George Henry Needler.

The Nibelungenlied online

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From whom were then a thousand taken of the best.
For them were brought their hehnets and what they else did need.
For unto Brunhild's coimtry woidd he straightway the warriors lead.

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."

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 amto Brunhild's country fare.


As gazed from lofty parapet women fair to see.

Spake the queen unto them: "Kjiows any who they be,

Whom I see yonder sailing upon the sea afar?

Rich sails their ships do carry, whiter than snow they are."

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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 fuU great amazing were the stately strangers seen.

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?"

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.

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 compajiy.
Then would the knights full valiant homeward fare to Burgundy.

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

"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.

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.


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In sooth good poimds 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.

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.

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

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."

"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."

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.

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."


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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."

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

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!

In high befitting fashion quitted 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.

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

Yet would she on the joiuney 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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f)ow Sicgtxicb was Bcnt to TRAotmB

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."

Then outspake King Gimther: "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 hi^ court journey, none else can better make it known."

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.

"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.**

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 imto the Rhine.

"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 Gimther sorely to beseech began.


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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.

"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, whatever it be 'twill all be done."

"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 imto all our kinanen shalt thou then merry tidings tell.


"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!

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

"And say imto my sister, when that she hath learned
That I am to my coimtry 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."

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.


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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.

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

"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 oiur misfortune been."

"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 yoxir land.

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

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 witii my brother be.
The maid doth see thee gladly, — of that wih I be surety."

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.


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Gisellier 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 Netherland;
Unto the Rhine he cometh at my brother Gunther's command.

"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.

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

"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 bom!" •

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.

"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.

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.


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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-bom; I'll serve thee then in other way."

"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.

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.

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.
WHt thou perform it, lady, then will he e'er to thee incline.


"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."


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.

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.


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Sindold and Hiinold and Rumold the thane
In truth were nothing idle, but wrought with mi^t and main
To raise the sitting-places 'fore Wonns upon the strand.
There did the royal Steward busy 'mid the workers stand.

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.


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

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.

ScHne 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 Burgimdy.
Hdgh-ho! What valiant warriors alike on both parts might you seel

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 diall praise and hcmor be ours from many a noble guest"

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


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

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.

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

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.

Made of stuffs all costly, the best 3rou 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.

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.

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


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


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

f)ow JSrunbiU) wad tcccivc^ at TRAotmd

On yonder side Rhine river they saw a stately band,
The king and host of strangers, ride down unto the strand,
And also many a lady sitting on charger led.
By those who should receive them was goodly preparation made.

Soon they of Isenland the ship had entered then.
And with them Siegfried's vassals the Nibelungen men;
They strained imto the shore with untiring hand
When they beheld the monarch's friends upon the farther strand.


Now list ye eke the story of the stately queen,

Ute, how at her bidding ladies fair were seen

Forth coming from the castle to ride her company.

Then came to know each other full many a knight and fair lady.

The Margrave Crere but to the castle gate
The bridle held for Kriemheld; the keen Siegfried did wait
Thenceforward upon her. She was a beauteous maid.
Well was the knight's good sQjrvice by the lady since repaid.


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Ortwein the valiant Queen Ute rode beside,
And many a knight full gallant was stately lady's guide.
At such a high reception, that may we say, I ween,
Was ne'er such host of ladies in company together seen.

With show of rider's talent the tilt was carried on,
For might the knights full gallant naught fitting leave undone,
As passed down to the river Kriemhild the lady bright
Then helped was many a lady fair from charger to alight


The king had then come over and many a stranger too.
Heigh-ho! What strong shafts splintered before the ladies flew I
Many a shaft go crashing heard you there on shield.
Heigh-ho! What din of costly arms resounded o'er the field.

The full lovely maidens upon the shore did stand,
As Gunther with the strangers stepped upon the land;
He himself did Brunhild by the hand lead on.
Then sparkled towards each other rich dress and many a shining


Then went Lady Kriemhild with fullest courtesy due,

To greet the Lady Brunhild and her retinue.

And saw ye each the head-band with fair hand move aside

When they kissed each other: high courtesy did the ladies guide.

Then spake the maiden Kriemhild, a high-bom lady she:
"Unto this our country shalt thou right welcome be.
To me and to my mother and each true friend of mine.
That we here have with us." Then each did unto each incline.

