Chapter 32 - Of the Ending of Brynhild.
And now none might know for what cause Brynhild must bewail with weeping for what she had prayed for with laughter: but she spake--
"Such a dream I had, Gunnar, as that my bed was acold, and that thou didst ride into the hands of thy foes: lo now, ill shall it go with thee and all
thy kin, O ye breakers of oaths; for on the day thou slayedst him, dimly didst thou remember how thou didst blend thy blood with the blood of Sigurd,
and with an ill reward hast thou rewarded him for all that he did well to thee; whereas he gave unto thee to be the mightiest of men; and well was it
proven how fast he held to his oath sworn, when he came to me and laid betwixt us the sharp-edged sword that in venom had been made hard. All too soon
did ye fall to working wrong against him and against me, whenas I abode at home with my father, and had all that I would, and had no will that any one
of you should be any of mine, as ye rode into our garth, ye three kings together; but then Atli led me apart privily, and asked me if I would not have
him who rode Grani; yea, a man nowise like unto you; but in those days I plighted myself to the son of King Sigmund and no other; and lo, now, no better
shall ye fare for the death of me."
Then rose up Gunnar, and laid his arms about her neck, and besought her to live and have wealth from him; and all others in likewise letted her from dying;
but she thrust them all from her, and said that it was not the part of any to let her in that which was her will.
Then Gunnar called to Hogni, and prayed him for counsel, and bade him go to her, and see if he might perchance soften her dreadful heart, saying withal,
that now they had need enough on their hands in the slaking of her grief, till time might get over.
But Hogni answered, "Nay, let no man hinder her from dying; for no gain will she be to us, nor has she been gainsome since she came hither!
Now she bade bring forth much gold, and bade all those come thither who would have wealth: then she caught up a sword, and thrust it under her armpit, and
sank aside upon the pillows, and said, "Come, take gold whoso will!"
But all held their peace, and she said, "Take the gold, and be glad thereof!"
And therewith she spake unto Gunnar, "Now for a little while will I tell of that which shall come to pass hereafter; for speedily shall ye be at one again
with Gudrun by the rede of Grimhild the Wise-wife; and the daughter of Gudrun and Sigurd shall be called Swanhild, the fairest of all women born. Gudrun
shall be given to Atli, yet not with her good will. Thou shalt be fain to get Oddrun, but that shall Atli forbid thee; but privily shall ye meet, and much
shall she love thee. Atli shall bewray thee, and cast thee into a worm-close, and thereafter shall Atli and his Sons be slain, and Gudrun shall be their
slayer; and afterwards shall the great waves bear her to the burg of King Jonakr, to whom she shall bear sons of great fame: Swanhild shall be sent from the
land and given to King Jormunrek; and her shall bite the rede of Bikki, and therewithal is the kin of you clean gone; and more sorrow therewith for Gudrun.
"And now I pray thee, Gunnar, one last boon.--Let make a great bale on the plain meads for all of us; for me and for Sigurd, and for those who were slain with
him, and let that be covered over with cloth dyed red by the folk of the Gauls,1 and burn me thereon on one side of the King of the Huns, and on the other
those men of mine, two at the head and two at the feet, and two hawks withal; and even so is all shared equally; and lay there betwixt us a drawn sword, as in
the other days when we twain stepped into one bed together; and then may we have the name of man and wife, nor shall the door swing to at the heel of him as I
go behind him. Nor shall that be a niggard company if there follow him those five bond-women and eight bondmen, whom my father gave me, and those burn there
withal who were slain with Sigurd.
"Now more yet would I say, but for my wounds, but my life-breath flits; the wounds open,--yet have I said sooth."
Now is the dead corpse of Sigurd arrayed in olden wise, and a mighty bale is raised, and when it was somewhat kindled, there was laid thereon the dead corpse
of Sigurd Fafnir's-bane, and his son of three winters whom Brynhild had let slay, and Guttorm withal; and when the bale was all ablaze, thereunto was Brynhild
borne out, when she had spoken with her bower-maidens, and bid them take the gold that she would give; and then died Brynhild, and was burned there by the side
of Sigurd, and thus their life-days ended.
[1. The original has "raudu manna blodi", red-dyed in the blood of men; the Sagaman's original error in dealing with the word "Valaript" in the corresponding
passage of the short lay of Sigurd.--Tr.
* The chapter numbering has been skewed by one, this is Chapter 31 in the Old Norse.]
