➊ Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild
Now at Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild stead were men disporting them abroad, but when they see the man riding thereto, they leave Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild play to wonder Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild him, for none such had Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild ever seen erst, so they went to meet him, and gave him good welcome. At last spake Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild sixth: "Handy and good rede to slay him, and be Exceptional Learner Essay of Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild treasure! Rather, it is a tale of woe, calamity, huris and vengeance, as each son sets out to avenge himself on the one that killed his father. Why dost thou egg me on hereto so busily? So King Volsung gave word to come on the day named, and the kinsmen-in-law Hardships In Lyddies Life, and Siggeir went home with his wife. Bear the heart to the fire, and roast it, and give me thereof to eat. The poems in this volume Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild part of the wonderful fragments which are all that remain of ancient Scandinavian poetry. Werewolves will Comparison Of The Utopia And The Utopian Society again later, in a famous episode involving Sigmund and his son Sinfiotli.
The Saga of the Volsungs, Part 2 (Young Sigurd / Regin's Flashback)
It will never be said that I fled, nor that I begged for peace. She weeps and begs not to be sent back to King Siggeir, but Volsung commands her to go, and to stay with her husband regardless of what happens to them. The following morning, Volsung and his men rise and prepare for battle. Was it by sword, or axe, or spear? Nothing is said. Did Volsung receive a wound earlier from which he now succumbs? Nothing like this is mentioned. It is at this point that the events of the saga become genuinely dark and macabre, and a gloom hangs over the story. This mood will last until the birth of Sigurd in Chapter Thirteen. Privately, she speaks with Siggeir and makes a strange request.
She asks that he not kill her brothers immediately, but instead hold them prisoner, in chains. He responds that she is foolish to ask that her brothers suffer more than if they were simply executed. But he happily grants her request, admitting that he will enjoy prolonging their torment. Just what, we wonder, does Siggeir have in store for them? Though he must have had at his disposal stocks, a jail, and possibly even a dungeon, Siggeir invents a novel way to bond the brothers and hold them captive. They are taken out into the forest, ordered to lie down next to each other, and a huge tree trunk is laid over their legs, so that they are pinned to the ground. But the likelihood is that Siggeir does have some connection to this she-wolf. It seems probable that he holds the brothers prisoner out in the forest precisely because he knows that the she-wolf will visit them.
In any case, this is the first instance of shape-shifting in the saga — several more will follow. We are told nothing else about the mother of Siggeir, and we are suspicious that, here again, we somehow find the hand of Odin at work. Consider: Why a wolf, rather than, say, a brown bear which are plentiful in Sweden, the setting of the story? The wolf, of course, is associated with Odin. I will return to this point later. Signy learns, through a trusted servant, that one of her brothers has been devoured. However, she is powerless to come to their aid.
On each of the following nights, the she-wolf returns and devours another brother. Soon, nine are dead and only Sigmund remains. Signy is frantic, but she devises a clever plan. Before the tenth night falls, she sends her servant to Sigmund with a pot of honey. That night, the she-wolf comes for Sigmund. She sniffs him, notices the honey, then begins licking it off his face. The wolf tries desperately to get loose. She tries bracing her paws against the trunk and pushes so hard on it that it breaks into pieces — thus freeing Sigmund, but still he does not let go. Finally, the wolf pulls against Sigmund with such force that her tongue is torn out at the root, and she dies on the spot. As the shepherd slept by the roadside, a large, black snake had crawled down his throat and bit into his flesh.
Bite its head off! Far away he spewed the head of the snake — and he jumped up. No longer shepherd, no longer human — one changed, radiant, laughing! Never yet on earth has a human being laughed as he laughed! So ends the line of Lyngi and the sons of Hunding. So King Lyngi let send the war-message all throughout his realm, and has no will to flee, but summons to him all such as would give him aid. So he came against Sigurd with a great army, he and his brothers with him, and an exceeding fierce fight befell; many a spear and  many an arrow might men see there raised aloft, axes hard driven, shields cleft and byrnies torn, helmets were shivered, skulls split atwain, and many a man felled to the cold earth.
Greatest of his deeds is his slaying of the Worm Fafnir. Predecessor of Glaurung and Smaug, dragons in this age are not a race unto their own but rather magical monsters. Fafnir is corrupted by the curse of Andvari, and is now a monstrous thing, spilling venom wherever it walks. Only by trickery can Sigurd slay it. Just like in the Niebelung, he partakes of its blood and heart and gains the Voice of the Birds thereby. In its death throes, Fafnir warns his opponent.
