Chapter 17 - Of Sigurd's Avenging of Sigmund his Father.

Now Sigurd went to the kings, and spake thus--

"Here have I abode a space with you, and I owe you thanks and reward, for great love and many gifts and all due honour; but now will I away from the land and go meet the sons of Hunding, and do them to wit that the Volsungs are not all dead; and your might would I have to strengthen me therein."

So the kings said that they would give him all things soever that he desired, and therewith was a great army got ready, and all things wrought in the most heedful wise, ships and all war-gear, so that his journey might be of the stateliest: but Sigurd himself steered the dragon-keel which was the greatest and noblest; richly wrought were their sails, and glorious to look on.

So they sail and have wind at will; but when a few days were overpast, there arose a great storm on the sea, and the waves were to behold even as the foam of men's blood; but Sigurd bade take in no sail, howsoever they might be riven, but rather to lay on higher than heretofore. But as they sailed past the rocks of a ness, a certain man hailed the ships, and asked who was captain over that navy; then was it told him that the chief and lord was Sigurd, the son of Sigmund, the most famed of all the young men who now are.

Then said the man, "Naught but one thing, certes do all say of him, that none among the sons of kings may be likened unto him; now fain were I that ye would shorten sail on some of the ships, and take me aboard."

Then they asked him of his name, and he sang--

"Hnikar I hight,
When I gladdened Huginn,
And went to battle,
Bright son of Volsung;
Now may ye call
The carl on the cliff top,
Feng or Fjolnir:
Fain would I with you."

They made for land therewith, and took that man aboard.

Then quoth Sigurd,1 as the song says--*

"Tell me this, O Hnikar,
Since full well thou knowest
Fate of Gods, good and ill of mankind,
What best our hap foresheweth,
When amid the battle
About us sweeps the sword edge."

Quoth Hnikar--

"Good are many tokens
If thereof men wotted
When the swords are sweeping:
Fair fellow deem I
The dark-winged raven,
In war, to weapon-wielder.
"The second good thing:
When abroad thou goest
For the long road well arrayed,
Good if thou seest
Two men standing,
Fain of fame within the forecourt.
"A third thing:
Good hearing,
The wolf a howling
Abroad under ash boughs;
Good hap shalt thou have
Dealing with helm-staves,
If thou seest these fare before thee.
"No man in fight
His face shall turn
Against the moon's sister
Low, late-shining,
For he winneth battle
Who best beholdeth
Through the midmost sword-play,
And the sloping ranks best shapeth.
"Great is the trouble
Of foot ill-tripping,
When arrayed for fight thou farest,
For on both sides about
Are the Disir2 by thee,
Guileful, wishful of thy wounding.
"Fair-combed, well washen
Let each warrior be,
Nor lack meat in the morning,
For who can rule
The eve's returning,
And base to fall before fate grovelling."

Then the storm abated, and on they fared till they came aland in the realm of Hunding's sons, and then Fjolnir vanished away.

Then they let loose fire and sword, and slew men and burnt their abodes, and did waste all before them: a great company of folk fled before the face of them to Lyngi the King, and tell him that men of war are in the land, and are faring with such rage and fury that the like has never been heard of; and that the sons of King Hunding had no great forecast in that they said they would never fear the Volsungs more, for here was come Sigurd, the son of Sigmund, as captain over this army.

So King Lyngi let send the war-message all throughout his realm, and has no will to flee, but summons to him all such as would give him aid. So he came against Sigurd with a great army, he and his brothers with him, and an exceeding fierce fight befell; many a spear and many an arrow might men see there raised aloft, axes hard driven, shields cleft and byrnies torn, helmets were shivered, skulls split atwain, and many a man felled to the cold earth.

And now when the fight has long dured in such wise, Sigurd goes forth before the banners, and has the good sword Gram in his hand, and smites down both men and horses, and goes through the thickest of the throng with both arms red with blood to the shoulder; and folk shrank aback before him wheresoever he went, nor would either helm or byrny hold before him, and no man deemed he had ever seen his like. So a long while the battle lasted, and many a man was slain, and furious was the onset; till at last it befell, even as seldom comes to hand, when a land army falls on, that, do whatso they might, naught was brought about; but so many men fell of the sons of Hunding that the tale of them may not be told; and now whenas Sigurd was among the foremost, came the sons of Hunding against him, and Sigurd smote therewith at Lyngi the king, and clave him down, both helm and head, and mail-clad body, and thereafter he smote Hjorward his brother atwain, and then slew all the other sons of Hunding who were yet alive, and the more part of their folk withal.

Now home goes Sigurd with fair victory won, and plenteous wealth and great honour, which he had gotten to him in this journey, and feasts were made for him against he came back to the realm.