Nú þóttist engi kunna at svara, at Brynhildr beiddi þess hlæjandi, er hún harmaði með gráti. Þá mælti hún:
"Þat dreymdi mik, Gunnarr, at ek átta kalda sæng, en þú ríðr í hendr óvinum þínum, ok öll ætt yður mun illa fara, er þér eruð eiðrofa, ok mundir þú þat óglöggt,
er þit blönduðuð blóði saman, Sigurðr ok þú, er þú rétt hann, ok hefir þú honum allt illu launat þat, er hann gerði vel til þín ok lét þik fremstan vera, ok þá
reyndi þat, er hann kom til vár, hvé hann helt sína eiða, at hann lagði okkar í milli it snarpeggjaða sverð, þat er eitri var hert. Ok snemma réðu þér til saka við
hann ok við mik, þá er ek var heima með feðr mínum, ok hafða ek allt þat, er ek vilda, ok ætlaða ek engan yðarn minn skyldu verða, þá er þér riðuð þar at garði þrír
konungar. Síðan leiddi Atli mik á tal ok spyrr, ef ek vilda þann eiga, er riði Grana. Sá var yðr ekki líkr, ok þá hétumst ek syni Sigmundar konungs ok engum öðrum,
ok eigi mun yðr farast, þótt ek deyja."
Þá reis Gunnarr upp ok lagði hendr um háls henni ok bað, at hún skyldi lifa ok þiggja fé, ok allir aðrir löttu hana at deyja. En hún hratt hverjum frá sér, er at
henni kom, ok kvað ekki tjóa mundu at letja hana þess, er hún ætlaði.
Síðan hét Gunnarr á Högna ok spyrr hann ráða ok bað hann til fara ok vita, ef hann fengi mýkt skaplyndi hennar, ok kvað nú ærna þörf vera á höndum, ef sefast mætti
hennar harmr, þar til er frá liði.
Högni svarar: "Leti engi maðr hana at deyja, því at hun varð oss aldri at gagni ok engum manni, síðan hún kom hingat."
Nú bað hún taka mikit gull ok bað þar koma alla þá, er fé vildu þiggja. Síðan tók hún eitt sverð ok lagði undir hönd sér ok hneig upp við dýnur ok mælti: "Taki hér
nú gull hverr, er þiggja vill."
Allir þögðu. Brynhildr mælti: "Þiggið gullit ok njótið vel."
Enn mælti Brynhildr til Gunnars: "Nú mun ek segja þér litla stund þat, er eptir mun ganga: Sættast munu þit Guðrún brátt með ráðum Grímhildar innar fjölkunngu.
Dóttir Guðrúnar ok Sigurðar mun heita Svanhildr, er vænst mun fædd allra kvenna. Mun Guðrún gefin Atla at sínum óvilja. Oddrúnu muntu vilja eiga, en Atli mun þat
banna. Þá munu þit eiga launfundi, ok mun hún þér unna. Atli mun þik svíkja ok í ormgarð setja, ok síðan mun Atli drepinn ok synir hans. Guðrún mun þá drepa.
Síðan munu hana stórar bárur bera til borgar Jónakrs konungs. Þar mun hún fæða ágæta sonu. Svanhildr mun ór landi send ok gift Jörmunreki konungi. Hana munu bíta
Bikka ráð. Ok þá er farin öll ætt yður, ok eru Guðrúnar harmar at meiri. Nú bið ek þik, Gunnarr, efstu bænar: Lát gera eitt bál mikit á sléttum velli öllum oss, mér
ok Sigurði ok þeim, sem drepnir váru með honum. Lát þar tjalda yfir af rauðu mannablóði ok brenna mér þar á aðra hönd þenna inn hýnska konung, en á aðra hönd honum
mína menn, tvá at höfði, tvá at fótum, ok tvá hauka. Þá er at jafnaði skipt. Látið þar á milli okkar brugðit sverð sem fyrr, er vit stigum á einn beð ok hétum þá
hjóna nafni. Ok eigi fellr honum þá hurð á hæla, ef ek fylgi honum, ok er vár leiðsla þá ekki aumlig, ef honum fylgja fimm ambáttir ok átta þjónar, er faðir minn
gaf mér, ok þar brenna ok þeir, er drepnir váru með Sigurði.
Ok fleira munda ek mæla, ef ek væra eigi sár, en nú þýtr undin, en sárit opnast, ok sagða ek þó satt."
Nú er búit um lík Sigurðar at fornum sið ok gert mikit bál. Ok er þat er mjök í kynt, þá var þar lagt á ofan lík Sigurðar Fáfnisbana ok sonar hans þrévetrs, er
Brynhildr lét drepa, ok Guttorms. Ok er bálit var allt loganda, gekk Brynhildr þar á út ok mælti við skemmumeyjar sínar, at þær tæki gull þat, er hún vildi gefa
þeim. Ok eptir þetta deyr Brynhildr ok brann þar með Sigurði, ok lauk svá þeira ævi.