The giant Wade, son of king Wilkinus and the sea-woman
In these days Sigfrid also lived with Mime, and did bad things to his fellow pupils
One day Mime went into the forest to burn coal, and he thought to be away for three days. And when he came into the forest he made a great fire, and when he stood by this fire alone a small boy came and ran to him. He asked the boy who he was, but the boy could not speak. Still Mime took him and put him on his knee
Then a hind came and went to Mime's knee and licked the face and head of the boy. And from this Mime understood that the hind had nursed the child, and he did not want to kill the hind. But he took the boy home with him and wanted to raise him like his son and gave him the name Sigfrid.
Thus the boy grew up until he was twelve
One of the journeymen was called Eckhart, and he was the strongest of the twelve. One day Sigfrid came to the smithy, and Eckhart was smithing, and Eckhart hit Sigfrid on the ear with a tongue, but Sigfrid took him by the hair in his left hand so tightly that he fell to the ground
Then Mime said to Sigfrid: Don't hit my journeymen. They do useful work, but you do nothing except evil, even though you're strong enough and could work as hard as the others. I will help you to work, but if you don't want to I'll hit you until you will. And he took Sigfrid by the hand and took him to the smithy.
There Mime sat down and took iron and put it in the fire, and he gave Sigfrid the heaviest hammer. When the iron had become hot he put it on the anvil and told Sigfrid to hit it. And Sigfrid's first hit was so strong that the anvil split in two and sank into the anvil stone, and the iron splattered all around, the tongues broke, and the hammehead flew from the shaft.Mime said: I have never seen a man hit harder or worse than this, and whatever you will do, it won't be crafts. Now Sigfrid went to the house and sat with his foster mother and did not tell anyone how he felt, good or bad.
Now Mime sae that the boy would do more bad things and he decided to kill him. He now went into the forest where the dragon was, and told him he'd give him a boy and asked the dragon to kill him. Then he went home.
The next day Mime told Sigfrid to go into the forest to burn coal. Sigfrid said: If that can patch up things between us I will do so. And Mime propared his journey and gave him food and wine for nine
Then it was dinner time, and he sat down to eat, and ate all the food, and he drank all the wine as well, while Mime had thought it would serve him for nine days. And he said to himself: I don't think I could find a man that I would not fight, and I don't think any man's hand will be too strong for me.
And when he had said this a large dragon came to him. And he said to himself: Now it could happen that I can try what I just wished for. And he jumped to the fire, too the largest tree, walked to the dragon and hit it on the head, and with the first stroke the dragon went down, and he hit the dragon again, and it fell to the ground, and he hit again and again until the dragon was taken to hell
Now he sat down and he had become tired. It was already late in the day and he understood he would not come home today, and he didn't know what food he could get. Then he realised he could eat the dragon for supper, and he took his kettle and put it on the fire. Then he cut large pieces from the dragon with his axe until the kettle was full and he had enough to eat. And when he thought it was ready he dipped his hand into the kettle, and burned his fingers, and put them in his mouth to cool them.
As soon as the broth went over his tongue and down into his throat he heard how two birds who were sitting in a tree sang, and he now understood what one said: It would be better for this man to know what we know, then he would go home and kill Mime his foster father because Mime plotted to kill him if everything had gone as he wanted. And this dragon was Mime's brother, and Mime will want to avenge his brother and kill the boy.
Then Sigfrid took the dragon's blood and rubbed it on his hands, and everywhere he could reach, and it was as if his skin became horn. Then he took off his clothes and rubbed himself entirely with the blood but he could not reach in the middle between the shoulders. Now he dressed and took the dragon's head in his hand.
Eckehart stood outside and saw how Sigfrid came back. And he want to his master and said: Sigfrid comes home, and he has the dragon's head in his hand. He must have killed it. Now everyone should save himself, because even though there's twelve of us, and even if there were half again as many, he would still kill all of us. And with that they all ran into the forest and hid.
But Mime went to Sigfrid alone and welcomed him. Sigfrid said: No welcomes! You will gnaw on this head like a dog. And Mime said: Don't do that. I will make up for what I did to you. I'll give you the helmet and armour that I made for king Hertnit in Holmgard, and I will give you a stallion called Grani, who is in Brunhild's herd, and also a sword named Gram, it is the best of all swords.
And Sigfrid said: I agree, if you do as you promise. And Mime gave him amrour and helmet and shield, and finally the sword, and when Sigfrid took the sword he swung it as powerfully as he could and gave Mime the death blow.
