Translation © by Philip Schäfer

Gudrun's Sorg
Language: Danish (Dansk)  after the Danish (Dansk) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Dengang var Gudrun beredt til Døden,
da sorgful hun sad over Sigurds Lig.
Ej sad hun og græd
og med Hænder slog;
ej hun klynked som andre Kvinder.
Kloge Jarler til hende kom,
varligt de bøjed den haarde Vilje.
Dog kunde Gudrun ikke græde;
saa hun sørged,
som om briste hun skulde.
Hos sad Jarlers ædle Hustruer,
smykkede med Guld,
ved Gudruns Side.
Hver af dem sagde sin egen Sorg,
den bittreste, som hun baaret havde.
Da sagde Gjavløg, Gjukes Søster:
"Blandt Folk over Mulde
er jeg fattigst paa Glæde.
Fem Mænd jeg saae i Døden segne,
tvende Døttre, trende Søstre, otte Brødre.
Jeg ene lever!"
Dog kunde Gudrun ikke græde;
saa mod var hun i Hu over den døde Mand,
saa fuld af Smerte
ved Fyrstens Ligfærd.

Da sagde Herborg, Hunelands Dronning:
"Jeg har en haardere Harm at fortælle.
Fjernt i Sønden mine syv Sønner
faldt paa Val med deres Fader.
Med Fader og Moder og fire Brødre
leged Vinden paa Havets Vove;
Bølgen slog
mod Skibets Planker.
Selv skulde jeg dem smykke,
selv dem begrave,
og selv for deres Helfart sørge.
Alt det jeg led i et eneste Aar,
og Ingen talte et Ord til Trøst."
Dog kunde Gudrun ikke græde;
saa mod var hun i Hu over den døde Mand,
saa fuld af Smerte
ved Fyrstens Ligfærd.

Da sagde Gullrønd, Gjukes Datter:
"Ej du mægter, Foster moder!
skøndt vis du er,
den unge Viv at trøste!"
Ej lod hun til hylle Fyrstens Lig.
Lagnet strøg hun af Sigurds Legem,
vendte hans Kind mod Gudruns Knæ:
"See paa din Elskte;
læg din Mund til hans Skjæg,
som om du favnede
Fyrsten i Live."

Engang Gudrun end ham skued,
saae Blodet, som Herskerens Haar mon væde,
Fyrstens straalende Øjne slukte,
Kongens Bryst af Sværdet kløvet,
Gudrun tilbage paa Bolstret segned,
Lokkerne løstes, Kinden rødmed,
Taarer som Regn randt over Knæ.
Da græd Gudrun, Gjukes Datter,
saa Taarerne løb fra Øjets Laag.
Da sagde Gudrun, Gjukes Datter:

"Saa var min Sigurd
blandt Gjukes Sønner som Løget,
der groer op over Græsset,
eller den blinkende Sten,
der drages paa Baand,
som Ædelsten over Ædlinges Skare.
Jeg monne
Kongens Kæmper tykkes
herligere end alle Herjans Diser.
Nu er jeg saa liden,
som Løvet er paa Buskene ofte,
thi den Ædle er død.
For Borde jeg savner,
i Seng jeg savner min fuldtro Fælle.
Gjukes Sønner,
volde min Ve,
volde deres Søsters sorgfulde Graad.
Folkets Land I læge øde,
thi ej I holdt de svorne Eder.
Ej skal du, Gunnar!
Guldet nyde;
Ringene vil dig Bane volde,
siden du Sigurd Eder svor.
Ofte var Glæden større i Gaarde,
da min Sigurd sadlede Grane
og da de fore til Brynhild at frie,
den usalige Kvind i Ulykkes stund."

Authorship

Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Philip Schäfer) , title 1: "The sorrow of Gudrun", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Le chagrin de Gudrun", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Philip Schäfer

This text was added to the website: 2004-05-03
Line count: 90
Word count: 454

The sorrow of Gudrun
Language: English  after the Danish (Dansk) 
Once Gudrun was ready for death,
Full of anguish she sat by Sigurd's corpse,
She sat still and did not sob
And did not clap with her hands;
She did not cry like other women do.
Wise earls came to her,
Carefully they sought to alleviate the sorrow.
But Gudrun did not know a tear;
That much she was grieved
As if she was to shatter.
The earl's noble wives came,
Adorned with Gold,
To Gudrun's side.
Each of them spoke about her own sorrow,
The most bitter they had ever experienced.
Thus said Gjaflaug, the sister of Gjuke:
"Among all people on earth
I am the most miserable and joyless.
Five men I saw sink into death,
And two daughters, three sisters, eight brothers.
Only I am still alive!"
But Gudrun did not know a tear;
Her mind was so grieved over her husband's death,
So full of grief
About the prince's dead body.

Thus said Herborg, queen of Huneland:
"I have still much harder sorrow to tell.
Far in the South my seven sons
Died in the battlefield with their father.
My father and my mother and my four brothers
Fell victim to the wind on the waves of the water;
The breakers stroke
against the ship's planks.
I had to adorn him myself,
To bury him myself,
And to mourn for my kin myself.
This all I sustained in a summer,
And no one spoke a word of comfort to me."
But Gudrun did not know a tear;
Her mind was so grieved over her husband's death,
So full of grief
About the prince's dead body.

Thus said Gullrønd, the daughter of Gjuke:
"You are unable, foster mother!
Although you certainly
Wanted to comfort the young girl."
She had the body of the prince unveiled,
From the rapier she drew back the blanket,
Shoved the cushion in front of Gudrun's knee:
"Look at your beloved;
Rest your mouth on his neck,
As if you were embracing
The living prince."

All at once Gudrun looked up,
Saw blood covering the knight's hair,
The prince's bright eyes had faded,
The king's breast was pierced by the sword,
Gudrun sank back into the cushion,
Her curls came undone, her cheeks reddened,
A flood of tears ran onto her knee,
She cried, Gudrun, Gjuke's daughter,
So many tears covered her eyes.
Then Gudrun, Gjuke's daughter, said:

"So was my Sigurd
Amongst the sons of Gjuke like leek
Growing in the grass,
Like a gleaming stone,
Studded in the band,
A precious stone among a precious throng.
Methought
The king's fighters liked me
Still more than Herjan's girls.
Now I am much bowed down,
Like the leaves of a weeping willow,
For my precious is dead.
At the table I miss him,
In bed I miss him, my familiar fellow.
The sons of Gjuke
Wanted my sorrow,
Wanted their sister's woeful weeping.
May the people leave your land deserted,
As you took your sworn oaths.
You must not, Gunnar!
Reign over the gold;
May the ring guide you,
You swore an oath to Sigurd on this.
Often the yard was full of joy,
When my Sigurd went to saddle Grane
And rode away to wed Brynhild,
That ill-fated woman at an unfortunate time."

Authorship

  • Translation from Danish (Dansk) to English copyright © 2004 by Philip Schäfer, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Philip Schäfer.  Contact: schaeferp (AT) freenet (DOT) de

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This text was added to the website: 2004-05-03
Line count: 90
Word count: 541