BALLADS OF SIGURD:
Ballads from the Faroese and Danish
    I have three pages on Sigurd and the Volsungs already, and so decided to go ahead and make it comprehensive.  I don't claim any particular credit for this, other than the good taste to appreciate it, and the work to transcribe it.  I have taken the text from a 1934 book called Sigurd the Dragon SlayerThe author and translator, E.M. Smith-Dampier makes no claims as a poet, but in fact he produces a highly readable set of ballads in language we are familiar with from Bishop Percy's edition of the English and Scottish ballads.  The book itself is not likely to turn up in the standard local library, but is fairly widely distributed among college libraries, and so is not overly hard to come by.  More poems are included than I will transcribe--poems about Sigurd that have only limited relationship to the traditional Volsung story, and are of limited literary value.  The author, himself, does not include every Faroese or Danish ballad in which Sigurd appears, which are apparently numerous, and which indicate the durability of the hero's fame in one of the most isolated corners of the Germanic world.
    The Faroes are a group of islands between Scotland and Iceland.  Their other nearest neighbor is Norway.  The population is in the neighborhood of 50.000 people, who have their own language, one similar to Icelandic and to Old English.  They also have their own literary tradition, fostered by their isolation from other population centers and by long winters.  The folk-ballad, which is, or can be sung, and historically also involved dance is typically a fairly short poem, often centering around primal emotions such as love, jealousy, and revenge, often involving a love triangle of the sort readers may be familiar with from the Amercian ballad, "Frankie and Johnny."  We see the familiar ballad structure in some of the Danish poems.  The Faroese ballads, however, are remarkable for their length and complexity.  The three Faroese ballads presented here not only make a substantial block of verse, but tell a large part of the story of the Volsungs.
    Aside from the northern (Icelandic) Volsunga Saga, the Nibelungenlied from the south, and Thidrekssaga from somewhere between, the Faroese is the longest and most elaborate retelling of the story we have before such modern works as Wagner's
Ring of the NibelungsIt is obviously relatively late in its present form, but that does not mean that it does not retain early elements missing from the other versions, especially since it does not appear to be clearly derivative from any one of them.  If I did not feel that it was a significant addition to our collection of tellings, I would not have taken the trouble to transcribe it.  In any case, here are the Faroese poems:
THE BALLAD OF REGIN

1. Now shall ye lithe & listen well
Unto this song I sing
Of warfare, & of warriors,
& many a mighty king.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

2. Sigmund now name I,
Of Volsung the son;
& 'twas the youthful Hjordis
That for his wife he won.

3. Drank they right gaily
Glad yule-tide in'
Mighty their men-at-arms
Tribute to win.
4. Swiftly came sorrow
To their high hall,
For many a foe was fain to see
That mighty monarch's fall.

5. One & all, the warriors
Weapon took in hand;
Waged was the warfare
In King Giur's land.

6. Waged was the warfare
In King Giur's land;
There did they join battle
All on the South sea-strand.

7. Many fared forth to battle,
But none returned again;
Queen Hjordis sat a-waiting
In sorrow & in pain.

8. Forth fared Queen Hjordis
In mantle of grey,
To seek for King Sigmund,
On battle-field lay.
9. 'Lie soft, thou Sigmund,
Dearest to me!
All in this hour of sorrow
I come to seek for thee.

10. 'Dearest of mine
In woe as in weal,
Is no green herb a-growing
Avails thy hurt to heal?'

11. 'Wide mayst thou wander
Ere leeches be found,
With store of salves availing
To heal my deadly wound.

12. 'Hunding's sons in battle
Wrought my downfall;
Venom was on the sword-points
They pierced me withal.

13. 'Or ever that venom
Brought me my bane,
My goodly brand was broken
Asunder in twain.
14. 'Or ever my second wound
Touched me with smart,
The venom was seeping
Thro' to my heart.

15. 'The fragments of my goodly sword
To weapon-smith shalt bear,
& bid him forge a weapon
That our young son may wear.

16. 'For that thou bear'st within thee
Shall prove a gallant boy;
Sigurd shalt thou name him,
& foster him with joy.

17. 'Lithe now & listen,
For scant is my breath,
Sigurd our son
Shall avenge me my death.

18. 'The smith by the river
His dwelling hath made;
Bid him re-fashion
Sigmund's bright blade.
19. 'Favnir hight the Fire-drake
Of Glitter Heath is Lord;
Regin is a cunning smith,
Yet none can trust his word.

20. 'No longer, my Hjordis,
Talk I with thee!
Methinks 'tis now my dying hour
That cometh fast on me.'

21. Weeping went Hjordis
From the place where he lay,
The ladies of her household
Led her away.

22. The ladies of her household
Succoured her eftsoon,
Whenas she lay witless
In sweven & swoon.

23. Woe walketh still on Middle Earth,
& seeketh every wight!
The King must dree his death-pangs
All on the self-same night.

24. Little spared Queen Hjordis
Of honour to the dead;
She bade them shape for Sigmund
A bier of the gold so red.
25. Under the howe their henchmen
Heaped all upon the wold,
'Twas there they laid his bright bodye
Down in the darksome mould.

26 Up spake in sorrow
The swains that stood by:
'Doleful it is on sunbright day
In darksome mould to lie!'

27. Alone in lady's bower
Sat Hjordis sorrowing;
The first that came to woo her
Was Hjalprek the King.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

28. King Sigmund in warfare
Laid down his life;
Hjalprek the King
Took Hjordis to wife.

29. She went with child, that lady fair,
Till nine long months were run,
& at the hour appointed
She bore a beauteous son.
30. She wrapped him well in swaddling-bands
When to this earth he came,
A gallant boy, & fair to see,
& Sigurd was his name.

31. Right well was he fostered
By Hjalprek the King,
The sword he could wield,
The glaive could he fling.

32. Both swift & strong, nor slow of growth
No feats he left untried;
A heavier blow could he lay on
Than any swain beside.

33. When he went forth to weapon-field,
A blood-red shield he bare,
& all tht hue would favour
Who chose a champion there.

34. Now so it chanced, in weapon-field
When Sigurd went to play,
That strife fell out among the swains,
& wroth with him were they.

35. All from an ancient oaken-tree
A mighty branch he tore,
& lamed those lads so lustily
That some rose up no more.
36. Then did those swains to Sigurd
Speak up with dule & ire:
'Rather than maul thy comrades,
'T'were best avenge thy sire!"

37. Now when they named his father's death,
His brow grew mirk as mould;
He cast his blood-red shield adown
All on the darksome wold.

38. He cast down sword & harness
As from the field he sped,
& entered in his mother's bower
With cheeks now white, now red.

39. 'Now lithe & listen, my mother dear,
& look thou tell me plain,
By what name do men name him
That was my father's bane?'

40. 'Now sooth, son of Sigmund,
I speak thee so plain;
It was the sons of Hunding
That brought thy father's bane.

41. 'They that slew thy father
Sprang from Hunding's stem:
But never while thou livest
Wilt thou conquer them!'
42. 'Twas Sigurd up and answered,
& spake as best he might:
'Oft, oft in mouth of wolf-cub
Was teeth that well can bite.'

43. 'Twas Hjordis hied her to the kist
With red, red gold laid o'er:
'Behold the warrior's harness
Which last thy father wore!'

44. The lock thereof she's loosened
All with a golden key,
& she's cast the blood-stained byrnie
Adown before his knee.

45. The she has ta'en the fragments twain
Of Sigmund's sword of pride:
'These did thy father give me
All on the day he died!

46. 'Regin the weapon-smith
Dwells by the ford;
From these shall he fashion
As goodly a sword.

47. 'The shards shalt thou beat him
Of Sigmund's bright brand;
As goodly a blade
Shall he forge to thine hand.
48. 'Favnir hight the Fire-drake
Of Glitter Heath is lord;
Regin is a cunning smith,
Yet lean not on his word!

49. 'Go, cast a stone in the streamlet
By pasture field doth glide,
& choose for thy need the steadfast steed
That starteth not aside.'

50. Forth to the stream fared Sigurd,
& cast therein a stone,
& the steadfast steed that started not,
He took him for his own.

51. None was his like in all the land,
That courser good at need,
& the name he bore in days of yore
Was Grane, Sigurd's steed.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

52. Now Sigurd leapt on Grane's back
When yet the ways were blind,
& rode adown the river-bank
Regin the smith to find.
53. It was the gallant Sigurd
Rode down by lea & land,
& Regin ceased his smithying
& took a sword in hand.

54. 'Now harken, doughty Sigurd,
A warrior bold enow,
Whence art thou come this early,
& whither ridest thou?'

55. 'To thee, to thee the errand
Whereon I ride abroad!
I bid the, Regin weapon-smith,
To forge a goodly sword.'

56. 'Now welcome, welcome, Sigurd,
So true my love for thee!
Shalt enter to my dwelling,
& bide this night with me.'

57. 'Now nay, now nay, thou weapon-smith,
I may not here abide,
Lest Hjalprek the King should lack me
From the high seat by his side.

58. 'Now forge me a sword-blade
So sharp & so bright,
That stone & cold iron
Asunder 'twill bite!
59. 'Now forge me a sword-blade,
Of temper & tone
That will sever asunder
Cold iron & stone!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

60. In furnace a-flaming
The fragments he laid,
All thro' three night-times
He fashioned the blade.

61. Three night-times he laboured
To fashion the sword,
Till once again young Sigurd
Came riding to the ford.

62. 'Twas Sigurd leapt on Grane's back,
& rode along the strand,
& Ragin ceased his smithying
& took the sword in hand.

