The Nibelungenlied
By George Henry Needler, Translator

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Public Domain Books

Fourth Adventure - How Siegfried fought with the Saxons


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.


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.


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.


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.


“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.


“Their hate hast thou incurred, / 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


“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.


“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.”


“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


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.


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.”


“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.”


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


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 learned / who by him in his need would


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.


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


“’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.


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.”


“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.


“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.”


“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.


“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.”


“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.


“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.


“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.


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.


“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.”


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.


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.


’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 grieved, / when he their words had heard aright.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


“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.


“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.”


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


“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.”


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


’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!


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:


“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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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,


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.


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.


“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.


“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.


“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


“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.


“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.


“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


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


“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.”


“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.


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.


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.


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


Who there had skill in healing / received reward untold,
Silver all unweighed / 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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