Fáfnismál – The Ballad of Fáfnir

Fafnir spake:

16. “The fear-helm I wore | to afright mankind,
While guarding my gold I lay;
Mightier seemed I | than any man,
For a fiercer never I found.”

Sigurth spake:

17. “The fear-helm surely | no man shields
When he faces a valiant foe;
Oft one finds, | when the foe he meets,
That he is not the bravest of all.”

Fafnir spake:

18. “Venom I breathed | when bright I lay
By the hoard my father had;
(There was none so mighty | as dared to meet me,
And weapons nor wiles I feared.)”

Sigurth spake:

19. “Glittering worm, | thy hissing was great,
And hard didst show thy heart;
But hatred more | have the sons of men
For him who owns the helm.”

Fafnir spake:

20. “I counsel thee, Sigurth, | heed my speech,
And ride thou homeward hence,
The sounding gold, | the glow-red wealth,
And the rings thy bane shall be.”

16. With this stanza Fafnir returns to the situation. Fear-helm: regarding the “ægis-hjalmr” cf. Reginsmol, prose after stanza 14 and note.

18. Lines 3-4 do not appear in the manuscript and no gap is indicated; they are here conjecturally paraphrased from the prose passage in the Volsungasaga.

20. It has been suggested that this stanza is spurious, and that stanza 21 ought to follow stanza 22. Lines 3-4, abbreviated in the manuscript, are identical with lines 3-4 of stanza 9. The Volsungasaga paraphrase in place of these two lines makes Fafnir say: “For it often happens that he who gets a deadly wound yet avenges himself.” It is quite likely that two stanzas have been lost.

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