Chapter 31 - Of the Lamentation of Gudrun over Sigurd's dead, as it is told told in ancient Songs.1

Gudrun of old days drew near to dying
As she sat in sorrow over Sigurd;
Yet she sighed not nor smote hand on hand,
Nor wailed she aught as other women.
Then went earls to her.
Full of all wisdom, fain help to deal
To her dreadful heart:
Hushed was Gudrun of wail, or greeting,
But with a heavy woe was her heart a-breaking.
Bright and fair sat the great earls' brides,
Gold arrayed before Gudrun;
Each told the tale of her great trouble,
The bitterest bale she erst abode.

Then spake Giaflaug, Giuki's sister:

"Lo upon earth I live most loveless
Who of five mates must see the ending,
Of daughters twain and three sisters,
Of brethren eight, and abide behind lonely."
Naught gat Gudrun of wail and greeting,
So heavy was she for her dead husband,
So dreadful-hearted for the King laid dead there.

Then spake Herborg

Queen of Hunland--
"Crueller tale have I to tell of,
Of my seven sons down in the Southlands,
And the eighth man, my mate,
Felled in the death-mead.
"Father and mother, and four brothers,
On the wide sea the winds and death played with;
The billows beat on the bulwark boards.
"Alone must I sing o'er them,
Alone must I array them,
Alone must my hands deal with
Their departing; and all this was
In one season's wearing,
And none was left for love or solace.
"Then was I bound a prey of the battle,
When that same season wore to its ending;
As a tiring may must I bind the shoon
Of the duke's high dame, every day at dawning.
"From her jealous hate gat I heavy mocking,
Cruel lashes she laid upon me,
Never met I better master
Or mistress worser in all the wide world."
Naught gat Gudrun of wail or greeting,
So heavy was she for her dead husband,
So dreadful-hearted for the King laid dead there.

Then spake Gullrond,

Giuki's daughter--
"O foster-mother, wise as thou mayst be,
Naught canst thou better the young wife's bale."
And she bade uncover the dead King's corpse.
She swept the sheet away from Sigurd,
And turned his cheek towards his wife's knees--
"Look on thy loved one lay lips to his lips,
E'en as thou wert clinging to thy king alive yet!"
Once looked Gudrun--
One look only, and saw her lord's locks
Lying all bloody, the great man's eyes
Glazed and deadly, and his heart's bulwark
Broken by sword-edge.
Back then sank Gudrun, back on the bolster,
Loosed was her head array, red did her cheeks grow,
And the rain-drops ran down over her knees.

Then wept Gudrun,

Giuki's daughter, so that the tears flowed
Through the pillow; as the geese withal
That were in the homefield,
The fair fowls the may owned,
Fell a-screaming.

Then spake Gullrond,

Giuki's daughter--
"Surely knew I no love like your love
Among all men, on the mould abiding;
Naught wouldst thou joy in without or within doors,
O my sister, save beside Sigurd."

Then spake Gudrun,

Giuki's daughter--
"Such was my Sigurd among the sons of Giuki,
As is the king leek o'er the low grass waxing,
Or a bright stone strung on band,
Or a pearl of price on a prince's brow.
"Once was I counted by the king's warriors
Higher than any of Herjan's mays;
Now am I as little as the leaf may be,
Amid wind-swept wood now when dead he lieth.
I miss from my seat, I miss from my bed,
My darling of sweet speech.
Wrought the sons of Giuki, wrought the sons of Giuki,
This sore sorrow, yea, for their sister,
Most sore sorrow.
"So may your lands lie waste on all sides,
As ye have broken your bounden oaths!
Ne'er shalt thou, Gunnar, the gold have joy of;
The dear-bought rings shall drag thee to death,
Whereon thou swarest oath unto Sigurd.
Ah, in the days by-gone great mirth in the homefield
When my Sigurd set saddle on Grani,
And they went their ways for the wooing of Brynhild!
An ill day, an ill woman, and most ill hap!"

Then spake Brynhild,

Budli's daughter--
"May the woman lack both love and children,
Who gained greeting for thee, O Gudrun!
Who gave thee this morning many words!"

Then spake Gullrond,

Giuki's daughter--
"Hold peace of such words thou hated of all folk!
The bane of brave men hast thou been ever,
All waves of ill wash over thy mind,
To seven great kings hast thou been a sore sorrow,
And the death of good will to wives and women."

Then spake Brynhild,

Budli's daughter--
"None but Atli brought bale upon us,
My very brother born of Budli.
When we saw in the hall of the Hunnish people
The gold a-gleaming on the kingly Giukings;
I have paid for that faring oft and Full,
And for the sight that then I saw."
By a pillar she stood and strained its wood to her;
From the eyes of Brynhild, Budli's daughter,
Flashed out fire, and she snorted forth venom,
As the sore wounds she gazed on of the dead-slain Sigurd.

