Ch. 19: Thereafter came Regin to Sigurd, and said, "Hail, lord and master, a noble victory hast thou won in the slaying of Fafnir, whereas none durst heretofore abide in the path of him; and now shall this deed of fame be of renown while the world stands fast."
Then stood Regin staring on the earth a long while, and presently thereafter spake from heavy-mood: "Mine own brother hast thou slain, and scarce may I be called sackless of the deed."
Then Sigurd took his sword Gram and dried it on the earth, and spake to Regin - "Afar thou faredst when I wrought this deed and tried this sharp sword with the hand and the might of me; with all the might and main of a dragon must I strive, while thou wert laid alow in the heather-bush, wotting not if it were earth or heaven."
Said Regin, "Long might this worm have lain in his lair, if the sharp sword I forged with my hand had not been good at need to thee; had that not been, neither thou nor any man would have prevailed against him as at this time."
Sigurd answers, "Whenas men meet foes in fight, better is stout heart than sharp sword." Then said Regin, exceeding heavily, "Thou hast slain my brother, and scarce may I be sackless of the deed." Therewith Sigurd cut out the heart of the worm with the sword called Ridil; but Regin drank of Fafnir's blood, and spake, "Grant me a boon, and do a thing little for thee to do. Bear the heart to the fire, and roast it, and give me thereof to eat."
Then Sigurd went his ways and roasted it on a rod; and when the blood bubbled out he laid his finger thereon to essay it, if it were fully done; and then he set his finger in his mouth, and lo, when the heart-blood of the worm touched his tongue, straightway he knew the voice of all fowls, and heard withal how the wood- peckers chattered in the brake beside him -- "There sittest thou, Sigurd, roasting Fafnir's heart for another, that thou shouldest eat thine ownself, and then thou shouldest become the wisest of all men." And another spake: "There lies Regin, minded to beguile the man who trusts in him." But yet again said the third, "Let him smite the head from off him then, and be only lord of all that gold."
And once more the fourth spake and said, "Ah, the wiser were he if he followed after that good counsel, and rode thereafter to Fafnir's lair, and took to him that mighty treasure that lieth there, and then rode over Hindfell, whereas sleeps Brynhild; for there would he get great wisdom. Ah, wise he were, if he did after your redes, and bethought him of his own weal; `for where wolf's ears are, wolf's teeth are near.'" Then cried the fifth: "Yea, yea, not so wise is he as I deem him, if he spareth him whose brother he hath slain already." At last spake the sixth: "Handy and good rede to slay him, and be lord of the treasure!"
Then said Sigurd, "The time is unborn wherein Regin shall be my bane; nay, rather one road shall both these brothers fare." And therewith he drew his sword Gram and struck off Regin's head. ...
[Sigurd hears prophecies from the birds]...
Then Sigurd ate some deal of Fafnir's heart, and the remnant he kept. Then he leapt on his horse and rode along the trail of the worm Fafnir, and so right unto his abiding-place; and he found it open, and beheld all the doors and the gear of them that they were wrought of iron: yea, and all the beams of the house; and it was dug down deep into the earth: there found Sigurd gold exceeding plenteous, and the sword Rotti; and thence he took the Helm of Awe, and the Gold Byrny, and many things fair and good. So much gold he found there, that he thought verily that scarce might two horses, or three belike, bear it thence.
So he took all the gold and laid it in two great chests, and set them on the horse Grani, and took the reins of him, but nowise will he stir, neither will he abide smiting. Then Sigurd knows the mind of the horse, and leaps on the back of him, and smites and spurs into him, and off the horse goes even as if he were unladen.
Ch. 20 [Sigurd discovers Brynhild]:
By long roads rides Sigurd, till he comes at the last up on to Hindfell, and wends his way south to the land of the Franks; and he sees before him on the fell a great light, as of fire burning, and flaming up even unto the heavens; and when he came thereto, lo, a shield hung castle before him, and a banner on the topmost thereof: into the castle went Sigurd, and saw one lying there asleep, and all-armed. Therewith he takes the helm from off the head of him, and sees that it is no man, but a woman; and she was clad in a byrny as closely set on her as though it had grown to her flesh; so he rent it from the collar downwards; and then the sleeves thereof, and ever the sword bit on it as if it were cloth.
