Jacob Grimm.

Teutonic mythology (Volume 1) online

. (page 44 of 46)
Online LibraryJacob GrimmTeutonic mythology (Volume 1) → online text (page 44 of 46)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

no. 278 has a pretty Lithuanian legend : The dieves valditoycs were seven
goddesses, the first one spun the lives of men out of a distaff given her by the
highest god, the second set up the warp, the third wove in the woof, the foiu-th
told tales to tempt the workers to leave off, for a cessation of labour spoilt the
web, the fifth exhorted them to industry, and added length to the life, the sixth
cut the threads, the seventh washed the garment and gave it to the most high
god, and it became the man's winding-sheet. Of the seven, only i/iree spin or

^ Not a few times have Holda and Berhta passed into Mary ; and in the
three Marys of a Swiss niu'sery-rhyme I think I can recognise the heathen norns
or idisi :

rite, rite rosli, ride, ride a-cock horse,

ze Bade stot e schlossli, at Baden stands a little castle,

ze Bade stot e glildi hus, at Baden stands a golden house,

es liieged drei Mareie drus. there look three Marys out of it :

die eint spinnt side, the one spins silk,


the fatae seem apt to run into that sense of matres and matronac}
wliich among Teutons we find attaching more to divine than to
semi-divine beings. In this respect the fays have something
higher in them than our idises and norns, who in lieu of it stand
out more warlike.


Yet, as the fatae are closely bound up witli fatum — the pro-
nouncing of destiny, vaticination — the kinship of the fays to the
norns asserts itself all the same. Now there was no sort of destiny
that stirred the spirit of antiquity more strongly than the issue of
battles and wars : it is significant, that the same urlac, urlouc
expresses both fatum and bellum also (Graff 2, 96. Gramm. 2, 790),
and the idisi forward or hinder the fight. This their office we have
to look into more narrowly.

From Caesar (De B. Gall. 1, 50) we already learn the practice
of the Germani, 'ut matresfamilias eorum sortihus et vaticinationibwi
declararent, utrum proelium committi ex usu esset, necue '. Mis-
tresses of families practised augury, perhaps women selected for tlie
purpose, of superior and godlike repute like Veleda.

Let us bear in mind, which gods chiefly concerned themselves
with the event of a battle : Offinn and Frcyja draw to themselves
all those who fall in fight, and OSinn admits them to his heavenly
abode (pp. 133, 305). This hope, of becoming after death members
of the divine community, pervades the religion of the heathen.
Now the ON. valr, AS. wed, OHG. ival, denotes the carnage of the
battle-field, the sum of the slain : to take possession of this val,
to gather it in, was denominated Idosa, kiesen, to choose ; this verb
seems a general technical term for the acceptance of any sacrifice
made to a higher being.^ But OSiun, who has the siges Jciir (choosing

(lie amTer schnatzelt chride, the other cards . . . . ?

die drit schnit haberstrau. the third cuts oaten straw.

bhiiet nier Gott mis chindH an ! God keep my childie too !

Schnatzeln is, I suppose, to wind ? [snast = -wick ? snood ? In the marchen
of the Goo>eniaid, schnatzen is apparently to comb]. The .'seventh line sometiiiu's
runs : di dritte schneidt den faden (cuts the thread). Conf. Vonbun p. 6(>.
Firmenich 2, ()G5^ Mannhardt pp. 388. 392. The nursery-song in the
Wunderhorn p. 70-1 has tliree spinning tocken, i.e. nymi>hs, fays.
^ Lersch in the Bonn Annual 1843, pp. 124 — 7.'

" Chief passage, Stem. 141". Conf. Gramm. 4, 608, and AS. wig curou,
C:v(\m. 193, 9; MHG. sige kiesen, Iw. 7009, sig erkiesen, \Vh. 355, 15. So,
den tot kiesen.



of victory, p. 133, note), is served in Valholl by maidens, and them
he sends out into every battle, to choose the slain, Sn. 39; 'Idosa er
liSnir ero,' Siem. 164^; vildi J?ik hiosa, Stem. 254^

Hence such a maiden, half divine, is called valkyrja ; and
it is another most welcome coincidence, that the AS. language
has retained the very same term ivcelcyrie (wselcyrge, wselcyrre) to
English such Latin words as bellona, erinnys, Alecto, Tisiphone,
and employs it even for parca and venefica. The Cott. MS. Vitell.
A. 15 has a gloss ' wtelcyrigean eagan, gorgoneus': this is translating
the Greek idea into an AS. one ; did the eyes of the wffilcyrigean
instil horror like the Gorgons' heads? I am quite safe in assuming
an OHG. walachurid (walachurra) ; valahusjo would be the Gothic
form. At the end of the Langobardian genealogy we find a man's
name Walcaiisus}

