnm Om ''EMtT 

Skimir ceased and took his knife to cut the runes from the 
m^ic wand on which they were carved. • 

Gerda cried shuddering]/ : 

" Turn away the fulfilment of thy curse, O hero ! Take from 
nty hand this icy cup filled with old mead t I never thought that 
it had been my lot to love one of the Ases* race. LJsten to the 
words I speak most grudgii^ly, — 

' Bam the grove is named, whidi we both know. 
The grave of traoqtdl paths : 
Nine nights from new to NifinTs son 
Gerd there will grant deHght" 

Overjoyed at his success, Skimir mounted his hors^ and hast- 
ened to tell his master the good newt. 

Freyer rejoiced, yet cried, impaticBily, 
Loi^ is one night, yet longer two will bo % 
How shall I nine endure F 
Often has a month to me srrmri! len 
Than half a idgbt of kmging. 



Freyer met Gerda at the appointed time in the grove Barn, and 
their wedding was solemnized, wakening the earth out of wialer's 
sleep, and dressing her in bridal raiment of spring blossoms. 

This, as the poem teaches us, happens every year ; the bright 
god of summer slays Beli, the snow-covered giant of wintry storms, 
and woos fair Gerda, the Earth, who, herself of the race of giants, 
is held in bonds of ice by her father Gymir. 

Gymir was the same as Hymir, the Frost-^iant conquered by 
Thor ; he was also related to Ogir, god of the blusterii^, wintry 
sea. Freyer gives his good sword, the ray of sunshine, to his 
servant Skimir, that he may force the unwilling Gerda to become 
his bride. The messenger, in the oldest tradition the god himself 
offers the unwilling maiden the golden ring from which eight other 
rings drop each ninth nigh^ even as the com that is sown late in 
autumn grows and ripens in nine months. He threatens the hard- 
hearted giii with runes which he carves on a m^c wand, and 
whidi his curse makes powerful for evil His curse dooms her to 
many Hrimgrimnir, or be buried alone under the ice of winter. ~ 
Just as he is about to cut off the runes, that his curse may be ful- 
filled, fair Gerda yields to necessity and marries Freyer. 

Skimir's Journey is one of the most beautiful poems of the 
Edda, and certainly the ideas to which it gave rise in the mind of 
the poet are no less interesting. They are to be met with in other 
royth^ and they also occur in faiiy-tales and the heroic epics ; a\ 
for instance, in the story of the Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, who 
is kept in the bondage of slumber by the chill embrace of winter, 
and wakened to new life by the warm kiss of the sun-princ& 

A similar tale is current in Denmark. 

Youi^ Swendal was playing with a ball, and the ball flew out 
of his hands far away into the ladies' chamber. He went after it ; 
he came back again with love in his heart, for he had seen there 
a lovely damsel, whose picture had fixed itself upon his souL 



Hark! he heard voices calling to him ; he thought it was his 
sister and his stq>-mother. 

" Hailc ye, young Swendal," they said ; * flii^ not tl^ ball at 
me ; fling it rather at the fair maiden whom thou dost love. Nor 
shalt thou longer have peace or ^eep^ until thou hast released the 
blooming girl, Ijdng oppressed t^ heavy grie£" 

No sooner had he heard the words than he donned his fur-doaltv 
and entered the chamber where the court was assembled. 

He told them be would go into the mountains to ask his motber 
what he was to do, that he might free the grieving maiden 

Th^ praised his errand, and he set ou^ and reached the moun- 
tain where his mother had been slumbering peacefully for many a 

As he entered, the walls and marUe boulder* burst asunder, the 
earth opened, and a voice cried out : 

" Who is it that wakens the weary sleeper f Can I not rest in 
peace beneath the dark ground?" 

" Mother," he answered, " it is thy son that comes to seek thy ■ 
counsel, as they told me that no longer should I have peace or 
sleep until I should release the blooming maiden who has suffered 
thraldom this many a long d^.* 

Thereupon the voice spake^ — 

"Take, then, thy mother's last gifls, young Swendal, and set out 
that thou mayst find that which thy heart is yearning for." 

And suddenly there lay before him a sword, and without there 
neighed a noble steed. 

It was the sword that ever carries victory with i^ and the 
stallion that gallops over land and sea, and never weariest 

Young Swendal girt the sword around his waist, mounted the 
steed, and rode away over the vast ocean, through green wood- 
lands beyond, until he reached the castle where the maiden was 
imprisoned and endured her bitter Iktcu 

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He be^ed admittance <^ the surly keeper that sat outside the 
gate, promisii^ him courtly honours when he should be king. . 

The keeper replied morosely that the gate was of steel and the 
walls of solid marble^ and inside a fierce lion and a grim bear 
kept watch, to tear to jHeces any intruding stranger, unless it were 
young SwendaL 

When the rider heard these words, his heart gladdened, and, set- 
ting deep the spurs into bis noble steed, he leaped right into the 
court-yard. The ferocious beasts crouched humbly at his feet, and 
the lime-tree with its golden leaves bent to the ground before him 
for he was the long-awaited master. 

The loi^ng maiden heard the tinkling of the rider's spurs, and 
awoke from her death-like slumber. Her heart was filled with the 
thought of her bold redeemer ; she ran to the gate and sank into 
the arms of youi^ SwendaL 


Through the shady forest once strode a powerful young hunts- 
man. His eyes beamed with the fire of his soul, and his strong 
manly frame was clad in a light hunting dress, decked with eagle's 
feathers ; his broad, trus^ sword clanked in its sheath as he wen^ 
and in his right band he bore a spear. 

Several attendants followed him, and two laige greyhounds 
sprang round him with mighty bounds. Suddenly they stopped, 
threw back their heads and b^an barking loudly, then disappeared 
in the dense bushes hard by. 

A loud, fearful roar came out from where the hounds bad 
entered the underwood, and the bushes creaked and groaned, as 
though trampled under the foot of some enormous giant, and a 

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mcMistrous wild ox of untold jwopcvtkas rushed ou^ du^i^ die 

As soon as it reached the (^>ea space whae the huntsman and 
his followers stood, it lowered its moDstroui head, and, catchii^ 
one of the dogs iDund the neck in its nmnded hoiii% huried it h^ 
into the sky. But at the same moment the huntsman's spear 
hissed throi^ the air, and entered deep into the ox's fleshy neck. 

The monster turned fiercely towards its new opponent, but the 
huntsman did not budge from his place: Ail would have thoi^lit 
him lost, so unequal did the diances seem, so terrible did the 
giant ox an>ear. 

Calm and collected, the bold youth awaited the onalai^t of Uk 
nwnster, then seized it by the hom^ and, straining his whole 
strength into his shoulden, mth supertiuman power, overthrew it 
on its back. Before it could rise again the huntsman's foot pressed 
heavily upon its throat, and soon his trusty swocd put an end to 
the battle, a stifled roar telling that the life flame of die monstrous 
ox had at length gone out 

The huntsman's followers had not shared in the fight, for they 
knew their master and his mighty strength^ and had no fear for 
the result They now went silently to their wori^ took off the wild 
ox's skin from his steaming cartas^ and boce it to their master's 
castle. H^ however, laid himself down under the shade of an oak- 
tree close by, and sank into a deep reverie^ 

A rustling sound In the neighbouring ferns woke him from his 
dreams^ and, when he looked up^ the tall ^xue of a woman stood 
before him, encircled by an unearthly shimmering light 

A snowy, trailing garment, bound by a golden girdle^ draped 
her wondrous limbs ; her flaxen locks shone throi^h the transpa- 
rent web that covered her head, and rich golden ornaments decked 
her neck and shouldert. 

The young noble gazed b wonderment at his unknown vtutor; 



he knew not whether he was awake or whether he still slept, or 
whether the figure was but a creation of his own unconscious mind. 
But the more he looked at it the dearer did it become. It did not 
vanish ; it was full of life. 

" Hero of the Wolsings," Freya began, and her voice sounded 
not of the earth, but rang clear as a silver bell : ** offspring of the 
Wolsing ract^ why dost thou discolour thy blade with mere ox 
blood ? Rather should it be tinged with the dr^on's blood, he 
that lurks in Asgard's holy groves, and drains the mind and mar- 
row of mankind with eager jaws. Dost thou not hear his coils 
rattle ? dost thou not sec the ramparts he has erected ? Go thou, 
brave youth, and slay with thy strong arm the bane of A^ard that 
defies the holy gods. Wodan ensures thee victory. A life ended 
in glory is a life lived long enoi^h." 

The noble youth hearkened to her words in silent rapture, for 
she gave utterance to what be had long craved to accomplish. He 
looked up to the eagle as it hovered above his head on out-spread 
wings ; but turning his eyes again to the vision of the fair woman, 
lo I she had vanished out of sight I 

No longer did he doubt, Freya herself or one of her maidens 
had brought to him great Wodan's behest 

He forthwith sped through the wood to the Meeting of the Wise 
Men, and related all that he had heard and seen, and the task 
that had been set him. The men struck their shields in token of 
approval, and the quiet wood resounded again with the clash. 

The crowd dispersed ; each man returned to his native hamlet, 
and gathered tc^ether all the youths fit for war. In the third night 
they assembled, and, led by the youthful hero, fell upon the host 
of the Roman intruders, who were defeated in a bloody stn^le 
that lasted three days. 

Thus was the Roman dragon, the bane of Asgard, slaii^ and the 
people delivered tty the hero, ArminiuA 

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FREYA. 909 

Such was the conceptioa of Freya anumg the Teatonic tribes 
She wu the mighty goddess who sat by the side of Wodan on the 
high throne above the wwlds, mlii^ over heaven and earth, guii}> 
ing the fate of nationi^ allotting the issue of battles. Together 
with the Walkyriea, tx at their bead, she hovered over the battle- 
field, and bestowed victory or a glorious death on the heroes. She 
shared the fallen warriors with her spouse great Wodan, and led 
those cS her portion to Folkwang (folk-meadow) and to her radiant 
hall, Sessrumnir (room of seats^ vdiere she dealt out to them the 
inspirii^ mead. 

It seems also that she was man especially worshipped as 
Mother-Earth, being identical with Nerthu^ the JOrd (Earth) of 
Scandinavia, who drove among the people in her sacred chariot, 
adorning the earth with fresh green, with blossoms and bladeik 
makii^ the seeds to thrive, and blessing the frmts of the field. 

The Scandinavian myths made a decided distinction between 
Freya and Fr^. They held Fi^ to be the highest amongst die 
goddesses, whilst to Freya the second place was given ; nor was ' 
she looked upon as the wife of Odin. She was the daughter of the 
Wane-god, Nidrder, and sister of loving Freyer, who each year 
marries fair Gerda. As goddess of beauty and lov^ she blesses 
all lovers who turn to her with prayers and sacrifices ; but when 
marriage was solemnized it was great Frig^ whom the huiband 
and wife weie bound to invoke. 

The South German races knew of 00 sudi distinction between 
the goddesses ; so they regarded Friday, the day dedicated to 
Freya, as the fittest for a wedding, and this custom was not given 
up until the GirisUan priests convinced the people that the day on 
which the Savour was crucified must necessarily be an unlucky 
one. Yet they could not change the name of Friday, which still 
remains to this day. 

At the time of King Harald lived Rerir. son of TborkUl Uie 




Redbeard. In all his warlike strength he strove against the king ; 
but the battle went against him, and he soi^ht shelter on a lonely 

He^ was his love ; but her father, the king's chief warrior and 
his faithful vassal, despised the poor houseless outcast 

Rerir, full of longing to behold once more his loved Helga, built 
a small, strong boat, and boldly landed near the castle where she 
dwelt with her father. 

She stood upon the beach, mstfully looking over the bounding 
billows, which suddenly tossed at her feet a tiny craft; Rerir 
leapt upon the shore; and stood t^ her ude. 

Tearfully she told him how her cruel iather was about to force 
her into a marriage with a noble of the court; yet vowed to him 
that none but he should ever have her love. 

" He^ I ' be cited. ■ a kudy ule 

There liet beyond the ibamiag we»,— 
Bold roven know the tale retreat— 
O be thou mine; and fly with me I ' 

Trembling, yet half-willing she refused to go with him. Rerir, 
full of grief and deadly pale, sank broken-hearted to her feet; 
entreating her again in passionate words. 

No longer could she bear to look upon the anguish that she gave 
her loved one, no longer could she withstand his glowing words 
that spake of rapture shared by eadt t 

Down the iteppeth with the bera 

To the ibuain{ wave-wubed stnndt 
" Where tbou weadctt, my bdove^ 

It alone my boo)^ my Uiidt* 

And the KwHyaAonred vesad 

Screent the youthful, tawing palrt 
Swdling adb and gnfaUng radder 

Save the hero and Ua bk. 

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Hastning after tbem the TCMda 

Of ba father quick pnnoe i 
Far beyoBd tbem speed the kver% 

And the land is lot! to view. 

Od the ocean's stormy bosom 

Cast about, tbey ^n would die % 
And tbc7 witber like the b tot som 

Tbat has met tbe Evil Ejre. 

Suddenly tbe pterdnf snnbeama 

Burst tbe ckNids, Ulamii^ an ; 
Lo I torn out tbe beavinf UQows 

Rises Freya's Uessed baU. 

PeacefuHy, witbont a tXcvg^ 

Enter tbe twain knren in, 
Quitting eartb and life's baid battle | 

Blessed tbey who Frey's hall irin I 

Freya ilways bean the radiant necklace Brisii^mei^ the 
sparklii^ jeweb of the heavens, the gaily-coloured flowen <^ 
tpring, when rt|;an)ed as tbe goddess of nature and ruler of tbe 
world, or as Mother Earth. When the slcalds dethroned her from 
her lofty height, humanizing her natiue and her attribute^ the 
myth arose which told bow the necklace wa* gained. 

Four skilful dwarfs made it, accordii^ to the legend, la their 
underground smithy, and worked into it the most costly jewels that 
the earth produced, so that it glanced and glittered like the sun 
herself. * But Freya chanced to see it, and her eyes were almost 
blinded at its wondrous splendour. In exchange for it tbe dwarfii 
asked nothing but her grac^ which she extended to them, and 
thus gained the necklace. 

The goddess of beauty and love was described as a maiden in 

* See luMe on page 34> 

^IPW^^"" I mil II %.\u%mmmm^'mmm^ 



the Noitbern poeins ; yet there is a myth according to which she 
was married to Odur, a scion of divine ancestry. She lived happily 
with him, and several lovely daughters blessed their union. 

But Freya was to learn that happiness is not eternal ; for Odur 
left her, and with him all joy and gladness passed out of her 

All Nature sorrowed with her; the flowers withered and faded, 
the leaves fell from the trees, the earth looked waste and gloomy. 
Freya moaned and wept day and n^t; her tears shone like 
golden drops of dew in the Autumn sunshine. And so she spent 
the long winter miserable and alone in her deserted halL 

Then ahecould bear it no longer ; she set out in search of her 
lost spouse; and wandered far and wide through distant lands and 
amongst strange nations. She sought her lover diligently, and 
found him at last in the eveigreen fields where the golden fruit 
ripens and the myrtle blooms. She clasped Urn lo^gly in her 
arms, and tears of ysy, golden as the blaze of the new spring sun, 
fell from her eyes when he returned her love with love. 

On their arrival home again on their native earth, they were 
received mth the thousand-voiced song of birds ; and the many- 
coloured floweis and leafy trees whispered of love and of summo- 

The beautiful goddess strove with all the force of love to keep 
her husband by her side, that he should never leave her again ; 
but all in vain, for when Viigo sank after the autumnal equinox, he 
once more left her and again wandered to the far country in the 
unknown distance. 

Ic the Fidlswtnn Lay the same idea underlies the whole poem. 

Menglada (jewet-^Iadncss) awaits her bridegroom in her castle; 
which is guarded by grim wolf-hounds and encircled t^ a wall 
of firft 

A watchmai^ Flolswlder ^much-knower), stands at the entrance, 

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and Kct a atitxig^ comtng In the distance. He approadie^ and 
seekt admittance. The watdunaa cria — 

''This b no place for beggart ; seek thou the damp and foggy 
highway, and begoae." 

To wluch the wandeier makes amwcf'^ 

"What monster ait thon, that guards the entrance; of -what 
race canst thou be, who lefusest hospitality to the weaiy 

" FidUwider Is my aam^ In that 1 am wise in cautious counsel. 
Therefore canst thou not enter this castle." 

The wanderer cast a loi^ng look towards the castle-irindow, 
and replied — 

" Unwillingly do I turn my eyes away, having once seen what I 
seek. Here; where a glowing belt girds golden hall^ could I find 

Then the watchman demands of lum his name and race, and 
hears that be is Windlcald (wind-cold), son c^ Waikald (si»iag- 
cold). The stranger asks who Is the owner of the castle, and b 
informed that it belongs to Menglada ; he asks what is the girdle 
that surrounds the castle like a wall of flame, and whether there 
is no way to tame the grim wolf-dogs that sit on guard ; he aski^ 
too, of the mountain on which the castle stands, of the nine 
maidens who sit before Menglada's kne^ and whether no man can 
enter the golden hall and go to her. 

To all his questions be receives enigmatical replies, but to the 
last the watchman says that none can ever cross itc threshold but 
young Swipd^;er, the expected brid^rooOL 

Thereupon he cries out — 

"Throw open the gates, make way for the expected one 1 Sw^ 
dager has arrived, and seeks admittance I * 

The watchman hastens to the hall of Menglada, and tdls her 
that a man has come who calb himself Swipdager, whom the wfrff- 




dogs have joyfully greeted, before whom the castle gates have 
flung themselves wide open. 

" May shining ravens tear out thine eyes if thou hast lied to 
me that my long awaited lover has at last returned 1 " cries the 
maiden joyously, and hurries towards the entrance. As soon as 
her ^es al^ht upon the stranger, she knows him as her lover, and 
flings her arms around him. 

" Whither hast thou been i whence hast thou come i what art 
Uiou called out there ?" 

He tells her that he has come upon the wind-cold (Windkald) 
way, that the unalterable word of the Noms had taken him thither 
and borne him thence. 

And she responded— 

" Welcome art thou back again t my wish is fulfilled. Long have 
I sat on the high hill, looking for thee by day, lookii^ for thee by 
night All that I longed for has at length come to pass, for thou 
art here again at my side." 

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WALXvmm ooMDVcniio tbx waumm anots to waimalu. 

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__^__^^__^__^ -^ «tni^le» of man, Moiia (Latin, 

— —- ^^'^ Fatum), and were of opinion 

that the gods, if not actually dependent on it, were at least 
subordinate to it I^ter, they held that there were three Fates 
— Future, Present and Fast, and connected tbem with the birth, 
life and death of man. Their names and occupation are given in 
the weU>known verse: 

" Klotho bepni, Lmdieilt fphn, 
Atrapoi cuu Ibe thread in twa* 

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To these was added Nemesis, the avenger of humaa insolence 
and of eveiy evil deed. At length, when the old religion faded 
away, they began to worship Tyche, blind chance or fortune, 
erected altars to her, and offered sacrifices to her. 

The Teutonic ideas were curiously similar to those of the people 
of the south. Or)<^ or Urlak, Fate, the eternal law of the universe; 
ruled over gods and men. The latter were powerless in its hands, 
therefore the hero bore his fate with res^rnation after he had 
striven his best to turn it aside; the gods foresaw what was 
to befal them, but even their divini^ could not avert their 

Orlc^ was neither created nor begotten, and was impersonal ; 
he was of special significance in war, and even to this day a 
German wardship of the first magnitude is called an Orlt^-shipi 
This being, which ruled in secret gained reo^nition and personal- 
ity in Allfather, the Creator, Snstainer, Upholder and Ruler of 
the world, who existed undefined in the consciousness of the 
people. He was the unknown god who was to call the new world 
into being after the Last Battle and the destruction of the 
universe. He was the h^hest conception of Odin. Lastly, Orit^ 
reappears in the Regin, the Powers who ruled the world, and who, 
seated on their judgment thrones by the Fountain of Urd, deter- 
mined the fate of men, and judged their actions. Whenever they 
showed themselves individually, they were Ases, but not such Ases 
as those who at^ dranl^ slept, and had adventures like mortal 
men ; they were mightier and nobler than those; although they 
were likemse possessed of passions and affections similar to the 

The R^n come most prominently into view in the Starkad 
legend where they determine the fate of the mythical hero 
Starkad, This Wiking may with considerable resemblance be 
compared with the Grecian Herakles; just u Zeus and Hera 

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decide the destiny of the Utter, so do Odia and Freya of the 

Starkad was of half^ant descent, and alreaoy when a child, 
like the Jotun% of super-human stature and funiished with eight 
anns. Under the training and by the magic of his master. Horse* 
hair Beard (Hroszharsgrani), he not only guned great learaii^ 
and heroic valour, but was also endowed with human form and 
manly beau^. 

When he grew up to be a youth, his master took a boat and 
sailed away with him to an unknown island. A great crowd was 
on the beach, and round the coundl-tree sat eleven grave men 
of noble appearance upon thrones ; a twelfth and higher throne 
remained unoccupied. Horse-hair Beard mounted i^ and was 
greeted by all as Great Odin. 

Then the speaker arose — it was Asathor — and said, "AUhild, 
Staiicad's mother, chose not Asathor as father for her child, but 
a giant ; therefore I decree that he be childless, the last of his 

" Yet I," said Odin, " grant him a life three times the length of 
mortal man." 

"Then," answered Asathor, *I destine him to do in each age 
a grievous outrage that shall be a work of shame and dishonour 
in the eyes of man." 