Then said Sigurd that over-long had she lain asleep; but she asked -- "What thing of great might is it that has prevailed to rend my byrny, and draw me from my sleep? ...Ah, is it so, that here is come Sigurd Sigmundson, bearing Fafnir's helm on his head and Fafnir's bane in his hand?"
Then answered Sigurd [with a song] -- "Sigmund's son / With Sigurd's sword / E'en now rent down /The raven's wall. "Of the Volsung's kin is he who has done the deed; but now I have heard that thou art daughter of a mighty king, and folk have told us that thou wert lovely and full of lore, and now I will try the same." Then Brynhild sang -- "Long have I slept/ And slumbered long,/ Many and long are the woes of mankind,/By the might of Odin/ Must I bide helpless/To shake from off me the spells of slumber. ..."Hail to the Aesir,/ And the sweet Asyniur! **/Hail to the fair earth fulfilled of plenty!/ Fair words, wise hearts,/Would we win from you, And healing hands while life we hold."
Then Brynhild speaks again and says, "Two kings fought, one hight Helm Gunnar, an old man, and the greatest of warriors, and Odin had promised the victory unto him; but his foe was Agnar, or Audi's brother, and so I smote down Helm Gunnar in the fight; and Odin, in vengeance for that deed, stuck the sleep-thorn into me, and said that I should never again have the victory, but should be given away in marriage; but there against I vowed a vow, that never would I wed one who knew the name of fear."
Then said Sigurd, "Teach us the lore of mighty matters!" She said, "Belike thou cannest more skill in all than I; yet will I teach thee; yea, and with thanks, if there be aught of my cunning that will in anywise pleasure thee, either of runes or of other matters that are the root of things; but now let us drink together, and may the Gods give to us twain a good day, that thou mayst win good help and fame from my wisdom, and that thou mayst hereafter mind thee of that which we twain speak together."
Then Brynhild filled a beaker and bore it to Sigurd, and gave him the drink of love, and spake -- "Beer bring I to thee,/Fair fruit of the byrnies' clash,/ Mixed is it mightily,/Mingled with fame,/Brimming with bright lays/And pitiful runes,/ Wise words, sweet words,/Speech of great game. "Runes of war know thou, /If great thou wilt be!/Cut them on hilt of hardened sword,/Some on the brand's back,/Some on its shining side,/Twice name Tyr therein.
"Sea-runes good at need,/Learnt for ship's saving,... (verses omited)
"Word-runes learn well/ If thou wilt that no man / Pay back grief for the grief thou gavest; /Wind thou these,/Weave thou these,/Cast thou these all about thee, /At the Thing,/ Where folk throng, /Unto the full doom faring. "Of ale-runes know the wisdom /If thou wilt that another's wife/ Should not bewray thine heart that trusteth:/ Cut them on the mead-horn, /On the back of each hand, / And nick an N upon thy nail.
...."Help-runes shalt thou gather /If skill thou wouldst gain / To loosen child from low-laid mother;/Cut be they in hands hollow, / Wrapped the joints round about; / Call for the Good-folks' gainsome helping. ...[More 'runes' of lore and practical wisdom]... "All these so cut,/Were shaven and sheared, / And mingled in with holy mead,/ And sent upon wide ways enow; /Some abide with the Elves, /Some abide with the Aesir, / Or with the wise Vanir,/ Some still hold the sons of mankind.
"These be the book-runes,/And the runes of good help,/ And all the ale-runes, ....
Ch. 21: Sigurd spake now, "Sure no wiser woman than thou art one may be found in the wide world; yea, yea, teach me more yet of thy wisdom!" She answers, "Seemly is it that I do according to thy will, and show thee forth more redes of great avail, for thy prayer's sake and thy wisdom ;" and she spake withal -- "Be kindly to friend and kin, and reward not their trespasses against thee; bear and forbear, and win for thee thereby long enduring praise of men.