Another name of the valhjrjur is ON. valmeyjar (battle-maids),
perhaps also the present Norw. valdoger, which Hallager 140^ says
is guardian-spirit. Again, they are called skialdmeyjar, hialmmeyjar,
because they go forth armed, under shield and helmet (vera und
hialmi, Soem. 151^ 192^) ; nonnor Herjans, nuns of OSinn 4^ The
Edda bestows on the valkyrja the epithets: hvU 168^, /iv-i^ und hial-
mi (alba sub galea) 145^ hiort 174'', solhiort, sunbright 167^, liart-
litud' 142% hialnivitr 157% gidlvariS 167^, margidlin mser 145=*,
alvitr 164% all descriptive of beauty or helmet-ornaments. Helm
and shield distinguish these helm and shield women as much as
heroes, they ride on shield-service, under shield-roof, Ssem. 250%
and are called skialdmeyjar aldrstamar, or young shield-maidens of
Atli's court. The legend of the Amazons (Herod. 4, 110 — 117.
Jorn. cap. 6.7.8. Paul. Diac. 1, 15) seems to rest on similar yet
different notions. A valkyr in Ssem. 167'' is named suffrcen (australis) ,
apparently in the sense of biort, solbiort ? Again at 151% disir
suSrcenar (see Suppl.).^

1 Of valr, wal itself we might seek the root in velja, valjan (eligere), so
that it should from the first have contained the notion of choosing, but being
applied to strages, and its sense getting blurred, it had to be helped out by a
second verb of the same meaning. Our Tit. 105, 4 has a striking juxtaposition :
' Sigun diu sigehaft uf dem wal, da man ivelt magede kiusche und ir siieze '. It
is only in Dietr. 91'' and Rab. 536. 635. 811. 850. 923 that welreche occurs ; can
it have any relationship to walkiire ?

^ 03inn has Frigg, the valhjrjur and the ravens in the vv^aggon with him,
Sn. 66. For valkyrja I also find the name shmhigr, derivable either from skar
superbia, or skari agmen. Brynhildr is called in Vols, saga cap. 24 ' mestr
skorAngr' (see Suppl.j.


One name is particularly attractive : oskmeyjar, wish-maidens

(Stem. 212. Vols, saga cap. 2), given them, I think, because they are
in OSin's service, and OSinn is called Oski, Wunsc. But there is
something more : I find a confirmation of my opinion that Wuotan
bore the name of Wunsc in his identity with Mercury, for ]\Iercury
carries the magic wand (caduceus), which is like our v:ishing-rod,
OHG. vmnsciligerta (-yerde, yard). The likeness will come out
more distinctly from a closer inspection of the two rods, which is yet
to come ; but if Wuotan and Wunsc, OSinn and OsJd are one, we
may suppose that the thorn, the sleeping-thorn, which OSinn put
into the dress of tlie valkyrja Brynhildr (Soem. 192"^), was likewise
a wishing-thorn. It throws light on the nature of Brunhild and
Chrimhild, that rocks are named after them, one called spilstcin,
Chriemhildes^^7 (p. 370), which does not find a meaning so well
from spil (Indus) as from spille (spindle, fusus). For other stones
have the name knnkel (distaff), and in French fairy-tales quenouillc
a la bonne dame ; ^ Dornroschen (thorn-rosekin) pricked her finger
with the spindle and fell into a dead sleep, as Brunhild did with
the wishing-thorn. Spindles are an essential characteristic of all the
wise-women of antiquity among Teutons, Celts and Greeks.^ The
walkiire is a wunsch-kint, Wunsches hint, pp. 139, 142 (see Suppl.).

The name wunsclielweib, which lasted down to a late time, shall
be produced hereafter; here I call up from the poem of the
Staufenberger a being by whom the connexion of valkyrs with fays
is placed beyond doubt. To the knight there shews herself a maiden
in wliitc apparel (the hvit and biort above), sitting on a stone (line
224) ; she has ivatched over him in danger and tvar from his yoidh
up, she was about him unseen (332 — 3G4) ; now she becomes his
love, and is with him ivhcnever he ivishcs for her (swenne du einest
wunschest nach mir, so bin ich endelichen bi dir 474). By super-
human power she moves swiftly whither she lists (war ich wil, da,
bin ich, den umnsch hat mir Got gegeben 497). Staufenberger, after
being united to her in love, may do anything except take a wedded
wife, else he will die in three days.

