1.3 Of yore, say they, Humli over Huns held sway;
Gizur4 over Gauts;5 over Goths, Angantýr;
p. 38 Valdar over Danes, but over the Welsh,6 Kíar;7
and Alrek8 the Bold over English folk.

2. Was Hloth9 born there in Hunnish folk-lands—
10with dagger and broadsword and byrnie long,
with ring-decked helmet11 and sharp-hewing sword,
with horses well-broken, in the hallowed land.12

Now13 Hloth learned about the death of his father, and that his brother, Angantýr, had himself made king over all those lands which Heithrek had owned. Then King Humli advised Hloth to claim from Angantýr his share of the inheritance with fair words; as is said here:

3. Rode Hloth from the East, King Heithrek’s first-born,
to the halls where dwell the dauntless Goths—
to Árheimar14— to claim his heir-lands.
There was Angantýr drinking arvel for Heithrek.

4. Before the high hall he found a hero standing,
from far lands hailing, him he welcomed.15

Hloth said:

“Into high hall now go thou, hero,
and bid Angantýr make answer to me.”

The warrior went in before the table of King Angantýr, and said:

5. “Is Hloth come here, King Heithrek’s heir,
thy bastard brother, thy brother he;
high the young hero his horse doth sit:
would he now, thane, with thee have speech.”

[3. This stanza is held by some not to belong to the lay.

4. Pronounce Gitsur. Cf. the Prose after 14.

5. Old Norse Gautar, the inhabitants of the present Swedish provinces of East and West Gotland. Not to be confused with the Goths (Old Norse Gotar)—a name frequently used in a general and honorific, but here in a special, sense. The seats, at different times, of that noble and gifted race ranged from the Baltic to the Black Sea and thence to Spain.

6. Used, vaguely, of various west and south European nations.

7. This name is by some scholars held to be derived from Cćsar, in view especially of Wīdsīth, lines 76-78—mid Cāsere, sē the wimburga geweald āhte, Wiolena and Wilna and Wala rīces.

8. No such English king is known in legend or history. The name seems identical with that of Abbot Ćlfric, the famous writer of the latter part of the tenth century; but unconsciously one thinks of Alfred the Great (849-901).

9. The hostile brothers no doubt correspond to the Hlithe and Incgenthēow of Wīdsīth (116). Leth was the third king of the Langobardians.

10. Thus Helgi “stands in arms” in earliest infancy; cf. the First Lay of Helgi. The prose preceding rationalizes this heroic trait as follows: “It was said, in former times, that a man was born ‘with weapons and horses,’ for the reason that the weapons lay ready when he was born—also livestock, such as oxen and horses, if they happened to be born then. All these were given at birth to men of rank, to honor them.”

11. I.e., helmets adorned with strips of plaited rings, as were used in the Viking period.

12. I.e., within the confines of royal residence and temple.

13. This prose link may possibly paraphrase the contents of a lost stanza or stanzas. Still, bearing in mind the abrupt transitions in ballad technique, we need not conclude this.

14. I.e., “River-Dwelling”; by some supposed to be by the Dniepr River, about which lay the lands of the Goths in the fourth century.

15. Very evidently, it is Hloth who comes from afar; but the text is ambiguous. To judge from similar passages in other poems, a half-stanza containing a question of the warrior on guard, and one containing the beginning of Hloth’s speech, are missing.]


1. Ár kváđu Humla Húnum ráđa,
Gizur Gautum, Gotum Angantý,
Valdarr Dönum, en Völum Kíarr,
Alrekr inn frćkni enskri ţjóđu.

2. Hlöđr var ţar borinn í Húnalandi
saxi ok međ sverđi, síđri brynju,
hjalmi hringreifđum, hvössum mćki,
mari vel tömum á mörk inni helgu.

3. Hlöđr reiđ austan, Heiđreks arfi;
kom hann at garđi, ţar er Gotar byggja,
á Árheima, arfs at kveđja;
ţar drakk Angantýr erfi Heiđreks.

4. Segg fann hann úti fyr sal hávum
ok síđförlan síđan kvaddi?
"Inn gakktu, seggr, í sal hávan,
biđ mér Angantý andspjöll bera."

Sá gekk inn fyrir konungs borđ ok kvaddi Angantý konung vel ok mćlti síđan:

5. "Hér er Hlöđr kominn, Heiđreks arfţegi,
bróđir ţinn inn böđskái;
mikill er sá mađr ungr á mars baki,
vill nú, ţjóđann, viđ ţik tala."


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