Chapter 2 - Of the Birth of Volsung, the Son of Rerir, who was the Son of Sigi.

Now Sigi grew old, and had many to envy him, so that at last those turned against him whom he trusted most; yea, even the brothers of his wife; for these fell on him at his unwariest, when there were few with him to withstand them, and brought so many against him, that they prevailed against him, and there fell Sigi and all his folk with him. But Rerir, his son, was not in this trouble, and he brought together so mighty a strength of his friends and the great men of the land, that he got to himself both the lands and kingdom of Sigi his father; and so now, when he deems that the feet under him stand firm in his rule, then he calls to mind that which he had against his mother's brothers, who had slain his father. So the king gathers together a mighty army, and therewith falls on his kinsmen, deeming that if he made their kinship of small account, yet none the less they had first wrought evil against him. So he wrought his will herein, in that he departed not from strife before he had slain all his father's banesmen, though dreadful the deed seemed in every wise. So now he gets land, lordship, and fee, and is become a mightier man than his father before him.

Much wealth won in war gat Rerir to himself, and wedded a wife withal, such as he deemed meet for him, and long they lived together, but had no child to take the heritage after them; and ill-content they both were with that, and prayed the Gods with heart and soul that they might get them a child. And so it is said that Odin hears their prayer, and Freyia no less hearkens wherewith they prayed unto her: so she, never lacking for all good counsel, calls to her her casket-bearing may,1 the daughter of Hrimnir the giant, and sets an apple in her hand, and bids her bring it to the king. She took the apple, and did on her the gear of a crow, and went flying till she came whereas the king sat on a mound, and there she let the apple fall into the lap of the king; but he took the apple and deemed he knew whereto it would avail; so he goes home from the mound to his own folk, and came to the queen, and some deal of that apple she ate.

So, as the tale tells, the queen soon knew that she big with child, but a long time wore or ever she might give birth to the child: so it befell that the king must needs go to the wars, after the custom of kings, that he may keep his own land in peace: and in this journey it came to pass that Rerir fell sick and got his death, being minded to go home to Odin, a thing much desired of many folk in those days.

Now no otherwise it goes with the queen's sickness than heretofore, nor may she be the lighter of her child, and six winters wore away with the sickness still heavy on her; so that at the last she feels that she may not live long; wherefore now she bade cut the child from out of her; and it was done even as she bade; a man-child was it, and great of growth from his birth, as might well be; and they say that the youngling kissed his mother or ever she died; but to him is a name given, and he is called Volsung; and he was king over Hunland in the room of his father. From his early years he was big and strong, and full of daring in all manly deeds and trials, and he became the greatest of warriors, and of good hap in all the battles of his warfaring.

Now when he was fully come to man's estate, Hrimnir the giant sends to him Ljod his daughter; she of whom the tale told, that she brought the apple to Rerir, Volsung's father. So Volsung weds her withal; and long they abode together with good hap and great love. They had ten sons and one daughter, and their eldest son was hight Sigmund, and their daughter Signy; and these two were twins, and in all wise the foremost and the fairest of the children of Volsung the king, and mighty, as all his seed was; even as has been long told from ancient days, and in tales of long ago, with the greatest fame of all men, how that the Volsungs have been great men and high-minded and far above the most of men both in cunning and in prowess and all things high and mighty.

So says the story that king Volsung let build a noble hall in such a wise, that a big oak-tree stood therein, and that the limbs of the tree blossomed fair out over the roof of the hall, while below stood the trunk within it, and the said trunk did men call Branstock.

[1. May (A.S. "maeg"), a maid.]

“And so it is said … her casket-bearing may”: The Old Norse passage, “at er n sagt, at Frigg heyrir bn eira ok segir ni, hvers au bija. Hann verr eigi rrifra ok tekr skmey sna” would be correctly rendered: “It is now said that Frigg heard their prayers and told inn what they were praying for. He was not without resources and took his wish-maid . . .” The translation here has made many changes.

