Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer
THE BALLAD OF REGIN 51
Up spake the wily weapon-smith:
" Where is that fee of mine,
The Dragon's heart that is my part,
As thou dist swear langsyne? "
Oh, out he hewed the Dragon's heart,
Was three ells' length & more,
& he brandered it all on burning wood
Because of the oath he swore.
His hand, sore scorched with burning heat,
All on his lips he laid,
& the speech he knew of the birds that flew,
& the beasts in the greenwood glade.
Up & spake the little bird
That sat on oaken-tree:
" Eat of the heart, thou Sigurd,
And thou wouldst wiser be! "
The heart doth he take from the wooden stake,
And all to eat is boun,
While Regin of the poisoned gore
To drink hath laid him down.
Regin hath laid him down to drink
Of the Dragon's poisoned blood,
& Sigurd dealt him his death-wound,
Nor stirred from where he stood.
52 SIGURD THE DRAGON-SLAYER
It was the doughty Sigurd
That swung his sword amain;
Regin the smith he sundered
Apart in pieces twain.
· · ·
Such treasure won Sigurd
As ne'er can be told,
When as he slew the loathly Worm
That lay upon the wold.
All in the red of morning
When dew bedecked the ground,
Twelve kists well-filled with the red, red gold
On Grane's back he bound,
Twelve kists well-filled with treasure,
& mounted there beside,
& swift the good steed Grane
Thro' holt & heathland hied.
Swift, swift they haste by wood & waste,
The homeward way unknown,
& they must lie the livelong night
With the cold rain dripping down.
Oh lightly trode Grane
On stone as in stall!
Never a steed so steadfast
Was known in kingly hall.
· · ·
Now will I cease from song awhile,
& see that ye mind it well,
Ere once again I raise my strain
This three-fold tale to