63. 'Behold, I have fashioned
A weapon so wight!
If thou spare not thy strokes
Shalt be foremost in fight.
64. 'Behold, I have forged thee
A weapon so true!
Both steel & cold iron
Asunder 'twill hew.'

65. Now Sigurd sought the anvil,
& smote thereon amain;
But the new brand was broken
Asunder in twain.

66. 'Worthy art thou, weapon-smith,
To die by my hand,
For that thou wouldst betray me
In forging the brand!'

67. Adown he flung the fragments
To fall at Regin's knee;
Wan grew the weapon-smith
As lily-flower to see.

68. Then he has ta'en the fragments twain,
& thrust in Regin's hand;
& the arm of Regin trembled
Like any lily-wand.

69. 'Now forge again a sword for me
By might of runic rhyme,
& be thou ware, thou weapon-smith,
I spare not a second time!
70. 'A sword shalt thou forge me
So sharp and so leal,
That 'twill sever asunder
Both iron & steel!'

71. 'Yes, I will forge a second sword,
But this I'll have of thee,
The heart o' the worm on Glitter Heath
All for my forging fee.

72. Now swear me this, thou Sigurd,
& look thou hold it true;
The heart o' the Worm on Glitter Heath
To give me as my due!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

73. Once more in the furnace
The fragments he laid;
All thro' three night-times
He fashioned the blade;

74.  All thro' three night-times
'Mid roaring & reek,
Till Sigurd rode thither
His weapon to seek.
75. 'Twas Sigurd sprang on Grane's back
When scarce the night was o'er
& rode adown the river-bank,
& stayed at Regin's door.

76. It was the doughty Sigurd
That halted by the ford;
& Regin ceased his smitying,
& took in hand the sword.

77. 'A sword have I forged thee
Of wonder & worth!
Never so wight a weapon
Was seen on Middle Earth.'

78. Now Sigurd smote the anvil
That straight did rock & reel,
But never a dint could mar the glint
Of Regin's tempered steel.

79. Again he smote the anvil
With such a mighty blow,
The iron was cloven asunder,
& the earth-fast stone below.

80. Bright & clear the river
Welled upwards fro the spring;
& Gramm they name the sword of fame
Of Regin's smithying.
81. 'Go hence, go hence, thou Sigurd,
& woo the a high-born wife!
For such a mighty warrior
Would I lay down my life.'

82. 'Now lithe & listen, weapon-smith,
Thy words are fair & fine,
But a darker thought is hidden
Deep in that heart o' thine!'

83. 'Now Sigurd, doughty Sigurd,
This promise make to me;
When thou dost ride to Glitter Heath,
Thy comrade I may be!'

84. 'First with the sons of Hunding
I'll meet on foughten field;
Then will I hie to Glitter Heath
This biting brand to wield.

85. 'Yea, first to fight with Hunding's sons
On battle-field I fare,
& then I ride to Glitter Heath
To raid the Dragon's lair!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.
86. It was Sigurd Sigmundarson
Made not that vow in vain;
With his own hand he slew the band
That brought his father bane.

87. Both one & all, he saw them fall
That did his sire to death,
Or ever he turned him homeward,
& hied him to Glitter Heath.

88. It was Sigurd Sigmundarson
Rode down by greenwood shaw;
And, sitting apart in secret,
An aged man he saw.

89. A silken cap was on his head,
As down the glade he came,
& in his hand a Finnish bow,
& no man knew his name.

90. With buckled leggings, countrywise,
That ancient man drew near;
One burning eye was in his head,
& at his back a spear.

91. 'And art thou Sigurd Sigmundarson,
A warrior bold, I trow,
Say, whence hast thou come to greenwood glade,
& whither ridest now?'
92. 'Of late I fared to battle-field,
& Hunding's sons I slew;
But now I ride to Glitter Heath
A daring deed to do.'

93. 'Now harken, Sigurd Sigmundarson,
& look thou tell to me,
What name is his, the caitiff carle,
That followeth after thee?'

94. 'Regin the smith men name him;
A cunning smith is he,
& brother in blood to the loathly Worm,
& therefore he followeth me!'

95. 'Now wherefore hath he bidden thee
To delve these ditches twain?
The man that bid the delve them,
That man desired thy bane.'

96. ''Twas Regin bid me grave them,
These grofts, by one, by two,
For that in this adventure
He is my comrade true.'

97. 'Did Regin bid thee grave them
With never a third thereby,
Then Regin is a traitor foul
That fain would see thee die,
98. 'Grave thou yet another,
A little space below,
To catch the Dragon's deadly spume
That from his mouth will flow.

99. 'A fourth shalt thou fashion,
Yet closer at hand;
'Then shalt thou, Sigurd,
Therein take thy stand.'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

100. The worm slid forth from the red, red gold
All at the eventide,
& Sigurd sprang on Grane's back,
& swiftly did he ride.

101. Little deeming of danger,
The dragon crept abroad;
& Sigurd sprang from saddle,
& drew his trusty sword.

102. The Worm slid forth from the Treasure,
Adown the dyke to creep,
His belly clave to the lower earth
Full thirty fathom deep.
103. But ever the back of the monster
Was high in the air aboon;
& Sigurd seized his biting brand,
& drew, & struck eftsoon.

104. So stern was the sword-stroke,
So mighty the blow,
That all the girth of Middle Earth
Was shaken to & fro.

105. Shook every leaf on every tree
& earth the tree-roots under,
When Sigurd drew his trusty sword,
& clave the Worm asunder.

106. Up & spake the loathly Worm,
All broken where he lay;
'Who is the doughty warrior
Dares deal such blows to-day?'

107. 'Sigurd shalt thou name me,
Of Sigmund the son;
Hjordis she that bore me
After his days were done.'

108. 'Lithe & listen, Sigurd,
To this I ask of thee;
What man was in thy following
The livelong way to me?'
109. 'With Regin thy brother
I came to the Heath,
Foulest of traitors,
Desiring thy death.'

110. Up & spake the fierce Fire-drake,
A-floating in his gore:
'Regin the false weapon-smith
Must tread the earth no more.

111. 'Of traitors worst is Regin,
Who fain thy bane would be;
Then deal thou with the weapon-smith
As thou has dealt by me!'

112. Up spake the wily weapon-smith:
'Where is that fee of mine,
The Dragon's heart that is my part,
As thou didst swear langsyne?'

113. Oh, out he hewed the Dragon's heart,
Was three ells' length & more,
& he brandered it all on burning wood
Because of the oath he swore.

114.  His hand, sore scorched with burning heat,
All on his lips he laid,
& the speech he knew of the birds that flew,
& the beasts in the greenwood glade.
115. Up & spake the little bird
That sat on oaken-tree:
'Eat of the heart, thou Sigurd,
And thou wouldst wiser be!'

116. The heart doth he take from the wooden stake,
And all to eat is boun,
While Regin of the poisoned gore
To drink hath laid him down.

117. Regin hath laid him down to drink
Of the Dragon's poisoned blood,
& Sigurd dealt him his death-wound,
Nor stirred from where he stood.

118. It was the doughty Sigurd
That swung his sword amain;
Regin the smith he sundered
Apart in pieces twain.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

119. Such treasure won Sigurd
As ne'er can be told,
When as he slew the loathly Worm
That lay upon the wold.
120. All in the red of morning
When dew bedecked the ground,
Twelve kists well-filled with the red, red gold
On Grane's back he bound,

121. Twelve kists well-filled with treasure,
& mounted there beside,
& swift the good steed Grane
Thro' holt & heathland hied.

122. Swift, swift they haste by wood & waste,
The homeward way unknown,
& they must lie the livelong night
With the cold rain dripping down.

123. Oh lightly trode Grane
On stone as in stall!
Never a steed so steadfast
Was known in kingly hall.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

124. Now will I cease from song awhile,
& see that ye mind it well,
Ere once again I raise my strain
This three-fold tale to tell.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.
    Among the surprising features of this ballad, aside from its length, is how closely it parallels the story as we have it in the Volsunga Saga.  The sources seem so clearly from the North that it is surprising to find close parallels to the Nibelungenlied in the third of these poems, such close parallels, that the author must have been familiar with that work, or at the least from a source for or a derivative from it.  It is no use suggesting that the poems may be by different authors and from different times, for the three ballads of Regin, Brynhild, and Hogni are clearly a single work, one picking up where the previous one leaves off.  This poem is comparable in length to the equivalent section of the Saga, and in places is more detailed.  Sigmund's death scene is much longer here.  His instructions about his son, and his prophetic words on what his son will do are parallel to scenes in other ballads, and so may be merely a part of the ballad tradition than of any older source of the story.  Even the scene in the saga in which Odin arrives to provide advice on digging pits appears in this version which is otherwise seldom overtly pagan.  In some of the southern versions of the story we may wonder how well informed the author actually is on heathen matters, but the stranger here is clearly Odin.  He is described as wearing a silk hat; silk is not commonly associated with Odin, but Odin does wear a hat, and hats are a standard feature of death and underworld gods.  He also carries a spear and is one eyed.  None of these three details is necessary to the action, so they exist apparently for the sake of identifying the stranger.  The advice on hole digging is also more elaborate here than in the saga; unfortunately, however, it is no more coherent here than it is there.  This work differs from the saga and the eddaic poems in a number of small details of fact or motivation, but the similarities are far more striking than than the differences.  The poem that follows, Mr. Smith-Dampier considers the best done of the three, and I suspect it is, though it also has the best material to work with, and it is hard not to be disappointed at the lack of mythic material.  Since the author knew who Odin was and since he had such traditional sources, he must have known of the ring and its curse, the Valkyrie and the rest.  Apparently he found it expedient not to emphasise the role of the gods in the story.
THE BALLAD OF BRYNHILD

1. I have heard a tale of the olden time
That in greenwood wild they sing;
Now will I tell what erst befell
When Budli reigned as king.

