Grípisspá by Benjamin Thorpe

SigurÞarkviða Fafnisbana Fyrsta eða Gripisspa

The First Lay of Sigurd Fafnicide or Gripir’s Prophecy Gripir

Translation by Benjamin Thorpe

Gripir was the name of the son of Eylimi, the brother of Hiördis. He ruled over lands, and was of all men wisest and prescient of the future. Sigurd rode alone, and came to Gripir’s dwelling. Sigurd was of a distinguished figure. He found a man to address outside the hall, whose name was Geitir. Sigurd applied to him, and asked:

1.
Who here inhabits,
in these towers?
what nation’s king
do people name him?
Geitir

Gripir is named
the chief of men,
he who rules
a firm realm and people.
Sigurd

2.
Is the wise king
of the land at home?
Will the chief with me
come and converse?
With him needs speech
an unknown man:
I desire speedily
Gripir to see.
Geitir

3.
The glad king will
of Geitir ask,
who the man is
that demands speech of Gripir.
Sigurd

Sigurd I am named,
born of Sigmund,
and Hiördis is
the chieftain’s mother.
4.
Then went Geitir,
Gripir to inform:
“Here is a man without,
a stranger, come;
of aspect he
is most distinguished.
He desires, king!
with thee to speak.”
5. 
Goes from the hall 
the lord of men,
and the stranger prince
kindly greets:
“Welcome, Sigurd!
better had it been earlier;
but do thou, Geitir!
take charge of Grani.”
6. 
They began to talk,
and much to tell,
when the sagacious men 
together met.
“Tell me, if thou knowest,
my mother’s brother!
how will Sigurd’s 
life fall out?”
Gripir

7. 
Thou wilt foremost be
of men beneath the sun,
exalted high aboveevery king;
liberal of gold,
but of flight sparing,
of aspect comely,
and wise of words.
Sigurd

8. 
Say thou, sage king!
more than I ask,
thou wise one, to Sigurd,
if thou thinkst to see it:
what will first happen
for my advancement,
when from thy dwelling
I shall have departed?
Gripir

9. 
First wilt thou, prince!
avenge thy father,
and for the wrongs of Eylimi
wilt retaliate;
thou wilt the cruel 
sons of Hunding
boldly lay low;
thou wilt have victory.
Sigurd

10. 
Say, noble king!
kinsman mine!
with all forethought,
as we hold friendly converse;
seest thou of Sigurd
those bold achievements,
that will highest soar
under heaven’s regions?