Chapter 13 - Of the Birth and Waxing of Sigurd Fafnir's-bane.

The tale tells that Hjordis brought forth a man-child, who was straightly borne before King Hjalprek, and then was the king glad thereof, when he saw the keen eyes in the head of him, and he said that few men would be equal to him or like unto him in any wise. So he was sprinkled with water, and had to name Sigurd, of whom all men speak with one speech and say that none was ever his like for growth and goodliness. He was brought up in the house of King Hjalprek in great love and honour; and so it is, that whenso all the noblest men and greatest kings are named in the olden tales, Sigurd is ever put before them all for might and prowess, for high mind and stout heart; wherewith he was far more abundantly gifted than any man of the northern parts of the wide world.

So Sigurd waxed in King Hjalprek's house, and there was no child but loved him; through him was Hjordis betrothed to King Alf, and jointure meted to her.

Now Sigurd's foster-father was hight Regin, the son of Hreidmar; he taught him all manner of arts, the chess play, and the lore of runes, and the talking of many tongues, even as the wont was with kings' sons in those days. But on a day when they were together, Regin asked Sigurd, if he knew how much wealth his father had owned, and who had the ward thereof; Sigurd answered, and said that the kings kept the ward thereof.

Said Regin, "Dost thou trust them all utterly?"

Sigurd said, "It is seemly that they keep it till I may do somewhat therewith, for better they wot how to guard it than I do."

Another time came Regin to talk to Sigurd, and said--

"A marvellous thing truly that thou must needs be a horse-boy to the kings, and go about like a running knave."

"Nay," said Sigurd, "it is not so, for in all things I have my will, and whatso thing I desire is granted me with good will."

"Well, then," said Regin, "ask for a horse of them."

"Yea," quoth Sigurd, "and that shall I have, whenso I have need thereof."

Thereafter Sigurd went to the king, and the king said--

"What wilt thou have of us?"

Then said Sigurd, "I would even a horse of thee for my disport."

Then said the king, "Choose for thyself a horse, and whatso thing else thou desirest among my matters."

So the next day went Sigurd to the wood, and met on the way an old man, long-bearded, that he knew not, who asked him whither away.

Sigurd said, "I am minded to choose me a horse; come thou, and counsel me thereon."

"Well then," said he, "go we and drive them to the river which is called Busil-tarn."

They did so, and drave the horses down into the deeps of the river, and all swam back to land but one horse; and that horse Sigurd chose for himself; grey he was of hue, and young of years, great of growth, and fair to look on, nor had any man yet crossed his back.

Then spake the grey-beard, "From Sleipnir's kin is this horse come, and he must be nourished heedfully, for it will be the best of all horses;" and therewithal he vanished away.

So Sigurd called the horse Grani, the best of all the horses of the world; nor was the man he met other than Odin himself.

Now yet again spake Regin to Sigurd, and said--

"Not enough is thy wealth, and I grieve right sore, that thou must needs run here and there like s churl's son; but I can tell thee where there is much wealth for the winning, and great name and honour to be won in getting of it."

Sigurd asked where that might be, and who had watch and ward over it.

Regin answered, "Fafnir is his name, and but a little way hence he lies, on the waste of Gnita-heath; and when thou comest there thou mayst well say that thou hast never seen more gold heaped together in one place, and that none might desire more treasure, though he were the most ancient and famed of all kings."

"Young am I," says Sigurd, "yet know I the fashion of this worm, and how that none durst go against him, so huge and evil is he."

Regin said, "Nay it is not so, the fashion and the growth of him is even as of other lingworms,1 and an over great tale men make of it; and even so would thy forefathers have deemed; but thou, though thou be of the kin of the Volsungs, shalt scarce have the heart and mind of those, who are told of as the first in all deeds of fame."

Sigurd said, "Yea, belike I have little of their hardihood and prowess, but thou hast naught to do, to lay a coward's name upon me, when I am scarce out of my childish years. Why dost thou egg me on hereto so busily?"

Regin said, "Therein lies a tale which I must needs tell thee."

"Let me hear the same," said Sigurd.

[1. Lingworm--longworm, dragon.]