2. King Budli reigned o'er the woodland,
Great store of gold had he;
& Brynhild, his only daughter,
Was a woman fair to see.

3.  Both far & wide her face went forth
Amid the woodland green;
No woman beauteous as Brynhild
On Middle Earth was seen.

4. 'Tis told in ancient story,
How she dwelt on Hildar's height:
& sunshine was turned to shadow
Before her beauty bright.

5. On Hildar-fell doth Brynhild dwell,
In the kingdom of her sire;
Light shineth about her shoulders
Brighter than burning fire.

6. In lady's bower sat Brynhild
(So is the story told),
& combed her silken tresses
That shone like the red, red gold.
7. Oh sons of kings went there to woo,
& jarls of high degree,
But Brynhild still bethought her
None might her equal be.

8. It was blithe King Budli
Wrapped him in cloak of vair,
& went his way to the high-loft
To seek his daughter fair.

9. 'Now harken, Brynhild, my daughter,
Great peril is in the land
For that thou slightest the suitors
Would ask thy lily-white hand.

10. 'Bethink thee, Brynhild, my daughter,
Great is my grief to-day,
For that thou art asked in marriage,
& still dost answer nay!'

11. 'Now hush thee, hush thee, my father,
Let no such words be said!
'The warrior comes not hither
Is worthy me to wed.

12. 'He cometh not, that warrior bold,
Down thro' the wild woodland;
Afar where he dwells to the eastward
He holdeth my heart in hand.
13. 'Sigurd do men name him,
Of Sigmund is the son;
Hjordis she that bore him,
When Sigmund's days were done.'

14. 'Great marvel is this, my daughter,
& strange this love o' thine,
That is laid, forsooth, on an outlandish youth
Thou never has seen with eyne!'

15. 'Long hath it lain in my bosom,
The thread that the Norns entwine!
Sigurd, son of Sigmund,
I have loved thro' winters nine.'

16. Up spake blithe King Budli,
& poured the mead again:
'Now wherefore is Sigurd fairer
Than any well-born swan?'

17. 'Now therefore is Sigurd fairer
Than any champion bold,
For that his saddle & byrnie
Shine bright with the burning gold.

18. 'Oft, oft have I heard the tidings
That tell of Sigurd's fame;
The warlock Worm of Glitter Heath
alone he overcame.
19. 'Alone he slew the warlock Worm
On Glitter Heath did dwell,
& won such store of treasure
As never a tongue can tell.

20. 'Great fame was won by Sigmund's son
With store of gold and fee;
There's never a knight in Hunnish land
That may his equal be.'

21. 'Now harken, Brynhild, my daughter,
All for thy rede I pray;
How shall we lure this mighty man
From a land so far away?'

22. 'Oh thou shalt build a bower for me
Out in the waste-mark wide,
& there with no aid of man nor maid
Shall Budli's daughter bide.

23. 'And thou shalt build me a golden bower
On waste-mark wide eftsoon,
Such as two cunning dwarfie-folk
Can raise with magic rune;

24. 'Such as two cunning dwarfie-folk
By might of rune can raise,
& round my bower the reek shall lower,
& the leaping lowe shall blaze.
25. '& my  bower, I ween, shall be warded well
With the leaping lowe beside,
For knight there is none save the Volsung's son
Shall dare that flame to ride!'

26. So Budli built her a golden bower
All in the wild waste-mark,
& by day & by night the flame shone bright,
& the driving reek was dark.

27. So much he lit of the leaping lowe
To guard his kingly boon,
As two of the cunning dwarfie-folk
Could stablish with magic rune.

28. So much of the leaping lowe he lit
To ward the maiden well,
As none of the treacherous dwarfie-folk
Could quench by magic spell.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

29. Now all when the early morning
Shone red on mount & moor,
So many a gallant gentleman
Rode up to Budli's door;
30. Full many a gallant gentleman,
With pomp & pride enow;
& Brynhild sat in the high-seat
& the red gold bound her brow.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

31. Into the hall went Budli,
& did there tidings bring;
'Down from the garth of Gjuki
Hath ridden Gunnar the King.

32. "Gunnar the King comes hither
To ask thine hand this day;
& now, my daughter Brynhild,
Thou shalt not answer nay!'

33. In midmost hall stands Budli
& leans against the board,
But Brynhild Budli's daughter
She answers never a word.

34. Straight does she rise from the high seat,
With the red gold on her brow,
& flees from her father's dwelling,
& hastens to Hildar-howe.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.
35. Grimur & Hogni Gjukason
They fought in greenwood vale,
& Budli's hall was shaken all,
& Hildar's maids grew pale.

36. Grimur & Hogni Gjukason
They fought with shining brand;
But Brynhild sat in the leaping lowe
Amidst her father's land.

37. A-smiling all in secret,
She sat the lowe within:
'The warrior bold that rides the flame
For aye my love shall win!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

38. In Hildar-howe sat Brynhild
Amid her magic dower,
& Sigurd she drew from his far countrie
All in a luckless hour.

39. Now Sigurd arose from slumber
All in the dawning dim,
& went forth into his garden-ground
Where secrets were shown to him.
40. Up & spake the little bird
That sat on oaken-tree:
'Oh, fair is Brynhild Budli's daughter,
Hath laid her love on thee!'

41. Up & spake the little bird
That sat on linden green:
'She loveth thee, Brynhild Budli's daughter,
The fairest eyes have seen!'

42. All in the morning early
When the sun was red to see,
He's bidden Viggrim Gunnarson
To saddle his steed so free.

43.  From stall they lead the noble steed
That Sigurd wont to ride;
Housings all of scarlet
Fall down on either side.

44. Forth they lead the noble steed
That Sigurd loved so well;
Gold bedecked the housings
That to the fetlock fell.

45. Golden were the gauntlets
On Sigurd's either hand;
Thus fared the son of Sigmund
Down from his far-off land.
46. Thus took the son of Sigmund
A wild & waesome road,
With golden rings a-tinkling
Whene'er his war-horse trode.

47. Twelve rings all golden
He decked him withal,
& the ring hight the Queen's Ring
He set over all.

48. Fleetly fared Grane
O'er mount as o'er mead;
Never in Budli's kingdom
Was seen so wight a steed!

49. Now Sigurd took the nether way
By Gjuki's garth to ride,
& at the gate stood Grimhild
With many a man beside.

50. Before the gate stood Grimhild
All with a royal train,
& she stretched forth both her lily-white hands
To seize his bridle-rein.

51. With both her lily hands outstretched
To seize his rein she ran;
Ne'er had she seen astride a steed
A statelier-seeming man!

52. Up spake Sigurd Sigmundarson
With looks both high & bold:
'I know not that the woman lived
Would dare my steed to hold!'
53 . 'Rein in, rein in, thou Sigurd,
& speak a while with me!
I have a beauteous daughter
Hath laid her love on thee.'

54. 'I will not stay my journey,
Nor shall my courser tire,
Until I win to Hildar-bowe
Where leaps the living fire.

55. 'I will not stay my journey
By waste & greenwood glade,
Till I have ridden the leaping lowe
& won the fairest maid!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

56. To  Hildar-howe full often
The willing wooers came,
But each & all turned backward
That saw the leaping flame.

57. It was the standard-bearer
In all men's hearing cried:
'Now whoso dares the flame to leap
Shall win a beauteous bride!'

58. Grimur he rode a-down the dale
Bearing so bold a brow,
But he turned again his horse's rein
When he saw the leaping lowe!
Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

59. Then up spake Sigurd Sigmundarson:
(So do they tell the tale)
'Because of the sign my shield doth bear
I'll leap the burning bale.'

60. Was ne'er a one but Sigmund's son
That entered in Hildar-hall,
For Grane the steed so good at need
He leapt the fiery wall.

61. So lightly leapt Grane
the barrier o'er,
That the clash of his fore-feet
Rang hard on the door.

62. So swiftly sprang Grane
As bird in its flight,
That scarce a spire of burning fire
On Sigurd's loins did bite.

63. Sigurd alone the fortress won
Where all had turned the rein;
With one blow of his sword-blade
He clave the door in twain.

64. With one blow of his sword-blade
He lopped the lock away,
& there beheld the maiden
In coat of mail that lay.
65. She slept, the noble maiden,
In warrior's byrnie blue;
With one blow of his sword-blade
He clave the mail in two.

66. Up spake Budli's daughter
All betwixt sweven & sleep:
'What warrior-hand doth wield the brand
That dares to bite so deep?'

67. Up spake Budli's daughter
All betwixt sleep  & sweven:
'What warrior bold the brand doth hold
My byrnie blue hath riven?'

68. 'Sigurd shalt thou name me,
Of Sigmund the son;
Hjordis she that bore me
After his days were done.'

69. Up sat the lady Brynhild
A-smiling secretly:
'Now welcome, thou that comest
Hither from far countrie!

70. 'But harken, Sigurd Sigmundarson,
Who told thee how to seek
& find my bower thro' the leaping flame,
& thro' the driving reek?'

71. 'That tidings I heard from the wildwood bird
Sitting on linden-tree:
So fair is Brynhild Budli's daughter,
Hath laid her love on thee.'
72. 'Now harken, Sigurd Sigmundarson,
& to my words give heed,
Go, get thee forth to my father's garth,
& rule thee by his rede.'

73. Oh, wise was Sigurd Sigmundarson,
That spake this word straightway;
'But little heed to thy father's reed
Hast thou been wont to pay!

74. 'O'er-long, I trow, has tarried
Thy fortune to fulfil,
& I will not forth to thy father's garth,
Nor seek to learn his will.'

