Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas

Page: 67

“With the last yeeres brand

Light the new block, and

For good successe in his spending,

On your psaltries play,

That sweet luck may

Come while the log is a-tending.”

Hesperides (Herrick). [128]

This festival was so popular in Scandinavia, where it was celebrated in January, that King Olaf, seeing how dear it was to the Northern heart, transferred most of its observances to Christmas day, thereby doing much to reconcile the ignorant people to their change of religion.

As god of peace and prosperity, Frey is supposed to have reappeared upon earth many times, and to have ruled the Swedes under the name of Ingvi-Frey, whence his descendants were called Inglings. He also governed the Danes under the name of Fridleef. In Denmark he is said to have married the beautiful maiden Freygerda, whom he had rescued from a dragon. By her he had a son named Frodi, who, in due time, succeeded him as king.

Frodi ruled Denmark in the days when there was “peace throughout the world,” that is to say, just at the time when Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea; and because all his subjects lived in amity, he was generally known as Peace Frodi.

How the Sea became salt

It is related that Frodi once received from Hengi-kiaptr a pair of magic millstones, called Grotti, which were so ponderous that none of his servants nor even his strongest warriors could turn them. The king was aware that the mill was enchanted and would grind anything he wished, so he was very anxious indeed to set it to work, and, during a visit to Sweden, he saw and purchased as slaves the two giantesses Menia and Fenia, whose powerful muscles and frames had attracted his attention.

On his return home, Peace Frodi led his new servants to the mill, and bade them turn the grindstones and grind out gold, peace, and prosperity, and they immediately [129]fulfilled his wishes. Cheerfully the women worked on, hour after hour, until the king’s coffers were overflowing with gold, and prosperity and peace were rife throughout his land.