~ By Courtesy of Others ~
Song of the Nuthatches
Sigurd took Fafnir’s heart and
roasted it on a spit. When he
thought it was done and the juices were dripping, he poked it with a finger to
test it. He burned his finger and stuck it into his mouth.
But when Fafnir’s heart’s-blood touched his tongue, he understood the
speech of birds. He overheard some
nuthatches twittering in the bushes.
soaked, there Sigurd
A second spoke:
Regin lies, and lays a plan
A third spoke:
off the head of the hoary wretch,
The first spoke:
were he if heed he took
The second spoke:
wise to me the warrior seems,
The third spoke:
fool is he if he should
frost-cold jotun free of his head,
so fair is not,
cut off Regin’s head, then ate Fafnir’s heart and drank his blood and
Sigurd, the golden rings;
is the track to Giuki’s hall,
stands a hall on Hindarfiall
valkyrie sleeps on the summit there;
will you find the maiden helmed,
Sigurd followed Fafnir’s track to his lair and found it open. The door and doorposts were iron, and all the posts inside the house which was partly underground. There Sigurd found much gold. He filled two chests and took the helm of terror, a gold mail shirt, the sword Hrotti, and many other priceless things. He loaded them on Grani, but the horse would not move until he had climbed onto his back as well.
© Jack Hart
Notes: As in the original, both Old Meter (Fornyrdhislag) and Song Meter (Ljodhahattr) are used, interspersed with prose.
Images: 13th century woodcarvings from the portal of the stave church in Hylestad (which was pulled down; portals now in Oslo museum).