Regin is slain for his troubles, after the birds counsel Sigurd against trusting kinslayers. This is a recurring motif in the sagas. They are the trappings of the hero, placing him above all mortal men. He also receives the ring, which is Now Sigurd meets his doom. As is only to be expected, his doom has a pussy. Brynhild is probably the ideal Viking waifu. She wears armor, fights in wars, has shapely legs, has lore of the runes and will only sleep with a person that can brave the enchanted fires around her castle. He wakes her from enchanted sleep and soon they have plighted troth before he saunters off.
Later he is given one last chance to avoid his doom, but he plunges headfirst in instead. She has the hots for Sigurd but his oath stands in the way. Her mother Grimhild makes a memory erasure potion and the problem is promptly solved. It is never quite made clear why Grimhild decides to ruin what would otherwise have been a perfectly functional dynasty with repeated witchcraft shitbaggery and the text does not truly hint at her motives. In addition she manages to escape all consequences for her disastrous manipulation. They change shapes and Sigurd goes in and beds Brynhild looking like Gunnar. The marriage is planned, the deception is revealed, and it ends about as well as these things usually do: Now is the dead corpse of Sigurd arrayed in olden wise, and a mighty bale is raised, and when it was somewhat kindled, there was laid thereon the dead corpse of Sigurd FafnirVbane, and his son of three winters whom Brynhild had let slay, and Guttorm withal; and when the bale was all ablaze, thereunto was Brynhild borne out, when she had spoken with her bower-maidens, and bid them take the gold that she would give; and then died Brynhild and was burned there by the side of Sigurd, and thus their life-days ended.
Gunnar first tries to talk some sense into her but comes across as desperate and pathetic. Grimhild decides the best way to resolve the horrific crisis is to marry Gudrun to this ruthless warmongerer, who decides he wants himself some Accursed Gold. This time Gunnar and his brother roll a natural 1 on their Perception, ignoring all signs of ill portent, and instead get to fight it out and die like legends.
Thou didst take my kins- woman and pine her to death by hunger, and didst murder her, and take her wealth; an ugly deed for a king! Tragedy follows tragedy. And burns down the hall. And throws herself into the ocean with rocks in her arms. The last saga has her wash up on the shores of Jonakr. She has some kids, including a last daughter by Sigurd known as Swanhild. King Jormunrek desires her as bride, but a treacherous councilor convinces his son Randver to woe her instead.
He betrays the couple to King Jormunrek and he has Swanhild is trampled by a horse. On their way to get revenge, they meet their brother, and misunderstanding his intent, they kill him, and thus commit the sin of fratricide. Many fall to their swords, before they have their fitting due. Now in this must they turn away from the words of their mother, whereas they had to deal with stones. For now men fell on them, and they defended themselves in good and manly wise, and were the scathe of many a man, nor would iron bite on them. In such wise was it done, for the stones flew thick and fast from every side, and that was the end of their life-days.
There is something primal about the saga of the Volsungs that inspires as well as horrifies. The characters are hard, impossibly violent, alien to us, but admirable in their greatness, their uncompromising honor, their stoicism in the face of death. Grim, terrible, majestic tales, of brief moments of glory before a violent end. When he faces the armies of King Lyngi and the sons of Hunding he exterminates them by dozens and dozens, slaying them where Sigmund older then faltered.
Perhaps significantly, he alongside Sinfjotli is not overcome in battle but slain by treachery, all others fall to superior numbers. Even when stabbed in his sleep he still slays his attacker by casting his sword. There is no equivalent to the wing-less drake as envisoned in the Volsunga in the Monstrous manual, however. His prodigious size alone would net him as many as 8 Hit Dice . Scale in the ancient legends is not something that is considered, but the greatest army, raised by Sinfjotli and Helgi, is described as A conservative estimate places Sigurd at 9 th level, though possibly as high as 14 th as he is a virtual demi-god by the time he meets Brynhild, capable of working sorcery, standing up to any foe and the envy and adoration of the ancient world.