75. Right gladly Sigurd laid his arms
About her neck so white;
Asla, the daughter of Sigurd,
Was gotten that self-same night.

76. Right gladly Sigurd laid his arms
Her snow-white neck around'
'I swear to thee that ne'er in me
Shall aught of false be found!'

77. 'Twelve rings of red, red gold
He laid her arms between,
& set above them all
The great ring of the Queen.

78. All on her lily hand
He set twelve rings of gold:
'Of our true love this token
Here shalt thou have & hold.'
79. It was Sigurd Sigmundarson
That would no splendour spare;
Three rings of ruddy gold he twined
All in her braided hair.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Draon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

80. It was Sigurd Sigmundarson
Kept well the oath he swore,
He tarried in the maiden's bower
Till six full months were o'er.

81. 'Now bring to me my selle & shield,
& my byrnie blue withal!
For I will ride the greenwood way,
& see what will befall.'

82. 'Nay, rather sit my bower within
At play with the golden dice!
Gjuki the King hath a daughter
That is in witchcraft wise.

83. 'Tho' young thou art, & blithe of heart,
Yet short thy life will be;
Shalt wed the daughter of Gjuki,
& think no more on me!'

84. 'Strange is thy saying, my Brynhild,
& ne'er can it chance to me
That I lay my love on another,
& think no more on thee.'
85. Up & answered Brynhild,
That felt her heart grow cold:
'Gjuki the King hath a daughter
Whose wiles are manifold.

86. 'This ring of gold I'll give thee
Wilt thou but bide in bower,
Nor tempt the guile of Queen Grimhild
All in a luckless hour.'

87. She followed him for along the way
To bid farewell once more:
'May ill-luck ever stay behind,
& good luck go before!

88. 'So hale we are, so free from care,
This hour when we must part!
Forget not, Sigurd, these words o' mine,
& lay them well to heart.'

89. Up & spake the warrior
That loved her passing well:
'Ne'er shalt thou cease, mine own true love,
In heart and mind to dwell.'

90. He louted low from saddle-bow
Her rosy mouth to kiss,
& never, I ween, was fonder love,
Nor truer heart than his.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.
91. It was the son of Sigmund
Rode down thro' wild greenwood,
& it was the sire of Brynhild
That at his gateway stood.

92. 'Now welcome, welcome, Sigurd,
Home to this house o' mine!
Come drink what best shall like thee,
The brown mead or the wine.'

93. 'Oh, little reek I of te mead so brown,
& less of the blood-red wine!
I pray thee to give me Brynhild,
Only daughter thine.'

94. 'I may not be thy kinsman
That fain would be thy friend;
Full well I know which way tou'lt go,
& what will be thine end.

95. 'While young thou art & blithe of heart,
Thou needs must lose thy life;
And thou wilt let my daughter be,
& take Gudrun to wife.

96. 'Hast won the love of Brynhild,
Pain wouldst thou hold the boon;
But a wizard wine in the wan moonshine
Is poured by the dark Gudrun!'

97. 'Strange is thy saying, King Budli,
But I trow my heart is true,
& ne'er can I turn from Brynhild
Another maid to woo.'
98. Up & answered Budli
That felt his heart grow chill:
Gjuki the King hath a daughter
Shall wile thee to her will.

99. 'But wouldst thou 'scape the sorrow
& shame that must else befall,
Then turn thee from the nether way,
Nor pass by Gjuki's hall.

100. 'For Grimhild stands by the gateway
With many a man beside,
& she hath sure foreknowledge
Of the way that thou wilt ride.

101. 'Nor canst thou 'scape that knowledge,
Albeit thou ride with speed;
Shalt be in her sight the noblest knight
That e'er bestrode a steed.'

102. Oh, far he followed along the way
To bid farewell once more;
'Where'er thou ride no ill betide,
& good luck go before!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

103. It was Sigurd Sigmundarson
Rode down by greenwood vale,
And, rearing in man's likeness,
He saw the Beast of Bale.
104. There he beheld the Baleful Beast
That lurked 'mid shadows dim;
With fire & fumes & deadly spume
It perilled life & limb.

105. Sigurd the warrior spurred his steed
& sought a path in vain,
For Grane foamed & Grane fought,
& still turned back again.

106. The furious steed must have his will
That brooks no other guide,
& Sigurd needs must choose the way
By Gjuki's garth to ride.

107. Like morning moon the portent waned
Before the warrior's e'en,
& lo, the fleeting semblance
He saw of Gjuki's Queen!

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

108. All by the garth of Gjuki
Southward did Sigurd fare,
& at the gate stood Grimhild,
& many a man with her.

109. She saw that stately champion
Ride by the garth again,
& she stretched forth both her lily hands
To seize his bridle-rein.
110. 'Hold in, hold in, thou Sigurd,
& speak awhile with me!
I have a beauteous daughter
Hath laid her love on thee.

111. 'Fair is many a maiden,
But fairer daughter mine;
The red, red rose & lily-flower
All on her cheeks do shine.'

112. 'And hast thou a beauteous daughter,
The fairer is thy fate;
But winter shall liken summer
Ere she be Brynhild's mate!'

113. 'Yet turn thou in, thou Sigurd,
To rest thy weary steed,
& drink what best shall like thee,
The red wine or the mead.'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

114. Now donned the lady Gudrun
Her kirtle all of blue,
& twined her raven tresses
With silken bands anew.

115. It was the queen of Gjuki
Unto her daughter said:
'Get the hence to the cellar
For mead & wine so red.

116. 'The red, red wine & foaming mead
Shalt mingle sup by sup,
& all so much forgetfulness,
Blend thou within the cup.'
117. Up & answered Gudrun,
So ready of tongue was she:
'Spare that which is another's
If thou wouldst prosperous be!

118.  'Full many a jarl is in this land,
& knights of high degree,
But spare what is another's
Wouldst thou good fortune see!'

119. 'Twas Grimhild raised her hand & smote,
& that in all men's sight,
& the blood from Gudrun's lips ran down,
Upon her bosom white.

120. 'Now hold thy peace, thou scant of wit,
Nor dare my words to scan,
& rather let the woman woo
Than lose a goodly man!'

121. Gudrun she mixed the mead so brown
With the red wine in the cup
And all so much forgetfulness
She brimmed the potion up;

122. All so much forgetfulness
Was mingled in the spell,
& she bore the draught to Sigurd,
& bade him pledge her well.

123. So deep a draught drank Sigurd
Out of that magic horn,
That kin & kind went from his mind,
& his love was lost and lorn.
124. So deep a draught drank Sigurd
That fated eventide,
That kin & kind went out of mind,
& from his heart his bride.

125. Upon the horn he stared forlorn
(I tell ye the story true),
For nought of beauteous Brynhild
Nor of himself he knew.

126. She pledged him, Gjuki's daughter,
When he had drunk his fill,
& he thought on nought but her beauty,
& how to have his will.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

127. Up spake evil Queen Grimhild,
Of women wiliest;
'Get hence to thy bower, my daughter,
Make ready for thy guest!'

128. Now tidings came to Brynhild
All in a luckless hour,
That Sigurd, son of Sigmund,
Dwelt ever in Gudrun's bower.

129. From Hildar-Howe went Brynhild
(Ne'er was so fair a wife),
And for that he guested Gudrun
Must Sigurd lose his life.
130. Up spake Budli's daughter
While fast her trears ran down:
'Not long shall she enjoy him,
That warrior of renown!'

131. Up spake Budli's daughter,
Sore was her sorrowing:
'To take what is another's
Can ne'er good fortune bring!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

132. Gudrun arose from slumber,
Ere well the night was spent,
For to speak with beauteous Brynhild
Was ever her fixed intent.

133. When red at early morning
Glimmered the first sunbeam
They went to bathe their bodies
All in the shining stream.

134. Out where the stream runs strongest
Their wilful way they take,
& one heart, I ween, was merry
The other like to break.

135. And Brynhild still was silent,
But Gudrun sought for strife:
'Now wherefore my Gunnr, my brother,
Not wholly win his wife?'

136. 'Twas Gudrun Gjuki's daughter
A fell despite did dare;
She washed not in the water
That ran from Brynhild's hair.
137. And ever she sought the strongest stream
Where fast the foss plunged down,
For that she was wed to Sigmund's son,
That warrior of renown.

138. And still 'twas Gjuki's daughter
Must first set foot on strand,
For that she was wed to Sigurd,
The noblest in the land.

139. 'Behold, behold this ring of gold
Upon my arm so white!
That ring I won from Sigmund's son,
& all in thy dispite.'

140. Up spake beauteous Brynhild
In piteous dole & pine:
'Now, if I live, shall Sigurd die,
All for that word o' thine!

141. 'Little deemed I that Sigurd
Should Gudrun's bridegroom be!
My love was given to Sigurd
Or ever he looked on thee.'

142. 'Yeah, Sigurd spilled thy maidenhood
On Budli shame to bring;
& yet, forsooth, for all thy love,
I won that mighty King.'

143. 'Not long, not long, oh leasing tongue,
Shalt thou my fame belie!
So sure as thou that word has said,
So sure shall Sigurd die.'

144. 'Little reck I of thy words, I ween,
Altho' thou stirrest strife;
There's never a man in Gjuki's garth
Bears rule o'er Sigurd's life!'
Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

145. Right woefully went Brynhild
To lie in her bower alone;
Vainly he asked, King Gunnar,
Wherefore she made her moan.

146. Now when to the son of Sigmund
Those heavy news they bore,
Straightway he sought the fair ladye
He loved so well of yore.

147. 'Oh, never a knight in Hunland
So light of love would be,
His vows to break for another's sake,
Were sworn to fair ladye!'

