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.
so violently, that Thor was obliged to hold fast with both hands by the pegs that bear against the oars.  But his wrath now waxed high, and assuming all his divine power, he pulled so hard at the line that his feet forced their way through the boat and went down to the bottom of the sea, whilst with his hands he drew up the serpent to the side of the vessel.  It is impossible to express by words the dreadful scene that now took place.  Thor, on one hand, darting looks of ire on the serpent, whilst the monster, rearing his head, spouted out floods of venom upon him.  It is said that when the giant Hymir beheld the serpent, he turned pale and trembled with fright and seeing, moreover, that the water was entering his boat on all sides, he took out his knife, just as Thor raised his mallet aloft, and cut the line, on which the serpent sunk again under the water.  Thor, however, launched his mallet at him, and there are some who say that it struck off the monster’s head at the bottom of the sea, but one may assert with more certainty that he still lives and lies in the ocean.  Thor then struck Hymir such a blow with his fist, nigh the ear, that the giant fell headlong into the water, and Thor, wading with rapid strides, soon came to the land again.”


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?’

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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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