Odin replied again, "And I bestow on him tiie stoutest armour 
and most precious garments." 

" I forlMd him," said Asathor, " both house and home; nor shall 
a piece of land be ever his." 

"And I allot him gold and flocks in fullest plenty," answered 

"Then I doom him to ever-groi^ng thirst for gold and wealth, 
that he may never enjoy pea« of mind." 

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Odin returned, "I confer on him valour and [«owess, and 
victoiy in battle." * 

"Yet shall he from each combat bear a wound that reaches to 
flie very bone," was Thoi's reply. 

"The noble lore of the skalds shall be his," continued his 
protector, " that he may sing ; and each of his words shall be 
a song." 

" His memory shall be cursed with fo^etfulness of all that he 
has sung." 

" The noblest and the best among men shall love and honour 
him," spake Odin. 

"But all his tribe shall* shun and hate him," was Thor's last 

The assembled Regin entered into council, and decreed that all 
should come to pass as Odin and Asathor had willed. 

Thus ended the judgment and Horse-hair Beard descended 
from his high throne, and went to Uie boat with his foster-son. 

Starkad grew to be one of the most famous of the mythical 
heroes and his name was handed down and celebrated even in 
historical times throughout the northern countries. 

Once when on a Wtking raid with King Wikar of Norway, the 
fleet was overtaken by a tempest, and he had to seek shelter in a 
protected creek. He had hoped for a rich booty, but the hurri- 
cane continuity for many days prevented his starting. Vatn were 
all prayers and sacrifices. Odin demanded a human life. 

Then it was resolved to cast the fatal runea^ and the lot fell to 
the king himself. Nobody dared to pronounce the dire decree, 
still less to put it into execution ; when, all on a sudden, a man in 
a broad-brimmed hat appeared in the night before Starkad. He 
saw at once that it was Horse-hair Beard ; he gave Starkad a 
thin willow branch and a reed. 

Starkad at once understood the will of the god, and the next 




day presented Himself before the king to show him these hannless 
objects, telling him that the gods would be satisfied with the mere 
show of a sacrifice : the king was to suffer the slender iManch to 
be laid around his neck ; they were then to tie him to the thin 
bough of a tre^ and touch him with the reed. Thus the sacrifice 
would be accomplished, and Odin would again send them a pfo- 
pitious wind. 

Wikar accepted this proposal ; but the thin bough of the tree 
spnmg upwards, the willow branch was changed into a rope, and 
the reed which Starkad flung at the long was turned into a apear. 
which piettfd the victim to the heart. 

Such was one of the shameful outrages that Starkad the Wlking 
perpetrated, as Asathor had doomed he should, although the 
myth does not point out tliat it was done with the aid of Odin. 

The hero^ reckless of his evil deed, went on his further adven* 
tures, and performed marvellous and valorous feats in Sweden, 
Denmarl^ Ireland and Esthonia among the various nations. 

During the winter months, when at the courts of other kingi^ )w 
sang of his far-famed Wiking raids and combats^ and prince* and 
Jarls listened to his lays in silent admiration of the mighty 
champion, while the people dreaded and hated him for his devaa- 

Yet he received also many wounds, and once even fought with a 
split head, his helmet alone keeping his bead together. Moreover, 
when an old man of a hundred years, he dew nine warriors, 
although his bowels hung from hia wounded side. In the memor- 
able Battle of Brawalla he had his body cut open from the 
shoulder to the chest, so that his very liver was laid bare; All 
these wounds miraculously healed, for according to Odin's sentence 
he had to live three ages. 

Thus the Ases appear as Rcgin, forecasting the fate f>f nan, 
which cannot f^ to come to pass. 

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Kii^ Fridleif of Denmark was rich in treasures, which he had 
gathered together by bold deeds from the giants and the dragons 
that he had slain. Once when on his adventures he entered the 
cottage of a peasant who received him hospitably. There he won 
the love of fair Juritha, the daughter of the honest cottager, and 
took her home with htm. She bore him a son, who was called 

The ninth night after the birth of the child, Fridleif took him to 
the temple <^ the three sisters of Fate, to ask them about the future 
destiny of the boy. Before he entered the sacred grove, he read 
prayers to the godhead that the decree should be propitious, and 
made solemn pledges. Then he stepped into the temple, and saw 
three maidens upon thrones in the holy place, and they looked 
down upon him in silence as he approached. 

The first goddess was grey with 9%fi, yet looked friendly and 
haf^y, even as the joyous days of past youth ; the second raised 
her hand aloft, like a Walkyrie, who, looking towards the enemy 
on the field of battle, points out the way the heroes should 
advance ; the . third glanced darkly from under the veil which 
covered her temples. 

" The noble youth shall be beautiful," said Urd of kindly heai^ 
" and shall gain the love and service of men.** 

" I grant him untold valour io combat and generosi^ towards 
friends," continued WerdandL 

Thereto dark-frowning Skuld added, "Vet insatiable covetous- 
ness shall stain his souL" 

We have frequently spoken of the Noms In preceding portions 
of the book. They are the Fatal Sisters who sit at the foot of the 
World-Ash Yggdrasil by the fountain of Urd. They can foresee 
the destiny of man, and make it known through the mouth <^ 
prophetesses and priests, or utter it themselves. At the same 
time they also make the fate of mortals to a certain extent, as is 

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seen from the above stoiy. They hover over armies as they .are 
aUrttng for the battle-field, and cast the deadly lots among die 
warriors. They follow the blood-stained track of the murderer, 
just as the Erinnyae of the Greeks did» and fall upon him with 
their dire vengeance, no matter where cm* bow be be hidden. 
They finally show upon the nails of man their runes, that is the 
white spots underneath the nail, which partly indicate good lucl^ 
partly misfortune ; formerly people imderstood their meamng and 
«>uld read them, but in our days this ait has been lost, becatue 
with man's averted faith in the Fates, all fear and respect for 
them also disappeared, so that they now manifest themsdves in 
all sorts of more horrible ways. 

The name Norn has quite disappeared from Germany, if indeed 
it was ever known there. The Anglo-Saxons called the Fatal 
Sisters Mettena, Is^ the measurers, those who weighed in the 
balance. In the oldest conception of them, the usters were hdd 
to be on^ and were known as Wurd or Urd, in Anglo-Saxon 
Wyrd. But at the same time they were also known as a trinity. 

In heathen times the three sisters were worshipped {n a sacried 
grove. They were regarded as protectresses of the plac^ and in 
Christian nrnes as saints who had erected chapels and shrines, 
but who nevertheless perished in the ruins of thdr castle. 
Another idea was that the three prophetesses lived on a hill 
surrounded by water. They span and wove linen, which they 
afterwards gave away to the people. They sang at christenings 
and marriages, which betokened good luck, and for this reason 
three ears of com were offered up to them at the harvest Thus 
the fear of the terrible Noms, who pursued the ^e^Ioer and spun 
the irremediable thread of man's destiny, awarding life and death 
according to tbrir pleasure, became softened in course of time ; 
while, on the contrary, the idea <iS Hd, the goddess of the under- 
world, grew ever more and more appalling, 

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We have already made the acquaintance of the goddess Hel 
as a monster horrible to look upon, and the daughter of Lold ; 
but the original conception of her was far different from this. 
Death was not terrible in the oldest time. Mother Earth, who 
bore the living, and took the dead back to her bosom, appeared 
in no gruesome form to the andents. 

The patriarchs of Israel, after a long life of stni^le, blessed 
thdr sons and made their will known to them, and then laid their 
heads down peacefully and quietly to take their eternal rest 
Similar ideas may have prevailed amongst the Aryan races in 
thdr native land. The shepherd princes who watched their flocks 
and herds looked upon life and death calmly, and worshipped 
Mother Earth as the author of birth and dissolution, without 

But when the people began to distinguish spiritual life from the 
merdy corporeal, Hel became the Ruler and Judge of souls. 
Meanwhile these conceptions of life after death were rather un- 
satisfactory in some respects. Homer made the sfurits of the 
dead glide about like unconsdous shadows moved by every breath 
of wind ; io the poems of Ossian th^ whispered to the living in 
the wanng of the reeds, the murmuring of the billows, and in the 
comity and goii^ of the clouds, in which they appear to have had 
their dwelling. 

Homer tells us of the punishment borne l^ those spirits who 
were condemned to Tartaros, and in the time of Tacitus the 
Teutons appear to have already had ideas respecting reward and 
punishment after death. They knew of Walhalla, where the 
storm and war-god, Wodan, received the souls of fallen heroes. 
But Hd was still the Earth-mother who dwelt in tlie depths, who 
made the plants grow and rise in the light of day ; or she was 
Nerthus^ who, under the guidance of the priests, went out to greet 
the people and wander through their land. The Edda only 

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contains scattered allusions to the great goddess of former days, 
who decked the earth with flowers and fruits, who gave life and 
energy to man and beast, aod who called her children back to her 
bosom. Odin is there said to have ^vea her power over the nine 
worlds^ or, according to another version, over die ninth world ; but 
certainly the great goddess of life and death may be described 
as having dominion over the nine worlds. She was represented 
as half corpse-like, half of an ordinary ojlonr, v^ch showed her 
power over life and death. The Brahmins described their goddess 
of nature after much the same fashion. 

Holda was the bright side of the goddess of nature. In contr»- 
distinction to her, the dark, black ^e of Hel came ever more 
strongly prominent, the greater the horrors of death and the grave 
appeared. The Edda teaches us that it took nine nights' ride 
through dark valleys to reach the river GidI, which was spanned 
by a gold-covered bridge on the other ude of which was the 
high iron fence surrounding the dwellii^ of the goddess of the 
Under-world. No living creature^ were he even a god, could bear 
to look upon that terrible fac& 

Her hall was called Misery, her dish Hunger, her knife Greed ; 
Idleness was the name of her man, Slodi of her maid. Ruin of bcr 
threshold. Sorrow of her bed, and Conflagration of her curtains. 
Within her realm, Corpse-strand, a hall was set apart for assassuis 
and peijurers; it was far from the sun and turned towards the 
north, and was roofed mtb serpents, whose heads hung down and 
spat their venom upon the floor, causing unspeakable torment to 
the wicked who were confined there StiU more horrible than this 
was Hweigelmir, the roaring cauldron, where the dragon Nidhdgg 
devoured the corpses of the evil-doers. In froct of Hel's dwelling 
was the Gnypa cavern. The monstrous dog Garm lived ther^ 
from whose jaws the blood constantly dripped as he gnashed hb 
teeth and growled at the new arrivals of the pilgrims of earth. 


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These and other terrible pictures show the Northern Hel as 
described in the later poems, but they were scarcely founded on 
the conceptions of the old Teutons regarding her. SUU there are- 
other places which prove that Hel also had a more kindly aspect 
and that she received with a joyous welcome the good and worthy 
who might come to her. 

When glorious Baldur was sent to her by insidious Loki's 
perfidy, he found the halls gorgeously decorated, the thrones all 
covered ^wth spangles of gold, and goblets AUed to the brim with 
sweet mead. For the goddess had also halls of jo^ for the good 
and brave who were not received in Walhalta. 

In the Whispering Valley (Wisperthal), where Ibping elf-maid- 
ens invite the wanderer to deceptive joys, there lies on a low cone- 
shaped hill the ruins of an ancient castle. In the underground 
caverns beneath, a black-and-white spirit-maiden is said to guard' 
her hidden trcasuresL They say that many years ago de betrayed 
the treasures of the abbey to the enemy for gold, for whidi crime 
she was excommunicated by the Church at Rome ; her spirit will 
not find rest, it is said, until the enemy has been conquered and 
the stolen treasures restored. Formeriy she was often seen by the 
light of the full moon, weeping and bewailing as she wandered 
among the ruins ; but of late years the spectre has not appeared. 
Perhaps the unknown enemy has been conquered, thus obtaining 
for her respite from her troubles. 

The appearance of this black-a,nd-wbite maiden reminds us ol 
the wicked goddess Hel, and she may also be compared with 
Hilde, the Walkyrie who ever awakened up again the slain war- 
riors in the strife between HSgni and Hedin, that the fight might 
be continued. 

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At HIedia. die proudest town in all the northern laiid% sit 
King Hrolf Krald one yiile-tide with his twelve warriora, and 
together they emptied tfie goblets of qwrkling win& They vowed 
eternal coinpani<Miship, that they would ever stand side by side in 
the fight, and if need be die together. 

When summer came, they went out to battles and to wars, and 
many a Jarl and many a king was made tributary to them. 

" Odin is with us," said Bodwar Biarki, one of tl^e twelve. 

"The Walkyries have protected us," said Hialti, another 

" May they always grant us ^ctory," added a third, "and guide 
us aU in safe^ to Walhalla." 

As they were thus speaking Wogg, a young lad, came up to 
them, and asked to be allowed to take service under die long. 
Kraki gave him a golden ring. 

As the boy (astened it on his left arm he said, * Now must my 
right arm be ashamed, lacking ornament" 

Therefore the king, smiling gave him a second ring. - 

Whereupon Wogg, laying his band on Freyer's wild boar, vowed 
that he would be the King's avenger, if he were ever slain by die 

King Hrolf Kraki once took his warriors to Upsala, where his 
father Helgi had been slain, to demand of the avaricious AdH, the 
spouse of Yrsa, his father's ring. 

After a day's journey, he came to the peasant Hrai^, vdio 
greeted him kindly, and advised him to send some of his people 
back as they would only be in die way during the fight - 

The peasant wore a large hat, which completely shaded his face ; 
he had only one tye, but he spoke so wisely, that his ad«ce was - 
followed. The next evening they came to the same hous^ ia 
front of which stood the same peasant 

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Again th«y received the same advice and King Hrolf now saw 
dearly that this was a man versed in magic lor^ and he dismissed 
all the servants of his warrion. 

The peasant looked pen»vely after the departing king ; then he 
beckoned vnth his right hand, as though be were calling a servant 
and through the clouds and evening mists appeared seven maidens, 
mounted on white steeds, armed with shields and clad in chain- 
mail. They stopped before him. 

" Hrist (storm) and Mist (cloud-grey), Thnid (power) and Gdll 
(herald), Gondul (she-wolf) and Sk<^ul (carrier through), and thou, 
bold Hilde (war), use your art with King Hrolf, that he may be 

Thus spoke the peasant and the Walkyiies hastened away to 
cany out his behest 

Then followed, through the treachery of the false Adil, 6erce 
frays, in all of which the heroes conquered, and they returned in 
triumph to their hom& They again sought lodging with Hrauy, 
and they found him more hospitable than before. He showed 
Hrolf a shield, a sword, and a shirt of mail, saying,— 

" Take the weapons, thou wilt have need of them." 

But Hrolf refused to take such costly gifts from a peasant, 
whereupon Hrany waxed wroth, his face grew dark as nigh^ and 
his eyes flashed fire. 

" Then quit my hous^ rash sons of the Jotun^* he cried ; " the 
Norn bv beclouded your minds, she throws the thread north- 

The ground shook ; the very bouse groaned and cracked, 
as thoi^h the building would fall The heroes terrified, mount- 
ed their stallions, and rode away. At last Biarki broke the 

" I think," be said, " that we have been foolish. The peasant is 
more than he seemfc* 

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" It is OJJR himself, the one-eyed god," answered Hrolf ; ' let 
us return and seek him." 

But it was in vain, for both Hrany and his house had disap- 

For some time the king remained quietly at Hledra with his 
warriors ; for he was afraid that the Father <X Vicbuy was dis- 
pleased with him The tributary princes and Jarls paid their taxe^ 
without daring to raise the banner against their victcnious lord. 

At las^ however, Skuld, HrolTs sister, be^ed her husbaiul, 
Hiorward, to take up arms against the king. She used cunning 
magic and baneful witchery in orderto attain her end. Under the 
pretext of paying the tribute, they both arrived in the castle with 
many followers^ leaving many mounted men concealed outside, 

The king received them with great honour, and gave a festive 
drinking-bout But when he and his foUowen^ overcome by sleep 
and win^ lay resting in the halls, the troop of traitors silently crept 
in and slaughtered many a sleeping hero. Hiaiti, who was out* 
side, came back just as the fighting bad begun. He wakened 
Badwar Biarld. Both took their arms, and killbg everybody who 
came in their way, they reached the king's sleeping hall, where 
the king armed himself amid his wanion. 

Tben Hrolf said, " Well, valiant comrades, drink with me the 
last cup to Odin, as we are going the way of Death." 

They all drank with great zeal, and Biarki said : ** Do you see 
the VValkyries above us, how th^ smile tmder their helmets and 
beckon to usf We come to you, powerful maidens; soon yoa 
will bear us to Walhalla, where Freya herself brings to the heroes 
foaming mead. But as long as life is granted to us, let us do 
our duty faithfully, that we may die an honourable death and 
show ourselves worthy of renown and skaldic song." 

Thus spoke the undaunted hero^ and the warriors ibllowing 
closely on the king, pressed forward gainst the foc^ and their 



swords clashed as if a whole army was fighting. The conspira- 
tors fell under their blows and retreated rrom the halls and 
castle, and the men of Hledia followed their brave lord as though 
to victoiy. 

In the meanwhile Hiorward brot^rht fresh troops, and the per- 
nicious Skuld stood in the midst of the battle, and by her magic 
songs she revived the fallen warriors 

The heroes fell one after the other around their warlike king, 
who towered in their midst Shots whizzed round him, sword- 
blows clashed on helmet and shield; but the traitors fell before 
his mighty strokes. Only when his armour was utterly destroyed 
did he fall pierced with lances on the bloody ground, profusely 
strewed with armour and with broken weapons. Hialti lay dying' 
at his feet. Biarki stood still, but his colour was pale, hit . 
helmet and shield broken, his breast-plate and heart pierced by a 

The colour from Ui clieek i* fle^ , 

Me ipeaks with qnakiiig brealli j 

All power has left mj weuy limbh 

That bunu the wDand of deatK 

Hialti lie* upon the groand 

Beside the dying long ; 
The Hero-King grants me to hiss 

Kit lipi ere life takes wing. 
At his head irill I gladly dnk, 

Without fear, without dism^ | 
Walkyries above me beckoning 

Bless'd shield-maidens giay. 
They call, inviting us above, 

The heroes tbey bid qieed 
To Odin's glorious haUs, 

Where they deal out ale and mead. 
Hiom-ard, the victor, and Skuld sat together in the festive hall 
at the dnnldng bou^ laughing over their wicked cunning. 

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Then die encluntrest said, " My brother has died with all his 
heroes as a Skioldung, a descendant ^ the noblest race <^ kin^ on 
the whole earth." 

" Then is none tX his brave nien left ? " asked the Idng. " I 
would honour him highly, and seat htm as the first under my 

Just as he had thus spoken a man covered with blood came 1^ 
to him without weapon^ but on each arm a golden ring. All 
knew him well, for he was Wogg, the same whom Hrolf had once 
received into his company. He said he would like to serve his new 
master faithfully; but he had no sword, as he had broken his ia 
the light Then Hiorward handed him his own great sword ; but 
Wo^ said that Hrolf always held the sword at the pcnnt idien he 
gave it to a man. This the king did also ; but as soon as Wogg 
had the handle in his hand he dug the point deep into the king's 
breast with the words : 

" Go thou to the kii^dom of Hel, false traitor, where thou shak 
walk through valleys, of misery." 

Then he received innumerable mortal wounds 1^ .HiwwanTs 
warriors. With a dying struggle he dra^^^ed hinisdf towards the 
yet livii^ Hrolf, and said : - 

" Now have I fulfilled my promise^ and have avenged my mas- 
ter. But I see them— the Walkyriea. They have lifted the heroes 
on their horses ; they wait iot me. I follow ye ; I come from 
blood and the ptJns of earth to share the joys tS Asgati's glorious 

The prophetesses who foretold victory to the people; or who 
even took part in the battle, holding up the banner in their strong 
hands, were either distinguished by their great and healthy old 
age or by that youth and beauty. When the warriors saw them 
standing amongst the chiefs and nobles filled with the enthunastic 
certain^ of nctoiy, issuing their commands and uttetf og wcmls of 

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counsel which tended to ensure the victory they had prophesied, 
they may well have regarded them as supernatural beings worthy 
of all honour. It was the sanne with the Scandinavians. Many 
a warrior-maiden fought in the famous Brawalla battle ; but yet 
these Amazons were^ on that occasion, unable to change the fate 
of the day. 

The existence of these Walas, or Amazons, formed the founda- 
tion of the belief in Walkyrie^ and poetic fancy imagined them to 
be heavenly beings, who gave victory to him that deserved it, and 
who took those mortals who had fallen bravely in the fight to 
Wathalla, that they might be with tlie Father of Battles and the 
blessed Einheriar. We have already met with them several times' 
in the course of our history, riding on white horses and dressed in 
splendid armour, watching the fate of battles and of the heroes 
who took part in them. There were generally seven, nine, or even 
twelve choosers of the dead on such occaaons, and Hilde (War) 
and the youngest Nom Skuld, were often comprised in their ranks. 
They rode on air and water, for their horses were the clouds that 
floated over the world of mortal men. They were possessed <X 
swan garments, wrapped in which they could fly in the guise of 
s^vans to the place where heroes were contendii^ for death or 

The celebrated Brynhilde was a Walkyrie. She said on her 
Hel ride that Agnar had stolen the swan garments belonging to 
her and her sisters^ and had thus forced her to give him the vic- 
tory over Hialmgunnar gainst the will of Odin, for which reason 
the god had cast her into a magic sleep. Swawa and Sigrun, like 
Brynhilde, were of human extraction, and they used to hover pro> 
tectingly round their favourite heroes during the fight ; but they 
lost their Walkyrie power as soon as they married them. Maidens 
alone could receive the divire nature which they lost again if evc( 
they married a mortal hera 

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The Walkyries, Norns, and divine women reappear under the 
name of Dises. This appellation connects them with the war and 
sn'ord^od Tius (Tyr, Zio). They were not bis servants, however, 
but were quite independent of him. Idises, or Disc^ were known 
and reverenced by the Teutons before the time of Tadtua. It 
seenu that inspired prophetesses and seen like Weleda were looked 
upon as Idises. We have already shown what influence they pos- 
sessed in time of war ; but they used also to go about the land, 
enter houses, and bring help in sickness^ for they knew of remedies 
which were of much avail to whomsover believed in their efficacy. 

