Chapter 20 - Of Sigurd's Meeting with Brynhild on the Mountain.

By long roads rides Sigurd, till he comes at the last up on to Hindfell, and wends his way south to the land of the Franks; and he sees before him on the fell a great light, as of fire burning, and flaming up even unto the heavens; and when he came thereto, lo, a shield hung castle before him, and a banner on the topmost thereof: into the castle went Sigurd, and saw one lying there asleep, and all-armed. Therewith he takes the helm from off the head of him, and sees that it is no man, but a woman; and she was clad in a byrny as closely set on her as though it had gown to her flesh; so he rent it from the collar downwards; and then the sleeves thereof, and ever the sword bit on it as if it were cloth. Then said Sigurd that over-long had she lain asleep; but she asked--

"What thing of great might is it that has prevailed to rend my byrny, and draw me from my sleep?"

Even as sings the song1

"What bit on the byrny,
Why breaks my sleep away,
Who has turned from me
My wan tormenting?"

"Ah, is it so, that here is come Sigurd Sigmundson, bearing Fafnir's helm on his head and Fafnir's bane in his hand?"

Then answered Sigurd--

"Sigmund's son
With Sigurd's sword
E'en now rent down
The raven's wall."

"Of the Volsung's kin is he who has done the deed; but now I have heard that thou art daughter of a mighty king, and folk have told us that thou wert lovely and full of lore, and now I will try the same."

Then Brynhild sang--

"Long have I slept
And slumbered long,
Many and long are the woes of mankind,
By the might of Odin
Must I bide helpless
To shake from off me the spells of slumber.
"Hail to the day come back!
Hail, sons of the daylight!
Hail to thee, dark night, and thy daughter!
Look with kind eyes a-down,
On us sitting here lonely,
And give unto us the gain that we long for.
"Hail to the Aesir,
And the sweet Asyniur!2
Hail to the fair earth fulfilled of plenty!
Fair words, wise hearts,
Would we win from you,
And healing hands while life we hold."

Then Brynhild speaks again and says, "Two kings fought, one hight Helm Gunnar, an old man, and the greatest of warriors, and Odin had promised the victory unto him; but his foe was Agnar, or Audi's brother, and so I smote down Helm Gunnar in the fight; and Odin, in vengeance for that deed, stuck the sleep-thorn into me, and said that I should never again have the victory, but should be given away in marriage; but there against I vowed a vow, that never would I wed one who knew the name of fear."

Then said Sigurd, "Teach us the lore of mighty matters!"

She said, "Belike thou cannest more skill in all than I; yet will I teach thee; yea, and with thanks, if there be aught of my cunning that will in anywise pleasure thee, either of runes or of other matters that are the root of things; but now let us drink together, and may the Gods give to us twain a good day, that thou mayst win good help and fame from my wisdom, and that thou mayst hereafter mind thee of that which we twain speak together."

Then Brynhild filled a beaker and bore it to Sigurd, and gave him the drink of love, and spake--

"Beer bring I to thee,
Fair fruit of the byrnies' clash,
Mixed is it mightily,
Mingled with fame,
Brimming with bright lays
And pitiful runes,
Wise words, sweet words,
Speech of great game.

"Runes of war know thou,
If great thou wilt be!
Cut them on hilt of hardened sword,
Some on the brand's back,
Some on its shining side,
Twice name Tyr therein.

"Sea-runes good at need,
Learnt for ship's saving,
For the good health of the swimming horse;
On the stern cut them,
Cut them on the rudder-blade
And set flame to shaven oar:
Howso big be the sea-hills,
Howso blue beneath,
Hail from the main then comest thou home.

"Word-runes learn well
If thou wilt that no man
Pay back grief for the grief thou gavest;
Wind thou these,
Weave thou these,
Cast thou these all about thee,
At the Thing,
Where folk throng,
Unto the full doom faring.

