The Northern Way


Sinfiötli’s End.

        Sigmund Völsung´s son was a king in Frankland. Sinfiötli was the eldest of his sons, the second was Helgi, the third Hámund. Borghild, Sigmund´s wife, had a brother named Gunnar; but Sinfiötli her step-son and Gunnar both courted one woman, on which account Sinfiötli slew Gunnar. When he came home, Borghild bade him go away, but Sigmund offered the blood-fine, which it was incumbent on her to accept. At the funeral feast Borghild presented the beer: she took a large horn full of poison, and offered it to Sinfiötli; who, when he looked into the horn, and saw that there was poison in it, said to Sigmund: “the drink ferments!” Sigmund took the horn and drank up the contents. It is said that Sigmund was so strong that no poison could hurt him, either outwardly or inwardly; but that all his sons could endure poison outwardly. Borghild bore another horn to Sinfiötli, and prayed him to drink, when all took place as before. Yet a third time she offered him the horn, using reproachful words on his refusing to drink. He said as before to Sigmund, but the latter answered: “Let is pass through thy lips, my son.” Sinfiötli drank and instantly died. Sigmund bore him a long way in his arms, and came to a long and narrow firth, where there was a little vessel and one man in it. He offered Sigmund to convey him over the firth; but when Sigmund had borne the corpse to the vessel, the boat was full-laden. The man then said that Sigmund should go before through the firth. He then pushed off his boat and instantly departed.

        King Sigmund sojourned long in Denmark, in Borghild’s kingdom, after having espoused her. He then went south to Frankland, to the kingdom he there possessed. There he married Hiördís, the daughter of Eylimi. Sigurd was their son. King Sigmund fell in a battle with the sons of Hunding. Hiördís was afterwards married to Alf, son of King Hiálprek, with whom Sigurd grew up in childhood. Sigmund and his sons exceeded all other men in strength, and stature, and courage, and all accomplishments, though Sigurd was foremost of all; and in old traditions he is mentioned as excelling all men, and as the most renowned of warlike kings.


Index  |  Helgakviša Hundingsbana Önnur - the second lay of helgi hundingcide page 2  |  sigurŽarkviša fafnisbana fyrsta - the first lay of sigurd fafnicide page 1