UnPoetia:Epic Poem

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O' muse; sing in me! The Epic Poem; 'tis a beauteous and awe-inspiring thing! One need not but gaze upon a single page to understand the greatness of such as is in a work as beauteous and awe-inspiring as this, the epic poem! May the Gods grant me the strength and sheer force of will to compose this great piece of literature!
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There are no pictures in an epic poem, fool!


edit Of that which is set forth that which is put down upon here

Oh, you angelic devil! You blasphemous saint! Do you not see the audacity that comes from your lack of appreciation for this, the epic poem? Did'st thou smoke too much of that which should not be smoked in high school? For if you hadn't, then these words, phrases, lines, paragraphs, chapters, and books would not seem to be rambling on as they seem to be. Simply because thine minds aren't accustomed and accoutered with the necessities necessary for reading the epic poem, then you shan't be able to read it, but rather see it as a long set of tedious, arduous, and unnecessarily unnecessary sentences. For, although sometimes the author of such a work sees to it that the book in which he writes will include long and unnecessary lines of unnecessary, it is still a great read to all who enjoy reading books such as epic poems, where many sentences take up a paragraph's worth of words in the space that they occupy in the book in which they are written down in a space that would include in most non-epic poems a paragraph rather then a sentence that takes up the space of a paragraph due to the author's accused ramblings of sentences in order to make a sentence seem longer than it really is.


edit The epic poem in the days where the epic poem was spoken rather than written

Before the people who came up with epic poems decided to write down their works, the epic poems were spoken aloud, rather then read. For, if those people who did not memorize the long and unnecessary lines written in an epic poem had not memorized them, then the epic poem would not be around today to show us what the people of old spoke orally to large crowds in order to entertain them with epic poems, which are often repetitive and ramble on repetitively. Furthermore, and without further ado, I give you Chapter 1 of the 10 set forth upon here. Ahem:

Disclaimer: Read bold text only if you're lazy. And I know that you are.

edit Chapter 1

1

To us today in olden rhymes
are wonders many told
Of heroes from the elder times,
and engines manifold:
Of grog and festive drinking,
of schemes and stubbéd toes,
and a sorc'rous fiend a-thinking,
whilst his bladder overflows.

2

In Dusseldorf there once was brewed
a beer of noble name,
of flavour like the sweet light crude
that from Arabya came.
Now, Kriemhild hight this brewsky,
and hair on your chest t'would grow,
and twice a thousand -- more or lessky --
were shipped to Edinburgh.

3

And in that Scottish town the best
thanes of the noblest birth
gather'd for that beer to test
and also quench their thirth.
Beauty without measure,
a strong and creamy head,
of amberness and hops a treasure,
enough alcohol to strike you dead.

4

Two noble lords first had a drink,
(and also et some pie),
Gunther and Gernot, I think,
were first the beer to try.
Then Giselher, with eye a-squint,
a hero young and rare,
quickly drained a foaming pint
and fell right off his chair.

5

Then tankards all they filled with it,
and swore 'pon high degree
they'd sit and drink and drink and sit
and only leave to pee.
Yea, in that land of bleakest cheer
where men love sheep the more
those thanes got drunk on German beer
and passed out on the floor.

6

Meantimes across the briny straits
there dwelt, in sooty Dusseldorf,
a band of kniggits whom the fates
had given to a dwarf.
So ev'ry day and ev'ry night
they served this wee small man;
although their thews be strewn with might
they had to kiss his can.

7

But then a right high lady
with curs like cantaloupes
proposed to them, in manner shady,
a scheme that stirred their hopes.
To them said she, "Why languish here
in service dour and vile?
For I've a shipment of fine beer
bound for the Emerald Isle."

8

So in the gloom of darkest night
these mickle men forsook their dwarf
and made their way by crook and slight
down to the harbour and the wharf.
There found they the lady bold
with her ship about to sail.
The beer, already in the hold,
was of course the Kriemhild ale.


8.5

So, how's it going? Enjoying the read? Pretty awful, isn't it. Well, keep plodding on; I promise it gets more ridiculous as it goes on.

9

Then journeyed they across the deeps,
braving storms and mermaids fey,
until they sighted Ireland's keeps
and sailed their ship a-toward the quay.
The lady with the cantaloupes
(remember her? She owned the beer)
leapt sprightly and made fast the ropes,
and all debarked along the pier.

10

But lo! Their erstwhile German lord,
that dwarfish lout, the old crookback,
waxed wroth and waxed also a cord
of magick which would draw them back!
Atop his lofty castle wall
he stomped and spat and cast a spell:
a curse that onto them would fall,
a sort of postcard stamped in Hell.

11

Meantimes upon the Dublin quay
the mickle knights debarked the beer.
The lady fair received fair pay
from the locals rude and queer.
So next the taverns all filled up
with Irish man and sweet colleen...
but curs'd was ev'ry mug and cup:
as soon as poured the beer turned green!

12

O what a blow! O what a curse!
The knights, outnumbered, shook with fear.
But Irishmen are used to worse...
in fact, they rather like green beer.
Thus did the dwarf's curse rebound
and to him offer'd no relief
in temper foul he stomped around
and gnashed his toes, and cracked his teeth.

13

Ah, that was beer...that was ale!
The thick and blond and fair Kriemhild:
no sickly brew, all wat'ry pale,
nay, it was strong and foamy wild.
In olden days, in days of yore
(when men were men and women weren't)
they'd drain a keg and shout for more...
there isn't much since then we've learnt.

14

But now the city 'neath the hill,
fair Edinburgh-upon-the-fen,
was all a-thirst for German swill:
they wanted Kriemhild back again.
Popped they a letter in the mail
secur'd with a golden seal:
"Pray gi' ta us some moor tha ale
we promise ta pay ye right weal."

14.5

Jesus this is awful. "Edinburgh-upon-the-fen"? Holy shit.

15.

Alas, due to a postal imbecile
to Dusseldorf the letter went
but into dwarfish hands it fell.
He must have thought it heaven-sent:
"O now my vengeance is made clear!
My servants now I shall undo,
with counterfeit, false-labeled beer...
a foul, ill-seasoned loathesome brew."

16

So the dwarf besought a friend
who lived in Switzerland
and begged him his worst beer to send
speedily to his hand.
'Twas murky, smelly, gripeful stuff,
a potion every man reviled;
the dwarf thought it was bad enough,
and relabeled it "Kriemhild".

17

Then 'pon two sailing boats
that in the port he found
he sent it to the land of oats:
the heathery Scottish ground.
How he laughed, O how he grinned,
that little crookbacked dwarf
to think of all the bold Scots men
his beer would make to barf.

18

Just so the scheme unfolded
when the boats reached Edinburgh;
the yeasty cargo there offloaded,
the Scots would a-drinking go.
But hardly had they filled a flask
and barely did they sup
but the potion did it's task
and what they drank came right back up.

19

"O foul!" cried these warlike men.
"We ha' been led astray!
This is na wha' we ordered, then!
Some boody's gain ta pay!"
A thousand swords they gathered then
and vowed to ride the sea so wild
and find the lousy stinking man
who brewed the evil ale Kriemhild.

edit Chapter 2

20

Now at that time in Netherland
there lived a noble prince.
Bold kniggits bowed to his command;
his singing made them wince.
Within his concrete fortress
(imported from L.A.)
he often wore a purple dress
and danced the night away.

21

Siegefried all men did call him,
this knight so bold and funky;
for at the siege of Picklegrim
he served his men fried monkey.
Indeed when sieging 'round the land
fried foods his taste would please
and when he conquered Hamsterman
he dined on deep-fried cheese.

22

In the springtime of his youth,
when he was thin and fancy,
he'd punch old ladies in the mouth
if they called him a nancy;
but Siegefried, just like everyone,
got older day by day.
He'd put a chair out in the sun
and snooze the time away.

23

As for a prince was fitting,
the finest beer he drank
(nd how the knightly virtues
vanished when he was tanked!).
But never mind, forget all that,
he was a princely guy
and if you stopped to have a chat
a drink for you he'd buy.

24

Well, no surprise his favorite swill
was creamy Kriemhild brew --
e'er anon he'd drink his fill
and fry an ox or two.
Well, anyway, right wroth was he
when his Kriemhild was gone:
the evil Dussel-dwarf, you see,
had burnt the brewery down.

25

Bold Siegefried cussed and grabbed his sword
and vowed a dwarfish head to chop.
Old Dusseldorf he rode a-toward
and at ev'ry roadside pub he'd stop.
He'd quaff a brew and eat some pie
and speak of vengeance, and the spittle
from his angry lips would fly
and he'd stagger, just a little.

26

By nightfall Siegefried was drunk
and lost somewhere near Splinterledge.
He tied his horse to a tree trunk
and a cold night spent under a hedge.
O in the morn how his head did ache
his mouth was dry as camel turds
he felt as if his skull would break
from just singing of the birds.

27

Leading his horse and moaning low
he staggered to the nearest town,
holding his head and moving slow.
There met he a man in a gown
-- 'twas the village idiot --
and this chap began to scoff;
Siegefried bade him his mouth to shut
or have his block knocked off.

28

O flaxen-brained Teutonic knight,
an idiot to threaten!
Bold Siegefried made a silly sight,
red-eyed, with head a-splittin'.
He chased the gownéd man around,
then stopped to hold his head;
the idiot yielded him no ground
and easily stayed ahead.

29

Of marijuana and high times
might I great wonders tell,
in metric verse and rotten rhymes
of honor won full well,
of many a busteous maiden
who wav'd a languid hand,
her bosoms fully laden
a-dancing to a skiffle band.

30

Full four hundred lusty squires
were there, mostly ill-clad,
gath'red round their office-fires
they were wall-eyed and mad.
But at their work did never tire,
for dear their jobs did hold,
And none had the money to retire,
no IRAs well-stock'd with gold.

30.5

Ugh. Do you even know what's goin’ on? I'm lost. This has stopped making any sense at all.

31

Then these squires seized bold Siegefried
and served him most unpleasantly.
For shabby clothes they him did chide
and laughéd they at his toupee.
Yea verily it came a bummer
that Siegefried could not put it right
That misty morn in the high midsummer,
when Siegfried lost the name of knight.

32

Then went unto the minster
full many a nobbly knight
And knelt they before a hamster.
The elder there alone had right
to spank the hamster rudely,
until 'twas made to squeal.
Then they disported crudely,
and coppéd they many a feel.

33

Then God to praise and honor
they sang the hiphop song;
Amongst them scarce a moaner
refused the grassy bong.
When after knightly custom
the squires were flying high,
the fuzz came along to bust 'em
and confiscated their pie.

34

Upon the floor the noble thanes
rolled and kicked their legs
All scrambled were their tiny brains
yea, scrambled like ham and eggs.
So far the din resounded
through grocery and through hall,
As in the play they bounded:
drug-addled fruitcakes all.

35

Well-tried old knights and young 'uns
met there in frequent clash,
There was sound of buttered buns
that through the air did crash.
And along around the square
were purple pigeons seen to fly
Whilst all the dogs their teeth did bare
and glared with vicious eye.

36

The hamster he bade give over:
they let the sheep come out:
A hog was brought from Dover
a-snorting from its snout.
And many a stone most precious
was lost upon the sward
and many a cookie luscious,
got muddied in the yard.

37

The guests all fell on their rear ends
for they were well and truly beered;
They by the choicest viands
from weariness were cheered,
And wine, of all the dangers,
that then in plenty flowed.
Upon both friends and strangers
with stains from spilléd wine bestowed.

38

In such merry manner
all day did last the feast.
Many a merry banner
was eaten by a beast,
for goats and camels nasty
had gath'red from all the land;
and these beasts ate every pastry
indeed, everything they found to hand.

39

The monarch then did order
Siegfried his youthful son
In fee give lands and castles,
as he erstwhile had done.
To all his sword-companions
he gave with such full hand,
That joyed they o'er the journey
they now had made unto that land.

40

The festival yet lasted
until the seventh day.
Siegelind after old custom
in plenty gave away
—For so her son she honored—
rich gifts of shining gold:
In sooth deserved she richly
that all should him in honor hold.

41

Never a wandering minstrel
was unprovided found:
Horses there and raiment
so free were dealt around,
As if to live they had not
beyond it one day more.
I ween a monarch's household
ne'er bestowed such gifts before.

42

Thus closed the merry feasting
in this right worthy way,
And 't was well known thereafter
how those good knights did say
That they the youthful hero
for king would gladly have;
But this nowise he wished for,
Siegfried the stately knight and brave.

43

While that they both were living,
Siegmund and Siegelind,
No crown their son desired,
—thereto he had no mind.
Yet would he fain be master
o'er all the hostile might
That in the lands around him
opposed the keen and fiery knight.

edit Chapter 3

44

Seldom in sooth, if ever, / the hero's heart was sad. He heard them tell the story, / how that a winsome maid There lived afar in Burgundy, / surpassing fair to see: Great joy she brought him later, / but eke she brought him misery.

45

Of her exceeding beauty / the fame spread far and near, And of the thing, moreover, / were knights oft-times aware How the maid's high spirit / no mortal could command: The thing lured many a stranger / from far unto King Gunther's land.

46

Although to win her favor / were many wooers bent, In her own heart would never / Kriemhild thereto consent That any one amongst them / for lover she would have: Still to her was he a stranger / to whom anon her troth she gave.

47

To true love turned his fancy / the son of Siegelind. 'Gainst his, all others' wooing / was like an idle wind: Full well did he merit / a lady fair to woo, And soon the noble Kriemhild / to Siegfried bold was wedded true.

48

By friends he oft was counselled, / and many a faithful man, Since to think of wooing / in earnest he began, That he a wife should find him / of fitting high degree. Then spoke the noble Siegfried: / "In sooth fair Kriemhild shall it be,

49

"The noble royal maiden / in Burgundy that dwells, For sake of all her beauty. / Of her the story tells, Ne'er monarch was so mighty / that, if for spouse he sighed, 'Twere not for him befitting / to take the princess for his bride."

50 Has there been any fighting yet? Maybe a decap or two? C'mon, man; I'm desperate.

Unto King Siegmund also / the thing was soon made known. His people talked about it, / whereby to him was shown The Prince's fixéd purpose. / It grieved him sorely, too, That his son intent was / the full stately maid to woo.

51

Siegelind asked and learned it, / the noble monarch's wife. For her loved son she sorrowed / lest he should lose his life, For well she knew the humor / of Gunther and his men. Then gan they from the wooing / strive to turn the noble thane.

52

Then said the doughty Siegfried: / "O father dear to me, Without the love of woman / would I ever be, Could I not woo in freedom / where'er my heart is set. Whate'er be said by any, / I'll keep the selfsame purpose yet."

53

"Since thou wilt not give over," / the king in answer said, "Am I of this thy purpose / inwardly full glad, And straightway to fulfil it / I'll help as best I can, Yet in King Gunther's service / is many a haughty-minded man.

54

"And were there yet none other / than Hagen, warrior-knight, He with such haughty bearing / is wont to show his might, That I do fear right sorely / that sad our end may be, If we set out with purpose / to win the stately maid for thee."

55

"Shall we by that be hindered?" / outspake Siegfried then; "Whate'er in friendly fashion / I cannot obtain I'll yet in other manner / take that, with sword in hand. I trow from them I'll further / wrest both their vassals and their land."

56

"I grieve to hear thy purpose," / said Siegmund the king; "If any one this story / unto the Rhine should bring, Then durst thou never after / within that land be seen. Gunther and Gernot, / —well known to me they long have been.

57

"By force, however mighty, / no man can win the maid," Spake King Siegmund further, / "to me hath oft been said. But if with knightly escort / thither thou wilt ride, Good friends—an have we any— / shall soon be summoned to thy side."

58

"No wish," then answered Siegfried, / "it ever was of mine, That warrior knights should follow / with me unto the Rhine As if arrayed for battle: / 'twould make my heart full sad, To force in hostile manner / to yield to me the stately maid.

59

"By my own hand—thus only— / trust I to win my bride; With none but twelve in company / to Gunther's land I'll ride. In this, O royal father, / thy present help I pray." Gray and white fur raiment / had his companions for the way.

60

Siegelind his mother / then heard the story too, And grieved she was on hearing / what her dear son would do, For she did fear to lose him / at hands of Gunther's men. Thereat with heart full heavy / began to weep the noble queen.

61

Then came forth Sir Siegfried / where the queen he sought, And to his weeping mother / thus gently spake his thought: "No tear of grief thou shouldest / ever shed for me, For I care not a tittle / for all the warriors that be.

62

"So help me on my journey / to the land of Burgundy, And furnish such apparel / for all my knights and me, As warriors of our station / might well with honor wear. Then I in turn right truly / to thee my gratitude will swear."

63

"Since thou wilt not give over," / Siegelind then replied, "My only son, I'll help thee / as fits thee forth to ride, With the best apparel / that riders ever wore, Thee and thy companions: / ye shall of all have goodly store."

64

Then bowed the youthful Siegfried / the royal dame before, And said: "Upon the journey / will I take no more, But twelve good knights only: / for these rich dress provide, For I would know full gladly / how 't doth with Kriemhild betide."

65

Then sat at work fair women / by night and eke by day, And rest indeed but little / from busy toil had they, Until they had made ready / the dress Siegfried should wear. Firm bent upon the journey, / no other counsel would he hear.