"Of ale-runes know the wisdom
If thou wilt that another's wife
Should not bewray thine heart that trusteth:
Cut them on the mead-horn,
On the back of each hand,
And nick an N upon thy nail.

"Ale have thou heed
To sign from all harm
Leek lay thou in the liquor,
Then I know for sure
Never cometh to thee,
Mead with hurtful matters mingled.

"Help-runes shalt thou gather
If skill thou wouldst gain
To loosen child from low-laid mother;
Cut be they in hands hollow,
Wrapped the joints round about;
Call for the Good-folks' gainsome helping.

"Learn the bough-runes wisdom
If leech-lore thou lovest;
And wilt wot about wounds' searching
On the bark be they scored;
On the buds of trees
Whose boughs look eastward ever.

"Thought-runes shalt thou deal with
If thou wilt be of all men
Fairest-souled wight, and wisest,
These areded
These first cut
These first took to heart high Hropt.

"On the shield were they scored
That stands before the shining God,
On Early-waking's ear,
On All-knowing's hoof,
On the wheel which runneth
Under Rognir's chariot;
On Sleipnir's jaw-teeth,
On the sleigh's traces.

"On the rough bear's paws,
And on Bragi's tongue,
On the wolfs claws,
And on eagle's bill,
On bloody wings,
And bridge's end;
On loosing palms,
And pity's path:

"On glass, and on gold,
And on goodly silver,
In wine and in wort,
And the seat of the witch-wife;
On Gungnir's point,
And Grani's bosom;
On the Norn's nail,
And the neb of the night-owl.

"All these so cut,
Were shaven and sheared,
And mingled in with holy mead,
And sent upon wide ways enow;
Some abide with the Elves,
Some abide with the Aesir,
Or with the wise Vanir,
Some still hold the sons of mankind.

"These be the book-runes,
And the runes of good help,
And all the ale-runes,
And the runes of much might;
To whomso they may avail,
Unbewildered unspoilt;
They are wholesome to have:
Thrive thou with these then.
When thou hast learnt their lore,
Till the Gods end thy life-days.

"Now shalt thou choose thee
E'en as choice is bidden,
Sharp steel's root and stem,
Choose song or silence;
See to each in thy heart,
All hurt has been heeded."

Then answered Sigurd--

"Ne'er shall I flee,
Though thou wottest me fey;
Never was I born for blenching,
Thy loved rede will I
Hold aright in my heart Even as long as I may live."

[1. The stanzas on the two following pages were inserted here from "Sigrdrifasmal" by the translators.

2. Goddesses.]


20. Kaptuli

Sigurr rr n langar leiir ok allt til ess, er hann kemr upp Hindarfjall, ok stefndi lei sur til Frakklands. fjallinu s hann fyrir sr ljs mikit, sem eldr brynni, ok ljmai af til himins. En er kom at, st ar fyrir honum skjaldborg ok upp r merki. Sigurr gekk skjaldborgina ok s, at ar svaf mar ok l me llum hervpnum. Hann tk fyrst hjlminn af hfi honum ok s, at at var kona. Hn var brynju, ok var sv fst sem hn vri holdgrin. reist hann ofan r hfusmtt ok gegnum nir ok sv t gegnum bar ermar, ok beit sem kli. Sigurr kva hana helzti lengi sofit hafa. Hn spuri, hvat sv var mttugt, er beit brynjuna --

"ok br mnum svefni, ea mun hr kominn Sigurr Sigmundarson, er hefir hjlm Ffnis ok hans bana hendi?"

svarar Sigurr:

"S er Vlsunga ttar, er etta verk hefir gert, ok at hefi ek spurt, at ert rks konungs dttir, ok at sama hefir oss sagt verit fr yrum vnleik ok vitru, ok at skulu vr reyna."

