The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 41

And night after night, for eight nights, this went on. Then, on the ninth night, when the fires around him had been lighted, Odin lifted up his voice and began to sing a song.

His song became louder and louder, and the King and the King's friends and the servants of the thing's house had to stand still and harken to it. Odin sang about Geirrod, the King; how the Gods had protected him, giving him strength and skill, and how instead of making a noble use of that strength and skill he had made himself like one of the wild beasts. Then he sang of how the vengeance of the Gods was about to fall on this ignoble King.

The flames died down and Geirrod and his friends saw before them, not a friendless Wanderer, but one who looked more kingly than any King of the earth. The chains fell down from his body and he advanced toward the evil company. Then Geirrod rushed upon him with his sword in hand to kill him. The sword struck him, but Odin remained unhurt.

Thy life runs out,
The Gods they are wroth with thee;
Draw near if thou canst;
Odin thou shalt see.

[Pg 89]

So Odin sang, and, in fear of his terrible gaze, Geirrod and his company shrank away. And as they shrank away they were changed into beasts, into the wolves that range the forests.

And Agnar came forward, and him Odin declared to be King. All the folk were glad when Agnar came to rule over them, for they had been oppressed by Geirrod in his cruel reign. And Agnar was not only kind, but he was strong and victorious in his rule.

[Pg 90]


It was the Dwarfs who brewed the Magic Mead, and it was the Giants who hid it away. But it was Odin who brought it from the place where it was hidden and gave it to the sons of men. Those who drank of the Magic Mead became very wise, and not only that but they could put their wisdom into such beautiful words that every one who heard would love and remember it.

The Dwarfs brewed the Magic Mead through cruelty and villainy. They made it out of the blood of a man. The man was Kvasir the Poet. He had wisdom, and he had such beautiful words with it, that what he said was loved and remembered by all. The Dwarfs brought Kvasir down into their caverns and they killed him there. "Now," they[Pg 91] said, "we have Kvasir's blood and Kvasir's wisdom. No one else will have his wisdom but us." They poured the blood into three jars and they mixed it with honey, and from it they brewed the Magic Mead.

Having killed a man the Dwarfs became more and more bold.