16. Early then | in wolf-wood asked
The mighty king | of the southern maid,
If with the hero | home would she
Come that night; | the weapons clashed.

17. Down from her horse | sprang Hogni's daughter,--
The shields were still,-- | and spake to the hero:
"Other tasks | are ours, methinks,
Than drinking beer | with the breaker of rings.

18. "My father has pledged | his daughter fair
As bride to Granmar's | son so grim;
But, Helgi, I | once Hothbrodd called
As fine a king | as the son of a cat.

19. "Yet the hero will come | a few nights hence,
. . . . . . . . . .
Unless thou dost bid him | the battle-ground seek,
Or takest the maid | from the warrior mighty."

Helgi spake:

20. "Fear him not, | though Isung he felled,
First must our courage | keen be tried,
Before unwilling | thou fare with the knave;
Weapons will clash, | if to death I come not."

[16. Wolf-wood: dark forest; the original word is not altogether clear. Southern: this variety of Valkyrie, like the swan maidens of the Völundarkvitha, was clearly regarded as of southern (i.e., German) origin. Here again there is a confusion of traditions; the Valkyries of the Voluspo were as essentially Norse as any part of the older mythology. I doubt if a poet much earlier than the author of the first Helgi Hundingsbane lay would have made his Sigrun, daughter of Hogni, a Valkyrie. It is to be noted that the same complication appears in the Sigurth story, where the undoubted Valkyrie, Brynhild-Sigrdrifa (the latter name is really only an epithet) is hopelessly mixed up with the quite human Brynhild, daughter of Buthli.

17. Breaker of rings: generous prince, because the breaking of rings was the customary form of distributing gold.

18. Granmar: the annotator gives an account of him and his family in the prose following stanza 12 of Helgakvitha Hundingsbana II.

19. No gap indicated in the manuscript; some editors combine the stanza with the fragmentary stanza 21, and others fill in with "And home will carry | Hogni's daughter."

20. The manuscript has only lines 1 and 4 with the word "first" of line 2, and does not indicate Helgi as the speaker. The Volsungasaga, which follows this poem pretty closely, expands Helgi's speech, and lines 2-3 are conjectural versifications of the saga's prose. Isung: nothing is known of him beyond the fact, here indicated, that Hothbrodd killed him.]


16. Frá árliga ór úlfíđi
döglingr at ţví dísir suđrćnar,
ef ţćr vildi heim međ hildingum
ţá nótt fara; ţrymr var alma.

17. En af hesti Högna dóttir,
- líddi randa rym, - rćsi sagđi:
"Hygg ek, at vér eigim ađrar sýslur
en međ baugbrota bjór at drekka.

18. Hefir minn fađir meyju sinni
grimmum heitit Granmars syni,
en ek hef, Helgi, Höđbrodd kveđinn
konung óneisan sem kattar son.

19. Ţó kemr fylkir fára nátta,
nema ţú hánum vísir valstefnu til
eđa mey nemir frá mildingi."

Helgi kvađ:

20. "Uggi eigi ţú Ísungs bana;
fyrr mun dolga dynr, nema ek dauđr séak."


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