Now Signfrid went away and took the road that he was told went to Brunhild's castle. And when he came to the castle he found an iron door and nobody was there to open it for him. Then he hit the door so hard that the irons on the door were torn apart and went into the castle. Seven guards came to him, and they were guarding the gate, and didn't like him breaking open the door and wanted to kill him. But Sigfrid drew his sword and didn't stop until all these servants were slain. When the knights noticed this they took their weapons and attacked him, but he defended himself well.Brunhild now heard of all of this in her room, and she said: That must be Sigfrid Sigmund's son. And even though he may have killed seven of my knights ans seven servantsm he should still be welcome. And she went to the fight and told them to stop. And she asked who the man was that had come, and he said he was Sigfrid. She asked him for his ancestors, but he did not know.
And she said: If you don't know, then I can tell you you are Sigfrid, son of king Sigmund and Sisibe, and you are welcome here. But where do you travel to?
Sigfrid replied: I came here, because my foster father Mime told me to go here to get a stallion called Grani that you have. And I'd like to have him, if you please.
She said: I will give you a horse, or even several, if you want.
She ordered her men to catch the horse, and they took all day to do so, but they could not take it and in the evening they came home without it.
Sigfrid stayed the night. But in the morning she called twelve of her men, and went herself as the thirteenth. And the twelve men chased the horse for a long time and could not catch it. In the end Sigfrid asked for the bridle, and with it he went to the stallion, and the stallion wehnt to him and he caught it and jumped on his back.
Now Sigfrid rode away and thanked Brunhild for her hospitality. He stayd in no place for more than one night until he came to Bertangaland. There ruled a king named Isung, who had eleven sons. He took in Sigfrid and made him his counselor and banner bearer, and Sigfrid felt welcome here.
Sigfrid's skin was as hard as a boar's, or horn, so that no weapon could pierce it, and he understood the language of birds
Now Herbrand the Wise, the king's banner bearer, said that Dietrich was speaking out of ignorance, because Herbrand knew a country called Bertangaland, with a king named Isung, who is the strongest of all men and feared in duels, and he has eleven sons who are exactly like their father, and he has a banner bearer called Sigfrid, who is so great and wonderful in all heroic things that no better man can be found.
His skin is like horn everywhere, and few weapons bite him. His sword is Gram, and his horse is Grani, a brother of Falke
If you would fight this man, you would say before you returned home, if you returned at all, that you've never been in this much danger.
One day king Isung and his eleven sons were in their castle, and Sigfrid came to them and said to them: My lord, I saw a tent on the field before your castle, of a different type than I saw before. In the middle of this tent is a pole, and on it a knot of gold. And there is a second, red tent before it, and a third, green tent behind it, and on the right a golden tent, and on the left a white tent.
And before the tents there are thirteen shields, and on the outer shield there is a horse, and that is Heime's, and on the next a golden hawk with two birds, and that is my relative
And from that, Sigfrid continued, it seems to me that foreign warriors have come to our land, and I am prepared, if you wish, to ride to them and find out who they are
King Isung said: I'll send one of my men to them to tell them that if they want to keep their lives they should pay me tribute, as our laws require, and my emissary will ask them who they are, where they come from, where they were born, and where they're going, and if they have any other goal here than to pay me tribute.
And Sigfrid said: the man you're going to send should be none other than me.
Then Sigfrid took a bad horse without a saddle
Then Sigfrid said: My lord king Isung sends me to demand tribute from you, as our laws require, but if you do not give tribute you will leave your goods and your life here.
King Dietrich replied: We came here for reasons other than to give your king tribute. I offer him a challenge
Sigfrid replied: With your permission, who is your leader, and where do you come from? You're doing something no one has done before with your challenge. Haven't you heard how great he is? And I think he will not refuse battle, whatever men you are.
Witig said: King Dietrich rules these men, and there is another king here, that is Gunther of Niflungenland, and there are also many good heroes here. But do you think that king Isung and Sigfrid will truly battle us?
Sigfrid said: King Isung and Sigfrid will not flee from you, even though it's Dietrich von Bern and his men who have come here. But you cannot break the law and refuse tribute, so you should send him something that honours both you and him.
King Dietrich said: Since you bring us this message with so much courtesy I'm willing to send him an honourable gift. And he turned to his men and decided they would send one horse and shield, and they would cast lots to see who would lose them. And they did so
Amelung didn't like losing his horse and wanted to ride after Sigfrid. He went to his father Hornboge and asked to borrow his horse, but the jarl refused him.