66

His father bade a costly / garb for him prepare, That leaving Siegmund's country / he the same might wear. For all their glittering breastplates / were soon prepared beside, And helmets firmly welded, / and shining shields long and wide.

67

Then fast the day grew nearer / when they should thence depart. Men and likewise women / went sorrowing in heart, If that they should ever / see more their native land. With full equipment laden / the sumpter horses there did stand.

68

Their steeds were stately, furnished / with trappings rich with gold; It were a task all bootless / to seek for knights more bold Than were the gallant Siegfried / and his chosen band. He longed to take departure / straightway for Burgundian land.

69

Leave granted they with sadness, / both the king and queen, The which to turn to gladness / sought the warrior keen, And spake then: "Weep ye shall not / at all for sake of me, Forever free from doubtings / about my safety may ye be."

70

Stern warriors stood there sorrowing, / —in tears was many a maid. I ween their hearts erred nothing, / as sad forebodings said That 'mongst their friends so many / thereby were doomed to die. Good cause had they to sorrow / at last o'er all their misery.

71

Upon the seventh morning / to Worms upon the strand Did come the keen knights riding. / Bright shone many a band Of gold from their apparel / and rich equipment then; And gently went their chargers / with Siegfried and his chosen men.

72 Ok, fine; be like that. Bitch. By the way, do you know what this poem is called?

New-made shields they carried / that were both strong and wide And brightly shone their helmets / as thus to court did ride Siegfried the keen warrior / into King Gunther's land. Of knights before was never / beheld so richly clad a band.

73

The points of their long scabbards / reached down unto the spur, And spear full sharply pointed / bore each chosen warrior. The one that Siegfried carried / in breadth was two good span, And grimly cut its edges / when driven by the fearless man.

74

Reins with gold all gleaming / held they in the hand, The saddle-bands were silken. / So came they to the land. On every side the people / to gape at them began, And also out to meet them / the men that served King Gunther ran.

75

Gallant men high-hearted, / knight and squire too, Hastened to receive them, / for such respect was due, And bade the guests be welcome / unto their master's land. They took from them their chargers, / and shields as well from out the hand.

76

Then would they eke the chargers / lead forth unto their rest; But straight the doughty Siegfried / to them these words addressed: "Yet shall ye let our chargers / stand the while near by; Soon take we hence our journey; / thereon resolved full well am I.

77

"If that be known to any, / let him not delay, Where I your royal master / now shall find, to say,— Gunther, king so mighty / o'er the land of Burgundy." Then told him one amongst them / to whom was known where that might be:

78

"If that the king thou seekest, / right soon may he be found. Within that wide hall yonder / with his good knights around But now I saw him sitting. / Thither do thou repair, And thou may'st find around him / many a stately warrior there."

79

Now also to the monarch / were the tidings told, That within his castle / were knights arrived full bold, All clad in shining armor / and apparelled gorgeously; But not a man did know them / within the land of Burgundy.

80

Thereat the king did wonder / whence were come to him These knights adventure seeking / in dress so bright and trim, And shields adorned so richly / that new and mighty were. That none the thing could tell him / did grieve him sorely to hear.

81

Outspake a knight then straightway, / Ortwein by name was he, Strong and keen as any / well was he known to be: "Since we of them know nothing, / bid some one quickly go And fetch my uncle Hagen: / to him thou shalt the strangers show.

82

"To him are known far kingdoms / and every foreign land, And if he know these strangers / we soon shall understand." The king then sent to fetch him: / with his train of men Unto the king's high presence / in stately gear went he then.

83

What were the king's good pleasure, / asked Hagen grim in war. "In the court within my castle / are warriors from afar, And no one here doth know them: / if them thou e'er didst see In any land far distant, / now shalt thou, Hagen, tell to me."

84

"That will I do, 'tis certain."— / To a window then he went, And on the unknown strangers / his keen eye he bent. Well pleased him their equipment / and the rich dress they wore, Yet ne'er had he beheld them / in land of Burgundy before.

85

He said that whencesoever / these knights come to the Rhine, They bear a royal message, / or are of princely line. "Their steeds are so bedizened, / and their apparel rare: No matter whence they journey, / high-hearted men in truth they are."

86 Ok, I remember now; it's called the Nibelungenlied. Good stuff, man.

Further then spake Hagen: / "As far as goes my ken, Though I the noble Siegfried / yet have never seen, Yet will I say meseemeth, / howe'er the thing may be, This knight who seeks adventure, / and yonder stands so proud, is he.

87

"'Tis some new thing he bringeth / hither to our land. The valiant Nibelungen / fell by the hero's hand, Schilbung and Nibelung, / from royal sire sprung; Deeds he wrought most wondrous / anon when his strong arm he swung.

88

"As once alone the hero / rode without company, Found he before a mountain / —as hath been told to me— With the hoard of Nibelung / full many stalwart men; To him had they been strangers / until he chanced to find them then.

89

"The hoard of King Nibelung / entire did they bear Forth from a mountain hollow. / And now the wonder hear, How that they would share it, / these two Nibelung men. This saw the fearless Siegfried, / and filled he was with wonder then.

90

"He came so near unto them / that he the knights espied, And they in turn him also. / One amongst them said: 'Here comes the doughty Siegfried, / hero of Netherland.' Since 'mongst the Nibelungen / strange wonders wrought his mighty hand.

91

"Right well did they receive him, / Schilbung and Nibelung, And straight they both together, / these noble princes young, Bade him mete out the treasure, / the full valorous man, And so long time besought him / that he at last the task began.

92

"As we have heard in story, / he saw of gems such store That they might not be laden / on wagons full five score; More still of gold all shining / from Nibelungenland. 'Twas all to be divided / between them by keen Siegfried's hand.

93

"Then gave they him for hire / King Nibelung's sword. And sooth to say, that service / brought them but small reward, That for them there performed / Siegfried of dauntless mood. His task he could not finish; / thereat they raged as were they wood.

94

"They had there of their followers / twelve warriors keen, And strong they were as giants: / what booted giants e'en? Them slew straightway in anger / Siegfried's mighty hand, And warriors seven hundred / he felled in Nibelungenland

95

"With the sword full trusty, / Balmung that hight. Full many a youthful warrior / from terror at the sight Of that deadly weapon / swung by his mighty hand Did render up his castle / and pledge him fealty in the land.

96

"Thereto the kings so mighty, / them slew he both as well. But into gravest danger / through Alberich he fell, Who thought for his slain masters / vengeance to wreak straightway, Until the mighty Siegfried / his wrath with strong arm did stay.

97

"Nor could prevail against him / the Dwarf, howe'er he tried. E'en as two wild lions / they coursed the mountainside, Where he the sightless mantle[1] / from Alberich soon won. Then Siegfried, knight undaunted, / held the treasure for his own.

[1] This is the tarnkappe, a cloak that made the wearer invisible, and also gave him the strength of twelve men.

98

"Who then dared join the struggle, / all slain around they lay. Then he bade the treasure / to draw and bear away Thither whence 'twas taken / by the Nibelungen men. Alberich for his valor / was then appointed Chamberlain.

99 Wow; good stuff my ass; there isn't a single interesting thing that's happened yet.

"An oath he had to swear him, / he'd serve him as his slave; To do all kinds of service / his willing pledge he gave"— Thus spake of Tronje Hagen— / "That has the hero done; Might as great before him / was never in a warrior known.

100

"Still know I more about him, / that has to me been told. A dragon, wormlike monster, / slew once the hero bold. Then in its blood he bathed him, / since when his skin hath been So horn-hard, ne'er a weapon / can pierce it, as hath oft been seen.

101

"Let us the brave knight-errant / receive so courteously That we in nought shall merit / his hate, for strong is he. He is so keen of spirit / he must be treated fair: He has by his own valor / done many a deed of prowess rare."

102

The monarch spake in wonder: / "In sooth thou tellest right. Now see how proudly yonder / he stands prepared for fight, He and his thanes together, / the hero wondrous keen! To greet him we'll go thither, / and let our fair intent be seen."

103

"That canst thou," out spake Hagen, / "well in honor do. He is of noble kindred, / a high king's son thereto. 'Tis seen in all his bearing; / meseems in truth, God wot, The tale is worth the hearing / that this bold knight has hither brought."

104

Then spake the mighty monarch: / "Be he right welcome here. Keen is he and noble, / of fame known far and near. So shall he be fair treated / in the land of Burgundy." Down then went King Gunther, / and Siegfried with his men found he.

105

The king and his knights with him / received so well the guest, That the hearty greeting / did their good will attest. Thereat in turn the stranger / in reverence bowed low, That in their welcome to him / they did such courtesy bestow.

106

"To me it is a wonder," / straightway spake the host, "From whence, O noble Siegfried, / come to our land thou dost, Or what here thou seekest / at Worms upon the Rhine." Him the stranger answered: / "Put thou away all doubts of thine.

107

"I oft have heard the tiding / within my sire's domain, How at thy court resided / —and know this would I fain— Knights, of all the keenest, / —'tis often told me so— That e'er a monarch boasted: / now come I hither this to know.

108

"Thyself have I heard also / high praised for knightly worth; 'Tis said a nobler monarch / ne'er lived in all the earth. Thus speak of thee the people / in all the lands around. Nor will I e'er give over / until in this the truth I've found.

109

"I too am warrior noble / and born to wear a crown; So would I right gladly / that thou of me shouldst own That I of right am master / o'er people and o'er land. Of this shall now my honor / and eke my head as pledges stand.

110

"And art thou then so valiant / as hath to me been told, I reck not, will he nill he / thy best warrior bold, I'll wrest from thee in combat / whatever thou may'st have; Thy lands and all thy castles / shall naught from change of masters save."

111

The king was seized with wonder / and all his men beside, To see the manner haughty / in which the knight replied That he was fully minded / to take from him his land. It chafed his thanes to hear it, / who soon in raging mood did stand.

112

"How could it be my fortune," / Gunther the king outspoke, "What my sire long ruled over / in honor for his folk, Now to lose so basely / through any vaunter's might? In sooth 'twere nobly showing / that we too merit name of knight!"

113

"Nowise will I give over," / was the keen reply. "If peace through thine own valor / thy land cannot enjoy, To me shall all be subject: / if heritage of mine Through thy arm's might thou winnest, / of right shall all hence-forth be thine.

114

"Thy land and all that mine is, / at stake shall equal lie. Whiche'er of us be victor / when now our strength we try, To him shall all be subject, / the folk and eke the land." But Hagen spake against it, / and Gernot too was quick at hand.

115

"Such purpose have we never," / Gernot then said, "For lands to combat ever, / that any warrior dead Should lie in bloody battle. / We've mighty lands and strong; Of right they call us master, / and better they to none belong."

116

There stood full grim and moody / Gernot's friends around, And there as well amongst them / was Ortwein to be found. He spake: "This mild peace-making / doth grieve me sore at heart, For by the doughty Siegfried / attacked all undeserved thou art.

117

"If thou and thy two brothers / yourselves to help had naught, And if a mighty army / he too had hither brought, I trow I'd soon be able / to make this man so keen His manner now so haughty / of need replace by meeker mien."

118

Thereat did rage full sorely / the hero of Netherland: "Never shall be measured / 'gainst me in fight thy hand. I am a mighty monarch, / thou a king's serving-knight; Of such as thou a dozen / dare not withstand me in the fight."

119

For swords then called in anger / of Metz Sir Ortwein: Son of Hagen's sister / he was, of Tronje's line. That Hagen so long was silent / did grieve the king to see. Gernot made peace between them: / a gallant knight and keen was he.

120

Spake he thus to Ortwein: / "Curb now thy wrathful tongue, For here the noble Siegfried / hath done us no such wrong; We yet can end the quarrel / in peace,—such is my rede— And live with him in friendship; / that were for us a worthier deed."

121

Then spake the mighty Hagen: / "Sad things do I forebode For all thy train of warriors, / that this knight ever rode Unto the Rhine thus arméd. / 'Twere best he stayed at home; For from my masters never / to him such wrong as this had come."

122

But outspake Siegfried proudly, / whose heart was ne'er dismayed: "An't please thee not, Sir Hagen, / what I now have said, This arm shall give example / whereby thou plain shall see How stern anon its power / here in Burgundy will be."

123

"Yet that myself will hinder," / said then Gernot. All his men forbade he / henceforth to say aught With such unbridled spirit / to stir the stranger's ire. Then Siegfried eke was mindful / of one most stately maid and fair.

124

"Such strife would ill befit us," / Gernot spake again; "For though should die in battle / a host of valiant men 'Twould bring us little honor / and ye could profit none." Thereto gave Siegfried answer, / good King Siegmund's noble son:

125

"Wherefore bides thus grim Hagen, / and Ortwein tardy is To begin the combat / with all those friends of his, Of whom he hath so many / here in Burgundy?" Answer him they durst not, / for such was Gernot's stern decree.

126

"Thou shalt to us be welcome," / outspake young Giselher, "And all thy brave companions / that hither with thee fare. Full gladly we'll attend thee, / I and all friends of mine." For the guests then bade they / pour out in store of Gunther's wine.

127

Then spake the stately monarch: / "But ask thou courteously, And all that we call ours / stands at thy service free; So with thee our fortune / we'll share in ill and good." Thereat the noble Siegfried / a little milder was of mood.

128

Then carefully was tended / all their knightly gear, And housed in goodly manner / in sooth the strangers were, All that followed Siegfried; / they found a welcome rest. In Burgundy full gladly / anon was seen the noble guest.

129

They showed him mickle honor / thereafter many a day, And more by times a thousand / than I to you could say. His might respect did merit, / ye may full well know that. Scarce a man e'er saw him / who bore him longer any hate.

130 Oh, thank God; we're almost a quarter done.

And when they held their pastime, / the kings with many a man, Then was he ever foremost; / whatever they began, None there that was his equal, / —so mickle was his might— If they the stone were putting, / or hurling shaft with rival knight.

131

As is the knightly custom, / before the ladies fair To games they turned for pastime, / these knights of mettle rare; Then ever saw they gladly / the hero of Netherland. But he had fixed his fancy / to win one fairest maiden's hand.

132

In all that they were doing / he'd take a ready part. A winsome loving maiden / he bore within his heart; Him only loved that lady, / whose face he ne'er had seen, But she full oft in secret / of him spake fairest words, I ween.

133

And when before the castle / they sped in tournament, The good knights and squires, / oft-times the maiden went And gazed adown from casement, / Kriemhild the princess rare. Pastime there was none other / for her that could with this compare.

134

And knew he she was gazing / whom in his heart he bore, He joy enough had found him / in jousting evermore. And might he only see her, / —that can I well believe— On earth through sight none other / his eyes could such delight receive.

135

Whene'er with his companions / to castle court he went, E'en as do now the people / whene'er on pleasure bent, There stood 'fore all so graceful / Siegelind's noble son, For whom in love did languish / the hearts of ladies many a one.

136

Eke thought he full often: / "How shall it ever be, That I the noble maiden / with my own eyes may see, Whom I do love so dearly / and have for many a day? To me is she a stranger, / which sorely grieves my heart to say."

137

Whene'er the kings so mighty / rode o'er their broad domain, Then of valiant warriors / they took a stately train. With them abroad rode Siegfried, / which grieved those ladies sore: —He too for one fair maiden / at heart a mickle burden bore.

138

Thus with his hosts he lingered / —'tis every tittle true— In King Gunther's country / a year completely through, And never once the meanwhile / the lovely maid did see, Through whom such joy thereafter / for him, and eke such grief should be.

edit Chapter 4

139

Now come wondrous tidings / to King Gunther's land, By messengers brought hither / from far upon command Of knights unknown who harbored / against him secret hate. When there was heard the story, / at heart in sooth the grief was great.

140

Of these I now will tell you: / There was King Luedeger From out the land of Saxons, / a mighty warrior, And eke from land of Denmark / Luedegast the king: Whene'er they rode to battle / went they with mighty following.

141

Come were now their messengers / to the land of Burgundy, Sent forth by these foemen / in proud hostility. Then asked they of the strangers / what tidings they did bring: And when they heard it, straightway / led them to court before the king.

142

Then spake to them King Gunther: / "A welcome, on my word. Who 'tis that send you hither, / that have I not yet heard: Now shall ye let me know it," / spake the monarch keen. Then dreaded they full sorely / to see King Gunther's angry mien.

143

"Wilt them, O king, permit us / the tidings straight to tell That we now have brought thee, / no whit will we conceal, But name thee both our masters / who us have hither sent: Luedegast and Luedeger, / —to waste thy land is their intent.

144

"Their hate hast thou incurréd, / and thou shalt know in sooth That high enraged against thee / are the monarchs both. Their hosts they will lead hither / to Worms upon the Rhine; They're helped by thanes full many— / of this put off all doubts of thine.

145

"Within weeks a dozen / their march will they begin; And if thy friends be valiant, / let that full quick be seen, To help thee keep in safety / thy castles and thy land: Full many a shield and helmet / shall here be cleft by warrior's hand.

146

"Or wilt thou with them parley, / so let it quick be known, Before their hosts so mighty / of warlike men come down To Worms upon Rhine river / sad havoc here to make, Whereby must death most certain / many a gallant knight o'ertake."