 



13. Kaptuli

at er n sagt, at Hjrds fir sveinbarn, ok er sveinninn frr Hjlpreki konungi. Konungrinn var glar vi, er hann s au in hvssu augu, er hann bar hfi, ok sagi hann engum mundu lkan vera ea samjafnan, ok var hann vatni ausinn me Sigurar nafni. Fr honum segja allir eitt, at um atfer ok vxt var engi hans maki. Hann var ar fddr me Hjlpreki konungi af mikilli st. Ok er nefndir eru allir inir gztu menn ok konungar fornsgum, skal Sigurr fyrir ganga um afl ok atgervi, kapp ok hreysti, er hann hefir haft um hvern mann fram annarra norrlfu heimsins.

Sigurr x ar upp me Hjlpreki, ok unni hvert barn honum. Hann fastnai lfi konungi Hjrdsi ok mlti henni mund.

Reginn ht fstri Sigurar ok var Hreimars son. Hann kenndi honum rttir, tafl ok rnar ok tungur margar at mla, sem var ttt konungasonum, ok marga hluti ara. Eitt sinn spuri Reginn Sigur, er eir vru bir saman, ef hann vissi, hversu mikit f fair hans hefi tt ea hverir at varveittu. Sigurr svarar ok segir, at konungar varveittu.

Reginn mlti: "Trir eim allvel?"

Sigurr svarar: "at samir, at eir varveiti, ar til er oss hallkvmist, v at eir kunnu betr at gta en ek."

Annat sinni kemr Reginn at mli vi Sigur ok mlti:

"Kynligt er at, er vilt vera hestasveinn konunga ea fara sem hlauparar".

Sigurr svarar: "Eigi er at, v at vr rum llu me eim. Er oss ok heimilt at, er vr viljum hafa."

Reginn mlti: "Bi hann gefa r einn hest."

Sigurr svarar: "egar mun at, er ek vil."

Sigurr hittir n konunga. mlti konungr vi Sigur:

"Hvat viltu af oss iggja?"

Sigurr svarar: "Einn hest viljum vr iggja oss til skemmtanar."

Konungrinn mlti: "Kjs r sjlfr hest ok slkt, er vill hafa af vrri eigu."

Annan dag eptir fr Sigurr til skgar ok mtir einum gmlum manni me su skeggi. S var honum kunnigr. Hann spyrr, hvert Sigurr skyldi fara. Hann svarar:

"Hest skyldum vr kjsa. R um me oss."

Hann mlti: "Frum ok rekum til rinnar, er Busiltjrn heitir."

eir reka hrossin t djp rinnar, ok leggjast at landi nema einn hestr. Hann tk Sigurr. Hann var grr at lit ok ungr at aldri, mikill vexti ok vnn. Engi hafi honum bak komit. Skeggmarinn mlti:

"essi hestr er kominn fr Sleipni, ok skal hann vandliga upp fa, v at hann verr hverjum hesti betri."

Marinn hverfr . Sigurr kallar hestinn Grana, ok hefir s hestr beztr verit. inn hafi hann hittan. Enn mlti Reginn til Sigurar:

"Ofltit f eigu r. at harmar oss, er r hlaupi sem orpara sveinar, en ek veit mikla fvn at segja r, ok er at meiri vn, at at s smi at skja ok viring, ef nir." Sigur spyrr, hvar vri ea hverr varveitti. Reginn svarar:

"S heitir Ffnir, er hr liggr skammt hean brott. at heitir Gnitaheir. Ok er kemr ar, muntu at mla: Aldri sttu meira f gulli einum sta, ok eigi arftu meira, tt verir allra konunga ellstr ok frgstr."

Sigurr svarar: "Kann ek kyn essa orms, tt vr sum ungir, ok hefi ek spurt, at engi orir at koma mt honum fyrir vaxtar sakir ok illsku."

Reginn svarar: "at er ekki. S vxtr er eptir htti lyngorma, ok er gert af miklu meira en er, ok sv mundi tt hafa inum fyrrum frndum num. Ok tt Vlsunga tt s at r, mun eigi hafa eira skaplyndi, er fyrst eru taldir til alls frama."

Sigurr svarar: "Vera m, at eigi hfum vr mikit af eira kappi ea snilld, en eigi berr nausyn til at frja oss, er vr erum enn ltt af barnsaldri. Ea hv eggjar essa sv mjk?"

Reginn svarar: "Saga er til ess, ok mun ek segja r."

Sigurr mlti: "Lt mik heyra."












 


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