Then King Helgi called to him the captain of his ships, who was hight Leif, and asked him if he had told over the tale of his army. Then bade King Helgi turn into the firth, called Varin's firth, and they did so: but now there fell on them so fierce a storm and so huge a sea, that the beat of the waves on board and bow was to hearken to like as the clashing together of high hills broken. But Helgi bade men fear naught, nor take in any sail, but rather hoist every rag higher than heretofore; but little did they miss of foundering or ever they made land; then came Sigrun, daughter of King Hogni, down on to the beach with a great army, and turned them away thence to a good haven called Gnipalund; but the landsmen see what has befallen and come down to the sea-shore.
The brother of King Hodbrod, lord of a land called Swarin's Cairn, cried out to them, and asked them who was captain over that mighty army. Then up stands Sinfjotli, with a helm on his head, bright shining as glass, and a byrny as white as snow; a spear in his hand, and thereon a banner of renown, and a gold-rimmed shield hanging before him; and well he knew with what words to speak to kings—. Then answered Granmar, "In nowise knowest thou how to speak seemly things, and to tell of matters remembered from of old, whereas thou layest lies on chiefs and lords; most like it is that thou must have long been nourished with wolf-meat abroad in the wild-woods, and has slain thy brethren; and a marvel it is to behold that thou darest to join thyself to the company of good men and true, thou, who hast sucked the blood of many a cold corpse.
Sinfjotli answered, "Dim belike is grown thy memory now, of how thou wert a witch-wife on Varinsey, and wouldst fain have a man to thee, and chose me to that same office of all the world; and how thereafter thou wert a Valkyria 1 in Asgarth, and it well-nigh came to this, that for thy sweet sake should all men fight; and nine wolf whelps I begat on thy body in Lowness, and was the father to them all. Granmar answers, "Great skill of lying hast thou; yet belike the father of naught at all mayst thou be, since thou wert gelded by the giant's daughters of Thrasness; and lo thou art the stepson of King Siggeir, and were wont to lie abroad in wilds and woods with the kin of wolves; and unlucky was the hand wherewith thou slewest thy brethren, making for thyself an exceeding evil name.
Said Sinfjotli, "Mindest thou not then, when thou were stallion Grani's mare, and how I rode thee an amble on Bravoll, and that afterwards thou wert giant Golnir's goat-herd? Granmar says, "Rather would I feed fowls with the flesh of thee than wrangle any longer with thee. Then spake King Helgi, "Better were it for ye, and a more manly deed, to fight, rather than to speak such things as it is a shame even to hearken to; Granmar's sons are no friends of me and of mine, yet are they hardy men none the less. So Granmar rode away to meet King Hodbrod, at a stead called Sunfells, and the horses of the twain were named Sveipud and Sveggjud. The brothers met in the castle-porch, and Granmar told Hodbrod of the war-news.
King Hodbrod was clad in a byrny, and had his helm on his head; he asked—. Granmar says, "Here are come the Volsungs, and twelve thousand men of them are afloat off the coast, and seven thousand are at the island called Sok, but at the stead called Grindur is the greatest company of all, and now I deem withal that Helgi and his fellowship have good will to give battle. Then said the king, "Let us send a message through all our realm, and go against them, neither let any who is fain of fight sit idle at home; let us send word to the sons of Ring, and to King Hogni, and to Alf the Old, for they are mighty warriors. So the hosts met at Wolfstone, and fierce fight befell there; Helgi rushed forth through the host of his foes, and many a man fell there; at last folk saw a great company of shield-maidens, like burning flames to look on, and there was come Sigrun, the king's daughter.
Then King Helgi fell on King Hodbrod, and smote him, and slew him even under his very banner; and Sigrun cried out—. So Helgi took to him that realm and dwelt there long, when he had wedded Sigrun, and became a king of great honour and renown, though he has naught more to do with this story. Now the Volsungs fare back home, and have gained great renown by these deeds. But Sinfjotli betook himself to warfare anew; and therewith he had sight of an exceeding fair woman, and yearned above all things for her; but that same woman was wooed also of the brother of Borghild, the king's wife: and this matter they fought out betwixt them, and Sinfjotli slew that king; and thereafter he harried far and wide, and had many a battle and even gained the day; and he became hereby honoured and renowned above all men; but in autumn tide he came home with many ships and abundant wealth.
