The World’s Best English Epic Poetry – Morris’ The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs (in English Translation)

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The world’s best English epic and narrative poetry includes Morris‘ verse translation of The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs.

In this superb epic, the author recounts the genesis and exploits of the hero Sigurd: the latest in an illustrious line of warrior chieftains destined by the Norns to perform mighty deeds on Middle Earth. After King Sigmund (Sigurd’s father) dies on the battlefield defending his step-father’s Isle-realm, Queen Hiordis (Sigurd’s mother) takes passage aboard longship and flees to lands governed by King Elf. Sigurd is born and cared for by his new step-father. As he matures, his tutor is none other than Regin the Master of Masters: a mysterious being not of the race of men. Regin has amassed an encyclopedic store of wisdom and knowledge over centuries: and willingly imparts to his eager pupil anything he cares to learn.

Regin and Sigurd establish a wary friendship: for both need the other. Yet neither man forsees the doom approaching as their tangled skeins of fate draw them onward: only that events are inexorably building to an impending climax.

  • Why does Regin so earnestly beseech King Elf to raise his foster-son? Is it pure philanthropy – or does Regin conceal darker motivations?
  • Who is the one-eyed stranger who appears unlooked for to give counsel: only to vanish again mysteriously immediately afterwards? Did the stranger truly know Sigmund – and Sigmund’s father before him – as he claims?

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