[1. This chapter is the Eddaic poem, called the first Lay of Gudrun, inserted here by the translators. The Old Norse has been inserted by Vlusp.org to conform to the rest of the Saga, in the original saga this poem is not in the Old Norse version.]

 



31. Kaptuli

r var, ats Gurn gerisk at deyja,
er hon sat sorgfull yfir Siguri;
geri-t hon hjfra n hndum sl,
n kveina um sem konur arar.
Gengu jarlar alsnotrir fram,
eir er hars hugar hana lttu;
eygi Gurn grta mtti,
sv var hon mug, mundi hon springa.
Stu trar jarla brir,
gulli bnar, fyr Gurnu;
hvar sagi eira sinn oftrega,
ann er bitrastan of beit hafi.

kva Gjaflaug, Gjka systir:

"Mik veit ek moldu munarlausasta;
hefi ek fimm vera forspell beit,
tveggja dtra, riggja systra,
tta brra, ek ein lifi."
eygi Gurn grta mtti,
sv var hon mug at mg dauan
ok harhugu of hrr fylkis.

kva at Herborg,

Hnalands drttning:
"Hefi ek harara harm at segja;
mnir sjau synir sunnan lands,
verr inn tti, val fellu.
Fair ok mir, fjrir brr,
au vgi vindr of lk,
bari bra vi borili.
Sjalf skylda ek gfga,
sjalf skylda ek gtva,
sjalf skylda ek hndla
hrr eira;
at ek allt of bei ein misseri,
sv at mr mar engi munar leitai.
var ek hafta ok hernuma
sams misseris san vera;
skylda ek skreyta ok ska binda
hersis kvn hverjan morgin.
Hon gi mr af afbri
ok hrum mik hggum keyri;
fann ek hsguma hvergi in betra,
en hsfreyju hvergi verri."
eygi Gurn grta mtti,
sv var hon mug at mg dauan
ok harhugu of hrr fylkis."

kva at Gullrnd

Gjka dttir:
"F kanntu, fstra, tt fr sir,
ungu vfi andspjll bera."
Varai hon at hylja um hrr fylkis.
Svipti hon blju af Siguri
ok vatt vengi fyr vfs knum:
"Lttu ljfan, leggu munn vi grn,
sem halsair heilan stilli."
leit Gurn einu sinni,
s hon dglings skr dreyra runna,
frnar sjnir fylkis linar,
hugborg jfurs hjrvi skorna.
hn Gurn hll vi bolstri,
haddr losnai, hlr ronai,
en regns dropi rann nir of kn.

grt Gurn

Gjka dttir,
sv at tr flugu tresk ggnum
ok gullu vi gss tni,
mrir fuglar, er mr tti.

kva at Gullrnd

Gjka dttir: "Ykkrar vissa ek stir mestar
manna allra fyr mold ofan;
unir hvrki ti n inni,
systir mn nema hj Siguri."

Gurn kva:

"Sv var minn Sigurr hj sonum Gjka
sem vri geirlaukr r grasi vaxinn
ea vri bjartr steinn band dreginn,
jarknasteinn yfir lingum.
Ek tta ok jans rekkum
hverri hri Herjans dsi;
n em ek sv ltil sem lauf si
oft jlstrum at jfur dauan.
Sakna ek sessi ok singu
mns mlvinar, valda megir Gjka;
valda megir Gjka mnu blvi
ok systur sinnar srum grti.
Sv r of la landi eyi
sem r of unnu eia svara;
mun-a , Gunnarr, gulls of njta;
eir munu r baugar at bana vera,
er Siguri svarir eia.
Oft var tni teiti meiri,
er minn Sigurr slai Grana
ok eir Brynhildar bija fru,
armar vttar, illu heilli."

kva at Brynhildr,

Bula dttir: "Vn s s vttr vers ok barna,
er ik, Gurn, grts of beiddi
ok r morgun mlrnar gaf."

kva at Gullrnd,

Gjka dttir:
"egi , jlei, eira ora;
urr linga hefir verit;
rekr ik alda hver illrar skepnu,
sorg sra sjau konunga
ok vinspell vfa mest."

kva at Brynhildr,

Bula dttir:
"Veldr einn Atli llu blvi
of borinn Bula brir minn."
er vit hll hnskrar jar
eld jfri ormbes litum,
ess hefi ek gangs goldit san,
eirar snar, sumk ey."
St hon und sto, strengi hon efli;
brann Brynhildi Bula dttur
eldr r augum, eitri fnsti,
er hon sr of leit Siguri.








 


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