Then he told his tidings to the king his father, and he again to the queen, and she for her part bids him get him gone from the realm, and made as if she would in nowise see him. But Sigmund said he would not drive him away, and offered her atonement of gold and great wealth for her brother's life, albeit he said he had never erst given weregild 1 to any for the slaying of a man, but no fame it was to uphold wrong against a woman. So seeing she might not get her own way herein, she said, "Have thy will in this matter, O my lord, for it is seemly so to be.
And now she holds the funeral feast for her brother by the aid and counsel of the king, and makes ready all things therefor or in the best of wise, and bade thither many great men. At that feast, Borghild the queen bare the drink to folk, and she came over against Sinfjofli with a great horn, and said—. But the queen said to Sinfjotli, "Why must other men needs drink thine ale for thee? Again, the third time, she came to him, and bade him drink off his drink, if he had the heart of a Volsung; then he laid hand on the horn, but said—.
Sigmund rose up, and sorrowed nigh to death over him; then he took the corpse in his arms and fared away to the wood, and went till he came to a certain firth; and there he saw a man in a little boat; and that man asked if he would be wafted by him over the firth, and he said yea thereto; but so little was the boat, that they might not all go in it at once, so the corpse was first laid therein, while Sigmund went by the firth-side. But therewith the boat and the man therein vanished away from before Sigmund's eyes.
So thereafter Sigmund turned back home, and drave away the queen, and a little after she died. But Sigmund the king yet ruled his realm, and is deemed ever the greatest champion and king of the old law. There was a king called Eylimi, mighty and of great fame, and his daughter was called Hjordis, the fairest and wisest of womankind; and Sigmund hears it told of her that she was meet to be his wife, yea if none else were. So he goes to the house of King Eylimi, who would make a great feast for him, if so be he comes not thither in the guise of a foe. So messages were sent from one to the other that this present journey was a peaceful one, and not for war; so the feast was held in the best of wise and with many a man thereat; fairs were in every place established for King Sigmund, and all things else were done to the aid and comfort of his journey: so he came to the feast, and both kings hold their state in one hall; thither also was come King Lyngi, son of King Hunding, and he also is a-wooing the daughter of King Eylimi.
Now the king deemed he knew that the twain had come thither but for one errand, and thought withal that war and trouble might be looked for from the hands of him who brought not his end about; so he spake to his daughter, and said—. So to him was she betrothed, and King Lyngi gat him gone. Then was Sigmund wedded to Hjordis, and now each day was the feast better and more glorious than on the day before it.
But thereafter Sigmund went back home to Hunland, and King Eylimi, his father-in-law, with him, and King Sigmund betakes himself to the due ruling of his realm. But King Lyngi and his brethren gather an army together to fall on Sigmund, for as in all matters they were wont to have the worser lot, so did this bite the sorest of all; and they would fain prevail over the might and pride of the Volsungs. So they came to Hunland, and sent King Sigmund word how that they would not steal upon him, and that they deemed he would scarce slink away from them. So Sigmund said he would come and meet them in battle, and drew his power together; but Hjordis was borne into the wood with a certain bondmaid, and mighty wealth went with them; and there she abode the while they fought.
Now the vikings rushed from their ships in numbers not to be borne up against, but Sigmund the King, and Eylimi, set up their banners, and the horns blew up to battle; but King Sigmund let blow the horn his father erst had had, and cheered on his men to the fight, but his army was far the fewest. Now was that battle fierce and fell, and though Sigmund were old, yet most hardily he fought, and was ever the foremost of his men; no shield or byrny might hold against him, and he went ever through the ranks of his foemen on that day, and no man might see how things would fare between them; many an arrow and many a spear was aloft in air that day, and so his spae-wrights wrought for him that he got no wound, and none can tell over the tale of those who fell before him, and both his arms were red with blood, even to the shoulders.
But now whenas the battle had dured a while, there came a man into the fight clad in a blue cloak, and with a slouched hat on his head, one-eyed he was, 1 and bare a bill in his hand; and he came against Sigmund the King, and have up his bill against him, and as Sigmund smote fiercely with the sword it fell upon the bill and burst asunder in the midst: thenceforth the slaughter and dismay turned to his side, for the good-hap of King Sigmund had departed from him, and his men fell fast about him; naught did the king spare himself, but the rather cheered on his men; but even as the saw says, "No might 'gainst many", so was it now proven; and in this fight fell Sigmund the King, and King Eylimi, his father-in-law, in the fore-front of their battle, and therewith the more part of their folk.