' er wilnschf.e nach der frouwen sin,
bi im so war diu schcene fin,'

1 H. Schreiber pp. 20. 21.

2 I like also Sclireiber'3 derivation, pp. 65 — 67, of tlie name Nehaea,
Nehalennia (supra p. 257) from the root nere, neza to spin.


"VVlien he notwithstanding resolves on anotlier marriage, she drives
he?' foot through the floor, and he has to die (1016. 1066). Accord-
ing to this remarkable story, umnschwcih or ivunschclweih is one
whose presence her lover can procure, by wishing it, whenever he
longs for her, ' names her name' as it were (p. 398) : this is, thougli
not a false, yet a later meaning substituted for the original one,
which had reference to the god of wishing, the divine Wish. Old
Norse legend \\ ill unfold to us more precisely the nature of these

In Valholl the occupation of the oshneyjar or valkyrjiir was to
hand the drinking-horn to the gods and einherjar, and to furnish
the table. Here comes out their peculiar relation to Frcgja, who
' chooses val ' like them, is called Valfrcyja (p. 305),^ and pours out
at the banquet of the Ases (at gildi Asa), Sn. 108. Exactly in the
same way did Gondul, sitting on a stol i rioSrinu (in the niuriute,
clearing), offer the comers drink out of a horn (Fornald. sog. 1, 398.
400); and with this agree the deep draughts of the modern folk-tale :
a beautifully dressed and garlanded maiden from the Osenberg offers
the count of Oldenburg a draught in a silver horn, while uttering pre-
dictions (Deutsche sagen, no. 541). Svend Falling drank out of the
horn handed him by elf-women, and in doing so, spilt some on his
horse, as in the preceding story (Thiele 2, 67) ; I have touched
(p. 372) on the identity of Svend Falling with Siegfried, whose
relation to the valkyr Brunhild comes out clearly in the Danish
story. In a Swedish folk-song in Arvidsson 2, 301, three mountain-
maids hold out silver tankards in their ivhite hands. Quite in
harmony are some Norwegian traditions in Faye p. 26-8-9. 30 ;
and additional Danish ones in Thiele 1, 49.55. 3,44 (see SuppL).

Still more to the purpose is the office of the valkyrs in war.
Not only 'kiosa val, kiosa feigS,'^ but 'rac5a viguni' or 'sigri,'
therefore the deciding of battle and victory, is placed in their hands,
tSn. 39. They are said to be 'gorvar (alert) at riSa grund,' 'gorvar

^ So, in a Faroese song, Valvfrygv (Finn Magn. lex. p. 805).

" The taJdng possession of souls at the moment of death by OSinn and
Freyja, or by their messengers the valkyrs, appears to me so deep-rooted a
featnre of oiir heathenism, that we may well find it lingering even in christian
traditions. Of tliis sort is the scramble of angels and devils for the soul, des-
cribed in the poem Muspilli, which Schmeller has hunted up, Georg 1235-44.
6(l'-2— 86, and Meon 1, 239. 4, 114-5 ; and a striking passage in the Morolt I
shall quote in ch. XVII. Will any one think of tracing this idea to the Epistle
of Jude 9, or the apocryphal Book of Enoch ?


at riSa til go5]7ioSar,' Sffiin. 4^ Eooted in their being is an irresis-
tible longing for this warlike occupation ; hence the Edda expresses
their most cliaracteristic passion by the verb '}?ra' (desiderant),
Sffim. 88^ ' ])xivSo ' (desiderabant) or ' fystoz ' (cnpiebant), 134^* : it
is their own longing, striving and wisliing that has swung itself
round into that wishing for them. Usually nine valkyrjur ride out
together, Stem. 142, 162 ; their lances, helmets and shields glitter
15 1\ This nineness is also found in the story of T'aiSrandi (sec
p. 402), to whom nine disir appear first in white raiment, then nine
others in black. Sa?m. 44-5, and after him Sn. 39, enumerate
thirteen of them: Hrist, Mist, Skeggdld, Skugul, Hildr, Thriid'r,
Hlock, Herfiotr, Gall, Geirahod' (al. Geirolul), liandgricF, RddgrOT,
Reginleif ; but Saem. 4'' only six: Skuld, Skogul, Giinnr, Hildr,
Gondul, Geirskogul} The j)rose of Sn. 39 distinguishes three as
strictly val-choosers and mistresses of victory: Gud'r, Bota and
Skuld 'norn en yngzta'. The celebrated battle-weaving song of
the Nialssaga names the following : Hildr, Hiorprimul, Sangriffr (1.
EangriSr), Svipid, Gunnr, Gondid; the Hakonarmal: Gondol, Skogol,
Geirskogol; the Krakumal (ed. Eafn, p. 121) only Hlock and Hildr.
Several of these names are of extraordinary and immediate value
to our investigation, and not one of the remainder ought to be left
out of sight in future study (see Suppl.).

