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Living with the Gods. Living for the Gods. Living through the Gods.

The Poetic Edda Online
In the translation of Bellows 

Lays of the Gods
Guthrunarkvitha III

The Third Lay of Guthrun

Herkja was the name of a serving-woman of Atli's; she had been his concubine. She told Atli that she had seen Thjothrek and Guthrun both together. Atli was greatly angered thereby. Then Guthrun said:

1. "What thy sorrow, Atli,   Buthli's son?
Is thy heart heavy-laden?   Why laughest thou never?
It would better befit   the warrior far
To speak with men,   and me to look on."

Atli spake:
2. "It troubles me, Guthrun,   Gjuki's daughter,
What Herkja here   in the hall hath told me,
That thou in the bed   with Thjothrek liest,
Beneath the linen   in lovers' guise."

Guthrun spake:
3. "This shall I   with oaths now swear,
Swear by the sacred   stone so white,
That nought was there   with Thjothmar's son
That man or woman   may not know.

4. "Nor ever once   did my arms embrace
The hero brave,   the leader of hosts;
In another manner   our meeting was,
When our sorrows we   in secret told.

5. "With thirty warriors   Thjothrek came,
Nor of all his men   doth one remain;
Thou hast murdered my brothers   and mail-clad men,
Thou hast murdered all   the men of my race.

6. "Gunnar comes not,   Hogni I greet not,
No longer I see   my brothers loved;
My sorrow would Hogni   avenge with the sword,
Now myself for my woes   I shall payment win.

7. "Summon Saxi,   the southrons' king,
For be the boiling   kettle can hallow."
Seven hundred   there were in the hall,
Ere the queen her hand   in the kettle thrust.

8. To the bottom she reached   with hand so bright,
And forth she brought   the flashing stones:
"Behold, ye warriors,   well am I cleared
Of sin by the kettle's   sacred boiling."

9. Then Atli's heart   in happiness laughed,
When Guthrun's hand   unhurt he saw;
"Now Herkja shall come   the kettle to try,
She who grief   for Guthrun planned."

10. Ne'er saw man sight   more sad than this,
How burned were the hands   of Herkja then;
In a bog so foul   the maid they flung,
And so was Guthrun's   grief requited.

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