Then Amelung went to Witig and asked the same. Witig said that he thought Amelung would not get back his horse, and if he lost Witig's in the process, what would Witig have left?
Amelung promised that if he also lost Witig's horse, he would give him twelve strong castles in Vindland, which his father had given him, and ind addition Witig would be Hornboge's heir. But if I return with your horse, I'll also have mine, and if I don't return I'll be dead. Witig agreed to this, because Amelung took most of the risk in this endeavour.
Then Amelung mounted Schimming, rode after Sigfrid and overtook him close to the castle where a linden tree grew
Amelung said: Get off that horse, or you will lose both horse and life. Sigfrid started to suspect that this man was jarl Hornboge's son, his relative
Now Amelung gave Schimming the spurs and rode to Sigfrid, and his spear hit his shield, but Sigfrid staid in the saddle, although his horse sank on its hindlegs. And the spear shaft broke.
Sigfrid said: That was well done for a young man, and you may well have relatives who are as knightly as you are. Now it's my turn.
And Sigfrid gave his horse the spurs and rode to Amelung, and his spear hit his shiled so hard that Amelung was carried far back off his horse. Now Sigfrid took Schmming's reins and said: Good man, now you have neither your own horse nor the other one, which appears to be Schimming, Witig's horse. You will likely have pledged a great deal to get it. It would have been better if you had sat still this time.
Amelung replied that it might still turn out otherwise, and Sigfrid asked him what we wanted to do. Amelung said he'd do anything honourable to get his horse back. Then Sigfrid asked him who he was. Amelung refused to tell him, because Sigfrid still held his horse and his companions would say he told him out of fear, which would be dishonourable.
Then Sigfrid asked him if he was the son of jarl Hornboge, his kinsman, because he would never do dishonour to kinsmen. Also he told Amelung he was Sigfrid. Amelung still refused, unless Sigfrid swore with God as witness the facy would never be used to shame him. This Sigfrid promised.
Then Amelung told him he was Amelung Hornboge's son and they were related. Then Sigfrid said he had done well, and proposed that Amelung would take both horses back to the tents, but before he left he would bind Sigfrid to the linden tree and take his spear and shield as well.
And they did this, and Amelung rode back with both horses, and when he neared the tents he behaved quite heroically.
Now king Dietrich and Witig stood outside their tents and saw Amelung ride back. Witig said: Amelung has his horse back, and now I can guess that it was Sigfrid who came to us, because I believe Amelung asked for the horse as a gift, since they are related, and Amelung will have spoken quite humbly because he'd never have received the horse in any other way.
King Dietrich said: He would not have taken the horse back against Sigfrid's wishes, but it could be that the man who came to us was another man, and thus
Now Amelung rode to the tents, and his father and his companions asked him how he'd got the horse. Then Amelung said: When I came to the foot of the mountain I found the man who had taken my horse, and I rode at him as hard as I could and hit his shield with my spear - and you can see the shield here - and my spear broke in two, but I still threw him off his horse, and I beat him with the pieces of my spear, and I bound him to a linden tree using his belt and shield strap, and I also cut my sword strap in pieces to bind him as tightly as I wanted. And I assume he still stands there, because he can't free himself. Now everyone agreed he had behaved quite knightly.
Then Witig said to king Dietrich: I want to ride to where the man is bound, and when it is Sigfrid, as I suspect, then this was done with cunning, and if he still awaits me at the tree I'll be certain if it's Sigfrid or someone else
Dietrich agreed, and Witig mounted and said: It's a great shame if the man you have bound can't free himself, and I want to free him. And he rode there.
But when Sigfrid saw that a man rode to him he tore apart his bonds and walked up the mountain, because he did not want to encounter the man. When Witig arrived he saw the staps lie there, and the broken spear shafts, and thought that everything Amelung had said was true, and that's what he told his companions.
Now Sigfrid came to king Isung's hall and told him what had happened, and that Dietrich von Bern with twelve of his heroes had come, and that he had challenged them to a duel, and that Sigfrid had had a horse as a gift of friendship
And king Isung said that he willingly accepted the challenge.
The next morning king Isung and his men
And king Dietrich said: Don't doubt we've come here to fight. We have ridden a long road and encountered many dangers to find out who of us has the better swords and shields, the harder helmets, and more strength and valour.
King Isung and his men dismounted while king Dietrich and his men armed themselves. And they decided to hold thirteen duels between two heroes on foot. King Dietrich would fight Sigfrid, king Gunther would fight king Isung, and Witig Isung's oldest son, and so man was paired with man.
