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« The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún » (cont'd)

Yet Signý, despite her foreboding, must leave Völsung's house and depart with Siggeir. Later in the year Völsung and his sons came as guests to Gautland, the realm of Siggeir; but Signý met them on the shore, and warned them of what Siggeir had in store for them. In the battle that followed Völsung was slain, and all his sons were made captive. They were set in fetters in the forest; and night after night a great she-wolf came to devour one of them, until only Sigmund was left alive. But on the tenth night Sigmund succeeded in slaying the wolf, and escaped into the woods, where he dwelt.
Signý sought ever for vengeance on Siggeir; and at last she changed shapes with a sorceress. Then the sorceress slept with Siggeir for three nights in Signý's form, while Signý slept with her brother Sigmund. Their son was named Sinfjötli. Far and wide he and his father roamed in the forest in the guise of werewolves; but when the time was ripe they came to Siggeir's hall by night and set in on fire. There Siggeir died; but when Sigmund told Signý to come forth from the burning, she refused.


At last Sigmund came back to Völsung's hall upheld by the great tree, and with him Sinfjötli; there they ruled together. Sigmund took for his wife a woman who hated Sinfjötli; and she murdered him in the hall by bringing him a poisoned drink.
Sigmund in great grief carried his corpse to the sea-shore. There Ódin appeared to him as the steersman of a little boat, and taking the body of Sinfjötli bore it away and disappeared.


Sigmund dwelt queenless and childless, until in his old age he married a woman named Sigrlinn. His land was invaded by a great force of his enemies. But as Sigmund fiercely contended against them on the battlefield there appeared before him an ancient man in dark cloak and hood, and armed with a spear. When Ódin raised his spear against Sigmund's sword, Ódin's gift that he had drawn from the trunk of the tree in Völsung's house, the sword snapped.
Sigmund fell in the fighting wounded mortally. Sigrlinn found him where he lay, but he rejected all thought of healing, saying that Ódin had called him. Before he died he told her that she would bear a son, Völsung's heir; and that she should guard the fragments of the sword, Ódin's gift, which was named Gram, for from them it should be remade. (cont'd)


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