148. 'Now lithe & listen, mine own dear love,
'Tis darkness all to me,
How I turned my heart to another,
& thought no more on thee.'

149. It came to pass when Brynhild
Had Sigurd seen once more,
In bitter woe & weeping
A daughter fair she bore.

150. And these are the words of Brynhild
To the maidens that minister:
'Now cast the child in the waters wild,
For I will not look on her!'

151. Asla, daugter of Sigurd,
Had scarce beheld the day,
When the striving stream and foaming flood
Swept her far, far away.
Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

152. Oft do men stand in peril
All for a wilful wife;
E'en now doth lower the fatal hour
When Sigurd must lose his life.

153. He was the noblest champion
That ever couched a spear,
Yet a woman's will his life did spill,
As ye that list shall hear.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

154. All in her bower sits Brynhild
While heavy the moments go;
She speaketh not, she resteth not,
So weary is her woe.

155. & now with hand on ready brand,
King Gunner up & saith:
'Whoso hath done my Queen despite
Shall dree a bitter death!'

156. ''Twas Gudrun, thy false sister,
Hath done me this dispite,
For that she wedded Sigurd,
Foremost of all in fight.'

157.  All in her bed lies Brynhild,
& Gunnar stands beside;
Full oft the rede of evil deed
Springs from a woman's pride.
158. 'Now lithe & listen, mine own dear love,
Ne'er can I deem it true
That thou would'st seek young Sigurd,
By treason to undo.'

159. 'Ne'er shalt thou come my bower within,
& ne'er my love shalt know,
Till thou riddest the realm of Sigurd,
That wrought me dule & woe!'

160. Up & spake KingGunnar:
'Nay, but this may not be!
Sigurd, my weapon-brother,
Shall ne'er be slain by me.'

161. 'Then ne'er shalt thou win love of me,
Nor to my bower return;
So long as I look on Sigurd,
So long my wrath shall burn.'

162. Up spake Hogni Gjukason,
& whitened where he stood:
''Tis years fifteen & more, I ween,
Since we swore brotherhood.

163. 'Now harken, Brynhild, Budli's daughter,
'Tis thou canst best devise
How we may take that warrior bold,
By cunning or surprise.'

164. 'Oh, ye shall ride by Sigurd's side
Down into greenwood brake,
& give him to heat of the salted meat,
With nought his thirst to slake.

165. 'Bid ye him boun to saddle,
Bid ye him boun to steed;
&, is there treason in your hearts,
Then do as ye best may speed!'
166. Queen Brynhild sits in chair of gold,
& plays with her gilded knife:
'Ne'er shalt thou win my bower within
Till Sigurd loseth life!'

167. Now Brynhild sat in the high-seat
When Sigurd sought the hall;
Stately was he to look on,
And wiser than warriors all.

168. Stately he stood before her,
His shield with gold a-shine;
But Brynhild daughter of Budli
She  turned away her eyne.

169. Thus did Sigurd the valiant
Brynhild the beauteous greet:
'When I ride home from the wildwood,
Then thou and I will meet.'

170. Straightway Brynhild made answer,
So swift of tongue was she:
'Two kings in one self-same dwelling
Shall never be loved by me!'

171.  Straightway Brynhild made answer,
Her heart with sorrow sore:
'Thou, O son of Sigmund,
Shalt know my love no more.'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

172. In chair of gold sat Brynhild,
While word went to & fro
That now the sons of Gjuki
To greenwood wild should go.
173. Up & spake King Budli,
& that with pain & pride:
'Let Sigurd have both horn & helm,
& his good sword by his side!'

174. 'None loves so well another
That himself he loves not well;
No more shall Sigurd Sigmundarson
On earth with Brynhild dwell!'

175. Up & spake King Budli
With th gold ring on his arm:
'Now harken, Brynhild, my daughter,
Why willest thou Sigurd harm?

176. 'Mindest thou not, my daughter,
How once in lover's mood
Didst lure him down from the Northland
All thro' the wild greenwood?

177. '& mindest thou not, my daughter,
How in the days langsyne
Thou didst lure him down from the Northland
Into those arms of thine?'

178. Forth from the hall went Budli,
King of the wild woodland;
But silent ever sat Brynhild,
Her chin upon her hand.

179. With stir & shout the train rode out
Under the greenwood tree,
But ever sat Brynhild silent,
& wept right bitterly.

180. Right merrily those brethren twain
With Sigurd rode away;
Little he knew what treason foul
Was in their hearts that day!
181. Up rose beauteous Brynhild,
And looked from Budli's hall,
& saw how Sigurd the valiant
Rode foremost of them all.

182. In chair of gold she sat her down
With bitter dule & pain,
& all along her lily-white arms
Her tears ran down like rain.

183. Right long & sore wept Brynhild,
That was so fair a wife:
'Farewell, oh Sigurd!  Never
I'll see thee more in life.'

184.  Oh free & gay they rode away
With Sigurd riding first,
& they gave him to eat of the salted meat,
& nought to slake his thirst.

185. The brethren drank from hunting horn
Full many a time & oft,
But the hunting horn of Sigurd
Was left in Gjuki's loft.

186. Full oft they drank, those brethren,
Nor liquor did they lack;
But Sigurd loosed his helmet-band,
& sprang from Grane's back.
187. Little he thought on treason
That sprang from steed of pride,
& gladly laid him down to drink
The woodland well beside.

188. Sigurd he laid him down to drink
With joyous heart & free--
Oh seldom doth a goodly bough
Wax on an evil tree!

189. Sigurd he laid him down to drink
From water bubbling bright,
& it was Gunnar's sword-blade
That on his neck did bite.

190. 'Twas Gunnar hewed, & Hogni thrust
With sharp & shining knife;
Such nithing's work the did, those twain,
They twined him of his life.

191. It was the voice of the Volsung
Spake up in wrath & pain:
'Had I but known your treason,
I was man for more than twain!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

192. Swiftly they changed their garments
Whereon his life-blood ran;
But never a step stirred Grane
That had the wit of man.

193. Never a step stirs Grane
Tho' Gunner mounts to ride;
Still stands the horse by his master's corse,
& lowers his crest of pride.

Grane bore the golden hoard
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.
194. When he was slain, they took the swain
& laid him on his shield;
Full many a man is done to death
By power that women wield.

195. The bleeding corse of Sigurd
At Brynhild's feet they laid;
'As Gudrun had him living,
So let her have him dead!'

196. The bleeding corse of Sigurd
To Gudrun's bed they bore,
Or ever the bride awakened
The sheets were drenched with gore.

197. Or ever the bride awakened
His blood o'er the bed did flow;
Wan stared Gjuki's daughter
Upon that sight of woe.

198. And when the bride awakened
She spake in dule & pine:
'How little thought I, King Gunnar,
Such treason would e'er be thine!'

199. Up rose Gjuki's daughter,
& wiped from her brow the sweat,
& kissed the mouth of Sigurd
That with her blood was wet.

200. And these the words that Gudrun
Spake up for all to hear:
'Now if I live, my brethren,
This death shall cost ye dear!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

201. Now Gudrun went to the high-loft
Away from her widowed bed;
All the days of her lifetime
She sorrowed for Sigurd dead.
202. 'Lithe& listen, my daughter,
Nor sorrow for him that's dead!
Artala, King in Hunland,
Hath store of gold so red.'

203. Up & answered Gudrun
In heavy grief & sore:
'Vengeance I'll wreak for Sigurd
Or ever my life be o'er!'

204. So many a night fair Brynhild
In Sigurd's arms had lain,
& now she died of sorrow
Because she had brought him to bane.

205. Brynhild died of sorrow,
When Sigurd lived no more;
Brighter aye grew her beauty
Because of the love she bore.

206. Brynhild died of sorrow
When Sigurd's corse lay cold;
But her brethren bore to Gudrun
Great store of the red, red gold.

207. Tender the hearts of women,
& well acquent with pain!
Far did Gudrun wander,
Holding by Grane's rein.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

208. Now shall I cease from song awhile,
& look that ye mind it well,
Ere once again I raise my strain
This three-fold tale to tell.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.
    I am beginning to think of withdrawing some of the nice things I said in my earlier essay.  The pervasive and perverse use of archaic and dialect words and diction along with the continuous echoes of phrasing from this or that English or Scottish ballad is beginning to grate on my nerves.  The purpose of a translation is to reproduce a work in the language of he reader, not some arbitrary private language which no real human being has ever spoken.  For all that, the story is vigorously told, and often with good taste and judgement.  Brynhild's running back and forth to be ready and asleep in her ring of fire gets a little absurd, and we have no idea at all why she sleeps in armor, since she never wears it when she is awake, but mostly the story moves well.  I do apologize for the small print and double columns, but if I had quite realized how big a block of material this was I would never have gotten into it.  Also, I admit an
oddity in the stanza numbering.  Mr. Smith-Dampier did not include the refrain in the text of the poems, and so his stanza numbers do not account for it.  For the sake of not accidentally skipping any stanzas I have followed his numbering, and so have had to leave the refrain stanzas unnumbered  Since that sets them apart, I have placed them in italics.  This telling has few surprises, or great departures from other versions.  Brynhild goes overly tamely by dying of sorrow, typical of ballad tradition, but not very heroic. The mythic element has been consciously played down.  There is no hint of Brynhild as a Valkyrie, or having been struck with a sleep thorn by Odin.  We may suspect that the author of the Nibelungenlied did not know much about the mythic elements of the story, but this author clearly does, and so supresses it apparently for policy reasons--not because he himself is a good Christian, apparently, since he is willing in the first poem to bring Odin in and make him recognizable to anyone familiar with Odin's iconography.  Below is the third and last of this sequence.
THE BALLAD OF HOGNI

1. Gurdrun abides in Gjuki's hall,
& sore she sorroweth;
Never a man might win her love
After young Sigurd's death.

2. King Artala cried through bower & hall,
'Go saddle my steed eftsoon!
For I will down to Gjuki''s garth
& woo the fair Gudrun.'