But when Sigurd had been at home but a little, came Regin to talk with him, and said--

"Belike thou wilt now have good will to bow down Fafnir's crest according to thy word plighted, since thou hast thus revenged thy father and the others of thy kin."

Sigurd answered, "That will we hold to, even as we have promised, nor did it ever fall from our memory."

[1. This and verses following were inserted from the "Reginsmal" by the translators.

2. "Disir", sing. "Dis". These are the guardian beings who follow a man from his birth to his death. The word originally means sister, and is used throughout the Eddaic poems as a dignified synonym for woman, lady.]

 



17. Kaptuli

N hittir Sigurr konunga ok mlti til eira:

"Hr hfum vr verit um hr, ok eigum vr yr stsemd at launa ok mikla viring. En n viljum vr r landi fara ok finna Hundings sonu, ok vilda ek, at eir vissi, at Vlsungar vri eigi allir dauir. Viljum vr hafa ar til yarn styrk."

Konungar kvust allt vilja til f, at er hann beiddist.

Er n bit li mikit ok allt vandat sem mest, skip ok allr herbnar, sv at hans fer vri vegligri en r. Sigurr strir dreka eim, er mestr var ok agtligastr. Segl eira vru mjk vndu ok tarlig at sj. Sigla eir n gan byr. Ok er f dgr vru liin, kom ver mikit me stormi, en sv var sjrinn sem roru si. Eigi ba Sigurr svipta seglunum, tt rifnuu, heldr ba hann hra setja en r. Ok er eir sigldu fram fyrir bergns nokkura, kallai mar upp skipit ok spyrr, hverr fyrir liinu eigi at ra. Honum var sagt, at ar var hfingi Sigurr Sigmundarson, er n er frgstr ungra manna.

Marinn svarar: "Allir segja ar eitt fr honum, at eigi megi konungasynir jafnast vi hann. Vilda ek, at r felldi seglin nokkuru skipinu ok tki r vi mr." eir spuru hann at nafni. Hann svarar:

"Hnikar htu mik,
er ek Hugin gladda,
Vlsungr ungi,
ok vegit hafa.
N mttu kalla
karl af bjargi
Feng ea Fjlni.
Far vil ek iggja."

eir viku at landi ok tku karl skip sn.

tk af verit, ok fara, unz eir koma at landi rki Hundings sona. hvarf Fjlnir.

eir lta egar geisa eld ok jrn, drepa menn, en brenna byggina ok eya ar, sem eir fara. Stkkr fjldi undan fund Lyngva konungs ok segja, at herr er kominn landit ok ferr me meira geysingi en dmi finnist til; kvu Hundings sonu eigi langsna, er eir sgust eigi mundu hrast Vlsunga, -- "en n strir essum her Sigurr Sigmundarson."

Lyngvi konungr ltr n fara um allt sitt rki herbo; vill eigi fltta leggjast, stefnir til sn llum eim mnnum, er honum vilja li veita; kemr n mt Siguri me allmikinn her ok brr hans me honum. Tekst ar in harasta orrosta me eim. Mtti ar lopti sj margt spjt ok rvar margar, xi hart reidda, skjldu klofna ok brynjur slitnar, hjlma skfa, hausa klofna ok margan mann steypast til jarar. Ok er orrostan hefir sv stait mjk langa hr, skir Sigurr fram um merkin ok hefir hendi sverit Gram. Hann hggr bi menn ok hesta ok gengr gegnum fylkingar ok hefir bar hendr blgar til axlar, ok stkk undan flk, ar sem hann fr, ok helzt hvrki vi hjlmr n brynja, ok engi mar ttist fyrr st hafa vlkan mann. essi orrosta st lengi me miklu mannfalli ok kafri skn. Ferr ar, sem sjaldnar kann henda, er landherrinn skir til, at at kom fyrir ekki. Fell ar sv margt fyrir Hundings sonum, at engi mar vissi tl . Ok Sigurr var framarla fylkingu. koma mt honum synir Hundings konungs. Sigurr hggr til Lyngva konungs ok klfr hjlm hans ok hfu ok brynjaan bk, ok san hggr hann Hjrvar, brur hans, sundr tv hluti, ok drap hann alla Hundings sonu, er eptir lifu, ok mestan hluta lis eira.

Ferr Sigurr n heim me fgrum sigri ok miklu f ok gti, er hann hafi fengit essi fer. Vru n veizlur gervar mt honum heima rkinu. Ok er Sigurr hefir skamma stund heima verit, kemr Reginn at mli vi Sigur ok segir:

"N munu r vilja steypa hjlminum Ffnis, sv sem r htu, v at n hefir hefnt fur ns ok annarra frnda inna."

Sigurr svarar: "Efna munu vr at, sem vr hfum ar um heitit, ok ekki fellr oss at r minni."











































 


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