George Henry Needler.

The Nibelungenlied online

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Full many a wonder might I of their rich apparel tell.

How there in state resplendent they sat and had full store,
And how each high attendant gold-broidered raiment wore,
With stones full rare and precious set with skill therein!
The while with care did serve them Siegelind the noble queen.

Then spake the royal Siegmimd before his people so:
" To every friend of Siegfried give I now to know
That he before these warriors my royal crown shall wear."
And did rejoice that message the thanes of Netherland to hear.

His crown to him he tendered and rule o'er wide domain
Whereof he all was master. Where'er did reach his reign
Or men were subject to him bestowed his hand such care
That evil-doers trembled before the spouse of Kriemhild fair.


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In such high honor truly he lived, as ye shall hear.

And judged as lofty monarch unto the tenth year,

What time his fairest lady to him a son did bear.

Thereat the monarch's kinsmen filled with midde joyance were.

They soon the same did christen and gave to him a name,
Gunther, as hight his imcle, nor cause was that for shame:
Grew he but like his kinsmen then happy might he be.
As well he did deserve it, him fostered they right carefully.

In the selfsame season did Lady Siegelind die,
When was full power wielded by Ute's daughter high,
As meet so lofty lady should homage wide receive.
That death her thus had taken did many a worthy kinsman grieve.

Now by the Rhine yonder, as we likewise hear,
Unto mighty Gunther eke a son did bear
Brunhild his fair lady in the land of Burgundy.
In honor to the hero Siegfried namdd eke was he.

The child they also fostered with what tender care!
Gunther the noble monarch anon did masters rare
Find who should instruct him a worthy man to grow.
Alas! by sad misfortune to friends was dealt how fell a blow!

At all times the story far abroad was told,
How that in right worthy way the warriors bold
lived there in Siegmimd's country as noble knights should do.
Likewise did royal Gimther eke amid his kinsmen true.

Land of the Nibelungen Siegfried as well did own,
— ^Amid his lofty kindred a mightier ne'er was known —
And Schilbtmg's knights did serve him, with all that theirs had been.
That great was thus his power did fill with joy the knight full keen.


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Hoard of all the greatest that hero ever won,
Save who erstwhfle did wield it, now the knight did own,
The which before a mountain he seized against despite,
And for whose sake he further slew full many a gallant knight

Naught more his heart could wish for; yet had his might been less,
Rightly must all people of the high knight confess,
One was he of the worthiest that e'er bestrode a steed.
Feared was his midde prowess, and, sooth to say, thereof was need.


t)ow (3untbec l>ade Sicgttic^ to tbe fcBBt

Now all time bethought her Toy$l Gunther's wife:
"How now doth Lady Kriemhild lead so haughty life?
In sooth her husband Siegfried doth homage to us owe.
But now full long unto us little service he doth show."

That in her heart in secret eke she pondered o'er.
That they were strangers to her did grieve her heart full sore,
And so seldom sign of service came from Siegfried's land.
How it thus was fallen, that she fain would understand.

She probed then the monarch, if the thing might be,
That she the Lady Kriemhild once again might see.
She spake it all in secret whereon her heart did dwell;
The thing she then did speak of pleased the monarch passing welL

"How might we bring them hither" — spake the mighty king—
"Unto this my country? 'Twere ne'er to do, such thing.
They dwell too distant from us, the quest I fear to make."
Thereto gave answer Brunhild, and in full crafty wise she q>ake:


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"How high soe'er and mighty king's man were ever one,
Whate'er should bid his master, may he not leave undone."
Thereat did smile King Gunther, as such words spake she:
Ne'er bade he aught of service, oft as Siegfried he did see.

She spake: "Full loving master, as thou hold'st me dear,
Help me now that Siegfried and thy sister fair
Come to this our country, that them we here may see;
In sooth no thing coidd ever imto me more welcome be.

"Thy sister's lofty bearing and all her courtesy.
Whene'er I think upon it, full well it pleaseth me.
How we did sit together when erst I was thy spouse!
Well in sooth with honor might she the valiant Siegfried choose."

She pleaded with the monarch so long till answered he:
"Know now that guests none other so welcome were to me.
To gain thy wish 'tis easy: straight messengers of mine
To both shall message carry, that hither come they to the Rhine."

