Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin

Presented by

Public Domain Books

The Theft

Still Alberich stood and stared at the gold.

“What is it?” he gasped. “What is it?”

The Rhine-daughters shouted back to him:–

  “Heigh-ho! and heigh-ho!
  Dear little imp of woe,
  Laugh with us, laugh with us!
  Heigh-ho and heigh-ho!”

But Alberich did not laugh with them.

He would not take his eyes off the gold.

“That,” said the maidens, “is our Rhine-gold.”

“A very pretty plaything it is,” said Alberich.

“Yes,” replied the careless sisters, “it is magic gold. Who moulds this gold into a ring shall have all power upon the earth, save love.”

Alberich muttered to himself: “What do I care for love if I have all the gold I want?”

Then he sprang upon the slippery rock and snatched the gold. With one wild leap he plunged into the depths below.

Down, down he went to his deep, dark kingdom, clutching fast the precious gold and muttering:–

“Now all the earth is mine. It is mine, all mine. Now I shall rule the world.”

Poor foolish Alberich! He did not know that the best things in this world are the things which gold cannot buy.

The power of love is greater than the power of gold.

The maidens shrieked and screamed: “Our gold! Our gold! Our precious gold!”

Too late! Far, far below, they heard a laugh, the rough, rude laugh of Alberich, the dwarf.


More About the Stories  •  The Rhine-Gold  •  Alberich  •  The Careless Rhine-Daughters  •  The Theft  •  The Sad Rhine-Daughters  •  A Castle On the Rhine  •  The Morning  •  The Payment  •  Loki  •  Youth or Age?  •  Nibelheim  •  The Best Smith in Nibelheim  •  The Master  •  The Boaster  •  The Wishing-Cap  •  The Trick  •  The Curse  •  The Greedy Fafner  •  A Slave to Gold  •  The Beautiful Valhalla  •  The Walkuere  •  The Valiant Siegmund  •  Hunding’s Wife  •  Hunding  •  The War-Maidens  •  Wotan’s Wife  •  Wotan and Brunhilde  •  Off to the Battlefield  •  The Flight  •  The Punishment  •  The Sleep  •  The Magic Fire  •  Siegfried  •  The Dragon  •  A Baby in the Forest  •  Mimi and the Baby  •  Siegfried and His Friends  •  The Broken Sword  •  A Big Brown Bear  •  Siegfried and Mimi  •  Siegfried Mends His Father’s Sword  •  Siegfried Goes to Fight the Dragon  •  A Wood-Bird’s Song  •  Siegfried and the Dragon  •  A Change Comes Over Siegfried  •  Mimi Has a Surprise  •  Mimi and Alberich Stop to Quarrel Too Long  •  Siegfried Reaches the Mountain  •  Siegfried Learns What Fear Is  •  The Awakening  •  Goetterdaemmerung  •  A Song of the Present  •  A Song of the Future  •  A Pledge of Love  •  The Doom of Valhalla  •  Love