Now King Lyngi made for the king's abode, and was minded to take the king's daughter there, but failed herein, for there he found neither wife nor wealth: so he fared through all the realm, and gave his men rule thereover, and now deemed that he had slain all the kin of the Volsungs, and that he need dread them no more from henceforth. Now Hjordis went amidst the slain that night of the battle, and came whereas lay King Sigmund, and asked if he might be healed; but he answered—.
The king said, "That is fated for another man; behold now, thou art great with a man-child; nourish him well and with good heed, and the child shall be the noblest and most famed of all our kin: and keep well withal the shards of the sword: thereof shall a goodly sword be made, and it shall be called Gram, and our son shall bear it, and shall work many a great work therewith, even such as eld shall never minish; for his name shall abide and flourish as long as the world shall endure: and let this be enow for thee.
But now I grow weary with my wounds, and I will go see our kin that have gone before me. So Hjordis sat over him till he died at the day-dawning; and then she looked, and behold, there came many ships sailing to the land: then she spake to the handmaid—. And thus they did; but now the vikings behold the great slaughter of men there, and see where two women fare away thence into the wood; and they deem that some great tidings must have befallen, and they leaped ashore from out their ships.
Now the captain of these folks was Alf, son of Hjalprek, king of Denmark, who was sailing with his power along the land. So they came into the field among the slain, and saw how many men lay dead there; then the king bade go seek for the women and bring them thither, and they did so. He asked them what women they were; and, little as the thing seems like to be, the bondmaid answered for the twain, telling of the fall of King Sigmund and King Eylimi, and many another great man, and who they were withal who had wrought the deed. Then the king asks if they wotted where the wealth of the king was bestowed; and then says the bondmaid—. And therewith she guides them to the place where the treasure lay: and there they found exceeding great wealth; so that men deem they have never seen so many things of price heaped up together in one place.
All this they bore to the ships of King Alf, and Hjordis and the bondmaid went with them. Therewith these sail away to their own realm, and talk how that surely on that field had fallen the most renowned of kings. So the king sits by the tiller, but the women abide in the forecastle; but talk he had with the women and held their counsels of much account. In such wise the king came home to his realm with great wealth, and he himself was a man exceeding goodly to look on.
But when he had been but a little while at home, the queen, his mother, asked him why the fairest of the two women had the fewer rings and the less worthy attire. He answered: "I too have misdoubted me, that she is little like a bondwoman, and when we first met, in seemly wise she greeted noble men. Lo now, we will make a trial of the thing. Then says the bondwoman, "This sign have I, that whenas in my youth I was wont to drink much in the dawn, so now when I no longer use that manner, I am yet wont to wake up at that very same tide, and by that token do I know thereof.
Then the king laughed and said, "Ill manners for a king's daughter! The king answered: "Enow of gold there, where a very bondmaid bore it! But come now, thou hast been long enow hid from me; yet if thou hadst told me all from the beginning, I would have done to thee as though we had both been one king's children: but better than thy deeds will I deal with thee, for thou shalt be my wife, and due jointure will I pay thee whenas thou hast borne me a child.
She spake therewith and told out the whole truth about herself: so there was she held in great honour, and deemed the worthiest of women. The tale tells that Hjordis brought forth a man-child, who was straightly borne before King Hjalprek, and then was the king glad thereof, when he saw the keen eyes in the head of him, and he said that few men would be equal to him or like unto him in any wise. So he was sprinkled with water, and had to name Sigurd, of whom all men speak with one speech and say that none was ever his like for growth and goodliness. He was brought up in the house of King Hjalprek in great love and honour; and so it is, that whenso all the noblest men and greatest kings are named in the olden tales, Sigurd is ever put before them all, for might and prowess, for high mind and stout heart, wherewith he was far more abundantly gifted than any man of the northern parts of the wide world.
So Sigurd waxed in King Hjalprek's house, and there was no child but loved him; through him was Hjordis betrothed to King Alf, and jointure meted to her. Now Sigurd's foster-father was hight Regin, the son of Hreidmar; he taught him all manner of arts, the chess play, and the lore of runes, and the talking of many tongues, even as the wont was with kings' sons in those days. But on a day when they were together, Regin asked Sigurd, if he knew how much wealth his father had owned, and who had the ward thereof; Sigurd answered, and said that the kings kept the ward thereof. Sigurd said, "It is seemly that they keep it till I may do somewhat therewith, for better they wot how to guard it than I do. Then said the king, "Choose for thyself a horse, and whatso thing else thou desirest among my matters.