"Take good heed of evil things: a may's (=maiden's) love, and a man's wife; full oft thereof doth ill befall!
"Let not thy mind be overmuch crossed by unwise men at thronged meetings of folk; for oft these speak worse than they wot of; lest thou be called a dastard, and art minded to think that thou art even as is said; slay such an one on another day, and soreward his ugly talk. "If thou farest by the way whereas bide evil things, be well ware of thyself; take not harbour near the highway, though thou be benighted, for oft abide there ill wights for men's bewilderment.
"Let not fair women beguile thee, such as thou mayst meet at the feast, so that the thought thereof stand thee in stead of sleep, and a quiet mind; yea, draw them not to thee with kisses or other sweet things of love.
"If thou hearest the fool's word of a drunken man, strive not with him being drunk with drink and witless; many a grief, yea, and the very death, groweth from out such things.
"Fight thy foes in the field, nor be burnt in thine house. 'Never swear thou wrongsome oath; great and grim is the reward for the breaking of plighted troth (=pledged faith or truthfulness).
"Give kind heed to dead men, -- sick-dead, Sea-dead, or Sword- dead; deal heedfully with their dead corpses. "Trust never in him for whom thou hast slain father, brother, or whatso near kin, yea, though young he be; `for oft waxes wolf in youngling'.
"Look thou with good heed to the wiles of thy friends; but little skill is given to me, that I should foresee the ways of thy life; yet good it were that hate fell not on thee from those of thy wife's house."
Sigurd spake, "None among the sons of men can be found wiser than thou; and thereby swear I, that thee will I have as my own, for near to my heart thou liest."
She answers, "Thee would I fainest (=most gladly) choose, though I had all men's sons to choose from." And thereto they plighted troth both of them.
Ch. 22: Now Sigurd rides away; many-folded is his shield, an blazing with red gold, and the image of a dragon is drawn thereon; and this same was dark brown above, and bright red below; and with even such-like image was adorned helm, and saddle, and coat-armour; and he was clad in the golden byrny, and all his weapons were gold wrought.
Now for this cause was the drake (=dragon) drawn on all his weapons, that when he was seen of men, all folk might know who went there; yea, all those who had heard of his slaying of that great dragon, that the Voerings call Fafnir, and for that cause are his weapons gold-wrought, and brown of hue, and that he was by far above other men in courtesy and goodly manners, and well-nigh in all things else; and whenas folk tell of all the mightiest champions, and the noblest chiefs, then ever is he named the foremost, and his name goes wide about on all tongues north of the sea of the Greek-lands, and even so shall it be while the world endures.
Now the hair of this Sigurd was golden-red of hue, fair of fashion, and falling down in great locks; thick and short was his beard, and of no other colour, high-nosed he was, broad and high- boned of face; so keen were his eyes, that few durst gaze up under the brows of him; his shoulders were as broad to look on as the shoulders of two; most duly was his body fashioned betwixt height and breadth, and in such wise as was seemliest; and this is the sign told of his height, that when he was girt with his sword Gram, which same was seven spans long, as he went through the full-grown rye-fields, the dew-shoe of the said sword smote the ears of the standing corn; and, for all that, greater was his strength than his growth: well could he wield sword, and cast forth spear, shoot shaft, and hold shield, bend bow, back horse, and do all the goodly deeds that he learned in his youth's days. Wise he was to know things yet undone; and the voice of all fowls he knew, wherefore few things fell on him unawares. Of many words he was and so fair of speech withal, that whensoever he made it his business to speak, he never left speaking before that to all men it seemed full sure, that no otherwise must the matter be than as he said. His sport and pleasure it was to give aid to his own folk, and to prove himself in mighty matters, to take wealth from his unfriends, and give the same to his friends. Never did he lose heart, and of naught was he adrad (=in dread, afraid).