Reginsmál (Sigurðarkviða Fáfnisbana II) – The Lay of Regin

King Hjalprek gave Sigurth a fleet for the avenging of his father. They ran into a great storm, and were off a certain headland. A man stood on the mountain, and said:

16. “Who yonder rides | on Rævil’s steeds,
O’er towering waves | and waters wild?
The sail-horses all | with sweat are dripping,
Nor can the sea-steeds | the gale withstand.”

Regin answered:

17. “On the sea-trees here | are Sigurth and I,
The storm wind drives us | on to our death;
The waves crash down | on the forward deck,
And the roller-steeds sink; | who seeks our names?”

The Man spake:

18. “Hnikar I was | when Volsung once
Gladdened the ravens | and battle gave;
Call me the Man | from the Mountain now,
Feng or Fjolnir; | with you will I fare.”

They sailed to the land, and the man went on board the ship, and the storm subsided. Sigurth spake:

19. “Hnikar, say, | for thou seest the fate
That to gods and men is given;
What sign is fairest | for him who fights,
And best for the swinging of swords?”

Hnikar spake:

20. “Many the signs, | if men but knew,
That are good for the swinging of swords;
It is well, methinks, | if the warrior meets
A raven black on his road.

16. Rævil’s steeds (Rævil was a sea-king, possibly the grandson of Ragnar Lothbrok mentioned in the Hervararsaga), sail-horses and sea-steeds all mean “ships.”

17. Sea-trees and roller-steeds (the latter because ships were pulled up on shore by means of rollers) both mean “ships.”

18. The Volsungasaga quotes this stanza. Hnikar and Fjolnir: Othin gives himself both these names in Grimnismol, 47; Feng (“The Seizer”) does not appear elsewhere. According to the Volsungasaga, no one knew Othin’s name when he came to Volsung’s house and left the sword there for Sigmund.

19. This and the following stanzas are strongly suggestive of the Hovamol, and probably came originally from some such collection.

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