[Footnote 48: At guilds the Bragi-cup (Bragafull) was drunk. It was the custom at the funeral feast of kings and jarls, that the heir should sit on a lower seat, until the Bragafull was brought in, that he should then rise to receive it, make a vow, and drink the contents of the cup (full). He was then led to his father’s high seat. At an offering guild, the chief signed with the figure of Thor’s hammer both the cup and the meat. First was drunk Odin’s cup, for victory and power to the king; then Niord’s cup, and Frey’s, for a good year and peace; after which it was the custom with many to drink a Bragafull. The peculiarity of this cup was, that it was a cup of vows, that on drinking it a vow was made to perform some great and arduous deed, that might be made a subject for the song of the skalld.]
THE FIRST LAY OF HELGI HUNDINGCIDE.
1. It was in times of yore, when the eagles screamed, holy waters fell from the heavenly hills; then to Helgi, the great of soul, Borghild gave birth in Bralund.
2. In the mansion it was night: the Norns came, who should the prince’s life determine. They him decreed a prince most famed to be, and of leaders accounted best.
3. With all their might they span the fatal threads, when that [he] burghs should overthrow in Bralund. They stretched out the golden cord, and beneath the middle of the moon’s mansion fixed it.
4. East and west they hid the ends, where the prince had lands between; towards the north Neri’s sister cast a chain, which she bade last for ever.
5. One thing disquieted the Ylfing’s offspring, and the woman who had the child brought forth. Sitting on a lofty tree, on prey intent, a raven to a raven said: “I know something.
6. Stands cased in mail Sigmund’s son, one day old: now is our day come. His eyes are piercing as a warrior’s; the wolf’s friend is he: we shall rejoice!”
7. He to the folk appeared a noble chief to be; among men ’twas said that happy times were come; went the king himself from the din of war, noble garlic to bring to the young prince;
8. Gave him the name of Helgi, and Hringstadir, Solfioll, Snaefioll, and Sigarsvellir, Hringstad, Hatun, and Himinvangar, a sword ornate, to Sinfiotli’s brother.
9. Then grew up, in his friends’ bosom, the high-born youth, in joyous splendour. He paid and gave gold for deserts; nor spared the chief the blood-stained sword.
10. A short time only the leader let warfare cease. When the prince was fifteen winters old, he caused the fierce Hunding to fall, who long had ruled over lands and people.
11. The sons of Hunding afterwards demanded from Sigmund’s son treasure and rings; because they had on the prince to avenge their great loss of wealth, and their father’s death.
12. The prince would neither the blood-fine pay, nor for the slain indemnity would give. They might expect, he said, a terrific storm of grey arrows, and Odin’s ire.