It is said in Latin accounts that one of these women went to 
meet Dnisus when he had advanced as far as the Elbe. She wore 
the Teutonic costume^ was of superhuman hdght, and commanded 
the conqueror to withdraw from the sacred soil of the fatheiland, 
for death was approaching him. He was so terrified that he was 
induced to retreat; and it is well known that he soon afterwards 
died of a fall from his horse. This tale probably had its rise in 
Teutonic tradition, but it shows what faith the ancients placed 
in the greatness and power of these prophetesses, who were also 
called Wise-Women. It was beautiful to see how these seen kept 
the desire for the weal of their people in their hearts, incited them 
to warlike deeds, carried their banner into the fray, bore the 
wounded out of the fight; bound up thdr hurts; and nursed them 
or brought help and healing to the sick. Very different was the 
reverse side of this picture; when they accompanied wandering 
hordes in their raids. Wild4ooking figures with loosened hair, 
they there mixed with the 6ghting men, joined in the fierce battle- 
ciy, and after victory had been atbuned they stood by the sacrifi. 
cial altar, slew the prisoners, and foretold future events hf Uieir 
iritch-like incantations over the bodies of their victims. 

Old authors tell us of other women whom the people held to be 
Idises. One of these appeared to Attila by the Lech, and made 



him afraid to cross the river. Some writers are of opinion that 
they were called Alionina, and prove their assertion by comparison 
with Jomandes, who maintained that the mis-shapen Huns were 
descended from the Aliorumnes. These beings were afterwards 
called Alrunes or Alrauns. 

It was said that the Alrauo was cut out of a root with a distant 
resemblance to the human form. For a long time the well-known 
chmbing plant; biyony, was regarded in Germany as an Alraun. 
But when the Germans invaded Italy in the tenth and eleventh 
centuries they found the mandrake which resembled what they 
imagined much more nearly than the l»yony. 

According to tradition this plant only grew under the gallows 
upon which some one had been hung. A wise woman dug there 
at midn^ht while using horrible incantations. The moment to 
enter on the search was at the time of the solstice, when the moon 
in its last quarter was throwii^ its pale light around. The root 
was disinterred with a low cry of pain. The woman, a look of 
madness on her face, hastened away with her prize; which writhed 
like a living thing in her anna. She took it home and laid it on 
her soft bed. There the misshapen creature lay before her, pale as ' 
death, without eyes, and on its thick skull a few bristly hairs were 
visible. She felt bound to it with an overBowing love like a 
mother to her child. She pressed two juniper berries into the 
boles where its tyts should have been, and a third one into the 
back of its head. These berries became real eyes, but were round, 
not oval, like human cya. 

The earth-bom creature grew rapidly under her car^ but only 
reached the height of a three-years child. He climbed roofs and 
trees like a monkey, and laughed at his foster-mother's anxiety for 
him. He found and dug for her treasures of silver and gold that 
had lain hidden under the earUi, 

Thus the family grew rich and respect(d> but the woman was not 

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happy. Her lather, trusting in his riches, strove to gain princdy 
power and was executed for high treason; her lover and her 
brother killed each other for the sake of her wealth. The Alraun 
laughed at her tears ; he had a diabolical delight in plaguing her 
until at last she died insane under the same gallows from beneath 
which she had dug'him up^ 

This story reminds us of Wodan, the hanging god, and of the 
degrading influence of wealth on the human mind. It also leads 
our thoughts on to the witches, who originally had no resemblance 
to the barbarous women we mentioned before 

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bitants were wont to delight themselves on the merry May- 
days with joyous game and danc& 

To these festivities there often came a strange maiden, who 
joined in the gay countiy dance. A string of pearls txnind up 
her hair, and another hung round her neck; a green silken 

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robe draped her graceful figure. Her features were so exquisitely 
lovely, that die hearts of the young fellows beat higher ia their 
breasts as they led the maiden to the dance; 

She seemed to favour one Michael Stauf more than all the 
rest He was the stroi^est lad in wrestling and in boxii^ and 
the most expert dancer. The old UXtt^ who watched the games 
of die young people; said they had never seen a more cMndy 
pair upon the dancing green \ however, when the dock struck 
eleven, the young girl always left the dancers, and although 
many a lad followed her eagerly, she had disappeared into -Ibe 
darkness of the forest before he could come up mth her. 

Yet once; as Michael followed her, he discovered traces of 
her footsteps; he hastened after her, and overtook her. They 
walked on t<^etlier side by side, until she led him bjr a padi 
which he had never seen before, although the wood was fully 
known to him, since he had been bora in it 

After a whil^ they reached the lake. He asked her, if she 
would return with him to his farm, and be his wife. She 
answered, she would ask her father, who was a strict and severe 
man, but she feared he would not allow such a union. 

With these words she sprang into the water and disappeared 
from his sight 

Michael now saw that she was a water-nixie; but his heart 
still clung to her, and all his thoughts were how he should 
make her his own. 

The merry day of festivity was over; work in die fields 
began, and left Michael little time for pondering on marriage; 
But when winter came, and his leisure hours were many, his 
imagination was constandy engaged in picturing to himself 
how hapi^ he would be if he could only make the lovely maid 
in the green robe the mistress of bis farm. Day and night he 
dreamed of her, and all the pleasure that he once had taken la 


games of cards and dice forsook liim, and he never now visited 
the noisy company in the village inn, where formeriy he had 
rarely failed. And in the spinning room he was never seen, 
and the spinsters were greatly troubled io their minds why the 
rich Michael no more viuted them. 

Anxiously, full of longing, he awaited the month of May, and 
when at last it came round he was the first upon the dancing-green. 
His hopes were not deceived, the maiden of the lake appeared 
as before and danced and chatted with him ; when the hour of 
eleven sounded from the bell, she accepted his company on the 
homeward road. Yet when he spoke of his marri^e plans she 
became sad. 

"My father," she said, "will allow of no union with mortals, 
and he is very strict ; he allows no disobedience." 

" A woman shall leave father or mother, and cleave unto her ' 
husband," he cried ; " if thou wilt; we will at once return, get 
married, and when thou art in my home, we will see who can 
take thee away against both our wills." 

" Hush," she said, frightened, " lest my father hear thy words. 
Dost thou not see the springs and brooks around us ? They are 
all in his service ; th^ would swell up to furious torrents, and 
overwhelm us, if he bade them. Do not arouse his anger. He 
will have no connection with mortal men, for they have nicknamed 
him Duck-bill, because he has a nose of horn, like all men with us. 
Yet he is friendlily disposed towards thee, and sends thee this ring, 
with a great carbuncle in it, which wnll indicate to thee where all 
the treasures of the earth lie hid." 

With these words she put the jewel on his filler. The stone 
flashed like the rays of the sun, and when be turned it towards the 
ground, he saw in the depths below his feet veins of gold and 
silver, which ran through the earth like frozen brooks. 

"A wonderful sight;" he said, "but I desire no other treasure 


than thee ; I am rich enough already for us two-to live in peac« 
and plenty." 

They had come to the shore tA the lake, and after a hurried fare- 
well, she disappeared into the flood. 

Michael was a bold and fearless lad. If he got an idea into his 
head, nothing could get it out again. He would liave liked to have 
had the water-king before him. that he might fell him to the 
ground. As this was not possible, however, he had to content 
himself with broodii^ on his way home over a plan by which he 
might bring the beautiful girl to fall in with his idea& 

On the following day she came at the usual time, and was more 
beautiful and more friendly to him than ever. Towards evenii^ 
he slunk away from the dandng^reen and climbed up the churdi 
spire, and there put the bands of the clock a «4iolc hour bacit 
When he returned he hurled a young fellow away who was leadii^ 
the lake-damsel to the dance^ and carried her off himsdf, as though 
he would dance his life away. He did not become tired, and she 
too seemed of like mood ; the pipers grew blue in the facc^ the 
fiddlers' arms grew weary, but th^ dared not cease : he threat- 
ened as he rushed past them, he promised a threefold reward. 

At last the clock stnide elevea Then the maiden escaped from 
his arms, and started off for the wood. He followed her, and they 
had hardly gone a few paces when they heard the clock in ■ 
neighbouring village strike twelve. 

The maiden was horrified, and trembled in all her Umbo. He 
told her what he had done, and vowed that the should be his tlut 
very night Yet all his pressure; all hit arguinf^ wat in vaia ; she 
only hurried her steps, weeping and lamenting. 

At length they stood on tlie bank of the wateiy mirror, over 
which the full moon played. It was in vain that he sought to 
hold her back ; die wluspered only softly,— 

" Take heed what h^)peneth ; if a milk-white flood ariteth firom 



the lake, I am saved, and will be thine; but if a blood-stained 
on^ then I am lost" 

Scarcely had she said these words than she sprai^ forward, 
and sank beneath the waters. Where she had disappeared a 
funnel-shaped cavity remained, from the edge of which wave-ringt 
extended over the whole lake 

Michael looked upon the surface of the water in breathless 
expectation, and now, now there rises up from the cavity not milk- 
white but a blood-red stream, and a cry strikes his ear, entering 
his heart like the thrust of a da^er, 

"Fiendish Neckl" he cried. "Murderer of thychikll take 
back thy magic ring, thou wicked Duck-bill I" 

And he threw the jewel against a rock in the lake^ so that it 
flew into a thousand pieces 

As soon as the fragments touched the water it b^[an to foam 
ind bubble, as if a subterranean fire were causing it to seethe. It 
swelled and swelled, higher and higher, and in the middle a mon- 
strous crested wave rose frothing up. -The lake heaved, and its 
depths raged fiercely. It overflowed its banks; the monster wave 
bore the struggling youth along with it, in spite of his frantic 
efforts. Far and wide did the growing waters work devastation, 
and never were either the rich Michael or the Maiden of the Lake 
seen vgjun. 

Like this story, there are very ntmierous others, whose scenes 
are laid by springs, brooks, riven, and lakes. They are told in 
England, Germany, in the Sclavoai<^ and in the Romance land& 
Also from classic antiquity we have received the N^ads, River- 
gods, Sireni^eto. 

Another I^end, veiy popular in Germany, we give; translated 
into vers& Every one who has travelled up the Rhine has been 
shown the Loreley Rocl^ and been told the superstitions con- 
nected with tt. 



UneautUy mnaic floaa opoa ibc ak, 

Tlu Mttiiic na illiunes lb' iatpeadiBf oag^ 
Tb« sikat fisbcn wudi ibdr InUiif net^ 

Or frooi (be deep Ibcir fiaaj boo^ dn^ 

That b the >iren-Mac of Lotdey i 
In Jewelled >bcca dw siti opoo the hei^ | 

Swift o'er the Ijric her magic fiiyen Oi^ 
Her golden hair ^eama in n Sood of fig)hL 

See yonder bwfc by nemms mm bnpelled, 
So twifUy ihooting down the gUiqr tttcim I 

Anon it creepe, botne onwardi by the tid^ 
The youthful K"»*hi»»i rut m in n dmi^ 

That ttrange^ weird melody endiains Ui eoo^ 

Upon the onn U* UnleM anna r^oe^ 
SpcO-bonnd be gaiea on (be dtny h^fat, 

With looginga new and wild Us boaom glowi. 

More swiftly ^idet (be beik, the roc^ b nes^ 
He aecs (be riini betlon frgn the height. 

Her song more tliriUing^ and more sweet her lyre^ 
Her locks more golden in (be golden ^^ 

Tbe reef-rocks rise, alas I he sees d>em noC^ 
Heeds not the warning shout fnm yonder shore, 

The startled echoes souad from ciagto oag. 
Bat by that boatman ibey are ne'er heard mat«. 

The story of the "Old Man of tbe Sea' it peilups a recoUec> 
tion of the Northern Ogir, who, if not the long wai at least 
the highest and greatest of the water spirits 

Ogir, i.i. the Terrible^ like his brothers Kari, niler of the air, and 
Logi, ruler of 6re^ vas a van of the old pant Fomiot Judging 
from the etymology of the word, he seems to be identical with tbe 
Grecian Okeano^ but possessing a more distinct personality, for 
the Greeks probably only knew the ocean firom the' stone* of 
Phoenician sailor^ while the Northern skippers boldly faced the 



mighty sea and itt terrors in thnr weak vessels^ which they called 
dragons or snakes. Dreadful Ogir was married to Bar, who, like 
her husband, used to drag men down into the deep and buiy them 
in the sand, or who, according to other accounts, received the souls 
of those who died at sea, as Hel did of those who died a " straw 
death " on land. They had nine dat^hters who afterwards became 
the mothers of HeimdaL The name of the O^shelm, tje. HelmA 
of Terror, comes from the King of the ocean. It was believed that 
the very sight of it filled the beholder with such terror that he 
would let his weapons fall as though he were paralyzed \yj/ magic 
art The front of this helmet was adorned with a boar's head 
which yawned open-mouthed at the enemy. The Anglo-Saxons 
and Esthonians of the Baltic wore helmets of this sort, and the 
latter people believed that these head-pieces made the wearer either 
invisible or impervious to woundsL This reminds us of the dusk- 
cap in the Nibelungen Lay, whilst the boar's head puts us in mind 
of Freyer's GulltnburstL The (^ishelm, judging from the forma- 
tion of the word and from its meaning, seems to have been iden- 
tical with the Ogia shield of Zeus, for this was by no means a goat's 
skin as people said later on, but was a weapon arousing feelings 
of terror. Zeus sometimes lent it to his son Apollo, who showed 
it to the enemy and made them fly in fear. The shield of Fallas 
Athene with the Uedusa's head had much the same eflect 

Ogir, the terrible kir^ of the ocean, did not appear armed 
with the boar's helmet in the northern poems, but he must have 
worn it in the old days, the records of which are lost He was 
milder of aspect than of yor^ and although of giant race; he 
lived in friendship with the Ases. He was also re[tfesented at 
sitting on a rock, playing on a harp or a shell No sooner was 
Coif's music heard than the waves piled themselves mountain 
high, and flung themselves against each other with a wild roar, 
so that the earth trembled and the heavens threatened to split 



in twain. The vassals of (^ir were numeroui^ mermaids and 
sprits of all Idods were subject to him, and there are a great maojr 
interesting tales regarding them in every land. The stories of 
the magical muuc of the Necks are probably founded on Ihe 
melodious sounds made by the water when fallii^ over rocks 
or by the waves of the sea when confined mthin some caven, 
such as Fingal's cav^ etc Nixies also sotq^t the love of man, 
for thus and thus alone could they obtain the object of their 
desire^ a loving immortal souL The tragic turn which these 
stories generally take; almost seems to show that the possesnoa 
of a soul was not happmesa Fouqufs "Undine" Is one of 
the most beautiful of these talea 

Althoi^h the water ai»rits had no souls, they yet were filled 
with a longing for redemption and resurrection. There it a 
Christian tale which is a good illustration of this idea. Two 
children were once playing upon the sea-shore A merry Neck 
was seated on a rock in front of them surrounded by water, and 
as he sa^ he played on his harp so cheerily that it seemed to 
the children as if the very waves were dancing to his tone. 

Then the elder boy called out to him jestingly: *PUy on, 
merry sprite, ptay on ; thou bast no hope of redemptioo or of 

" No hope I " wailed the Neck, bej^nning to i&y such sad 
music out of bis sorrowful heart that the waves ceased to dance 
and the children felt quite miserable; 

They went home and told their father, who was a Christiatt 
pries^ what had happened. He chid them for their forwardnesi» 
bade them at once return to the Neck and tell him that there 
was hope of redemption and resurrection for him, for the Saviour 
had said : " I am not come into the world to Judge the world, 
but that the world through me might be saved." 

The boys did as their fatht-r tokl theoL Th^ found the Neck 



still weeping bitterly. But when he heard the message of glad 
tidings, he smiled tbroi^h his tears and touched the strings of 
his harp making them play mighty chords, and it seemed as 
though the heavenly hosts were singing to the music. 

" The Saviour did not come to judge the world, but that the 
world through Him might be saved." 

In this simple legend we see the triumph of Christianity over 
heathenism. It is sad that this aspect of Christianity is not 
always reci^^sed by those who are called upon to teach its 
principles. But Charlemagne's Saxon war, the Inquisition, and 
other more recent events show how much the fundamental idea 
nf its teaching has been misunderstood. 



T T E stood with his peasant wife and his two sons oo the 
' ■'- housdiold hearth, and prayed to Odia that he would take 
under his protection their eldest bey, whom the monster had 

Hardly had the prayer been offered up^ when the Idn^ of 
tlie Ases stood in the ball, and promised to hide the boy 
securely, and to bring him back to them unharmed. 

At his command the com grew up in the night over many a 
wide acr^ so quickly that it was ready for harvesting. In the 
middle of the field, be hid the boy, in a grain of an ear of com. 
But in the morning the giant stood in the field, and with bis 
sharp sword mowed down the com. He shook with all his force 
the ears, and lo 1 there fell at last into his hand the very grain 
which hid the boy. In his need, he called to Odin, and the 
mighty god removed him from all danger, and took him back 
to his parents, who were in great care about him. 

"I have fulfilled my promise" he said, "more ye must not 
demand of m&" 

With these words he disappeared ; but the peasant and his 

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wife were not yet free from care, for the giant stood threaten* 
ing in a neighbouring field, and was now comii^ towards the 
bous^ where he scented his victim. 

They prayed HSnir that be might guard their darUng from 
the monster; the beneficent god did not tany; be took the 
boy with him into the greenwood, where immediately two 
ulvery swans settled down before him, and he hid his little 
chaige in the form <tf a feather <tf down in the neck of one of 

However, the giant, who was called Skrymsli, strode onwards 
to the greenwood ; he was powerful in axaif^c, and enchanted 
the right swan to him, and bit his nedc off Yet the feather 
of down was wafted bom his mouth, and H5nir caught it up, 
and carried the terrified boy back to his anxious parents. 

The peasant and his wife now called to Loki for his help 
in their need ; for they saw the giant coming with angry strides 
out of the wood. The god appeared at oacc, took the boy 
to the strand, and rowed with him far out to sea. And he angled 
and cai^ht three lai^e flounders 

After he had hidden the boy as the tinest tgg in the roe 
of one of them, he threw the fishes overboard, and turned again 
towards land. Here he saw with astonishment, that Skiymsli 
had prepared his boat to go out fishing ; be got into it with 
the giant, and sought^ but alt in vain, to put a stop to the 
voyage; the vessel flew on, driven by the powerful strokes of 
the pant, hurrying over the sound into the open sea, where 
the boatman sank his angle and stone into the water. He 
caught at once three flounden^ and amongst them the desired 

I R<^ner. 

" Give me tlut poor little fish," asked Lokl Insinuatingly. 
"Hast thou an appetite then, Gaffer, Xuyi' snarled the 
giant ; " thou wilt have to wait a loi^ time I fancy 1 " 

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Thereupon be took the Sounder between bis koee^ and 
counted every ^x in the roe, untQ he found the one be 
wanted. But irith a dexterous finger Lokl snatched it up, and 
t<dd the boy, when they readied the Land, to spring with a I^fat 
foot over the sand towards bomc; 

SkrymsU saw Uie boy running, and hastened after him, but 
with every step he sank knee-deep into the sand. He found 
the door of the house shut ; when he threw himself against It 
with great force, it broke in two ; but, qnin^ng forwards, be 
ran his head into an iron pole; Loki was at once at hand, and 
cut off one <X his legs, and then the other; and so the monster 
died ; and his body covered the lield. 

The peasant and his wife brought thank-offerings to the god 
Loki, for their darling, whom the other gods had only hidden a 
short tim^ and who now rested safely in their arms. 

The above stoiy b still told on the Faroe Island^ and in 
fuller detail than we have been enabled to give it It shows 
us an important fac^ that Loki was not always looked upon 
as the principle of evil, as the enemy of gods and men. 

Originally be was the god of the indispensable housdiold 
fire, the god of the beneficent Idndly hearth ; therefore he 
regularly appears in the trinity : thus the sons of the primeval 
giant Ymir were called Kari (air), dgir or Hler {water\ and 
Logi (fire) ; and similarly on the creation of mankind the trinity 
appears, Odin, Htinir and Lodur. Loki also accompanied Odin 
and Honir on their travels to the giant TUassL 

The father of Loki was Farbauti and his mother was Laufey 
(leafy isle). The former was probably the same as Betgel- 
mir, the giant who escaped drowning in the Deluge by taking 
refuge in a boat, as another name for his mother wai Na^ 
ship. L<^ the element of fir^ was distinctly separated fmn 
Loki, for we saw that when ia the btlb of Skymir or U^^rd- 


I ! 