3. Now when the early morning
Shone red on mount & moor,
The saw so gallant a champion
Ride up to Gjuki's door.

4. To & fro went the henchmen
That gave him welcome kind,
& by the board sat Gudrun
With many thoughts in mind.

5. Up she rose, Queen Gudrun,
& stood upon her feet:
'I will go forth to the gateway
This warrior proud to meet.'

6. Up & spake Queen Gudrun:
'Methinks with the red, red gold
His garments shine as brightly
As Sigurd's wont of old.'

7. And now with Gjuki's daughter
He sits in Gjuki's hall;
Comely the King to look on,
& wise is he withal.

8. Up & spake Queen Gudrun
Her woman's weird to dree:
'Now whence hast thou ridden hither,
& what thy will with me?'

9. Up spake King Artala,
& that with royal mien:
'Now therefore am I come hither,
To woo thee for my Queen.'
10. Behind the board sat Gudrun,
Glowing in gold so red:
'No man has e'er had love of me
Since Sigurd the brave fell dead.'

11. Hestood on his feet in Gjuki's hall,
& he was a stalward swain:
'Now  answer me yea, or answer me nay,
For I shall not ask again!'

12. Long sat Gjuki's daughter,
& thought on her grievous wrong,
& how she vowed the deat to 'venge
If she should live so long.

13. Up spake Gjuki's daughter
That thought on death & shame:
'Whence comest thou, bold warrior,
& how do men name thy name?'

14. Up and spake the warrior
With the gold rings on his hand:
'The name men name is Artala,
King in the Hunnish land!'

15. Up rose Gjuki's daughter,
& stretched fort her lily-white hand:
'Full fain am I to follow thee
Home to the Hunnish land!'

16. Oh, she has stretched her lily-white hand
To him across the board;
Right courteously they spake together
With many a wooing word.

17. Artala, King of Hunland,
(In Bragdar tale 'tis told)
Thus won the lady Gudrun
That Sigurd loved of old.

18. All in the morning early,
With the gold rings on his hand,
He bore the fair dame Gudrun
Home to Hunnish land.
19. All in the morning early,
From the land where Sigurd died,
Artala, King in Hunnish land,
Hath borne his beauteous bride.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

20. She dwelt with him in Hunland
Till many a day was done;
Babes right fair she bore him,
& never a boy but one.

21. Long she dwelt in Hunland,
Again her cheeks grew red;
But ever she thought in secret,
On vengeance for the dead.

22. 'Tis Gudrun Gjuki's daughter
That breweth and blendeth mead'
& she's sent to call her brethren all,
& bidden them come with speed.

23. Artala, King in Hunland,
Sent courteous words & kind;
Little they guessed, those brethren bold,
What peril lurked behind.

24. 'Twas Gunner, son of Gjuki,
That cried thro' bower & hall:
'Now will we ride to Hunland,
To hold high festival!'

25. Up spake Grimhild his mother:
'Wild are thy words & vain,
For they that ride to Hunland
Will ne'er return again.'

26. 'Twas Gunnar, son of Gjuki,
That thus did speak & say:
'Yet will we ride to Hunland,
Let come of it what may!'


27. 'And wilt thou drink Gudrun's red wine,
& hence to Hunland ride,
Yet Gislar & Hjarnar, they brethren
young,
Shall with their mother bide.'

28. But Gislar & young Hjarnar
Would neither hold nor heed,
Forth they fared to Hunland
Against their mother's rede.

29. Gislar the young & Hjarnar
(For none can flee from fate)
Bade gay farewell to Grimhild,
Stood weeping at the gate.

30. All by the gate stood Grimhild,
So woeful & wise was she:
'An if thou wilt ride to Hunland,
Then let me ride with thee!'

31. 'So wild is the wind, my mother,
I hear not thy dule & pine;
The spray doth break on thy rosy cheek
Till I see notthy weeping eyne.'

32. Up & spake Queen Grimhild:
'Take thou this runic spell,
& bind it fast about thy loins,
& see that thou guard it well.

33. 'Take thou to thee this runic belt
About thy loins to bind;
Its power can loosen every lock,
& comfort every mind.'

34. Bright shone the sun on the heathland,
& reddened the shields they bore,
When they rode away, the blithesome band,
That ne'er turned homeward more.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.
35. It was Hogni Gjukason
Rode down by salt sea-strand,
And there he met a Mermaiden
All on the snow-white strand.

36. 'Now hail, all hail, thou wise sea-wife!
Speak thou & tell me plain,
If I fare forth to Hunnish land,
Shall I come home again?'

37. Now harken, Hogni Gjukason,
For this I tell thee plain,
They that fare forth to Hunnish land
Will ne'er return again.'

38.  It was Hogni Gjukason
That drew his brand so bright;
Body from head he sundered,
So strongly did he smite.

39. The blood-stained head he's taken,
And hurled far into the sound;
The body he threw thereafter,
And both sank to the ground.

40. 'Now lie thou there, thou leasing tongue,
The dep sea within!
I trow, and I ride to Hunnish realm,
Great honour I shall win.'

41. It was Hogni Gjukason
That rode along the strand,
& there he met a Merman bold
All on the snow-white sand.

42. 'Now hail, all hail, my Merman bold!
Speak, for I fain would learn,
If I may ride to Hunnish realm,
& whole & hale return.

43. 'Now harken, Hogni Gjukason,
To what thou fain would'st learn,
Well mayst thou ride to Hunnish realm,
& whole & hale return!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.
44. Oh Hogni hoisted sail on mast,
& sped away from shore,
& weeping went Queen Grimhild
Homeward to Gjuki's door.

45. Weeping right sore, Queen Grimhild
Turned back to Gjuki's garth:
'No more, no more, dear sons o' mine,
We meet on Middle Earth!'

46. Up & spake Queen Grimhild
That saw her sons depart:
'Right well I know that my daughter
Brews evil in her heart!'

47. Now when they sailed in midmost sea
So wild the wind did blow,
That Hogni took to him oars of iron,
& bent himself to row.

48. The while in King Artala's hall
They tell these tidings new:
'Behold a ship far out at sea
With sails o' the gold & blue!'

49. Up and spake Queen Gudrun
Whose garb with gold did shine:
''Tis my brethren Gunnar & Hogni,
That come to this house o' mine!'

50. The Queen goes forth to a grassy garth
Under a wind-blown tree,
& she's risted a bough with evil runes,
& cast it out to sea.

51. Ho, then waxed wind & weather,
& white the foam-wreaths flew!
The sand lay thick on the good ship's deck,
So broke the billows blue.

52. So wildly waxed the storm-wind
A-blowing off the land,
That both the oars of iron
Were reft from Hogni's hand.
53. He's ta'en his runic girdle
To float it overboard;
Nor sea nor land could long withstand
The working of that Word.

54. Oh, the spin-drift blown & the driving sand
Recked up from shore & sea,
Yet safe they reached the Hunnish realm,
A woeful weird to dree.

55. It was Gunnar Gjukason
That first set foot on land,
'Twas Gislar & young Hjarnar
Stood next on show-white sand.

56. Netherward went these brethren,
(So have I heard the tale)
In from the sea-fowl's pasture,
Down to the grass-grown dale.

57. Amid the garth they clad them
In costly armour all;
So fared the sons of Gjuki
To Gudrun's festival.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

58. It was Gunnar & Hogni
Did to the homestead fare,
& it was Gjuki's daughter
Went forth to meet them there.

59. Artala, King of Hunland,
Blends wine & mead within,
While Gudrun stands by the gateway
To welcome home her kin.

60 Up speaks Gjuki's daughter,
That well can smile at need:
'Now come to the hall, my brothers,
& drink the foaming mead!'
61. It was Hogni Gjukason
That heard her greeting kind,
But well he knew when he looked on her
That evil lurked behind.

62. Up & spake Queen Gudrun:
'Now lay by shield & sword!
He thinks no more on battle
That drinks with Hunland's lord.'

63. Up and spake Queen Gudrun
With courteous-seeming word:
'Now lay by brand & byrnie,
& seat ye at the board!'

64. Up spake Hogni Gjukason,
& fast he gripped his knife:
'Ne'er will I yield or sword or shield
While I draw breath of life!'

65. Up & spake King Gunnar,
& gripped his brand so boun:
Behold I will hide my weapon,
But yield it up to none.'

66. But Queen Gudrun made answer
In sorrows manifold:
'A mighty man was Sigurd
That ye laid on his shield of gold.'

67. With woe in her heart a-burning,
Queen Gudrun up & said:
& think ye not on young Sigurd
Ye laid in my bosom, dead?'

68. Up spake Hogni Gjukason,
Her golden ring that eyed:
'Small joy, I trow, hath the brent o' brow,
Thinking how Sigurd died!'

69. 'Twas Gudrun Gjuki's daughter
That spake in sorrow sore:
'& mind ye not how Sigurd
Home to my bower ye bore?'
70. Up spake Hogni Gjukason
That saw the red ring shine:
'The blood-stained corse of Sigurd
Is ever before her eyne!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

71. Early rose Gjuki's daughter,
Not yet was her anger cold;
The board was spread with silken cloth,
& ale in cups of gold.

72. 'Twas Gudrun Gjuki's daughter
Took cup of silver fine,
& hied her to the cellar
To seek for mead & wine.

