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Brigitte Delamotte Von Stetina
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from the Poetic Edda*
Now do I see the earth anew
Rise all green from the waves again.
The waterfalls fall, and the eagle flies,
And fish he catches beneath the cliffs.

The gods in Idavoll meet together,
Of the terrible girdler of earth they talk,
And the mighty past they call to mind,
And the ancient runes of the ruler of gods.

The gods shall find there, wondrous fair,
The golden game-pieces amid the grass,
Which the gods had owned in the days of old.

Then fields unsowed bear ripened fruit,
All ills grow better, and Baldr comes back.
Baldr and Hod dwell in Hropt's victory hall,
And the mighty gods: would you know yet more?

Then Hœnir wins the prophetic wand,
And the sons of the two brothers
Abide in Vindheim now: would you know yet more?

* Download FREE eBook of the Poetic Edda from The +Norse Mythology​ Online Library at

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Adapted from Grimm's Teutonic Mythology*
As the fertility of the land depends on thunderstorms and rains, thunder gods appear as the oldest divinities of agricultural nations, to whose bounty they look for the thriving of their cornfields and fruits.

Adam of Bremen too attributes thunder and lightning to Thor expressly in connexion with dominion over weather and fruits:

Thor, they say, presides over the air, which governs the thunder and lightning, the winds and rains, fair weather and crops.

Here then the worship of Thor coincides with that of Odin, to whom likewise the reapers paid homage, as on the other hand Thor as well as Odin guides the events of war, and receives his share of the spoils.

To the Norse mind indeed, Thor's victories and his battles with the giants have thrown his peaceful office quite into the shade.

Nevertheless to Odin's mightiest son, whose mother is Earth herself, we must, if only for his lineage sake, allow a direct relation to agriculture.

Ge clears up the atmosphere, he sends fertilizing showers, and his sacred tree supplies the nutritious acorn. Thor's minni was drunk to the prosperity of cornfields.

Uhland in his essay on Thorr, has penetrated to the heart of the Old Norse myths, and ingeniously worked out the thought, that the very conflict of the summer god with the winter giants itself signifies the business of bringing land under cultivation, that the crushing rock-splitting force of the thunderbolt prepares the hard stony soil.

This is most happily expounded of the Hrungnir
and Aurvandil myths ; in some of the others it seems not to answer so well.

Illustration by Tom Charlesworth

* Download FREE eBook from The Norse Mythology Library under "Scholarly Works - 19th Century" at

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