Myths That Every Child Should Know eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 383 pages of information about Myths That Every Child Should Know.

Then Prometheus answered, the good Titan, whom Heracles had set free from Caucasus:  “I will take your immortality and live forever, that I may help poor mortal men.”  So Cheiron gave him his immortality, and died, and had rest from pain.  And Heracles and Prometheus wept over him, and went to bury him on Pelion; but Zeus took him up among the stars, to live forever, grand and mild, low down in the far southern sky.

And in time the heroes died, all but Nestor the silver-tongued old man; and left behind them valiant sons, but not so great as they had been.  Yet their fame, too, lives till this day; for they fought at the ten years’ siege of Troy; and their story is in the book which we call Homer, in two of the noblest songs on earth; the Iliad, which tells us of the siege of Troy, and Achilles’s quarrel with the kings; and the Odyssey, which tells the wanderings of Odysseus, through many lands for many years; and how Alcinous sent him home at last, safe to Ithaca his beloved island, and to Penelope his faithful wife, and Telemachus his son, and Euphorbus the noble swineherd, and the old dog who licked his hand and died.

CHAPTER XI

THE GIANT BUILDER

Ages and ages ago, when the world was first made, the gods decided to build a beautiful city high above the heavens, the most glorious and wonderful city that ever was known.  Asgard was to be its name, and it was to stand on Ida Plain under the shade of Yggdrasil, the great tree whose roots were underneath the earth.

First of all they built a house with a silver roof, where there were seats for all the twelve chiefs.  In the midst, and high above the rest, was the wonder throne of Odin the All-Father, whence he could see everything that happened in the sky or on the earth or in the sea.  Next they made a fair house for Queen Frigg and her lovely daughters.  Then they built a smithy, with its great hammers, tongs, anvils, and bellows, where the gods could work at their favourite trade, the making of beautiful things out of gold; which they did so well that folk name that time the Golden Age.  Afterward, as they had more leisure, they built separate houses for all the AEsir, each more beautiful than the preceding, for of course they were continually growing more skilful.  They saved Father Odin’s palace until the last, for they meant this to be the largest and the most splendid of all.

Gladsheim, the home of joy, was the name of Odin’s house, and it was built all of gold, set in the midst of a wood whereof the trees had leaves of ruddy gold—­like an autumn-gilded forest.  For the safety of All-Father it was surrounded by a roaring river and by a high picket fence; and there was a great courtyard within.

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Myths That Every Child Should Know from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.