It is to be deplored that Scandinavian literature is so little known throughout Southern Europe and America. All our research has been elsewhere directed; and our scholars, profoundly ignorant of the mythology and poetry of the North, believe the only classic literature to be that of Greece and Rome.
Yet the North is replete with lyric gems that have never been rendered into other tongues. The great human heart has spoken here. Its strains are simple, sincere and mighty. Its thoughts are fresh as the native breezes, rugged as the craggy mountains, deep as the waters of the interjacent fjords.
The Teutonic and Scandinavian races once had a common mythology, and claimed Oden as their father.
Iceland has preserved faithfully these ancient mythological records, and embodied them in the Elder, or Poetic, Edda, compiled by Sæmund the Wise, one of the Christian priests of the twelfth century. Its thirty-nine books, or cantos, are made up of legends, songs, traditions and philosophy, put in metric form, and enunciating truths of such tremendous magnitude and universal application as to furnish food for the thought of all generations.
This is the Solomon's Song of the North. He who has not pondered over its precepts has not mastered the history of Philosophy.