Thereto the queen gave answer: "Now further shalt thou say,
When thou them wilt summon, or when shall be the day
That our dear friends come hither unto our country.
Who'll bear thy message thither, shalt ttou eke make known to me."

"That will I," spake the monarch. . "Thirty of my men
Shall thither ride unto them." The 4ame he sxmimoned then.
And bade them with the message to Siegfried's land to fare.
They joyed as gave them Brunhild stately raiment rich to wear.

Then further spake the monarch: "Ye knights from me shall bring
This message, nor withhold ye of it anything.
Unto the doughty Siegfried and eke my sister fair:
In the world could never any to them a better purpose bear.


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"And pray them both that hither they come unto the Rhine.
With me will e*er my lady such grace to pay combine,
Ere turn of sun in summer he and his men shall know
That liveth here full many to them would willing honor show.

**Unto royal Siegmund bear greeting fair from me,
I'hat I and my friends ever to him well-minded be.
And tell ye eke my sister she shall no wise omit
Hither to friends to journey: ne'er feast could better her befit."

Brunhild and Ute and ladies all at hand.
They sent a fairest greeting imto Siegfried's land
To winsome ladies many and many a warrior brave.
With godspeed from the monarch and friends the messengers took

They fared with full equipment: their steeds did ready stand
And rich were they attired: so rode they from that land
They hastened on the journey whither they would fare;
Escort safe the monarch had bidden eke for them prepare.

Their journey had they ended e'er three weeks were spent
At the Nibelungen castle, whither they were sent,
In the mark of Norway lound they the knight they sought,
And weary were the horses the messengers so far had brought

Then was told to Siegfried and to Kriemhild fair
How knights were there arrived who did raiment wear
Like as in land of Burgundy of wont the warriors dressed.
Thereat did hasten Kriemhild from couch where she did lying rest

Then bade eke to a window one of her maids to go.
She saw the valiant Gere stand in the court below,
And with him his companions, who did thither fare.
To hear such joyous tidings, how soon her heart forgot its care.


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She spake unto the monarch: "Look now thitherward
Where with the doughty Gere stand in the castle yard
Whom to us brother Gimther adown the Rhine doth send!"
Thereto spake doughty Siegfried: "With greeting fair we'll them

Then hastened their retainers all the guests to meet,
And each of them in special manner then did greet
The messengers full kindly and warmest welcome bade.
Siegmund did likewise o'er their coming W2ix full glad.

In fitting way was harbored Gere and his men,
And steeds in charge were taken. The messengers went then
Where beside Sir Siegfried the Lady Kriemhild sat.
To coiirt the guests were bidden, where them did greeting fair

The host with his fair lady, straightway up stood he,
And greeted fairly Gere of the land of Burgundy
And with him his companions King Gunther's men also.
Gere, knight full mighty, bade they to a settle go.

"Allow that first the message we give ere sit we down;
The while we'll stand, though weary upon our journey grown.
Tidings bring we to you what greetings high have sent
Gunther and Brunhild who live in royal fair content.

"Eke what from Lady Ute thy mother now we've brought.
The youthful Giselher and also Sir Gemot
And best among thy kinsmen have sent us here to thee:
A fairest greeting send they from the land of Burgundy."

"God give them meed," spake Siegfried; "Good will and faith

I trow full well they harbor, as with friends we shall;
Likewise doth eke their sister. Now fiuiher shall ye tell
If that our friends belov^ at home in high estate do dwelL


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"Since that we from them parted hath any dared to do
Scathe to my lady's kinsmen? That shall ye let me know.
I'll help them ever truly all their need to bear
Till that their enemies have good cause my help to fear."

Then spake the Margrave Gere, a knight full good:
"In all that maketh knighthood right proud they stand of mood.
Unto the Rhine they bid you to high festivity:
They'd see you there full gladly, thereof may ye not doubtful be.

"And bid they eke my Lady Kriemhild that she too,
When ended is the winter, thither come with you.
Ere turn of sun in smnmer trust they you to see."
Then spake the doughty Siegfried : " That same thing might hardly

Thereto did answer Gere of the land of Burgundy:
"Your high mother Ute hath message sent by me,
Likewise Gemot and Giselher, that they plead not in vain.
That you they see so seldom daily hear I tiiem complain.

