HOW FREYA GAINED HER NECKLACE AND HOW HER LOVED ONE WAS LOST TO HER
ES, Loki went through Asgard silent and with head bent, and
the Dwellers in Asgard said one unto the other, "This
will teach Loki to work no more mischief." They did not
know that what Loki had done had sown the seeds of
mischief and that these seeds were to sprout up and
bring sorrow to the beautiful Vana Freya, to Freya whom
the Giant wanted
 to carry off with the Sun and the Moon
as payment for his building the wall around Asgard.
Freya had looked upon the wonders that Loki had brought
into Asgard―the golden threads that were Sif's
hair, and Frey's boar that shed light from its bristles
as it flew. The gleam of these golden things dazzled
her, and made her dream in the day time and the night
time of the wonders that she herself might possess. And
often she thought, "What wonderful things the Three
Giant Women would give me if I could bring myself to go
to them on their mountaintop."
Long ere this, when the wall around their City was not
yet built, and when the Gods had set up only the court
with their twelve seats and the Hall that was for Odin
and the Hall that was for the Goddesses, there had come
into Asgard Three Giant Women.
They came after the Gods had set up a forge and had
begun to work metal for their buildings. The metal they
worked was pure gold. With gold they built Gladsheim,
the Hall of Odin, and with gold they made all their
dishes and household ware. Then was the Age of Gold,
and the Gods did not grudge gold to anyone. Happy were
the Gods then, and no shadow nor foreboding lay on
But after the Three Giant Women came the Gods began to
value gold and to hoard it. They played with it no
more. And the happy innocence of their first days
departed from them.
 At last the Three were banished from Asgard. The Gods
turned their thoughts from the hoarding of gold, and
they built up their City, and they made themselves
And now Freya, the lovely Vanir bride, thought upon the
Giant Women and on the wonderful things of gold they
had flashed through their hands. But not to Odur, her
husband, did she speak her thoughts; for Odur, more
than any of the other dwellers in Asgard, was wont to
think on the days of happy innocence, before gold came
to be hoarded and valued. Odur would not have Freya go
near the mountaintop where the Three had their high
But Freya did not cease to think upon them and upon the
things of gold they had. "Why should Odur know I went
to them?" she said to herself. "No on e will tell him.
And what difference will it make if I go to them and
gain some lovely thing for myself? I shall not love
Odur the less because I go my own way for once."
Then one day she left their palace, leaving Odur, her
husband, playing with their little child Hnossa. She
left the palace and went down to the Earth. There she
stayed for a while, tending the flowers that were her
charge. After a while she asked the Elves to tell her
where the mountain was on which the Three Giant Women
The Elves were frightened and would not tell her,
although she was queen over them. She left them and
stole down into the caves of the Dwarfs. It was they
who showed her the way
 to the seat of the Giant Women,
but before they showed her the way, they made her feel
shame and misery.
"We will show you the way if you stay with us here,"
said one of the Dwarfs.
"For how long would you have me stay?" said Freya.
"Until the cocks in Svartheim crow," said the Dwarfs,
closing round her. "We want to know what the company of
one of the Vanir is like." "I will stay," Freya said.
Then one of the Dwarfs reached up and put his arms
round her neck and kissed her with her ugly mouth.
Freya tried to break away from them, but the Dwarfs
held her. "You cannot go away from us now until the
cocks of Svartheim crow," they said.
Then one then another of the Dwarfs pressed up to her
and kissed her. They made her sit down beside them on
the heaps of skins they had. When she wept they
screamed at her and beat her. One, when she would not
kiss him on the mouth, bit her hands. So Freya stayed
with the Dwarfs until the cocks of Svartheim crew.
They showed her the mountain on the top of which the
Three banished from Asgard had their abode. The Giant
Women sat overlooking the World of Men. "What would you
have from us, wife of Odur?" one who was called Gulveig
said to her.
"Alas! Now that I have found you I know that I should
ask you for naught," Freya said.
 "Speak, Vana," said the second of the Giant Women.
The third said nothing, but she held up in her hands a
necklace of gold most curiously fashioned. "How bright
it is!" Freya said. "There is a shadow where you sit,
women, but the necklace you hold makes brightness now.
