Chapter 27 - The Wooing of Brynhild

Now they array them joyously for their journey, and ride over hill and dale to the house of King Budli, and woo his daughter of him; in a good wise he took their speech, if so be that she herself would not deny them, but he said withal that so high-minded was she, that that man only might wed her whom she would.

Then they ride to Hlymdale, and there Heimir gave them good welcome; so Gunnar tells his errand; Heimir says, that she must needs wed but him whom she herself chose freely; and tells them how her abode was but a little way thence, and that he deemed that him only would she have who should ride through the flaming fire that was drawn round about her hall; so they depart and come to the hall and the fire, and see there a castle with a golden roof-ridge, and all round about a fire roaring up.

Now Gunnar rode on Goti, but Hogni on Holkvi, and Gunnar smote his horse to face the fire, but he shrank aback.

Then said Sigurd, "Why givest thou back, Gunnar?"

He answered, "The horse will not tread this fire; but lend me thy horse Grani."

"Yea, with all my good will," says Sigurd.

Then Gunnar rides him at the fire, and yet nowise will Gram stir, nor may Gunnar any the more ride through that fire. So now they change semblance, Gunnar and Sigurd, even as Grimhild had taught them; then Sigurd in the likeness of Gunnar mounts and rides, Gram in his hand, and golden spurs on his heels; then leapt Grani into the fire when he felt the spurs; and a mighty roar arose as the fire burned ever madder, and the earth trembled, and the flames went up even unto the heavens, nor had any dared to ride as he rode, even as it were through the deep mirk.

But now the fire sank withal, and he leapt from his horse and went into the hall, even as the song says--

"The flame flared at its maddest,
Earth's fields fell a-quaking
As the red flame aloft
Licked the lowest of heaven.
Few had been fain,
Of the rulers of folk,
To ride through that flame,
Or athwart it to tread.

"Then Sigurd smote
Grani with sword,
And the flame was slaked
Before the king;
Low lay the flames
Before the fain of fame;
Bright gleamed the array
That Regin erst owned.

Now when Sigurd had passed through the fire, he came into a certain fair dwelling, and therein sat Brynhild.

She asked, "What man is it?"

Then he named himself Gunnar, son of Giuki, and said--"Thou art awarded to me as my wife, by the good will and word of thy father and thy foster-father, and I have ridden through the flame of thy fire, according to thy that thou hast set forth."

"I wot not clearly," said she, "how I shall answer thee."

Now Sigurd stood upright on the hall floor, and leaning on the hilt of his sword, and he spake to Brynhild--

"In reward thereof, shall I pay thee a great dower in gold and goodly things?"

She answered in heavy mood from her seat, whereas she sat like unto swan on billow, having a sword in her hand and a helm on her head, and being clad in a byrny, "O Gunnar," she says, "speak not to me of such things unless thou be the first and best of all men; for then shall thou slay those my wooers, if thou hast heart thereto; I have been in battles with the king of the Greeks, and weapons were stained with red blood, and for such things still I yearn."

He answered, "Yea, certes many great deeds hast thou done; but yet call thou to mind thine oath, concerning the riding through of this fire, wherein thou didst swear that thou wouldst go with the man who should do this deed."

So she found that he spoke but the sooth, and she paid heed to his words, and arose, and greeted him meetly, and he abode there three nights, and they lay in one bed together; but he took the sword Gram and laid it betwixt them: then she asked him why he laid it there; and he answered, that in that wise must he needs wed his wife or else get his bane.

Then she took from off her the ring Andvari's loom, which he had given her aforetime, and gave it to him, but he gave her another ring out of Fafnir's hoard.

Thereafter he rode away through the same fire unto his Fellows, and he and Gunnar changed semblances again, and rode unto Hlymdale, and told how it had gone with them.

That same day went Brynhild home to her foster-father, and tells him as one whom she trusted, how that there had come a king to her; "And he rode through my flaming fire, and said he was come to woo me, and named himself Gunnar; but I said that such a deed might Sigurd alone have done, with whom I plighted troth on the mountain; and he is my first troth-plight, and my well-beloved."

Heimir said that things must needs abide even as now they had now come to pass.

Brynhild said, "Aslaug the daughter of me and Sigurd shall be nourished here with thee."

Now the kings fare home, but Brynhild goes to her father;

Grimhild welcomes the kings meetly, and thanks Sigurd for his fellowship; and withal is a great feast made, and many were the guests thereat; and thither came Budli the King with his daughter Brynhild, and his son Atli, and for many days did the feast endure: and at that feast was Gunnar wedded to Brynhild: but when it was brought to an end, once more has Sigurd memory of all the oaths that he sware unto Brynhild, yet withal he let all things abide in rest and peace.

Brynhild and Gunnar sat together in great game and glee, and drank goodly wine.

