“Every one will weep willingly,” said Hermod, as he mounted Sleipnir and rode towards the entrance of the city. Baldur went with him as far as the gate and began to send messages to all his friends in Asgard, but Hermod would not listen to many of them.
“You will soon come back to us,” he said, “there is no use in sending messages.”
So Hermod darted homewards, and Baldur watched him through the bars of Helheim’s gateway as he flew along.
“Not soon, not soon,” said the dead Asa; but still he saw the light far off, and thought of what was to come.
“Well, Hermod, what did she say?” asked the gods from the top of the hill as they saw him coming; “make haste and tell us what she said.” And Hermod came up.
“Oh! is that all?” they cried, as soon as he had delivered his message. “Nothing can be more easy,” and then they all hurried off to tell Frigga. She was weeping already, and in five minutes there was not a tearless eye in Asgard.
“But this is not enough,” said Odin; “the whole earth must know of our grief that it may weep with us.”
Then the father of the gods called to him his messenger maidens—the beautiful Valkyries—and sent them out into all worlds with these three words on their lips, “Baldur is dead!” But the words were so dreadful that at first the messenger maidens could only whisper them in low tones as they went along, “Baldur is dead!” The dull, sad sounds flowed back on Asgard like a new river of grief, and it seemed to the gods as if they now wept for the first time—“Baldur is dead!”
“What is that the Valkyries are saying?” asked the men and women in all the country round, and when they heard rightly, men left their labor and lay down to weep—women dropped the buckets they were carrying to the well, and, leaning their faces over them, filled them with tears. The children crowded upon the doorsteps, or sat down at the corners of the streets, crying as if their own mothers were dead.
The Valkyries passed on. “Baldur is dead!” they said to the empty fields; and straightway the grass and the wild field-flowers shed tears.
“Baldur is dead!” said the messenger maidens to the rocks and stones; and the very stones began to weep. “Baldur is dead!” the Valkyries cried; and even the old mammoth’s bones which had lain for centuries under the hills, burst into tears, so that small rivers gushed forth from every mountain’s side. “Baldur is dead!” said the messenger maidens as they swept over silent sands; and all the shells wept pearls. “Baldur is dead!” they cried to the sea, and to Joetunheim across the sea; and when the giants understood it, even they wept, while the sea rained spray to heaven. After this the Valkyries stepped from one stone to another until they reached a rock that stood alone in the middle of the sea; then, all together, they