Chapter 24 - Sigurd sees Brynhild at Hlymdale.
In those days came home to Heimir, Brynhild, his foster daughter, and she sat in her bower with her maidens, and could do more skill in handycraft than
other women; she sat, overlaying cloth with gold, and sewing therein the great deeds which Sigurd had wrought, the slaying of the Worm, and the taking of
the wealth of him, and the death of Regin withal.
Now tells the tale, that on a day Sigurd rode into the wood with hawk, and hound, and men thronging; and whenas he came home his hawk flew up to a high
tower and sat him down on a certain window. Then fared Sigurd after his hawk, and he saw where sat a fair woman, and knew that it was Brynhild, and he
deems all things he sees there to be worthy together, both her fairness, and the fair things she wrought: and therewith he goes into the hall, but has no
more joyance in the games of the men folk.
Then spake Alswid, "Why art thou so bare of bliss; this manner of thine grieveth us thy friends; why then wilt thou not hold to thy gleesome ways? Lo, thy
hawks pine now, and thy horse Grani droops; and long will it be ere we are booted thereof?"
Sigurd answered, "Good friend, hearken to what lies on my mind; for my hawk flew up into a certain tower; and when I came thereto and took him, lo there I
saw a fair woman, and she sat by a needlework of gold, and did thereon, my deeds that are passed, and my deeds that are to come,"
Then said Alswid, "Thou has seen Brynhild, Budli's daughter, the greatest of great women."
"Yea, verily," said Sigurd; "but how came she hither?"
Aswid answered, "Short space there was betwixt the coming hither of the twain of you."
Says Sigurd, "Yea, but a few, days agone I knew her for the best of the world's women."
Alswid said, "Give not all thine heed to one woman, being such a man as thou art; ill life to sit lamenting for what we may not have."
"I shall go meet her," says Sigurd, "and get from her love like my love, and give her a gold ring in token thereof."
Alswid answered, "None has ever yet been known whom she would let sit beside her, or to whom she would give drink; for ever will she hold to warfare and to
the winning of all kinds of fame."
Sigurd said, "We know not for sure whether she will give us answer or not, or grant us a seat beside her."
So the next day after, Sigurd went to the bower, but Alswid stood outside the bower door, fitting shafts to his arrows.
Now Sigurd spake, "Abide, fair and hale lady,--how farest thou?"
She answered, "Well it fares; my kin and my friends live yet: but who shall say what goodhap folk may bear to their life's end?"
He sat him down by her, and there came in four damsels with great golden beakers, and the best of wine therein; and these stood before the twain.
Then said Brynhild, "This seat is for few, but and if my father come."
He answered, "Yet is it granted to one that likes me well."
Now that chamber was hung with the best and fairest of hanging, and the floor thereof was all covered with cloth.
Sigurd spake, "Now has it come to pass even as thou didst promise."
"O be thou welcome here!" said she, and arose there with, and the four damsels with her, and bore the golden beaker to him, and bade him drink; he stretched
oui his hand to the beaker, and took it, and her hand withal, and drew her down beside him; and cast his arms round about her neck and kissed her, and said--
"Thou art the fairest that was ever born!"
But Brynhild said, "Ah, wiser is it not to cast faith and troth into a woman's power, for ever shall they break that they have promised."
He said, "That day would dawn the best of days over our heads whereon each of each should be made happy."
Brynhild answered, "It is not fated that we should abide together; I am a shield-may, and wear helm on head even as the kings of war, and them full oft I help,
neither is the battle become loathsome to me."
Sigurd answered, "What fruit shall be of our life, if we live not together: harder to bear this pain that lies hereunder, than the stroke of sharp sword."
Brynhild answers, "I shall gaze on the hosts of the war kings, but thou shalt wed Gudrun, the daughter of Giuki."
Sigurd answered, "What king's daughter lives to beguile me? Neither am I double-hearted herein; and now I swear by the Gods that thee shall I have for mine own,
or no woman else.
And even suchlike wise spake she.
Sigurd thanked her for her speech, and gave her a gold ring, and now they swore oath anew, and so he went his ways to his men, and is with them awhile in great
Þá var heim komin til Heimis Brynhildr, fóstra hans. Hún sat í einni skemmu við meyjar sínar. Hún kunni meira hagleik en aðrar konur. Hún lagði
sinn borða með gulli ok saumaði á þau stórmerki, er Sigurðr hafði gert, dráp ormsins ok upptöku fjárins ok dauða Regins.