Loki, the two were rivals in a wager as to which could consume 
the greater quantity of food in a given time. At first Loki was 
held in high honour as the giver of warmth and god of the . 
domestic hearth, and was looked upon as the brother of Odin 
and H&nir, for the elements air, water and fire are intimately 
connected. He therefore belonged to the Ases, sat in their 
council, and often helped them out of difficulties by means of 
his cunning. As fire is not always the friend of man, but is 
also the element of destruction, the I.oki of the myth developed 
ever more and more the dark side of his character. He showed 
liimself as a cunning adviser, a false, traitorous comrade^ and 
lastly as the murderer of all that was pure and holy. He de- . 
stroyed innocence and rigbteousnesi^ became the blasphemer cS 
the Ases or their evil consdence; and although he received 
immediate punishment for his wickedness, he yet succeeded ia- 
bringing about the universal destruction. 

The name Loki has been derived from the old word "liuhan," 
to enl^hten. It therefore has the same origin as the Latin Utx, 
light Thus he was also related to Lucifer (lig^t-bringer), a 
title of honour which was given to the Prince of Darkness. In 
like manner as the northern tempter was chained to a sharp 
rock, Lucifer was believed in tiie middle ages to be chained 
down in helL Saxo Grammaticua describes his Utgarthlocus 
(Utgard-Loki) as laden with chains in Helhdm, which proves 
that the myth of Loki and his punishment was believed long 
after the Cbristian era. 

As has been said before^ Lold had three wicked children by 
the giantess Angurboda (bringer of anguish), Fenria^ Hel and 
Jormui^ander. But he also had a lawful tvifi^ the faithful 
Sigyn, who brought him two sons, Wall and Narw^ and who 
remained with him during all the misery his punidunent brought 
upon him. He bad no servants or subjects, for the Salamanders 

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or Fire-spirits wbkh played a part in Roman and Oriental 
mythology were unknown in the north. But he had other migh^ 
relations, namely Surtur of the Flamii^ Sword and the sons of 
Muq>el, who helped him in the Last Battle when he had gqt rid 
of his bonds. The Dwarb and Black-Elves that needed fire for 
their labours were in alliance with him, but were not subserv- 
ient to him ; indeed, as we have already seen^ they were often 
his I 

D,gt,zedbyGOO<^le . 





HE duel was over, Ases and Einheriar were seated In Wal- 
halla emptying horns of foaming mead. Steps were heard 
\ approaching, and Widar came in, receiving a joyful greeting fiom 


"Hail, Widar," said Bragi, the divine singer, and Hermodur, 
the bright herald of the gods, " hail, Widar, thou strong protection, 
thou help in every time of danger I Receive urith this greeting the 
golden drink which beseems thee," 

He thanked them and drank. He looked very grave, and spoke 
but little. Then Odin made him a sign to approach, and as he 
walked up the hall, he looked great and noble in their eyes ; his 
broad sword clanked at his side, and the sound made by the iron 
shoe on his right foot rang musically through the immeasurable 

"Widar, my silent son," said the Father of the gods, " In the 
time to come thou shalt be Avenger, Victor and Restorer. Come, 
follow me to the well of Mimir, that we may look into its depths 
and see what is hidden from gods and men." 

And now the god of armies rose and went away followed by 




Widar went home through the l<mg green grass and bushes that 
never faded. He soon reached Landwidi, the house hidden in the 
wood. He ascended bis throne, twined with green garlands, and 
sat ther^ silent as ever, thinking over the riddle of life; When and 
Iiow did the immeasurable come into being ? Why does it go on ? 
How and when will it end i These are questions which the mse 
of all ages have puzzled over, and which they have tried to solve 
in divers ways, but without satisfying themselves, because there 
are limits set here to the inquiring mind. They only find words 
which they cannot explain, cannot understand : Eternal, Everlast- 
ing, Immeasurable. How grand and glorious it sounds, and yet 
the finite mind can have no conception of that yawning gulf mtfa- 
out beginning and without end I The childlike faith alone, that 
bad its rise with the star of Bethlehem, like the beautiful dawn of 
a new day, gives peace to the soul that thirsts after truth. For 
"although everything circles in eternal change, yet even in that 
change is preserved a quiet mind." 

The myth docs not inform us whether the ulent Ase found a 
solution to the riddle, for, as we have seen, be was silent as the 
the grave ; but he went forth boldly to the battle on the field of 
Wigrid, trusting to what the Noms and his father had told him. 
In this god we see an emblem of the inexhaustible power of Kature 
in making ever new shoots and flowers spring from what had 
grown old and faded. 


Odin, king erf' the Ases, was sitting on Hlidskialf weighing all 

past and future events. He saw blood flowing, noble blood ; but 

all that was to come to pass looked indistinct and misty, like the 

sea in a fog, and the Noms had been silent when he questioned 


Hii son, Hermodur, the bright herald of the gods, was standing 
before him, ready to be sent to make known bis decrees to the 
people; The kii^ signed to the Walkyries, who at once faroo^ 
helmet and coat of mail, spear and shield, and armed the brave 
warrior for the battle. 

"Up, my s(M),'* said the kin^ "saddle the good horse Slripnir, 
and ride aloi^ the wind*coId roads, over frozen lakes and livers 
and moiinuin% till thou comest to the land of the irild Finns. 
There in a gloomy dwelling amongst the fens shalt thou find the 
robber RosstiofA (bone tbieOi who entices tiavellen to oome to 
him by magic art, binds them with enchanted bond^ murden 
them, and, after having rt^bed them, casts them] into the sea. He 
knows what will happen in luture times ; force him with the Runx 
staff to tell thee what will come to paaa." 

Then Hermodur laid aude his spear and seized Gambantiio. the 
magic stafi^ instead. He saddled good Sldpnir, and hastened 
away to the land of the Finns, where Rosstioph lived in a gloomy 
dwelling amongst the fens. 

The robber saw the storm-compelling lider at a distance; He 
used his mag^c arts to induce him to approadi, and laid invisible 
snares for him. Hermodur saw (^ost-like airy monsten ttying to 
dutch at him with teeth and daws, but he beat them back with 
his staff, and SIcipnir leapt over all the magic traps. When the 
robber attacked him in giant form, Hermodur felled him with his 
dub, and bound him hand and foot with his own cords, tying bis 
throat so tq^ that he groaned out his readiness to tell what 
Hermodur wished to know. 

So the Ase let him go, and be immediately began Us terrible 
incantations. The sun lost its brightness and hid her face behind 
dark clouds ; the earth sho(^ to her foundations ; the storm-wind 
shrieked, calling to mind now the howling oS wolve^ and now of 
the moans and groans of dying men. 



" See there," cried the Finn, pointing over at the fen, " the 
answer to thy question is rising even at this very moment" 

The Ase saw a stream of biood flowing that reddened the whole 
ground. Then a beautiful woman appeared, and afterwards a little 
boy rose close beside her ; he grew in one night, and was armed 
with a bow and arrows. 

"The king of the Ases shall offer his love to Rinda in the land 
of the Ruthenes, and she shall bear him a son who will avenge 
his brother's death." 

Rosstioph ceased, and Hermodur returned to Allfather and told 
him all that he had heard and seen. 

Hennodur went on many other errands for Odin, and as these 
errands were often of a wariike nature^ he was periiaps regarded as 
a sword-god ; Indeed, he was supposed to be connected with the 
universal god Irmin, or Hermon. Amongst the Anglo-Saxons, on 
the other hand, he was looked upon as identical with dark Hj^ur, 
the Ase who brought the greatest misery upon A^anL 


Wall or All was the son of Odin and Rinda, vrho, as Rosstioph 
prophesied, should one day avenge the death of Baldur. We shall 
meet with this god again when we treat of the beautiful poem of 
Baldur's death, and will therefore merely remark in this place that 
Rinda means the rind, the bard-frozen crust of the earth, whose 
favour the god of heaven long woos in vain, in like manner as the 
ccdd of winter takes a long time ere it gives way before the warmth 
of spring, and it is only when summer's ma^c wand Is brought 
in requi^tion that the victory is complete. Thus the god tries in 
vain to teach her that mild weather is the time for warlike deeds. 
He offers her shining garlands of flowers and golden ears <^ com. 

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but all to no purpose; He u at length obliged to use his divine 
power before he can force her to marry him. Her soa is called 
Wall or All in the Edda ; according to Saxo, the Danish historian, 
he b Bous, or Bui, also Beav, f>. the peasant, who, after the victoiy 
of the god of heaven, conies out of his dark hut and resumes bis 
labour of tilling the earth. 

The myth of Wali has^ to a considerable extend passed into the 
Hero-layi.. We will now give one cS the tales which owed tbeir 
origin to this source. 

Once upon a time many people were assembled on the sea- 
shore in the land of the Angles and not far from Sdileswij;. 
They were watching a small vessel sailing over the crested waves 
towards them. A gentle breeze filled out the white sail^ but 
neither helm nor helmsman, nor yet sailors were to be seen. 
Bound to the mast-head was a shield, bright as the sun, though 
not blood-red, which would have betokened the arrival of an 

The little vessel rounded the promontoiy at the mouth of 
the harbour as cleverly as though a good [^ot had been on board, 
and made straight for the land. The people now saw a little 
new-bom child lying on a sheaf of com (Schof, Skeaf) on the 
deck, with ornaments of gok), silver and precious stones scattered 
about it The boy sat up and looked at the surroundii^ people 
so lovingly that all with one vcMce exclaimed : 

" He is the child of some god ; we wOt take him and bring him 
up, and he shall be our kit^** 

They did so, and the boy grew strong and active; soon got the 
better of his comrades in the lists, learnt to honour the laws and 
ordinances of the free people who had adopted him, and gained 
the hearts of all by his wisdom. 

When be had grown to be a man, the free people of the land 
raised him on a war-shield, and said : 

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" Thou shalt be our king, for we shall be better off* under thy 
rule than were we to remain a republic, and thou shalt be called 
Skcal^ because thou didst come to us lying upon a sheaf," 

The new king governed the land wisely and justly, and the 
favour of the gods was with him, so that the harvests were plen- 
teous and the country visibly prospered. His judgments filled the 
people with admiration, whether given in the law-courts or in the 
assembly ; therefore he was loved and honoured as a father. His 
fame spread over every land, and kings of foreign nations made 
him umpire in their disputeiL Xo neighbouring people ventured 
to declare war upon him, nor was any Wiking-raid made upon 
his coasts. His subjects enjoyed peace and security of life and 

At length the time came for him to leave the world, and he 
desired his faithful friends to lay him once more on the sheaf of 
com in the little vessel and scatter about him the jewels he had 
brought with him, that he might return to the place whence he 

The corpse of the kii^ its head crowned with fiower^ was 
placed on a sheaf in the little vessel, and all the ornaments he had 
brought with him were placed about him as before: Then a gentle 
breeze arose and wafted the ship far away to the Home <^ the 
Light-Elves, the land of spirits, from which Skeaf had been sent 
when a child. Meanwhile his faithful friends stood on the shore 
for a long time weeping for the loss of their good king, as men 
alwa)*s weep when a dear friend leaves them. 

Before his departure Skeaf had promised hb sorrowing pec[Je 
that he would send his son from the happy home to rule over this 
kingdom, and, as we team from Danish and Anglo-Saxon tradi- 
tions, he kept his word. His son, howe%-er, did not come to the 
Angles, but to the warlike Danei^ 

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Baldur was bright and beautiful, and a radiance like that of the 
sun proceeded from him. The camomile flower was called Bal- 
dur's eye-brow, because vi its bright purity. Kindness, innocence 
and righteousness were the qualities by which he was known, and 
he could n-in every heart by the ek>quence of his wordsi la bis 
palace, Breidablick, nothing impure, nothing evil could n*er take 
place, nor could any injustice be done. It was a holy housK 

The wife of Baldur the Beloved was Nanna, daughter (^ Nep^ 
according to Uhland, Blossom, daughter of the Bud. She also 
wasthe joy ofgods and men, and loved her husband ever after 
his death. 

In one tale Nanna was the daughter of King Gewar of Nor- 
way, and Hddur was her foster-brother. They were brought up 
together by Gewar. Once, when returning home from the marriage 
of his friend King Helgi vi Heligoland to Princess Thora of Finn- 
land, Hddur lost his way in a fog, and while tiying to find it again, 
came to the dwelling of three wood-spirits, who greeted him l^ his 
name, and gave him a suit of armour, adding that he must beware 
of Baldur, son of Odin, and that he should first have victwy, but 
should afterwards be defeated. 

Wlien he got home he found that Baldur had seen Nanna, bad 
fallen in love with her, and had asked her hand in marriage. The 
king had then replied that there could be no real bond between 
Ases and mortals, and Baldur had gone away threatenii^ vea* 

On hearing this, Hddur said that he was not afraid of the As^ 
and entreated Gewar to give him Nanna to wife. The king 
answered that he loved his foster-son, but that Baldur was in- 
vincible i if, however, H&dur could manage to gain possession of 



the magic sword of Mimring, the wood-demon, he might many 
Nanna, as the odds would not be then so great in the Ase's favour. 

After infinite trouble and danger, Hddur succeeded in conquer- 
ing the Hrimthurse and in carrying ofThis sword and a wonderful 
bracelet the thickness of whose gold increased eveiy night 

The fame of this deed, and of the magic sword aod bracelet, 
spitad throi^h every land. Geldar, Duke of Saxony, heard of 
it, and trusting in bis men and ships, set out to try and gain posses- 
ion of the treasures. Hddur sailed out to sea to meet him in battle 
array. Before any mischief was don^ Geldar hoisted the white shield 
of peace, as a sign that he wished to treat with the Norw^ana. 
After a short parley, Geldar and Hddur concluded terms of peac^ 
and entered into alliance with each other. While th^ were feast- 
ii% tc^ether, news came that Baldur was sailing up to give them 
battle and carry away beautiful Nanna. They hastened to her 
defence and on the way were joined by Hel^ 

There was a terrible battl^ and Mimrii^s sword flashed like . 
li^tning in H6dur's hand. H6dur threw himself into the thick of 
the fight, and his coat of mail, which had been given him by 
the wood-spirits, kept him safe and sound. Man after man fell 
dead under his blows. But the Ases, with strong Thor, were 
amongst his opponents, and Geldar and many more were slain 
by them. After a desperate struggle, Hodur succeeded in disarm- 
ing Thor. No sooner was this the case than terror seized the 
enemy, and Ases and warriors fled pell-melL Even Baldur for- 
sook the field in 'cowardly fashion. Hddur then commanded that 
a great funeral pile should be erected for friend and foe, but chief 
d all, he placed the corpse of his faithful brother-in-arms, Geldar, 
the Duke of Saxony, to whom a grave mound was built Hddur 
now pursued his victory and conquered Denmark and SwedeiL 

According to other versions,H5dur was already King of Denmark^ 
and the battle took place near Roesfild in Zealand, where 

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Baldur's well, Baldur's haven, and Baldur's sound (the Baltic SeaX 
still remind us of the circumstance. The Danish rhymed chronicle 
indeed infonns us that Baldur was killed here and was buried in the 

We see from this how the myths of Baldur and H6dur have been 
formed by story-tellers and poets, and if these now given are much 
more modem in their origin, they stiU give the battle betireen 
summer am) winter, in which the god of winter has the victory at 
the end of autumn. 

After this battle Hodor married Nanna, and they spent a happ^ 
winter together. 

When spring returned, Baldur once more raised his bead, and 
was filled with new courage. He a^in prepared to fight for the 
lovely Nanna. 

The battle raged night and day, and Hddur got the worst <^ 
it, in spite of Mimring's magic sword. He bad at length to fly 
to Jutland and wait there till he had collected a new army. 

One day, as he was wandering in a wood, he saw the three' wood- 
spirits who had given him the coat of maU. He now recognised 
them to be Walkyries by their white horses and armour. Here- 
preached them for having prophesied good fortune when he had had 
evil fortune. But they replied : * First victory, then defeat, was what 
we promised. Butnowthetimeof good fortune is returning to the& 
If thou canst only get hold of some of Uie food which increases thine 
enemy's Ase strength, thou mayest }-et wound his sacred body with. 
Mimring's sword. Three women wrapped in the garments of 
night, tbnr heads hidden under dark vdls, prepare and bring him 
this strengthening food." 

No sooner had they spoken these words than they and their 
dwelling vanished from before his qret. 

The hero stood atone in the dark pine-wood ; his heart filled 
with new hope. He went down into the valley and called upon 



his faithful followers to rally around him, and they came to 
crowds. He soon found himself at the bead of a lai^ army, 
and when be went to seek out his foe, he found him ready to 
receive him. Baldur was still dissatisfied in spite of bis victory, 
for he bad not gained the lovely Nanna, he had not been abl^ 
to carry ber away, to her natural home the sunny south. 

The battle lasted, as before all day, and only ceased when it 
was too dark to see to fight Hddur could not sleepi so be got 
up in the third night-watch and set out to see what was going 
on in the enemy's camp. All at once he saw three women 
dressed in garments of night; and with their faces hidden under 
dark veils, walking rapidly through the wood. He followed 
them and entered their house after them. He pretended to be 
a great skald. A harp was given him and he played marvel- 
lous airs. While doing this he watched Uie women preparing 
some gruel, and saw how they held snakes over i^ making 
them breathe into it after tt was finished. 

" That must be the food that increases Baldur's Ase strer^^" 
he thought, so he asked for some as payment for bis music. 
The women consulted together; one refused, but the others 
were of opinion that tt could do no harm to give the strainer' 
what he asked, maintaining that it would only make him a 
better skald than before: They therefore granted his request 

He swallowed the plateful given him as rapidly as possible, 
and immediately he felt an unusual strength in all his limbs ; 
he felt as if he could have challenged all the Ases to battle^ be 
was so stroi^. 

The women sought vainly to prevent the skald lea%^ng them. 
He rushed out into the open air and found that a Utterly cold 
north-wind was bkiwing. As he was hastening along in the dim 
^icy morning light; he unexpectedly met his deadly enemy. 
Tiiey at ottce prepared to fight Each thought only of attack* 

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neither of defence ; the one was protected by his coat of mail 
the other by his divinity; but at length Baldur received a 
terrible blow on his hip, and Mimring's sword passed througli 
his body. Hddur hastened to the camp, told his people vrhat 
had happened, and led them on to battle. 

Meanwhile^ Baldur was only wounded, and not dead as Hddur 
had supposed. He had himself laid upon a stretcher and carried 
into the dreadful battle^ which raged undecided until n^ht-falL 
In the night dark Hel approached his coudL She told him 
that he should enter her realm on the followii^ day, and that 
she had a feast ready to greet his arrival. Her profAecy was 

Baldur's sorrowii^ followers buried him with nqral honours 
under a mighty mound, which the gods consecrated and pro- 
tected by miraculous signa. 

H5dur r^^ned possession qS his kingdom, but he never re- 
turned to his beloved Nanna, for Sous (Bui - peasant), son of Odin 
and Rinda, took the field i^nst him in the following spring 
and slew him in the f^ht, for be had lost the coat of mail 
given him by the wood-spirits and had vainly sought tat the 
women in the garments of night, to beg them to give him some 
of their magic food. 

We recognise the natural myth of the stra^le between l^ht 
and darkness, summer and winter, in this stoiy. Moreover, 
Gewar means spring (from war, Latin, vtt), and he was the father 
of Nanna, blossom. In this tale the original ugnification of the 
myth had been forgotten. The songs of the Edda regarding 
Baldur were almost entirely concerned about the death of the 
god of light and the love his wife bore him, about the changes 
of Ri^nardlt 




In the land of the Friesians twelve men, well Icoonn for their 
wisdom and righteousness, were chosen as judges in the olden 
time. These men, who were called As^en, i>. Elders, went 
about from one district to another throughout the country decid- 
ing difficult questions and settling disputes according to the 
ancient laws and privil^cs. It was always said that it was 
from Fosit^ Baldur's son, that the Friesians and their first Elders 
had learnt the laws by which the country was governed. The 
place where be had taught them these righteous ordinances was 
an island, which is now known as Helgoland or holy land, 
whose skippers even yet show their Friesian descent in their 
muscular and active forms. 

According to the northeni myth, Forseti was the son of Baldur 
and Nanna ; for righteousness, whose representatiw Forseti was, 
proceeds from clearness of judgment and immaculate purity. - He 
used to sit all day long in his hall Glitnir, whose ulver roof rests 
upon golden pillars, and settle all disputes and differences of 
opinion. As he was only, as it were, an attribute of his father 
personified, he seems to have vanished with bim from the worlds of 
Ases and men, after which the Wolf^ time of pon-er b^an, and 
immoral, evil forces gained c\-cr more and more the upper hand, 
until at length Ragnardk, the Judgment of the gods^ began and 
the drama of the noithem faith came to a dose. 

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1./ that iMppy time of chfld-Iike 

innocence. No human being lived then on the green earth, whidi 
vras inhabited by the Ases, who dwelt there without restrictioiu 
of any kind, or any longing after the unattainable. They had do 
post dimined with tear^ no difficulties in the preieat^ nor did 




the future threaten them with a grievous doom. They lived 
Tor days aod years in untroubled joy. They laid up stores of 
food, made hammers, tongs^ anvils and tools of all kinds for 
themselves. They forged metals and carved wood, and what- 
ever they did was beautiful to look upon. They had so much 
gold that they used it for making their household utensils. Still 
they did not know the value of the metal, and only liked it 
because it was bright and pleasant to l^k upon. They called 
this happy time the Golden Age, because life was then without 
care or sorrow, and not because of their wealth. They built 
houses and holy-places for themselves; they played merry 
games with golden disks in the court-yard and on the Field of 
Ida. They felt neither love of money nor desire of gain, nor yet 
did they ever wish to do themselves good to the injury ol others. 

