“That is for Baldur the Beloved,” answered the prophetess. “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,” was the answer.
“Will he never come back to Asgard again?”
“If everything on earth should weep for him,” said 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 prophetess, “I’m so sleepy; I cannot keep my eyes open any longer.”
But Odin raised his head and said again, “Only tell me one thing. Just now, as I looked into darkness, it seemed to me that I saw one on earth who would not weep for Baldur. Who was it?”
At this she 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 he could, “No prophetess nor wise woman, but rather the mother of three giants.”
“Go, go!” answered the prophetess, falling back in her grave; “no man shall waken me again until Loki have burst his chains and the Twilight of the Gods be come.” After this Odin mounted the eight-footed once more and rode thoughtfully home.
When Odin came back to Asgard, Hermod took the bridle from his father’s hand and told him that the rest of the gods were gone to the Peacestead—a broad, green plain which lay just outside the city. This was the playground of the gods, where they practised trials of skill and held tournaments and sham fights. These last were always conducted in the gentlest and most honorable manner; for the strongest law of the Peacestead was, that no angry blow should be struck, or spiteful word spoken, upon the sacred field; and for this reason some have thought it might be well if children also had a Peacestead to play in.
Odin was too tired from his journey to go to the Peacestead that afternoon; so he turned away and shut himself up in his palace of Gladsheim. But when he was gone, Loki came into the city by another way, and hearing from Hermod where the gods were, set off to join them.
When he got to the Peacestead, Loki found that the gods were standing round in a circle shooting at something, and he peeped between the shoulders of two of them to find out what it was. To his surprise he saw Baldur standing in the midst, erect and calm, whilst his friends and brothers were aiming their weapons at him. Some hewed at him with their swords,—others threw stones at him—some shot arrows pointed with steel, and Thor continually swung his great hammer at his head. “Well,” said Loki to himself, “if this is the sport of Asgard, what