So the next day went Sigurd to the wood, and met on the way an old man, long-bearded, that he knew not, who asked him whither away. They did so, and drave the horses down into the deeps of the river, and all swam back to land but one horse; and that horse Sigurd chose for himself; grey he was of hue, and young of years, great of growth, and fair to look on, nor had any man yet crossed his back. Then spake the grey-beard, "From Sleipnir's kin is this horse come, and he must be nourished heedfully, for it will be the best of all horses;" and therewithal he vanished away. So Sigurd called the horse Grani, the best of all the horses of the world; nor was the man he met other than Odin himself.
Regin answered, "Fafnir is his name, and but a little way hence he lies, on the waste of Gnita-heath; and when thou comest there thou mayst well say that thou hast never seen more gold heaped together in one place, and that none might desire more treasure, though he were the most ancient and famed of all kings. Regin said, "Nay it is not so, the fashion and the growth of him is even as of other lingworms, 1 and an over great tale men make of it; and even so would thy forefathers have deemed; but thou, though thou be of the kin of the Volsungs, shalt scarce have the heart and mind of those, who are told of as the first in all deeds of fame.
Sigurd said, "Yea, belike I have little of their hardihood and prowess, but thou hast naught to do, to lay a coward's name upon me, when I am scarce out of my childish years. Why dost thou egg me on hereto so busily? Other skill my brother Otter followed, and had another nature withal, for he was a great fisher, and above other men herein; in that he had the likeness of an otter by day, and dwelt ever in the river, and bare fish to bank in his mouth, and his prey would he ever bring to our father, and that availed him much: for the most part he kept him in his otter-gear, and then he would come home, and eat alone, and slumbering, for on the dry land he might see naught.
But Fafnir was by far the greatest and grimmest, and would have all things about called his. And so it befell that Odin, Loki, and Hoenir, as they went their ways, came to Andvari's force, and Otter had taken a salmon, and ate it slumbering upon the river bank; then Loki took a stone and cast it at Otter, so that he gat his death thereby; the gods were well content with their prey, and fell to flaying off the otter's skin; and in the evening they came to Hreidmar's house, and showed him what they had taken: thereon he laid hands on them, and doomed them to such ransom, as that they should fill the otter skin with gold, and cover it over without with red gold; so they sent Loki to gather gold together for them; he came to Ran, 2 and got her net, and went therewith to Andvari's force, and cast the net before the pike, and the pike ran into the net and was taken.
Then said Loki—. But Sigurd answered, "Much hast thou lost, and exceeding evil have thy kinsmen been! But now, make a sword by thy craft, such a sword as that none can be made like unto it; so that I may do great deeds therewith, if my heart avail thereto, and thou wouldst have me slay this mighty dragon. Then said Regin, "Belike thou art well content therewith, hard master though thou be in smithying. Therewith he went to his mother, and she welcomed him in seemly wise, and they talked and drank together. She said he looked like to win great fame, and gave him the sword. Therewith went Sigurd to Regin, and bade him make a good sword thereof as he best might; Regin grew wroth thereat, but went into the smithy with the pieces of the sword, thinking well meanwhile that Sigurd pushed his head far enow into the matter of smithying.
So he made a sword, and as he bore it forth from the forge, it seemed to the smiths as though fire burned along the edges thereof. Now he bade Sigurd take the sword, and said he knew not how to make a sword if this one failed. Then Sigurd smote it into the anvil, and cleft it down to the stock thereof, and neither burst the sword nor brake it. Then he praised the sword much, and thereafter went to the river with a lock of wool, and threw it up against the stream, and it fell asunder when it met the sword. Then was Sigurd glad, and went home. But Regin said, "Now whereas I have made the sword for thee, belike thou wilt hold to thy troth given, and wilt go meet Fafnir? Now Sigurd the older he grew, the more he grew in the love of all men, so that every child loved him well.
There was a man hight Grifir, 1 who was Sigurd's mother's brother, and a little after the forging of the sword Sigurd went to Grifir, because he was a man who knew things to come, and what was fated to men: of him Sigurd asked diligently how his life should go; but Grifir was long or he spake, yet at the last, by reason of Sigurd's exceeding great prayers, he told him all his life and the fate thereof, even as afterwards came to pass.
