11. Sigurd had fallen south of Rhine: loud from a tree a raven screamed: “With your blood will Atli his sword’s edges redden; the oaths ye have sworn your slaughter shall dissolve.”
12. Evening was advanced, much was drunken, then did pleasant talk of all kinds pass: all sank in sleep, when to rest they went. Gunnar alone was wakeful longer than all:
13. He began his foot to move, and much with himself to speak; the warlike chief in his mind pondered, what during the conflict the raven and the eagle were ever saying, as they rode home.
14. Brynhild awoke, Budli’s daughter, daughter of Skioldungs, a little ere day: “Urge me or stay me—the mischief is perpetrated—my sorrow to pour forth, or to suppress it.”
15. All were silent at these words; few understood the lady’s conduct, that weeping she should begin to speak of what she laughing had desired.
16. “In my dream, Gunnar! all seemed so horrid, in the chamber all was dead; my bed was cold; and thou, king! wast riding of joy bereft, with fetters loaded, to a hostile host. So will ye all, race of Niflungs! be of power deprived, perjurers as ye are!
17. Ill Gunnar! didst thou remember, when blood ye in your footsteps both let flow; now hast thou him ill for all that requited, because he would prove himself foremost.
18. Then was it proved, when the hero had ridden to see me, to woo me, how the warlike chief whilom held sacred his oath towards the youthful prince.
19. Laid his sword, with gold adorned, the illustrious king between us both: outward its edges were with fire wrought, but with venom drops tempered within.”
From this lay, in which the death of Sigurd is related, it appears that he was slain without doors, while some relate that he was slain sleeping in his bed: but the Germans say he was slain out in the forest; and it is told in the “Gudrunarkvida hin Forna,” that Sigurd and the sons of Giuki had ridden to the public assembly (thing) when he was slain. But it is said by all, without exception, that they broke faith with him, and attacked him while lying down and unprepared.
THE FIRST LAY OF GUDRUN.
Gudrun sat over Sigurd dead; she wept not as other women, although ready to burst with sorrow. Both men and women, came to console her, but that was not easy. It is said by some that Gudrun had eaten of Fafnir’s heart, and therefore understood the talk of birds. This is also sung of Gudrun:
1. Of old it was that Gudrun prepared to die, when she sorrowing over Sigurd sat. No sigh she uttered, nor with her hands beat, nor wailed, as other women.
2. Jarls came forward of great sagacity, from her sad state of mind to divert her. Gudrun could not shed a tear, such was her affliction; ready she was to burst.
3. Sat there noble wives of jarls, adorned with gold, before Gudrun; each of them told her sorrows, the bitterest she had known.