or Brynhild's Hell-Ride
is a section of the poetic edda
that tell the story of Brynhild's journey to Hel
after her death. The poem is thought to have been written as late at the 11th century and is said to have Christian
During her journey, she encountered a giantess who spoke first:
"Thou shalt not further | forward fare,
My dwelling ribbed | with rocks across;
More seemly it were | at thy weaving to stay,
Than another's husband | here to follow.
"What wouldst thou have | from Valland here,
Fickle of heart, | in this my house?
Gold-goddess, now, | if thou wouldst know,
Heroes' blood | from thy hands hast washed."
"Chide me not, woman | from rocky walls,
Though to battle once | I was wont to go;
Better than thou | I shall seem to be,
When men us two | shall truly know."
The giantess spake:
"Thou wast, Brynhild, | Buthli's daughter,
For the worst of evils | born in the world;
To death thou hast given | Gjuki's children,
And laid their lofty | house full low."
"Truth from the wagon | here I tell thee,
Witless one, | if know thou wilt
How the heirs of Gjuki | gave me to be
joyless ever, | a breaker of oaths.
"Hild the helmed | in Hlymdalir
They named me of old, | all they who knew me.
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
"The monarch bold | the swan-robes bore
Of the sisters eight | beneath an oak;
Twelve winters I was, | if know thou wilt,
When oaths I yielded | the king so young.
"Next I let | the leader of Goths,
Hjalmgunnar the old, | go down to hell,
And victory brought | to Autha's brother;
For this was Othin's | anger mighty.
"He beset me with shields | in Skatalund,
Red and white, | their rims o'erlapped;
He bade that my sleep | should broken be
By him who fear | had nowhere found.
"He let round my hall, | that southward looked,
The branches' foe | high-leaping burn;
Across it he bade | the hero come
Who brought me the gold | that Fafnir guarded
On Grani rode | the giver of gold,
Where my foster-father | ruled his folk;
Best of all | he seemed to be,
The prince of the Danes, | when the people met.
"Happy we slept, | one bed we had,
As he my brother | born had been;
Eight were the nights | when neither there
Loving hand | on the other laid.
"Yet Guthrun reproached me, | Gjuki's daughter,
That I in Sigurth's | arms had slept;
Then did I hear | what I would were hid,
That they had betrayed me | in taking a mate.
"Ever with grief | and all too long
Are men and women | born in the world;
But yet we shall live | our lives together,
Sigurth and I. | Sink down, Giantess!"
Translated by Henry Adams Bellows. It is in the public domain and this copy of the translation was taken from: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe29.htm