Skuld, for instance : we gatlier from it the affinity of norns and
valkyrs, and at the same time the distinction between them. A
dis can be both norn and valkyr, but the functions are separate,
and usually the persons. The norns have to pronounce the fatum,
they sit on their chairs, or they roam through the country among
mortals, fastening their threads. Nowhere is it said that they ride.
The valkyrs ride to war, decide the issue of the fighting, and
conduct the fallen to heaven ; their riding is like that of heroes
and gods (pp. 327. 392), mention is made of their horses : skalf
Mistar marr (tremuit Mistae equus), Sa^m. 156^ ; wa?'gullin nicer
(aureo equo vecta virgo), 145''; M'hen the steeds of the valkyrs
shake themselves, dew drips from their manes into the valleys, and
fertilizing hail falls on trees 145''''', with which compare the ' des-
tillationes in comis et collis equorum ' of the wise-women (p. 287) ;
the name Mist, which elsewhere means nust, may have indicated

^ Unpublished passages in the skalds supply 29 or 30 names (Finn Ma-^n.
lex. p. 803).


a like phenomenon. Of the norns, none but Skidd the youngest
(p. 405) can be a valkyrja too : were UrSr and VerSandi imagined
as too aged or too dignified for the work of war ? did the cutting,
breaking, of the thread (if such an idea can be detected in the
North) better become the maiden practised in arms ?

Two other valkyrs, Hloch and Hcrfiotr, have been claimed
above (p. 401) as idisi, and interpreted as restrainers of the fight.
In the Kormakssaga there also occurs Hlokk gen. Hlakkar, for

Hildr, Gunnr, Tkruffr deserve to be studied the more closely,
because their personality turns up in other Teutonic tongues as
well, and the presence there of some walachuriun argues that of
the whole sisterhood. Even in ONorse, ITildr and Gunnr (=:Gu6r)
got generalized into hildr and gunnr (pugna, proelium) ; of bellona
was made bellum : ' hildr hefir ])u oss verit,' bellona nobis fuisti,
Seem. 164^ Conversely, beside the AS. hild and guff we still
find a personal Hild and Gild': gif mec Ifdd nime (if H. take me),
Beow. 899. 2962 ; GticT nimeS 5069 ; GticT fornam (carried off)
2240 ; as elsewhere we have ' gif mec deaS nimeS,' Beow. 889, wig
ealle fornam 2154, guSdeaS fornam 4494, Wyrd fornam 2411 (conf.
OS. Wurd farnimid, Hel. Ill, 11), swylt fornam 2872, Wyrd for-
sweop (supra p. 406) ; conf. ' Ililde grap ' 5009. And as other
beings that do us good or harm are by turns aroused and quieted,
it is said picturesquely: Hildi vekja (bellonam excitare), Seem. 160^
246=^; elsewhere merely vig vekja (bellum excitare) 105*. The
valkyrs, like OSinn (p. 147), are accompanied by eagles and ravens,
who alight on the battlefield,^ and the waging of war is poetically
expressed as ala gogl gunna^ sysf.ra (aves alere sororum belli), Ssem.
160^ The forms in OHG. were Hiltia and Gundia (Gudea), both
found in the Hild. lied 6, 60, though already as mere common
nouns ; composite proper names have -hilt, -gunt.^ The legend of
Hildr, who goes to the val at night, and by her magic wakes the
fallen warriors into life again, is preserved both in the Edda (Sn,
164-5) and also in the OHG. poem of Gudrun, where she is called
Hilde? — Lastly, Thru&r, which likewise sinks into a mere apj^ella-

1 Andr. and El. p. xxvi. xxvii. Conf. Luke 17, 37 : ottou to awfia, tKf'i
(TvvaxSrjcrovTaL kol ol aeroi.

- The Trad, fuld., in Scliannat no. 443, have preserved the name, well
suited to a valkyr, of Themarhilt (from demar, crepusculum).

