Poetic Edda/Brot af Sigurðarkviðu

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Poetic Edda
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Brot af Sigurðarkviðu

1. HOGNI:
«- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -;
[what injury has
Sigurd] done thee,
that thou the hero
wilt of life bereave?»

2. GUNNAR:
«Sigurd to me
oaths has sworn,
oaths sworn,
all falsehoods.
He at a time deceived me
when he should
have been of all
oaths most observant.»

3. HOGNI:
«Thee Brynhild
has in anger
instigated evil to perpetrate,
harm to execute.
She grudges Gudrun
her happy marriage,
and thee,
possession of herself.»

4. Some a wolf roasted,
some a snake cut up,
some to Gudthorm
served the wolf,
before wise men
they might,
on the mighty warcult
lay their hands.

5. Sigurd had fallen
south of Rhine:
loud from a tree
a raven screamed:
«With your blood will Atli
his sword's edges redden;
the oaths ye have sworn
your slaughter shall dissolve.»

6. Without stood Gudrun,
Gjuki's daughter,
and these words first
of all uttered:
«Where is now Sigurd,
lord of warriors,
seeing that my kinsmen
foremost ride?»

7. Hogni alone
to her answer gave:
«Asunder have we Sigurd
hewed with our swords;
his grey steed bends
o'er the dead chief.»

8. Then said Brynhild,
Budle's daughter:
«Well shall ye now enjoy
arms and lands.
Sigurd would alone
over all have ruled,
had he a little longer
life retained.

9. Unseemly it had been
that he should so have ruled
over Gjuki's heritage
and the Goths' people,
when he five sons,
for the fall of hosts,
eager for warfare,
had be gotten.»

10. Then laughed Brynhild
 - the whole burgh resounded -
once only
from her whole heart:
«Well shall ye enjoy
lands and subjects,
now the daring king
ye have caused to fall.»

11. Then said Gudrun,
Gjuki's daughter:
«Much thou speakest,
things most atrocious:
may fiends have Gunnar,
Sigurd's murderer!
Souls malevolent
vengeance awaits.»

12. Evening was advanced,
much was drunken,
then did pleasant talk
of all kinds pass:
all sank in sleep,
when to rest they went.
Gunnar alone was wakeful
longer than all:

13. He began his foot to move,
and much with him self to speak;
the warlike chief
in his mind pondered,
what during the conflict
the raven and the eagle
were ever saying,
as they rode home.

14. Brynhild awoke,
Budle's daughter,
daughter of Shieldkin,
a little ere day:
«Urge me or stay me
- the mischief is perpetrated -
my sorrow to pour forth,
or to suppress it.»

15. All were silent
at these words;
few understood
the lady's conduct,
that weeping she should
begin to speak
of what she laughing
had desired.

16. BRYNHILD:
«In my dream, Gunnar!
All seemed so horrid,
in the chamber all was dead;
my bed was cold;
and thou, king!
Wast riding of joy bereft,
with fetters loaded,
to a hostile host.
So will ye all,
Niflkin's!
Be of power deprived,
perjurers as ye are!

17. Didst thou remember, Gunnar!
When blood ye
in your footsteps
both let flow;
now hast thou him
ill for all that requited,
because he would prove
himself fore most.

18. Then was it proved,
when the hero
had ridden to see me,
to woo me,
how the warlike chief
whilom held sacred
his oath towards
the youthful prince.

19. Laid his sword,
with gold adorned,
the illustrious king
between us both:
outward its edges
ere with fire wrought,
but with venom drops
tempered within.»

About Sigurd's death

From this lay, in which the death of Sigurd is related, it appears that he was slain without doors, while some relate that he was slain sleeping in his bed: but the Germans say he was slain out in the forest; and it is told in the Guðrúnarkviða hin forna that Sigurd and the sons of Gjuki had ridden to the council when he was slain. But it is said by all, without exception, that they broke faith with him, and attacked him while lying down and unprepared.