Within their arms the ladies oft-times clasped each other.
Like this fond reception heard ye of ne'er another,
As when both the ladies there the bride did greet.
Queen Ute and her daughter; oft-times they kissed her lips so sweet


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When all of Brunhild's ladies were come upon the strand,
Then was there taken full fondly by the hand
By the warriors stately many a fair lady.
Before the Lady BrunJiild the train of fair maids might ye see.

Before their greetings ended a mickle time was gone,
For lips of rosy color were kissed there, many a one.
Long stood they together, the royal ladies high.
And so to look upon them pleased many a noble warrior's eye.

Then spied with probing eye, too, who before did hear
That till then was never aught beheld so fair.
As those two rojral ladies: they foimd it was no lie.
In all their person might ye no manner of deceit espy.

Who there could spy fair ladies and judge of beauty rare.
They praised the wife of Gimther that she was passing fair;
Yet spake again the wise men who looked with keener gaze,
They rather would to Kriemhild before Brunhild award the praise.

TTien went imto each other maid and fair lady.
Full many a fair one might ye in rich adornment see.
There stood rich tents a many, silken great and small,
Wherewith in every quarter 'fore Worms the field was covered alL

Of the king's high kindred a mighty press there was.
Then bade they Bnmhild and Kriemhild on to pass,
And with them all the ladies, where they in shade might be.
Thither did bring them warriors of the land of Burgundy.

^ 596

When now the strangers also on horse sat every one,
Plenteous knightly tilting at shield was there begun.
Above the field rose dust-clouds, as had the coimtry been
All in flames a-buming; who bore the honors there was seen.




Looked on full many a maiden as the knights did sport them so.
Meseemeth that Sir Siegfried full many a to-and-fro
Did ride with his good followers along 'fore many a tent.
With him of Nibelungen a thousand stately men there went

Then came of Tronje Hagen, whom the king did send;
He bade in pleasing manner the tourney have an end,
Before in dust be buried all the ladies fair.
And ready to obey him soon the courteous strangers were.

Then spake Sir Gemot: **Now let the chargers stand.
Until the air is cooler, for we must be at hand
As escort for fair ladies unto the stately hall;
And will the king take saddle, so let him find you ready all."

When now the sound of tourney o'er all the field was spent,
Then went for pleasant pastime 'neath many a lofty tent
The knights unto the ladies, and willing thither hied.
And there they passed the hours till such time as they thence should

Just before the evening when the sun was in the west,
And the air grew cooler, no longer did they rest.
But both knights and ladies unto the castle passed.
And eyes in loving glances on many a beauteous maid were cast.

By hand of goodly warrior many a coat was rent,
For in the country's custom they tourneyed as they went,
Until before the palace the monarch did dismount.
They tended fairest ladies as knights high-spirited are wont

After fairest greeting the queens did part again.
Dame Ute and her daughter, thither passed the twain
With train of fair attendants unto a hall full wide.
Din of merrymaking heard ye there on every side.


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Arranged were sitting-places where the king would be
With his guests at table. By him might ye see
Standing the fair Brunhild. She wore a royal crown
In the monarch's country, the which might well such mistress own.

Seats for all the people at many a spadous board
There were, as saith the story, where victuals rich were stored.
How little there was lacking of all that makes a feast!
And by the monarch saw ye sitting many a stately guest.

The royal host's attendants in basins golden red
Carried water forward. And should it e'er be said
By any that a better service did receive
Ever guests of monarch, I never coidd such thing believe.

Before the lord of Rhineland with water was waited on,
Unto him Sir Siegfried, as fitting was, had gone;
He called to mind a promise that made by him had been
Ere that the Lady Brunhild afar in Isenland he'd seen.

He spake: "Thou shalt bethink thee what once did plight thy hand,
If that the Lady Brunhild should come imto this land,
Thou'dst give to me thy sister. Where now what thou hast sworn ?
In this thy wooing journey not small the labor I have borne."

Then to his guest the monarch: "Well hast thou minded me,
And by this hand shall never false word plighted be.
To gain thy wish I'd help thee in the way as best I know."

Online LibraryGeorge Henry NeedlerThe Nibelungenlied → online text (page 9 of 27)