* Deutsche heldensage p. 327 seq. Conf. supra j). 285, on Hilde and Hikl-


tive prii&r virgo, and in OHG. occurs in a great many female
names {e.g. Alpdrud [^lfj?ry5, Elfrida], Wolcliandrud, Himildriul,
Pliddrut, Plihdmt = Plectrud, Kerdrud = Gertrude, Mimidriid,
Sigidrud, which naturally suggest ghostly beings), has assumed
the general meaning of witch, sorceress, hobgoblin.^ Hans Sachs
several times uses ' alte trute ' for old witch, and noisy children are
quieted with the words : ' hush, the d^^ut will come ! ' ^ so that here
she exactly fills the place of frau Holla or Berhta, and can
the more appropriately be the ancient valkyr. An AS. wood-
maiden, named Dhryd', comes up in the Vita Offae secundi (supra,
p. 388) : she is from France, where she had been sentenced to
death for her crimes, exposed in a ship, and cast on the shore of
Mercia. Here Offa saw the maiden passing fair, and married her,
but she soon committed new transgi-essions. She is called 9^ Drida,
9^ Petronilla, 15^ Qvendrida (i.e.,cwen ThryS ; conf. Kemble's pre-
face to Beow. pp. XXXV, xxxvi, and Bilckstrom 1, 220 (see SuppL).

Beside the valkyrs named, there must have been many others,
and the second section of the Ssemundaredda names several as
lovers or wives of heroes. Such are Svava, Sigrlinn, Kara, SigrUn,
Sigrdrifa, who are expressly called valkyrjur, Seem. 142^ 145^ 157,
169. 194. It also comes out, that they were of human origin,
being daughters of kings, Svava of Eylimi, Sigrlinn of Svafnir,
Sigrun of Hogni, Kara of Halfdan, Sigrdrifa of BuSli ; Svava was
the lover of Helgi HiorvarSsson, Sigrlinn of HiorvarSr, Sigrun of
Helgi Hundingsbani, Kara of Helgi HaddingskaSi, and Sigrdrifa,
who is no other than Brynhildr, of SigurSr. Grimhildr (helmet-
maiden, p. 238), and above all Brynhildr, Prunhilt, whose very
name betokens the mail-clad Hildr, is superhuman: her inaccessible
hall stands on a mountain, like those of Veleda and Jetha (pp. 95-
6) ; it was a scMldhurg (skialdborg), where she herself, bound by
the spell, slept under her shield, till SigurSr released her. Then
she prophesied to him, Ssem. 194^ and before her death she
prophesies again, 224. 226^ Her hall was encircled with Jlickering
fiame, ' oc var um sal hennar vafrlogi,' Sn. 139 (see SuppL), as was
also that of Menglocf (OHG. Maniklata, i.e., monili laetabunda),
another valkyr: salr er slunginn er visom vafrloga (Seem. 110*, conf.

1 Some people think Gerdrut, Gerdraut, an unchristian name. Frau Trmle
(Kinderm. 43).

^ Flogel, gesch. des groteskekom. p. 23.


