Odin is frequently called Alfadur (All-father), but this name is sometimes used in a way that shows that the Scandinavians had an idea of a deity superior to Odin, uncreated and eternal.
Valhalla is the great hall of Odin, wherein he feasts with his chosen heroes, all those who have fallen bravely in battle, for all who die a peaceful death are excluded. The flesh of the boar Schrimnir is served up to them, and is abundant for all. For although this boar is cooked every morning, he becomes whole again every night. For drink the heroes are supplied abundantly with mead from the she-goat Heidrun. When the heroes are not feasting they amuse themselves with fighting. Every day they ride out into the court or field and fight until they cut each other in pieces. This is their pastime; but when meal-time comes, they recover from their wounds and return to feast in Valhalla.
The Valkyrior are warlike virgins, mounted upon horses and armed with helmets, shields, and spears. Odin, who is desirous to collect a great many heroes in Valhalla, to be able to meet the giants in a day when the final contest must come, sends down to every battle-field to make choice of those who shall be slain. The Valkyrior are his messengers, and their name means "Choosers of the slain." When they ride forth on their errand their armor shed a strange flickering light, which flashes up over the northern skies, making what men call the "Aurora Borealis," or "Northern Lights." (Gray's ode, The Fatal Sisters, is founded on this superstition.)
The following is by Matthew Arnold:
"-----He crew at dawn a cheerful note, To wake the gods and heroes to their tasks And all the gods and all the heroes woke. And from their beds the heroes rose and donned Their arms, and led their horses from the stall, And mounted them, and in Valhalla's court Were ranged; and then the daily fray began, And all day long they there are hacked and hewn 'Mid dust and groans, and limbs lopped off, and blood; But all at night return to Odin's hall Woundless and fresh; such lot is theirs in heaven. And the Valkyries on their steeds went forth Toward earth and fights of men; and at their side Skulda, the youngest of the Nornies, rode; And over Bifrost, where is Heimdall's watch, Past Midgard Fortress, down to Earth they came; There through some battle-field, where men fall fast, Their horses fetlock-deep in blood, they ride, And pick the bravest warriors out for death, Whom they bring back with them at night to heaven, To glad the gods, and feast in Odin's hall." BALDER DEAD
This description of The Funeral of Balder is by William Morris:
"----------Guest Gazed through the cool dusk, till his eyes did rest Upon the noble stories, painted fair On the high panelling and roof-boards there; For over the high sea, in his ship, there lay The gold-haired Balder, god of the dead day, The spring-flowers round his high pile, waiting there Until the gods there to the torch should bear; And they were wrought on this side and on that, Drawing on towards him. There was Frey, and sat On the gold-bristled boar, who first they say Ploughed the brown earth, and made it green for Frey; Then came dark-bearded Niod; and after him Freyia, thin-robed, about her ankles slim The grey cats playing. In another place Thor's hammer gleamed o'er Thor's red-bearded face; And Heimdal, with the old horn slung behind, That in the god's dusk he shall surely wind, Sickening all hearts with fear; and last of all, Was Odin's sorrow wrought upon the wall. As slow-paced, weary faced, he went along, Anxious with all the tales of woe and wrong His ravens, Thought and Memory, bring to him." THE EARTHLY PARADISE: THE LOVERS OF GODRUN
THOR OF THOR AND THE OTHER GODS