Informational Site NetworkInformational Site Network
Privacy
 
Home - Stories - Categories - Books - Search

Featured Stories

The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Categories

A FAIRY-TALE

Aesop

ALPHABET RHYMES

AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES

AMUSING ALPHABETS

Animal Sketches And Stories

ANIMAL STORIES

ARBOR DAY

BIRD DAY

Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon

Bohemian Story

BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS

CATS

CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES

CHRISTMAS DAY

COLUMBUS DAY

CUSTOM RHYMES

Didactic Stories

Everyday Verses

EVIL SPIRITS

FABLES

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

GERMAN

Good Little Henry

HALLOWEEN

Happy Days

INDEPENDENCE DAY

JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]

Jean De La Fontaine

King Alexander's Adventures

KINGS AND WARRIORS

LABOR DAY

LAND AND WATER FAIRIES

Lessons From Nature

LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY

LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG

Love Lyrics

Lyrics

MAY DAY

MEMORIAL DAY

Modern

MODERN FABLES

MODERN FAIRY TALES

MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED

MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES

MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES

MOTHERS' DAY

Myths And Legends

NATURE SONGS

NEGLECT THE FIRE

NUMBER RHYMES

NURSERY GAMES

NURSERY-SONGS.

NURSEY STORIES

OLD-FASHIONED STORIES

ON POPULAR EDUCATION

OURSON

Perseus

PLACES AND FAMILIES

Poems Of Nature

Polish Story

Popular

PROVERB RHYMES

RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)

RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"

RIDDLE RHYMES

RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE

ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES

SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY

Selections From The Bible

Servian Story

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

SUPERSITITIONS

THANKSGIVING DAY

The Argonauts

THE CANDLE

THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

THE DECEMBRISTS

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

Theseus

Traditional

UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES

VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY

WHAT MEN LIVE BY

WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO

THE DREAM

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
cavern's mouth.

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
darkness.

"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

Previous: THOR GOES A-FISHING



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK



Viewed: 2073