147

"Bide ye now the meanwhile," / the king did answer kind, "Till I take better counsel; / then shall ye know my mind. Have I yet warriors faithful, / from these I'll naught conceal, But to my friends I'll straightway / these warlike tidings strange reveal."

148

The lordly Gunther wondered / thereat and troubled sore, As he the message pondered / in heart and brooded o'er. He sent to fetch grim Hagen / and others of his men, And bade likewise in hurry / to court bring hither Gernot then.

149

Thus at his word his trusted / advisers straight attend. He spake: "Our land to harry / foes all unknown will send Of men a mighty army; / a grievous wrong is this. Small cause have we e'er given / that they should wish us aught amiss."

150

"Our swords ward such things from us," / Gernot then said; "Since but the fated dieth, / so let all such lie dead. Wherefore I'll e'er remember / what honor asks of me: Whoe'er hath hate against us / shall ever here right welcome be."

151

Then spake the doughty Hagen: / "Methinks 'twould scarce be good; Luedegast and Luedeger / are men of wrathful mood. Help can we never summon, / the days are now so few." So spake the keen old warrior, / "'Twere well Siegfried the tidings knew."

152

The messengers in the borough / were harbored well the while, And though their sight was hateful, / in hospitable style As his own guests to tend them / King Gunther gave command, Till 'mongst his friends he learnéd / who by him in his need would stand.

153

The king was filled with sorrow / and his heart was sad. Then saw his mournful visage / a knight to help full glad, Who could not well imagine / what 'twas that grieved him so. Then begged he of King Gunther / the tale of this his grief to know.

154

"To me it is great wonder," / said Siegfried to the king, "How thou of late hast changéd / to silent sorrowing The joyous ways that ever / with us thy wont have been." Then unto him gave answer / Gunther the full stately thane:

155

"'Tis not to every person / I can the burden say That ever now in secret / upon my heart doth weigh: To well-tried friends and steady / are told our inmost woes." —Siegfried at first was pallid, / but soon his blood like fire up-rose.

156

He spake unto the monarch: / "To thee I've naught denied. All ills that now do threaten / I'll help to turn aside. And if but friends thou seekest, / of them the first I'll be, And trow I well with honor / till death to serve thee faithfully."

157

"God speed thee well, Sir Siegfried, / for this thy purpose fair: And though such help in earnest / thy arm should render ne'er, Yet do I joy at hearing / thou art so true to me. And live I yet a season, / right heartily repaid 'twill be.

158

"Know will I also let thee / wherefore I sorrowing stand. Through messengers from my foemen / have tidings reached my land That they with hosts of warriors / will ride my country o'er; Such thing to us did never / thanes of any land before."

159

"Small cause is that for grieving," / said then Siegfried; "But calm thy troubled spirit / and hearken to my rede: Let me for thee acquire / honor and vantage too, And bid thou now assemble / for service eke thy warriors true.

160

"And had thy mighty enemies / to help them now at hand Good thanes full thirty thousand, / against them all I'd stand, Had I but one good thousand: / put all thy trust in me." Then answered him King Gunther: / "Thy help shall full requited be."

161

"Then bid for me to summon / a thousand of thy men, Since I now have with me / of all my knightly train None but twelve knights only; / then will I guard thy land. For thee shall service faithful / be done alway by Siegfried's hand.

162

"Herein shall help us Hagen / and eke Ortwein, Dankwart and Sindold, / those trusted knights of thine; And with us too shall journey / Volker, the valiant man; The banner he shall carry: / bestow it better ne'er I can.

163

"Back to their native country / the messengers may go; They'll see us there right quickly, / let them full surely know, So that all our castles / peace undisturbed shall have." Then bade the king to summon / his friends with all their warriors brave.

164

To court returned the heralds / King Luedeger had sent, And on their journey homeward / full joyfully they went. King Gunther gave them presents / that costly were and good, And granted them safe convoy; / whereat they were of merry mood.

165

"Tell ye my foes," spake Gunther, / "when to your land ye come, Than making journeys hither / they better were at home; But if they still be eager / to make such visit here, Unless my friends forsake me, / cold in sooth shall be their cheer."

166

Then for the messengers / rich presents forth they bore, Whereof in sooth to give them / Gunther had goodly store: And they durst not refuse them / whom Luedeger had sent. Leave then they took immediate, / and homeward joyfully they went.

167

When to their native Denmark / the messengers returned, And the king Luedegast / the answer too had learned, They at the Rhine had sent him, / —when that to him was told, His wrath was all unbounded / to have reply in words so bold.

168 Woo! Go, man, go! Read 'dat shit!

'Twas said their warriors numbered / many a man full keen: "There likewise among them / with Gunther have we seen Of Netherland a hero, / the same that Siegfried hight." King Luedegast was grievéd, / when he their words had heard aright.

169

When throughout all Denmark / the tidings quick spread o'er, Then in hot haste they summoned / helpers all the more, So that King Luedegast, / 'twixt friends from far and near, Had knights full twenty thousand / all furnished well with shield and spear.

170

Then too his men did summon / of Saxony Luedeger, Till they good forty thousand, / and more, had gathered there, With whom to make the journey / 'gainst the land of Burgundy. —At home likewise the meanwhile / King Gunther had sent forth decree

171

Mighty men to summon / of his own and brothers twain, Who against the foemen / would join the armed train. In haste they made them ready, / for right good cause they had. Amongst them must thereafter / full many a noble thane lie dead.

172

To march they quick made ready. / And when they thence would fare, The banner to the valiant / Volker was given to bear, As they began the journey / from Worms across the Rhine; Strong of arm grim Hagen / was chosen leader of the line.

173

With them there rode Sindold / and eke the keen Hunold Who oft at hands of Gunther / had won rewards of gold; Dankwart, Hagen's brother, / and Ortwein beside, Who all could well with honor / in train of noble warriors ride.

174

"King Gunther," spake then Siegfried, / "stay thou here at home; Since now thy knights so gallant / with me will gladly come, Rest thou here with fair ladies, / and be of merry mood: I trow we'll keep in safety / thy land and honor as we should.

175

"And well will I see to it / that they at home remain, Who fain would ride against thee / to Worms upon the Rhine. Against them straight we'll journey / into their land so far That they'll be meeker minded / who now such haughty vaunters are."

176

Then from the Rhine through Hesse / the hosts of knights rode on Toward the land of Saxons, / where battle was anon. With fire and sword they harried / and laid the country waste, So that both the monarchs / full well the woes of war did taste.

177

When came they to the border / the train-men onward pressed. With thought of battle-order / Siegfried the thanes addressed: "Who now shall guard our followers / from danger in the rear?" In sooth like this the Saxons / in battle worsted never were.

178

Then said they: "On the journey / the men shall guarded be By the valiant Dankwart, / —a warrior swift is he; So shall we lose the fewer / by men of Luedeger. Let him and Ortwein with him / be chosen now to guard the rear."

179

Spake then the valiant Siegfried: / "Myself will now ride on, And against our enemies / will keep watch in the van, Till I aright discover / where they perchance may be." The son of fair Queen Siegelind / did arm him then immediately.

180

The folk he left to Hagen / when ready to depart, And as well to Gernot, / a man of dauntless heart. Into the land of Saxons / alone he rode away, And by his hand was severed / many a helmet's band that day.

181

He found a mighty army / that lay athwart the plain, Small part of which outnumbered / all those in his own train: Full forty thousand were they / or more good men of might. The hero high in spirit / saw right joyfully the sight.

182

Then had eke a warrior / from out the enemy To guard the van gone forward, / all arméd cap-a-pie. Him saw the noble Siegfried, / and he the valiant man; Each one straight the other / to view with angry mien began.

183

Who he was I'll tell you / that rode his men before, —A shield of gold all shining / upon his arm he bore— In sooth it was King Luedegast / who there the van did guard. Straightway the noble Siegfried / full eagerly against him spurred.

184

Now singled out for combat / him, too, had Luedegast. Then full upon each other / they spurred their chargers fast, As on their shields they lowered / their lances firm and tight, Whereat the lordly monarch / soon found himself in sorry plight.

185

After the shock their chargers / bore the knights so fast Onward past each other / as flew they on the blast. Then turned they deftly backward / obedient to the rein, As with their swords contested / the grim and doughty fighters twain.

186

When Siegfried struck in anger / far off was heard the blow, And flew from off the helmet, / as if 'twere all aglow, The fiery sparks all crackling / beneath his hand around. Each warrior in the other / a foeman worth his mettle found.

187

Full many a stroke with vigor / dealt eke King Luedegast, And on each other's buckler / the blows fell thick and fast. Then thirty men discovered / their master's sorry plight: But ere they came to help him / had doughty Siegfried won the fight.

188

With three mighty gashes / which he had dealt the king Through his shining breastplate / made fast with many a ring. The sword with sharpest edges / from wounds brought forth the blood, Whereat King Luedegast / apace fell into gloomy mood.

189

To spare his life he begged him, / his land he pledged the knight, And told him straight moreover, / that Luedegast he hight. Then came his knights to help him, / they who there had seen How that upon the vanguard / fierce fight betwixt the twain had been.

190

After duel ended, / did thirty yet withstand Of knights that him attended; / but there the hero's hand Kept safe his noble captive / with blows of wondrous might. And soon wrought greater ruin / Siegfried the full gallant knight.

191

Beneath his arm of valor / the thirty soon lay dead. But one the knight left living, / who thence full quickly sped To tell abroad the story / how he the others slew; In sooth the blood-red helmet / spake all the hapless tidings true.

192

Then had the men of Denmark / for all their grief good cause, When it was told them truly / their king a captive was. They told it to King Luedeger, / when he to rage began In anger all unbounded: / for him had grievous harm been done.

193

The noble King Luedegast / was led a prisoner then By hand of mighty Siegfried / back to King Gunther's men, And placed in hands of Hagen: / and when they did hear That 'twas the king of Denmark / they not a little joyful were.

194

He bade the men of Burgundy / then bind the banners on. "Now forward!" Siegfried shouted, / "here shall yet more be done, An I but live to see it; / ere this day's sun depart, Shall mourn in land of Saxons / full many a goodly matron's heart.

195

"Ye warriors from Rhineland, / to follow me take heed, And I unto the army / of Luedeger will lead. Ere we again turn backward / to the land of Burgundy Helms many hewn asunder / by hand of good knights there shall be."

196

To horse then hastened Gernot / and with him mighty men. Volker keen in battle / took up the banner then; He was a doughty Fiddler / and rode the host before. There, too, every follower / a stately suit of armor wore.

197

More than a thousand warriors / they there had not a man, Saving twelve knights-errant. / To rise the dust began In clouds along the highway / as they rode across the fields, And gleaming in the sunlight / were seen the brightly shining shields.

198

Meanwhile eke was nearing / of Saxons a great throng, Each a broadsword bearing / that mickle was and long, With blade that cut full sorely / when swung in strong right hand. 'Gainst strangers were they ready / to guard their castles and their land.

199

The leaders forth to battle / led the warriors then. Come was also Siegfried / with his twelve chosen men, Whom he with him hither / had brought from Netherland. That day in storm of battle / was blood-bespattered many a hand.

200

Sindold and Hunold / and Gernot as well, Beneath their hands in battle / full many a hero fell, Ere that their deeds of valor / were known throughout the host. Through them must many a stately / matron weep for warrior lost.

201

Volker and Hagen / and Ortwein in the fight Lustily extinguished / full many a helmet's light With blood from wounds down flowing,— / keen fighters every one. And there by Dankwart also / was many a mickle wonder done.

202

The knights of Denmark tested / how they could weapons wield. Clashing there together / heard ye many a shield And 'neath sharp swords resounding, / swung by many an arm. The Saxons keen in combat / wrought 'mid their foes a grievous harm.

203 What is this, Chapter 5? I'm lost.

When the men of Burgundy / pressed forward to the fight, Gaping wounds full many / hewed they there with might. Then flowing down o'er saddle / in streams was seen the blood, So fought for sake of honor / these valiant riders keen and good.

204

Loudly were heard ringing, / wielded by hero's hand, The sharply-cutting weapons, / where they of Netherland Their master followed after / into the thickest throng: Wherever Siegfried led them / rode too those valiant knights along.

205

Of warriors from Rhine river / could follow not a one. There could be seen by any / a stream of blood flow down O'er brightly gleaming helmet / 'neath Siegfried's mighty hand, Until King Luedeger / before him with his men did stand.

206

Three times hither and thither / had he the host cut through From one end to the other. / Now come was Hagen too Who helped him well in battle / to vent his warlike mood. That day beneath his valor / must die full many a rider good.

207

When the doughty Luedeger / Siegfried there found, As he swung high in anger / his arm for blows around And with his good sword Balmung / knights so many slew, Thereat was the keen warrior / filled with grief and anger too.

208

Then mickle was the thronging / and loud the broadswords clashed, As all their valiant followers / 'gainst one another dashed. Then struggled all the fiercer / both sides the fight to win; The hosts joined with each other: / 'twas frightful there to hear the din.

209

To the monarch of the Saxons / it had been told before, His brother was a captive, / which grieved his heart right sore. He knew not that had done it / fair Siegelind's son, For rumor said 'twas Gernot. / Full well he learned the truth anon.

210

King Luedeger struck so mighty / when fierce his anger rose, That Siegfried's steed beneath him / staggered from the blows, But forthwith did recover; / then straight his rider keen Let all his furious mettle / in slaughter of his foes be seen.

211

There helped him well grim Hagen, / and Gernot in the fray, Dankwart and Volker; / dead many a knight there lay. Sindold and Hunold / and Ortwein, doughty thane, By them in that fierce struggle / was many a valiant warrior slain.

212

Unparted in storm of battle / the gallant leaders were, Around them over helmet / flew there many a spear Through shield all brightly shining, / from hand of mighty thane: And on the glancing armor / was seen full many a blood-red stain.

213

Amid the hurly-burly / down fell many a man To ground from off his charger. / Straight 'gainst each other ran Siegfried the keen rider / and eke King Luedeger. Then flew from lance the splinters / and hurled was many a pointed spear.

214

'Neath Siegfried's hand so mighty / from shield flew off the band. And soon to win the victory / thought he of Netherland Over the valiant Saxons, / of whom were wonders seen. Heigh-ho! in shining mail-rings / many a breach made Dankwart keen!

215

Upon the shining buckler / that guarded Siegfried's breast Soon espied King Luedeger / a painted crown for crest; By this same token knew he / it was the doughty man, And to his friends he straightway / amid the battle loud began:

216

"Give o'er from fighting further, / good warriors every one! Amongst our foes now see I / Siegmund's noble son, Of netherland the doughty / knight on victory bent. Him has the evil Devil / to scourge the Saxons hither sent."

217

Then bade he all the banners / amid the storm let down. Peace he quickly sued for: / 'Twas granted him anon, But he must now a hostage / be ta'en to Gunther's land. This fate had forced upon him / the fear of Siegfried's mighty hand.

218

They thus by common counsel / left off all further fight. Hacked full many a helmet / and shields that late were bright From hands down laid they weary; / as many as there might be, With stains they all were bloody / 'neath hands of the men of Burgundy.

219

Each whom he would took captive, / now they had won the fight. Gernot, the noble hero, / and Hagen, doughty knight, Bade bear forth the wounded. / Back led they with them then Unto the land of Burgundy / five hundred stalwart fighting-men.

220

The knights, of victory cheated, / their native Denmark sought, Nor had that day the Saxons / with such high valor fought, That one could praise them for it, / which caused the warriors pain. Then wept their friends full sorely / at home for those in battle slain.

221

For the Rhine then laden / they let their armor be. Siegfried, the knight so doughty, / had won the victory With his few chosen followers; / that he had nobly done, Could not but free acknowledge / King Gunther's warriors every one.

222

To Worms sent Gernot riding / now a messenger, And of the joyous tiding / soon friends at home were ware, How that it well had prospered / with him and all his men. Fought that day with valor / for honor had those warriors keen.

223

The messenger sped forward / and told the tidings o'er. Then joyfully they shouted / who boded ill before, To hear the welcome story / that now to them was told. From ladies fair and noble / came eager questions manifold,

224

Who all the fair fortune / of King Gunther's men would know. One messenger they ordered / unto Kriemhild to go. But that was done in secret: / she durst let no one see, For he was 'mongst those warriors / whom she did love so faithfully.

225

When to her own apartments / was come the messenger Joyfully addressed him / Kriemhild the maiden fair: "But tell me now glad tidings, / and gold I'll give to thee, And if thou tell'st not falsely, / good friend thou'lt ever find in me.

226

"How has my good brother / Gernot in battle sped, And how my other kinsmen? / Lies any of them dead? Who wrought most deeds of valor? / —That shall thou let me know." Then spake the messenger truly: / "No knight but did high valor show.

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"But in the dire turmoil / rode rider none so well, O Princess fair and noble, / since I must truly tell, As the stranger knight full noble / who comes from Netherland; There deeds of mickle wonder / were wrought by doughty Siegfried's hand.

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"Whate'er have all the warriors / in battle dared to do, Dankwart and Hagen / and the other knights so true, Howe'er they fought for honor, / 'twas naught but idle play Beside what there wrought Siegfried, / King Siegmund's son, amid the fray.

