VIII. How King Sigmund the Volsung was laid in mound on the sea-side of the Isle-realm
Now Hiordis looked from the dead, and her eyes strayed down to the sea,
And she said: "I have left my lord, and my lord is dead and gone,
And he gave me a charge full heavy, and here are we twain alone,
And earls from the sea are landing: give me thy blue attire,
And take my purple and gold and my crown of the sea-flood's fire,
And I will be the handmaid: now I bid thee to this task,
And I pray thee not to fail me, because of thy faith and truth,
And because I have ever loved thee, and thy mother fostered my youth.
Yea, because my womb is wealthy with a gift for the days to be.
So the other nought gainsaith it and they shift their raiment there:
Now the lord of those new-coming men was a king and the son of a king,
For the shipmen needed water and fain would go a-land;
And King Elf stood hard by the tiller while the world was yet a-cold:
Then the red sun lit the dawning, and they looked, and lo,behold!
The wrack of a mighty battle, and heaps of the shielded dead,
And her eyes strayed down to the sea-strand, and she saw that weaponed folk,
And turned and fled to the thicket: then the lord of the shipmen spoke:
"Lo, here shall we lack for water, for the brooks with blood shall run,
Yet wend we ashore to behold it and to wot of the deeds late done."
So they turned their faces to Sigmund, and waded the swathes of the sword.
Now fare we into the thicket, for thereto is the woman fled,
And belike she shall tell us the story of this field of the mighty dead."
So they wend and find the women, and bespeak them kind and fair:
Was mine own lord Sigmund the Volsung, the mightiest under shield."
Then all amazed were the sea-folk when they hearkened to that word,
"In sooth and in troth," said the woman, "my serving-maid is this;
Now the king looks hard upon her, but he saith no word thereto,
They raise a mound for Sigmund, a mighty house indeed;
And therein they set that folk-king, and goodly was his throne,
And dight with gold and scarlet: and the walls of the house were done
With the cloven shields of the foemen, and banners borne to field;
And clenched and fast was his right hand, but no sword therein he had:
For Hiordis spake to the shipmen:
"Our lord and master bade
That the shards of his glaive of battle should go with our lady the Queen:
And by them that lie a-dying a many things are seen."
So there lies Sigmund the Volsung, and far away, forlorn,
Then the Gods have fashioned a folk who have fashioned a house in vain:
It is nought, and for nought they battled, and nought was their joy and their pain.
Lo, the noble oak of the forest, with his feet in the flowers and grass,
And there it stands in the forest, an exceeding glorious thing:
Then come the axes of men, and low it lies on the ground,
And the crane comes out of the southland, and its nest is nowhere found,
And bare and shorn of its blossoms is the house of the deer of the wood.
And beareth the kings and the earl-folk, and is shield-hung all without:
And it seeth the blaze of the beacons, and heareth the war-God's shout.
There are tidings wherever it cometh, and the tale of its time shall be told.
A dear name it hath got like a king, and a fame that groweth not old.
Lo, such is the Volsung dwelling; lo, such is the deed he hath wrought