"Brunhild my mistress and all her company
Of fair maids rejoice them; if the thing might be
That they again should see you, of merry mood they were."
Then joy to hear the tidings fiUed the Lady Kriemhild fair.

Gere to her was kinsman. The host did bid him rest,
Nor long were they in pouring wine for every guest.
Thither came eke Siegmund where the strangers he did see.
And in right friendly manner spake to the men of Burgundy:

"Welcome be, ye warriors, ye Gimther's men, each one.
Since that fair Kriemhild Siegfried my son
For spouse did take imto him, we should you ofter see
Here in this our coimtry, an ye good friends to us would be."


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They spake, whene'er he wished it, full glad to come were they.
All their mickle weariness with joy was ta'en away.
The messengers were seated and food to them they bore,
Whereof did Siegfried offer unto his guests a goodly store.

Until nine days were over must they there abide,
When did at last the valiant knights begin to chide
That they did not ride thither again unto their land.
Then did the royal Siegfried summon his good knights to hand.


He asked what they did coimsel: should they unto the Rhine?

"Me unto him hath bidden Gimther, friend of mine,

He and his good kinsmen, to high festivity.

Thither went I full gladly, but that his land so far doth lie.

"Kriemhild bid they likewise that she with me shall fare.
Good friends, now give ye counsel how we therefor prepare.
And were it armies thirty to lead in distant land.
Yet must serve them gladly evermore Siegfried's hand.'*

Then answer gave his warriors. "An't pleaseth thee to go
Thither to the festival, we'll coimsel what thou do.
Thou shalt with thousand warriors unto Rhine river ride.
So may'st thou well with honor in the land of Burgundy abide."

Then spake of Netherland Siegmimd the king:
"Will ye to the festival, why hide from me the thing!
I'll journey with you thither, if it not displeasing be.
And lead good thanes a hundred wherewith to swell your

"And wilt thou with us journey, father full dear to me,"
Spake the valiant Siegfried, "full glad thereat I'll be.
Before twelve days are over from these my lands I fare.'*
To all who'd join the journey steeds gave they and apparel rare.


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When now the lofty monarch was minded thus to ride
Bade he the noble messengers longer not to bide,
And to his lady's kinsmen to the Rhine a message sent,
How that he would full gladly join to make them merriment.

Siegfried and Kriemhild, this same tale we hear,
To the messengers gave so richly that the burden could not bear
Their horses with them homeward, such wealth in sooth he had.
The horses heavy-laden drove they thence with hearts full glad.

Siegfried and Siegmimd their people richly clad.
Eckewart the Margrave, straightway he bade
For ladies choose rich clothing, the best that might be found,
Or e'er could be procure in all Siegfried's lands around.

The shields and the saddles gan they eke prepare,
To knights and fair ladies who with them should fare
Lacked nothing that they wished for, but of aU they were possessed.
Then to his friends led Siegfried many a high and stately guest

The messengers swift hasted homeward on their way,
And soon again came Gere to the land of Burgundy.
Full well was he received, and there dismounted all
His train from off their horses before the royal Gunther's HalL

Old knights and youthful squires crowded, as is their way.
To ask of them the tidings. Thus did the brave knight say:
"When to the king I tell them then shall ye likewise hear."
He went with his companions and soon 'fore Gunther did appear.

Full of joy the monarch did from the settle spring;
And did thank them also for their hastening
Brunhild the fair lady. Spake Gunther eagerly:
"How now liveth Siegfried, whose arm hath oft befriended me?"


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Then spake the valiant Gere: "Joy o'er the visage went
Of him and eke thy sister. To friends was never sent
A more faithful greeting by good knight ever one,
Than now the mighty Siegfried and his royal sire have done."

Then spake unto the Margrave the noble monarch's wife:
"Now tell me, cometh Kriemhild? And marketh yet her life
Aught of the noble bearing did her erstwhile adorn?"
"She cometh to thee surely," Gere answer did return.

Ute straightway the messengers to her did command.
Then might ye by her asking full well understand
To her was joyous tidings how Kriemhild did betide.
He told her how he foimd her, and that she soon would hither ride.