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"Beneath their hands in battle / full many a hero fell, Yet all the deeds of wonder / no man could ever tell, Wrought by the hand of Siegfried, / when rode he 'gainst the foe: And weep aloud must women / for friends by his strong arm laid low.

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"There, too, the knight she loved / full many a maid must lose. Were heard come down on helmet / so loud his mighty blows, That they from gaping gashes / brought forth the flowing blood. In all that maketh noble / he is a valiant knight and good.

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"Many a deed of daring / of Metz Sir Ortwein wrought: For all was evil faring / whom he with broadsword caught, Doomed to die that instant, / or wounded sore to fall. And there thy valiant brother / did greater havoc work than all

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"That e'er in storm of battle / was done by warrior bold. Of all those chosen warriors / let eke the truth be told: The proud Burgundian heroes / have made it now right plain, That they can free from insult / their country's honor well maintain.

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"Beneath their hands was often / full many a saddle bare, When o'er the field resounding / their bright swords cut the air. The warriors from Rhine river / did here such victory win That for their foes 'twere better / if they such meeting ne'er had seen.

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"Keen the knights of Tronje / 'fore all their valor showed, When with their stalwart followers / against their foes they rode; Slain by the hand of Hagen / must knights so many be, 'Twill long be in the telling / here in the land of Burgundy.

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"Sindold and Hunold, / Gernot's men each one, And the valiant Rumold / have all so nobly done, King Luedeger will ever / have right good cause to rue That he against thy kindred / at Rhine dared aught of harm to do.

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"And deeds of all most wondrous / e'er done by warrior keen In earliest time or latest, / by mortal ever seen, Wrought there in lusty manner / Siegfried with doughty hand. Rich hostages he bringeth / with him unto Gunther's land.

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"By his own strength subdued them / the hero unsurpassed And brought down dire ruin / upon King Luedegast, Eke on the King of Saxons / his brother Luedeger. Now hearken to the story / I tell thee, noble Princess fair.

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"Them both hath taken captive / Siegfried's doughty hand. Hostages were so many / ne'er brought into this land As to the Rhine come hither / through his great bravery." Than these could never tidings / unto her heart more welcome be.

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"With captives home they're hieing, / five hundred men or mo', And of the wounded dying / Lady shalt thou know, Full eighty blood-stained barrows / unto Burgundian land, Most part hewn down in battle / beneath keen Siegfried's doughty hand.

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"Who message sent defiant / unto the Rhine so late Must now as Gunther's prisoners / here abide their fate. Bringing such noble captives / the victors glad return." Then glowed with joy the princess / when she the tidings glad did learn.

241 Alright, yeah; it's Chapter 5. Halfway done, man!

Her cheeks so full of beauty / with joy were rosy-red, That passed he had uninjured / through all the dangers dread, The knight she loved so dearly, / Siegfried with doughty arm. Good cause she had for joying / o'er all her friends escaped from harm.

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Then spake the beauteous maiden: / "Glad news thou hast told me, Wherefor now rich apparel / thy goodly meed shall be, And to thee shall be given / ten marks of gold as well." 'Tis thus a thing right pleasant / to ladies high such news to tell.

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The presents rich they gave him, / gold and apparel rare. Then hastened to the casement / full many a maiden fair, And on the street looked downward: / hither riding did they see Many a knight high-hearted / into the land of Burgundy.

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There came who 'scaped uninjured, / and wounded borne along, All glad to hear the greetings / of friends, a joyful throng. To meet his friends the monarch / rode out in mickle glee: In joying now was ended / all his full great anxiety.

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Then did he well his warriors / and eke the strangers greet; And for a king so mighty / 'twere nothing else but meet That he should thank right kindly / the gallant men each one, Who had in storm of battle / the victory so bravely won.

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Then of his friends King Gunther / bade tidings tell straightway, Of all his men how many / were fallen in the fray. Lost had he none other / than warriors three score: Then wept they for the heroes, / as since they did for many more.

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Shields full many brought they / all hewn by valiant hand, And many a shattered helmet / into King Gunther's hand. The riders then dismounted / from their steeds before the hall, And a right hearty welcome / from friends rejoicing had they all.

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Then did they for the warriors / lodging meet prepare, And for his guests the monarch / bade full well have care. He bade them take the wounded / and tend them carefully, And toward his enemies also / his gentle bearing might ye see.

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To Luedeger then spake he: / "Right welcome art thou here. Through fault of thine now have I / lost many friends full dear, For which, have I good fortune, / thou shall right well atone. God rich reward my liegemen, / such faithfulness to me they've shown."

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"Well may'st thou thank them, truly," / spake then Luedeger; "Hostages so noble / won a monarch ne'er. For chivalrous protection / rich goods we offer thee, That thou now right gracious / to us thy enemies shalt be."

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"I'll grant you both your freedom," / spake the king again; "But that my enemies surely / here by me remain, Therefor I'll have good pledges / they ne'er shall quit my land, Save at my royal pleasure." / Thereto gave Luedeger the hand.

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Sweet rest then found the weary / their tired limbs to aid, And gently soon on couches / the wounded knights were laid; Mead and wine right ruddy / they poured out plenteously: Than they and all their followers / merrier men there none might be.

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Their shields all hacked in battle / secure were laid away; And not a few of saddles / stained with blood that day, Lest women weep to see them, / hid they too from sight. Full many a keen rider / home came aweary from the fight.

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The host in gentlest manner / did his guests attend: The land around with stranger / was crowded, and with friend. They bade the sorely wounded / nurse with especial care: Whereby the knights high-hearted / 'neath all their wounds knew not despair.

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Who there had skill in healing / received reward untold, Silver all unweighéd / and thereto ruddy gold For making whole the heroes / after the battle sore. To all his friends the monarch / gave presents rich in goodly store.

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Who there again was minded / to take his homeward way They bade, as one a friend doth, / yet a while to stay. The king did then take counsel / how to reward each one, For they his will in battle / like liegemen true had nobly done.

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Then outspake royal Gernot: / "Now let them homeward go; After six weeks are over, / —thus our friends shall know— To hold high feast they're bidden / hither to come again; Many a knight now lying / sore wounded will be healed ere then.

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Of Netherland the hero / would also then take leave. When of this King Gunther / did tidings first receive, The knight besought he kindly / not yet his leave to take: To this he'd ne'er consented / an it were not for Kriemhild's sake.

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A prince he was too noble / to take the common pay; He had right well deserved it / that the king alway And all his warriors held him / in honor, for they had seen What by his arm in battle / bravely had accomplished been.

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He stayed there yet a little / for the maiden's sake alone, Whom he would see so gladly. / And all fell out full soon As he at heart had wished it: / well known to him was she. Home to his father's country / joyously anon rode he.

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The king bade at all seasons / keep up the tournament, And many a youthful rider / forth to the lists there went. The while were seats made ready / by Worms upon the strand For all who soon were coming / unto the Burgundian land.

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In the meantime also, / ere back the knights returned, Had Kriemhild, noble lady, / the tidings likewise learned, The king would hold high feasting / with all his gallant men. There was a mickle hurry, / and busy were fair maidens then

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With dresses and with wimples / that they there should wear. Ute, queen so stately, / the story too did hear, How to them were coming / proud knights of highest worth. Then from enfolding covers / were store of dresses rich brought forth.

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Such love she bore her children / she bade rich dress prepare, Wherewith adorned were ladies / and many a maiden fair, And not a few young riders / in the land of Burgundy. For strangers many bade she / rich garments eke should measured be.

edit Chapter 5

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Unto the Rhine now daily / the knights were seen to ride, Who there would be full gladly / to share the festive tide. To all that thither journeyed / to the king to show them true, In plenty them were given / steeds and rich apparel too.

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And soon were seats made ready / for every noble guest, As we have heard the story, / for highest and for best, Two and thirty princes / at the festival. Then vied with one another / to deck themselves the ladies all.

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Never was seen idle / the young Prince Giselher: The guests and all their followers / received full kindly were By him and eke by Gernot / and their men every one. The noble thanes they greeted / as ever 'tis in honor done.

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With gold bright gleaming saddles / unto the land they brought, Good store of rich apparel / and shields all richly wrought Unto the Rhine they carried / to that high festival. And joyous days were coming / for the woúnded warriors all.

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They who yet on couches / lay wounded grievously For joy had soon forgotten / how bitter death would be: The sick and all the ailing / no need of pity had. Anent the days of feasting / were they o'er the tidings glad,

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How they should make them merry / there where all were so. Delight beyond all measure, / of joys an overflow, Had in sooth the people / seen on every hand: Then rose a mickle joyance / over all King Gunther's land.

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Full many a warrior valiant / one morn at Whitsuntide All gorgeously apparelled / was thither seen to ride, Five thousand men or over, / where the feast should be; And vied in every quarter / knight with knight in revelry.

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Thereof the host was mindful, / for he well did understand How at heart right warmly / the hero of Netherland Loved alone his sister, / though her he ne'er had seen, Who praised for wondrous beauty / before all maidens else had been.

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Then spake the thane so noble / of Metz Sir Ortwein: "Wilt thou full be honored / by every guest of thine, Then do them all the pleasure / the winsome maids to see, That are held so high in honor / here in the land of Burgundy.

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"What were a man's chief pleasure, / his very joy of life, An 't were not a lovely maiden / or a stately wife? Then let the maid thy sister / before thy guests appear." —Brave thanes did there full many / at heart rejoice the rede to hear.

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"Thy words I'll gladly follow," / then the monarch said, And all the knights who heard him / ere thereat right glad. Then told was Queen Ute / and eke her daughter fair, That they with maids in waiting / unto the court should soon repair.

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Then in well-stored wardrobes / rich attire they sought, And forth from folding covers / their glittering dresses brought, Armbands and silken girdles / of which they many had. And zealous to adorn her / was then full many a winsome maid.

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Full many a youthful squire / upon that day did try, By decking of his person, / to win fair lady's eye; For the which great good fortune / he'd take no monarch's crown: They longed to see those maidens, / whom they before had never known.

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For her especial service / the king did order then To wait upon his sister / a hundred of his men, As well upon his mother: / they carried sword in hand. That was the court attendance / there in the Burgundian land.

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Ute, queen so stately, / then came forth with her: And with the queen in waiting / ladies fair there were, A hundred or over, / in festal robes arrayed. Eke went there with Kriemhild / full many a fair and winsome maid.

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Forth from their own apartments / they all were seen to go: There was a mickle pressing / of good knights to and fro, Who hoped to win the pleasure, / if such a thing might be, The noble maiden Kriemhild, / delight of every eye, to see.

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Now came she fair and lovely, / as the ruddy sun of morn From misty clouds emerging. / Straight he who long had borne Her in his heart and loved her, / from all his gloom was freed, As so stately there before him / he saw the fair and lovely maid.

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Her rich apparel glittered / with many a precious stone, And with a ruddy beauty / her cheeks like roses shone. Though you should wish to do so, / you could not say, I ween, That e'er a fairer lady / in all the world before was seen.

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As in a sky all starlit / the moon shines out so bright, And through the cloudlets peering / pours down her gentle light, E'en so was Kriemhild's beauty / among her ladies fair: The hearts of gallant heroes / were gladder when they saw her there.

284 So, how about that recent sports game? Meh; I hate small talk; keep reading slacker!

The richly clad attendants / moved stately on before, And the valiant thanes high-hearted / stood patiently no more, But pressed right eager forward / to see the lovely maid: In noble Siegfried's bosom / alternate joy and anguish swayed.

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He thought with heart despairing, / "How could it ever be, That I should win thy favor? / There hoped I foolishly. But had I e'er to shun thee, / then were I rather dead." And oft, to think upon it, / the color from his visage fled.

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The noble son of Siegmund / did there so stately stand As if his form were pictured / by good old master's hand Upon a piece of parchment. / All who saw, confessed That he of all good heroes / was the stateliest and the best.

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The fair Kriemhild's attendants / gave order to make way On all sides for the ladies, / and willing thanes obey. To see their noble bearing / did every warrior cheer; Full many a stately lady / of gentle manner born was there.

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Then outspake of Burgundy / Gernot the valiant knight: "To him who thus has helped thee / so bravely in the fight, Gunther, royal brother, / shalt thou like favor show, A thane before all others; / he's worthy of it well, I trow.

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"Let then the doughty Siegfried / unto my sister go To have the maiden's greetings, / —'twill be our profit so. She that ne'er greeted hero / shall greet him courteously, That thus the stately warrior / for aye our faithful friend may be."

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The king's knights hastened gladly / upon his high command And told these joyous tidings / to the prince of Netherland. "It is the king's good pleasure / that thou to court shalt go, To have his sister's greetings; / to honor thee 'tis ordered so."

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Then was the thane full valiant / thereat soon filled with joy. Yea, bore he in his bosom / delight without alloy At thought that he should straightway / Ute's fair daughter see. Siegfried anon she greeted / in courteous manner lovingly.

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As she saw the knight high-hearted / there before her stand, Blushed red and spake the maiden, / the fairest of the land: "A welcome, brave Sir Siegfried, / thou noble knight and good." As soon as he had heard it, / the hearty greeting cheered his mood.

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Before her low he bended; / him by the hand took she, And by her onward wended / the knight full willingly. They cast upon each other / fond glances many a one, The knight and eke the maiden; / furtively it all was done.

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Whether he pressed friendly / that hand as white as snow From the love he bore her, / that I do not know; Yet believe I cannot / that this was left undone, For straightway showed the maiden / that he her heart had fully won.

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In the sunny summer season / and in the month of May Had his heart seen never / before so glad a day, Nor one so fully joyous, / as when he walked beside That maiden rich in beauty / whom fain he'd choose to be his bride.

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Then thought many a warrior: / "Were it likewise granted me To walk beside the maiden, / just as now I see, Or to lie beside her, / how gladly were that done!" But ne'er a knight more fully / had gracious lady's favor won.

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From all the lands far distant / were guests distinguished there, But fixed each eye was only / upon this single pair. By royal leave did Kriemhild / kiss then the stately knight: In all the world he never / before had known so rare delight.

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Then full of strange forebodings, / of Denmark spake the king: "This full loving greeting / to many woe will bring, —My heart in secret warns me— / through Siegfried's doughty hand. God give that he may never / again be seen within my land."

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On all sides then 'twas ordered / 'fore Kriemhild and her train Of women make free passage. / Full many a valiant thane With her unto the minster / in courtly way went on. But from her side was parted / the full stately knight anon.

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Then went she to the minster, / and with her many a maid. In such rich apparel / Kriemhild was arrayed, That hearty wishes many / there were made in vain: Her comely form delighted / the eye of many a noble thane.

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Scarce could tarry Siegfried / till mass was sung the while. And surely did Dame Fortune / upon him kindly smile, To him she was so gracious / whom in his heart he bore. Eke did he the maiden, / as she full well deserved, adore.

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As after mass then Kriemhild / came to the minster door, The knight his homage offered, / as he had done before. Then began to thank him / the full beauteous maid, That he her royal brothers / did 'gainst their foes so nobly aid.

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"God speed thee, Sir Siegfried," / spake the maiden fair, "For thou hast well deservéd / that all these warriors are, As it hath now been told me, / right grateful unto thee." Then gan he cast his glances / on the Lady Kriemhild lovingly.

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"True will I ever serve them," / —so spake the noble thane— "And my head shall never / be laid to rest again, Till I, if life remaineth, / have their good favor won. In sooth, my Lady Kriemhild, / for thy fair grace it all is done."

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Ne'er a day passed over / for a twelve of happy days, But saw they there beside him / the maiden all did praise, As she before her kinsmen / to court would daily go: It pleased the thane full highly / that they did him such honor show.

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Delight and great rejoicing, / a mighty jubilee, Before King Gunther's castle / daily might ye see, Without and eke within it, / 'mongst keen men many a one. By Ortwein and by Hagen / great deeds and wondrous there were done.

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Whate'er was done by any, / in all they ready were To join in way right lusty, / both the warriors rare: Whereby 'mongst all the strangers / they won an honored name, And through their deeds so wondrous / of Gunther's land spread far the fame.

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Who erstwhile lay sore wounded / now were whole again, And fain would share the pastime, / with all the king's good men; With shields join in the combat, / and try the shaft so long. Wherein did join them many / of the merry-making throng.

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To all who joined the feasting / the host in plenty bade Supply the choicest viands: / so guarded well he had 'Gainst whate'er reproaches / could rise from spite or spleen. Unto his guests right friendly / to go the monarch now was seen.

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He spake: "Ye thanes high-hearted, / ere now ye part from me, Accept of these my presents; / for I would willingly Repay your noble service. / Despise ye not, I pray, What now I will share with you: / 'tis offered in right grateful way."

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Straightway they of Denmark / thus to the king replied: "Ere now upon our journey / home again we ride, We long for lasting friendship. / Thereof we knights have need, For many a well-loved kinsman / at hands of thy good thanes lies dead."

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Luedegast was recovered / from all his wounds so sore, And eke the lord of Saxons / from fight was whole once more. Some amongst their warriors / left they dead behind. Then went forth King Gunther / where he Siegfried might find.

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Unto the thane then spake he: / "Thy counsel give, I pray. The foes whom we hold captive / fain would leave straightway, And long for lasting friendship / with all my men and me. Now tell me, good Sir Siegfried, / what here seemeth good to thee.