107'^'''). Before this MengloS, nine virgins kneel, sit, and sing ;
sacrifice is offered to them all (111^); conf, ch. XXXVI. Then
Vebiorg shialdmccr appears in Fornald. sog. 1, 384. And vro
Babehilt, whom Dietrich finds at a fountain, asleep (as Sigurd found
Brynhild), and who gives him healing salves, and foretells his fate
(Ecke 151 — 160), must also be reckoned among norns or valkyrs.
The valkyrs bestowed on their favourites, as Staufenberger's lover
did on him (p. 419), victory and protection in battle (Sigrun hlifSi
honom opt siSan i orrostom, Soem. 142^) ; this relation is technically
expressed by vcrja (tueri 134''); they hide their heroes' ships (Svava
145=^'^, Sigrun 153^). The above-mentioned Hildr too, the daughter
of king Hogni (Hagene), was HeSin's betrothed. The memory of
these shield-maidens has filtered down even into modern folk-
songs : in Arvidsson 1, 189, Kerstin skoldmo with her 8000 maids
redeems her betrothed from captivity ; at other times it is a sister
that rescues her brother, by which is not meant a sister by birth,
but a valkyr again, for these higher beings are everywhere called
sisters, and fraternize with their proteges (Arvidsson 2, 120-1-2.
Nyerup 4, 38-9). Now those women in our medieval poetry, the
sight of whom nerves to victory, whose name need only be uttered
to bring them to one's side as quickly as a wish can be formed and
accomplished, are evidently shield-women of this kind (see SuppL).
OSinn then admitted into his band of valkyrs mortal maidens
of kingly race, deified women standing by the side of the deified
heroes ; yet I do not suppose that all valkyrs were of such lineage,
but that the oldest and most famous were, like the norns, descended
from gods or elves. It is also worth noting, that Kara and her
Helgi were looked upon as a second hirth of Svava and the elder
Helgi, Sam. 148^ 169. In the VolundarqviSa tliree other valkyrs
make their appearance together : Jllad'gud'r svanhvit, Rervor cdvitr,
and OlrlXn, the first two being daughters of king LoSver, the third
of Kiar ; they unite themselves to SlagfiSr, Volundr and Egill, live
with them seven years, and then escape, ' at vitja viga,' to pursue
their old trade of war again. On the whole, it seems the union of
these half-goddesses with heroes turned out detrimentally to both
parties : the heroes came to an early death or other harm, as
Staufenberger's example teaches ; and ' Sigrun varS skammlif,' she
grew scant of life. Stem. 169\ Perhaps we should be right in
assuming that promotion to the valkyrs office took place under an


oblitration of virginity} which again reminds one of the Amazons.
At all events, when 03inn was angry with Sigrdrifa for letting his
favourite fall in battle,"^ he decreed that now she should be given in
marriage, ' qvaS liana giptaz scyldo,' Snem. 194:^ HlaSguSr, Hervbr
and Olrun had been carried off by the men forcibly and against
their will (see Suppl.).^ All these female names are descriptive.
Olriin was discussed on p. 404. IllaSguSr is literally bellona
straf^is; Hervor, like the kindred Gunnvor, alludes to hosts and
battles, the adj. alvitr to the gift of prophecy, and svanhvit to the
swan-shape. Saxo Gram. 22-3 names another Scanhvita, who has
likewise much of the valkyr, is a seer of spirits, and presents a
sword to llegner to seal their covenant. As for Slagfi&r (see p. 380),
I prefer to explain it not as Slagfiunr, though he is called a son of
the Finnakonungr, but as Slagjioffr = alatus, pennatus, which goes
better with Svanhvit his lover, and is supported by the OHG.
word slagifedara, peuna.

How little we are entitled to separate the nonis and valhjrs
totally from one another, is taught by the tale of these three
maidens also. Not to mention the prevalence among valkyrs as
well as norns of the number three and sisterly companionship, nor
Hervor's having the epithet alvitr (omniscia), which better fits a
norn than a valkyr ; it is said of all three, that they sat on the
sea-beach spinning costly fiax, nay, of the same ' all- witting ' one
(who is repeatedly called iXnga, as Skuld is in other places), that
she was about to ' orlog drygja' to dree a weird, Ssem. 133'' 134^.

1 Pompon. Mela 3, 8 : ' Oracuh numinis Gallici antistites, pei-petua
virginitate sanctae, nuniero novem esse traduntur. Gallicenas vocant, putantqiie
ingeniis singularibus praedita-s maria ac ventos concitare, seque in quae velint
animalia vertere, sanare quae apud alios insanabilia sunt, scire ventura et
praedicare, sed non nisi deditas navigantibus, et in id tantum ut se consulereut
profectas [I. profectis Q '. The similarity of these nine sooth-telling gallicenae
is unmistakable. Some read Galli Cenas, others Barrigenas, conf. Tzschucke,
Not. crit. pp. 159 — 1(53.

* N.B. against Oeiin's will, who could therefore be outwitted :. destiny stood
above the god.

^ On p. 406 we saw wise-women represented as acquainted with writing,
and iLS actually writing ; it will be for similar reasons that valkyrs embroider
and paint. The Vols, saga cap. 24 says of Ijrynhild : ' huu sat i einui skemmu
viC meyjar sinar, hun kuuni meira hagleik enn aJirar konur, hun lagtJi sinu
borSa me5' gulli, ok sauma^i a ]7au stormerki, er Sigurt^r hafSi giort '. And in
this chamber Sigurt) comes to her. I place beside this the opening lines of a,
Swedish song :

Sven Farling ban rider till jungfruns gard,
som stickude pa silket del hvita.

Online LibraryJacob GrimmTeutonic mythology (Volume 1) → online text (page 44 of 46)