Ok einn dag er frá því sagt, at Sigurðr reið á skóg við hundum sínum ok haukum ok miklu fjölmenni. Ok er hann kom heim, fló hans haukr á hávan turn ok settist við
einn glugg. Sigurðr fór eptir haukinum. Þá sér hann eina fagra konu ok kennir, at þar er Brynhildr. Honum þykkir um vert allt saman, fegrð hennar ok þat, er hún
gerir; kemr í höllina ok vill enga skemmtan við menn eiga.
Þá mælti Alsviðr: "Hví eru þér svá fálátir? Þessi skipan þín harmar oss ok þína vini. Eða hví máttu eigi gleði halda? Haukar þínir hnípa ok svá hestrinn Gráni, ok
þessa fám vér seint bót."
Sigurðr svarar: "Góðr vinr, heyr, hvat ek hugsa. Minn haukr fló á einn turn, ok er ek tók hann, sá ek eina fagra konu. Hún sat við einn gullligan borða ok las þar á
mín liðin ok fram komin verk."
Alsviðr svarar: "Þú hefir sét Brynhildi Buðladóttur, er mestr skörungr er."
Sigurðr svarar: "Þat mun satt vera. Eða hversu löngu kom hún hér?"
Alsviðr svarar: "Þess var skammt í milli ok þér kómuð."
Sigurðr segir: "Þat vissu vér fyrir fám dögum; sú kona hefir oss bezt sýnzt í veröldu."
Alsviðr mælti: "Gef ekki gaum at einni konu, þvílíkr maðr. Er þat illt at sýta, er maðr fær eigi."
"Hana skal ek hitta," sagði Sigurðr, "ok gefa henni gull ok ná hennar gamni ok jafnaðarþokka."
Alsviðr svarar: "Engi fannst sá enn um aldr, er hún léði rúms hjá sér eða gæfi öl at drekka. Hún vill sik í herskap hafa ok alls konar frægð at fremja."
Sigurðr mælti: "Vér vitum eigi, hvárt hún svarar oss eða eigi eða lér oss sess hjá sér."
Ok annan dag eptir gekk Sigurðr til skemmunnar. En Alsviðr stóð hjá skemmunni úti ok skepti örvar sínar.
Sigurðr mælti: "Sit heil, frú, eða hversu megi þér?"
Hún svarar: "Vel megu vér, frændr lifa ok vinir, en háttung er í, hverja giftu menn bera til síns endadags."
Hann sezt hjá henni. Síðan ganga þar inn fjórar konur með stórum borðkerum af gulli ok með inu bezta víni ok standa fyrir þeim.
Þá mælti Brynhildr: "Þetta sæti mun fám veitt vera, nema faðir minn komi."
Hann svarar: "Nu er veitt þeim, er oss líkar. Herbergit var tjaldat af inum dýrstum tjöldum ok þakit klæðum allt gólfit."
Sigurðr mælti: "Nú er þat fram komit, er þér hétuð oss."
Hún svarar: "Þér skuluð hér velkomnir."
Síðan reis hún upp ok fjórar meyjar með henni ok gekk fyrir hann með gullker ok bað hann drekka. Hann réttir í mót höndina kerinu ok tók hönd hennar með ok setti
hana hjá sér. Hann tók um háls henni ok kyssti hana ok mælti: "Engi kona hefir þér fegri fæðzt."
Brynhildr mælti: "Vitrligra ráð er þat at leggja eigi trúnað sinn á konu vald, því at þær rjúfa jafnan sín heit."
Hann mælti: "Sá kæmi beztr dagr yfir oss, at vér mættim njótast."
Brynhildr svarar: "Eigi er þat skipat, at vit búim saman. Ek em skjaldmær, ok á ek með herkonungum hjálm, ok þeim mun ek at liði verða, ok ekki er mér leitt at
Sigurðr svarar: "Þá frjóumst vér mest, ef vér búum saman, ok meira er at þola þann harm, er hér liggr á, en hvöss vápn."
Brynhildr svarar: "Ek mun kanna lið hermanna, en þú munt eiga Guðrúnu Gjúkadóttur."
Sigurðr svarar: "Ekki tælir mik eins konungs dóttir, ok ekki lér mér tveggja huga um þetta, ok þess sver ek við guðin, at ek skal þik eiga eða enga konu ella."
Hún mælti slíkt. Sigurðr þakkar henni þessi ummæli ok gaf henni gullhring, ok svorðu nú eiða af nýju, ok gengr hann í brott til sinna manna ok er þar um hríð með