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"What the lords bid as ransom, / shall now to thee be told Whate'er five hundred horses / might bear of ruddy gold, They'd give to me right gladly, / would I but let them free." Then spake the noble Siegfried: / "That were to do right foolishly.

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"Thou shalt let them freely / journey hence again; And that they both hereafter / shall evermore refrain From leading hostile army / against thee and thy land, Therefor in pledge of friendship / let each now give to thee the hand."

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"Thy rede I'll gladly follow." / Straightway forth they went. To those who offered ransom / the answer then was sent, Their gold no one desired / which they would give before. The warriors battle-weary / dear friends did yearn to see once more.

317 Wow; Chapter 7. Goin' fast now.

Full many a shield all laden / with treasure forth they bore: He dealt it round unmeasured / to friends in goodly store; Each one had marks five hundred / and some had more, I ween. Therein King Gunther followed / the rede of Gernot, knight full keen.

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Then was a great leave-taking, / as they departed thence. The warriors all 'fore Kriemhild / appeared in reverence, And eke there where her mother / Queen Ute sat near by. Gallant thanes were never / dismissed as these so graciously.

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Bare were the lodging-places, / when away the strangers rode. Yet in right lordly manner / there at home abode The king with friends around him, / full noble men who were. And them now saw they daily / at court before Kriemhild appear.

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Eke would the gallant hero / Siegfried thence depart, The thing to gain despairing / whereon was set his heart. The king was told the tidings / how that he would away. Giselher his brother / did win the knight with them to stay.

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"Whither, O noble Siegfried, / wilt thou now from us ride? Do as I earnest pray thee, / and with these thanes abide, As guest here with King Gunther, / and live right merrily. Here dwell fair ladies many: / them will he gladly let thee see."

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Then spake the doughty Siegfried: / "Our steeds leave yet at rest, The while from this my purpose / to part will I desist. Our shields once more take from us. / Though gladly home I would, Naught 'gainst the fond entreaties / of Giselher avail me could."

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So stayed the knight full gallant / for sake of friendship there. In sooth in ne'er another / country anywhere Had he so gladly lingered: / iwis it was that he, Now whensoe'er he wished it, / Kriemhild the maiden fair could see.

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'Twas her surpassing beauty / that made the knight to stay. With many a merry pastime / they whiled the time away; But love for her oppressed him, / oft-times grievously. Whereby anon the hero / a mournful death was doomed to die.

edit Chapter 7

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Tidings unknown to any / from over Rhine now come, How winsome maids a many / far yonder had their home. Whereof the royal Gunther / bethought him one to win, And o'er the thought the monarch / of full joyous mood was seen.

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There was a queenly maiden / seated over sea, Like her nowhere another / was ever known to be. She was in beauty matchless, / full mickle was her might; Her love the prize of contest, / she hurled the shaft with valiant knight.

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The stone she threw far distant, / wide sprang thereafter too. Who turned to her his fancy / with intent to woo, Three times perforce must vanquish / the lady of high degree; Failed he in but one trial, / forfeited his head had he.

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This same the lusty princess / times untold had done. When to a warrior gallant / beside the Rhine 'twas known, He thought to take unto him / the noble maid for wife: Thereby must heroes many / since that moment lose their life.

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Then spake of Rhine the master: / "I'll down unto the sea Unto Brunhild journey, / fare as 'twill with me. For her unmeasured beauty / I'll gladly risk my life, Ready eke to lose it, / if she may not be my wife."

330

"I counsel thee against it," / spake then Siegfried. "So terrible in contest / the queen is indeed, Who for her love is suitor / his zeal must dearly pay. So shalt thou from the journey / truly be content to stay."

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"So will I give thee counsel," / outspake Hagen there, "That thou beg of Siegfried / with thee to bear The perils that await thee: / that is now my rede, To him is known so fully / what with Brunhild will be thy need."

332

He spake: "And wilt thou help me, / noble Siegfried, To win the lovely maiden? / Do what now I plead; And if in all her beauty / she be my wedded wife, To meet thy fullest wishes / honor will I pledge and life."

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Thereto answered Siegfried, / the royal Siegmund's son: "Giv'st thou me thy sister, / so shall thy will be done, —Kriemhild the noble princess, / in beauty all before. For toils that I encounter / none other meed I ask thee more."

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"That pledge I," spake then Gunther, / "Siegfried, in thy hand. And comes the lovely Brunhild / thither to this land, Thereunto thee my sister / for wife I'll truly give, That with the lovely maiden / thou may'st ever joyful live."

335 ...Oh shit. I did Chapter 7 twice. Ah, fuck it. I don't care.

Oaths the knight full noble / upon the compact swore, Whereby to them came troubles / and dangers all the more, Ere they the royal lady / brought unto the Rhine. Still should the warriors valiant / in sorest need and sorrow pine.

336

With him carried Siegfried / that same mantle then, The which with mickle trouble / had won the hero keen From a dwarf in struggle, / Alberich by name. They dressed them for the journey, / the valiant thanes of lofty fame.

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And when the doughty Siegfried / the sightless mantle wore, Had he within it / of strength as good a store As other men a dozen / in himself alone. The full stately princess / anon by cunning art he won.

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Eke had that same mantle / such wondrous properties That any man whatever / might work whate'er he please When once he had it on him, / yet none could see or tell. 'Twas so that he won Brunhild; / whereby him evil since befell.

339

"Ere we begin our journey, / Siegfried, tell to me, That we with fullest honor / come unto the sea, Shall we lead warriors with us / down to Brunhild's land? Thanes a thirty thousand / straightway shall be called to hand."

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"Men bring we ne'er so many," / answered Siegfried then. "So terrible in custom / ever is the queen, That all would death encounter / from her angry mood. I'll give thee better counsel, / thane in valor keen and good.

341

"Like as knights-errant journey / down the Rhine shall we. Those now will I name thee / who with us shall be; But four in all the company / seaward shall we fare: Thus shall we woo the lady, / what fortune later be our share.

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"Myself one of the company, / a second thou shalt be, Hagen be the third one / —so fare we happily; The fourth let it be Dankwart, / warrior full keen. Never thousand others / dare in fight withstand us then."

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"The tale I would know gladly," / the king then further said, "Ere we have parted thither / —of that were I full glad— What should we of apparel, / that would befit us well, Wear in Brunhild's presence: / that shalt thou now to Gunther tell."

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"Weeds the very finest / that ever might be found They wear in every season / in Brunhild's land: So shall we rich apparel / before the lady wear, That we have not dishonor / where men the tale hereafter hear."

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Then spake he to the other: / "Myself will go unto My own loving mother, / if I from her may sue That her fair tendant maidens / help that we be arrayed As we may go in honor / before the high majestic maid."

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Then spake of Tronje Hagen / with noble courtliness: "Why wilt thou of thy mother / beg such services? Only let thy sister / hear our mind and mood: So shall for this our journey / her good service be bestowed."

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Then sent he to his sister / that he her would see, And with him also Siegfried. / Ere that such might be, Herself had there the fair one / in rich apparel clad. Sooth to tell, the visit / but little did displease the maid.

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Then also were her women / decked as for them was meet. The princes both were coming: / she rose from off her seat, As doth a high-born lady / when that she did perceive, And went the guest full noble / and eke her brother to receive.

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"Welcome be my brother / and his companion too. I'd know the story gladly," / spake the maiden so, "What ye now are seeking / that ye are come to me: I pray you straightway tell me / how 't with you valiants twain may be."

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Then spake the royal Gunther: / "Lady, thou shall hear: Spite of lofty spirits / have we yet a care. To woo a maid we travel / afar to lands unknown; We should against the journey / have rich apparel for our own."

351

"Seat thee now, dear brother," / spake the princess fair; "Let me hear the story, / who the ladies are That ye will seek as suitors / in stranger princes' land." Both good knights the lady / took in greeting by the hand.

352

With the twain then went she / where she herself had sat, To couches rich and costly, / in sooth believe ye that, Wrought in design full cunning / of gold embroidery. And with these fair ladies / did pass the time right pleasantly.

353

Many tender glances / and looks full many a one Fondly knight and lady / each other cast upon. Within his heart he bore her, / she was as his own life. Anon the fairest Kriemhild / was the doughty Siegfried's wife.

354

Then spake the mighty monarch: / "Full loving sister mine, This may we ne'er accomplish / without help of thine. Unto Brunhild's country / as suitor now we fare: 'Tis fitting that 'fore ladies / we do rich apparel wear."

355

Then spake the royal maiden: / "Brother dear to me, In whatsoever manner / my help may given be, Of that I well assure you, / ready thereto am I. To Kriemhild 'twere a sorrow / if any should the same deny.

356

"Of me, O noble brother, / thou shalt not ask in vain: Command in courteous manner / and I will serve thee fain. Whatever be thy pleasure, / for that I'll lend my aid And willingly I'll do it," / spake the fair and winsome maid.

357

"It is our wish, dear sister, / apparel good to wear; That shall now directing / the royal hand prepare; And let thy maids see to it / that all is done aright, For we from this same journey / turn not aside for word of wight."

358 Are we on 8 yet? 7 is frikkin' long.

Spake thereupon the maiden: / "Now mark ye what I say: Myself have silks in plenty; / now send us rich supply Of stones borne on bucklers, / so vesture we'll prepare." To do it royal Gunther / and Siegfried both right ready were.

359

"And who are your companions," / further questioned she, "Who with you apparelled / now for court shall be?" "I it is and Siegfried, / and of my men are two, Dankwart and Hagen, / who with us to court shall go.

360

"Now rightly what we tell thee, / mark, O sister dear: 'Tis that we four companions / for four days may wear Thrice daily change of raiment / so wrought with skilful hand That we without dishonor / may take our leave of Brunhild's land."

361

After fair leave-taking / the knights departed so. Then of her attendants / thirty maids to go Forth from her apartments / Kriemhild the princess bade, Of those that greatest cunning / in such skilful working had.

362

ks that were of Araby / white as the snow in sheen, And from the land of Zazamank / like unto grass so green, With stones of price they broidered; / that made apparel rare. Herself she cut them, Kriemhild / the royal maiden debonair.

363

Fur linings fashioned fairly / from dwellers in the sea Beheld by people rarely, / the best that e'er might be, With silken stuffs they covered / for the knights to wear. Now shall ye of the shining / weeds full many a wonder hear.

364

From land of far Morocco / and eke from Libya Of silks the very finest / that ever mortal saw With any monarch's kindred, / they had a goodly store. Well showed the Lady Kriemhild / that unto them good will she bore.

365

Since they unto the journey / had wished that so it be, Skins of costly ermine / used they lavishly, Whereon were silken pieces / black as coal inlaid. To-day were any nobles / in robes so fashioned well arrayed.

366

From the gold of Araby / many a stone there shone. The women long were busy / before the work was done; But all the robes were finished / ere seven weeks did pass, When also trusty armor / for the warriors ready was.

367

When they at length were ready / adown the Rhine to fare, A ship lay waiting for them / strong built with mickle care, Which should bear them safely / far down unto the sea. The maidens rich in beauty / plied their work laboriously.

368

Then 'twas told the warriors / for them was ready there The finely wrought apparel / that they were to wear; Just as they had wished it, / so it had been made; After that the heroes / there by the Rhine no longer stayed.

369

To the knights departing / went soon a messenger: Would they come in person / to view their new attire, If it had been fitted / short and long aright. 'Twas found of proper measure, / and thanked those ladies fair each knight.

370

And all who there beheld them / they must needs confess That in the world they never / had gazed on fairer dress: At court to wear th' apparel / did therefore please them well. Of warriors better furnished / never could a mortal tell.

371

Thanks oft-times repeated / were there not forgot. Leave of parting from them / the noble knights then sought: Like thanes of noble bearing / they went in courteous wise. Then dim and wet with weeping / grew thereat two shining eyes.

372

She spake: "O dearest brother, / still here thou mightest stay, And woo another woman— / that were the better way— Where so sore endangered / stood not thus thy life. Here nearer canst thou find thee / equally a high-born wife."

373

I ween their hearts did tell them / what later came to pass. They wept there all together, / whatever spoken was. The gold upon their bosoms / was sullied 'neath the tears That from their eyes in plenty / fell adown amid their fears.

374

She spake: "O noble Siegfried, / to thee commended be Upon thy truth and goodness / the brother dear to me, That he come unscathed / home from Brunhild's land." That plighted the full valiant / knight in Lady Kriemhild's hand.

375

The mighty thane gave answer: / "If I my life retain, Then shall thy cares, good Lady, / all have been in vain. All safe I'll bring him hither / again unto the Rhine, Be that to thee full sicker." / To him did the fair maid incline.

376

Their shields of golden color / were borne unto the strand, And all their trusty armor / was ready brought to hand. They bade their horses bring them: / they would at last depart. —Thereat did fairest women / weep with sad foreboding heart.

377

Down from lofty casement / looked many a winsome maid, As ship and sail together / by stirring breeze were swayed. Upon the Rhine they found them, / the warriors full of pride. Then outspake King Gunther: / "Who now is here the ship to guide?"

378

"That will I," spake Siegfried; / "I can upon the flood Lead you on in safety, / that know ye, heroes good; For all the water highways / are known right well to me." With joy they then departed / from the land of Burgundy.

379

A mighty pole then grasped he, / Siegfried the doughty man, And the ship from shore / forth to shove began. Gunther the fearless also / himself took oar in hand. The knights thus brave and worthy / took departure from the land.

380

They carried rich provisions, / thereto the best of wine That might in any quarter / be found about the Rhine. Their chargers stood in comfort / and rested by the way: The ship it moved so lightly / that naught of injury had they.

381

Stretched before the breezes / were the great sail-ropes tight, And twenty miles they journeyed / ere did come the night, By fair breezes favored / down toward the sea. Their toil repaid thereafter / the dauntless knights full grievously.

382

Upon the twelfth morning, / as we in story hear, Had they by the breezes / thence been carried far, Unto Castle Isenstein / and Brunhild's country: That to Siegfried only / was known of all the company.

383 Woo! 200 cantos left! By the way, are they called cantos? I forget.

As soon as saw King Gunther / so many towers rise And eke the boundless marches / stretch before his eyes, He spake: "Tell me, friend Siegfried, / is it known to thee Whose they are, the castles / and the majestic broad country?"

384

Thereto gave answer Siegfried: / "That well to me is known: Brunhild for their mistress / do land and people own And Isenstein's firm towers, / as ye have heard me say. Ladies fair a many / shall ye here behold to-day.

385

"And I will give you counsel: / be it well understood That all your words must tally / —so methinks 'twere good. If ere to-day is over / our presence she command, Must we leave pride behind us, / as before Brunhild we stand.

386

"When we the lovely lady / 'mid her retainers see, Then shall ye, good companions, / in all your speech agree That Gunther is my master / and I his serving-man: 'Tis thus that all he hopeth / shall we in the end attain."

387

To do as he had bidden / consented straight each one, And spite of proudest spirit / they left it not undone. All that he wished they promised, / and good it proved to be When anon King Gunther / the fair Brunhild came to see.

388

"Not all to meet thy wishes / do I such service swear, But most 'tis for thy sister, / Kriemhild the maiden fair; Just as my soul unto me / she is my very life, And fain would I deserve it / that she in truth become my wife."

edit Chapter 7

389

The while they thus did parley / their ship did forward glide So near unto the castle / that soon the king espied Aloft within the casements / many a maiden fair to see. That all to him were strangers / thought King Gunther mournfully.

390

He asked then of Siegfried, / who bare him company: "Know'st thou aught of the maidens, / who the same may be, Gazing yonder downward / upon us on the tide? Howe'er is named their master, / minded are they high in pride."

391

Then spake the valiant Siegfried: / "Now thither shalt thou spy Unseen among the ladies, / then not to me deny Which, wert thou free in choosing, / thou'dst take to be thy queen." "That will I do," then answered / Gunther the valiant knight and keen.

392

"I see there one among them / by yonder casement stand, Clad in snow-white raiment: / 'tis she my eyes demand, So buxom she in stature, / so fair she is to see. An I were free in choosing, / she it is my wife must be."

393

"Full well now in choosing / thine eyes have guided thee: It is the stately Brunhild / the maiden fair to see, That doth now unto her / thy heart and soul compel." All the maiden's bearing / pleased the royal Gunther well.

394

But soon the queen commanded / from casement all to go Of those her beauteous maidens: / they should not stand there so To be gazed at by the strangers. / They must obey her word. What were the ladies doing, / of that moreover have we heard.

395

Unto the noble strangers / their beauty they would show, A thing which lovely women / are ever wont to do. Unto the narrow casements / came they crowding on, When they spied the strangers: / that they might also see, 'twas done.

396

But four the strangers numbered, / who came unto that land. Siegfried the doughty / the king's steed led in hand: They saw it from the casements, / many a lovely maid, And saw the willing service / unto royal Gunther paid.

397

Then held he by the bridle / for him his gallant steed, A good and fair-formed charger, / strong and of noble breed, Until the royal Gunther / into the saddle sprung. Thus did serve him Siegfried: / a service all forgot ere long.

398

Then his own steed he also / led forth upon the shore. Such menial service had he / full seldom done before, That he should hold the stirrup / for monarch whomsoe'er. Down gazing from the casements / beheld it ladies high and fair.