So when Grifir had told him all even as he would, he went back home; and a little after he and Regin met. Sigurd said, "That work shall be wrought; but another is first to be done, the avenging of Sigmund the king and the other of my kinsmen who fell in that their last fight. So the kings said that they would give him all things soever that he desired, and therewith was a great army got ready, and all things wrought in the most heedful wise, ships and all war-gear, so that his journey might be of the stateliest: but Sigurd himself steered the dragon-keel which was the greatest and noblest; richly wrought were their sails, and glorious to look on. So they sail and have wind at will; but when a few days were overpast, there arose a great storm on the sea, and the waves were to behold even as the foam of men's blood; but Sigurd bade take in no sail, howsoever they might be riven, but rather to lay on higher than heretofore.
But as they sailed past the rocks of a ness, a certain man hailed the ships, and asked who was captain over that navy; then was it told him that the chief and lord was Sigurd, the son of Sigmund, the most famed of all the young men who now are. Then said the man, "Naught but one thing, certes, do all say of him, that none among the sons of kings may be likened unto him; now fain were I that ye would shorten sail on some of the ships, and take me aboard. Then the storm abated, and on they fared till they came aland in the realm of Hunding's sons, and then Fjolnir vanished away. Then they let loose fire and sword, and slew men and burnt their abodes, and did waste all before them: a great company of folk fled before the face of them to Lyngi the King, and tell him that men of war are in the land, and are faring with such rage and fury that the like has never been heard of; and that the sons of King Hunding had no great forecast in that they said they would never fear the Volsungs more, for here was come Sigurd, the son of Sigmund, as captain over this army.
So King Lyngi let send the war-message all throughout his realm, and has no will to flee, but summons to him all such as would give him aid. So he came against Sigurd with a great army, he and his brothers with him, and an exceeding fierce fight befell; many a spear and many an arrow might men see there raised aloft, axes hard driven, shields cleft and byrnies torn, helmets were shivered, skulls split atwain, and many a man felled to the cold earth.
And now when the fight has long dured in such wise, Sigurd goes forth before the banners, and has the good sword Gram in his hand, and smites down both men and horses, and goes through the thickest of the throng with both arms red with blood to the shoulder; and folk shrank aback before him wheresoever he went, nor would either helm or byrny hold before him, and no man deemed he had ever seen his like. So a long while the battle lasted, and many a man was slain, and furious was the onset; till at last it befell, even as seldom comes to hand, when a land army falls on, that, do whatso they might, naught was brought about; but so many men fell of the sons of Hunding that the tale of them may not be told; and now whenas Sigurd was among the foremost, came the sons of Hunding against him, and Sigurd smote therewith at Lyngi the king, and clave him down, both helm and head, and mail-clad body, and thereafter he smote Hjorward his brother atwain, and then slew all the other sons of Hunding who were yet alive, and the more part of their folk withal.
Now home goes Sigurd with fair victory won, and plenteous wealth and great honour, which he had gotten to him in this journey, and feasts were made for him against he came back to the realm. Sigurd answered, "That will we hold to, even as we have promised, nor did it ever fall from our memory. Now Sigurd and Regin ride up the heath along that same way wherein Fafnir was wont to creep when he fared to the water; and folk say that thirty fathoms was the height of that cliff along which he lay when he drank of the water below.
Then Sigurd spake:. Then said Regin, "Make thee a hole, and sit down therein, and whenas the worm comes to the water, smite him into the heart, and so do him to death, and win thee great fame thereby. Says Regin, "Of what avail to counsel thee if thou art still afeard of everything? Little art thou like thy kin in stoutness of heart.
But Sigurd fell to digging him a pit, and whiles he was at that work, there came to him an old man with a long beard, and asked what he wrought there, and he told him. Then answered the old man and said, "Thou doest after sorry counsel: rather dig thee many pits, and let the blood run therein; but sit thee down in one thereof, and so thrust the worm's heart through. Now crept the worm down to his place of watering, and the earth shook all about him, and he snorted forth venom on all the way before him as he went; but Sigurd neither trembled nor was adrad at the roaring of him.
So whenas the worm crept over the pits, Sigurd thrust his sword under his left shoulder, so that it sank in up to the hilts; then up leapt Sigurd from the pit and drew the sword back again unto him, and therewith was his arm all bloody, up to the very shoulder. Now when that mighty worm was ware that he had his death-wound, then he lashed out head and tail, so that all things soever that were before him were broken to pieces. So whenas Fafnir had his death-wound, he asked "Who art thou? And who is thy father?
