19. 'Forth to the hearth I hied,
To hear my hawk that cried.'

20. 'Hast tarried long with those hawks o' thine--
May God the Lord keep brethren mine!'

21. 'Drink now, drink now, thou sister good,
Drink of thy brethren's red heart's -blood!'

22. 'That thirst, methinks, were wondrous sore,
Should tempt me drink of my brethren's gore!

23. 'Oh come to thy bed sweet lord, again;
Little reck I of my brethren's bane.'

24. Now eight long years did fade & flee,
& Sir Lovmar was fain his sons to see.

25. He bade her make ready both wine & mead,
& he sent for his sons to come with speed.

26. 'Proud Senild, what an it should befall
That my seven sons came home to hall?'

27. 'So would I deal with those sons o' thine
As tho' they were all dear brethren mine.'

28. She sets his sons at the board to sup,
& wine she poured from a costly cup.
DANISH BALLADS

Continued from Sigurd Ballads
From Faroese and Danish
SIVORD AND BRYNHILD

1. A gallant steed had Sivord
In days of yore;
Bright Brynhild from the Hill of Glass
By light of day he bore.
(Oh, the King's children o' Denmark!)

2. But the hand of haughty Brynhild
That knew no fear,
He gave to Hero Haagen,
His weapon-brother dear.

3. It was Sivord Snarensvend
Rode up by land & lea;
He wedded stately Signild,
So fair was she.

4. Signild & proud Brynhild
Forth did they fare,
Down to the stream, to wash
Their silken garments there.
5. 'Lithe & listen, Signild,
Sweet sister mine!
Whence came the ring of gold
Doth on thy finger shine?'

6. 'The ring of gold that shineth
Upon my finger small,
I got from Sivord Snarensvend,
Bravest of all.

7. 'That golden ring he gave me
In lover's mood,
But thee he gave to Haagen
In weapon-brotherhood!'

8. It was haughty Brynhild
That self-same hour,
Who laid her down & sickened
For sorrow in her bower.

9. It was Hero Haagen
Asked once & yet again,
If aught in all the world
Could ease her of her pain.
10. 'Nay, nought in all the world
Can ease me of my pain,
Save only the red heart's blood
Of Sivord Snarenvend!

11. 'My hurt shall ne'er be healed
By sea not by land,
Till the gory head of Sivord
I hold in my hand.'

12. 'How shall I win his head
In foray or fight?
No sword in all the world
Upon his skin will bite.

13. 'No sword of earthly forging
Will bite upon his skin,
Save his own good blade alone,
& that I may not win.'

14. 'Now haste, seek thou Sivord
Ere the dawn break,
& bit him leand his brand
For honour's sake!

15. 'Go beg of him the brand
All for thy fame;
Say thou art sworn to fight
In thy fair lady's name.'
16. It was Hero Haagen
That straightway to Sigurd came,
& begged his goodly brand
All for his lady's fame.

17. '& hast thou my goodly sword,
Adelring hight,
Then never shalt thou fail
To win in fight.

18. 'My bonnie brand Adelring
Shalt wield an thou wilt,
But beware the tears of blood,
Lie hidden in the hilt!

19. 'Beware the tears of blood
In hilt that hidden lie!
If t hey thy fingers redden,
Then must thou die.'

20. Thus did Sivord Snarensvend,
Weapon-brother true,
Lend the sword hight Adelring;
That did he rue.
21. It was hero Haagen
Seized the bright brand,
& slew his weapon-brother
With his own hand.

22. Beneath his cloak of scarlet
The blood-stained head he bore,
And laid it in the high-loft
Brynhild before.

23. 'The gory head thou hast
Thine heart to cheer;
Woe's me that I have slain
My weapon-brother dear!'

24. 'Hide, hide the gory head
That mine eyes shall never see!
What tho' I brought him bane,
I loved him more than thee.'

25. It was Hero Haagan
That turned in bitter smart,
It was haughty Brynhild
He pierced to the heart.
26. 'Now I have slain my lady,
And my weapon-brother bold!
A third must yet be slain
Before the tale be told.'

27. Against an earth-fast stone
He stayed the golden hilt;
The point of Sivord's blade
His heart's blood spilt.

28. Woe worth the day
When Brynhild was born!
Two most noble King's children
For her were lost & lorn.
    The first of the three Danish ballads I am reproducing here is "Kinship's Vengeance."  My original intention was to include the Danish ballads on the same page with the Faroese ballads, but I ran out of space, after that poem.  Ideally, it should be moved to this page, and prehaps I will when I can find the time, but I am fairly well swamped with projects.  It is a good vigorous story which so reduces the heroic and mythic quality of the material that one could hardly guess that it is the
Volsung story.  In it Senild (Gudrun, Khriemhild) avenges the murder of her brother, as in the Northern tradition, rather than taking revenge on her brothers for the murder of her husband, as in the Nibelungenlied or "The Ballad of Hogni."  The poem immediately above, "Sivord and Brynhild" is also a vigorous and dramatic story, told with quickness, economy, and the cold objectivity for which folk ballads are famous.  Any reader familiar with ballad traditon, with its story of primal emotions and drives will find the usual features here in familiar form--love, jealousy, betrayal, lust, revenge, and remorse in a love-triangle story that leaves all three participants dead.  We lose Odin, theValkyrie, the sleep thorn, and much of the sense of big people moving on a big stage, but we get a very tight and concentrated story.  The story begins with Brynhild on a glass hill, as in fairy tale tradition, rather than sleeping surrounded by a wall of flame, but if we expect a fairy tale, that is not what we get.
The last poem, "Grimhild's Revenge," is another ballad that covers much of the same ground fairly effectively, though perhaps not quite as dramatically as the other two.
GRIMILD'S REVENGE