399

At every point according, / the heroes well bedight —Their dress and eke their chargers / of color snowy white— Were like unto each other, / and well-wrought shield each one Of the good knights bore with him, / that brightly glimmered in the sun.

400

Jewelled well was saddle / and narrow martingale As they rode so stately / in front of Brunhild's Hall, And thereon bells were hanging / of red gold shining bright. So came they to that country, / as fitting was for men of might,

401

With spears all newly polished, / with swords, well-made that were And by the stately heroes / hung down unto the spur: Such bore the valiant riders / of broad and cutting blade. The noble show did witness / Brunhild the full stately maid.

402

With him came then Dankwart / and Hagen, doughty thane. The story further telleth / how that the heroes twain Of color black as raven / rich attire wore, And each a broad and mighty / shield of rich adornment bore.

403

Rich stones from India's country / every eye could see, Impending on their tunics, / sparkle full brilliantly. Their vessel by the river / they left without a guard, As thus the valiant heroes / rode undaunted castleward.

404 Fuck, man. Only Chapter 7? Ahhh!

Six and fourscore towers / without they saw rise tall, Three spacious palaces / and moulded well a hall All wrought of precious marble / green as blade of grass, Wherein the royal Brunhild / with company of fair ladies was.

405

The castle doors unbolted / were flung open wide As out toward them / the men of Brunhild hied And received the strangers / into their Lady's land. Their steeds they bade take over, / and also shield from out the hand.

406

Then spake a man-in-waiting: / "Give o'er the sword each thane, And eke the shining armor."— / "Good friend, thou ask'st in vain," Spake of Tronje Hagen; / "the same we'd rather wear." Then gan straightway Siegfried / the country's custom to declare.

407

"'Tis wont within this castle, / —of that be now aware— That never any stranger / weapons here shall bear. Now let them hence be carried: / well dost thou as I say." In this did full unwilling / Hagen, Gunther's man, obey.

408

They bade the strangers welcome / with drink and fitting rest. Soon might you see on all sides / full many knights the best In princely weeds apparelled / to their reception go: Yet did they mickle gazing / who would the keen new-comers know.

409

Then unto Lady Brunhild / the tidings strange were brought How that unknown warriors / now her land had sought, In stately apparel / come sailing o'er the sea. The maiden fair and stately / gave question how the same might be.

410

"Now shall ye straight inform me," / spake she presently, "Who so unfamiliar / these warrior knights may be, That within my castle / thus so lordly stand, And for whose sake the heroes / have hither journeyed to my land."

411

Then spake to her a servant: / "Lady, I well can say Of them I've ne'er seen any / before this present day: Be it not that one among them / is like unto Siegfried. Him give a goodly welcome: / so is to thee my loyal rede.

412

"The next of the companions / he is a worthy knight: If that were in his power / he well were king of might O'er wide domains of princes, / the which might reach his hand. Now see him by the others / so right majestically stand.

413

"The third of the companions, / that he's a man of spleen, —Withal of fair-formed body, / know thou, stately Queen,— Do tell his rapid glances / that dart so free from him. He is in all his thinking / a man, I ween, of mood full grim.

414

"The youngest one among them / he is a worthy knight: As modest as a maiden, / I see the thane of might Goodly in his bearing / standing so fair to see, We all might fear if any / affront to him should offered be.

415

"How blithe soe'er his manner, / how fair soe'er is he, Well could he cause of sorrow / to stately woman be, If he gan show his anger. / In him may well be seen He is in knightly virtues / a thane of valor bold and keen."

416

Then spake the queen in answer: / "Bring now my robes to hand. And is the mighty Siegfried / come unto this land, For love of me brought thither, / he pays it with his life. I fear him not so sorely / that I e'er become his wife."

417

So was fair Brunhild / straightway well arrayed. Then went with her thither / full many a beauteous maid, A hundred good or over, / bedight right merrily. The full beauteous maidens / would those stranger warriors see.

418

And with them went the warriors / there of Isenland, The knights attending Brunhild, / who bore sword in hand, Five hundred men or over. / Scarce heart the strangers kept As those knights brave and seemly / down from out the saddle leapt.

419

When the royal lady / Siegfried espied, Now mote ye willing listen / what there the maiden said. "Welcome be thou, Siegfried, / hither unto this land. What meaneth this thy journey, / gladly might I understand."

420

"Full mickle do I thank thee, / my Lady, high Brunhild, That thou art pleased to greet me, / noble Princess mild, Before this knight so noble, / who stands before me here: For he is my master, / whom first to honor fitting were.

421

"Born is he of Rhineland: / what need I say more? For thee 'tis highest favor / that we do hither fare. Thee will he gladly marry, / an bring that whatsoe'er. Betimes shalt thou bethink thee: / my master will thee never spare.

422

"For his name is Gunther / and he a mighty king. If he thy love hath won him, / more wants he not a thing. In sooth the king so noble / hath bade me hither fare: And gladly had I left it, / might I to thwart his wishes dare."

423

She spake: "Is he thy master / and thou his vassal art, Some games to him I offer, / and dare he there take part, And comes he forth the victor, / so am I then his wife: And be it I that conquer, / then shall ye forfeit each his life."

424

Then spake of Tronje Hagen: / "Lady, let us see Thy games so fraught with peril. / Before should yield to thee Gunther my master, / that well were something rare. He trows he yet is able / to win a maid so passing fair."

425

"Then shall ye try stone-putting / and follow up the cast, And the spear hurl with me. / Do ye naught here in haste. For well may ye pay forfeit / with honor eke and life: Bethink ye thus full calmly," / spake she whom Gunther would for wife.

426

Siegfried the valiant / stepped unto the king, And bade him speak out freely / his thoughts upon this thing Unto the queen so wayward, / he might have fearless heart. "For to well protect thee / from her do I know an art."

427

Then spake the royal Gunther: / "Now offer, stately Queen, What play soe'er thou mayest. / And harder had it been, Yet would I all have ventured / for all thy beauty's sake. My head I'll willing forfeit / or thyself my wife I'll make."

428 150 to go. Scroll faster, damn it!

When therefore the Queen Brunhild / heard how the matter stood The play she begged to hasten, / as indeed she should. She bade her servants fetch her / therefor apparel trim, A mail-coat ruddy golden / and shield well wrought from boss to rim.

429

A battle-tunic silken / the maid upon her drew, That in ne'er a contest / weapon piercéd through, Of skins from land of Libya, / and structure rare and fine; And brilliant bands embroidered / might you see upon it shine.

430

Meanwhile were the strangers / jibed with many a threat; Dankwart and Hagen, / their hearts began to beat. How here the king should prosper / were they of doubtful mood, Thinking, "This our journey / shall bring us wanderers naught of good."

431

le did also Siegfried / the thane beyond compare, Before 'twas marked by any, / unto the ship repair, Where he found his sightless mantle[2] / that did hidden lie, And slipped into 't full deftly: / so was he veiled from every eye.

[2] See strophe 97, note.

432

Thither back he hied him / and found great company About the queen who ordered / what the high play should be. There went he all in secret; / so cunningly 'twas done, Of all around were standing / perceived him never any one.

433

The ring it was appointed / wherein the play should be 'Fore many a keen warrior / who the same should see. More than seven hundred / were seen their weapons bear, That whoso were the victor / they might sure the same declare.

434

Thither was come Brunhild; / all arméd she did stand Like as she were to combat / for many a royal land; Upon her silken tunic / were gold bars many a one, And glowing 'mid the armor / her flesh of winsome color shone.

435

Then followed her attendants / and with them thither brought At once a shield full stately, / of pure red gold 'twas wrought, With steel-hard bands for facings, / full mickle 'twas and broad, Wherewith in the contest / would guard herself the lovely maid.

436

To hold the shield securely / a well-wrought band there was, Whereon lay precious jewels / green as blade of grass. Full many a ray their lustre / shot round against the gold. He were a man full valiant / whom this high dame should worthy hold.

437

The shield was 'neath the boss-point, / as to us is said, Good three spans in thickness, / which should bear the maid. Of steel 'twas wrought so richly / and had of gold such share, That chamberlain and fellows / three the same scarce could bear.

438

When the doughty Hagen / the shield saw thither brought, Spake the knight of Tronje, / and savage was his thought: "Where art thou now, King Gunther? / Shall we thus lose our life! Whom here thou seekst for lover, / she is the very Devil's wife."

439

List more of her apparel; / she had a goodly store. Of silk of Azagang / a tunic made she wore, All bedight full richly; / amid its color shone Forth from the queen it covered, / full many a sparkling precious stone.

440

Then brought they for the lady, / large and heavy there, As she was wont to hurl it, / a sharply-pointed spear; Strong and massive was it, / huge and broad as well, And at both its edges / it cut with devastation fell.

441

To know the spear was heavy / list ye wonders more: Three spears of common measure / 'twould make, and something o'er. Of Brunhild's attendants / three scarce the same could bear. The heart of noble Gunther / thereat began to fill with fear.

442

Within his soul he thought him: / "What pickle am I in? Of hell the very Devil, / how might he save his skin? Might I at home in Burgundy / safe and living be, Should she for many a season / from proffered love of mine be free."

443

Then spake Hagen's brother / the valiant Dankwart: "In truth this royal journey / doth sorely grieve my heart. We passed for good knights one time: / what caitiff's death, if we Here in far-off country / a woman's game are doomed to be!

444

"It rueth me full sorely / that I came to this land. And had my brother Hagen / his good sword in hand, And had I mine to help him, / a bit more gently then, A little tame of spirit, / might show themselves all Brunhild's men.

445

"And know it of a certain / to lord it thus they'd cease; E'en though oaths a thousand / I'd sworn to keep the peace, Before that I'd see perish / my dear lord shamefully, Amid the souls departed / this fair maid herself should be."

446

"Well should we unhampered / quit at last this land," Spake his brother Hagen, / "did we in armor stand, Such as we need for battle, / and bore we broadswords good: 'Twould be a little softened, / this doughty lady's haughty mood."

447

Well heard the noble maiden / what the warriors spoke. Back athwart her shoulder / she sent a smiling look: "Now thinks he him so valiant, / so let them arméd stand; Their full keen-edged broadswords / give the warriors each in hand."

448 Faster, fool! My dead grandma could do it better than you!

When they their swords received, / as the maiden said, The full valiant Dankwart / with joy his face grew red. "Now play they what them pleaseth," / cried the warrior brave; "Gunther is yet a freeman, / since now in hand good swords we have."

449

The royal Brunhild's prowess / with terror was it shown. Into the ring they bore her / in sooth a ponderous stone, Great and all unwieldy, / huge it was and round: And scarce good knights a dozen / together raised it from the ground.

450

To put this was her custom / after trial with the spear. Thereat the men of Burgundy / began to quake with fear. "Alack! Alack!" quoth Hagen, / "what seeks the king for bride? Beneath in hell 'twere better / the Devil had her by his side!"

451

On her white arms the flowing / sleeves she backward flung, Then with grasp of power / the shield in hand she swung, And spear poised high above her. / So did the contest start. Gunther and Siegfried / saw Brunhild's ire with falling heart.

452

And were it not that Siegfried / a ready help did bring, Surely then had perished / beneath her hand the king. There went he unperceived / and the king's hand did touch. Gunther at his cunning / artifice was troubled much.

453

"What is that hath touched me?" / thought the monarch keen. Then gazed he all around him: / none was there to be seen. A voice spake: "Siegfried is it, / a friend that holds thee dear. Before this royal maiden / shall thy heart be free from fear.

454

"Thy shield in hand now give me / and leave it me to bear, And do thou rightly mark thee / what thou now shalt hear. Now make thyself the motions, / —the power leave to me." When he did know him rightly, / the monarch's heart was filled with glee.

455

"Now secret keep my cunning, / let none e'er know the same: Then shall the royal maiden / here find but little game Of glory to win from thee, / as most to her is dear. Behold now how the lady / stands before thee void of fear."

456

The spear the stately maiden / with might and main did wield, And huge and broad she hurled it / upon the new-made shield, That on his arm did carry / the son of Siegelind; From the steel the sparks flew hissing / as if were blowing fierce the wind.

457

The mighty spear sharp-pointed / full through the shield did crash, That ye from off the mail-rings / might see the lightning flash. Beneath its force they stumbled, / did both those men of might; But for the sightless mantle / they both were killed there outright.

458

From mouth of the full doughty / Siegfried burst the blood. Full soon he yet recovered; / then seized the warrior good The spear that from her strong arm / thus his shield had rent, And back with force as came it / the hand of doughty Siegfried sent.

459

He thought: "To pierce the maiden / were but small glory earned," And so the spear's sharp edges / backward pointing turned; Against her mail-clad body / he made the shaft to bound, And with such might he sent it / full loud her armor did resound.

460

The sparks as if in stormwind / from mail-rings flew around. So mightily did hurl it / the son of Siegmund That she with all her power / could not the shaft withstand. In sooth it ne'er was speeded / so swiftly by King Gunther's hand.

461

But to her feet full sudden / had sprung Brunhild fair. "A shot, O noble Gunther, / befitting hero rare." She weened himself had done it, / and all unaided he, Nor wot she one far mightier / was thither come so secretly.

462

Then did she go full sudden, / wrathful was her mood, A stone full high she heaved / the noble maiden good, And the same far from her / with might and main she swung: Her armor's mail-rings jingled / as she herself thereafter sprung.

463

The stone, when it had fallen, / lay fathoms twelve from there, And yet did spring beyond it / herself the maiden fair. Then where the stone was lying / thither Siegfried went: Gunther feigned to move it, / but by another arm 'twas sent.

464

A valiant man was Siegfried / full powerful and tall. The stone then cast he farther, / and farther sprang withal. From those his arts so cunning / had he of strength such store That as he leaped he likewise / the weight of royal Gunther bore.

465

And when the leap was ended / and fallen was the stone, Then saw they ne'er another / but Gunther alone. Brunhild the fair maiden, / red grew she in wrath: Siegfried yet had warded / from royal Gunther surest death.

466

Unto her attendants / she spake in loud command, When she saw 'cross the circle / the king unvanquished stand. "Come hither quick, my kinsmen, / and ye that wait on me; Henceforth unto Gunther / shall all be pledged faithfully."

467

Then laid the knights full valiant / their swords from out the hand; At feet 'fore mighty Gunther / from Burgundian land Offered himself in service / full many a valiant knight. They weened that he had conquered / in trial by his proper might.

468

He gave her loving greeting, / right courteous was he. Then by the hand she took him, / the maiden praiseworthy, In pledge that all around him / was his to have and hold. Whereat rejoiced Hagen / the warrior valorous and bold.

469

Into the spacious palace / with her thence to go Bade she the noble monarch. / When they had done so, Then still greater honors / unto the knight were shown. Dankwart and Hagen, / right willingly they saw it done.

470

Siegfried the valiant, / by no means was he slow, His sightless mantle did he / away in safety stow. Then went he again thither / where many a lady sat. He spake unto the monarch— / full cunningly was done all that:

471

"Why bidest thus, my master? / Wilt not the play begin, To which so oft hath challenged / thee the noble queen? Let us soon have example / what may the trial be." As knew he naught about it, / did the knight thus cunningly.

472

Then spake the queen unto him: / "How hath this ever been, That of the play, Sir Siegfried, / nothing thou hast seen, Wherein hath been the victor / Gunther with mighty hand?" Thereto gave answer Hagen / a grim knight of Burgundian land.

473

Spake he: "There dost thou, Lady, / think ill without a cause: By the ship down yonder / the noble Siegfried was, The while the lord of Rhineland / in play did vanquish thee: Thus knows he nothing of it," / spake Gunther's warrior courteously.

474

"A joy to me these tidings," / the doughty Siegfried spoke, "That so thy haughty spirit / is brought beneath the yoke, And that yet one there liveth / master to be of thine. Now shalt thou, noble maiden, / us follow thither to the Rhine."

475

Then spake the maiden shapely: / "It may not yet be so. All my men and kindred / first the same must know. In sooth not all so lightly / can I quit my home. First must I bid my trusty / warriors that they hither come."

476

Then bade she messengers / quickly forth to ride, And summoned in her kindred / and men from every side. Without delay she prayed them / to come to Isenstein, And bade them all be given / fit apparel rare and fine.

477

Then might ye see daily / 'twixt morn and eventide Unto Brunhild's castle / many a knight to ride. "God wot, God wot," quoth Hagen, / "we do an evil thing, To tarry here while Brunhild / doth thus her men together bring.

478

"If now into this country / their good men they've brought —What thing the queen intendeth / thereof know we naught: Belike her wrath ariseth, / and we are men forlorn— Then to be our ruin / were the noble maiden born."

479

Then spake the doughty Siegfried: / "That matter leave to me. Whereof thou now art fearful, / I'll never let it be. Ready help I'll bring thee / hither unto this land, Knights of whom thou wotst not / till now I'll bring, a chosen band.

480

"Of me shalt thou ask not: / from hence will I fare. May God of thy good honor / meanwhile have a care. I come again right quickly / with a thousand men for thee, The very best of warriors / hitherto are known to me."

481

"Then tarry not unduly," / thus the monarch said. "Glad we are full fairly / of this thy timely aid." He spake: "Till I come to thee / full short shall be my stay. That thou thyself hast sent me / shalt thou unto Brunhild say."

