The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES
Animal Sketches And Stories
Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon
BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS
CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES
FABLES FOR CHILDREN
FABLES FROM INDIA
FATHER PLAYS AND MOTHER PLAYS
FIRST STORIES FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK
For Classes Ii. And Iii.
For Classes Iv. And V.
For Kindergarten And Class I.
FUN FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK
Good Little Henry
JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]
Jean De La Fontaine
King Alexander's Adventures
KINGS AND WARRIORS
LAND AND WATER FAIRIES
Lessons From Nature
LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG
MODERN FAIRY TALES
MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED
MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES
MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES
Myths And Legends
NEGLECT THE FIRE
ON POPULAR EDUCATION
PLACES AND FAMILIES
Poems Of Nature
RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)
RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"
RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE
ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES
SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY
Selections From The Bible
SLEEPY-TIME SONGS AND STORIES
Some Children's Poets
Songs Of Life
STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS
STORIES FOR CHILDREN
STORIES for LITTLE BOYS
STORIES FROM BOTANY
STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN
STORIES FROM IRELAND
STORIES FROM PHYSICS
STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA
STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY
STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS
THE DAYS OF THE WEEK
The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers
The Little Grey Mouse
THE OLD FAIRY TALES
The Princess Rosette
THE THREE HERMITS
THE TWO OLD MEN
UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES
VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES
WHAT MEN LIVE BY
WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO
from Types Of Children's Literature
- Myths And Legends
Upon a summer's afternoon it happened that Baldur the Bright
and Bold, beloved of men and Ęsir, found himself alone in his
palace of Broadblink. Thor was walking low down among the
valleys, his brow heavy with summer heat; Frey and Gerda sported
on still waters in their cloud-leaf ship; Odin, for once, slept on the
top of Air Throne; a noonday stillness pervaded the whole earth;
and Baldur in Broadblink, the wide-glancing, most sunlit of palaces,
dreamed a dream.
The dream of Baldur was troubled. He knew not whence nor
why; but when he awoke he found that a new and weighty care was
within him. It was so heavy that Baldur could scarcely carry it,
and yet he pressed it closely to his heart and said, "Lie there, and
do not fall on any one but me." Then he rose up and walked out
from the splendor of his hall, that he might seek his own mother,
Frigga, and tell her what had happened to him. He found her in
her crystal saloon, calm and kind, waiting to listen, and ready to
sympathize; so he walked up to her, his hands pressed closely on
his heart, and lay down at her feet, sighing.
"What is the matter, dear Baldur?" asked Frigga, gently.
"I do not know, mother," answered he. "I do not know what
the matter is; but I have a shadow in my heart."
"Take it out, then, my son, and let me look at it," replied Frigga.
"But I fear, mother, that if I do it will cover the whole earth."
Then Frigga laid her hand upon the heart of her son that she
might feel the shadow's shape. Her brow became clouded as she
felt it; her parted lips grew pale, and she cried out, "Oh! Baldur,
my beloved son! the shadow is the shadow of death!"
Then said Baldur, "I will die bravely, my mother."
But Frigga answered, "You shall not die at all; for I will not
sleep tonight until everything on earth has sworn to me that it will
neither kill nor harm you."
So Frigga stood up, and called to her everything on earth that had
power to hurt or slay. First she called all metals to her; and heavy
iron-ore came lumbering up the hill into the crystal hall, brass and
gold, copper, silver, lead, and steel, and stood before the Queen,
who lifted her right hand high in the air, saying, "Swear to me
that you will not injure Baldur"; and they all swore, and went.
Then she called to her all stones; and huge granite came, with
crumbling sandstones and white lime, and the round, smooth stones
of the seashore, and Frigga raised her arm, saying, "Swear that
you will not injure Baldur"; and they swore, and went. Then
Frigga called to her the trees; and wide-spreading oak trees, with
tall ash and somber firs, came rushing up the hill, and Frigga raised
her hand, and said, "Swear that you will not hurt Baldur"; and
they said, "We swear," and went. After this Frigga called to her
the diseases, who came blown by poisonous winds on wings of pain,
and to the sound of moaning. Frigga said to them, "Swear"; and
they sighed, "We swear," then flew away. Then Frigga called to
her all beasts, birds, and venomous snakes, who came to her and
swore, and disappeared. After this she stretched out her hand to
Baldur, whilst a smile spread over her face, saying, "And now, my
son, you cannot die."