Oh, how I should joy to wear it!"
"It is the necklace Brisingamen," said the one who was
"It is yours to wear, wife of Odur," said the one who
was holding it.
Freya took the shining necklace and clasped it round
her throat. She could not bring herself to thank the
Giant Women, for she saw that there was evil in their
eyes. She made reverence to them, however, and she went
from the mountain on which they sat overlooking the
World of Men.
In a while she looked down and saw Brisingamen and her
misery went from her. It was the most beautiful thing
ever made by hands. None of the Asyniur and none of the
Vanir possessed a thing so beautiful. It made her more
and more lovely, and Odur, she thought, would forgive
her when he saw how beautiful and how happy Brisingamen
She rose up from amongst the flowers and took her leave
of the slight Elves and she made her way into Asgard.
All who greeted her looked long and with wonder upon
 she wore. And into the eyes of the
Goddesses there came a look of longing when they saw
But Freya hardly stopped to speak to anyone. As swiftly
as she could she made her way to her own palace. She
would show herself to Odur and win his forgiveness. She
entered her shining palace and called to him. No answer
came. Her child, the little Hnossa, was on the floor,
playing. Her mother took her in her arms, but the
child, when she looked on Brisingamen, turned away
Freya left Hnossa down and searched again for Odur. He
was not in any part of their palace. She went into the
houses of all who dwelt in Asgard, asking for tidings
of him. None knew where he had gone to. At last Freya
went back to their palace and waited and waited for
Odur to return. But Odur did not come.
One came to her. It was a Goddess, Odin's wife, the
queenly Frigga. "You are waiting for Odur, your
husband," Frigga said. "Ah, let me tell you Odur will
not come to you here. He went, when for the sake of a
shining thing you did what would make him unhappy. Odur
has gone from Asgard and no one knows where to search
"I will seek him outside of Asgard," Freya said. She
wept no more, but she took the little child Hnossa and
put her in Frigga's arms. Then she mounted her car that
was drawn by two cats, and journeyed down from Asgard
to Midgard, the Earth, to search for Odur her husband.
EAR in and year out, and all over the Earth, Freya
went searching and calling for the lost Odur. She went
as far as the bounds of the Earth, where she could look
over to Jötunheim, where dwelt the Giant who would
have carried her off with the Sun and the Moon as
payment for building the wall around Asgard. But in no
place, from the end of the Rainbow Bifröst, that
stretched from Asgard to the Earth, to the boundary of
Jötunheim, did she find a trace of her husband
At last she turned her car towards Bifröst, the
Rainbow Bridge that stretched from Midgard, the Earth,
to Asgard, the Dwelling of the Gods. Heimdall, the
Watcher for the Gods, guarded the Rainbow Bridge. To
him Freya went with a half hope fluttering in her
"O Heimdall," she cried, "O Heimdall, Watcher for the
Gods, speak and tell me if you know where Odur is."
"Odur is in every place where the searcher has not
come; Odur is in every place that the searcher has
left; those who seek him will never find Odur," said
Heimdall, Watcher for the Gods.
Then Freya stood on Bifröst and wept. Frigga, the
queenly Goddess, heard the sound of her weeping, and
came out of Asgard to comfort her.
"Ah, what comfort can you give me, Frigga?" cried
Freya. "What comfort can you give me when Odur will
never be found by one who searches for him?"
 "Behold how your daughter, the child Hnossa, has
grown," said Frigga. Freya looked up and saw a
beautiful maiden standing on Bifröst, the Rainbow
Bridge. She was young, more youthful than any of the
Vanir or the Asyniur, and her face and form were so
lovely that all hearts became melted when they looked
And Freya was comforted in her loss. She followed
Frigga across Bifröst, the Rainbow Bridge, and
came once again into the City of the Gods. In her own
palace in Asgard Freya dwelt with Hnossa, her child.
Still she wore round her neck Brisingamen, the necklace
that lost her Odur. But now she wore it, not for its
splendor, but as a sign of the wrong she had done. She
weeps, and her tears become golden drops as they fall
on the earth. And by poets who know her story she is
called The Beautiful Lady in Tears.
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