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482

Thence went then Siegfried / out through the castle door In his sightless mantle / to a boat upon the shore. As Siegmund's son doth board it / him no mortal sees; And quickly off he steers it / as were it wafted by the breeze.

483

No one saw the boatman, / yet rapid was the flight Of the boat forth speeding / driven by Siegfried's might. They weened that did speed it / a swiftly blowing wind: No, 'twas Siegfried sped it, / the son of fairest Siegelind.

484

In that one day-time / and the following night Came he to a country / by dint of mickle might, Long miles a hundred distant, / and something more than this: The Nibelungen were its people / where the mighty hoard was his.

485

Alone did fare the hero / unto an island vast Whereon the boat full quickly / the gallant knight made fast. Of a castle then bethought him / high upon a hill, And there a lodging sought him, / as wayworn men are wont to still.

486 100! Go, go, go!

Then came he to the portals / that locked before him stood. They guarded well their honor / as people ever should. At the door he gan a-knocking, / for all unknown was he. But full well 'twas guarded, / and within it he did see

487

A giant who the castle / did guard with watchful eye, And near him did at all times / his good weapons lie. Quoth he: "Who now that knocketh / at the door in such strange wise?" Without the valiant Siegfried / did cunningly his voice disguise.

488

He spake: "A bold knight-errant / am I; unlock the gate. Else will I from without here / disturbance rare create For all who'd fain lie quiet / and their rest would take." Wrathful grew the Porter / as in this wise Siegfried spake.

489

Now did the giant valorous / his good armor don, And placed on head his helmet; / then the full doughty man His shield up-snatched quickly / and gate wide open swung. How sore was he enraged / as himself upon Siegfried he flung!

490

'How dared he thus awaken / brave knights within the hall?' The blows in rapid showers / from his hand did fall. Thereat the noble stranger / began himself to shield. For so a club of iron / the Porter's mighty arm did wield,

491

That splinters flew from buckler, / and Siegfried stood aghast From fear that this same hour / was doomed to be his last, So mightily the Porter's / blows about him fell. To find such faithful warder / did please his master Siegfried well.

492

So fiercely did they struggle / that castle far within And hall where slept the Nibelungen / echoed back the din. But Siegfried pressed the Porter / and soon he had him bound. In all the land of Nibelungen / the story soon was bruited round.

493

When the grim sound of fighting / afar the place had filled, Alberich did hear it, / a Dwarf full brave and wild. He donned his armor deftly, / and running thither found This so noble stranger / where he the doughty Porter bound.

494

Alberich was full wrathy, / thereto a man of power. Coat of mail and helmet / he on his body wore, And in his hand a heavy / scourge of gold he swung. Where was fighting Siegfried, / thither in mickle haste he sprung.

495

Seven knobs thick and heavy / on the club's end were seen, Wherewith the shield that guarded / the knight that was so keen He battered with such vigor / that pieces from it brake. Lest he his life should forfeit / the noble stranger gan to quake.

496

The shield that all was battered / from his hand he flung; And into sheath, too, thrust he / his sword so good and long. For his trusty chamberlain / he did not wish to slay, And in such case he could not / grant his anger fullest sway.

497

With but his hands so mighty / at Alberich he ran. By the beard then seized he / the gray and aged man, And in such manner pulled it / that he full loud did roar. The youthful hero's conduct / Alberich did trouble sore.

498

Loud cried the valiant steward: / "Have mercy now on me. And might I other's vassal / than one good hero's be, To whom to be good subject / I an oath did take, Until my death I'd serve thee." / Thus the man of cunning spake.

499

Alberich then bound he / as the giant before. The mighty arm of Siegfried / did trouble him full sore. The Dwarf began to question: / "Thy name, what may it be?" Quoth he: "My name is Siegfried; / I weened I well were known to thee."

500

"I joy to hear such tidings," / Dwarf Alberich replied. "Well now have I found thee / in knightly prowess tried, And with goodly reason / lord o'er lands to be. I'll do whate'er thou biddest, / wilt thou only give me free."

501

Then spake his master Siegfried: / "Quickly shalt thou go, And bring me knights hither, / the best we have to show, A thousand Nibelungen, / to stand before their lord." Wherefore thus he wished it, / spake he never yet a word.

502

The giant and Alberich / straightway he unbound. Then ran Alberich quickly / where the knights he found. The warriors of Nibelung / he wakened full of fear. Quoth he: "Be up, ye heroes, / before Siegfried shall ye appear."

503

From their couches sprang they / and ready were full soon, Clothed well in armor / a thousand warriors boon, And went where they found standing / Siegfried their lord. Then was a mickle greeting / courteously in act and word.

504

Candles many were lighted, / and sparkling wine he drank. That they came so quickly, / therefor he all did thank. Quoth he: "Now shall ye with me / from hence across the flood." Thereto he found full ready / the heroes valiant and good.

505

Good thirty hundred warriors / soon had hither pressed, From whom were then a thousand / taken of the best. For them were brought their helmets / and what they else did need. For unto Brunhild's country / would he straightway the warriors lead.

506

He spake: "Ye goodly nobles, / that would I have you hear, In full costly raiment / shall ye at court appear, For yonder must there see us / full many a fair lady. Therefore shall your bodies / dight in good apparel be."

507

Upon a morning early / went they on their way. What host of brave companions / bore Siegfried company! Good steeds took they with them / and garments rich to wear, And did in courtly fashion / unto Brunhild's country fare.

508

As gazed from lofty parapet / women fair to see, Spake the queen unto them: / "Knows any who they be, Whom I see yonder sailing / upon the sea afar? Rich sails their ships do carry, / whiter than snow they are."

509

Then spake the king of Rhineland: / "My good men they are, That on my journey hither / left I lying near. I've sent to call them to me: / now are they come, O Queen." With full great amazing / were the stately strangers seen.

510

There saw they Siegfried / out on the ship's prow stand Clad in costly raiment, / and with him his good band. Then spake Queen Brunhild: / "Good monarch, let me know, Shall I go forth to greet them, / or shall I greetings high forego?"

511

He spake: "Thou shalt to meet them / before the palace go, So that we see them gladly / they may surely know." Then did the royal lady / fulfil the king's behest. Yet Siegfried in the greeting / was not honored with the rest.

512

Lodgings were made ready / and their armor ta'en in hand. Then was such host of strangers / come into that land, On all sides they jostled / from the great company. Then would the knights full valiant / homeward fare to Burgundy.

513

Then spake Queen Brunhild: / "In favor would I hold Who might now apportion / my silver and my gold To my guests and the monarch's, / for goodly store I have." Thereto an answer Dankwart, / Giselher's good warrior, gave:

514

"Full noble royal Lady, / give me the keys to hold. I trow I'll so divide it," / spake the warrior bold, "If blame there be about it, / that shall be mine alone." That he was not a niggard, / beyond a doubt he soon had shown.

515

When now Hagen's brother / the treasure did command, So many a lavish bounty / dealt out the hero's hand, Whoso mark did covet, / to him was given such store That all who once were poor men / might joyous live for evermore.

516

In sooth good pounds a hundred / gave he to each and all. A host in costly raiment / were seen before the hall, Who in equal splendor / ne'er before were clad. When the queen did hear it, / verily her heart was sad.

517

Then spake the royal lady: / "Good King, it little needs, That now thy chamberlain / of all my stately weeds Leave no whit remaining, / and squander clean my gold. Would any yet prevent it, / him would I aye in favor hold.

518

"He deals with hand so lavish, / in sooth doth ween the thane That death I've hither summoned; / but longer I'll remain. Eke trow I well to spend all / my sire hath left to me." Ne'er found queen a chamberlain / of such passing generosity.

519

Then spake of Tronje Hagen: / "Lady, be thou told, That the king of Rhineland / raiment hath and gold So plenteous to lavish / that we may well forego To carry with us homeward / aught that Brunhild can bestow."

520

"No; as high ye hold me," / spake the queen again, "Let me now have filled / coffers twice times ten Of gold and silken raiment, / that may deal out my hand, When that we come over / into royal Gunther's land."

521 ...Almost..there...

Then with precious jewels / the coffers they filled for her. The while her own chamberlain / must be standing near: For no whit would she trust it / unto Giselher's man. Whereat Gunther and Hagen / heartily to laugh began.

522

Then spake the royal lady: / "To whom leave I my lands? First must they now be given / in charge from out our hands." Then spake the noble monarch: / "Whomsoe'er it pleaseth thee, Bid him now come hither, / the same we'll let our Warden be."

523

One of her highest kindred / near by the lady spied, —He was her mother's brother— / to him thus spake the maid: "Now be to thee entrusted / the castles and eke the land, Until that here shall govern / Gunther the king by his own hand."

524

Trusty knights two thousand / from her company Chose she to journey with her / unto Burgundy, Beyond those thousand warriors / from Nibelungenland. They made ready for the journey, / and downward rode unto the strand.

525

Six and eighty ladies / led they thence with her, Thereto good hundred maidens / that full beauteous were. They tarried no whit longer, / for they to part were fain. Of those they left behind them, / O how they all to weep began!

526

In high befitting fashion / quit she her land: She kissed of nearest kindred / all who round did stand. After fair leave-taking / they went upon the sea. Back to her father's country / came never more that fair lady.

527

Then heard you on the journey / many a kind of play: Every pleasant pastime / in plenty had they. Soon had they for their journey / a wind from proper art: So with full great rejoicing / did they from that land depart.

528

Yet would she on the journey / not be the monarch's spouse: But was their pleasant pastime / reserved for his own house At Worms within his castle / at a high festival, Whither anon full joyous / came they with their warriors all.

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529

When that they had journeyed / full nine days on their way, Then spake of Tronje Hagen: / "Now hear what I shall say. We tarry with the tidings / for Worms upon the Rhine. At Burgundy already / should now be messengers of thine."

530

Then outspake King Gunther: / "There hast thou spoken true. And this selfsame journey, / none were so fit thereto As thyself, friend Hagen. / So do thou now ride on. This our high court journey, / none else can better make it known."

531 ‘’'A few more...

Thereto answered Hagen: / "Poor messenger am I. Let me be treasure-warden. / Upon the ships I'll stay Near by the women rather, / their guardian to be, Till that we bring them safely / into the land of Burgundy.

532

"Now do thou pray Siegfried / that he the message bear, For he's a knight most fitting / this thing to have in care. If he decline the journey, / then shalt thou courteously, For kindness to thy sister, / pray that he not unwilling be."

533

He sent for the good warrior / who came at his command. He spake: "Since we are nearing / home in my own land, So should I send a message / to sister dear of mine And eke unto my mother, / that we are nigh unto the Rhine.

534

"Thereto I pray thee, Siegfried, / now meet my wish aright," Spake the noble monarch: / "I'll ever thee requite." But Siegfried still refused it, / the full valiant man, Till that King Gunther / sorely to beseech began.

535

He spake: "Now bear the message, / in favor unto me And eke unto Kriemhild / a maiden fair to see, That the stately maiden / help me thy service pay." When had heard it Siegfried, / ready was the knight straightway.

536

"Now what thou wilt, command me: / 'twill not be long delayed. This thing will I do gladly / for sake of that fair maid. Why should I aught refuse her, / who all my heart hath won? What thou for her commandest, / whate'er it be 'twill all be done."

537

"Then say unto my mother, / Ute the queen, That we on our journey / in joyous mood have been. Let know likewise my brothers / what fortune us befell. Eke unto all our kinsmen / shalt thou then merry tidings tell.

538

"Unto my fair sister / shalt thou all confide. From me bring her fair compliment / and from Brunhild beside, And eke unto our household / and all my warriors brave. What my heart e'er did strive for, / how well accomplished it I have!

539

"And say as well to Ortwein / nephew dear of mine That he do bid make ready / at Worms beside the Rhine. And all my other kindred, / to them made known shall be, With Brunhild I am minded / to keep a great festivity.

540

"And say unto my sister, / when that she hath learned That I am to my country / with many a guest returned, She shall have care to welcome / my bride in fitting way. So all my thoughts of Kriemhild / will be her service to repay."

541

Then did Sir Siegfried / straightway in parting greet High the Lady Brunhild, / as 'twas very meet, And all her company; / then toward the Rhine rode he. Nor in this world a better / messenger might ever be.

542

With four and twenty warriors / to Worms did he ride. When soon it was reported / the king came not beside, Then did all the household / of direst news have dread: They feared their royal master / were left in distant country dead.

543

Then sprang they from the saddle, / full high they were of mood. Full soon before them Giselher / the prince so youthful stood, And Gernot his brother. / How quickly then spake he, When he the royal Gunther / saw not in Siegfried's company:

544

"Be thou welcome, Siegfried. / Yet shalt thou tell to me, Why the king my brother / cometh not with thee. Brunhild's prowess is it / hath taken him, I ween; And so this lofty wooing / hath naught but our misfortune been."

545

"Now cease such ill foreboding. / To you and friends hath sent My royal companion / his good compliment. Safe and sound I left him; / myself did he command That I should be his herald / with tidings hither to your land.

546

"Quickly shall ye see to it, / how that it may be, That I the queen and likewise / your fair sister see. From Gunther and Brunhild / the message will I tell That hath now been sent them: / the twain do find them passing well."

547

Then spake the youthful Giselher: / "So shalt thou go to her: Here dost thou on my sister / a favor high confer. In sooth she's mickle anxious / how't with my brother be. The maid doth see thee gladly, / —of that will I be surety."

548

Then outspake Sir Siegfried: / "If serve her aught I can, That same thing most willing / in truth it shall be done. Who now will tell the ladies / I would with them confer?" Then was therein Giselher / the stately knight his messenger.

549

Giselher the valiant / unto his mother kind And sister spake the tidings / when he the twain did find: "To us returned is Siegfried, / the hero of Netherlands Unto the Rhine he cometh / at my brother Gunther's command.

550

"He bringeth us the tidings / how't with the king doth fare. Now shall ye give permission / that he 'fore you appear. He'll tell the proper tidings / from Isenland o'er the main." Yet mickle sad forebodings / did trouble still the ladies twain.

551

They sprang for their attire / and donned it nothing slow. Then bade they that Siegfried / to court should thither go. That did he right willing / for he gladly them did see. Kriemhild the noble maiden / spake to him thus graciously.

552

"Welcome be, Sir Siegfried, / thou knight right praiseworthy. Yet where may King Gunther / my noble brother be? It is through Brunhild's prowess, / I ween, he is forlorn. Alack of me, poor maiden, / that I into this world was born!"

553

The valiant knight then answered: / "Give me news-bringer's meed Know ye, fairest ladies, / ye weep without a need. I left him well and happy, / that would I have you know; They two have sent me hither / to bear the tidings unto you.

554

"And offer thee good service / both his bride and he, My full noble lady, / in love and loyalty. Now give over weeping, / for straight will they be here." They had for many a season / heard not a tale to them so dear.

555

With fold of snow-white garment / then her eyes so bright Dried she after weeping. / She gan thank the knight Who of these glad tidings / had been the messenger. Then was a mickle sorrow / and cause of weeping ta'en from her.

556

She bade the knight be seated, / which he did willingly. Then spake the lovely maiden: / "It were a joy to me, Could I the message-bringer / with gold of mine repay. Thereto art thou too high-born; / I'll serve thee then in other way."

557

"If I alone were ruler," / spake he, "o'er thirty lands, Yet gifts I'd take right gladly, / came they from thy fair hands." Then spake the virtuous maiden: / "In truth it shall be so." Then bade she her chamberlain / forth for message-money go.

558

Four and twenty armlets / with stones of precious kind, These gave she him for guerdon. / 'Twas not the hero's mind, That he himself should keep them: / he dealt them all around Unto her fair attendants / whom he within the chamber found.

559

Of service, too, her mother / did kindly offer make. "Then have I more to tell you," / the keen warrior spake: "Of what the king doth beg you, / when comes he to the Rhine. Wilt thou perform it, lady, / then will he e'er to thee incline.

560

"The noble guests he bringeth, / —this heard I him request, That ye shall well receive them; / and furthermore his hest, That ye ride forth to meet him / 'fore Worms upon the strand. So have ye from the monarch / faithfully his high command."

561

Then spake the lovely maiden: / "Full ready there am I. If I in aught can serve him, / I'll never that deny. In all good faith and kindness / shall it e'er be done." Then deeper grew her color / that from increase of joy she won.

562

Never was royal message / better received before. The lady sheer had kissed him, / if 'twere a thing to dare. From those high ladies took he / his leave in courteous wise. Then did they there in Burgundy / in way as Siegfried did advise.

563

Sindold and Hunold / and Rumold the thane In truth were nothing idle, / but wrought with might and main To raise the sitting-places / 'fore Worms upon the strand. There did the royal Steward / busy 'mid the workers stand.

564

Ortwein and Gere / thought longer not to bide, But sent unto their kinsmen / forth on every side. They told of festive meeting / there that was to be; And deck themselves to meet them / did the maidens fair to see.

565

The walls throughout the palace / were dight full richly all, Looking unto the strangers; / and King Gunther's hall Full well with seats and tables / for many a noble guest. And great was the rejoicing / in prospect of the mighty feast.

566

Then rode from every quarter / hither through the land The three monarchs' kinsmen, / who there were called to hand, That they might be in waiting / for those expected there. Then from enfolding covers / took they store of raiments rare.

