Stanza 16

Of Vanlande, the Son of Swegde

Vanlande, Swegde's son, succeeded his father and ruled over the Upsal domain. He was a great warrior and went far around in different lands. Once he took up his winter abode in Finland with Snae the Old and got his daughter Driva in marriage, but in spring he set out leaving Driva behind, and although he had promised to return within three years he did not come back for ten. Then Driva sent a message to the witch Huld; and sent Visbur, her son by Vanlande, to Sweden. Driva bribed the witch- wife Huld, either that she should bewitch Vanlande to return to Finland, or kill him. When this witch-work was going on Vanlande was at Upsal, and a great desire came over him to go to Finland, but his friends and counselors advised him against it and said the witchcraft of the Finn people showed itself in this desire of his to go there. He then became very drowsy, and laid himself down to sleep; but when he had slept but a little while he cried out, saying that the Mara was treading upon him. His men hastened to him to help him, but when they took hold of his head she trod on his legs, and when they laid hold of his legs she pressed upon his head, and it was his death. The Swedes took his body and burnt it at a river called Skytaa, where a standing stone was raised over him. Thus says Thjodolf: --

And Vanlande, in a fatal hour,
Was dragg'd by Grimhild's daughter's power,
The witch-wife's, to the dwelling-place
Where men meet Odin face to face.
Trampled to death, to Skytaa's shore
The corpse his faithful followers bore;
And there they burnt, with heavy hearts,
The good chief killed by witchcraft's arts.