 



27. Kaptuli

eir ba n fer sna listuliga, ra n fjll ok dali til Bula konungs; bera upp bnorit. Hann tk v vel, ef hn vill eigi nta, ok segir hana sv stra, at ann einn mann mun hn eiga, er hn vill.

ra eir Hlymdali. Heimir fagnar eim vel. Segir Gunnarr n erendin. Heimir kva hennar kr vera, hvern hn skal eiga; segir ar sal hennar skammt fr ok kvast at hyggja, at ann einn mundi hn eiga vilja, er rii eld brennanda, er sleginn er um sal hennar. eir finna salinn ok eldinn ok sj ar borg gulli bysta, ok brann eldr um utan.

Gunnarr rei Gota, en Hgni Hlkvi. Gunnarr keyrir hestinn at eldinum, en hann hopar. Sigurr mlti:

"Hv hopar , Gunnarr?"

Hann svarar: "Eigi vill hestrinn hlaupa enna eld," ok bir Sigur lj sr Grana.

"Heimilt er at," segir Sigurr.

Gunnarr rr n at eldinum, ok vill Grani eigi ganga. Gunnarr m n eigi ra enna eld; skipta n litum, sem Grmhildr kenndi eim Siguri ok Gunnari. San rr Sigurr ok hefir Gram hendi ok bindr gullspora ftr sr. Grani hleypr fram at eldinum, er hann kenndi sporans. N verr gnr mikill, er eldrinn tk at sast, en jr tk at skjlfa. Loginn st vi himin. etta ori engi at gera fyrr, ok var sem hann rii myrkva.

lgist eldrinn, en hann gekk af hestinum inn salinn. Sv er kveit:

"Eldr nam at sast,
en jr at skjlfa
ok hr logi
vi himni gnfa.
Fr treystist ar
fylkis rekka
eld at ra
n yfir stga.

Sigurr Grana
sveri keyri.
Eldr slokknai
fyr lingi,
logi allr lgist
fyr lofgjrnum.
Bliku reii,
er Reginn tti."

Ok er Sigurr kom inn um logann, fann hann ar eitt fagrt herbergi, ok ar sat Brynhildr.

Hn spyrr, hverr s mar er. En hann nefndist Gunnarr Gjkason. -- "Ertu ok tlu mn kona me jyri fur ns, ef ek ria inn vafrloga, ok fstra ns me yru atkvi."

"Eigi veit ek gerla, hversu ek skal essu svara," segir hn.

Sigurr st rttr glfinu ok studdist svershjltin ok mlti til Brynhildar:

"r mt skal ek gjalda mikinn mund gulli ok gum gripum."

Hn svarar af hyggju af snu sti sem lpt af bru ok hefir sver hendi ok hjlm hfi ok var brynju: "Gunnarr," segir hn, "r ekki slkt vi mik, nema sr hverjum manni fremri, ok skaltu drepa, er mn hafa beit, ef hefir traust til. Ek var orrostu me Garakonungi, ok vru vpn vr litu mannabli, ok ess girnumst vr enn."

Hann svarar: "Mrg strvirki hafi r unnit, en minnizt n heit yur, ef essi eldr vri riinn, at r mundi me eim manni ganga, er etta geri."

Hn finnr n hr snn svr ok merki essa mls, stendr upp ok fagnar honum vel. ar dvelst hann rjr ntr, ok ba eina rekkju. Hann tekr sverit Gram ok leggr meal eira bert. Hn spyrr, hv at stti. Hann kva sr at skipat, at sv geri hann brlaup til konu sinnar ea fengi ella bana.

Hann tk af henni hringinn Andvaranaut, er hann gaf henni, en fekk henni n annan hring af Ffnis arfi.

Eptir etta rr hann brott ann sama eld til sinna flaga, ok skipta eir aptr litum ok ra san Hlymdali ok segja, hv farit hafi.

ann sama dag fr Brynhildr heim til fstra sns ok segir honum af trnai, at til hennar kom einn konungr -- "ok rei minn vafrloga ok kvast kominn til ra vi mik ok nefndist Gunnarr. En ek saga, at at mundi Sigurr einn gera, er ek vann eia fjallinu, ok er hann minn frumverr."

Heimir kva n sv bit vera mundu.

Brynhildr mlti: "Dttur okkar Sigurar, slaugu, skal hr upp fa me r."

Fara konungar n heim, en Brynhildr fr til fur sns.

Grmhildr fagnar eim vel ok akkar Siguri sna fylgd. Er ar bizt vi veizlu. Kom ar mikill mannfjldi. ar kom Buli konungr me dttur sna ok Atli, sonr hans, ok hefir essi veizla stait marga daga. Ok er lokit er essi veizlu, minnir Sigur alla eia vi Brynhildi ok ltr vera kyrrt.

Brynhildr ok Gunnarr stu vi skemmtan ok drukku gott vn.













 


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