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Living with the Gods. Living for the Gods. Living
through the Gods.
Poetic Edda Online
In the translation of
Lays of the Gods
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."
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."
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
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
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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© Michael Schütz –
Asatru Ring Frankfurt & Midgard – www.asatruringfrankfurt.de