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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson.

24.  “The third god,” continued Har, “is Njord, who dwells in the heavenly region called Noatun.  He rules over the winds, and checks the fury of the sea and of fire, and is therefore invoked by sea-farers and fishermen.  He is so wealthy that he can give possessions and treasures to those who call on him for them.  Yet Njord is not of the lineage of the AEsir, for he was born and bred in Vanaheim.  But the Vanir gave him as hostage to the AEsir, receiving from them in his stead Hoenir.  By this means was peace re-established between the AEsir and Vanir.  Njord took to wife Skadi, the daughter of the giant Thjassi.  She preferred dwelling in the abode formerly belonging to her father, which is situated among rocky mountains, in the region called Thrymheim, but Njord loved to reside near the sea.  They at last agreed that they should pass together nine nights in Thrymheim, and then three in Noatun.  One day, when Njord came back from the mountains to Noatun, he thus sang—­

    “’Of mountains I’m weary,
    Not long was I there,
    Not more than nine nights;

    But the howl of the wolf
    Methought sounded ill
    To the song of the swan-bird.’

“To which Skadi sang in reply—­

    “’Ne’er can I sleep
    In my couch on the strand,
    For the screams of the sea-fowl,
    The mew as he comes
    Every morn from the main
    Is sure to awake me.’

“Skadi then returned to the rocky mountains, and abode in Thrymheim.  There, fastening on her snow-skates and taking her bow, she passes her time in the chase of savage beasts, and is called the Ondur goddess, or Ondurdis.  As it is said—­

    “’Thrymheim’s the land
    Where Thjassi abode
    That mightiest of giants. 
    But snow-skating Skadi
    Now dwells there, I trow,
    In her father’s old mansion.’”


25.  “Njord had afterwards, at his residence at Noatun, two children, a son named Frey, and a daughter called Freyja, both of them beauteous and mighty.  Frey is one of the most celebrated of the gods.  He presides over rain and sunshine, and all the fruits of the earth, and should be invoked in order to obtain good harvests, and also for peace.  He, moreover, dispenses wealth among men.  Freyja is the most propitious of the goddesses; her abode in heaven is called Folkvang.  To whatever field of battle she rides, she asserts her right to one half of the slain, the other half belonging to Odin.  As it is said—­

    “’Folkvang ’tis called
    Where Freyja hath right
    To dispose of the hall seats

    Every day of the slain,
    She chooseth the half,
    And half leaves to Odin.’

“Her mansion, called Sessrumnir, is large and magnificent; thence she sallies forth in a car drawn by two cats.  She lends a very favourable ear to those who sue to her for assistance.  It is from her name that women of birth and fortune are called in our language Freyjor.  She is very fond of love ditties, and all lovers would do well to invoke her.”

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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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