6. The bold-hearted king caused the garbs of us eight sisters under an oak to be borne. Twelve years old was I, if thou desirest to know, when to the youthful king oaths I gave.
7. By all in Hlymdalir I was called Hild with the helm, by all who knew me.
8. Then caused I next, in the Gothic realm, the old Hialmgunnar to Hel to journey: I gave victory to the youthful brother of Oda, whereat Odin became hostile to me.
9. He with shields encompassed me, red and white, in Skatalund; their surfaces enclosed me; him he ordained my sleep to break, who in no place could be made to fear.
10. He made around my hall, towards the south, towering burn the destroyer of all wood: then bade that man only over it to ride, who me the gold should bring, that under Fafnir lay.
11. On Grani rode the chief, the gold-disperser, to where my foster-father ruled o’er the dwellings. He alone seemed there to all superior, the Danish warrior, of the court.
12. We slept and were content in the same bed, as if he had my born brother been; neither of us might on the other, for eight nights, lay a hand.
13. Reproached me Gudrun, Giuki’s daughter, that I had slept in Sigurd’s arms; then was I made aware of what I fain would not,—that they had deceived me, when a mate I took.
14. To calamities all too lasting men and women, ever will be while living born. We two shall now, Sigurd and I pass our life together. Sink thou of giant-kind!”
[Footnote 81: By depriving them of the swan-plumage, for they were Valkyriur like the wives of Volund and his brothers, Agnar reduced them under his subjection.]
THE SLAUGHTER OF THE NIFLUNGS.
Gunnar and Hogni then took all the gold, Fafnir’s heritage. Dissension prevailed afterwards between the Giukungs and Atli. He charged them with being the cause of Brynhild’s death. By way of reconciliation, it was agreed that they should give him Gudrun in marriage, to whom they administered an oblivious potion, before she would consent to espouse Atli. Atli had two sons, Erp and Eitil, but Svanhild was the daughter of Sigurd and Gudrun. King Atli invited Gunnar and Hogni to his residence, and sent to them Vingi, or Knefrod. Gudrun was aware of treachery, and sent them word in runes not to come; and to Hogni, as a token, she sent the ring Andvaranaut, in which she had tied some wolf’s hair. Gunnar had sought the hand of Oddrun, Atli’s sister, but did not obtain it. He then married Glaumvor, and Hogni took Kostbera to wife. Their sons were Solar, Snaevar, and Giuki. When the Giukungs came to Atli, Gudrun besought his sons to intercede for their lives, but they would not. The heart of Hogni was cut out, and Gunnar was cast into a pen of serpents. He struck his harp and lulled the serpents, but an adder stung him to the liver.