1. It was proud Dame Grimhild,
Bade blend the foaming mead,
& she's sent it to the knights of every land,
& bidden them come with speed.

2. She's bidden them come, & tarry not
For truce nor yet for strife;
& therefore young Hero Hogen
Must needs lay down his life.

3. It was Hero Hogen
Fared forth along the strand,
& thee he met the Ferryman
All on the snow-white strand.

4. 'All hail to thee, thou Ferryman!
Now row me o'er the sound,
& I will give thee this golden ring,
Weigheth full fifteen pound.'

5. 'I will not ferry thee o'er the sound
For all thy gold so red,
For, an thou come to Hvenild's land,
Shalt thou be stricken dead.'

6. It was Hero Hogen
That drew his sword amain,
It was the caitiff Ferryman
Whose neck he hewed in twain.
7. The golden ring from his arm he's given
Unto the weeping wife:
Now take in friendship this gift from me
All for thy husband's life.'

8. It was Hero Hogen
Fared forth along the strand,
& there he met a Mermaiden
All on the snow-white sand.

9. 'All hail, thou merry Mermaiden,
Well-learned in secret lore!
An I go forth to Hvenild's land,
Shall I return once more?'

10. 'Full many a castle fair hast thou,
& store of gold so red,
But an thou go to Hvenild's land,
Shalt thou be stricken dead!'

11. It was Hero Hogen
That drew his sword amain,
It was the beldame Mermaid
Whose neck he hewed in twain.

12. The bloody head he's taken,
& hurled forth into the sound;
The corse he cast thereafter,
& both sank down to ground.
13. Sir Grimmer & Sir Germer
They push away from shore;
Wild the storm-wind waxes,
& loud the billows roar.

14. Wild the storm-wind waxes,
& loud the billows thunder;
The oars of iron in Hogen's hand
Were rent & riven asunder.

15. The oars were riven asunder
In Hero Hogen's hand,
But with their gilded shield-rims
The steered the ship to land.

16. Now when to shore they came
       once more
They scoured their brands so bright;
& there stood a stately maiden,
That looked upon the sight.

17. O slim and small her body
As lily-wand to see,
And ever the gait of her going
Was a maiden's fair and free.

18. And when they came to Norberg
They stood the hold before:
'Where is the courteous porter
Should ope for us the door?'
19. 'Now here am I, the porter
Keeps watch & ward so true;
Fain would I do thine Errand
An I thy errand knew.'

20. 'Oh we are come hither from Tyde-land
(Soothly I speak with thee),
Dame Grimild is our sister dear,
& brethren twain are we.'

21. In went that courteous porter
& stood beside the board;
Both swift & free of tongue was he,
& well could choose his word.

22. 'Hither are come to the castle
Two well-born knights & bold;
The one doth bear a viol,
And one a helm of gold.

23. 'Yet he beareth not the viol
To win him gold & fee;
What realm so e'er they come from,
They are of high degree.'

24. It was proud Dame Grimild
Wrapped her in cloak of vair
& went into the castle-garth
To greet her brethren there.
25. 'Come in, come in, my brethren,
& drink the wine so red!
& silken sheets, an ye would rest,
My maidens all shall spread.'

26. It was proud Dame Grimild
Wrapped her in cloak of pall,
& went  to the stone-built fortress
To seek her kempes all.

27. 'So here ye sit, my kempes,
& drink the blood-red wine!
Now who will Hero Hogen slay,
Brother most dear o' mine?

28. 'Whoso slays Hero Hogen
Rich guerdon he shall gain,
But he shall spend my ruddy gold,
& o'er my castles reign.'

29. Up & spake a warrior,
Chief in his own countrie:
'Behold the hand shall wield the brand,
& win this prize of thee!

30. 'Mine own right hand shall wield the
        brand
That strikes the hero dead;
Then will I rule thy castles,
& spend thy gold so red.'
31. Up spake Folkvor Fiddleman,
And shook his iron-shod spear:
'Be sure that I will mark thee well
Or ever thou go from here!'

32. The first stroke Folkvor struck in fight
Laid fifteen warriors low;
'Ha, ha, thou Folkvor Fiddleman,
Well wags thy fiddle-bow!'

