or The Ballad of Regin
is part of the Poetic Edda
. It is thought that this poem and the next two, Fafnismol
, could in fact be the same poem.
Sigurth went to Hjalprek's stud and chose for himself a horse, who thereafter was called Grani. At that time Regin, the son of Hreithmar, was come to Hjalprek's home; he was more ingenious than all other men, and a dwarf in stature; he was wise, fierce and skilled in magic. Regin undertook Sigurth's bringing up and teaching, and loved him much. He told Sigurth of his forefathers, and also of this: that once Othin and Hönir and Loki had come to Andvari's waterfall, and in the fall were many fish. Andvari was a dwarf, who had dwelt long in the waterfall in the shape of a pike, and there he got his food. "Otr was the name of a brother of ours," said. Regin, "who often went into the fall in the shape of an otter; he had caught a salmon, and sat on the high bank eating it with his eyes shut. Loki threw a stone at him and killed him; the gods thought they bad had great good luck, and stripped the skin off the otter. That same evening they sought a night's lodging at Hreithmar's house, and showed their booty. Then we seized them, and told them, as ransom for their lives, to fill the otter skin with gold, and completely cover it outside as well with red gold. Then they sent Loki to get the gold; he went to Ron and got her net, and went then to Andvari's fall and cast the net in front of the pike, and the pike leaped into the net." Then Loki said:
"What is the fish | that runs in the flood,
And itself from ill cannot save?
If thy head thou wouldst | from hell redeem,
Find me the water's flame."
"Andvari am I, | and Oin my father,
In many a fall have I fared;
An evil Norn | in olden days
Doomed me In waters to dwell."
"Andvari, say, | if thou seekest still
To live in the land of men,
What payment is set | for the sons of men
Who war with lying words?"
"A mighty payment | the men must make
Who in Valthgelmir's waters wade;
On a long road lead | the lying words
That one to another utters."
Loki saw all the gold that Andvari had. But when he had brought forth all the gold, he held back one ring, and Loki took this from him. The dwarf went into his rocky hole and said:
"Now shall the gold | that Gust once had
Bring their death | to brothers twain,
And evil be | for heroes eight;
joy of my wealth | shall no man win."
The gods gave Hreithmar the gold, and filled up the otter-skin, and stood it on its feet. Then the gods had to heap up gold and hide it. And when that was done, Hreithmar came forward and saw a single whisker, and bade them cover it. Then Othin brought out the ring Andvaranaut and covered the hair. Then Loki said:
"The gold is given, | and great the price
Thou hast my head to save;
But fortune thy sons | shall find not there,
The bane of ye both it is."
"Gifts ye gave, | but ye gave not kindly,
Gave not with hearts that were whole;
Your lives ere this | should ye all have lost,
If sooner this fate I had seen."
"Worse is this | that methinks I see,
For a maid shall kinsmen clash;
Heroes unborn | thereby shall be,
I deem, to hatred doomed."
"The gold so red | shall I rule, methinks,
So long as I shall live;
Nought of fear | for thy threats I feel,
So get ye hence to your homes."
Fafnir and Regin asked Hreithmar for a share of the wealth that was paid for the slaying of their brother, Otr. This he refused, and Fafnir thrust his sword through the body of his father, Hreithmar, while he was sleeping. Hreithmar called to his daughters:
"Lyngheith and Lofnheith, | fled is my life,
And mighty now is my need!"
"Though a sister loses | her father, seldom
Revenge on her brother she brings."
"A daughter, woman | with wolf's heart, bear,
If thou hast no son | with the hero brave;
If one weds the maid, | for the need is mighty,
Their son for thy hurt | may vengeance seek."
Then Hreithmar died, and Fafnir took all the gold. Thereupon Regin asked to have his inheritance from his father, but Fafnir refused this. Then Regin asked counsel of Lyngheith, his sister, how he should win his inheritance. She said:
"In friendly wise | the wealth shalt thou ask
Of thy brother, and better will;
Not seemly is it | to seek with the sword
Fafnir's treasure to take."
All these happenings did Regin tell to Sigurth.
One day, when he came to Regin's house, he was gladly welcomed. Regin said:
"Hither the son | of Sigmund is come,
The hero eager, | here to our hall;
His courage is more | than an ancient man's,
And battle I hope | from the hardy wolf.
"Here shall I foster | the fearless prince,
Now Yngvi's heir | to us is come;
The noblest hero | beneath the sun,
The threads of his fate | all lands enfold."
Sigurth was there continually with Regin, who said to Sigurth that Fafnir lay at Gnitaheith, and was in the shape of a dragon. He had a fear-helm, of which all living creatures were terrified. Regin made Sigurth the sword which was called Gram; it was so sharp that when he thrust it down into the Rhine, and let a strand of wool drift against it with the stream, it cleft the strand asunder as if it were water. With this sword Sigurth cleft asunder Regin's anvil. After that Regin egged Sigurth on to slay Fafnir, but he said:
"Loud will the sons | of Hunding laugh,
Who low did Eylimi | lay in death,
If the hero sooner | seeks the red
Rings to find | than his father's vengeance."
King Hjalprek gave Sigurth a fleet for the avenging of his father. They ran into a great storm, and were off a certain headland. A man stood on the mountain, and said:
"Who yonder rides | on Rævil's steeds,
O'er towering waves | and waters wild?
The sail-horses all | with sweat are dripping,
Nor can the sea-steeds | the gale withstand."
"On the sea-trees here | are Sigurth and I,
The storm wind drives us | on to our death;
The waves crash down | on the forward deck,
And the roller-steeds sink; | who seeks our names?"
The Man spake:
"Hnikar I was | when Volsung once
Gladdened the ravens | and battle gave;
Call me the Man | from the Mountain now,
Feng or Fjolnir; | with you will I fare."
They sailed to the land, and the man went on board the ship, and the storm subsided. Sigurth spake:
"Hnikar, say, | for thou seest the fate
That to gods and men is given;
What sign is fairest | for him who fights,
And best for the swinging of swords?"
"Many the signs, | if men but knew,
That are good for the swinging of swords;
It is well, methinks, | if the warrior meets
A raven black on his road.
"Another it is | if out thou art come,
And art ready forth to fare,
To behold on the path | before thy house
Two fighters greedy of fame.
"Third it is well | if a howling wolf
Thou hearest under the ash;
And fortune comes | if thy foe thou seest
Ere thee the hero beholds.
"A man shall fight not | when he must face
The moon's bright sister setting late;
Win he shall | who well can see,
And wedge-like forms | his men for the fray.
"Foul is the sign | if thy foot shall stumble
As thou goest forth to fight;
Goddesses baneful | at both thy sides
Will that wounds thou shalt get.
"Combed and washed | shall the wise man go,
And a meal at mom shall take;
For unknown it is | where at eve he may be;
It is ill thy luck to lose."
Sigurth had a great battle with Lyngvi, the son of Hunding, and his brothers; there Lyngvi fell, and his two brothers with him. After the battle Regin said:
"Now the bloody eagle | with biting sword
Is carved on the back | of Sigmund's killer;
Few were more fierce | in fight than his son,
Who reddened the earth | and gladdened the ravens."
Sigurth went home to Hjalprek's house; thereupon Regin egged him on to fight with Fafnir.
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/poe23.htm