Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar – The Lay of Helgi Hjörvardsson


Helgi spake:

41. “I bid thee, Svava,– | weep not, bride,–
If thou wilt hearken | to these my words,
The bed for Hethin | have thou ready,
And yield thy love | to the hero young.”

Svava spake:

42. “A vow I had | in my dear-loved home,
When Helgi sought | with rings to have me,
That not of my will, | if the warrior died,
Would I fold in my arms | a man unfamed.”

Hethin spake:

43. “Kiss me, Svava, | I come not back,
Rogheim to see, | or Rothulsfjoll,
Till vengeance I have | for the son of Hjorvarth,
The king who was noblest | beneath the sun.”

Of Helgi and Svava it is said that they were born again.

41. One or two editors ascribe this stanza to Hethin.

43. A few editions make the extraordinary blunder of ascribing this speech to the dying Helgi. The point, of course, is that Hethin will satisfy Svava’s vow by becoming famous as the slayer of Alf. Rogheim (“Rome of Battle”) and Rothulsfjoll (“Sun-Mountain”): nowhere else mentioned; Hethin means simply that he will not come back to Svava till he has won fame.

Prose. Regarding this extraordinary bit see the prose note at the end of Helgakvitha Hundingsbana II. Gering thinks the reborn Helgi Hjorvarthsson was Helgi Hundingsbane, while Svava, according to the annotator himself, became Sigrun. The point seems to be simply that there were so many Helgi stories current, and the hero died in so many irreconcilable ways, that tradition had to have him born over again, not once only but several times, to accommodate his many deaths, and to avoid splitting him up into several Helgis. Needless to say, the poems themselves know nothing of this rebirth, and we owe the suggestion entirely to the annotator, who probably got it from current tradition.


Bellows Corona Edda Eiriksmal Fb Frigg Goddess Eir Hakonarmal Harald Fairhair Havamal Havamol Heathen Heathens Heimdallr Heimskringla Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar I – The First Lay of Helgi the Hunding Sólarljóð – Songs of the Sun Gróttasöngr – The Lay of Grotti Hymiskviða Hyndluljóð Hárbarðsljóð Hávamál Lokasenna Mimir Nine worlds NNV Odin Othin Petition Poetic Edda Prophecy of the Seeress Ragnarök Reginsmál Sacred text Skaldskaparmal Skírnismál Snorri Sturluson social media Study Toughts Vafþrúðnismál Valhalla Viking Völundarkviða Völuspá Yggdrasil Þrymskviða