21. But I for Gunnar, rings’ dispenser, love conceived, such as Brynhild should. But he Brynhild bade a helmet take, said she a Valkyria should become.
22. They forthwith offered ruddy rings to my brother, and indemnity not small. He besides offered for me fifteen vills, and the load of Grani’s sides, if he would accept them.
23. But Atli said he never would a marriage-gift receive from Giuki’s son. Still we could not our loves withstand, but I my head must lay upon the ring-breaker.
24. Many things said my relations; declared they had surprised us both together; but Atli said, that I would not crime commit, nor scandal perpetrate. But such should no one for another ever deny, when love has part.
25. Atli sent his emissaries about the Murkwood, that he might prove me; and they came to where they ought not to have come, to where we had one couch prepared.
26. To the men we offered red-gold rings, that they it might not to Atli tell; but they forthwith hastened home, and it quickly to Atli told.
27. But they from Gudrun carefully concealed it, yet rather by half she should have known it.
28. A sound was heard of gold-shod hoofs, when into the court rode Giuki’s heirs. * * * Of Hogni they the heart cut out, and into a serpent-pen the other cast.
29. I had gone yet once again to Geirmund, to prepare a banquet. * * * The brave king began the harp to sound; for the prince of noble race hoped that I to his aid might come.
30. I it heard from Hlesey, how of trouble there the harp-strings sang.
31. I my thralls bade all be ready: I the prince’s life would save. The vessel we let float past the forest, until I saw all Atli’s courts.
32. Then came Atli’s miserable mother crawling forth:—may she perish!—she Gunnar pierced to the heart; so that the hero I could not save.
33. Oftentimes I wonder, woman gold-adorned! how I after can life retain; for I seemed the formidable sword-dispenser as myself to love:
34. Thou sitst and listenest, while I recount to thee many an evil fate, my own and theirs.” Each one lives as he best may. Now is ended Oddrun’s lament.
[Footnote 93: For Brynhild’s death.]
[Footnote 94: Gunnar.]
[Footnote 95: From here the narrative appears to be very fragmentary.]
[Footnote 96: Gunnar while in the serpent-pen.]
[Footnote 97: For “lund” (forest, wood), which is the reading of the MSS., the Copenhagen editor favors the correction to sund (a sound or strait, the Sound)?]
[Footnote 98: Borgny.]
THE LAY OF ATLI.
Gudrun, Giuki’s daughter, avenged her brothers, as is well known. She first killed Atli’s sons, and afterwards Atli himself, and burnt the palace with all the household. On these events was this lay composed.