Chapter 42 - Gudrun sends her Sons to avenge Swanhild.

Now Gudrun heard of the slaying of Swanhild, and spake to her sons, "Why sit ye here in peace amid many words, whereas Jormunrek hath slain your sister, and trodden her under foot of horses in shameful wise? No heart ye have in you like to Gunnar or Hogni; verily they would have avenged their kinswoman!"

Hamdir answered, "Little didst thou praise Gunnar and Hogni, whereas they slew Sigurd, and thou wert reddened in the blood of him, and ill were thy brethren avenged by the slaying of thine own sons: yet not so ill a deed were it for us to slay King Jormunrek, and so hard thou pushest on to this that we may naught abide thy hard words."

Gudrun went about laughing now, and gave them to drink from mighty beakers, and thereafter she got for them great byrnies and good, and all other weed1 of war.

Then spake Hamdir, "Lo now, this is our last parting, for thou shalt hear tidings of us, and drink one grave-ale2 over us and over Swanhild."

So therewith they went their ways.

But Gudrun went unto her bower, with heart swollen with sorrow, and spake--

"To three men was I wedded, and first to Sigurd Fafnir's-bane, and he was bewrayed and slain, and of all griefs was that the greatest grief. Then was I given to King Atli, and so fell was my heart toward him that I slew in the fury of my grief his children and mine. Then gave I myself to the sea, but the billows thereof cast me out aland, and to this king then was I given; then gave I Swanhild away out of the land with mighty wealth; and lo, my next greatest sorrow after Sigurd, for under horses feet was she trodden and slain; but the grimmest and ugliest of woes was the casting of Gunnar into the Worm-close, and the hardest was the cutting of Hogni's heart from him.

"Ah, better would it be if Sigurd came to meet me, and I went my ways with him, for here bideth now behind with me neither son nor daughter to comfort me. Oh, mindest thou not, Sigurd, the words we spoke when we went into one bed together, that thou wouldst come and look on me; yea, even from thine abiding place among the dead?

And thus had the words of her sorrow an end.

[1. Weed (A.S. "weodo"), clothing.

2. Grave-ale, burial-feast.

* The chapter numbering has been skewed by one, this is Chapter 41 in the Old Norse.]

 



42. Kaptuli

Gurn spyrr n lflt Svanhildar ok mlti vi sonu sna: "Hv siti r kyrrir ea mli gleior, ar sem Jrmunrekr drap systur ykkra ok tra undir hesta ftum me svviring? Ok ekki hafi it lkt skaplyndi Gunnari ea Hgna. Hefna mundu eir sinnar frndkonu."

Hamir svarar: "Ltt lofair Gunnar ok Hgna, er eir drpu Sigur ok vart roin hans bli, ok illar vru nar brra hefndir, er drapt sonu na, ok betr mttim vr allir saman drepa Jrmunrek konung. Ok eigi munu vr standast frjuor, sv hart sem vr erum eggjair."

Gurn gekk hljandi ok gaf eim at drekka af strum kerum. Ok eptir at valdi hn eim strar brynjur ok gar ok nnur herkli.

mlti Hamir: "Hr munu vr skilja efsta sinni, ok spyrja muntu tendin, ok muntu erfi drekka eptir okkr ok Svanhildi."

Eptir at fru eir.

En Gurn gekk til skemmu, harmi aukin, ok mlti:

"rimr mnnum var ek gift, fyrst Siguri Ffnisbana, ok var hann svikinn, ok var at mr inn mesti harmr. San var ek gefin Atla konungi, en sv var grimmt mitt hjarta vi hann, at ek drap sonu okkra harmi. San gekk ek sjinn, ok hf mik at landi me brum, ok var ek n gefin essum konungi. San gifta ek Svanhildi af landi brott me miklu f, ok er mr at srast minna harma, er hn var troin undir hrossa ftum, eptir Sigur. En at er mr grimmast, er Gunnarr var ormgar settr, en at harast, er r Hgna var hjarta skorit, ok betr vri, at Sigurr kmi mr mti ok fra ek me honum. Hr sitr n eigi eptir sonr n dttir mik at hugga.

Minnstu n, Sigurr, ess, er vit mltum, er vit stigum einn be, at mundir mn vitja ok r helju ba."

Ok lkr ar hennar harmtlur.








 


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