Then they jestingly created the numerous race of Dwarf^ who 
burrowed in the earth and broi^ht its hidden treasures forth to the 
light of day. The Ases looked covetously at the glittering hoard, 
and then the Golden Age, the time of innocence^ passed away. 

After that Gullweig ^golden step), the wicked enchantress was 
bom. Three times the Ases thrust her into the smelting-po^ and 
each time she rose again more wondrously entrancing than 
before, so that thdr whole souls were filled with covetousness 
and other evil desires 


Gullweig was probably the cause of the first war, the war be- 
tween the Ases and Wanes. She glided about from one camp to 
the other stirring up dissension. But fortunately peace was soon 
concluded. The eyes of th£ gods were now opened, so that they 
perceived the danger that threatened them. They saw the Mouo- 



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taiD-Giants and Hrimthurses far away over in Jotunheim, saw bow 
they had increased in numbers, bow they had already made good 
their entrance into Mic^rard, and were looking threateningly up at 
beautifid Asgard, with its palace^ perfumed groves and flowery 

Heimdal was a faithful watchman, but still the Ases feared lest 
be should be taken unawares So they assembled in their hall of 
judgment, and took counsel t<^;ether bow best they might ensure 
their safety. It seemed to them that their surest plan would be 
to build a wall round A^ard. reaching to tbe skies, in which strong 
doors should be placed. 

While they were consulting as to the best way of can^nng out 
their plan, a tall, stately man, with %. disagreeable expression ol 
countenance, came up and offered to complete the wall, without 
help from any oat, in three winters. He said that he was a smith, 
a veiy skilful man, and that he thoroughly understood the art of 
building. In payment for bis work he demanded that diWne 
Freya should be given him to wife, and that be should also have 
the sun and moon awarded him, as they would ;nake such good 
lights for him to work by. The Ases were undetermined ; but 
Loki, the arch-scoundrel, whispered in their ears that they should 
promise to grant the builder's request on condition that he finished 
the work in the course of one winter. The man consented to these 
terms, saying that he would wager his bead be could finish the 
work within the appointed time, if he were allowed to have the 
help of his horse Swadilfari Again the Ases hesitated, but Lold 
strongly urged that they should consent, as an unreasoning ai^mal 
could not be of much use. 

So the bargain was concluded, and each party swore holy oaths 
iby dark Hel, by the Leipter Flood and the primeval icebergs that 
the conditions made on either side shouid be fulfilled faithfully and 

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The work was beguo on the first day of winter. The Ases saw 
what monstrous toads of rocks and stones the builder's horse carried, 
swift as the wind, wherever his master desired. The wall grew 
apace, and was strong and solid as an iceberg. It was as smooth 
and shining as polished steel, and at the end of winter it was nearly 

The great gate of the fortress was now alone to be made, and 
that could be easily done in the three days that were still to elapse 
before the beginning of summer. 

The Ases consulted togetlier in their distress, for if the smith 
were to carry Freya and the sun and moon away with him in 
payment for his work, beauty and sweetness would vanish from 
A^rard, and eternal night would overwhelm the world. 

Many of the gods longed for the presence of strong Thor, who 
had been far away waging war on monsters of all kinds when the 
contract was made with the smith, and who had not yet returned. 
They seated themselves on their thrones of judgment, and tried to 
find a way out of their diSiculty. They asked each other who it 
was that had advised them to conclude the bargain with the smith. 
Every one knew that it was the author of all evil — falser treacherous 
Loki. Then they all crowded round him accusing and threatening 

" Let him die a shameful death," they cried, " if he does not 
help us out of our difficulty." 

Loki tremblingly promised, with a holy oath, that he would 
prevent the builder finishing the wall, and would thus deprive him i 
of his reward. 

The next day, when the smith went to the mountains with \ 
Swadilfari, to fetch stones and wood for bis work, a mare gallope^ 
towards them whinnying. Immediately the horse rushed to medV 
her, kicking the cart and harness in pieces. He followed the flyii la 
mare through wood and meadow, pursued by the breathless smit V 

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The punuit lasted the whole day and nigh^ and when the builder 
at length succeeded in catching his horse they were both M ex> 
hausted that they could do nothing next day. 

That evening, as the man stood looking at the wall whidi be 
knew be could not now finish in time, a giant's rage came over him. 
He accused the Ases of being false perjured gods, who had deprived 
him of his just reward by cunning and by treachery. He threatened 
to make himself master of Asgard by force, and lifted huge rocks 
and trunks of trees with which to destroy the place and its inhabi- 
tants, And now the Ases perceived that he was a giant, and tiiat 
they had allowed one of thrir deadly enemies to enter their holy 
city. They cried aloud few strong ThM* to come and defend them 
against the giant 

A thunder clap was heard, a flash of lightning lit up the dark- 
ness, the earth trembled, and Thor was standing between the Ases 
and the enraged giant He at once recognised the Hrimthurse^ 
flung Midlnir and broke the giant's skull, which was as hard as a 
stone, and bits of it went flying in all directions. The black soul 
of the monster sank into Nifelhel, which was its proper habita- 

In course of time the mare that bad enticed Swadilfari from his 
work hxd an eight-legged foal, and this foal was Sleipnir, which 
when it was grown became Odin's horsey and used to bear the 
Father of the gods swift as the wind through the air and over the 
waves of the sea. But the Ases had sinned, they had broken their 
oath ; for they had sworn to fulfil the contract they bad made 
with the smith without trickery of any kind, and the Jotun had 
justly chaiged them with perjury. Their tempter was Lokv and 
he it was who in the form of the mare had enticed Swadilfari 
away from his work, and bad thus prevented the completion of the 

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Fair Iduna had made herself 90 auy dwelling amongst the 
green branches of the world-tree YggdrasiL There she received 
her beloved husband, Bragi, every evening, and he rejoiced her 
heart with bis songs. The woodland birds joined their singing 
to his, and the music th<y made was so sweet that even the 
grave Noms were touched l^ it 

When all living things were sunk in sleep, the goddess sprinkled 
the a^ from the well into which the divine mead had flowed 
that had been brought there by Odin, and so the World-tree 
remained fresh and green. The well, like the mead, was called 
Odrdrir, and was that draught of inspiration which GunlSd had 
once kept hidden in a mountain, but which Odin had rescued 
for the needs of gods and men. Like Iduna's apples, it had the 
power of making all who tasted it younger and more beautiful, and 
was identical with the fountain of Urd, with the water of which 
the Noms sprinkled Yggdrasil. Unnumbered yean passed away ; 
the World-tree flourished and remained young and strong as ever, 
thanks to the care of the Noms and Iduna ; Bragi sang to his 
wife and to the world ; but sin had defiled Ases and men, holy 
oaths were broken, truth, faith and the fear of God had disap- 
peared, murder and war were everywhere to be seen ; then it 
was that the Destruction of the Universe came nearer, and the 
Wolf rattled his chains preparatory to breaking them. 

Now it happened about this time that one evenii^ neither the 
songs of Bragi nor of the birds were to be heard, that the branches 
of Yggdrasil hung down sapless and withered, and that Odrtirir 
seemed to have dried up. Next mommg, when the Ases^ terpfied 
by these signs, asked for Iduna, they found that she had fallen 
from the tree down into the deep valleys below to the daughter of 


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Norwi (night). The well was really dried up^ and every green 
thing threatened to fade and wither. 

So Odin lent hii raven, Hugin, away to find out the meaning of 
these portents of evil Quick as thought the messenger flew 
through the wide heaveni^ and then sank down into the realm of 
the Dwarfs, Dain (dead) and Thrain (stiff), both <^ whom knew 
what should come to pass. But they were lying sunk in a heavy 
trance-like sleep, and in their sleep they moaned indistinctly some 
few words about coming horrors and flames. The Kaea, therefor^ 
knew not what to do, and watched all nature and Yggdrasil slowly 
fading and dying. They stretched a wolf-skin, white and soft as 
the winter's snow, over the abyss where Iduna lay sorrowing that 
she m^ht no more see her happy home amongst the ash-boughs. 
The Father of the Gods sent Heimdal. the faithful watdiman, 
cunning Loki, and sorrowful Bragi to question the fair goddess as 
to the future. The messengers^ after passing innumerable were- 
wolves on their way, at last came to the place where Iduna was 
lying, pale and sad. They asked her eagerly what she tould telt 
them of future events, but she only answered them with tears, 

tj.:_ i-i —J T „w -^.«-j f..ii ^ ijut Bragi sUyed 

Iter the return of 
> «4iat was to be 
Q need Oi rest, so 
itil the morrow. 

Fri^a standii^ 
old him that her 
de Hel had come 
rhen the m^ty 
mind what to do : 
! dead ; be mutt 
n's Magic Raven" 

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(Hrarnagalder), which is a description of the beginoine of autumn 
or early winter. Would the goddess Iduna rise again in sprii^ 
and bring new life to the dead leaves and flowers, or was her 
departure a «gn that the Last Battle was about to be fought, and 
that the flames of Surtur would soon begin their devastating work? 
These questions filled the minds of the Aaes. 

One writer states that in his opinion the events mentioned in 
this poem refer to an unusual drought in Osning, and to the long 
cessation of the flow of the intermittent spring which, with other 
brooks^ forms the Bullerbom, and which has never once dried up 
since 163a Still, it must be remembered, while considering this 
interesting hypotheus, that a northern skald translated the origi* 
nal Saxon poem, or rather worked the idea of it out anew, and 
that as he did so he was filled with the thought that Iduna's 
departure and the fading and dying of all nature portended the 
approach of the Last Battle. 

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'T^HE myth telU us that when Mother Night sank as nsual 
■■- into Nirdhel, Day followed her lookii^ bright and glorious. 
His golden-maned horse bov hts glittering chariot across the 
heavens. But soon a grey mist rose and hid die shining equip- 
age. The sun looked down sadly upon Midgard and upMi 
Asgard, as though through a thick veil, and seemed as if rnoom- 
ing some dreadful catastrophe. A dense fog rested upon Breida- 
blick, so that its golden roofs and battlements were invisible. 
The gods and goddesses hastened to the assembly full of dismay 
about the departure of Iduna and Baldur*t dreams. They shook 
and cast the runes, and those of death lay uppermost Terror 
seized the Ases, but Odin rose in all his majesty and said : 

" I foresee only too clearly what is about to happen ; yet will 
I call up Wala from the realm of the dead, and she shall ^ve 
me a sure answer to my questions as to what will come to 

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plaiuk At last it seemed to them that the best thing they could 
do would be to make all living creatures, and even by means 
of magic power force every inanimate object, to swear to do 
no hurt to Baldur's holy body. 

Fri^ the anxious mother of the god of light, herself under- 
took the task. She went through every countiy as quickly as 
the sun passes over the sky. And all mortal men, the Hrim* 
tburses, the Light-Elves, the Water-sprites, and even the Black- 
Elves, that race which shuns the light, swore a solemn oath 
not to harm the Well-beloved. Trees and plants stones and 
metals were also bound over to spare Baldur. 

Meanwhile, Odin rode through dark glcns down to Nifelheim. 
A dog with gaping jaws came out to meet him from the king- 
dom of Hel, and as he came drops of blood fell from his jaws 
upon his neck and chest He stood still and howled as the 
god rode past Odin hastened to the eastern gate of the dark 
abode. There he found the mound of Wala who had long 
been dead. The Father of the Gods dismounted. He stood on 
the grave mound that was surmounted by a memorial stone; 
and began his incantation, the song that awakened the dead. 

"Awake, Wala, awake from thy death-sleep] Arise from 
out the grave wherein thou hast rested so long! Three times 
do I strike thy dwelling-place with my runic staff that thou 
mayst know no more peace on thy bed of mould, until thou 
hast given me a true answer to my questiom." 

He then struck the grave thrice with his mighty staff, and 
the ground shoo)^ the stone sank down, the earth opened, and 
pale Wala arose wrapped in her shroud. 

"Who is it?" she asked in a hollow voice; "that troubles my 
repose? Snow has covered my bed, and the rains and dews 
have watered it for many years. Z have long been dead." 

Odio replied : " Wegtam (knower of the road) is my nam<^ and 



I am the loa of Waltam (Icnower of battles). Speak, for iriiom 
has Hel prepared the bcDcbes with rings and the goldea 

She answered : "A shining goblet is standing ready for 
Baldur the good, which he must drink with Hd to the woe 
of the Asea. If I am forced to speak I must make known the 
coming evil ; grant me therefore sileace." 

"Thou shalt not be ulent I " cried the god, "until I know all 
that I dimly foresee; Who is tt that is to send ^e glorious 
son of the Father of Battles down to Hel's dismal abode ? " 

Then the prophetess said dejectedly: "The brother will send 
his brother ther^ the god of darkness will send the god oi 
tight, Hddur will send the son of the Father of Battles down 
to the realm of HcL Forced to speak, I have to make known 
the misfortune that was coming ; grant me now tilence" 

The King of the Gods^ who was accustomed to look future 
events in the face without fear, stood there drawn to his full 
height, and went on questioning Wala. He asked v)m way to 
avenge Baldur, and bring death upon the murderer. She told 
him that Odin would have a son bv Rinda who would now 

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The poet probably saw that the days were growing shorter, and 
that the sun scarcely showed above the horizon in the far North, 
while a cold frosty mist covered land and sea ; these were to him 
the togas of the approach of winter, tA the death of the god of 
light Odin had a foreboding of what was about to happen, but 
could only gain certain intelligence in the realm of the dead. So 
the poet let him descend there and question Wala. who had long 
been dead. 

Joy had returned to the green home of the gods. Baldur's life 
seemed to be secure now that all animate and inanimate things 
had been bound by an oath to do him no harm. Who would hurt 
the darling, the light of the world ? The Ases latched and 
jested, played with golden balls, shot arrows, flung spears and 
aimed blunt weapons at Baldur for fun, and not one of these 
missiles struck his holy body. It was as though an invisible power 
turned them aside as they approached him, for all, wood^ metal 
and stones were sworn over to spare him. 

The Ases then tried sharp weapon^ and to their delight found 
the result the same. Loud was the laughter when it vras dis- 
covered that the best aimed blow of a sword did not touch him, 
that spears, stones and arrows missed him. 

Frigg heard the shouts and cheers as she sat in her golden halls 
of Fensaler, and longed to know what was the matter. At this 
moment an old woman limped past leaning on her crutch. The 
queen signed to her to enter, and asked her what was going on. The 
old woman immediately gave her a long description of what she 
had seen, ending by saying that Baldur was standing smiling in the 
midst of the hail of weapons looking as if they were only flowers 
with whidi be was being pelted. And Trigg's heart rejoiced within 
her as she thought of the strength of the Ases, and of how she 
had conquered Ae evil fate that was to have come upon her soa 

" Yes," she said. " everything that is in heaven and earth and 

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weapons of these foolish jesting Ases, stronger than that much be- 
praised and famous Baldur." 

He went to join the Ases, and found them still amusing them- 
selves as before. Strong Hodur was standing outside the circle^ 
talcing no part in die games. 

"Why art thou so laijr?" asked Loki, "thou art the strong- 
est of all &e Asea, so why dost thou not fling a spear in Baldur's 
honour f " 

" I have no weapon, aitd I am blind," answered HMur ; ** ni^t 
is all around me, before me and behind me." 

" Here is a spear for the<^" said the tempter, putting the mistle- 
toe bough in his hand; "I will direct it for thee; now fling it 
with all thy m^bt" 

Hddur did so^ and — the sun lost its Ugh^ the earth quaked 
— the murder, the patricide was committed — Baldur lay stabbed - 
to death on the ground, the blood flowing from his side <mi to 
die darkenii^ earth. Breathless and ulent the gods stood 
around ; they could not take in the monstrous the terrible faict; 
it almost seemed as if di^ diemselves had received a death- 
wound. When they were able to move, some of them crowded 
round the corpse and watered it with their tears^ while odiers 
asked eagerly who it was that had done the evil deed. 

"Dark Hddur threw the spear," was shouted on every sid& 
Friendless Hddur stood alone as ever in the midst of the excited 
Ases; Lold had deserted him at once; as the tempter always 
does, leaving his victim to bear his miseiy alone 

Darkness surrounded the luckless Ase, and darkness r^ned 
in his soul. He heard the curses and threats that echoed on 
every side, and the dash of the swords and spears that were 
turned against him. Suddenly AUfather appeared In the midst 
of the Ase% grave and cabn, and in all his divine majesty. 
His own forebodings, and Wala'a prophecy, had prepared him 

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for wlut had happened. It was Ortog** will and ndtber gods 
nor men could do aught to binder it So he, the Father (rf 
Heroes hore hi< sorrow without cowardly complaint ; la ^rit be 
saw the jq>proach of RagnarOk and was determined to fi^t tlie 
tiopelea battle to the end, for even mortal heroes do not let the 
sword fall from thdr dying bands until tbdr last strei^th is 
exhausted. He commanded his people to cease their clamorous 
woe^ to raise the corpse of the Well-beloved, to dress it in clean 
garments^ and prepare the funeral pyrc: 

Then came Frigg, Odtn's faithful wif^ her eyes red with weep- 
ing. But now she checked her tean; for she thought she had 
found a way to regain her dariii^ 

"Which," she asked, "which of you brave sons of the Ases 
mil ride down to Helhdm and will dare to entreat the goddess 
of the Under-world to restore Baldur, the light of the world, to 
As>heim? He who docs this shall be held ht|^iest m my 
esteem and in that of AlUather." 

Hermodur, the swift, immediately offered to be her messenger 
to the realm of shades. He at once saddled Sleipnir and set 
out on Us joumqr. 

The myth tS the sun-god Baldur and of his death and resunec- 
tioD is very old. The Teutonic races brot^ht it from their original 
home, and formulated it in the northern lands to which they emi- 
grated in accordance with the rude climate and the mode of life to 
which they had there grown accustomed. The sun-god was wor- 
shipped by an the Aryan nations, bad costly sacrifices offered to him, 
and prayers and songs made for him. The Semitic peoples also, the 
Babylonians, Phoenicians, etc., regarded him as the god who blessed 
arts and manufactures, trade and ships. The festival of Adoma 
and the mvat«ries cS Mithras, which the Romans bntupht inbt 

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i solstice, and traces are still to be found of the Mysteries of Mithras 

'\ I in such parts of Germany as the Romans settled in. 

•j , i The Ases were still standing about the corpse of Baldur. The 

body was dressed in its grave-clothes and laid upon Baldur's own 

I ; ship Hringhom. By Odin's command tlie wood for the funeral 

pyre was heaped high on the deck of the vessel, so that the flames 

might be seen in every land. 

Nanna was standing beside her dead husband. She had no 
tears with which to weep for him, her low shudderii^ sobs alone 
showed the intensity of her grief When the torch was lighted 
with which the wood was to be set on fire, her heart burst with 
sorrow and she sank down beside the corpse pale and lifeless, like 
a broken flower. 

So the sorrowing Ases laid her on the pyre by her husband, and 
beside them they placed the horse of the god, which had to die 
with its master. Then Odin added the golden ring Draupnir, from 
which eight other rings dropped every ninth night: He also whis- 
pered a word in the ear of his son, so low that none of the by- 
standers could hear. Perhaps it was the comforting assurance of 
resurrection to a new and better life. 

Crowds had assembled to gaze upon the sad q>ectacle and join 
tlie Ases in showing their respect for the darling and benefactor 
of the world. The Walkyries were there leaning on their spears, 
and the Dises wrapped in tbdr dark veils ; the Light-Elves and 
the Wood and Water-sprites were also there. Besides these came 
the Mountain and Frost-giants, and even the Black-Elveai 

Odin's ravens fluttered sadly round the ship; they knew well 

I what the gods and heaven and earth had lost The ship had 
I' been drawn up on the shore and placed upon rollers, that it 
{| might be pushed down into the water before being set on fire. 
)i : But it was so heavy, because of the quantity of wood and costly 

II , gifts piled upon i^ that it was impossible to move it Then the 

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Frigg alone of all the Ascs still nourished hope of her son's 
restoration. She believed that Hel would allow herself to be 
moved by Hermodur's intercession, and would permit Baldur to 
return to the Upper-world. The divine messenger set out oo his 
journey to the Under-world. Sleipnir bore him for nine nights 
through dark valleys and glens into which no ray of light pene> 
tiated. The ulence of death was all around, and the only sound to 
be heard was that made by the horse's feet At length Hermodur 
reached the banks of the river Gtoll, which divides the kingdom of 
the dead from that of the living. 

He was about to ride over the gold-covered bri<%e that spans 
the Gioll, but the gigantic porteress Mddgud (sfHritual conflict) 
came forward and asked him what be was doing there. 

" Yesterday," she said, " crowds of dead rode over the bridge, 
and yet they did not make as much noise as thou alone ; and be- 
sides tha^ thou hast not the colour of death. Speak, what dost 
thou, a living man, want with the dead ?" 

" I seek for Baldur, my dear brother, who was slain. For his 
take I have ridden down the Hel road that I may entreat die god- 
dess to let him go free: If thou hast seen him, show me where I 
may find him," 

Hermodur ceased, and Uie porteress pcnnted to the north, as she 
said thtf she had seen Baldur ride over the bridge and he was 
even now with HeL 

Then Hermodur continued his journey fearlessly, until at length 
he reached the fence round Hel's abode, and there he could find no 
mode of entrance. 

It was a question of his brother's restoration, so he did not he^* 
tate. He dismounted, drew the girths tighter, and then remount- 
ing set spun to Sleipnir, and Odin's horse leapt high over the 
fence and landed safely on the other side. 

