The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 255 pages of information about The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson.

“The Norns,” replied Har, “who are of a good origin, are good themselves, and dispense good destinies.  But those men to whom misfortunes happen ought to ascribe them to the evil Norns.”

17.  “What more wonders hast thou to tell me,” said Gangler, “concerning the ash?”

“What I have further to say respecting it,” replied Har, “is, that there is an eagle perched upon its branches who knows many things:  between his eyes sits the hawk called Vedurfolnir.  The squirrel named Ratatosk runs up and down the ash, and seeks to cause strife between the eagle and Nidhogg.  Four harts run across the branches of the tree, and bite the buds.  They are called Dainn, Divalinn, Duneyr, and Durathror.  But there are so many snakes with Nidhogg in Hvergelmir that no tongue can recount them.”

“It is also said that the Norns who dwell by the Urdar-fount draw every day water from the spring, and with it and the clay that lies around the fount sprinkle the ash, in order that its branches may not rot and wither away.  This water is so holy that everything placed in the spring becomes as white as the film, within an eggshell.  As it is said in the Voluspa—­

    “’An Ash know I standing,
    Named Yggdrasill,
    A stately tree sprinkled
    With water the purest;

    Thence come the dewdrops
    That fall in the dales;
    Ever blooming, it stands
    O’er the Urdar-fountain."’

“The dew that falls thence on the earth men call honey-dew, and it is the food of the bees.  Two fowls are fed in the Urdar-fount; they are called swans, and from them are descended all the birds of this species.”

OF THE VARIOUS CELESTIAL REGIONS.

18.  “Thou tellest me many wonderful things of heaven,” said Gangler, “but what other homesteads are to be seen there?”

“There are many other fair homesteads there,” replied Har; “one of them is named Elf-home (Alfheim), wherein dwell the beings called the Elves of Light; but the Elves of Darkness live under the earth, and differ from the others still more in their actions than in their appearance.  The Elves of Light are fairer than the sun, but the Elves of Darkness blacker than pitch.  There is also a mansion called Breidablik, which is not inferior to any other in beauty; and another named Glitnir, the wall, columns and beams of which are of ruddy gold, and the roof of silver.  There is also the stead called Himinbjorg, that stands on the borders where Bifrost touches heaven, and the stately mansion belonging to Odin, called Valaskjalf, which was built by the gods, and roofed with pure silver, and in which is the throne called Hlidskjalf.  When All-father is seated on this throne, he can see over the whole world.  On the southern edge of heaven is the most beautiful homestead of all, brighter than the sun itself.  It is called Gimli, and shall stand when both heaven and earth have passed away, and good and righteous men shall dwell therein for everlasting ages.”

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The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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