Chapter 19 - Of the Slaying of Regin, Son of Hreidmar.
Thereafter came Regin to Sigurd, and said, "Hail, lord and master, a noble victory hast thou won in the slaying of Fafnir, whereas none durst heretofore abide
in the path of him; and now shall this deed of fame be of renown while the world stands fast."
Then stood Regin staring on the earth a long while, and presently thereafter spake from heavy-mood: "Mine own brother hast thou slain, and scarce may I be
called sackless of the deed."
Then Sigurd took his sword Gram and dried it on the earth, and spake to Regin--
"Afar thou faredst when I wrought this deed and tried this sharp sword with the hand and the might of me; with all the might and main of a dragon must I
strive, while thou wert laid alow in the heather-bush, wotting not if it were earth or heaven."
Said Regin, "Long might this worm have lain in his lair, if the sharp sword I forged with my hand had not been good at need to thee; had that not been,
neither thou nor any man would have prevailed against him as at this time."
Sigurd answers, "Whenas men meet foes in fight, better is stout heart than sharp sword."
Then said Regin, exceeding heavily, "Thou hast slain my brother, and scarce may I be sackless of the deed."
Therewith Sigurd cut out the heart of the worm with the sword called Ridil; but Regin drank of Fafnir's blood, and spake, "Grant me a boon, and do a thing
little for thee to do. Bear the heart to the fire, and roast it, and give me thereof to eat."
Then Sigurd went his ways and roasted it on a rod; and when the blood bubbled out he laid his finger thereon to essay it, if it were fully done; and then
he set his finger in his mouth, and lo, when the heart-blood of the worm touched his tongue, straightway he knew the voice of all fowls, and heard withal
how the wood-peckers chattered in the brake beside him--
"There sittest thou, Sigurd, roasting Fafnir's heart for another, that thou shouldest eat thine ownself, and then thou shouldest become the wisest of all
And another spake: "There lies Regin, minded to beguile the man who trusts in him."
But yet again said the third, "Let him smite the head from off him then, and be only lord of all that gold."
And once more the fourth spake and said, "Ah, the wiser were he if he followed after that good counsel, and rode thereafter to Fafnir's lair, and took to him
that mighty treasure that lieth there, and then rode over Hindfell, whereas sleeps Brynhild; for there would he get great wisdom. Ah, wise he were, if he did
after your redes, and bethought him of his own weal; 'for where wolf's ears are, wolf's teeth are near.'"
Then cried the fifth: "Yea, yea, not so wise is he as I deem him, if he spareth him whose brother he hath slain already."
At last spake the sixth: "Handy and good rede to slay him, and be lord of the treasure!"
Then said Sigurd, "The time is unborn wherein Regin shall be my bane; nay, rather one road shall both these brothers fare."
And therewith he drew his sword Gram and struck off Regin's head.
Then heard Sigurd the wood-peckers a-singing, even as the song says.1
For the first sang:
"Bind thou, Sigurd,
The bright red rings!
Not meet it is
Many things to fear.
A fair may know I,
Fair of all the fairest
Girt about with gold,
Good for thy getting."
And the second:
"Green go the ways
Toward the hall of Giuki
That the fates show forth
To those who fare thither;
There the rich king
Reareth a daughter;
Thou shalt deal, Sigurd,
With gold for thy sweetling."
And the third:
"A high hall is there
Reared upon Hindfell,
Without all around it
Sweeps the red flame aloft.
Wise men wrought
That wonder of halls
With the unhidden gleam
Of the glory of gold."
Then the fourth sang:
"Soft on the fell
A shield-may sleepeth
The lime-trees' red plague
Playing about her:
The sleep-thorn set Odin
Into that maiden
For her choosing in war
The one he willed not.
"Go, son, behold
That may under helm
Whom from battle
From her may not turn
The torment of sleep.
Dear offspring of kings
In the dread Norns' despite."
Then Sigurd ate some deal of Fafnir's heart, and the remnant he kept. Then he leapt on his horse and rode along the trail of the worm Fafnir, and so right unto
his abiding-place; and he found it open, and beheld all the doors and the gear of them that they were wrought of iron: yea, and all the beams of the house; and
it was dug down deep into the earth: there found Sigurd gold exceeding plenteous, and the sword Rotti; and thence he took the Helm of Awe, and the Gold Byrny,
and many things fair and good. So much gold he found there, that he thought verily that scarce might two horses, or three belike, bear it thence. So he took
all the gold and laid it in two great chests, and set them on the horse Grani, and took the reins of him, but nowise will he stir, neither will he abide
smiting. Then Sigurd knows the mind of the horse, and leaps on the back of him, and smites and spurs into him, and off the horse goes even as if he were
[1. The Songs of the Birds were inserted from "Reginsmal" by the translators.]