Hermodur was now in the realm of shades, and surrounded on 




the door, Baldur gave him the ring Draupnir to return to Odin, as 
that symbol of plenty was worthless in the kingdom of the dead. 
Nanna sent Fri^ a veil and other gifts, while to Fulla she sent a 
golden ling with which one day to adorn the blooming bride. 

The divine messenger now set out on his return to the Upper- 
world and A^ard, and when he got llierc he told all that he had 
seen and heard. The Ases looked upon his news as good news, 
and at once sent servants into all parts erf' the universe to call upon 
every creature and every inanimate ol^ect that had life to weep for 

Tears hung like pearls from every flower and plant, they dropped 
like dew from the leaves and branches of the trees, and the very 
metals and stones exuded moisture. On their road home the mes- 
sengers passed by a dark cave, in which they found the giantess 
Thdck (darkness), who was as terrible to look upon as Hel herself. 
Tliey asked the -woman to shed a tear, so that Baldur, the god of 
ligh^ m^bt return ; but tiie giantess answered : 

" Thdck can only weep with dry eyes for Baldur's death. He 
was of 00 use to ber living or dead, so Hel may keep what she has 

The messengers vainly strove to soften the hard heart of the 
giantess ; but she vanished from their eyes into the black depths 
of the cavern, and they could see her no more. 

So they continued their journey sadly ; but one of them said 
th^ he had recognised Loki in the woman's dress. And then 
at once their eyes were opened and thqr said that he was 
right When they brought the sorrowful tidings to A^ard, 
loud was the lamentation of the god^ for they knew that Baldur's 
letum was bc^lesa. 

Days passed, and every day made their loss appear greater. 
Whenever the. Ases assembled under the holy oak, the word 
vengeance was on their lips. It was the first law, the highest 




the voice had come. Then an arrow hissed through the air, 
a second and a third followed, and the last struck the blind god 
to the heart The bowman's shout of triumph was so loud that 
it echoed throt^hout A^^d, and all the gods and goddesses 
hastened to the spot 

There is no doubt that this is the description of the victory di 
Spring over Winter. As we learn from Saxc^ it was originally 
Baldur himself who conquered Hodur, the god of the long night of 
winter ; but when the myth of Baldur became part of the great 
universal year, the stoiy of Wali, the god of spring, u'as added, and 
he it was who avenged his brother's murder. 



till tbe ground aod slay any giants or other monsters who made 
; themselves obnoxious. 

Sly Loki glided into the hall with his sof^ cat-like step, hoping to 
, enjoy the golden mead that Cgir bad provided for his guests. As be 

was advancii^, however, he was stopped by Funafen^ who had 
been stationed at the door to guard the entrance. 

" No seat is prepared for thee in d^s halls," be said ; 
" go, seek a place for thyself in the bouse of Angurboda, Fenri^s 

Loki was very angiy when he beard these words, more especi- 
ally as the Ases all joined in praising Funafeng for what he had 
said. He struck the man so that he fell down dead on the spot 
A great uproar ensued, for murder had been committed in a sacred 
place. The Ases seized tb«r weapons aod would have rushed 
upon Loki, but be bad bidden himself in a wood that was close to 
the palace. — 

Quiet was at last re-established. Bey^wir, and Beyla, the house- 
keeper, served the guests. This task was made much easier for 
them because the cans from which they poured tbe mead were so 
cunningly devised that they refilled themselves as fast as they were 

Meanwhile Lold retumetL He found Eldir guarding the door, 
and q>oke to him as if nothing had happened. He asked what the 
gods of victory were talking about. 
. :,j , " Of arms and brave deeds," replied Eldir, "but they have not a 

,j: , single good word for thee." 

jji " Very well then, I will go and join them," said the villain ; "t 

i'l will so coyer them with shame and giiilt that none c^ them will 

have a word to say in answer." 

With these words he thrust Eldir a«de and entered tbe hall. 
Suddenly all conversation ceased and was succeeded by a death- 
like silence. Every tye was fixed on him who had sullied the 






of thunder shook the houses and Thor stood before them swinging 
Midlnir. The blasphemer turned upon him and sneered at him 
for having hidden away in the thumb of Skrymtr's glove. And 
when Hlorridi (heat bringer) threatened him with his hammer, 
be cried: 

* I sang to the glory of the Ases in dgii's hall^ and that glory 
will soon pass away when once the ilames of destruction are seen. 
They have drunk of cool mead here for the last timc^ for Ragnarok 
is coming. I shall now hide myself from the fury c^ strong Thor, 
who would willingly strike me down." 

And immediately he took the form of a salmon and swam 
away into the rushing waters that surrounded the crystal palace 
d" Ogir. 

The Ases sought everywhere for LokL They went through 
Asgard and Midgard, they searched in Jotunbeim and in the 
Home of the Black- Elves, but he was nowhere to be found. They 
were miserable at the thought that the author of evil might escape 
their vengeance. ' 

Odin seated himself on his throne Hlidslciatf and looked down 
upon the nine worlds ; he saw a lonely house situated on the other 
side of a high mountain, and in this house was he whom they 
'Sought So Allfather descended from his throne, and calling the 
Ases about him, told them where they would find Loki. 

The fugitive had made himself a peculiar dwelling in a cliff 
overhanging a wild mountain torrent This dwelling consisted of 
;: one large room with four doors, all of which were kept open. 

., , There he sat day and night gazing out at the four quarters of the 

heavens to see whether bis pursuers were on his track. He felt no 
L ,| remorse no pricks trf' conscience — he had long conquered all such 

'1. ij weaknesses — he only feared the vengeance that he had called down 

'■■•■ I upon himself. He often swam about in the stream in the form <A 

a salmon, comforting himself with the thought that none could re- 

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•m. I. ".iL!»WI^^^""* 


cognise him. And yet his fears gave him no rest ; he trusted no 
one, not even his wife Stgyn, who loved him in spite of all his nns. 

For whole days he sat in his vry dwelliag, keeping a sharp look- 
out in every direction, while he busied himself in making all aocts 
of useful thii^ and amongst others, a fisbing-ne^ which until tiien 
was absolutely unknown. He grew so interested in making this 
net that he quite forgot the danger that threatened him. Sud- 
denly the flames of the fire on his hearth rose in a coluou, a* 
though to call his attention to something that was going oo. He 
looked up and saw the Ases marcbiog towards him. He threw Ae 
net into the fire, and hastened to the water-fall, where he hid himsdC 

Cunning and treachery are often caught in thdr own neL The 
Ases did not find the slanderer in his airy dwelling. Tlie fire had 
burnt out But the place where it had been was still warm, and 
showed that some one had been there lately. One of tbe gods, who 
was learned in wisdom and in tbe nmes^ examined tbe ashes,- and 
discovered what no human eye could have seen, the form and use 
of the net 

" Found 1 " he exclaimed ; " the wily enchanter's thoi^ts have 
been full of the idea of fish and fishii^. He has been making a 
net then he burnt it and is now hiding in the stream in the form 
of a fish." 

Gefion looked at the net, and soon found out how it was mad^ 
and, with the help of the others, got a second net ready in a very 
short time This they dipped into the water just under the fall. 
Thor held one a'de and the rest of the Ases held the other, so that 
the net stretched across the stream. After dra^ng the water iat 
some distance, a gigantic salmon was discovered and caught mth 
infinite difficulty. Thor held on by the fish's tail in si^te of its 
stru^les, A blow, a knock with a stone, would have killed it ; 
but it suddenly changed its form, and the blasphemer, the Insti> 
gator of murder, false LoM, was in the hands of Hlorridi. 



• The Ases rejoiced to have their enemy in their power. They 
bound the arch-fiend's legs and arms together and draped bim 
away to a cave in the mountain. There they prepared for him the 
bed of misery that had been foretold for him. Three sharp-pointed 
masses of rock were placed, cme between his shoulders, the second 
under his loins, and the third under his knees. Then his two sons, 
Wall and Narwi, were brought to Him, followed by their weeping 
mother, Sigyn. Wali was chained into a fierce wolf, and he im- 
mediately tore his brother in pieces. The Ases now bound the 
guilt}' father to the rock with the sinews of bis murdered son, and 
when this was done the bonds were converted into heavy iron 

Skadi carried out the last part of the judgment that had been 
pronounced upon Lokl by fastening a poisonous adder over the 
head of the evil-doer in such a way that the poison exuding from 
its jaws should drop upon his face, and this caused him unspeak- 
able torment. After this was done, the Ases returned to Asgard, 
which was no longer the green home it used to be, for eternal 
spring reigned there no more, and the mark of change was upon 

One creature alone had compassion on the sinner, and that was 
S^yn, the wife he had so often treatftl with cruelty and contempt. 
She would not desert him, but remained by his side, and, holding 
a dish above his head, caught the poison as it dropped from the 
adder. When the dish was full, and she had to remove it to empty 
it, the horrible slime fell upon Loki's face, and made him howl with 
f^ny, and turn and twist himself, till Mother Earth shook to her 
foundations. That is what ignorant men call an earthquake 

The crime was now punished, and the gods, who here showed 
themselves as moral powers, carried out the sentence pronounced 
upon the criminal But they themselves were not unsullied by sin. 
Many of the accusations, with which the blasphemer had over- 

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whelmed them, were welUfoundcd, and every tan brings down its 
own punbhment in heaven and on earth. And so the day of 
destruction drew near, when the tempter, who was at the same 
time the author of evit, should be freed from his bonds and the 
world should come to an end. 

In this myth Loki appei rs a& the cause, of all evfl. He is the 
tempter who makes the innocent fall into sin, although he knows 
that he thereby destroys them. If in prinueval times he had 
been the sworn brother of Odio and the god oF the domestic Are, he 
was now 1 consummate villain and threw the brand into the house 
in which he was to be burnt together with the guilty and the 
innocent The prindple of vengeance for bloodshed was deeply 
rooted in ancient Scandinavia. " He who has injured me must pay 
for it, even though I know that I shall perish with him," was 
the idea on which both noble and serf acted. 

In this tale we have smoothed over a good many discrepancies 
that appear in the myth, but not all We let Bragi and Iduna 
appear, although they dwelt in the depth <^ the earth. Perhaps 
they were allowed to rise once more that they might take part in 
the festival. But we have left out about Kwasir, who, according to 
the myth, discovered the net in the ashes; because his appearance 
was unnecessary. It is very curious that Loki, the fire-god, 
should have hidden in the water; but the belief that lire takes 
refuge in water is to be found amongst other nations, and is 
perhaps founded on the reflection of 'the sun, moon and stars, 
sunrise and sunset that are to be seen in the water. 

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' I 'HE tempter, the author of evil, was firmty bound to the cold 
-^ rock, but the evil seed he had sown grew and flourished, 
and even the gods, the moral powers, whose duty it was to uphold 
universal law, were no longer pure and free from guiltj the 
wholesome bonds of law were broken, and the destruction of the 
world approached. Neither truth nor faith was to be found in 
heaven or on earth, and lov^ which had formerly bound friends, 
parent^ children, brothers and sisters to each other, had lost its 
power. Self-seeking, self-interest and grasping covctousness 
became the guiding principles of life ; murder, incendiarism and 
bloodshed were everywhere to be found. 

The sun still continued its course through the heavens, but it 
shone mistily as through a veil, and gave no warmth in summer. 
Winter set in early, and it was a Fimbul-Winter, a winter of horrors. 
The snow-storms were such as had never been known before, and 
the frost was terribly hard. Many houses and villages were buried 
tn the snow, and their inhabitants perished. The Fimbul-Wuiter 
seemed as if it would never end ; it lasted for three years, without 
any summer to break its fuiy. Trees and bushes, grass and 
plants perished, men died of cold and hunger, and yet they did 

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r.ot cease from their lies and murden and other deedi of 

Meanwhile Fenris's children, the wolve% grew into horriUe 
monsteray for the old giantess in the forest fed them with mairow 
taken from the bones of murdered petjurers and breaken of the 
marriage bond, and gave Uiem to drink of the blood of dead 
poisoners, parricides and fratriddei^ and there was abundance of 
such food. 

Wala, the prqihetesi^ was asked what all this meant, and die 
said, that the sun, moon and Mother Earth were sorrowii^ over 
the fall of man, that the wolves and other hostile powers would 
soon be fre^ and then the destructioo of the universe would 

Many signs and wonders were to be seen dining that tiraei as 
we read in the Lay of Wala. 

The glory of the sun was darkened, wicked Idises were seen 
flying through the air, Fjalar, the bright-red cock of Asgard, crowed 
loudly, the daik-red cock in Helhdm answered him, and all in the 
Upper-world heard their croiring. The great wolves SldOll and 
Hati rushed up to attack the son and moon ; they seized and 
swallowed them, and now darkness reigned in heaven and earth. 
Then the earth itself shook to its very foundations, and all chains 
were broken. Thus it happened that Lold was set'free^ that his 
horrible son Fenris was able to shake off his bonds and hasten 

with hill rhiMr^n fn ioin his father, and that Carm. H^l'c (1<wr. muM 

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through all the homes, wakening Ascs and Einheriar, and warning 
them to prepare for the Last Battle. Odin mounted Sleipnir as 
soon as he was armed, and rode away to Mimir's Well The 
World-Ash was rustling and trembling in the storm, its leaves were 
('ailing rapidly, and its roots threatened to snap. The Noms were 
seated beside it, their heads hidden in their veils. Odin whispered 
to Mimir's head ; no one beard what he said or how he was 

Meanwhile Thiym, the king of the Jotuns, was steering bis ship 
Irom the east over the everlasting sea. The Hrimthurses, armed 
with clubs and javelins, were on board. At the same time, NageU 
fari. the ship of death, was set afloat; and was borne along on the 
waves. It was built of the nails of the dead which love had not 
caused to be cut Love had died in the parricidal wars that pre- 
vailed, and the last offices were therefore .denied to the dead. 
Loki steered the vessel With him were Surtur, swinging his 
flaming sword, whose blade shone brighter than the sun, and all 
the sons of Muspel dressed in fiery armour, which blinded all who 
looked at iL They landed, mounted the horses they had brought 
with them, and galloped over the bridge Bifrdst, which broke 
under thdr weight Loki led his hosts to the plain of Wigrid, that 
measured a hundred miles on every side. Odin also went there, 
accompanied by his brave Ases and heroes. 

Once more the Giallarhom was sounded, and then the Last - 
Battle b^an. The Wolf howled, the Snake hissed and spat out 
poison, which filled and infected the air. The sons of Muspel, 
under Surtur's guidance, rushed on thdr enemies like flames of Are. 
The Einheriar, headed by Freyer, withstood them bravely, and 
they fell back. Thor fought gallantly, and slew numbers of the 
Hrimthurses and other monstersL Odin sought out the Fenris- 
wolf, and the battle between them began. 

No seer or bard has made known to us bow that terrible struggle 


^iirrrriii ^ihawi 







glowing child of the old. At length a new earth appeared above the 

waters. At first it was bare and desolate^ but the rays of the sun 

touched it; and soon it was covered with grass and herbs and the 

well-flavoured leek. Trees and shrubs grew up, and flowers of 

various colours filled the air with their perfume. In the quiet 

i| valley where the Fountain of Urd had flowed of old, and where 

IJ Odin used to talk with Mimir about the past and the riddles of the 

\ 1, future, a youth and a maiden, Lif and Lifthrasir, came out of 

,, Hoddmimir's wood. 

'* They were beautiful and loving, pure and innocent as the sweet 

flowerets around them, and, like them, they had been awaked out 

' of a long dream by the rays of the sun. They had biddeu them- 

I selves in the wood in the olden days and had lived on dew. Then 

they had fallen asleep, and were sunk in childhood's dreams while 

!the Last Battle raged. Allfather had preserved them from Sur- 
tur's flames by a last miracle. 
Ignorant of the terrors that threatened them, as a sleeping child 
borne in its mother's arms out o( a burning house, they had rested 
I' safely in the arms of Allfather, and now they looked in astonish- 

ment at the new fair world in which they found themselves; They 
i< were very happy. There was abundance of fruit ; the fields were 

I full of yellow com ripe for the harvest, which no human hand had 

i ' sown, and the vines were laden with grapes. Animals of all kinds 

<l were grazing in the fat pastures, and many-hued snakes glided 

\ V . harmlessly in the grass, but none of Fenrir's race were to be seen. 

I, ;;| Lif and Lifthrasir built themselves a roomy dwelling, and saw 

\ children and grandchildren grow up about them, and then make 

\ ':!! new homes for themsdvea. From these are descended the nume- 

1j;' rous races of men that iahabit the earth. 

^'Il Over tbe place wliere Asgard's glorious palaces hid stood was a 

I :'i wide plain. This was tbe Field of Ida, and it was far more beau- 

.' ■.{ 1 1 tiful than the green home of the gods. There tbe holy Aaes were 

l! I i'lbi 1 

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assembled ; for they, like the world, hid been purified by fire, and 
were now fitted to dwell in Ida in eternal peace. The bonds oT 
Hel could bind them no mor^ for the kingdom of evil had passed 
away, and night had been changed into day. Baldur and Hddur 
walked there arm in arm, reconciled to each other through love. 
They were joined by Widar and WaU, the avenging Ases^ irfio no 
longer thought of vengeance. Surtur's flames had not destroyed 
them, nor yet had the ragii^ waters. There were also Magni and 
Modi, the sou of Thor. They l»Y>ught MiOlntr with them, not as 
a weapon of war, but as the instrument with n^cb to consecrate 
the new heavens and the new earth. 

On the Field of Ida, the field of resurrection, the sons of the 
highest gods assembled, and in them their fathen rose again. 
They talked together of the Past and the Present and lemembered 
the wisdom and prophecies of their anceston which had all be^ 
fulfilled Near them, but unseen by them, was the strong, the mighty 
One who roles all things, makes peace between those who are 
angry with each other, and ordains the eternal laws that govern 
the world They all knew he was there^ they felt his presence 
and his power, but were ignorant of his name. At his command 
the new earth rose out of the waters. To the toutii, above tbe 
Field of Ida, he made another heaven called Audlang, and further 
off, a third, known as Widblain. Over Gimil's cave a wondrous palace 
was erected, which was covered with gold and shone brighter than 
the sun. There the gods were enthroned as they used to be, and 
they rejoiced in their restoration and in the better time. 

From Gimil's heights they looked down upon the happy descend- 
ant* aF T :r ...J ..'nnivt tA th.M h^ M.'ml. ..« hl^k.. h_ ^.. 1- % 

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Twilight of the gods or the Divine Judgment ; it was no con- 
temptible faith, and in our opinion it deserves more reverence 
than the teaching of the Greeks and Romans, whose gods eternally 
drank nectar and ambrosia on the heights of Olympos, while 
mortal men descended into dark Hades, or perhaps to the £ly»an 

R^paarok means the Darkenii^ of the R^o, i'a of the gods, 
hence the Twilight of the Gods ; som^ however, explain the word 
R6k to mean Judgment, i.t., of the gods. The gods sinned, evil 
gained the upper-hand amongst gods and men, and when the 
god of holiness and righteousness was taken away, they all sank 
into a deep abyss of guilt ; murder, fratricide and convulsions of 
nature portended the destruction of the universe. RagnarOk fol> 
lowed. Then a new and more beautiful world appeared, in which 
Ases and men, purified by iir^ could now live in peace and g[ood- 

It is true that in the Younger Edda and in the Lay of Wala we 
find allusions to places of punishment in the realms of Hel ; bu^ 
in our opinion, these descriptions have been introduced from other 
poems and are at variance with the leadii^ idea which we have 
just given. 

The Aryans, like all other people living in a state of nature^ 
had at first a vague indefinite consciousness of God ; they felt 
that there was a Being who had created everything and who 
guided and governed the universe; In the ancient recf>rd8, in 
which this idea had already grown dim, this Being was called 
Zerwana-Akarana, Lt, everlasting time and immeasurable spac^ 
and was perhaps essentially Eternity. According to later concepts 
this Being took no part in the direction of the world or in the 
doings of man. 

Two other beings, Ormuzd (Ahura-Mazda) and Ahriman 
(Agramainj-us) fought for the supreme power ; but neither they 

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nor their qiiritual hosts entered into personal collision with each 
other ; instead of this, they sought to bring the human spirit and 
earthly tilings under their dominion : the latter by cunningly 
planned temptations, icy cold snow-storms and darkness; and 
the former by good deeda^ fine weather, and e^Mdally 1^ the 
light that conquers darkness and eviL At the end of days 
Ormuzd and all the righteous were to enj<^ blessedness and 
peace, while Ahriman had to undergo a painful purification by 
fire before he could attain a umilar conditioo. 

