The Nibelungenlied
By George Henry Needler, Translator

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Public Domain Books

Eighteenth Adventure - How Siegmund fared Home Again


Then went royal Siegmund / where he Kriemhild found.
Unto the queen spake he: / “Home must we now be bound.
We ween that guests unwelcome / here are we by the Rhine.
Kriemhild, beloved lady, / come now to country that is mine.


“Though from us hath been taken / by foul traitor’s hand
Thy good spouse and noble / here in stranger land,
Thine be it not to suffer: / good friend thou hast in me
For sake of son beloved: / thereof shalt thou undoubting be.


“Eke shalt thou have, good lady, / all the power to hold,
The which erstwhile hath shown thee / Siegfried the thane full bold.
The land and the crown likewise, / be they thine own to call,
And gladly eke shall serve thee / Siegfried’s doughty warriors all.”


Then did they tell the servants / that they thence would ride,
And straight to fetch the horses / these obedient hied.
’Mid such as so did hate them / it grieved them more to stay:
Ladies high and maidens / were bidden dress them for the way.


When that for royal Siegmund / stood ready horse and man,
Her kinsmen Lady Kriemhild / to beseech began
That she from her mother / would still forbear to go.
Then spake the lofty lady: / “That might hardly yet be so.


“How might I for ever / look with eyes upon
Him that to me, poor woman, / such evil thing hath done?"
Then spake the youthful Giselher: / “Sister to me full dear,
By thy goodness shalt thou / tarry with thy mother here.”


“Who in this wise have harmed thee / and so grieved thy heart,
Thyself may’st spurn their service: / of what is mine take part."
Unto the knight she answered: / “Such thing may never be.
For die I must for sorrow / when that Hagen I should see.”


“From need thereof I’ll save thee, / sister full dear to me,
For with thy brother Giselher / shalt thou ever be.
I’ll help to still thy sorrow / that thy husband lieth dead."
Then spake she sorrow-stricken: / “Thereof in sooth had Kriemhild need.”


When that the youthful Giselher / such kindly offer made,
Then her mother Ute / and Gernot likewise prayed,
And all her faithful kinsmen, / that she would tarry there:
For that in Siegfried’s country / but few of her own blood there were.


“To thee they all are strangers," / did Gernot further say.
Nor lived yet man so mighty / but dead at last he lay.
Bethink thee that, dear sister, / in comfort of thy mood.
Stay thou amid thy kinsmen, / I counsel truly for thy good.”


To Giselher she promised / that she would tarry there.
For the men of Siegmund / the horses ready were,
When they thence would journey / to the Nibelungen land:
On carrying-horses laden / the knights’ attire did ready stand.


Went the royal Siegmund / unto Kriemhild then;
He spake unto the lady: / “Now do Siegfried’s men
Await thee by the horses. / Straight shall we hence away,
For ’mid the men of Burgundy / unwilling would I longer stay.”


Then spake the Lady Kriemhild: / “My friends have counselled me,
That by the love I bear them, / here my home shall be,
For that no kinsmen have I / in the Nibelungen land."
Grieved full sore was Siegmund / when he did Kriemhild understand.


Then spake the royal Siegmund: / “To such give not thine ear,
A queen ’mid all my kinsmen, / thou a crown shalt wear
And wield as lordly power / as e’er till now thou hast.
Nor thou a whit shalt forfeit, / that we the hero thus have lost.


“And journey with us thither, / for child’s sake eke of thine:
Him shalt thou never, lady, / an orphan leave to pine.
When hath grown thy son to manhood, / he’ll comfort thee thy mood.
Meanwhile shall ready serve thee / many a warrior keen and good.”


She spake: “O royal Siegmund, / I may not thither ride,
For I here must tarry, / whate’er shall me betide,
’Mid them that are my kinsmen, / who’ll help my grief to share."
The knights had sore disquiet / that such tidings they must hear.


“So might we say full truly," / spake they every one,
“That unto us still greater / evil now were done,
Would’st thou longer tarry / here amid our foes:
In sooth were never journey / of knights to court more full of woes.”


“Now may ye free from trouble / in God’s protection fare:
I’ll bid that trusty escort / shall you have in care
Unto Siegmund’s country. / My child full dear to me,
Unto your knights’ good mercy / let it well commended be.”


When that they well perceived / how she would not depart,
Wept all the men of Siegmund / and sad they were at heart.
In what right heavy sorrow / Siegmund then took leave
Of the Lady Kriemhild! / Full sore thereover must he grieve.


“Woe worth this journey hither," / the lofty monarch spake.
“Henceforth from merry meeting / shall nevermore o’ertake
King or his faithful kinsmen / what here our meed hath been.
Here ’mid the men of Burgundy / may we never be more seen.”


Then spake the men of Siegfried / in open words and plain:
“An might we right discover / who our lord hath slain,
Warriors bent on vengeance / shall yet lay waste this ground.
Among his kin in plenty / may doughty foemen be found.”


Anon he kissed Kriemhild / and spake sorrowfully,
When she there would tarry, / and he the same did see:
“Now ride we joy-forsaken / home unto our land.
First now what ’tis to sorrow / do I rightly understand.”


From Worms away sans escort / unto the Rhine they rode:
I ween that they full surely / did go in such grim mood,
That had against them any / aught of evil dared,
Hand of keen Nibelungen / had known full well their life to guard.


Nor parting hand they offered / to any that were there.
Then might ye see how Gernot / and likewise Giselher
Did give him loving greeting. / That as their very own
They felt the wrong he suffered, / by the courteous knights and brave
      was shown.


Then spake in words full kindly / the royal knight Gernot:
“God in heaven knoweth / that of guilt I’ve naught
In the death of Siegfried, / that e’er I e’en did hear
Who here to him were hostile. / Well may I of thy sorrow share.”


An escort safe did furnish / the young knight Giselher:
Forth from out that country / he led them full of care,
The monarch with his warriors, / to Netherland their home.
How joyless is the greeting / as thither to their kin they come!


How fared that folk thereafter, / that can I nowise say.
Here heard ye Kriemhild plaining / as day did follow day,
That none there was to comfort / her heart and sorry mood,
Did Giselher not do it; / he faithful was to her and good.


The while the fair Queen Brunhild / in mood full haughty sat,
And weep howe’er did Kriemhild, / but little recked she that,
Nor whit to her of pity / displayed she evermore.
Anon was Lady Kriemhild / eke cause to her of sorrow sore.


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