73. Wine & mead she mingled
All in the silver cup,
& ever with dim forgetfulness
She brimmed the potion up,

74. Ever with dim forgetfulness
That layeth sorrow to sleep;
& she bore the cup to Hogni,
& bade him pledge her deep.

75. Now Hogni wore a ring of price,
& thereon gazed secretly,
& lo, a sweat broke out on it
Was red as blood to see.

76. It was Hogni Gjukason
Had little thought of thirst;
He prayed Gudrun his sister
To drink from the goblet first.

77. Red as fire grew Gudrun,
That answered ne'er a word;
She raised her hand to the goblet,
& struck it from the board.
78. But now the King his place hath ta'en,
& none may stir nor chide;
Gunner & Hogni & brethren all
He seated by his side.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

79. Long they dwelt in Hunland,
& merry at heart were they,
A-drinking out the darkness,
& drinking in the day.

80. Deep they drank in Hunland
With merry hearts & free,
& sore it irked Queen Gudrun
That nought might mar their glee.

81. She eggeth on her only son
By favor & by fear:
'Both gold& fee I'll give to thee,
Wilt thou spoil Hogni's cheer!'

82. Young is the lad & witless,
Thrall to his mother's word,
Straightway he fares to Hogni,
That sits beside the board.

83. Young is the lad & witless
That fears his mother's might,
Yet fears not Hogni Gjukason
Upon the face to smite!

84. Oh, fast & sore the red, red gore
Ran down from Hogni's cheek;
Unwary was the warrior,
Nor wont for guile to seek.

85. 'Twas Hogni thrust the board away,
& started from his seat;
The blood-red wine & foaming mead
Were mingled at their feet.
86. All into the midmost hall he sprang
Across the rocking board--
Raging, he turned upon the boy,
& drew his dougbty sword.

87. Raging, he turned upon the boy,
& drew his brand so bright;
Body from head he sundered,
So strongly did he smite.

88. 'I drink no more in Hunland
My wine with right goodwill--
Shame on my mother's daughter
That nurtured her son so ill!'

89. Unto the King went Gudrun,
& thus she spake & said:
'Now all by the fault of Hogni
Our only son lies dead.

90. 'No more, no more in Hunland,
Will I with thee abide,
If thou honor not thine own dear son,
That hath so foully died!'

91. 'Not lithe & listen, Gudrun my wife,
To deem I will not deign
That thou wouldst choose such guile to use,
& bring thy brethren bane.

92. 'For when they slew young Sigurd,
& all to work thee woe,
Gislar & Hjarnar were but babes
That never dealt a blow.'

93. Up & spake Queen Gudrun:
'Little of that reck I!
Gislar & Hjarnar & brethren all
For that foul deed must die.'

94. 'Now rede me this, Gudrun my wife,
& waste not idle breath;
Say, how shall Hogni the mighty
Be made to taste of death?'
95. 'To deal with Hogni the mighty
Would cost the doughtiest dear;
Whene'er he comes from battle
A head adorns his spear.

96. 'Now let three full-grown ox-hides
Be steeped in blood of men;
Bid Hogni leap athwart the hides,
& he shall not 'scape us then!

97. 'Take heed, & bid thy henchmen
To soak the hides in gore,
& nail them by the threshold,
& bar with iron the door.'

98. It was King Artala
Bade bar with iron the door,
& steep the hides in blood of men,
& nail them down before.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

99. 'This Gudrun speaks a word of doom,
& stands the board beside;
'Now shall Gislar, brother mine,
Leap first athwart the hide.'

100. 'Twas Hogni straight from board uprose,
Nor spared his speech withal;
Alone he strove her heart to move
Amid those brethren all.

101. In heavy mood rose Hogni,
& spake with earnest voice:
'Gislar & Hjarnar home shall fare
Their mother to rejoice.
102. 'For both were but guiltless bairns, I wis,
All at their mother's side,
When Gunnar & Hogni dealt the blow
Whereof young Sigurd died.'

103. Up spake Gjuki's daughter:
'Little of that reck I!
Gislar & Hjarnar & brethren all
For that fould deed must die!'

104. Now Gislar with young Hjarnar
That perilous passage tries,
& well may all see how they fall,
But none may see them rise.

105. 'Twas Gudrun stood beside the board
& spake a word of woe:
'Now shall Gunnar, brother mine,
Athwart the ox-hides go.'

106. 'Twas Gudrun Gjuki's daughter
Willed him that peril sore;
Yet Gjuki's son he well-nigh won
His way thro' castle-door.

107. Little of fear knew Gunnar,
Mighty in weapon-play;
He brast the bars of iron,
& reft the door away.

108. Yet all in vain King Gunnar
That treacherous footing tries;
For all men well saw how he fell,
But no man saw him rise.
109. 'Twas Gudrun said a word of dread,
& stood the board beside:
'Now shall Hogni, brother mine,
Leap last athwart the hide.'

110. Up spake Hogni Gjukason
With ready brand ashine:
'Better it were in Gjuki's garth
To drink the blood-red wine!'

111. It was Hogni Gjukason
Thought on his mother dear;
So great as was his peril,
So little was his fear.

112. He took his brand in stalwart hand
To stay his steps withal:
'Now will I leap athwart the hides,
& let what will befall!'

113. Over the hides sprang Hogni
Like wild-bird on the wing;
No foot of his could slide, I wis,
So mighty was the spring.

114. Over the hides sprang Hogni;
Not there his fate was sealed,
His stand he made in greenwood glade
To fight with sword & shield.

115. Over the hides sprang Hogni,
But little peace he found,
For all Artala's men-at-arms
Stood boun on battle ground.

116. His stand he made in greenwood glade,
& bound his helmet fast:
'Oh, we shall have blood for wine to drink
Or ever this day be past!'

117.So hard upon the host he hewed,
So mightily he thrust,
That all Artala's following
In Hunland bit the dust.
118. The host of King Artala
Lay dead in Hunland all;
& then did Hogni Gjukason
Leap back to castle-wall.

119. All, all were slain, did none remain,
(I tell ye the tale aright)
& long had the gloaming fallen
Or ever they ceased to fight.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

120. Forth fared Gudrun when sunrise
Shone bright as burning bale,
& saw him walk unwounded
Within the blood-stained vale.

121. Up & spake Queen Gudrun
In that red morning-tide:
'Now harken, Hogni, my brother,
To greenwood shalt thou ride.

122. 'Thro' wild greenwood, by Hildar's flood,
I rede thee turn thy rein;
The living shall meet there with the dead,
The slayer with the slain.'

123. So Hogni rode thro' the greenwood
Eastward by Hildar's shore,
Tryst to hold with the dead & cold,
Whose blood he spilt of yore.

124. The warrior stood in wild greenwood
That woeful tryst to hold;
Oh fair to see, the Budlung's corse,
Laid on his shield of gold!

125. In wild greenwood the warrior stood
To see a sign of doom;
With furious speed the spectral steed
Came storming thro' the gloom.
126. The warrior stood in wild greenwood,
& thought on mickle woe,
When he beheld the gory head
Bound to the saddle-bow.

127. Up spake the head of the hero,
(& still it seemed to bleed):
'When thou betrayedst me, Hogni,
Thou didst an evil deed.

128. 'More love had Budli's daughter,
The fairest seen with eye,
& more the daughter of Gjuki,
& therefore I needs must die.

129. 'So well did Brynhild love me,
Her brow in death grew cold,
But Gudrun with thee shared the Treasure,
Great store of the red,  red gold.

130. Return, return, oh living man,
To hall & warm hearthside!
Thro' dark & cold, by wood & wold,
The homeless ghost must ride.'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

131. Grim was the wrath of Gudrun
All in the morning dim,
When Hogni came from the greenwood
Yet whole in every limb.

132. Little on peace thought Hogni,
& much on war's alarms;
Waiting he saw & weaponed
King Artala's men-at-arms.

133. They fell before his sword-strokes
By twenty & by ten,
He found no other footing
Than on the forms of men.
134. Loud howls the wolf of the greenwood,
& loud the eagle cries,
So many fall on that red field
That never more shall rise.

135. 'Twas still Gudrun that urged them on
As waves by stormy wind,
For still, the more fell down before,
The more came on behind.

136. And aye a two-fold toil was his
By might of magic rune,
For whoso fell dead when sun shone red,
She raised beneath the moon.

137. Up spake Hogni Gjukason:
'This life hath little mirth!
For whoso fell dead when sun shone red,
She raised beneath the moon.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

138. Grim was the wrath of Gudrun
All in the morning red,
For Hogni yet stood hale & whole
Among the countless dead.

139. 'Twas Gudrun Gjuki's daughter
Called to her trusty swain:
'Get hence, seek Geva Long-man,
& bid him come amain!'

140. Oh, fleet of foot the messenger
That hasted from her bower;
She bade them broider his garments all
With rose & lily-flower.
141. 'Now harken, Geva Long-man,
Nor let my words be vain!
All by the fault of Hogni
Mine only son lies slain.

142. 'And harken, Geva Long-man,
Thou champion good at need,
Whoso slays Hogni Gjukason
Will do a manly deed.'

143. Up spake Geva Long-man
When as he knew her will:
''Tis more than one man's work, I ween,
That warrior's blood to spill!'

144. Right well at sight of Geva
Might the boldest turn the rein,
But Hogni drew his biting brand
& spurred his steed amain.

145. But Hogni spurred his steed amain
& rushed upon the foe;
Body from head he sundered
So fearful was the blow.

146. Gudrun went forth at dawning,
& grim her wrath to see
How Hogni yet stood hale & whole
Beneath the greenwood tree.

147. 'Twas Gudrun blended mead & wine
As for high festival,
& she's bidden Tidrik Tattnarson
Home to Artala's hall.