The modem theory is that the belief in Zerwana-Akarana, 
and the dogmas respecting the end of the world and the 
purification of Agramainyus are of later or^n, and that thqr 
first arose through the influence of the Western Iranian and 
Semitic races ; but traces of these beliefs are to be found in the 
Zend-Avesta of Zoroaster and in the Indie Vedas, and die 
relationship with the None belief in AUfather, the Last Battie^ 
and the Renewal of the World, seems to be founded on this 
Aryan belic£ 

We must allow something for the influence of Christianity on 
the Germanic races especially with regard to Ragnarttl^ and the 
Resurrection <rf the world, the Ases and men, and also in reference 
to Alllather, to the description of the realm of Hel, and <^ the 
places of reward and punishment It is a mistake to deny this 
influence to make so much of the fact that the heathen had a 
foreboding of the existence of the one God, that the Edda possessed 
a water-hell and the Christian myth a hell of fir^ and lastly to 
muntain that a knowledge of the Christian faith was impossible 
to the Scandinavians^ Why may not the indefinite foreboding, tlie 
misty conception of something divine, have first received a distinct 
form in the consciousness of the heathen through Christian 
influence? And if the Teutons had ever heard of the Christian 
idea of punishment in hell, would they not have ctmceived this 

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bell after their own fashion and according to the conditions, 
climatic and other, that surrounded them? We have already 
shown how not only the Germans, but also the Scandinavians, early 
came in contact with Christianity, and this was the case even 
before the Wildng raids of the ninth and tenth centuries. The 
JuteSf and perhaps the Danes and Norwegians as well, went to 
Christian Britain In the fifth century and conquered it after a 
struggle that lasted fdr a hundred years. There these wild people 
were brought into contact with the Britons and even with their 
Christian priests, who gladly told the warlike and musical skalds 
about their own faith. These seeds of a purer religion took form 
and life in the poems of the skald^ which however retained their 
old Northern colouring and were not changed into hymns of nctoiy 
in a for^n faith. 

The myths exist in the present like the stately ruins of a past 
tim^ which are no longer silitabte for the use of man. Generations 
come and go, tbeir news, actions and modes of thought change ; 
and yet as the poet says : . . 

* All thingi change ; Ihej come and go | 
Tlie puie nnnlUed *oul alone nnuini in peace;* 

j. i'{i[ Thousands of years ago our ancestors prayed to Waruna, Ce. 

the Father in heaven ; thousands of years later the Romans entered 

Vi'll tbeir sanctuary and worshipped Jupiter, the Father of heaven, 

while the Germanic races worshipped Allfatber. We, after the 
lapse of centuries, now turn in all our sorrows and necessities to 
Our Father which is in heaven. Other thousands of years may pass, 
and we shall not have grown beyond this central point of reli^on. 
But as everything that our forefathers added to this has passed 
away, so the ^sterns that we have built up round it may also pass 
away. No man ever yet has seen the full truth, or can see it 
" Yot now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face." 


,y Google 


Tills " tiien " can never be on eardL 

Onr little arftenu have tbdr day t 
Tbejr luve their dajr, and cease to be I 
Tbcy are bnt broken lighta of Tbe^ 

And Tboo, O Lord, art more than tbcjr. 

We have bat Taith : m cannot know ; 
For knowkdge U of thingi we aee j 
And jret we tnitt it oomei from Tbe^ 

A beam in darkana : let itfrowl 


We here annex one fA the most interesting poems of the Elder 
Edda, the W6]iispa or Lay of Wala. the prophetess. It is the 
translation given in Pfeifl'er's " Visit to Iceland,* and we think it 
will be of value to oar readers. 


,y Google 


Sol scatters from tbe Hmth her fAvonn upon Mani, 
On the right of (he {ate zX the Cdeitial council 
Sol knew not where abe had her abodes, 
The Stan knew not where are thdr places^ 
Mani knew not what was his power. 

Then the Great Powers att went to the elevated seat* { 
The most holy Gods ddiberated upon that ; 
To the ni^t, to the new moon thejr gave names ; 
They dengnated the dawn and the middle dl Qte daf , 
The twilight aitd th« evening, to indicate the tinw. 

The Ases met together in the Pt^ of Ida, 
Thejr built very high a sanctuaiy and a cooit | 
They placed fomaces, Euhioned Jewels 
Forged nails, and fabricated vitcnsils. 

They played at the uUes tn the endosure ; they were Joyous, 

They were in want of nothing, and everything was In gold. 

Then the three Ases of this band, 

Full of power and of goodness, descended towards the sea 

They found in the country some wretched hdngSt 

Ask and Embla, needing destiny. 

Tbey had no soul, they bad do mBderstandJiifc 
Hdther blood, nor laitguage, nor good exteriori 
O^n gave the soul, Hfinir gave understanding, 
Lodur gave the blood and the good exterioiv 

Then arrived three Virgin Thoise* 

Very poweiAil from the land of (be Jotuik 

I knew an aih, it b called YQdiasiD, 

A bury tree, moistened by a brilliant dood, 

AVhence proceeds the dew which Cdls in the vaHeys ) 

It raises itself^ always green, above the Fountain of Urd 

Thence arose the three Viigins with mnch knowledge^ 

From this lake which is below the tree { 

Urd one u caSed, the other VerdaniB ; 

They engraved upon UbleU ; Sknld was the third \ 

Tbey ctmsulted the laws, ibey inteiTogated fiUc» 

And proclaimed destiny to the diildren of men. 

,y Google 





She wu Mated wittiout, coliuury, when lie came, the oldest, 

The most circuDispect of the Asev^nd looked in her ejct >— 

** Whx Kiond me? why pot me to the jsoott 

I know an, Odin ; I know where thou bast ctmcealed thine cy^— 

In that great fonntahi of Uimlr ; 

Every morning Mimir drinks the sweet beverage 

In the pledge of the Father of the Elect.'— Know you it? But what? 

' The Father of the Combatants diose for her rings and jewda, 
The rich gift of wisdom, and the charms of vision ^^ 
'ji I Then she saw far, very &r into all the worlds 

She saw the Walkyriea hastening from abr. 
Eager 10 repair near the race of the Gods t 
Skuld held the bocUer, Skognl foUowed ho-, 
As wdl as CuniT, Hildar, Condnl, Giruskognl; 
There are enumerated the servants of the Combating 
The Walkyriea in haste to jdnnder the conntiy. 

She recollects this first war in the werid, 

When they had placed Gtillweig upon the pike% , 

And had burned her in the dwelling of the Most High I 

Hiree times had they burned her ; diree times was she born again | 

Bnmed often, frequently, she lives, however, stilL 

Hddur is called to her In the houses she has entered ) 
She despised the charm of the vinons of Wala; 
She knew magic, she m^c abased ; 
She was always the d^ght of the wicked race: 



Then the Great Powers all went to thdr devatcd seatt. 
The very holy Gods t^on this deliberated : 
" The Ascs should they expiate their impradenct^ 
Or dse shall all the Gods have aothority?* 

The exterior wan of the Ases was overthrowa ] 
The Wanes knew how, by stratagem, to break down the nunpaits t 
But 0£n daned his arrow, and drew upon the enemy- 
Such was the first war in the werid. 

Then the Great Powers all went to thdr devated teats ; 

The very hdy Gods delibsated upon tUs : 

* Who bad filled irith disaster the plains of spac^ 

And ijren up the affianced of Odur to the race of the Jotuu?" 

,y Google 


Tbor alone roie^ toBamed with anger; 

Rarely doei he remain leated when he leanta eitdi a Qtii^ ;— 

Oathi were violated, promice* mad awnnutcc^ 

Every valid treaty that had passed on one ride or th* odter. 

1 foccaaw fat Batdvr, for Oat bloody victfai. 

For that MO of Odin, the destiny rcaetred fcr Urn : 

Me was nitiiic in a charming vall^ 

A tender and beantifgl lalstleoek 

Fn«i that stalk, wluch ^ipeared so tender, grew 

Tite&tal arrow of bitterness which Hodnr took apoahinisdftodait. 

The brother of Baldnr had only Joat bees bom I 

One night old, he was taken to fi^ agaiast the sen of Odi& 

He neither washed lus hands nor combed Us hair, 

Bdiore that he caiiied to the fimeral pile the mnidcicr of Baldnr ; 

Bat Frigg wept In Fensal 

For the nusfortnnes of WalhalL— Knew yon itf But what? 

She sees lying down near HTeralnad 

A wicked creature, the nngratefbl LoU i 

It b in vain he shakes the &tal bonds of WaB \ 

They are too stU^ tboae cords of catgoL 

There is seated Stgyn, who at the fate of her hosfaaad 

Does not nnch r^cc. — Know yoo it \ Bat what? 

Towards the north, at NidaflSI, was raised ^ 

The hall of gold of the race of Sindri \ 
But another was balk at Okolnb; 





In the east she wat Mated, that aged woman, in Jainvid. 

And there ihe nourished the posterity oTFcnrir} 

He win be the most Ibnmdable ofaB, h^ 

Who^ under tite foim of a moniter, will swallow up the moon. 

He {oiges himsdf with the life-blood of cowaidljr men. 

He stains with red drops the abode of the Great Powen ; 

The TKj\ of the sun are eclipsed in the summer foUowioK, 

All the winds will become hnnicanes. — Know yon it? But whatf 

Seated qmte near upon a height he tuned lus haip, 
Tlie guardian of Gygur, the joyous Egdir : 
Not &r from him, in GagaMd, crowed 
The beautifbl purple cock which is called Flatai; 

Nearthe Ases crowed Gnllinkanihi ; 

He awolce the heroes tn the house of the Father of die Co mb a t a nts \ 

But another cock crowed below the eartl^ 

A bladc-ied code, in the dwellhig of Hd. 

Garm bowb frightfully before Gnypahafl. — ~ 

Tbe chains are going to break ; Fieki will escape t 

She pauses much, the prophetess : I see fiwn a&r 

The twilight of the Great Powers, the flghtiiy Gods. 

Brothers ue going to fight against each other, and become fratriddcs ; 

Relations will break th^ alttancet ; 

Cruelty reigns in the worid, and a great hizuiy ; 

The age of axes, the age of lances, in wbidi bndden are deft, 

The age of north-winds, the age of fierce beasts succeed before the world 

fiUls to pieces I 
Not one dreams offering his nelghbooi; 

' The sons of Mimir tremble^ the tree En die nuddle takes fin 
At the startling sounds of the Bosy hoen ; 
Htimdal, hon in air, loudly sounds the alarm J 
Odin consults the head of Himfa'. 

Then the ash i^sed from Yggdraai^ 
That old tree, shivers : the Jotnn breaks his cbabu t 
The shades shudder upon the roads to the lower regioR) 
Until the ardour of Surtur has c om snm ed the trea. 

,y Google 





The na begiu to be dark ; the continent faOs fainting into the Ocean ; 

Tbejr disappear from the *)cj, tbe brilliant itan ; 

The moke cddie* around the destroying fire of the worid ; 

The gigantic flamet plajr againit heaven itwIC 

She sees rising anew, 

In the Ocean, an earth irith a thick rerdnrt 
Cascades &11 there ; the eagle soars above i^ 
And from the sammit of die rack ha espies the fish. 

The Asci are foand again in the plain of Ida, 
Uoderthetreeofthe world thej sit as poweifiil Judges: 
The]' recal to mind the judgments oT the gods, 
And the antique mysteries at Fimboltyr. 

Then the Ases found again upon the giisa 

The marvdlons tables of gold. 

Which the generations had, in the beginning of" daj^ 

The chief of the gods and dke posteritjr FISli^Ei 

The 5dds will produce without being sown ; 

Every evil will disai^vear : Baldur wiU letotn 

To inhaUt with HOdur the enclosure of Hrop^ 

The sacred abodes of the hero-godi.— Know you it? But what i 

Then HSnIr will be able to choose U| par^ 

And the sons of the two brothers sbaH dwdl In 

The vast abode of the frind. — Know yon it ? But what f 

She sees a hall more brilliant than the sun 
Arise, covered with gold, b the magnificent fflmllr : 
It is there that shall dwd the faithful people^ 
And that they will enjoy an everlasting fehcity. 

Then there came from on high to preside at the judgments of the Great 

The powetful sovereign who governs the mdverse t 
Me tempers the decrees, he calms disscnrioaa. 
And give* sacred laws inviolable for evo; 




AiQ], 337. 
Aotyer, 1S3. 

Agur, 83-85 i 331; 
Abn&att, 117. 
Abriman, 4, 306^. 
Ajo, 81. 
Aluei, i6t. 
AIU, Duke, t«& 
Albrecht, CouB^ 118. 



Alionuu, 334. 

AlUather (OdinX 6, 33, 33, ij, 36, t^, 
30, 53. 64. 6S. «. 79. 84, 86, 93, 94, 
i«i, ai8, 336, 37S. 38% 390, 303, 305. 
307. 30«- 

Alniin, 334-5. 

Aliwider, 34, I3i. 

Alwii, g, 138. 

AlwUmai^ I3& 

Anuna, 167. 

An^Suooi, 94. 95. '7«» "3. *4«, 

Ai«nibod^ S3, asa 
Aiunul Wonbip, 3a 
^ipletof Yoatb, lo^ 13, 173, 174, 175, 

Anti^ finieiu^ 7& 
Anniniai, 96, 308. 
Aithnr, Kag, 78. 
Armker, 24, 131, 
Anthor, «. TVib 
Aidbargum, 171. 
Aie«, 4. »3. S<. 6i, »7, 88, 94. 129. 14a. 

143, 173, lA >8». 'to. '89. »4> 

347. aS<^ »5». "64. 9*5-8, »73. a o^ 

38s, 387-90^ 393, 398, J08-3. 
Alpud, 3. 13, 18, 47, 48, 63, 93, 9S, . 

134, 138. 143. '7^ '75. <7^ 184, 

367, 373. 984. 39& 
Aah, tlM World, w. Yggdrad. 

■L. .J ..Kwmmmmm 

Audlus, 305. 

Brock, 134-8, 18» 




Brfdiir, u, n, 17, 4«, 94. 95. > A "'S. 


226, 2S9-63. 264. *7I. a7J-»*. 305. 



Bar, 341 


Castle Neuhaoa, 118. 

Bntl. 89,90. 

Cauldron, Hpni.-^ 9, 141. 


Charkmagne, 31, 78, 119, «4& 

Bear, 257. 

diaaie de Cain, 78. 



Clie™(Heiu),9,l6i-««, 1701 

Bcfchta, 6, 115-21. 

Cheimd, 9, 18. 

Boidmlj, 4. 23. 24» 

Clrimanitr, 29, 33, 33, II4, 209, 245, 

Berlm, IIS. "8. 


Beita, n Berchtt. 


Bertha of RoMnbei^ liS. 


Colope, lb. 


Coutellatinna, 49, 50, 213. 

Creation of Wodd, 33-4, 33. 


BiarU, 227-31. 


BitrSa. i(^ 21, S3, SS, I3», 171, 29I 


BiUlciiiur, 48, 125. 

Day, 4, 24, 93,273. 

Bladi-Dwaib. 4. 


Black-EIvea, 40, 47, 351, 28<^ 290. 


BkdliiiKbofi, 19a 



Donar, 123. 



Bodnr. r. BiarU. 

Diaoimir, 72, 127, 203, 280^ 284. 







Biagl. K^ 13, 18, 31. 70, 95, 173, I7«k 


177, 352, 27(^271, 389. 

Ditarfof Death, 17s. 


D-aA, 4, 14, 25, 38, 40, 52, 88, 104 

Brawalla. Battle of, 331, 333. 



Bridegaiaeii, l«9-70i 311, 387. 



Foail, « Foi-lcr, 61 49. 9«. 37«. 

■7i. i»9> »x, 109, an, 23* »97. »■ 



ri»»3l, 33^345. 

rM-lr, 19OL 

EuttMlli, 114- 

riOnUa, n^-y 



E4i* 18, J6, 31 A 7* «. 9S. "J. 


137, 166, 169, 177. I>3. I"9i »"-3. 



„ Uw cock^ 397. 


Folkwans, 4ft 143, 16ft 309. 


Emlicito, 11, 16> «* 701 ;*9<, I4>. 


i73,iSi, l«s.^3^.^S^.^«S.'9«• 








FreroiFreir.,4ft 14 31, 4» 81, 95. 

EUw»p», * 33, 14^ 141, 171. 

1301 13^ 143, 149. 183, 3a£. sti, 313, 


3»7, 303. « "130 Fliff . 


FKrer, i<^9S, 101, 134^ 183,189.91, 



n»eM4. 38,41,43. lift M3. 

Fnntria, 190-i. 




Fridld^ 190-1, 333. 


Fiitt oc Fiio» (Freir.), t, 7, 14. 31, 


49, 83, 93. 9S. 94-103. 371, 374. 37^ 






Fro, V. Fnya. 


Fradl, 190-8. 

£31^ itoui, IM, 




Fikoiwlnii, 143. 

F3ll>,4 9»io<K 

F»tc«tl,5(4 34» 


Fau (Oikt), I<x 

Fatci,v. Noiu. 




FeniifWoK s,9, 11, 13,S3,S4.rt 73, 

GwnlMcb lis. 

3» 344,37.^397,398,301. 


3«> • mOMX. 

Gunbin, 8i, 

GnJfiai, 138, 140. 

Gam. 335, 397, 301. 


GuUtop, 169, Ija, 


Gunwaig, 13, ati. 


Gangnir, 5, 53, 73, 101. 

Clion, sWi, 393. 




GeirtkUgarf, 9. 353- 

Gylphl, Ki,, s8-«5. 



Gymirsgaid, 301. 

Oata, i«I. 

Gewar, 35ft 363. 

Haddiig^ 19GL 


Gianu,4,s,14, 1^43, 44. S5,Sfi,V> 

Hakalbinnd, 74. 


Giantmes, is, 88, 353. 




Gimn, 64, 183, 30s. 

Haiald Haijager, 3s, 309b 



Gt«B, 54, 335, 383. 

Girdlei, magic, 4a. 


77. 84, 337. 






Glo-tam, 5«. 



Heimdiglmger, 17a 

Gnj-pa cave, 335, 397. 

Heimdal, 10, 48, 55, 95, 144, 166, 169- 

Godan, 71, 103. 

70, 171. 343, 367,371, 397, 301. 


Homld!i«ger, 17» 

OoUenac, 40L 

Hel,s, i<i 11, 14, 36,37, 53, 54. 55, 

GoMen Aga, 13, 365-4 

64. 78, 94, M3, 334-6, 35<^ 371, 375. 







Goapd, V. Chriidaiiitr. 

Hdhcim, 11, 47, 54, 13ft 350, 397. 

Grinmic, 84, 139. 





Hat, 46. 


Hcnkks, S7, 14a, 177, ai«. 

101, 113, 133, 139, 137, 143. 174-^ 




HomoJur, ij, 14, S3, 701 »S. '»■*, 






Hmn 9,161,1701 


HIaU, ai7-31. 

llKjoom, 135, 138. 



HiUedMim, 107. 




Hinda idea of the world, 17. 








HlldikiaH ^ 4«, S", S* 7", «3, "3, 








Ida, Plato, of, 17, 366, 301,305. 



HMiir, 13, 14, IS, 17, 95, 249, »S9-63, 

Idiin., 10,13,114, i7o,I73,f74-«>177. 



HSfiil, ■!><, lA 


Hold., ^107-1 IS, 1«SJ>S- 


HMr, 4, m IS, JH 95, I7H, I««, 

Iirfiaa lJ,tl», 3» 




Iiiai'. Road, 1701 





Horn, 95- 


Iwaldnr, 13& 

Hlrsclbof, ii> 

HiafuiaUer, 171. 


Hnttf, 337. 



Jainua, 134. 

HrinTajd, 34. 


JOrf, 31, 95, 9^ 133, 133, 309k •■ abo 

Hdmlbiiria, 13. 13, 36, 43, 45, S3. 

Eank, NMboa. 



JflrmuiiKmnder, i3,S4,3SO, 301. 

Loider. 340-1. 

Jomahdn J6, 4S, 47, S3. Sft 93. M3. 



Jotuns, 5, 13, 45, 58, 86, 89. 90, 93. 1 39, 

Maelar Uke, 63. 

•3>. "37. 139. JO^ "47-9. '98. »• »■»> 

Magnl, 17. 9i. "4. 137, 140. 305- 

Gianu, Hntnthnnes. 

Maiden'. Leap, 67. 

Juiiges, FoncU't twelve, 13. 

Maine. Ii» 

Judgment 0: the sikU (RagnarOk), 54, 

Mandnke root, 334. 




Maria am Sdioee, 107. 


Markomaniu, 161. 

Mar, 83, 336, 385. 


Marencc, 13a 


Meeting ol tie Wi.e Men, 308. 



Konar, 168.. 

MengUda, 313-4. 

KraU, K]i% 336-31. 

Henia, 193-8. 

Ksiigmide, 118. 

Mercniy.Ta. . 


Hernia Helleq.iiii, 78. 


M.«ena,333. "~ 

Michael, Aidungel, 31. 

Midgard, 24, 36, 43, 47, S3, 134, 373, 




Midgard Snake, s, ", S3, 54. S^ 136. 

Last Battle, 5, 1^ 36, 33, 44, 4% 5^ 93, 




Mimir,l, 10^86,87, 183,303. 

IJ<; 17,303,305. 

Mimii-a Well, 1,93, 351, 398. 

Uithnnr, 17, 303. 

Minuing, 360^361,363. 

Ught-Elrea, 40, 47, 49. I9<* »S«. »«» 



MiobuT, 9, 17, 133, 134, 135-38, 131, 


137. 139, 143. 143. 1«l. "69. 381, 30S- 




Miatlelne, 14, 377. 

togi, 43, 46, S^ 135, "3^ »4I, «4» 

Hithias, 379. 

Lold, II, 13, 14, 15, 16, 38, 53. 54. 5^ 

MIckeiblf, 139. 

95, 136, 139-37, 143, 143. 169-70, 

MUgtid, 383. 

I73-*. 184. 347-51, 367-9,37', '77- 

Modi, 17 95, "4, JOS- 




Moon <, 13, 16, «,» S6, l<a, J«7. 


•95. "97- 

<Ml»,i.4.5,9H3,i4. 33, li,nSh 


53, 54, 55. 56k 66^5.71. 7* 9^ »l- 

>Iiind-Kii« II. 

