LONG, long ago, before the earth was made,—and there was no sea and sky or night and day,—the vast, unending Land of Mist stretched away on one side of a bottomless gulf, on the other side of which lay the Land of Fire. The Land of Mist was calledMoreLONG, long ago, before the earth was made,—and there was no sea and sky or night and day,—the vast, unending Land of Mist stretched away on one side of a bottomless gulf, on the other side of which lay the Land of Fire.
The Land of Mist was called Niflheim, and here eternal winter reigned with fog and snow and darkness that wrapped the dreary land about like a shroud. From the heart of Niflheim there flowed a dark, tumultuous river, and as it rushed down into the chasm at its edge, the waters met the cold blasts that swept up from below, and great mountains of ice were formed on the side of the gulf over which the chill fogs gathered and the bitter winds blew.The never changing twilight which brooded over the gulf was sometimes illuminated by sparks that were blown over from the Land of Fire that lay just beyond.
This place was called Muspelheim, and here the whole land glowed like a living furnace with flames that burned with the heat of a million suns. Sparks of fire flew up in great numbers into the clouds, and these, glowing like balls of fire, were thrown far and wide on the land. Some of the burning sparks floated northward toward the land of snows, and as they fell into the ice-filled gulf, they changed to clouds of steam which were soon congealed into hoar-frost.
Then one day this great mass of frost, on which fresh sparks of fire still fell, was suddenly warmed into life, and out of ice and snow and fire and heat the great giant Ymir was made...