Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

they fhould make no difficulty of setting him at liberty without delay. I am very much afraid, replied the monster, that if you once tye me so fast that I cannot work my deliverance myself, you will be in no haste to unloose me. I would not therefore volun. tarily permit myself to be tied, but only to show you that I am no coward: yet I infift upon it, that one of you put his hand in my mouth, as a pledge that you intend me no deceit. Then the Gods, wistfully looking on one another, found themselves in a very embarrassing dilemma; till Tyr presented himself, intrepidly offering his right hand to the monster. Hereupon the Gods having tied up the Wolf, he forcibly stretched himself, as he had formerly done, and exerted all his powers to disengage himself: but the more efforts he made, the closer and straiter he drew the knot; and all the Gods (except Tyr,' who lost his

hand,') burst into loud peals of laughter at the fight. Observing him then so fast tied, as to be unable ever to get loose again, they took one end of the string, and having drilled a hole for it, drew it threw the middle of a large broad rock, which they sunk very deep into the earth; afterwards, to make it still more secure, they tied the end of the cord which came through the rock, to a great stone which they sunk ftill deeper. The Wolf, opening wide his tremendous jaws, endea. voured to devour them, and rushed upon them with violence. Which the Gods feeing, thrust a sword in. to his mouth, which pierced his under jaw up to the hilt, so that the point touched his palate. The howl. ings wlrich he then made were horrible ; and since that time, the foam flows continually from his mouth, in such abundance that it forms a river, called Vam, or The Vices. But that monster shall break his chain at the Twilight of the Gods, that is, at the end of the world (A).

Such

Such is the wicked race engendered by Loke. Hereupon Gangler says to Har, But since the Gods have so much to fear from the Wolf, and from all the other monsters whom · Loke' hath produced; why have they not put them to death ? Har replied, The Gods have so much respect for the fanctity of their tribunals, and cities of peace (B), that they will not have them stained with the blood of the Wolf; al. though the oracles have intimated to them, that he will one day be destructive to ODIN.

REMARKS ON THE SEVENTEENTH FABLE,

(A)“ At the end of the world."] do&rine of the Celtes, Stoicks, and It cannot be doubted that the Wolf some eastern sages, which affirms is the end of the Evil Principle, or that the world and the inferior of some power at enmity with na- Gods must one day yield to their ture. The river of Vices, said to enemies, and be again reproduced, flow from the foam of his mouth, in order to fulfil a new series of is one of those strokes which ma-' deftinies. nifestly indicate an allegory. I fall show in another place, that (B) “ The sancity of .... the passage we have now read, “ their cities of peace.”] There as well as all of the same kind oc- were cities, where the holiness of curring in the EDDA, are no other the place forbad all quarrels and than figurative, and poetic ways bloodshed. of propounding that philofophic

THE

THE EIGHTEENTH FABLE.

Of the Goddeles.

G

[ocr errors]

ANGLER asks, Who are the Goddesses? The

principal, replies Har, is Frigga (A), who hath a magnificent palace, named Fenfaler, or the Divine Abode. The second is called SAGA. forms the function of physician to the Gods (B). GEFIONE is a virgin, and takes into her service all chaste maids after their death. FYLLA, who is also a virgin, wears her beautiful locks flowing over her shoulders. Her head is adorned with a golden ribband. She is entrusted with the toilette, and slippers of Frigga * ; and admitted into the most important secrets of the Goddess. FREYA is the most illustrious of the Goddesses, next to Frigga. She married a person named Oder, and brought him a daughter named Nola, so very handsome, that whatever is beautiful and precious is called by her name. But Oder left her, in order to travel into very remote countries. Since that time Freya continually weeps, and her tears are drops of pure gold. She has a great variety of names ; for having gone over many countries in search of her husband, each people gave her a different name; some calling her Vanadis, or the Goddess of Hope, &c. &c. She wears a very rich chain of

gold.

* The Icelandic is, Ok ber eski Friggiar: Ok gietr frokletba bennar, &c. i. e, according to Goranson's Latin version, “ Eique Pyxis Frigsa ? concredita eft, ut et ejufdem Calcei.

T.

gold. The seventh Goddess is SIONA. She employs herself in turning mens hearts and thoughts to love, and in making young men and maidens well with each other. Hence lovers bear her name, Lovna is so good and gracious, and accords so heartily to the tender vows of men, that by a peculiar power which Odin and Frigga have given her, she can reconcile lovers the most at variance. VARA, the ninth Goddess, presides over the oaths that men make, and particularly over the promises of lovers. She is attentive to all concealed engagements of that kind, and punishes those who keep not their plighted troth. Vora is prudent, and wife, and so penetrating and curious, that nothing can remain hid from her. Synia is the portress of the palace, and fhuts the gates against all those who ought not to enter : she also presides in trials, where any thing is about to be denied upon oath; whence the proverb, “ Signia is not far from “ him who goes about to deny." The twelfth is called LYNA. She has the care of those whom Frigga intends to deliver from peril. SNOTRA is a wise and intelligent Goddess ; men and women who are prudent and virtuous bear her name, GnA is the mesfenger whom Frigga dispatches into the various worlds, to perforın her commands. She has a horse which runs over the air (c), and across the waters *. They reckon also Sol and Bil in the number of the Afes, or Divinities; but their nature hath been already explained to you . There are, besides, a great many virgins who officiate in Valhall, pouring out BEER and Ale for the Heroes, and taking care of the cups, and whatever belongs to the table. To this refers

what

* The curious reader will find an additional passage here in Goranson's Latin translation.

T. + This, I suppose, refers to FABLE VI, &c.

T

what is said in the poem of Grimnis, “ I wish Rifta “ and Mifta would supply me with the drinking " horns ; for they are the nymphs who should give

cups to the heroes." These Goddesses are called Valkyries ; Odin fends them into the fields of battle, to make choice of those who are to be slain, and to bestow the vi&ory. Gudur, RoSTA, and the youngeft of the - Destinies or Fairies * who preside over Time, viz. SKULDA (or the FUTURE) go forth every day on horseback to chuse the dead, and regulate what carnage shall ensue. IORD, or the Earth, the mother of Thor; and Rinda, the mother of Vale, ought also to be ranked among the Goddesses.

Iilandic, Norn en yngla, i. c. Nornarum natu Minima. Goran

T.

son.

REMARKS ON THE EIGHTEENTH FABLE.

(A) « The principal is Frigga.”] Goddess of Plenty, Fruitfulness and I have already remarked that FRIG- Pleasure. The sixth day of the GA was the Earth, the spouse of week is Frea's day in all the norOdin, and mother of the inferior thern languages, (sc. Friday +) Divinities; and that Thor was Shc being the mother of the whole her first-born. She, with these human race, the people regarded two other Gods, made that sacred one another as brethren, and lived Triad, who were served and at- in strict unity and concord, during · tended with so much respex in the short time that her festivals the famous Temple of Upsal. Frig- lasted. Non bella ineunt, faid Taga, or Frea, was there represented citus respecting those seasons, non as reposing upon cushions between arma fumunt, clausum omne ferrum ; Odin and Thor; and by various pax & quies tum tantum amata. Buc emblems, was denoted to be the as soon as these were over, they

made

+ Sce Vol. I. pag. 8o.

« PreviousContinue »