THE SECOND LAY OF GUDRUN.
King Theodric was with Atli, and had there lost the greater number of his men. Theodric and Gudrun mutually bewailed their afflictions. She related to him and said:
1. A maid above all maids I was; my mother reared me bright in her bower; my brothers I much loved, until me Giuki, with gold adorned, with gold adorned, to Sigurd gave.
2. Such was Sigurd above Giuki’s sons, as the green leek is, springing from the grass, or the high-limbed hart above the savage beasts, or gleed-red gold above grey silver.
3. Until my brothers the possession grudged me of a consort to all superior. They could not sleep, nor on affairs deliberate, before they Sigurd had caused to die.
4. Grani to the assembly ran, his tramp was to be heard; but Sigurd then himself came not. All the saddle-beasts were splashed with blood, and with sweating faint, from the murderers.
5. Weeping I went to talk to Grani, with humid cheeks, I prayed the steed to tell: then Grani shuddered, in the grass bowed down his head. The steed knew that his master was no more.
6. Long I wandered, long was my mind distracted, ere of the people’s guardian I inquired for my king.
7. Gunnar hung his head, but Hogni told me of Sigurd’s cruel death. “Beyond the river slaughtered lies Guthorm’s murderer, and to the wolves given.
8. Yonder behold Sigurd, towards the south, there thou wilt hear the ravens croak, the eagles scream, in their feast exulting; the wolves howling round thy consort.”
9. “Why wilt thou, Hogni! to a joyless being such miseries recount? May thy heart by ravens be torn and scattered over the wide world, rather than thou shouldst walk with men.”
10. Hogni answered, for once cast down, from his cheerful mood by intense trouble: “Gudrun! thou wouldst have greater cause to weep, if the ravens should tear my heart.”
11. Alone I turned from that interview to the wolves’ scattered leavings. No sigh I uttered, nor with my hands beat, nor wailed, as other women, when I heartbroken sat by Sigurd.
12. Night seemed to me of blackest darkness, when I sorrowing sat by Sigurd. Better by far it seemed to me had the wolves taken my life, or I had been burnt as a birchen tree.
13. From the fell I journeyed five long days and nights, until the lofty hall of Half I recognized. Seven half-years I with Thora stayed, Hakon’s daughter, in Denmark.
14. She for my solace wrought in gold southern halls, and Danish swans.
15. We had in pictures the game of warriors, and in handiworks a prince’s nobles; red shields, Hunnish heroes, a sworded host, a helmed host, a prince’s following.
16. Sigmund’s ships from the land sailing, with gilded heads, and carved prows. We on our canvas wrought how Sigar and Siggeir both contended southward in Fyen.