Poetic Edda/Helreið Brynhildar

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Poetic Edda
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Helreið Brynhildar

Brynhild's death two piles were made, one for Sigurd, which was the first burnt; but Brynhild was burnt afterwards, and she was in a chariot, which was hung with precious tapestry; so that it was said that Brynhild drove in a chariot on the way to Hel, and passed through a place in which a giantess dwelt, she said:

1. «Thou shalt not pass
through my
stone-supported
dwelling place.
Better had it beseemed
thee to work broidery,
than to seek after
another's husband.

2. Why dost thou,
vagrant woman!
From Valland,
my dwelling visit?
Thou hast, golden dame!
If thou desirest to know,
from thy hands washed
human blood.»

3. BRYNHILD:
«Upbraid me not,
woman of the rock!
Although I have
in warfare been.
Of us, I trow,
I shall the better seem,
wherever men
our conditions know.»

4. GIANTESS:
«Thou, Brynhild!
Budle's daughter!
Wast in evil hour
born in the world;
thou hast been
the bane of Gjuki's children,
and their happy house
subverted.»

5. BRYNHILD:
«From my chariot
I will truly tell thee,
thou witless crone!
If thou desirest to know,
how Gjuki's heirs
made me both
lovelorn
and perjured.

6. The bold-hearted king
caused the garbs of us
eight sisters
under an oak to be borne.
Twelve years old was I,
if thou desirest to know,
when to the youthful
king oaths I gave.

7. By all in Hlymdale
I was called Hild
with the helm,
by all who knew me.

8. Then caused I next,
in the Gothic realm,
the old Hjalmgunnar
to Hel to journey:
I gave victory to the youthful
brother of Autho,
whereat Odin
became hostile to me.

9. He with shields
encompassed me,
red and white,
in Skatalund;
their surfaces enclosed me;
him he ordained my sleep to break,
who in no place
could be made to fear.

10. He made around my hall,
towards the south,
tow ering burn
the destroyer of all wood:
then bade that man only
over it to ride,
who me the gold should bring,
that under Fáfnir lay.

11. On Grani rode the chief,
the gold-disperser,
to where my foster-father
ruled o'er the dwellings.
He alone seemed there
to all superior,
the Danish warrior,
of the court.

12. We slept and were content
in the same bed,
as if he had
my born brother been;
neither of us might
on the other,
for eight nights,
lay a hand.

13. Reproached me Gudrun,
Gjuki's daughter,
that I had slept
in Sigurd's arms;
then was I made aware of'
what I fain would not,
- that they had deceived me,
when a mate I took.

14. To calamities all
too lasting men
and women,
ever will be
while living bom.
We two shall now,
Sigurd and I
pass our life together.
Sink thou of giant-kind!»