The Northern Way

Fra Dautha Sinfjotla /The Death of Sinfjotli/

Sigmund, the son of Volsung, was a king in the land of the Franks; Sinfjotli was his eldest son, the second was Helgi, and the third Hamund. Bordhild, Sigmund’s wife, had a brother who was named -lacuna- , Sinfjotli, her stepson, and -lacuna- both wooed the same woman, wherefore Sinfjotli slew him. And when he came home, Borghild bade him depart, but Sigmund offered her atonement-money, and this she had to accept. At the funeral feast Borghild brought in ale; she took poison, a great horn full, and brought it to Sinfjotli. But when he looked into the horn, he saw that it was poison, and said to Sigmund: “Muddy is the drink, Father!” Sigmund took the horn and drank therefrom. It is said that Sigmund was so hardy that poison might not harm him, either outside or in, but all his sons could withstand poison only without on their skin. Borghild bore another horn to Sinfjotli and bade him drink, and all happened as before. And yet a third time she brought him a horn, and spoke therewith scornful words of him if he should not drink from it. He spoke as before with Sigmund. The latter said: “Let it trickle through your beard, Son!” Sinfjotli drank, and straight-way was dead. Sigmund bore him a long way in his arms, and came to a narrow and long fjord, and there was a little boat and a man in it. He offered to take Sigmund across the fjord. But when Sigmund had borne the corpse out into the boat, then the craft was full. Then man told Sigmund to go round the inner end of the fjord. Then the man pushed the boat off, and disappeared.

King Sigmund dwelt long in Denmark in Borghild’s kingdom after he had married her. Thereafter Sigmund went south into the land of the Franks, to the kingdom which he had there. There he married Hjordis, the daughter of King Eylimi; their son was Sigurth. King Sigmund fell in a battle with the sons of Hunding, and Hjordis then married Alf the son of King Hjalprek. There Sigurth grew up in his boyhood. Sigmund and all his sons were far above all other men in might and stature and courage and every kind of ability. Sigurth, however, was the foremost of all, and all men call him in the old tales the noblest of mankind and the mightiest leader.





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