33. And now, so Hogen willed it,
The hides they spread in hall,
And who but Hero Hogen
Was first thereon to fall?

34. It was Hero Hogen
That fain would stand and fight:
'Forget not, Hero Hogen,
The pledge that thou didst plight!

35. 'Bethink thee, Hero Hogen,
Nor let thy vow be vain,
If thou shouldst fall to field in fight,
Thou wouldst not rise again.'

36. So true was Hero Hogen,
Forsworn that ne'er would be,
That there he got his death-wound,
Kneeling upon his knee.
37. Three champions keen he slew, I ween,
Or ever his arm did tire;
Then 'neath the sea-girt rock he sought
The Treasure of his sire.

38. & even in his dying hour,
That maiden fair he won
Whom men called haughty Hvenild,
& gat with her a son.

39. Rancke so hight that warrior,
Avenged his father bold,
For Gimild pined for lack of bread
Beside the Niflung's gold.

40. In Bern, a town of Lombardy,
Long time did Rancke dwell
With many another Danish knight,
& proved his manhood well.

41. But his mother abode in the wave-beat isle
That beareth for aye her name;
And long will knights & nobles all
Discourse of Hvenild's fame.
    There is a lot of odds and ends in this poem from the Volsung story.  The brief mermaid story sounds very like the Faroese "Ballad of Hogni."  The weapon/fiddle imagery and dialogue echoes the Nibelungenlied.  The revenge on the brother is also southern.  The story line, however, is unclear and motives aren't explained.  It is hard to believe that the hearers could have really understood this poem in the Middle ages much better than they can now.  The poem below, "Kinship's Vengeance" I am moving here from the other ballad page, partly because it actually belongs on this page, and partly because the other page has been loading so slowly.  This is energetic and well told but, as with the two poems above, has lost the mythic scope of the Volsung tradition.  It is like the poverty stricken descendent of an old an aristocratic family.
1. Proud Senild's kinsmen did agree
To wed her in far countrie.
(She wept such woeful tears.)

2.  They sent her to a far-off land,
To her father's slayer they gave her hand.

3. Till eight long years were tined & told,
Proud Senild saw not her brethren bold.

4. Wine she blended for festival,
& bade her brethren home to hall.

5. Sir Lovmar laughed with hearty cheer
As he ne'er had laughed for many a year.

6. To the loft proud Senild hied,
& looked fort far & wide.

7. Pround Senild from the tower looked forth
Till her brethren's voices she heard in the garth.

8. 'What if, my lord, it should befall
That my brethren seven came home to hall?'

9. 'So would I deal with brethren thine
As tho' they wee all dear sons o' mine.'
10. She seated her brethren at the board,
& wine from a costly cup she poured.

11. She plied Sir Lovmar with wine so clear,
But milk she gave to her brethren dear.

12. He feigned to drink when his cup was filled,
But ever in secret the wine he spilled.

13. Their bed she made on the stone-paved floor;
She willed them to wake till the night was o'er.

14. When first proud Senild slumbered & slept,
Forth from her arms Sir Lovmar crept.

15. To her brethren's bed has Sir Lovmar gone,
& he's slain the seven by one& by one.

16. He caught in a cup their red, red gore,
& the goblet to Senild's bower he bore.

17. He bore the goblet to Senild's bed,
& her cheeks grew white that erst were red.

18. 'Dear my lord, now tell me aright,
Where hast thou been in the mirk midnight?'
29. Deep did Sir Lovmar drink that e'en,
Little he warded his life, I ween!

30. The down for their bedding did Senild take,
She willed them to sleep, & not to wake.

31. Bolsters of blue on the bed laid she,
& sleep-runes she wrote where none might see.

32. When first Sir Lovmar slumbered & slept,
Forth from his arms proud Senild crept.

33. To the bed of his sons has proud Senild gone,
& she's slain the seven by one & by one.

34. She caught in a cup their blood so red,
& the goblet she bore to Sir Lovmar's bed.

35. 'Drink now, drink now, thou father good,
Pledge thou thy wife in thy children's blood!'

36. 'Sore indeed were the thirst, I wis,
Should tempt me to drink such a draught as this!'

37. Sir Lovmar was fain of his biting brand,
But Senild had bound him both foot & hand.
38. 'Hold in, proud Senild, & spare thou me!
Never will I do wrong by thee.'

39. 'Of yore thou didst me wrong enow
When thou slewest my father dear, I trow.

40. 'Wrong enow didst thou do me of old,
When thou slewest my seven brothers bold.

41. 'Be sure that I will deal with thee
As thou hast dealt with the dead & me!'

42. She seized him by his golden hair,
She slew Sir Lovmar & did not spare.

43. Up spake the babe in cradle lay:
'Vengeance I'll have for thy deed this day!'

44. So hard on the cradle her foot she set
That her heel in the Bairnie's blood was wet.

45. 'Thou that art come of thy father's blood,
Ill wouldst thou do me, & never good.'

46. She watched till morning light
A-sewing their shrouds so white.

47. 'Man for man have I shent & slain;
I'll home to my father's land again.'