Fiction > Harvard Classics > The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs
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  The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs
 
XXXV. The Dreams of the Wives of the Giukings
 
 
  SO when men had drunk their fill, they fared to sleep; then falls Kostbera to beholding the runes, and spelling over the letters, and sees that beneath were other things cut and that the runes are guileful; yet because of her wisdom she had skill to read them aright. So then she goes to bed by her husband; but when they awoke, she spake unto Hogni—  1
  “Thou art minded to wend away from home—ill-counselled is that; abide till another time! Scarce a keen reader of runes art thou, if thou deemest thou hast beheld in them the bidding of thy sister to this journey: lo, I read the runes, and had marvel of so wise a woman as Gudrun is, that she should have miscut them; but that which lieth underneath beareth your bane with it,—yea, either she lacked a letter, or others have dealt guilefully with the runes.  2
  “And now hearken to my dream; for therein methought there fell in upon us here a river exceeding strong, and brake up the timbers of the hall.”  3
  He answered, “Full oft are ye evil of mind, ye women, but for me, I was not made in such wise as to meet men with evil who deserve no evil; belike he will give us good welcome.”  4
  She answered, “Well, the thing must ye yourselves prove, but no friendship follows this bidding:—but yet again I dreamed that another river fell in here with a great and grimly rush, and tore up the dais of the hall, and brake the legs of both you brethren; surely that betokeneth somewhat.”  5
  He answers, “Meadows along our way, whereas thou didst dream of the river; for when we go through the meadows, plentifully doth the seeds of the hay hang about our legs.”  6
  “Again I dreamed,” she says, “that thy cloak was afire, and that the flame blazed up above the hall.”  7
  Says he, “Well, I wot what that shall betoken; here lieth my fairdyed raiment, and it shall burn and blaze, whereas thou dreamedst of the cloak.”  8
  “Methought a bear came in,” she says, “and brake up the king’s high-seat, and shook his paws in such a wise that we were all adrad thereat, and he gat us all together into the mouth of him, so that we might avail us naught, and thereof fell great horror on us.”  9
  He answered, “Some great storm will befall, whereas thou hadst a white bear in thy mind.”  10
  “An erne methought came in,” she says, “and swept adown the hall, and drenched me and all of us with blood, and ill shall that betoken, for methought it was the double of King Atli.”  11
  He answered, “Full oft do we slaughter beasts freely, and smite down great neat for our cheer, and the dream of the erne has but to do with oxen; yea, Atli is heart-whole toward us.”  12
  And therewithal they cease this talk.  13
 

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