The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 255 pages of information about The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson.

31.  The living prince then did a host of men into a pen cast down, which was within with serpents over-crawled.  But Gunnar there alone a harp in wrathful mood with his hand struck:  the strings resounded.  So should a daring chief, a ring-dispenser, gold from men withhold.

32.  Atli turned his brass-shod[107] steed, his home to revisit, back from the murder.  Din was in the court with horses thronged, men’s weapon-song, from the heath they were come.

33.  Out then went Gudrun, Atli to meet, with a golden cup to do her duty to the king.  “Thou canst, O King! joyful in thy hall receive from Gudrun the arms of the departed.”

34.  The drinking-cups of Atli groaned with wine heavy, when in the hall together the Huns were counted.  Long-bearded, bold, the warriors entered.

35.  Hastened the bright-faced dame to bear their potions to them, the wondrous lady to the chiefs; and reluctantly to the pallid Atli the festal dainties offered, and uttered words of hate.

36.  “Thou, swords’ dispenser! hast thy two sons’ hearts, slaughter-gory, with honey eaten.  I resolved that thou, bold chief! shouldst of a human dish eat at thy feasting, and to the place of honour send it.  Henceforth thou wilt not to thy knees call Erp and Eitil, joyous with beer the two:  thou wilt not henceforth, see them from thy middle seat, gold-dispersing, javelins shafting, manes clipping, or horses urging.”

38.  Uproar was on the benches, portentous the cry of men, noise beneath the costly hangings.  The children of the Huns wept, all wept save Gudrun, who never wept, or for her bear-fierce brothers, or her dear sons, young, simple, whom she had borne to Atli.

39.  Gold scattered the swan-fair dame; with ruddy rings the household gifted.  Fate she let ripen, but the bright gold flow.  The woman spared not the treasure-houses.

40.  Atli incautious had himself drunk weary; weapon he had none, nor was ’gainst Gudrun guarded.  Oft had their sport been better, when they lovingly embraced each other before the nobles.

41.  With the sword’s point she gave the bed of blood to drink with death-bent hand, and the dogs loosed, out at the hall-door drove them, and the lady wakened the household with burning brand.  That vengeance she for her brothers took.

42.  To fire she then gave all that were therein, and from her brothers’ murder were from the dark den[108] returned.  The old structures fell, the treasure-houses smoked, the Budlungs’ dwelling.  Burnt too were the shield-maids within, their lives cut short; in the raging fire they sank.

43.  Of this enough is said.  No such woman will henceforth arms again bear, to avenge her brothers.  That bright woman had to three kings of men the death-doom borne, before she died.

Yet more clearly is this told in “Atlamalum inum Groenlenzkum” (the Groenland lay of Atli).

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The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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