Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas

Page: 108

“Thok she weepeth

With dry tears

For Balder’s death—

Neither in life, nor yet in death,

Gave he me gladness.

Let Hel keep her prey.”

Elder Edda (Howitt’s version).

As soon as the returning messengers arrived in Asgard, the gods crowded round them to learn the result of their mission; but their faces, all aglow with the joy of anticipation, grew dark with despair when they heard that one creature had refused the tribute of tears, wherefore they would behold Balder in Asgard no more.

“Balder, the Beautiful, shall ne’er

From Hel return to upper air!

Betrayed by Loki, twice betrayed,

The prisoner of Death is made;

Ne’er shall he ’scape the place of doom

Till fatal Ragnarok be come!”

Valhalla (J. C. Jones).

Vali the Avenger

The decrees of fate had not yet been fully consummated, and the final act of the tragedy remains to be briefly stated.