Eke of all the presents did they naught withhold,
That had given them Siegfried: apparel rich and gold
Displayed they to the people of the monarchs three.
To him were Uiey full grateful who thus had dealt so boimteously.

"Well may he," quoth Hagen, "of his treasure give,
Nor could he deal it fully, should he forever live:
Hoard of the Nibelxmgen beneath his hand doth lie.
Heigh-ho, if came it ever into the land of Burgundy!'*

All the king's retainers glad they were thereat.
That the guests were coming. Early then and late
Full little were they idle, tiie men of monarchs three.
Seats builded they full many toward the high festivity.

The valiant knight Himold and Sindold doughty thane
Little had of leisure. Meantime must the twain,
Stands erect full many, as their high oj65ce bade.
Therein did help them Ortwein, and Gimther's thanks therefor they


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Riimold the High Steward busily he wrought
Among them that did serve him. Full many a mighty pot,
And spacious pans and kettles, how many might ye seel
For tjiose to them were coming prepared they victuals plenteously.


Dow tbei? tared to tbe fcnat

Leave we now the ardor wherewith they did prepare.
And teU how Lady Kriemhild and eke her maidens fair
From land of Nibelimgen did joiuney to the Rhine.
Ne'er did horses carry such store of raiment rich and fine.

Carrying-chests full many for the way they made ready.
Then rode the thane Siegfried with his friends in company
And eke the queen thither where joy they looked to find.
Where now was high rejoicing they soon in sorest grief repined.

At home behind them left they Lady Kriemhild's son
That she did bear to Siegfried — 'twas meet that that be done.
From this their festive joiuney rose mickle sorrow sore:
His father and his mother their child beheld they never more.

Then eke with them thither Siegmund the king did ride.
Had he e'er had knowledge what should there betide
Anon from that high journey, such had he never seen:
Ne'er wrought upon dear kindred might so grievous wrong have

Messengers sent they forward that the tidings told should be.
Then forth did ride to meet them with gladsome company
Ute's friends full many and many a Gunther's man.
With zeal to make him ready unto his guests the king began.


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Where he found Brunhild sitting, thither straight went he.
"How received thee my sister, as thou cam'st to this coimtry?
like preparations shalt thou for Siegfried's wife now make."
"Fain do I that; good reason have I to love her well," she spake.

Then quoth the mighty monarch: "The mom shall see them here.
Wilt thou go forth to meet them, apace do thou prepare,
That not within the castle their coming we await
Guests more welcome never greeted I of high estate."


Her maidens and her ladies straight did she command
To choose them rich apparel, the best within the land,
In which the stately company before the guests should go.
The same they did right gladly, that may ye full surely know.

Then eke to offer service the men of Gunther hied.
And all his doughty warriors saw ye by the monarch's side.
Then rode the queen full stately the strangers forth to meet,
And hearty was the welcome as she her loving guests did greet

With what glad rejoicings the guests they did receive!
They deemed that Lady Kriemhild did unto Brunhild give
Ne'er so warm a welcome to the land of Burgundy.
Bold knights that yet were strangers rejoiced each other there to see.

Now come was also Siegfried with his valiant men.
The warriors saw ye riding thither and back again,
Where'er the plain extended, with huge company.
From the dust and crowding could none in all the rout be free.

When the monarch of the country Siegfried did see
And with him also Siegmund, spake he full lovingly:
"Be ye to me full welcome and to all these friends of mine.
Our hearts right glad they shall be o'er this your journey to the


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"God give thee meed/' spake Siegmimd, a knight in honor grown.
"Since that my son Siegfried thee for a friend hath known,
My heart hath e'er advised me that thee I soon should see."
Thereto spake royal Gunther: "Joy hast thou brought full great
to me."

Siegfried was there receivM, as fitted his high state,
With full lofty honors, nor one did bear him hate.
There joined in way right courteous Gemot and Giselher:
I ween so warm a welcome did they make for strangers ne'er.

The spouse of each high monarch greeted the other there.
Emptied was many a saddle, and many a lady fair
By hero's hand was lifted adown upon the sward.
By waiting on fair lady how many a knight sought high reward!

