The Nibelungenlied
By George Henry Needler, Translator

Presented by

Public Domain Books

Thirteenth Adventure - How they fared to the Feast


Leave we now the ardor / wherewith they did prepare,
And tell how Lady Kriemhild / and eke her maidens fair
From land of Nibelungen / did journey 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 journey / 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 been.


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.


Where he found Brunhild sitting, / thither straight went he.
“How received thee my sister, / as thou cam’st to this country?
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 morn 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


“God give thee meed,” spake Siegmund, / 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 received, / as fitted his high state,
With full lofty honors, / nor one did bear him hate.
There joined in way right courteous / Gernot 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 Gunther / 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 shown.


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 all sides down hanging. / King Gunther’s men did meet them there.


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.
Siegfried they bade be seated / where he did sit before.
Then went with him to table / full many a stately warrior more.


Gallant knights twelve hundred / in the circle there, I ween,
With him sat at table. / Brunhild the lofty queen
Did deem that never vassal / could more mighty be.
So well she yet was minded, / she saw it not unwillingly.


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 soe’er 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 precious stone
Sparkled on costly raiment / by hand of lady sought.
Stately robes full many / forth to deck them then they brought.


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 pleased 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 city 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 began.


Thus they found them pastime, / and fled the time full well;
Then heard they from the minster / the sound of many a bell.
Forth upon their horses / the ladies thence did ride;
Many a knight full valiant / the lofty queens accompanied.


They then before 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,
Until days eleven / amid the merry-making passed.


Preface  •  I. The Nibelungen Saga  •  II. The Nibelungenlied  •  The Nibelungenlied - First Adventure - Kriemhild’s Dream  •  Second Adventure - Siegfried  •  Third Adventure - How Siegfried came to Worms  •  Fourth Adventure - How Siegfried fought with the Saxons  •  Fifth Adventure - How Siegfried first saw Kriemhild  •  Sixth Adventure - How Gunther fared to Isenland to Brunhild  •  Seventh Adventure - How Gunther won Brunhild  •  Eighth Adventure - How Siegfried fared to his Knights, the Nibelungen  •  Ninth Adventure - How Siegfried was sent to Worms  •  Tenth Adventure - How Brunhild was received at Worms  •  Eleventh Adventure - How Siegfried came home with his Wife  •  Twelfth Adventure - How Gunther bade Siegfried to the Feast  •  Thirteenth Adventure - How they fared to the Feast  •  Fourteenth Adventure - How the Queens Berated Each Other  •  Fifteenth Adventure - How Siegfried was Betrayed  •  Sixteenth Adventure - How Siegfried was slain  •  Seventeenth Adventure - How Kriemhild mourned for Siegfried, and How he was Buried  •  Eighteenth Adventure - How Siegmund fared Home Again  •  Nineteenth Adventure - How the Nibelungen Hoard was Brought to Worms  •  Twentieth Adventure - How King Etzel sent to Burgundy for Kriemhild  •  Twenty-First Adventure - How Kriemhild fared to the Huns  •  Twenty-Second Adventure - How Etzel kept the Wedding-feast with Kriemhild  •  Twenty-Third Adventure - How Kriemhild thought to avenge her Wrong  •  Twenty-Fourth Adventure - How Werbel and Schwemmel brought the Message  •  Twenty-Fifth Adventure - How the Knights all fared to the Huns  •  Twenty-Sixth Adventure - How Gelfrat was Slain by Dankwart  •  Twenty-Seventh Adventure - How they came to Bechelaren  •  Twenty-Eighth Adventure - How the Burgundians came to Etzel’s Castle  •  Twenty-Ninth Adventure - How He arose not before Her  •  Thirtieth Adventure - How they kept Guard  •  Thirty-First Adventure - How they went to Mass  •  Thirty-Second Adventure - How Bloedel was Slain  •  Thirty-Third Adventure - How the Burgundians fought with the Huns  •  Thirty-Fourth Adventure - How they cast out the Dead  •  Thirty-Fifth Adventure - How Iring was Slain  •  Thirty-Sixth Adventure - How the Queen bade set fire to the Hall  •  Thirty-Seventh Adventure - How the Margrave Ruediger was Slain  •  Thirty-Eighth Adventure - How all Sir Dietrich’s Knights were Slain  •  Thirty-Ninth Adventure - How Gunther and Hagen and Kriemhild were Slain