But just then Odin came in, and when he had heard from Frigga
the whole story, he looked even more mournful than she had done;
neither did the cloud pass from his face when he was told of the
oaths that had been taken.
"Why do you still look so grave, my lord?" demanded Frigga
at last. "Baldur cannot now die."
But Odin asked very gravely, "Is the shadow gone out of our
son's heart, or is it still there?"
"It cannot be there," said Frigga, turning away her head resolutely,
and folding her hands before her.
But Odin looked at Baldur, and saw how it was, the hands
pressed to the heavy heart, the beautiful brow grown dim. Then
immediately he rose, saddled Sleipnir, his eight-footed steed,
mounted him, and, turning to Frigga said, "I know of a dead Vala,
Frigga, who, when she was alive, could tell what was going to
happen; her grave lies on the east side of Helheim, and I am going
there to awake her, and ask whether any terrible grief is really
coming upon us."
So saying, Odin shook the bridle in his hand, and the Eight-footed,
with a bound, leaped forth, rushed like a whirlwind down the mountain
of Asgard, and then dashed into a narrow defile between rocks.
Sleipnir went on through the defile a long way, until he came
to a place where the earth opened her mouth. There Odin rode in
and down a broad, steep, slanting road which led him to the cavern
Gnipa, and the mouth of the cavern Gnipa yawned upon Niflheim.
Then thought Odin to himself, "My journey is already done."
But just as Sleipnir was about to leap through the jaws of the pit,
Garm, the voracious dog who was chained to the rock, sprang forward,
and tried to fasten himself upon Odin. Three times Odin
shook him off, and still Garm, as fierce as ever, went on with the
fight. At last Sleipnir leaped, and Odin thrust just at the same
moment; then horse and rider cleared the entrance, and turned
eastward towards the dead Vala's grave, dripping blood along the
road as they went; while the beaten Garm stood baying in the
When Odin came to the grave he got off his horse, and stood with
his face northward, looking through barred inclosures into the city
of Helheim itself. The servants of Hela were very busy there making
preparations for some new guest--hanging gilded couches with
curtains of anguish and splendid misery upon the walls. Then
Odin's heart died within him, and he began to repeat mournful runes
in a low tone to himself.
The dead Vala turned heavily in her grave at the sound of his voice,
and, as he went on, sat bolt upright. "What man is this," she asked,
"who dares disturb my sleep?"
Then Odin, for the first time in his life, said what was not true;
the shadow of Baldur dead fell upon his lips, and he made answer,
"My name is Vegtam, the son of Valtam."
"And what do you want from me?" asked the Vala.
"I want to know," replied Odin, "for whom Hela is making ready that
gilded couch in Helheim?"
"That is for Baldur the Beloved," answered the dead Vala.
"Now go away and let me sleep again, for my eyes are heavy."
But Odin said: "Only one word more. Is Baldur going to Helheim?"
"Yes, I've told you that he is," answered the Vala.
"Will he never come back to Asgard again?"
"If everything on earth should weep for him," answered she,
"he will go back; if not, he will remain in Helheim."
Then Odin covered his face with his hands and looked into
"Do go away," said the Vala, "I'm so sleepy; I cannot keep my
eyes open any longer."
But Odin raised his head and said again: "Only tell me this one
thing. Just now, as I looked into darkness, it seemed to me as if
I saw one on earth who would not weep for Baldur. Who was it?"
At this the Vala grew very angry and said: "How couldst thou
see in darkness? I know of only one who, by giving away his eye,
gained light. No Vegtam art thou, but Odin, chief of men."
At her angry words Odin became angry, too, and called out as
loudly as ever he could, "No Vala art thou, nor wise woman, but
rather the mother of three giants!"
"Go, go!" answered the Vala, falling back in her grave; "no
man shall waken me again until Loki have burst his chains and
Ragnarok be come." After this Odin mounted the Eight-footed
once more and rode thoughtfully towards home.
Next: THE PEACESTEAD
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