 



2. Kaptuli

N gerist Sigi gamall mar at aldri. Hann tti sr marga fundarmenn, sv at um sir ru eir hendr honum, er hann tri bezt, en at vru brr konu hans. eir gera til hans, er hann varir szt ok hann var flir fyrir, ok bera hann ofrlii, ok eim fundi fell Sigi me hir sinni allri. Sonr hans, Rerir, var ekki eim hska, ok fr hann sr mikit li af vinum snum ok landshfingjum, sv at hann eignaist bi land ok konungdm eptir Siga, fur sinn. Ok n er hann ykkist hafa ftum undir komizt rki snu, minnist hann r sakir, er hann tti vi murbrr sna, er drepit hfu fur hans, ok safnar konungr sr n lii miklu ok ferr n hendr frndum snum me enna her, ok ykkja eir fyrr gert hafa sakir vi sik, at hann mti ltils frndsemi eira, ok sv gerir hann, fyrir v at eigi skilst hann fyrri vi en hann hafi drepit alla furbana sna, at skapliga vri fyrir alls sakir. N eignaist hann lnd ok rki ok f. Gerist hann n meiri fyrir sr en fair hans.

Rerir fekk sr n herfang mikit ok konu , er honum tti vi sitt hfi, ok eru au mjk lengi samt, ok eigu au engan erfingja ok ekki barn. at hugnar eim bum illa, ok bija au goin me miklum huga, at au gti sr barn. at er n sagt, at Frigg heyrir bn eira ok segir ni, hvers au bija. Hann verr eigi rrifra ok tekr skmey sna, dttur Hrmnis jtuns, ok fr hnd henni eitt epli ok bir hana fra konungi. Hn tk vi eplinu ok br sik krkuham ok flgr til ess, er hn kemr ar, sem konungrinn er ok sat haugi. Hn lt falla eplit kn konunginum. Hann tk at epli ok ttist vita, hverju gegna mundi; gengr n heim af hauginum ok til sinna manna ok kom fund drottningar, ok etr at epli sumt.

N ferr hann heim um kveldit ok segir, at Brei hafi riit fr honum skginn, -- "ok var hann senn r augliti mr, ok veit ek ekki til hans."

at er n at segja, at drottning finnr at brtt, at hn mundi vera me barni, ok ferr essu fram langar stundir, at hn m eigi ala barnit. kemr at v, at Rerir skal fara leiangr, sem sivenja er til konunga, at fria land sitt. essi fer var at til tenda, at Rerir tk stt ok v nst bana ok tlai at skja heim in, ok tti at mrgum fsiligt ann tma.

N ferr inu sama fram um vanheilsu drottningar, at hn fr eigi alit barnit, ok essu ferr fram sex vetr, at hn hefir essa stt. N finnr hn at, at hn mun eigi lengi lifa, ok ba n, at hana skyldi sra til barnsins, ok sv var gert sem hn ba. at var sveinbarn, ok s sveinn var mikill vexti, er hann kom til, sem vn var at. Sv er sagt, at sj sveinn kyssti mur sna, r hn di. essum er n nafn gefit ok er kallar Vlsungr. Hann var konungr yfir Hnalandi eptir fur sinn. Hann var snemma mikill ok sterkr ok risfullr um at, er mannraun tti ok karlmennska. Hann gerist inn mesti hermar ok sigrsll orrostum eim, sem hann tti herfrum.

N er hann var alroskinn at aldri, sendir Hrmnir honum Hlj, dttur sna, er fyrr er getit, er hn fr me eplit til Reris, fur Vlsungs. N gengr hann at eiga hana, ok eru au lengi samt, ok eru gar samfarar eira. au ttu tu sonu ok eina dttur. Inn elzti sonr eira ht Sigmundr, en Sign dttir. au vru tvburar, ok vru au fremst ok vnst um alla hluti barna Vlsungs konungs, ok vru allir miklir fyrir sr, sem lengi hefir uppi verit haft ok at gtum gert verit, hversu Vlsungar hafa verit ofrkappsmenn miklir ok hafa verit fyrir flestum mnnum, sem getit er fornsgum, bi um frleik ok rttir ok alls httar kappgirni.

Sv er sagt, at Vlsungr konungr lt gera hll eina gta ok me eim htti, at ein eik mikil st hllinni ok limar trsins me fgrum blmum stu t um rfr hallarinnar, en leggrinn st nir hllina, ok klluu eir at barnstokk.









 


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