Bulfinch's Mythology The Age of Fable

Page: 212

This description of The Funeral of Balder is by William Morris:

  Gazed through the cool dusk, till his eyes did rest
  Upon the noble stories, painted fair
  On the high panelling and roof-boards there;
  For over the high sea, in his ship, there lay
  The gold-haired Balder, god of the dead day,
  The spring-flowers round his high pile, waiting there
  Until the gods there to the torch should bear;
  And they were wrought on this side and on that,
  Drawing on towards him. There was Frey, and sat
  On the gold-bristled boar, who first they say
  Ploughed the brown earth, and made it green for Frey;
  Then came dark-bearded Niod; and after him
  Freyia, thin-robed, about her ankles slim
  The grey cats playing. In another place
  Thor's hammer gleamed o'er Thor's red-bearded face;
  And Heimdal, with the old horn slung behind,
  That in the god's dusk he shall surely wind,
  Sickening all hearts with fear; and last of all,
  Was Odin's sorrow wrought upon the wall.
  As slow-paced, weary faced, he went along,
  Anxious with all the tales of woe and wrong
  His ravens, Thought and Memory, bring to him."



Thor, the thunderer, Odin's eldest son, is the strongest of gods and men, and possesses three very precious things. The first is his hammer, Miolnir, which both the Frost and the Mountain giants know to their cost, when they see it hurled against them in the air, for it has split many a skull of their fathers and kindred. When thrown, it returns to his hand of its own accord. The second rare thing he possesses is called the belt of strength. When he girds it about him his divine might is doubled. The third, also very precious, is his iron gloves, which he puts on whenever he would use his mallet efficiently. From Thor's name is derived our word Thursday.

This description of Thor is by Longfellow:

  "I am the God Thor,
  I am the War God,
  I am the Thunderer!
  Here in my Northland,
  My fastness and fortress,
  Reign I forever!

  "Here amid icebergs
  Rule I the nations;
  This is my hammer,
  Miolner the mighty;
  Giants and sorcerers
  Cannot withstand it!

  "These are the gauntlets
  Wherewith I wield it,
  And hurl it afar off;
  This is my girdle;
  Whenever I brace it
  Strength is redoubled!

  "The light thou beholdest
  Stream through the heavens,
  In flashes of crimson,
  Is but my red beard
  Blown by the night wind,
  Affrighting the nations!

  "Jove is my brother;
  Mine eyes are the lightning;
  The wheels of my chariot
  Roll in the thunder,
  The blows of my hammer
  Ring in the thunder."

Frey is one of the most celebrated of the gods. He presides over rain and sunshine and all the fruits of the earth. His sister Freya is the most propitious of the goddesses. She loves music, spring, and flowers, and is particularly fond of the Elves (fairies). She is very fond of love-ditties, and all lovers would do well to invoke her.