Young Folks' Treasury: Myths and Legendary Heroes
ADAPTED FROM A, AND E. KEARY'S VERSION
Upon a summer's afternoon it happened that Baldur the Bright and Bold, beloved of men
and the gods, found himself alone in his palace of Broadblink. Thor was walking among
the valleys, his brow heavy with summer heat; Frey and Gerda sported on still waters in
their cloud-leaf ship; Odin, for once, slept on the top of Air Throne; a noon-day stillness
pervaded the whole earth; and Baldur in Broadblink, most sunlit of palaces, dreamed a
The dream of Baldur was troubled. He knew not whence nor why; but when he awoke he
found that a new and weighty care was within him. It was so heavy that Baldur could
scarcely carry it, and yet he pressed it closely to his heart and said, "Lie there, and do not
fall on any one but me." Then he rose up and walked out from the splendor of his hall,
that he might seek his own mother, Frigga, and tell her what had happened. He found her
in her crystal saloon, calm and kind, and ready to sympathize; so he walked up to her, his
hands pressed closely on his heart, and lay down at her feet sighing.
"What is the matter, dear Baldur?" asked Frigga, gently.
"I do not know, mother," answered he. "I do not know what the matter is; but I have a
shadow in my heart."
"Take it out, then, my son, and let me look at it," replied Frigga.
"But I fear, mother, that if I do it will cover the whole earth."
Then Frigga laid her hand upon the heart of her son that she might feel the shadow's
shape. Her brow became clouded as she felt it; her parted lips grew pale, and she cried
out, "Oh! Baldur, my beloved son! the shadow is the shadow of death!"
Then said Baldur, "I will die bravely, my mother."
But Frigga answered, "You shall not die at all; for I will not sleep to-night until
everything on earth has sworn to me that it will neither kill nor harm you."
So Frigga stood up, and called to her everything on earth that had power to hurt or slay.
First she called all metals to her; and heavy iron-ore came lumbering up the hill into the
crystal hall, brass and gold, copper, silver, lead, and steel, and stood before the Queen,
who lifted her right hand high in the air, saying, "Swear to me that you will not injure
Baldur"; and they all swore, and went. Then she called to her all stones; and huge granite