The Northern Way

Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer

42       SIGURD THE DRAGON-SLAYER

49.
" Go, cast a stone in the streamlet
By pasture-field doth glide,
& choose for thy need the steadfast steed
That starteth not aside. "
50.
Forth to the stream fared Sigurd,
& cast therein a stone,
& the steadfast steed that started not,
He took him for his own.
51.
None was his like in all the land,
That courser good at need,
& the name he bore in days of yore
Was Grane, Sigurd's steed.
      ·       ·       ·
52.
Now Sigurd leapt on Grane's back
When yet the ways were blind,
& rode adown the river-bank
Regin the smith to find.
53.
It was the gallant Sigurd
Rode down by lea & land,
& Regin ceased his smithying
& took a sword in hand.
54.
" Now harken, doughty Sigurd,
A warrior bold enow,
Whence art thou come thus early,
& whither ridest thou?"
55.
" To thee, to thee the errand
Whereon I ride abroad!
I bid thee, Regin weapon-smith,
To forge a goodly sword. "

THE BALLAD OF REGIN       43

56.
" Now welcome, welcome, Sigurd,
So true my love for thee!
Shalt enter in my dwelling,
& bide this night with me. "
57.
" Now nay, now nay, thou weapon-smith,
I may not her abide,
Lest Hjálprek the King should lack me
From the high-seat by his side.
58.
" Now forge me a sword-blade
So sharp & so bright,
That stone & cold iron
Asunder 'twill bite!
59.
" Now forge me a sword-blade,
Of temper & tone
That will server asunder
Cold iron & stone! "
      ·       ·       ·
60.
In furnace a-flaming
The fragments he laid,
All thro' three night-times
He fashioned the blade.
61.
Three night-times he laboured
To fashion the sword,
Till once again young Sigurd
Came riding to the ford.
62.
'Twas Sigurd leapt on Grane's back,
& rode along the stand,
& Regin ceased his smithying
& took the sword in hand.

44       SIGURD THE DRAGON-SLAYER

63.
" Behold, I have fashioned
A weapon so wight! (1)
If thou spare not thy strokes
Shalt be foremost in fight.
64.
" Behold, I have forged thee
A weapon so true!
Both steel & cold iron
Asunder 'twill hew. "
65.
Now Sigurd sought the anvil,
& smote thereon amain; (2)
But the new brand was broken
Asunder in twain.
66.
" Worthy art thou, weapon-smith,
To die by my hand,
For that thou wouldst betray me
In forging the brand! "
67.
Adown he flung the fragments
To fall at Regin's knee;
Wan grew the weapon-smith
As lily-flower to see.
68.
The he has ta'en the fragments twain,
& thrust in Regin's hand;
& the arm of Regin trembled
Like any lily-wand.
69.
" Now forge again a sword for me
By might of runic rhyme
& be thou ware, thou weapon-smith,
I spare not a second time!

1. wight = swift, agile, strong
2. amain = with great force

THE BALLAD OF REGIN       45

70.
" A sword shalt thou forge me
So sharp & so leal, (1)
That 'twill sever asunder
Both iron & steel! "
71.
" Yea, I will forge a second sword,
But this I'll have of thee,
The heart o' the Worm on Glitter Heath
All for my forging-fee.
72.
" Now swear me this, thou Sigurd,
& look thou hold it true;
The heart o' the Worm on Glitter Heath
To give me as my due! "
      ·       ·       ·
73.
Once more in the furnace
The fragments he laid;
All thro' three night-times
He fashioned the blade;
74.
All thro' three night-times
" Mid roaring & reek,
Till Sigurd rode thither
His weapon to seek.
75.
'Twas Sigurd sprang on Grane's back
When scarce the night was o'er,
& rode adown the river-bank,
& stayed at Regin's door.
76.
It was the doughty Sigurd
That halted by the ford;
& Regin ceased his smithying,
& took in hand the sword.

1. leal = faithful

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