Eptir þetta kom Reginn til Sigurðar ok mælti: "Heill, herra minn, mikinn sigr hefir þú unnit, er þú hefir drepit Fáfni, er engi varð fyrr svá
djarfr, at á hans götu þorði sitja, ok þetta fremdarverk mun uppi, meðan veröldin stendr."
Nú stendr Reginn ok sér niðr í jörðina langa hríð. Ok þegar eptir þetta mælti hann af miklum móði: "Bróður minn hefir þú drepit, ok varla má ek þessa verks
Nú tekr Sigurðr sitt sverð, Gram, ok þerrir á grasinu ok mælti til Regins:
"Fjarri gekk þú þá, er ek vann þetta verk ok ek reynda þetta snarpa sverð með minni hendi ok mínu afli. Atta ek við orms megin, meðan þú látt í einum
lyngrunni, ok vissir þú eigi, hvárt er var himinn eða jörð."
Reginn svarar: "Þessi ormr mætti lengi liggja í sínu bóli, ef eigi hefðir þú notit sverðs þess, er ek gerða þér minni hendi, ok eigi hefðir þú þetta enn unnit
og engi annarra."
Sigurðr svarar: "Þá er menn koma til vígs, þá er manni betra gott hjarta en hvasst sverð."
Þá mælti Reginn við Sigurð af áhyggju mikilli: "Þu drapt minn bróður, ok varla má ek þessa verks saklauss."
Þá skar Sigurðr hjartat ór orminum með því sverði, er Riðill hét. Þá drakk Reginn blóð Fáfnis ok mælti:
"Veit mér eina bæn, er þér er lítit fyrir: Gakk til elds með hjartat ok steik ok gef mér at eta."
Sigurðr fór ok steikti á steini. Ok er freyddi ór, þá tók hann fingri sínum á ok skynjaði, hvárt steikt væri. Hann brá fingrinum í munn sér. Ok er hjartablóð
ormsins kom á tungu honum, þá skyldi hann fuglarödd. Hann heyrði, at igður klökuðu á hrísinu hjá honum:
"Þar sitr Sigurðr ok steikir Fáfnis hjarta. Þat skyldi hann sjálfr eta. Þá mundi hann verða hverjum manni vitrari."
Önnur segir: "Þar liggr Reginn ok vill véla þann, sem honum trúir."
Þá mælti in þriðja: "Höggvi hann þá höfuð af honum, ok má hann þá ráða gullinu því inu mikla einn."
Þá mælti in fjórða: "Þá væri hann vitrari, ef hann hefði þat, sem þær höfðu ráðit honum, ok riði síðan til bóls Fáfnis ok tæki þat it mikla gull, er þar er, ok
riði síðan upp á Hindarfjall, þar sem Brynhildr sefr, ok mun hann nema þar mikla speki, ok þá væri hann vitr, ef hann hefði yður ráð ok hygði hann um sína þurft, ok
þar er mér úlfsins ván, er ek eyrun sá."
Þá mælti in fimmta: "Eigi er hann svá horskr sem ek ætla, ef hann vægir honum, en drepit áðr bróður hans."
Þá mælti in sétta: "Þat væri snjallræði, ef hann dræpi hann ok réði einn fénu."
Þá mælti Sigurðr: "Eigi munu þau ósköp, at Reginn sé minn bani, ok heldr skulu þeir fara báðir bræðr einn veg."
Bregðr nú sverðinu Gram ok höggr höfuð af Regin.
Ok eptir þetta etr hann suman hlut hjartans ormsins, en sumt hirðir hann; hleypr síðan á hest sinn ok reið eptir slóð Fáfnis ok til hans herbergis ok fann, at
þat var opit ok af járni hurðirnar allar ok þar með allr dyraumbúningrinn ok af járni allir stokkar í húsinu ok grafit í jörð niðr. Sigurðr fann þar stórmikit
gull ok sverðit Hrotta, ok þar tók hann ægishjálm ok gullbrynjuna ok marga dýrgripi. Hann fann þar svá mikit gull, at honum þótti ván, at eigi mundi meira bera
tveir hestar eða þrír. Þat gull tekr hann allt ok berr í tvær kistur miklar, tekr nú Í tauma hestinum Grana. Hestrinn vill nú eigi ganga, ok ekki tjáir at keyra.
Sigurðr finnr nú, hvat hestrinn vill, hleypr hann á bak ok lýstr hann sporum, ok rennr sjá hestr sem lauss væri.