And what thy kin, that thou wert so hardy as to bear weapons against me? Sigurd answered, "Unknown to men is my kin. I am called a noble beast: 2 neither father have I nor mother, and all alone have I fared hither. Said Fafnir, "Whereas thou hast neither father nor mother, of what wonder wert thou born then? But now, though thou tellest me not thy name on this my death-day, yet thou knowest verily that thou liest unto me.
Says Fafnir, "Who egged thee on to this deed, and why wouldst thou be driven to it? Hadst thou never heard how that all folk were adrad of me, and of the awe of my countenance? But an eager father thou hadst, O bright eyed swain! Sigurd answered, "A hardy heart urged me on hereto; and a strong hand and this sharp sword, which well thou knowest now, stood me in stead in the doing of the deed; 'Seldom hath hardy eld a faint-heart youth.
Fafnir said, "Well, I wot that hadst thou waxed amid thy kin, thou mightest have good skill to slay folk in thine anger; but more of a marvel is it, that thou, a bondsman taken in war, shouldst have the heart to set on me, 'for few among bondsmen have heart for the fight. Said Sigurd, "Wilt thou then cast it in my teeth that I am far away from my kin? Albeit I was a bondsman, yet was I never shackled.
God wot thou hast found me free enow. Fafnir answered, "In angry wise dost thou take my speech; but hearken, for that same gold which I have owned shall be thy bane too. Quoth Sigurd, "Fain would we keep all our wealth til that day of days; yet shall each man die once for all. Said Fafnir, "Few things wilt thou do after my counsel; but take heed that thou shalt be drowned if thou farest unwarily over the sea; so bide thou rather on the dry land, for the coming of the calm tide. Then said Sigurd, "Speak, Fafnir, and say, if thou art so exceeding wise, who are the Norns who rule the lot of all mothers' sons. Fafnir answers, "Many there be and wide apart; for some are of the kin of the Aesir, and some are of Elfin kin, and some there are who are daughters of Dvalin.
Said Sigurd, "How namest thou the holm whereon Surt 3 and the Aesir mix and mingle the water of the sword? And yet again he said, "Regin, my brother, has brought about my end, and it gladdens my heart that thine too he bringeth about; for thus will things be according to his will. And once again he spake, "A countenance of terror I bore up before all folk, after that I brooded over the heritage of my brother, and on every side did I spout out poison, so that none durst come anigh me, and of no weapon was I adrad, nor ever had I so many men before me, as that I deemed myself not stronger than all; for all men were sore afeard of me.
Sigurd answered and said, "Few may have victory by means of that same countenance of terror, for whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all. Then says Fafnir, "Such counsel I give thee, that thou take thy horse and ride away at thy speediest, for ofttimes it falls out so, that he who gets a death-wound avenges himself none the less. Sigurd answered, "Such as thy redes are I will nowise do after them; nay, I will ride now to thy lair and take to me that great treasure of thy kin.
Then up stood Sigurd, and said, "Home would I ride and lose all that wealth, if I deemed that by the losing thereof I should never die; but every brave and true man will fain have his hand on wealth till that last day; but thou, Fafnir, wallow in the death-pain till Death and Hell have thee. Thereafter came Regin to Sigurd, and said, "Hail, lord and master, a noble victory hast thou won in the slaying of Fafnir, whereas none durst heretofore abide in the path of him; and now shall this deed of fame be of renown while the world stands fast. Then stood Regin staring on the earth a long while, and presently thereafter spake from heavy mood: "Mine own brother hast thou slain, and scarce may I be called sackless of the deed.
Said Regin, "Long might this worm have lain in his lair, if the sharp sword I forged with my hand had not been good at need to thee; had that not been, neither thou nor any man would have prevailed against him as at this time.Therewith he famous alcatraz inmates to To Kill A Mockingbird How Has Jem Changed mother, and she welcomed him in seemly wise, Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild they talked and drank together. Verse forms used by Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild epic simile, anaphora, parallelism There are several examples of the use of epic simile, a classical allusion which Morris would have expected his readers to recognise. So when Grifir had told him all even as he would, he went back home; and a little after he and Double Marriage In The Volsungs The Saga Of The Nihild met.