V. Of Gripir's Foretelling
And he rideth fair and softly through the acres of the corn;
The Wrath to his side is girded, but hid are the edges blue,
As he wendeth his ways to the mountains, and rideth the horse-mead through.
His wide grey eyes are happy, and his voice is sweet and soft,
Lo, lo, the horse and the rider! So once maybe it was,
When over the Earth, unpeopled the youngest God would pass;
But never again meseemeth shall such a sight betide.
Till over a world unwrongful new-bom shall Baldur lide.
So he comes to that ness of the mountains, and Gripir’s garden steep,
Through the echoing ways of the house bright-eyed he wendeth along,
And the mountain-wind is with him, and the hovering eagles' song;
But no sound of the children of men may the ears of the Volsung hear,
And no sign of their ways in the world, or their will, or their hope or their fear.
So he comes to the hall of Gripir, and gleaming-green is it built
And he looks, and thereon is Gripir, the King exceeding old.
With the sword of his fathers girded, and his raiment wrought of gold;
With the ivory rod in his right-hand, with his left "on the crystal laid,
That is round as the world of men-folk, and after its image made,
Though little indeed be its sea, and its earth not wondrous great.
There Sigurd stands in the hall, on the sheathfed Wrath doth he lean,
And Gripir saith :"Hail Sigurd! for my bidding hast thou done.
And here in the mountain-dwelling are two Kings of men alone."
But Sigurd spake : " Hail father! I am girt with the fateful sword
Said Gripir: "What wouldst thou hearken ere we sit and drink the wine ?"
"Thy word and the Noras’," said Sigurd, " but never a word of mine."
"What sights wouldst thou see," said Gripir, "ere mine hand shall take thine hand?"
"As the Gods would I see," said Sigurd, "though Death light up the land."
What hope wouldst thou hope, O Sigurd, ere we kiss, we twain, and depart?"
" Thy hope and the Gods'," said Sigurd,"though the grief lie hard on my heart."
Nought answered the ancient wise-one, and not a whit had he stirred
And the gold in its nether places grew up in the dusk and the dark.
And its children built and departed, and its King-folk conquered and went,
As over the crystal image his all-wise face was bent :
For all his desire was dead, and he lived as a God shall live.
But there stood the mighty Volsung, and leaned on the hidden Wrath;
Then great in the hall fair-pillared tlie voice of Gripir arose,
But the voice cried : " Sigurd, Sigurd ! O great, O early born !
Short day and long remembrance, fair summer of the North !
One day shall the wom world wonder how first thou wentest forth !
"Arise, O Sigurd, Sigurd ! in the night arise and go,
"There the child in the noon-tide smiteth; the young King rendeth apart,
"Bind the red rings, O Sigurd; bind up to cast abroad !
"Ride on, O Sigurd, Sigurd ! for God's word goes forth on the wind,
But the Day and the Day shall loosen, and the Day shall awake and arise,
And the Day shall rejoice with the Dawning, and the wise heart leam of the wise.
"O fair, O fearless, O mighty, how green are the garths of Kings,
"How green are the garths of King-folk, how fair is the lily and rose
"Smite now, smite now in the noontide! ride on through the hosts of men !
"Is it day?— But the house is darkling — But the hand would gather and hold,
"In the dusk hath the Sower arisen; in the dark hath he cast the seed,
"Ah the hand hath gathered and garnered, and empty is the hand,
"Look, look on the drift of the clouds, how the day and the even doth grow
"Dawn, dawn, O mighty of men ! and why wilt thou never awake,
"Dawn, now; but the house is silent, and dark is the purple blood
Round the posts of the door beloved; and a deed there lieth therein :
The last of the deeds of Sigurd; the worst of the Cloudy Kin —
The slayer slain by the slain within the door and without.
— O dawn as the eve of the birth-day ! O dark world cumbered with doubt !
"Shall it never be day any more, nor the sun's uprising and growth?
"Short day and long remembrance ! great glory for the earth!
It is done, and who shall undo it of all who were ever alive?
May the Gods or the high Gods' masters gainst the tale of the righteous strive.
And the deeds to follow after, and all their deeds increase,
Till the uttermost field is foughten, and Baldur riseth in peace!
"Cry out, O waste, before him ! O rocks of the wilderness, cry !
And none shall be nigh in the ending and none by his heart shall be laid,
Save the world that he cherished and quickened, and the Day that he wakened and made."
So died the voice of Gripir from amidst the sunny close,
And he heard the words and remembered, and knew them one by one.
Then he turned on the ancient Gripir with eyes that knew no guile
And smiled on the wise of King-folk as the first of men might smile
On the God that hath fashioned him happy; and he spake:
"Hast thou spoken and known
Or hast thou told of the Volsungs, and the gathered heart of these,
And their still unquenched desire for ganjering fame's increase?
E'en so do I hearken thy words : for I wot how they deem it long
Till a man from their seed be arisen to deal with the cumber and wrong.
And the gates swing to behind me, and each day of mine is a day
With deeds in the eve and the morning, nor deeds shall the noontide lack;
To the right and the left none calleth, and no voice crieth aback."
"Come, kin of the Gods," said Gripir, " come up and sit by my side
I have wrought out my will and abide it, and I sit ungrieved and alone,
I look upon men and I help not; to me are the deeds long done
As those of today and tomorrow : for these and for those am I glad;
But the Gods and men are the framers, and the days of my life I have had."
Then Sigurd came unto Gripir, and he kissed the wise-one's face,
And tales of the upper heaven were mingled with his talk,
And the halls where the Sea-Queen's kindred o'er the gem-strewn pavement walk,
And the innermost parts of the earth, where they lie, the green and the blue.
And the red and the glittering gem-stones that of old the Dwarf-kind knew.
Long Sigurd sat and marvelled at the mouth that might not lie.
"Long and lovely are thy days,
And the guileless heart of the great that knoweth not anger nor pain :
So once hath a man been fashioned and shall not be again.
But for me hath been foaled the war-horse, the grey steed swift as the cloud,
And for me were the edges smithied, and the Wrath cries out aloud;
To smite on the door of Destruction, and waken the warder of Death."
So they kissed, the wise and the wise, and the child from the elder turned;
And he rode through the sinking day to the walls of the kingly stead,
And came to Regin's dwelling when the wind was fallen dead,
And the great sun just departing : then blood-red grew the west,
And the fowl flew home from the sea-mead, and all things sank to rest.