Cite as: Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Vǫlsunga saga 24 (Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsunga saga 4)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 795.
|Sigurðr vá at ormi, en þat síðan mun
engum fyrnaz, meðan öld lifir.
|En hlýri þinn hvárki þorði |
eld at ríða né yfir stíga.
Sigurðr vá at ormi, en þat mun síðan fyrnaz engum, meðan öld lifir. En hlýri þinn þorði hvárki at ríða eld né stíga yfir.
Sigurðr slew the dragon, and that will afterwards be forgotten by no one while humankind lives. But your brother neither dared to ride through the fire nor step across it.
Mss: 1824b(33v) (Vǫls)
Editions: FSN I, 190, Vǫls 1906-8, 71, FSGJ I, 180, Vǫls 1965, 52 (Vǫls ch. 30); NK 322, ÍF Edd. II, 323.
Context: A quarrel between Brynhildr and Guðrún breaks out when they go to bathe in the Rhine and Brynhildr recognises the ring on Guðrún’s hand that Sigurðr had given her upon their betrothal. Immediately before the citation of the stanza the prose summarises the content of the stanza thus (Vǫls 1965, 52): Brynhildr svarar, ‘Sigurðr vá at Fáfni, ok er þat meira vert en allt ríki Gunnars konungs ‘Brynhildr replies, “Sigurðr struck at Fáfnir, and that is worth more than all King Gunnarr’s power”’.
Notes: [All]: Guðrún reveals the deception that has been practised upon Brynhildr by Sigurðr wooing her in Gunnarr’s shape, after Grani has refused to penetrate the flame barrier surrounding her hall with Gunnarr on his back. Vǫls 4 is the only passage of verse cited within this prose dialogue, and is presumably based on a poem that has not survived, possibly the same poem that provided the previous two stanzas (see Note to ll. 7-8 below). Vǫls ch. 30 comes within the section of the saga corresponding to the lacuna in the Codex Regius. Although the prose text of Vǫls does not present this stanza as direct speech, its content indicates that it must have been spoken by Brynhildr, addressing herself to Guðrún. —  ormi ‘the dragon’: That is, Fáfnir. In eddic poetry ormr may mean ‘serpent’ or ‘dragon’ (LT: ormr). —  fyrnaz ‘be forgotten’: The verb, here used in m. v., derives from the adj. forn ‘old’, and means lit. ‘to be allowed to grow old’. —  hlýri þinn ‘your brother’: That is, Gunnarr, son of King Gjúki and his wife Grimhildr. In the Volsung legend Guðrún is his sister, and is married to Sigurðr, while Brynhildr is herself married to Gunnarr and has been deceived into thinking that it was he who broke through the flame wall to woo her, when it was actually Sigurðr in Gunnarr’s shape. — [7-8]: These two lines are exactly the same as ll. 7-8 of Vǫls 2 and refer to the same incident, perhaps indicating that they may be from the same poem, or at least composed in the knowledge of the body of verse referring to Gunnarr’s and Sigurðr’s wooing of Brynhildr.