THE DEATH OF BALDUR THE GOOD.
57. “Verily,” said Gangler, “it was a famous exploit which Thor performed on that journey, but did any other such events take place among the AEsir?”
“Ay,” replied Har, “I can tell thee of another event which the AEsir deemed of much greater importance. Thou must know, therefore, that Baldur the Good having been tormented with terrible dreams, indicating that his life was in great peril, communicated them to the assembled AEsir, who resolved to conjure all things to avert from him the threatened danger. Then Frigga exacted an oath from fire and water, from iron, and all other metals, as well as from stones, earths, diseases, beasts, birds, poisons, and creeping things, that none of them would do any harm to Baldur. When this was done, it became a favourite pastime of the AEsir, at their meetings, to get Baldur to stand up and serve them as a mark, some hurling darts at him, some stones, while others hewed at him with their swords and battle-axes, for do they what they would none of therm could harm him, and this was regarded by all as a great honour shown to Baldur. But when Loki, the son of Laufey, beheld the scene, he was sorely vexed that Baldur was not hurt. Assuming, therefore, the shape of a woman, he went to Fensalir, the mansion of Frigga. That goddess, when she saw the pretended woman, inquired of her if she knew what the AEsir were doing at their meetings. She replied, that they were throwing darts and stones at Baldur without being able to hurt him.
“‘Ay,’ said Frigga, ’neither metal nor wood can hurt Baldur, for I have exacted an oath from all of them.’
“‘What!’ exclaimed the woman, ‘have all things sworn to spare Baldur?’