Brynhildr segir, at tveir konungar brust. Ht annarr Hjlmgunnarr. Hann var gamall ok inn mesti hermar, ok hafi inn honum sigri heitit, en annarr Agnarr ea Auabrir. "Ek fellda Hjlmgunnar orrostu, en inn stakk mik svefnorni hefnd ess ok kva mik aldri san skyldu sigr hafa ok kva mik giftast skulu. En ek strengda ess heit ar mt at giftast engum eim, er hrast kynni."

Sigurr mlti: "Kenn oss r til strra hluta."

Hn svarar: "r munu betr kunna, en me kkum vil ek kenna yr, ef at er nokkut, er vr kunnum, at er yr mtti lka, rnum ea rum hlutum, er liggja til hvers hlutar, ok drekkum bi saman, ok gefi goin okkr gan dag, at r veri nyt ok frg at mnum vitrleik ok munir eptir, at er vit rum."

Brynhildr fylldi eitt ker ok fri Siguri ok mlti:

"Bjr frik r,
brynings apaldr,
magni blandinn
ok megintri;
fullr er lja
ok lknstafa,
gra galdra
ok gamanrna.

Sigrnar skaltu kunna,
ef vilt snotr vera,
ok rsta hjalti hjrs,
ok valbstum
ok nefna tysvar T.

Brimrnar skaltu gera,
ef vilt borgit hafa
sundi seglmrum.
stafni skal r rsta
ok stjrnar blai
ok leggja eld r.
Fellrat sv brattr breki
n blr unnir,
kemstu heill af hafi.

Mlrnar skaltu kunna,
ef vilt, at manngi r
heiptum gjaldi harm.
r um vindr,
r um vefr,
r um setr allar saman
v ingi,
er jir skulu
fulla dma fara.

lrnar skaltu kunna,
ef vilt, at annars kvn
vlit ik trygg, ef trir.
horni skal r rsta
ok handarbaki
ok merkja nagli nau.

Full skaltu signa
ok vi fri sj
ok verpa lauk lg.
ek at veit,
at r verr aldri
meinblandinn mjr.

Bjargrnar skaltu nema,
ef vilt borgit f
ok leysa kind fr konu.
lfa skal r rsta
ok um liu spenna
ok bija dsir duga.

Limrnar skaltu kunna,
ef vilt lknir vera
ok kunna sr at sj.
berki skal r rsta,
ok barri viar
ess, er lti austr limar.

Hugrnar skaltu nema,
ef vilt hverjum vera
gehorskari guma.
r of r,
r of reist,
r of hugi Hroptr.

skildi vru ristnar,
eim er stendr fyr sknanda gui,
eyra rvakrs
ok Alsvinns hfi
ok v hveli, er stendr
undir rei Rgnis,
Sleipnis tnnum
ok slea fjtrum,
bjarnar hrammi
ok Braga tungu,
lfs klm
ok arnar nefi,
blgum vngjum
ok brar spori,
lausnar lfa
ok lknar spori,
gleri ok gulli
ok gu silfri,
vni ok virtri
ok vlu sessi,
guma holdi,
Gungnis oddi
ok ggjar brjsti,
nornar nagli
ok nefi uglu.

Allar vru af skafnar,
r er vru ristnar,
ok hrrar vi inn helga mj
ok sendar va vegu.
r eru me lfum,
sumar me sum
ok me vsum Vnum.
Sumar hafa mennskir menn.

at eru bkrnar
ok bjargrnar
ok allar lrnar
ok mrar meginrnar,
hverjum, er r kn
villtar ok spilltar
sr at heillum hafa.
Njttu, ef namt,
unz rjfast regin.

N skaltu kjsa,
alls r er kostr of boinn,
hvassra vpna hlynr.
Sgn ea gn
haf r sjlfr of hug.
ll eru ml of metin."

Sigurr svarar:

"Munkat ek flja,
tt mik feigan vitir.
Emkat ek me bleyi borinn.
str n
vil ek ll of hafa,
sv lengi sem ek lifi."


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