3, 1 13, 136, 137, 138, 161, 173-4, 18s, 

tlimKl, UkE, »6, 13& 

319-ai, aa8-3n 347. 349, 35»-3, 354. 


371, 373, 374-6, 387, 389, 198, »0I. 

Haol, 71. 77. 




Mtupcl, lom <* 5. >^ «,«.!«, 57, 




Mutpelhrim, as, 24, 47, 5a, 5& 


«,*.«.., IJT-S. 


Ojfr. II. IS. 56, 176, 184, 304, 336-44 

349. 387.390 



Nanu. la, 14, a59-6j, afii, aS(^ aSy 




NecH >if 345, V- alw Niaks, Waters 





Noncaia, aiL 


Nnthiu, 31, loj, 184, ■S9' Wft * 



Oiks, 10,11, 318, 379. 

SUMa, i«t aas, a5j. 

Ofarandil, 140-1. 171- 





Oaun, 107, 114. 

NMiiiiga, SJ. 



Nifinkf, tOk4ft93,95, 103, 178, 18a, 


183, 185-7, aoOk ao» 


Nialca,II,a45,nalao Necka,Walaf 

PkaiaiUla, los. 



Noma, 10, II, la, 13, 16,36-7, 94, 163, 

naaambni, 118. 

901, 314, 317-33, 333, 353. 398. 

Po«tl7,^odo^ .,813,1 

Noah, 33. 


Noatm, 49, ■>4. l8«i 



QiKnMtoua, ijl-J. 



I, Google 

Rajliig Hon, «7. 7". 71 7S. 7«k 7». 

Slsnm, 333. 

Racnariik. Ifi^ 364, 39«^ 19^3ol> 3<A 

Sigurd, 33, 95, 96, toa 


Sigyn, 16^ 35(^393, 394. 

Kan, II, 843. 

Sin, 13, 15,366-9. 

Ravou, Odin'i two, 1, 53, aSa 

Sindii, 136, 161, 189. 

Regio, II, to, 3iS-ai, 30^ 


Reine pManque, lao, 

Skadi, 48, 176, 178, 183, 184-7- 

Bnowal of lie world, i«, «7, 301-3, 



Skidl)l«liiir, 189. 



RicKiiKcbuge, 4(^43, 44. 

SKMd, 61,95- 




Sldmir, 133, 300-4, 349, 

Rind*, 13, 31, 95. 356, 363, 375, aSS- 

SVojul, 69, 701318. 


Skrymir, 131-7, 3901 


Skiyiiuli, 148-9. 



RHakwa, 'K 137. 



Sleeping Beauty, 37, 304. __ 

Rnnea, 6, 33. 34, 5% 63, 86, 87, 104, 


Sldpnir, 138, 155, 369, 373, 379. 383, 




S.8.,1, 3, 10,1^19, 4»,4» 

Snfir, 167. 

SBhiimnir, 53, 143, I7J. 

St Emmenn, 381. 

S6kwal>ek, 48, 163. 

St Genjvde, 107. 

Sol, 34. 

Si. Hutu, 11. 


St 0>w«M, 31, 77. 

Staikad, 3I8-3I. 

St Peter, 31. 

Stan, 74, 103, 176, 195. 


Sologei, 1«3. 


Sna, 4. 13, 1^ 14, 3<^ 86, 103, 367, 373, 



StTtUmi, 161. 



Salter, I, 5, 16, 44, 47, 48, SI, 53, S4. 


57, 151. 153, 373, 398-301, 305. 


SH 113, I3S, in. 137. 



Swaifkiilglii, 118. 





Swipdager, 9S. 'i»-4- 

Sword-Gods, v. Tyr, Cheni, HeimdaL 

TvuhinMr, 113. 

Tbeodorick of Bern, 7I 

Thlalfi, laa, !» 137, 139, 14a 

Thiusi, 48, ss, 174-6. 1*4, M9- 


TTxT. 6. ft •>. »S,«». 55. 95. •«-«'. 

3i9-3t, 360^ *6S-A aSi, ago, 19I 
ThorkOI, 31Q. 

Tbrroei, twdre, of the goda, 51. 
Thnid, 114, I3B, 14a 

a Walkjrric^ mS. 

Thnidbeim, 4S, 135, t37t 14^ 
Tlityinhdin, 9,4^,141, 143, 144. > A 

Thunar (Tbor), 6^ ai, at^ i3> 
Thune% v. Hrimth unei. 
Thninelda, 9& 
Thyr, 167. 
Tootb-cncker, 193. 
Toodv-pimiber, 133. 
Tinia%, 35, '58. 
Twdfth Night, 75. 
Twilight of the gods, 54, 73, S6, 89fr- 

301, 305, V. alio RagnarA. 
Tyr, 9, ">> 31. 49, 53. 54. 95. i^S. >7<V 


Un«'. 4*. 49. 95. 1*4, 177-ft iS& 

^^ 3»5 

Ulphilaa, 34. 

Upnhi temple, 133. 

Urd, Fountain 0^ 11, 3^ 144 233. 


Urd, V. Noma. 
Utgaid, 47, 139. 
Utgaid-LoU, 9, 133-7, 349. 
Utganhlocna, 35a 
Urial^v. Oriaf. 


Veapadsn, 164. 

VitdBa^ i<3-4 


VoOa, 99k V. abo F^lla. 

ViooddcB, 104. 


Wafthnidnir, 5, 93-4. 

WaU, 14, 47. 66, 333, 373, 397t 3M. 

WalaiUair, 41 
Waldheitn. 107. 
Walhalla, 11, 36, 4S, 51, 55< &\ 7<)h A 

S4, 138, 14a. i«S. »«7. a3», «S». '77. 

WaH, 13, 15, 17. 4<.49. 95. *9>t *S^ 

Walkyiie«,5, 10, II, 51, 6i^ 66, 69^ yo, 

104, 309, 317, 336-33^ s6i, 38a 
Walter Field, 8a 
Wanahdm, 47, 183. 
Wanei, i<^ 47, 88, 94, 95, loe^ loo, 103, 

i39k i8t-3. i8ft 36& 
Water-qvitei^ it, 341, iSe^ « abo 

Lake-iii^deB and dj^ 

' Jwpi 

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WKve-mudena, lo^ I7t< 
We, 4, 23, 30» S6> 
Wetdandi, v. Norm. 

White Lady, 116-tS. 

Widar, 13, 17, 49. 95. "S»-4. *89, y»i 

Widblaii), 305. 

Wighta, 43. 

Wigiid, Field o^ il^ $6, 353, 398. 

Wiku, Kins, 3301 

Wildog r^ds, 31, 33. 70^ 104, 33(^ 358, 

^AWnp, 36,141,31s. 

mid Hunt, s, 67. 73, 7s. rr, ?«. km- 

Wild Hunttman. 73-7S- 



Wtngnir, 133. 

WingoU 49. ^ 

Wingtbor, 133, 133, 139, 143, v. alio 


Wise Women, 333. 
Wiib-fiUher (Odin), 75. 
Wiah'inaideiis (Walkyries), 11. 

Wodan (Odin), S. 3'. 7i-«. A »i. 

103. "3, 161, 308, 30ft 335. 
Wode, 71. 73. 74. 
Wodtl-beer, 76. 
Wok, 337-31- 
WoU, 71, 7& 
Wol^ V. Feniis-WoU 
WdvM, Odin's twe^ s* 
W<A^ns, io(\ 308. 
Wood-demons, 360^ 380, sSj, v. Om 

Wood-mddeni, 74. 
Worlds of the gods, 4, 47- 
WoensJSgcr, 75. 
WfflMpa, 33, 309-16- 
Wootan (Odin), $, 7t* 
Word w. Uid. 

y4alir,48,49.*i7t _ 

Yggdruil. It, 13. ■&. 36^ 37, 47, S4, 

338, »S3. 370^998. 3»'- 
YmiT, 4. 33, 33, 34. 4&. 55. 349- 
Yple-feast, 49. 

Zealand, 61, 63. 
Zend-Avesta, 307. ^ 
Zerwana-Aikana, 306-7. 
2io (Tyr), 9,103, I7<% 333- 








AH ^ mkuk will it fimni m Sttdt mt Ikt ftvui^ BtoktOarf. 

TOij niMtnttd. DcBj %tn, dolk edn. ^ lop. t«. Cd. 

A SHORT HISTORY OP ART. Br Fkahcu C. Tuum. BlA. 
lUntnted bj copiw of WIN of tin aoat liuMw PiOBtinfi Md Scalptuc*. 


l^wtg— BW — >w M i l l III Mt m i **m\wmmm^mmmtm^mmmmim 

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U brgt pMt 4tOk Ott urtii(nB-liId F«pn (ipeciillr dcfigiKd and made (oi tUt Woik), 

Ptote* oo fioot band-nude pap«*i and boiuid in ntoM nipeib uyle. 4M. 

EvuiTT. IlluMratcd bv a laice oumber of Reproducliooa on wood of icaTCe 
Caricainiet, Braadndc*, Book Illntmaani, by the Cruikshankt, Row1«nd>on, 

•■n*nadwvnii^iBUr.Enrii(*>buduiB>qiwRB*cihim*Biuhu(fiNiulabiib Tlwutkor 
hubMaMptdaUydiUim in fuhMliiiaaMnnhF ben about ik* D«rla, (ulMr ud hb, af Shtbom, 
HablH B»wH,L«diud Tinawl, 0. ud R. Crwkibtak,aainT. uii trAaiiam.'—Oii^ JiTiwi. 

"AmlcaaaribwsaMikchiMwvadbawcUlihaf ibaaonirf. Th* book k vtiy fallT aad W 
Bawi awdt IW«l^,iafc^^^Bl^«^|^il^^y«<ai»«l «« a^h^«llITqfk^^at^■"— TVWrl. 

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The Young Dutch Novelist, Miss WALLIS. 

1. R^al Pavoor. SecondEdidon, 6s. 

" lite fintcKbrl of the jramiE female Dovcfiit, who knowi txnrio five fiction an Mstoikal 
biletat, wlihoDt deUiDjrlnt iu encDtial quality, won • bearing ai oooe. . . . Ai br a» 
traaUDcH is oooccncd, Gonn Ptnoa tundi beada Tito Mekma. ... It would be 
difficnh, when once launched upon ' Rojral Fanxir,' to lay it down." — Ataitti^. 

"The conception ofPEnoa'acbaraeteraodpoQcritrtir fine. . . It ii lutqncMioDablr 
liealed with great atriHt)'. . . Full of Mrcngth ane difnitir,~— .?/ecM/0r. 

"A tton of conqMcuooi merit and unB^pm iDimn. . . It te *ertcbtate fietn end 
to cad." — Alktmmum. 

2. In Troubled Timet. Fourth Edition,' 6s. 

"It eatmlor bcr, witbont qtKMion, m diftiDct aod booonrabtc portion antoncM coAtem- 
fiomjr men asd womea of )eltera4"'~-<4£lM«ai>. 

"EKTTonemiutagieeihatlhiibooktiaTeRiailMbirHienuTpbeDomeDon. Hit 
•obcr, cautfou*. refined, tbonshtloli ■eriotB.ienilbla. "—/>«// AfoA CWwa^ 

" TiUt romance hai neat qnalitiei. Like ' Rontola,' it li a tieailie — *- -*-' 

hai sreat q _.. _ 

andariMd the GamamcaUJiraJ/ar of tbe time witb which ltdeali.'—<fcaWlra^ 
Jobsoo'i EDcmiet. Bt Edward Jehkihs, Author of " Ginx's Babr." 

I Vol., «k 
Herevale. Bv Mn. Tobh Bkadshav, Auth<» of "Roger North." 


Naadiy Dr. JOSEPH Pakkkk, ^tJu City TtmfU. 
Weaver Stephen ; or, the Odds snd Evens in English Religion. By 

JesKPH PARKts, D.D. iVoL,K<d. 

"A pkniR of coDtempomiy EogUih life. ThecbancteriketcbetarecxceediDglTgTBiMc; 
good mjriiv^ at well ai Hte-Iike portraiti are plentiful .'—CAnift'da Ifdir. Tint Review. 

Sonnenecbein's Ubree SbflUngs tmb Sfxp^ns HcvOs, 

Each, crown Bvo, neat lioth gilt, 31. 6d. 
Two Ift. B7 E. U. ASDT'WiLUAMS. [Otrtfy. 

Dainr Darling. B/ Un. Stkhckk chvxchiu- 
Geofirey Stirling. B7 Hn. Lxira Adaw. 
Madelon Lemoine. Bj Ht«. Lbith Adahi. 
The Death Shot. Br Captain Uayhk Rud. 
The Flag of Diatreia. By Captain HaykiRbh). 
Jaamine Leigh. BjC C FxassxTytiu. 
Margaret, py c c Fia»m tttuk. 

JfoB /favd iji tit AiOttr ^ " Av' /Imm." "Atnu CHnuSrr," 6^^ 

1. Glamotir. By " Wanderer." 3 Vols., crown Svo, 3ts. 6d. 

"An exceedingly dercr novel, of which men and wofoea cf tbe ¥n>r]d wOl not wflUn^ 
Milw a page. Ill pktnra of Coatinenta] ■■ well ai London bodnoa life are eqn»IlT nod, 
and aie treated with gi^ihic rcaUHn.-— /W. 

Ntn A'fwf ^ Him Sowsxu. 

2. The Silver Dial. By Maky C. Rowsell. 3 Vols., ciown 8vo, 
31*. 6d. 

3. Cradle and Spade. By Wiixiah Simk, Author of " King Capital," 
"The Red Ronte.^ 3 Volt., eR}wn Sto, jia. 6a. 

4. Ueaaure for Meaaore. ByJoiwDovoLAs. aVolf.,crown8vOk sit. 


Tbe Leaven of Haliee. By Hauiltow Evklac. 

Hlatory of a Walking Stick In Ten Notches. By Rkhau Lk Frek. 

An Uniodal Socialist. By Gio. Bernard Shaw. 


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Dcay Sn, dotk cztn, Ifih 
Vicna HuDi aod Jamu S. SrALLrMtAi^ 

everr diatnl idnkr, wffl Ibuik PibL H^ ■■ 
e k Real bodr i 

Proa Pbnio 

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I^ew C(hildren*s 33ooks. 


Obka^ 410, ridily bound in dotb «ztn, fiU tdft, Sk 
Twelve Old Friends. By Georcuna M. Craik. Withnnmerouifull- 

ptgt Plate* bj GtrtTATK Dokx. 

"ToUhiB«a7plculncinwuwTforTonisdiDdRn,aDd In iU baDdMOK bindiof ■■■■^ 
k mott ttdlable [>Rtriit.''->/ite»7 HWft 

Sntn CiDwa 8*0, doth extra, pit eigta, Pktci, 31. 
Stories of Great Men, fron Plutarch. B7 M. Cross and A. J. 


An English Hero : The Stoiy of tbe Life of Richard Cobdkk. Bjr 
Francis E. Cookl Uliutmcd. Crown Sto, dotb cxtn, gill edfet, it. 6<1. 

BjrtktumtAitatr, mtffirtm, i^MmcI. 

A Boy's Ideal : Slorj of tbe life of Sir Thos. More. 

True to Himself: Stoty ofdwIifeofSAvoHAKou 

Latimer's Candle: Stoiy of the Lifeof LfcTiun. 


Harlequin Egn. Twentjr-foor Colouicd PUtei. B7 Lilt CHrmr. 
Whb Text \ij UUAT Thorx, 4to, M. 6d. 

In and Out. Twenty-four Coloured Plates. By Lilt CBimr. Wdt 
Text by Iimay Tuorx. ^1^ m, U 

In the Land of Marvels: Stories from Atutria and Bohemiz. Trani- 

bted Irain the Gemun «f Prof. VlKHALAXaN. By the Rev. PtoL £. JOHNMMf, 
H.A. Crown 8*0, delh cxtn, gilt Xof, 3*. 6d. 

The Great Composers: Short lives of Eminent Mnsdaos. 'Bj 
C E. Bourhi, BaiTiitet *t Law. Sbcohd Edition. Crown Sto, ekth gDt, fiU 

A Book of Golden Friendships. By F. L. Clarke, nustiated 
with Foitniu and PUlca. Crown Sro, doth exin, gilt edge*, 31. U. 


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Moon Lore. Bv the Rev. Tiiiotht Haklit, F.R.A^ nhntnted bv 
M*enl Fuiimilc WoodcM* of oU MjAlMld^al Printt, fte^ aid with eooUw 
BibUognpkr aad Indn. Dmtf Mm, dotk edn, 71. fid. 

todad U wkhk Ai MTMrf ^l&t«i T«i — i.-- Jr i *i iM. 

Tha First Throa Years of Childhood. By B. Pskxz. WtA u 

IntTodactiaa (>4 [■««•), by PrafaMor J. Sdllt, H JL Ciowb Si«, dot^ 4L 6d. 

'•T1»|iMlrfiM.-«tU»irii M »««— t l — ■ - -■- ■- - , ■, , 7, j,. 

IH v> fi>« m pn^ut witk bsu, niKtfaH, u 

Six Centuries of Work and Wares : The WMlon of EnglUi Labour. 
By Tnkttot J. E. Tuoxout Roobu, ILP. Second Edhloo, in 1 VcL, lio^ 15a. 

""laiyMitatHt.KannwrttwoBiHktatlMtlH' - . -. .- . 

MMika^tM pwvK hat Wt mn* book it br 

"AriTMjh»qfA. y i H J w «l»d»cfaHfcrf««<TB.rfittfMmlwei« ll l In af *■»«—, 
■ad A* dfa»HtitfD« af w«d> iln^hoa ik* cMHrr."-n« JJfci^. 

"Om oTlU MM hvontK ((KOMiaic kaaJEb'—n* C mtt^ f mmij Mmhm. 

Saints of- the Prayer Book : Outlines of the Ures of 88 Saints m 

the C*lc*dar. By C A^ONis, Antbor «f "Sloria of the Crtwhtm," kc WiA 
a PnCMa br the RcT. Dr. Littlbdalb. PrettUj Ulattiatcd in Ootliae, iqMn 
itoo^ dott eitm, (Ot top, Sfc U. 

The Ministry of Flowers : Thoughts respectiDg Life soggected by 
tha Book €f Natan. By tha Rer. Hilduic Fubmd, FO-S. ntatratad, GrawK 
S*a, doth aatn, gilt lop, m. 6d. 

"nabook b ■ loHd BoUrlbadaa »(h*Ufk«ark«r**aBMuCh«L^II o^tawkna 
' ' ' Ab»»M»iM«odwhakhBok,wima»kliloftyfai£^«rfcfa««^yh."— 




of jC75 P" « 

Cfhprindnlw of DMm ConraaoK. Thb ac 
C H. SrvacMH, ia AwW i>W IVvMiL 

"HklUlt>Ulkc itadM whk bI mm . m h 
r, aad eaanf*, daJnf Wtto ((liBM ' 

"ta Ub an lb* cbaiUa and nnUitiai and boMtr napalUai rf h«a»a HlmtadfeM^ 
•■Miand plax, whilai a alsv gf t\igk Bonl parpoa^ aada asUi tbOtulmfit fanadt kl* lifc,**— 
Latt Piofi— OuTaii. P.D^ la TtiCAriMiiTlmii. 

H dlCcahh*. and n had Ub. Ha ha ulM M ■ 



HandlomdT boand b paidtmnt, ^It, antriaoMd edfc^ ^ top, Oowa 9fo, ^ 

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Second and Oieaper Editioa. 4I0, doth Mtn, pit top, 5*. 

^ |, ,. Reynard, the Fox. An Old Smy, new told. \vi± Kaoibacr^ 

1,1' ". . . . Aii«c*n>tt*dittiiBiif ilHdcU^itlal,>da>leldBnr- ■ . Ennadfi 

I' f dnitbvt an —in'*™ of ikilliil cncatiaarud an hU af a quaint •!; hnanv wfaU cKdw tka 

.1 ' BiBBii|«fib*taltparf'*et]]r."-^>./Ma'CaarMt. 

". . . . W( valHi* la thmk Ihal thk bock wtn Mcm a iwy Htcadn nonnl of Im oU 
popolaritr. It b HiaMd u tam cltai tTpt, bai a fnU pa(E UtoitntkiB is enirciihcT pua of anm 
BBOar, ar anr ogliir ahsfMlnr, >ad >■ huidioiiHl)r bcMod ia paaoM^ iloa. Tit Boy & Uld ta a 
Siajihk ■■mm-, aad biiiifi out aHry poial sTlh* muutlj iatii».''~J'iiiWi ti 1 / Jtmrmat 

.. ,. SaBplaIIhilntkau"A*aAKD*in>TH*Gasa.*'— Haapafa*. 

The Little CyclopsBdia of Common Things. By Sii Gia W. Cox, 

But, H.A. Foarth Edition. lUtutnted. DoivSvo, dotlt ^It, Ti. 6d. 

Ehal a lUrd aAdoa. Fotlaadr ntmac* and InloiMlai oa f-U-M 
■a tnbmd u tb* bd Bie7clop«liaL Vm ■«■ an oplaaailaa, b 

__ri u Jiu wijcjjr prmii trithnard lacOHiaaa duasBT^liia voIbbh kaiabo , 

raeoaBtaduioa el liaiaj nititliaUy elwap. — JV Wi i aa . 


chcfldunr, Bad boh othu- dnanBcDU U koowkdi^ vidria brWcoa- 
UlDUrukw an often a aiuarial lMlp_la clurlB|ja«f dlBeaktaa and