567

Some watchers brought the tidings / that Brunhild's followers were Seen coming riding hither. / Then rose a mickle stir Among the folk so many / in the land of Burgundy. Heigh-ho! What valiant warriors / alike on both parts might you see!

568

Then spake the fair Kriemhild: / "Of my good maidens, ye Who at this reception / shall bear me company, From out the chests now seek ye / attire the very best. So shall praise and honor / be ours from many a noble guest."

569

Then came the knights also / and bade bring forth to view The saddles richly furnished / of ruddy golden hue, That ladies fair should ride on / at Worms unto the Rhine. Better horse-equipment / could never artisan design.

570

Heigh-ho! What gold all glancing / from the steeds there shone! Sparkled from their bridles / full many a precious stone. Gold-wrought stools for mounting / and shining carpets good Brought they for the ladies: / joyous were they all of mood.

571

Within the court the heroes / bedight with trappings due Awaited noble maidens, / as I have told to you. A narrow band from saddle / went round each horse's breast, Its beauty none could tell you: / of silk it was the very best.

572

Six and eighty ladies / came in manner meet Wearing each a wimple. / Kriemhild there to greet They went, all fair to look on, / in shining garments clad. Then came eke well apparelled / full many a fair and stately maid.

573

Four and fifty were they / of the land of Burgundy, And they were eke the noblest / that ever you might see. Adorned with shining hair-bands / the fair-haired maids came on. What now the king desired, / that most carefully was done.

574

Made of stuffs all costly, / the best you might desire, Before the gallant strangers / wore they such rich attire As well did fit the beauty / of many amid the throng. He sure had lost his senses, / who could have wished them any wrong.

575

Of sable and of ermine / many a dress was worn. Arms and hands a many / did they full well adorn With rings o'er silken dresses / that there did clothe them well. Of all the ready-making / none might ever fully tell.

576

Full many a well-wrought girdle / in long and costly braid About the shining garments / by many a hand was laid On dress of precious ferrandine / of silk from Araby. And full of high rejoicing / were those maids of high degree.

577

With clasps before her bosom / was many a fair maid Laced full beauteously. / She might well be sad, Whose full beaming color / vied not with weeds she wore. Such a stately company / ne'er possessed a queen before.

578

When now the lovely maidens / attired you might see, Soon were those beside them / should bear them company, Of warriors high-hearted / a full mickle band. And with their shields they carried / full many an ashen shaft in hand.

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529

When that they had journeyed / full nine days on their way, Then spake of Tronje Hagen: / "Now hear what I shall say. We tarry with the tidings / for Worms upon the Rhine. At Burgundy already / should now be messengers of thine."

530

Then outspake King Gunther: / "There hast thou spoken true. And this selfsame journey, / none were so fit thereto As thyself, friend Hagen. / So do thou now ride on. This our high court journey, / none else can better make it known."

531

Thereto answered Hagen: / "Poor messenger am I. Let me be treasure-warden. / Upon the ships I'll stay Near by the women rather, / their guardian to be, Till that we bring them safely / into the land of Burgundy.

532

"Now do thou pray Siegfried / that he the message bear, For he's a knight most fitting / this thing to have in care. If he decline the journey, / then shalt thou courteously, For kindness to thy sister, / pray that he not unwilling be."

533

He sent for the good warrior / who came at his command. He spake: "Since we are nearing / home in my own land, So should I send a message / to sister dear of mine And eke unto my mother, / that we are nigh unto the Rhine.

534

"Thereto I pray thee, Siegfried, / now meet my wish aright," Spake the noble monarch: / "I'll ever thee requite." But Siegfried still refused it, / the full valiant man, Till that King Gunther / sorely to beseech began.

535 Go!

He spake: "Now bear the message, / in favor unto me And eke unto Kriemhild / a maiden fair to see, That the stately maiden / help me thy service pay." When had heard it Siegfried, / ready was the knight straightway.

536

"Now what thou wilt, command me: / 'twill not be long delayed. This thing will I do gladly / for sake of that fair maid. Why should I aught refuse her, / who all my heart hath won? What thou for her commandest, / whate'er it be 'twill all be done."

537

"Then say unto my mother, / Ute the queen, That we on our journey / in joyous mood have been. Let know likewise my brothers / what fortune us befell. Eke unto all our kinsmen / shalt thou then merry tidings tell.

538

"Unto my fair sister / shalt thou all confide. From me bring her fair compliment / and from Brunhild beside, And eke unto our household / and all my warriors brave. What my heart e'er did strive for, / how well accomplished it I have!

539

"And say as well to Ortwein / nephew dear of mine That he do bid make ready / at Worms beside the Rhine. And all my other kindred, / to them made known shall be, With Brunhild I am minded / to keep a great festivity.

540

"And say unto my sister, / when that she hath learned That I am to my country / with many a guest returned, She shall have care to welcome / my bride in fitting way. So all my thoughts of Kriemhild / will be her service to repay."

541

Then did Sir Siegfried / straightway in parting greet High the Lady Brunhild, / as 'twas very meet, And all her company; / then toward the Rhine rode he. Nor in this world a better / messenger might ever be.

542

With four and twenty warriors / to Worms did he ride. When soon it was reported / the king came not beside, Then did all the household / of direst news have dread: They feared their royal master / were left in distant country dead.

543

Then sprang they from the saddle, / full high they were of mood. Full soon before them Giselher / the prince so youthful stood, And Gernot his brother. / How quickly then spake he, When he the royal Gunther / saw not in Siegfried's company:

544

"Be thou welcome, Siegfried. / Yet shalt thou tell to me, Why the king my brother / cometh not with thee. Brunhild's prowess is it / hath taken him, I ween; And so this lofty wooing / hath naught but our misfortune been."

545

"Now cease such ill foreboding. / To you and friends hath sent My royal companion / his good compliment. Safe and sound I left him; / myself did he command That I should be his herald / with tidings hither to your land.

546

"Quickly shall ye see to it, / how that it may be, That I the queen and likewise / your fair sister see. From Gunther and Brunhild / the message will I tell That hath now been sent them: / the twain do find them passing well."

547

Then spake the youthful Giselher: / "So shalt thou go to her: Here dost thou on my sister / a favor high confer. In sooth she's mickle anxious / how't with my brother be. The maid doth see thee gladly, / —of that will I be surety."

548

Then outspake Sir Siegfried: / "If serve her aught I can, That same thing most willing / in truth it shall be done. Who now will tell the ladies / I would with them confer?" Then was therein Giselher / the stately knight his messenger.

549

Giselher the valiant / unto his mother kind And sister spake the tidings / when he the twain did find: "To us returned is Siegfried, / the hero of Netherlands Unto the Rhine he cometh / at my brother Gunther's command.

550

"He bringeth us the tidings / how't with the king doth fare. Now shall ye give permission / that he 'fore you appear. He'll tell the proper tidings / from Isenland o'er the main." Yet mickle sad forebodings / did trouble still the ladies twain.

551

They sprang for their attire / and donned it nothing slow. Then bade they that Siegfried / to court should thither go. That did he right willing / for he gladly them did see. Kriemhild the noble maiden / spake to him thus graciously.

552

"Welcome be, Sir Siegfried, / thou knight right praiseworthy. Yet where may King Gunther / my noble brother be? It is through Brunhild's prowess, / I ween, he is forlorn. Alack of me, poor maiden, / that I into this world was born!"

553

The valiant knight then answered: / "Give me news-bringer's meed Know ye, fairest ladies, / ye weep without a need. I left him well and happy, / that would I have you know; They two have sent me hither / to bear the tidings unto you.

554

"And offer thee good service / both his bride and he, My full noble lady, / in love and loyalty. Now give over weeping, / for straight will they be here." They had for many a season / heard not a tale to them so dear.

555

With fold of snow-white garment / then her eyes so bright Dried she after weeping. / She gan thank the knight Who of these glad tidings / had been the messenger. Then was a mickle sorrow / and cause of weeping ta'en from her.

556

She bade the knight be seated, / which he did willingly. Then spake the lovely maiden: / "It were a joy to me, Could I the message-bringer / with gold of mine repay. Thereto art thou too high-born; / I'll serve thee then in other way."

557

"If I alone were ruler," / spake he, "o'er thirty lands, Yet gifts I'd take right gladly, / came they from thy fair hands." Then spake the virtuous maiden: / "In truth it shall be so." Then bade she her chamberlain / forth for message-money go.

558

Four and twenty armlets / with stones of precious kind, These gave she him for guerdon. / 'Twas not the hero's mind, That he himself should keep them: / he dealt them all around Unto her fair attendants / whom he within the chamber found.

559

Of service, too, her mother / did kindly offer make. "Then have I more to tell you," / the keen warrior spake: "Of what the king doth beg you, / when comes he to the Rhine. Wilt thou perform it, lady, / then will he e'er to thee incline.

560

"The noble guests he bringeth, / —this heard I him request, That ye shall well receive them; / and furthermore his hest, That ye ride forth to meet him / 'fore Worms upon the strand. So have ye from the monarch / faithfully his high command."

561

Then spake the lovely maiden: / "Full ready there am I. If I in aught can serve him, / I'll never that deny. In all good faith and kindness / shall it e'er be done." Then deeper grew her color / that from increase of joy she won.

562

Never was royal message / better received before. The lady sheer had kissed him, / if 'twere a thing to dare. From those high ladies took he / his leave in courteous wise. Then did they there in Burgundy / in way as Siegfried did advise.

563

Sindold and Hunold / and Rumold the thane In truth were nothing idle, / but wrought with might and main To raise the sitting-places / 'fore Worms upon the strand. There did the royal Steward / busy 'mid the workers stand.

564

Ortwein and Gere / thought longer not to bide, But sent unto their kinsmen / forth on every side. They told of festive meeting / there that was to be; And deck themselves to meet them / did the maidens fair to see.

565

The walls throughout the palace / were dight full richly all, Looking unto the strangers; / and King Gunther's hall Full well with seats and tables / for many a noble guest. And great was the rejoicing / in prospect of the mighty feast.

566

Then rode from every quarter / hither through the land The three monarchs' kinsmen, / who there were called to hand, That they might be in waiting / for those expected there. Then from enfolding covers / took they store of raiments rare.

567

Some watchers brought the tidings / that Brunhild's followers were Seen coming riding hither. / Then rose a mickle stir Among the folk so many / in the land of Burgundy. Heigh-ho! What valiant warriors / alike on both parts might you see!

568

Then spake the fair Kriemhild: / "Of my good maidens, ye Who at this reception / shall bear me company, From out the chests now seek ye / attire the very best. So shall praise and honor / be ours from many a noble guest."

569

Then came the knights also / and bade bring forth to view The saddles richly furnished / of ruddy golden hue, That ladies fair should ride on / at Worms unto the Rhine. Better horse-equipment / could never artisan design.

570

Heigh-ho! What gold all glancing / from the steeds there shone! Sparkled from their bridles / full many a precious stone. Gold-wrought stools for mounting / and shining carpets good Brought they for the ladies: / joyous were they all of mood.

571

Within the court the heroes / bedight with trappings due Awaited noble maidens, / as I have told to you. A narrow band from saddle / went round each horse's breast, Its beauty none could tell you: / of silk it was the very best.

572

Six and eighty ladies / came in manner meet Wearing each a wimple. / Kriemhild there to greet They went, all fair to look on, / in shining garments clad. Then came eke well apparelled / full many a fair and stately maid.

573

Four and fifty were they / of the land of Burgundy, And they were eke the noblest / that ever you might see. Adorned with shining hair-bands / the fair-haired maids came on. What now the king desired, / that most carefully was done.

574

Made of stuffs all costly, / the best you might desire, Before the gallant strangers / wore they such rich attire As well did fit the beauty / of many amid the throng. He sure had lost his senses, / who could have wished them any wrong.

575

Of sable and of ermine / many a dress was worn. Arms and hands a many / did they full well adorn With rings o'er silken dresses / that there did clothe them well. Of all the ready-making / none might ever fully tell.

576

Full many a well-wrought girdle / in long and costly braid About the shining garments / by many a hand was laid On dress of precious ferrandine / of silk from Araby. And full of high rejoicing / were those maids of high degree.

577

With clasps before her bosom / was many a fair maid Laced full beauteously. / She might well be sad, Whose full beaming color / vied not with weeds she wore. Such a stately company / ne'er possessed a queen before.

578

When now the lovely maidens / attired you might see, Soon were those beside them / should bear them company, Of warriors high-hearted / a full mickle band. And with their shields they carried / full many an ashen shaft in hand.

edit Chapter 11

579

Thus it came to pass, then / that Kriemhild had a son, Whom the prophets lauded / and ran a sacred run. The parents then bestowed to / their son his life-long name, And chose the word "Arepo," / the word that does mean "fame."

580

Antony the seer / came through the city gates, Exactly when the parents / were King and Queen by fate. Moving to the palace, / the old man marked a slate; His arthritis dealt him / the cruelest hand of fate.

581

He knocked upon the gilded / bars of the Front Gate. The guard, good Titus heard him / and moved in a line, straight. "Quo vadis?" Titus asked him. / "The palace," he replied. Titus trusted that man / because he never lied.

582

Arepo in the palace, / his mother by the throne, his father in the field, / his dog chewing a bone. Antony of old age / entered the complex. When birds flew up around him / stirring up dust flecks.

583

"Wherefore hast thou come here?" / fair Kriemhild asked the cuss. "To prophesy," replied he, / "I have some words for us." He moved with silent knowledge, / with quiet dignity, None knew all his secrets, / nor just a few, surely.

584

"Give me the boy, Arepo, / and leave him in my hands. I predict his fortune / in numerous distant lands." And so the King and Queen did / take hold of the boy, And let the seer Antony / hold him like a toy.

585

But when the seer had him / suspended in his grasp, Antony's eyes widened, / and he let out a gasp. "Is't true?" he loudly pondered. / "Could this quite truly be? Could this boy fulfill the / ancient prophecy?"

586

"What prophecy is this that / you now speak about?" The king inquired, standing, / and taking his sword out. "The Tobanarus Codex, / that oldest book of words, Passed down through generations, / the code the seers heard."

587

"Your son," continued Antony, / "will a ruler be, Ruling over those waiting / for one such as he. His subjects live in terror, / part of a lost land, Expecting liberation / by some kind, kingly hand."

588

"This land," Queen Kriemhild begged him, / "Wherever could it be?" The man just smiled and answered, / "Why are you asking me?" "Of course you know, you mystic," / the King began to laugh, Impacting the ground with / his wooden, weathered staff.

589

"You know me well, your Highness," / Antony replied. He produced a cartograph / made of processed hide. The map was old and weatherd, / more than the King's rod. Numerous lines marked boundaries / where many greats had trod.

590

He traced with his finger, / the crooked, ancient thing A path along the map's face / that made nigh half a ring. "This path is the journey / your noble son will take And in his quest will save / the many lives at stake."

591

"Thank you, kind Antony, / for bearing us this news," The King announced to him. / "Surely, there are few That have the courtesy of / partaking of your gifts." "Perhaps, but I have helped since / before the sands did shift."

592

And, bowing low, departed / the old and time-worn man. The royals now had knowledge / of the cosmic master plan. Then did eleven years pass; / the time like water ran, And Arepo came closer / to becoming a man.

593

Then one day the young lad / saw a withered gentleman, Who in unsure hands had / two wheels made out of tin. Arepo's heart was moved with / pity at the sight, And made to help the peasant / with all his manly might.

594

He took the wheels in his arms / with much difficulty. It was nearly too much, / the old man could see. Because of this, it is said / without a lot of fuss: SATOR AREPO TENET / OPERA ROTAS.

595

"I thank you, son," replied the / interloper when Arepo had carried the load / to the mister's den. "You don't know me, but trust me / when I now tell you this: What I must to you divulge / will cast your life amiss."

596

The boy, he listened closely. / He sat up on his knees. When the old male raised his hand / a breeze cut through the trees. "You, young lad, will finish / an old, forgotten verse, I pray that you will follow / before you're in a hearse."

597

"It is your charge to venture / up to the regions North, And liberate the people / from villainous cohorts. Go to the Sea of Tye, and / near there you will rule. It is your destiny to / reign king of the land of Thule."

598

"The Land of Thule?" Arepo / asked, incredulous. Quoth he, "It's just a legend, / a fleeting griot's kiss." But the man, he shook his / head from side to side, "That's what you think, my son, / but my word's bona fide."

599

"And as for you, good traveler, / I wonder who you are." "I'm Antony the seer, / who knew the Morning Star." "The Morning Star?" asked the prince. / "And the Star of War. I knew seventy thousand / generations, to be sure."

600

"Wha--?" Arepo, stymied, / said reflexively. "To start your charge, let's go / to the defensive lee." The two walked down to Unshire, / to find the construct there, But just as luck would have it, / a storm was in the air.

601

The atmosphere turned hazy / with the fog of rain. The winds died down to naught, and / fear the sky did feign. The lightning without pretext / noisily shattered trees, Killing all the birds and / killing all the bees.

602

For twenty nights and twenty days / the storm did rage; In thule a battle was fought by / wrestlers in a cage. However they did not contribute / much to the yarn, tv coverage was low in those days, and / the prize just a barn.

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