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Medieval and Classical Library


The Beginning Of Wonders At Frodis-Water.

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #33

At Frodis-water was there a great fire-hall, and lock-beds in therefrom, as the wont then was. Out from the hall there were two butteries, one on either hand, with stock-fish stored in one, and meal in the other. There were meal-fires made every evening in the fire-hall, as the wont was, and men mostly sat thereby or ever they went to meat.

Now that same night that the corpse-bearers carne home, as men sat by the meal-fires at Frodiswater, they saw how by the panelling of the house-wall was come a half-moon, and all might see it who were in the house; and it went backward and withershins round about the house, nor did it vanish away while folk sat by the fires. So Thorod asked Thorir Wooden-leg what that might bode.

Thorir said it was the Moon of Weird, (1) "and the deaths of men will follow thereafter," says he.

So a whole week this thing endured, that the Moon of Weird came in there evening after evening.

(1)  The description given of the moon of Weird -- "urthar-mani"
     -- indeed, the mention of this portent, is only found here,
     and no allusion to it exists elsewhere in the literature,
     that we are aware of.  "Urthr", gen. "urthar", was one of
     the three northern fates, the others being Verthandi and
     Skuld, which names clearly indicate the Past, Present, and
     Future.  Weird's moon would seem generally to have been
     taken as a portent that betokened an act that Fate had
     already accomplished, while here it seems to be Urd's notice
     of what she had decided should come to pass within
     Verthandi's and Skuld's domain, namely, the troubles, such
     as sickness, which were to fall on the people of
     Frodis-water (Verthandi's business), and death thereon
     following (Skuld's affair).