Directory:EPIC & SAGA


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What hath wrought Sigurd

Of any wrong-doing

That the life of the famed one

Thou art fain of taking?


To me has Sigurd

Sworn many oaths,

Sworn many oaths,

And sworn them lying,

And he bewrayed me

When it behoved him

Of all folk to his troth

To be the most trusty.


Thee hath Brynhild

Unto all bale,

And all hate whetted,

And a work of sorrow;

For she grudges to Gudrun

All goodly life;

And to thee the bliss

Of her very body.

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Some the wolf roasted,

Some minced the worm,

Some unto Guttorm

Gave the wolf-meat,

Or ever they might

In their lust for murder

On the high king

Lay deadly hand.

Sigurd lay slain

On the south of the Rhine.

High from the fair tree

Croaked forth the raven,

“Ah, yet shall Atli

On you redden edges,

The old oaths shall weigh

On your souls, O warriors.”

Without stood Gudrun,

Giuki's daughter,

And the first word she said

Was even this word:

“Where then is Sigurd,

Lord of the Warfolk,

Since my kin

Come riding the foremost?”

One word Hogni

Had for an answer:

“Our swords have smitten

Sigurd asunder,

And the grey horse hangs drooping

O'er his lord lying dead.”

Then quoth Brynhild,

Budli's daughter;

“Good weal shall ye have

Of weapons and lands,

That Sigurd alone

Would surely have ruled

If he had lived

But a little longer.

“Ah, nothing seemly

For Sigurd to rule

Giuki's house

And the folk of the Goths,

When of him five sons

For the slaying of men,

Eager for battle

Should have been begotten!”

Then laughed Brynhild—

Loud rang the whole house—

One laugh only

From out her heart:

“Long shall your bliss be

Of lands and people,

Whereas the famed lord

You have felled to the earth!”

Then spake Gudrun,

Giuki's daughter;

“Much thou speakest,

Many things fearful,

All grame be on Gunnar

The bane of Sigurd!

From a heart full of hate

Shall come heavy vengeance.”

Forth sped the even

Enow there was drunken,

Full enow was there

Of all soft speech;

And all men got sleep

When to bed they were gotten;

Gunnar only lay waking

Long after all men.

His feet fell he to moving,

Fell to speak to himself

The waster of men,

Still turned in his mind

What on the bough

Those twain would be saying,

The raven and erne,

As they rode their ways homeward.

But Brynhild awoke,

Budli's daughter,

May of the shield-folk,

A little ere morning:

“Thrust ye on, hold ye back,

—Now all harm is wrought,—

To tell of my sorrow,

Or to let all slip by me?”

All kept silence

After her speaking,

None might know

That woman's mind,

Or why she must weep

To tell of the work

That laughing once

Of men she prayed.


In dreams, O Gunnar,

Grim things fell on me;

Dead-cold the hall was,

And my bed was a-cold,

And thou, lord, wert riding

Reft of all bliss,

Laden with fetters

‘Mid the host of thy foemen.

So now all ye,

O House of the Niblungs,

Shall be brought to naught,

O ye oath-breakers!

Think'st thou not, Gunnar,

How that betid,

When ye let the blood run

Both in one footstep?

With ill reward

Hast thou rewarded

His heart so fain

To be the foremost!

As well was seen

When he rode his ways,

That king of all worth,

Unto my wooing;

How the host-destroyer

Held to the vows

Sworn beforetime,

Sworn to the young king.

For his wounding-wand

All wrought with gold,

The king beloved

Laid between us;

Without were its edges

Wrought with fire,

But with venom-drops

Deep dyed within.

Thus this song telleth of the death of Sigurd, and setteth forth how that they slew him without doors; but some say that they slew him within doors, sleeping in his bed. But the Dutch Folk say that they slew him out in the wood: and so sayeth the ancient song of Gudrun, that Sigurd and the sons of Giuki were riding to the Thing whenas he was slain. But all with one accord say that they bewrayed him in their troth with him, and fell on him as he lay unarrayed and unawares.

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