Now Amelung said: "It was an unfortunate day
And now he called on his father jarl Hornboge and told him to bind his helmet onto his head as firmly as he could, and to bind his shield to his left hand as firmly as he could so that it could not be lost, and he swore that he'd rather be chopped as small as the smallest pieces that went into a kettle before he would be bound and the Bertanga-men would support his back with a spear shaft.
Now he took the field, and against him the sixth prince, and they fought with great courage for a long time. Amelung saw that the fight would take a long time if he didn't take some more risk. Despite his shield being bound to his left hand, he took his sword in both hands and hit the prince on the helmet as hard as he could, and the sword would not cut it, so hard was that helmet. But still the prince fell, and Amelung threw himself onto him and told him: If you want to keep your life, surrender your weapons and you'll be bound to a spear shaft like your brothers did to my companions. But if you want to free yourself, then they should let go my good friend Fasold and Herbrand.
The prince agreed, and it happened, and now each went back to his men; and the duel had gone as Sigfrid had thought it would.
Now Witig the Strong took the field, and against him the eleventh prince, and this was the strongest of them all. Now they went at each other so powerfully that each blow was half as strong again as the previous one, and nobody saw a braver fight then this one. And they came so close to one another that they were barely able to hit one another
Now Witig considered what Mimung had done before, when he had carried that sword into a duel
Witig spoke: You, king Isung, choose: either release all my companions, or lose your son. King Isung replied: I won't release them before I see that the man can be killed, but he has not yet received a mortal wound.
The prince called: Do what he desires at once, or I'll lose my life. He has the Devil himself in his hand, and I cannot stand against it, nor anyone else; but still it's expensive to trade man against man
Then Witig said: If you, king Isung, do not release all my companions I'll cut off your son's head, and then I'll cut you a killing blow, and Mimung will not be sheathed before all my companions are free.
Now Witig walked to where his companions were kept, and he broke one spear shaft after the other until they were all free. And then he walked to the man he had fought with and wanted to kill him. Then king Isung and Sigfrid sprang between them and separated them, and king Dietrich agreed with this. And they were reconciled, and it was decided that both sides were unbound now, and that the fights so far were equal. And with that they parted, and Witig had released all his friends.
Now king Dietrich drew his sword Eckisax from its sheath, and came forth from his men to the field, and he was ready to fight. Sigfrid walked to meet him and drew his sword Gram. They drew closer courageously, and as soon as they met they exchanged great blows. Most blows were incredibly strong, and they did not spare their
Then king Isung took his shield, and Witig too, and they entered the battlefield and separated the two. "Enough fighting for today, and let's rest for the night, but tomorrow you may conclude your duel." And thus they parted, and king Isung and his men rode to the castle, while king Dietrich and his men went to their tents. They were quite happy, since things had gone well. And then they slept.
The next morning, when it hadn't been light for long, king Isung came down from his castle, and king Dietrich and Sigfrid armed themselves for a new day of combat. And when they continued they fought as if they had not met one another before, and both seemed fresh, and they hacked at one another until both were tired and they rested for a while. And then they fought on, the entire day until nightfall, and they only rested when neither of them could stay on his feet. And still their armours were unbroken, so that neither of them had suffered a wound, and still nobody knew who would vanquish the other. And again they were separated by king Isung and Witig. And then king Isung rode to his castle, and Dietrich and his men slept in their tents.
That night king Dietrich and Witig met, and Witig asked Dietrich: My lord, how do you think this battle with Sigfrid will end? He seems to be a brave and strong man, and both of you are, so I cannot say which one of you will win the prize
King Dietrich replied: I don't know either, but I'd feel better if my sword could penetrate his skin, which seems harder than any weapon
Witig replied: You may not ask for Mimung, because since it was forged it was but once in another man's hands than mine, and that was when Heime took it
This angered the king, and he said: Now hear what great shame this is, that you compare your king to a stable boy. We will never be as good friends as we were before because of these words.
Witig replied: My lord, if I spoke ill of you that was not deliberate
And when the night had passed king Isung came back with his men to fight. And king Dietrich was ready with his men. And when king Dietrich came on to the battlefield he had drawn his sword, but put his shield in front of it. Sigfrid had not come
Sigfrid replied: I'm coming, and we'll fight like yesterday, provided you again swear you won't use Mimung, Witig's sword. And once you do so I'll gladly fight with you. Dietrich replied he'd rather swear that oath than not fight, and called Sigfrid again.
