But there was one who stood alone, leaning against a tree, and who took no part in what was going on. This was Hoedur, Baldur’s blind twin-brother; he stood with his head bent downwards, silent while the others were speaking, doing nothing when they were most eager; and Loki thought that there was a discontented expression on his face, just as if he were saying to himself, “Nobody takes any notice of me.” So Loki went up to him and put his hand upon his shoulder.
“And why are you standing here all alone, my brave friend?” said he. “Why don’t you throw something at Baldur? Hew at him with a sword, or show him some attention of that sort.”
“I haven’t a sword,” answered Hoedur, with an impatient gesture; “and you know as well as I do, Loki, that Father Odin does not approve of my wearing warlike weapons, or joining in sham fights, because I am blind.”
“Oh! is that it?” said Loki. Well, I only know I shouldn’t like to be left out of everything. However, I’ve got a twig of mistletoe here which I’ll lend you if you like; a harmless little twig enough, but I shall be happy to guide your arm if you would like to throw it, and Baldur might take it as a compliment from his twin-brother.”
“Let me feel it,” said Hoedur, stretching out his groping hands.
“This way, this way, my dear friend,” said Loki, giving him the twig. “Now, as hard as ever you can, to do him honor; throw!”
Hoedur threw—Baldur fell, and the shadow of death covered the whole earth.
One after another they turned and left the Peacestead, the friends and brothers of the slain. One after another they turned and went towards the city; crushed hearts, heavy footsteps, no word amongst them, a shadow upon all. The shadow was in Asgard, too—had walked through Frigga’s hall and seated itself upon the threshold of Gladsheim. Odin had just come out to look at it, and Frigga stood by in mute despair as the gods came up.
“Loki did it! Loki did it!” they said at last in confused, hoarse whispers, and they looked from one to another,—upon Odin, upon Frigga, upon the shadow which they saw before them, and which they felt within. “Loki did it! Loki, Loki!” they went on saying; but it was of no use to repeat the name of Loki over and over again when there was another name they were too sad to utter but which filled all their hearts—Baldur. Frigga said it first, and then they all went to look at him lying down so peacefully on the grass—dead, dead.
“Carry him to the funeral pyre!” said Odin, at length; and four of the gods stooped down and lifted their dead brother.