So went unto each other the ladies richly dight;
Thereat in high rejoicing was seen full many a knight,
That by both the greeting in such fair way was done.
By fair maidens standing saw ye warriors many a one.

Each took the hand of other in all their company;
In courteous manner bending full many might ye see
And loving kisses given by ladies debonair.
Rejoiced the men of Gimther and Siegfried to behold them there.

They bided there no longer but rode into the town.
The host bade to the strangers in fitting way be shown,
That they were seen full gladly in the land of Burgundy.
High knights full many tilting before fair ladies might ye see.

Then did of Tronje Hagen and eke Ortwein
In high feats of valor all other knights outshine.
Whate'er the twain commanded dared none to leave undone;
By them was many a service to their high guests in honor diown.


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Shields heard ye many clashing before the castle gate
With din of lances breaking. Long in saddle sate
The host and guests there with him, ere that within they went.
With full merry pastime joyfully the hours they spent.

Unto the Hall so spacious rode the merry company.
Many a silken cover wrought full cunningly
Saw ye beyond the saddles of the ladies debonair
On ail sides down hanging. King Gimther's men did meet them

Led by the same the strangers to their apartments passed.
Meanwhile oft her glances Brunhild was seen to cast
Upon the Lady Kriemhild, for she was passing fair.
In lustre vied her color with the gold that she did wear.

Within the town a clamor at Worms on every hand
Arose amid their followers. King Gunther gave command
To Dankwart his Marshal to tend them all with care.
Then bade he fitting quarters for the retinue prepare.

Without and in the castle the board for all was set:
In sooth were never strangers better tended yet.
Whatever any wished for did they straightway provide:
So mighty was the monarch that naught to any was denied.

To them was kind attention and all good friendship shown.
The host then at the table with his guests sat him down.
Si^fried they bade be seated where he did sit before.
Then went with him to table full many a stately warrior more.

Gallant knights twelve himdred in the circle there, I ween,
With him sat at table. Bnmhild the lofty queen
Did deem that never vassal could more mighty be.
So wdl she yet was minded, she saw it not imwillingly.


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There upon an evening, as the king with guests did dine,
Full many a rich attire was wet with ruddy wine,
As passed among the tables the butlers to and fro.
And great was their endeavor full honor to the guests to show.


As long hath been the custom at high festivity

Fit lodging there was given to maid and high lady.

From whence soever they came there they had the host's good care;

Unto each guest was meted of fitting honors fullest share.

When now the night was ended and came forth the dawn,
From chests they carried with them, full many a predous stone
Sparkled on costly raiment by hand of lady sought.
Stately robes full many forth to deck them then they brou^t.

Ere dawn was full appeared, before the Hall again
Came knights and squires many, whereat arose the din
E'en before the matins that for the king were sung.
Well pleas^ was the monarch at joust to see the warriors young.

Full lustily and loudly many a horn did blare,
Of flutes and eke of trumpets such din did rend the air
That loud came back the echo from Worms the dty wide.
The warriors high-hearted to saddle sprung on every side.

Arose there in that country high a jousting keen
Of many a doughty warrior whereof were many seen,
Whom there their hearts more youthful did make of merry mood;
Of these 'neath shield there saw ye many a stately knight and good.

There sat within the casements many a high lady
And maidens many with them, the which were fair to see.
Down looked they where did tourney many a valiant man.
The host with his good kinsmen himself a-riding soon b^an.


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Thus they found them pastime, and fled the time full well;
Then heard they &om the minster the sound of many a belL
Forth upon their horses the la^es thence did ride;
Many a knight full valiant the lofty queens accompanied.

They then befbre the minster alighted on the grass.
Unto her guests Queen Brunhild yet well-minded was.
Into the spacious minster they passed, and each wore crown.
Their friendship yet was broken by direst jealousy anon.


When the mass was ended went they thence again
In full stately manner. Thereafter were they seen
Joyous at board together. The pleasure full did last»
Untn days eleven amid the merry-making passed.


f)ow tbe dtueene Berated Sacb Otbct

Before the time of vespers arose a mickle stir
On part of warriors many upon the courtyard there.
In knightly fashion made they the time go pleasantly;

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Online LibraryGeorge Henry NeedlerThe Nibelungenlied → online text (page 11 of 27)