The Fall of the Nibelungs

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J.M. Dent & Company, 1897 - Nibelungenlied - 259 pages
The Nibelungenlied is the great epic of Germany, the medieval blossom of the Teutonic legends first recorded in the Icelandic Eddas and Sagas and which later bloomed as Wagner's Ring cycle and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It is the poem that Goethe credited with "awakening the 'inner memory' of the Germanic peoples," a cultural awakening that led to the first German unification in 1871. There is no better introduction to it for the English reader than Margaret Armour's beautifully illustrated prose translation.

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Page 107 - Then Kriemhild's husband fell among the flowers. The blood flowed fast from his wound, and in his great anguish he began to upbraid them that had falsely contrived his death. "False cowards!" cried the dying knight. "What availeth all my service to you, since ye have slain me? I was true to you, and pay the price for it. Ye have done ill by your friends. Cursed by this deed are your sons yet unborn. Ye have avenged your spite on my body all too bitterly. For your crime ye shall be shunned by good...
Page 127 - IT WAS in the days when Queen Helca died, and King Etzel wooed other women, that his friends commended to him a proud widow in the land of Burgundy, that hight Queen Kriemhild. Seeing fair Helca was dead, they said, 'If thou wouldst win a noble wife, the highest and the best that ever a king won, take this woman. Stark Siegfried was her husband.' The great king answered, 'How could that be, since I am a heathen, and have not received baptism ? The woman is a Christian— she will not consent. It...
Page 101 - Nay, Siegfried, I fear some mischance. Last night I dreamed an evil dream : how that two mountains fell on thee, and I saw thee no more. If thou goest, thou wilt grieve me bitterly.
Page 155 - I will tell ye what ye shall do. I send to my friends love and every good wish, and pray them to ride hither to my land. I know few other guests so dear. And if Kriemhild's kinsmen be minded to do my will, bid them fail not to come, for love of me, to my hightide, for my heart yearneth toward the brethren of my wife.
Page 182 - The Margrave went to find his wife and daughter, and told them the good news that he had heard, how that their queen's brethren were coming to the house. "Dear love," said Rudeger, "receive the high and noble kings well when they come here with their followers. Hagen, Gunther's man, thou shalt also greet fair. There is one with them that hight Dankwart; another hight Folker, a man of much worship. These six thou shalt kiss - thou and my daughter. Entreat the warriors courteously.
Page 132 - Then said Gernot of Burgundy, "The world may well rue beautiful Helca's death, for the sake of her many virtues." Hagen and many another knight said the same. But Rudeger, the noble envoy, went on: "If thou allow it, O king, I will tell thee further what my dear master hath charged me with. Dolefully hath he lived since Helca's death. And it hath been told him that Kriemhild is without a husband, for that Siegfried is dead. If that be so, and thou grant it, she shall wear the crown before Etzel's...
Page 71 - ... waxed furious. He grappled fiercely with her, and, in terror of his life, strove to overcome Brunhild. When she squeezed him down, he got up again in spite of her, by dint of his anger and his mickle strength. He came in great scathe. In the chamber there was smiting with many blows. King Gunther, likewise, stood in peril. He danced to and fro quickly before them. So mightily they strove, it was a wonder they came off with their lives. The trouble of the king was twofold, yet most he feared Siegfried's...
Page 155 - He bade summon the good fiddlers straightway, that hasted to where he sat by the queen, and he told them both to go as envoys to Burgundy. He let fashion rich clothes for them; for four and twenty knights they made apparel, and the king gave them the message wherewith they were to invite Gunther and his men. And Kriemhild began to speak to them in secret. Then said the great king, "I will tell ye what ye shall do. I send to my friends love and every good wish, and pray them to ride hither to my land....
Page 45 - Thou art welcome, Siegfried, to this land. To what end art thou come? I prithee tell me.' 'I thank thee, O Brunhild, fair daughter of a king, that thou greetest me before this worshipful knight. Thou showest Siegfried too much honour, for he is my lord, and the king of Rhineland.

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