The king bade that they should go another time, and he went with them himself, But when they came up on the mountain, they saw Svavaland burning and mighty dust-clouds from many steeds. The king rode from the mountain forward into the land, and made a night's stay hard by a stream. Atli kept watch and went over the stream; he found there a house. A great bird sat on the housetop to guard it, but he was asleep. Atli hurled his spear at the bird and slew it, and in the house he found Sigrlin the king's daughter and Alof the jarl's daughter, and he brought them both thence with him. Jarl Franmar had changed himself into the likeness of an eagle, and guarded them from the enemy host by magic. Hrothmar was the name of a king, a wooer of Sigrlin; he slew the king of Svavaland and had plundered and burned his land. King Hjorvarth took Sigrlin, and Atli took Alof.

(II)

Hjorvarth and Sigrlin had a son, mighty and of noble stature; he was a silent man, and no name stuck fast to him. He sat on a hill, and saw nine Valkyries riding; one of them was the fairest of all. She spake:

6. "Late wilt thou, Helgi, | have hoard of rings,
Thou battle-tree fierce, | or of shining fields,--
The eagle screams soon,-- | if never thou speakest,
Though, hero, hard | thy heart may cry."

Helgi spake:

7. "What gift shall I have | with Helgi's name,
Glorious maid, | for the giving is thine?
All thy words | shall I think on well,
But I want them not | if I win not thee."

The Valkyrie spake:

8. "Swords I know lying | in Sigarsholm,
Fifty there are | save only four;
One there is | that is best of all,
The shield-destroyer, | with gold it shines.

9. "In the hilt is fame, | in the haft is courage,
In the point is fear, | for its owner's foes;
On the blade there lies | a blood-flecked snake,
And a serpent's tail | round the flat is twisted."

Eylimi was the name of a king, whose daughter was Svava; she was a Valkyrie, and rode air and sea. She gave Helgi this name, and shielded him oft thereafter in battle. Helgi spake:

10. "Hjorvarth, king, | unwholesome thy counsels,
Though famed thou art | in leading the folk,
Letting fire the homes of heroes eat,
Who evil deed had never done thee.

[Prose. Sigrlin and Alof, protected by the latter's father, Franmar, have fled before the ravaging army of Sigrlin's rejected suitor, Hrothmar. The beginning of a new section (II) is indicated in the manuscript only by the unusually large capital letter with which "Hjorvarth" begins. No name, etc.: this probably means that Helgi had always been so silent that he would answer to no name, with the result that he had none. Valkyries: cf. Voluspo, 31 and note. The annotator insists here and in the prose after stanza 9 that Svava was a Valkyrie, but there is nothing in the verse to prove it, or, indeed, to identify the Svava of the last section of the poem with the person who gave Helgi his name. In the Volsungasaga Sigmund himself names his son Helgi, and gives him a sword, following Helgakvitha Hundingsbana I.

6. Battle-free: poetic phrase for "warrior." Shining fields: the words in the manuscript may form a proper name, Rothulsvoll, having this meaning.

7. Gift: not only was it customary to give gifts with the naming of a child, but the practice frequently obtained when a permanent epithet was added to the name of an adult.

8. Sigarsholm ("Isle of Sigar"): a place not identified, but probably related to the Sigarsvoll where Helgi was slain (stanza 35).

9. The sword is carved with magic runes and with snakes. Fame: the original word is uncertain.

Prose. Eylimi: this name is another link with the Sigurth story, as it is likewise the name of the father of Sigurth's mother, Hjordis.

10. With this stanza begins a new episode, that of Helgi's victory over King Hrothmar, who had killed his mother's father (cf. prose after stanza 5). It has been suggested, in consequence, that stanzas 10-11 may be a separate fragment. The verse tells nothing of the battle, merely giving Helgi's reproaches to his father for having left Svafnir's death and the burning of Svavaland unavenged.]

 



Konungr ba, at eir skyldu fara annat sinn. Fr hann sjlfr. En er eir kmu upp fjall, ok s Svfaland landsbruna ok jreyki stra. Rei konungr af fjallinu fram landit ok tk nttbl vi eina. Atli helt vr ok fr yfir na. Hann fann eitt hs. Fugl mikill sat hsinu ok gtti, ok var sofnar. Atli skaut spjti fuglinn til bana, en hsinu fann hann Sigrlinn konungs dttur ok lofu jarls dttur ok hafi r bar braut me sr. Frnmarr jarl hafi hamazt arnar lki ok varit r fyrir hernum me fjlkynngi. Hrmarr ht konungr, biill Sigrlinnar. Hann drap Svfakonung ok hafi rnt ok brent landit. Hjrvarr konungr fekk Sigrlinnar, en Atli lofar.

(II)

Hjrvarr ok Sigrlinn ttu son mikinn ok vnan. Hann var gull. Ekki nafn festist vi hann. Hann sat haugi. Hann s ra valkyrjur nu ok var ein gfugligust. Hon kva:

6. "S muntu, Helgi, hringum ra,
rkr rgapaldr, n Rulsvllum,
- rn gl rla, - ef egir,
tt haran hug, hilmir, gjaldir."

Helgi kva:

7. "Hvat ltr fylgja Helga nafni,
brr bjartlitu, alls bja rr?
Hygg fyr llum atkvum vel.
igg ek eigi at, nema ek ik hafa."

Valkyrja kva:

8. "Sver veit ek liggja Sigarsholmi
fjrum fri en fimm tgu;
eitt er eira llum betra
vgnesta bl ok varit gulli.

9. Hringr er hjalti, hugr er miju,
gn er oddi eim er eiga getr;
liggr me eggju ormr dreyrfir,
en valbstu verpr nar hala."

Eylimi ht konungr. Dttir hans var Svfa. Hon var valkyrja ok rei loft ok lg. Hon gaf Helga nafn etta ok hlfi hnum oft san orrostum. Helgi kva:

10. "Ert-at-tu, Hjrvarr heilrr konungr,
folks oddviti, tt frgr sir;
lztu eld eta jfra byggir,
en eir angr vi ik ekki geru.





















 


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