148. Oh, fleet of foot her messenger
That neither stayed or stood,
But hastened forth to Tattnar's garth
Deep in the wild greenwood.

149. 'Now welcome, welcome, thou little page,
Home to this house o' mine!
Come drink with me what liketh thee,
The brown mead or the wine.'
150. 'Little I reck of the mead so brown,
& less of the blood-red wine!
Another errand have I to thee,
& other thoughts are mine.

151. 'Another errand is mine, I wis,
Nor is your wine for me;
''Tis Gudrun Gjuki's daughter
That fain would speak with thee.'

152. Oh this do they tell of Tattnarson,
That in warlock's wise eftsoon
He vanished away from the greenwood vale,
& stood before Gudrun.

153. 'Now welcome, Tidrik Tattnarson!
All in thy power I trust;
Great praise for valour shall be thine
When Hogni bites the dust.'

154. 'Nay, toil & tene will be mine, Oh Queen,
And evil will be my plight!
Not swiftly is that warrior slain
On whom no sword will bite.'

155. 'Great store of gold & silver
Shall by that wight be won,
Who severs head from body
Of Hogni Gjukason!'

156. Up stood Tidrik Tattnarson,
& drew his sword, & cried:
Now will I dare the upper air
& see what will betide.

157. Oh, few like Tidrik Tattnarson
In warlock arts were wise;
Over the tops of the greenwood trees
He flew in dragon's guise.

158. It was Hogni Gjukason
Right well his peril knew;
He cast aloft his biting brand
To pierce him thro' & thro'.
159. Venom he spued,  the fire-drake fell,
Like rain from a raging sky,
& the warrior that no sword could wound
By magic art must die.

160. A waesome weird full many a man
On Middle Earth must dree!
The venom that filled his byrnie blue
Was a foe that none could flee.

161. He turned from fight who ne'er had turned,
Betrayed by magic art,
For the venom that filled his byrnie blue
Seeped in to the hero's heart.

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

162. It was Hogni Gjukason
Home to the hall that hied,
& it was King Artala
That stood the gate beside.

163. 'I pray not peace of thee, oh King
Nor wound nor scar have I,
But I ask of thee a Jarl's daughter
Within my arms to lie.'

164.They gave him a Jarl's daughter
(So ran the tale of yore)
& Hogni gat with her a son
Or ever the night was o'er.

165. 'Now harken, Helvik Jarl's daughter,
For soon will my days be done:
King Artala hath begotten
This self-same night a son.

166. 'Take heed now, Helvik, Jarl's daughter,
Or great will be thy blame;
If thou dost bear a boy to me,
Then call him by my name.
167. 'Gudrun will seize upon thy babe
To work him dule & pine,
But take thou her own to thy cradle,
& lay him in place of thine.

168. 'All guile is known to Gudrun,
Doth still for vengeance thirst!
She'll bid thee, Helvik Jarl's daughter,
Go thro' the doorway first.

169. 'But she that wears the head-dress high
Must fitly go before,
& she whose coif is lower
Should follow through the door.

170. 'And if a boy thou bear me,
Be it thus & so,
That he avenge his father's death,
Should he to manhood grow.

171. 'Now take to thee this runic belt,
& round thy body bind;
Its power can loosen every lock,
& lighten every mind.

172. 'And harken, Helvik Jarl's daughter,
Such power the belt doth wield,
Shall give it to our own young son
When first he rides afield.

173. 'Now here I give thee store of gold,
With many a ring so red;
& think thou well, my Jarl's daughter,
On vengeance for the dead!'

174. Up spake Hogni Gjukason:
'No longer may I bide'--
For the venom swart was in his heart,
& thus the hero died.

175. 'Twas Helvik told those tidings
In haste thro' bower & hall,
& the henchman heaped a lordly howe
For Hogni's burial.
Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

176. Full oft, I ween, have mortals seen
That after pain comes joy:
Helvik lay down in high-loft
& bore a goodly boy.

177. She wrapped him well in swaddling-bands
When to this earth he came,
A gallant child & fair to see,
& Hogni was his name.

178. A boy she bore, Queen Gudrun,
All to her dule & pain;
She wrapped him well in swaddling-bands,
& bade them call him Sweyn.

179. I bower they dwelt, those fair ladyes,
Till full two months were o'er;
'Rise up, thou young Jarl's daughter!
I bid thee go before.'

180. Up spake Helvik Jarl's daughter:
'I may not have it so;
Who wears the highest head-gear
Should first thro' doorway go.'

181. Now Helvik hid her bonnie babe
When she was left alone,
& she took Gudrun's from his cradle
& laid him in her own.

182. 'Twas Gudrun Gjuki's daughter
That did a deed of shame;
Forth from the bower she hastened,
& back to the bower she came.

183. 'This Gudrun Gjuki's daughter
A deadly deed has done,
Head from neck she's sundered,
& slain her only son!
Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

184. Right well waxed young Hogni,
Stalwart of limb,
Artala, King in Hunland
Fostered him.

185. Now Hogni sprang to saddle,
& rode in good greenwood;
& he met with his own dear mother
Eastward by Hildar's flood.

186. A-smiling all in secret,
She looked the lad upon:
'I know in the blood of my body
Thou art mine own dear son.'

187. Up & spake young Hogni:
'Little of that reck I!
Ne'er have I seen a false woman
Could tell so foul a lie.'

188. 'Thy knife I ween, is sharp & keen;
Pierce thou mine arm,' quoth she;
& learn in thy heart, if thou feel the smart,
The truth 'twixt me & thee.'

189. His hunting-blade he's taken,
That was both keen & bright,
& deep in his heart he felt the smart
When he scored her arm so white.

190. A-smiling all in secret,
Quoth Hogni: 'Now & here,
I feel in the blood of my body
Thou art my mother dear.'

191. 'Now harken, Hogni, son o' mine,
For I waste not idle breath;
Hogni thy sire, if thou shouldst live,
Bade thee avenge his death.
192. 'And take to thee this runic belt,
About thy loins to bind;
Its power can loosen every lock,
& lighten every mind.

193. 'Keep thou the belt with honour,
Guard thou the belt with pride!
I had it from thy father's hands
All on the night he died.

194. 'I give to the both gold & fee,
& store of rings so red;
Take them to thee, thou son o' mine,
& think upon the dead!'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swng his sword.

195. Home to the hall goes Hogni
When first the faint stars shine,
& the ing with all his merry men
Sits birling at the wine.

196. Into the hall goes Hogni
To tend the torches there,
& behold, one fell his foot beside
Or ever the lad was ware.

197. With the torch by his foot a-burning,
He stood in midmost hall;
Loud laughed King Artala,
& loud his warriors all.

198. It was King Artala
That laughed and could not tire:
'Whereon dost think so deep, thou swain,
That stirrest not for fire?'

199. 'Methinks great honour is thine, oh King
& store of gold so red,
But methinks thou'lt cry, ere thy days be done,
For water & eke for bread!'
200. 'Great store of gold is mine, I trow,
& honour is in my hall,
& ne'er shall I beg, ere my days be done,
For water, & bread withal.'

Grane bore the golden hoard,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword,
There he slew the Dragon grim,
Wroth did Sigurd swing his sword.

201. All in the morning early,
When sun shone far & wide:
"Listeth thee now, King Artala,
In good greenwood to ride?'

202. Up spake King Artala
& answered him so free:
'Full fain am I with thee to ride
Under the greenwood tree.'

203. Red as blood the sunbeams
That shone upon the wold,
When Artala sought his treasure-house
To count his red, red gold.

204. It was King Artala
That thus did speak & say:
'Now lithe & listen, warrior Sweyn,
'Tis thou shalt lead the way!'

205. Up & answered Hogni:
'I will not have it so,
For he that wears the royal crown
Must first thro' the doorway go.'

206. It was King Artala
That entered in before,
& Hogni turned the heavy key,
& swiftly barred the door.

207. Glad was the heart of Hogni,
A-thinking of the past;
By virtue of his runic belt
He sealed the doorway fast.
208. 'Great store of fee is given to thee,
& honour in thine hall,
But wilt thou not beg, King Artala,
For water, & bread withal?"

209. 'Great honour is mine my hall within,
& store of the gold so red,
But I shall cry now in vain, I trow,
For water & eke for bread!'

210. Yea, both those twain did cry in vain
Among the gold so red;
Thus did Hogni Hognason
In vengeance for the dead.

211. It was Hogni Hognason
Great riches gained thereby,
But he entered not in the treasure-house
Till Artala's bones were dry.

212. He bade farewell to his mother dear
All at the eventide,
& down to the ream of the Danish king
In haste did Hogni ride.
    Of the three ballads above, I am least impressed with the third.  It perpetuates one structural problem from the Nibelungenlied, and then creates other problems of its own.  Dramatically the Nibelungenlied suffers from the fact that the hero of the story dies before the story is half over by being treacherously slain by his brothers-in-law.  The rest of the story deals with avenging that deed, but the murderers become the heroes and the avenger the villan; it is not a very satisfying arrangement, and one that the Edda and the Volsunga Saga avoid.  Another problem here is that one of the brothers, Hogni, has played second fiddle to Gunnar throughout, but suddenly emerges as a super-hero and single handedly wipes out practically every able bodied adult male in Artala's kingdom.  Motivations and situations are also very vaguely and improbably imagined in the latter part of the poem.  The most interesting thing here is the fact that it is different than other versons.  The shorter ballads are of less interest than these, and I have not included them.  Mr. Smith-Dampier did not translate all that touched on Sigurd, though there are several more in his book.  In addition, however, he does give several Danish ballads, three of the most interesting, and most central to the Volsung story I have included on a second page, since this one is already loading too slowly.
Sigurd ballads from the Danish: