« PreviousContinue »
The church was content cumftances of its first to fanctify the end of this
original. (See Scheffer. feasting, by applying it Upsal. Antiq. c. 7. Pelto the nativity of our lout. Hist. des Celt. T. II. Lord; the anniversary of c. 127.) I have already which happened to be observed, that in all the much about the fame languages of the north, time. In the languages of the
day consecrated to the the north, Juul, or Yule, Jupiter tonans of the Rostill fignifies Christmas; mans, was transferred to and the manner in which the God THOR, and was this festival is celebrated named Thorsdag, &c. that in many places, as well is, THURSDAY. See as the old name itself, re Vol. I. pag. 96. minds us of many cir
of See also Key A. Antiq. p. 159, &c. 349, 367.
THE TWELFTH FABLE.
Of the God Balder.
HE second fon of Odin is named
BALDER. He is of an excellent
ces in Briedablik, and there I know are
The third God is he, whom we call KIORD. He dwelleth in a place named Noatun. · He is ruler of the winds: he checks the fury of the sea, storms and fire (B). Whoever would succeed in navigation, hunting or fishing, ought to pray to this God. He is so rich, that he can give to his votaries kingdoms and treasurés : and upon this account also he deferves to be invoked. Yet Niord is not of the lineage of 'the Gods. He was reared at Vanbein, that is, in the country of the VANES; but the Vanes delivered him up an hostage to the Gods, and received in his place Haner. By this means a peace was re-established between the Gods and the Vanes. Niord took to wife Skada, the daughter of the Giant
Thiasse. She prefers dwelling on the spot where her father inhabits, that is, in the land of the mountains; but Niord loves to reside near the sea : yet they came at length to this agreement between themselves, that they should pass together nine nights among the mountains, and three on the shore of the sea. One day Niord, returning from the mountains, composed this song; “ How “ do I hate the abode of the mountains ? “ I have only passed nine nights there ; “ but how long and tedious did they seem ! “ There one hears nothing but the howl" ing of wolves, instead of the sweet fing
sting of the swans *, who dwell on the
sea-shores.” In answer to this, Skada composed the following verses ;
" How is “ it possible for me to enjoy my rest on " the couch of the God of the Ocean
i çe whilst birds in flocks returning each şe morning from the forest, awake me with " their screamings?” Then Skada returned to the mountains, where her father dwells; there snatching up her bow, and fastening on her snow-skates, the often employed herself in the chace of fayago beasts t:
* It is very remarkable, that the ancient Icelandic þards should have got hold of that fabulous opinion of the SWAN's being a singing bird; which fo generally prevailed among the Greek and Roman poets
. It would be a curious subject of disquisition, to inquire what could have given rise to so arbitrary and ground, less a notion.
-There can be no mistake about the bird here; for the Icelandic words are the same with our English : Saungui Suana, “ The song, or singing ¢ of SWANS.” Cantus Cygnorum.
T. + The reader will find an additional passage here in the Latin version of Goranson; as also some parts of the preceding paragraph differently rendered.
REMARKS ON THE TWELFTH FABLE,
(A) " He seems to the exercise of investiga. ” dart forth rays
of tion. Who is this God se light.]
Of all the Balder? Was he known nations who have for to the other nations of merly adhered to the Europe? It seems to me
Gothic' religion t, none probable, that Balder is have given us such a par- the fame God, whom the ticular description of it as Noricians and Gauls worthe Icelanders. If we are shiped under the name of not therefore always able Belenus. This was a ceto prove, that fome of the lebrated God among the points contained in the Celteş.
Celtes. Many inscripdoctrine of the EDDA tions make mention of have been universally re him. We even find moceived by other ancient numents, where he is exnations of Europe ; must hibited according to his it be thence concluded, attributes. That which that these doctrines were hath been long preserved unknown to them ? Ana at the castle of Polignac, logy authorises us to judge represents him with a rathe contrary. The con diated head, and a large formities, we discover in
open mouth; which ex. that part which we know, actly agrees with the picmay serye to answer for ture here given of him in what remains unknown. the EDDA; as a God reBut this reasoning, which splendent and eloquent, İ think well founded, We easily see, that Bethall not hinder me from len and Balder came from feeking more positive the same origin, that isg. proofs of that resemblance from the Phrygian word and conformity, as far as Bal, or Balen, which sigone can discover any tra nifies King, and which ces of it amid the ruins they formerly applied to of antiquity. There is the Sun. Selden (de Diis im this place matter for Syris. Synt. II. c. 1.)
† Fr. La Religion Celtique.