Now Sigfrid came to the battlefield, but king Dietrich drew the sword behind his back and stuck its point in the earth, and supported the hilt with his back, and swore that, so help him God, Mimung's point was not above the earth and its hilt in no man's hand.
That was enough for Sigfrid, and he drew his sword Gram, but Dietrich took Mimung and they came together and fought. After a short while Dietrich made one hit after the other, and he cut off pieces of Sigfrid's shield or helmet or armour
Now Sigfrid realised exactly which oath Dietrich had sworn, and that he used Mimung, and he said: Lord Dietrich, I wish to surrender my arms and become your man
And Sigfrid surrendered his weapons, and king Dietrich took him gladly into his following, and it seemed to him that he had won the greatest and strongest hero in the world. And thus they parted.
And now king Dietrich and his men were quite happy and considered themselves to have succeeded in this expedition. But king Isung and his men were unhappy, because their best man and most famous hero was defeated.
And when king Dietrich and king Isung separated they swore friendship and gave one another great gifts. And Sigfrid, too, gave great gifts to his relatives
And the feast was celebrated with the best, and it took five days with great splendour and all sorts of festivities, and games and entertainment.
Now king Dietrich and his men rode away, and with him came Sigfrid, whom they admitted to their brotherhood. And when kings Dietrich and Isung separated they swore friendship. And Amelung was followed by his wife Fallburg with a great treasure of gold, silver, and jewelry.
Now king Dietrich rode the entire road that he had come by until he and his companions came home to Bern. There they were received with all honours.
And now everyone praised him for his strength and courage, wherever his name was heard, and that was in almost the entire world, and no one could name the man who would be willing to measure himself against Dietrich in strength or weapons. And he knew he could sit undisturbed in his kingdom for all his life, or as long as he wished.
When king Dietrich and his men had made sure that no man in the world would dare to carry a shield against them
Thus jarl Hornboge went home to Windland, and with him his son Amelung and his wife Fallburg, and they ruled their realm for a long time with honour and fame. And Sintram went east to Fenedi and became duke there, and was one of the most famous men, like his ancestors had been. And Herbrand went back to his realm, and also became a powerful duke.
Then king Dietrich and all his heroes rode with king Gunther to Niflungenland. And there the marriage was decided that later became famous, that Sigfrid would take Grimhild, sister to king Gunter and Hagen, as his wife, and with it half of king Gunther's realm.
And a great feast was given, and all the best and noblest men in the country were invited. And this marriage took five days and was wonderful in all things.
When king Dietrich, king Gunther and Sigfrid sat together, Sigfrid said to Gunther, his brother-in-law: I know a woman who surpasses all women in the world in beauty and virtue
Then they rode away from the feast, king Dietrich, king Gunther, Hagen and Sigfrid with all their men, and they traveled long and didn't stop before they reached Brunhild's castle.
Brunhild received king Dietrich and king Gunther well, but Sigfrid not so much, since she already knew he had a wife, and the first time they met he had sworn not to take another woman than her, and she not another man than him
Now Sigfrid went to Brunhild and told her why they had come, and that she should marry king Gunther. She replied: I heard how badly you kept your word, that we had promised ourselves to each other, and even though I can pick whichever man in the world I'd like, I still want you for my husband.
Sigfrid replied: What had been decided before
Then Brunhild replied: I see now that I cannot have you, so I will take your and king Dietrich's counsel in this. Now king Dietrich and king Gunther joined this conversation, and they did not part before king Gunther and Brunhild decided to marry.
Now a great marriage feast was held, and king Gunther married Brunhild. And on the first night, when king Gunther and Brunhild went to bed, no third man
And when the two newlyweds were together, king Gunther wanted to make love to Brunhild, but she didn't want that at all, and she took both their belts and tied him hand and foot and hung him on a nail in the wall. And there he hung until daylight, when she released him so that he could go and drink. Neither he nor she spoke of this to anyone.
And the next night the same happened, and the third night as well. And king Gunther became unhappy and did not know what to do. Then it occurred to him that Sigfrid and he had sworn brotherhood, and that he was also wise, so he had a talk with Sigfrid alone and told him what had happened.
Sigfrid replied: I'll tell you why this happens. As long as she keeps her virginity hardly any man can be found who has power over her, but once her virginity is taken she is not stronger than other women.
Then king Gunther said: Because of our blood relation and friendship I trust no man but you to keep silent about this, and I also know you're strong enough to take her virginity; but I trust that if we do this it will never become common knowledge. And Sigfrid said he'd do as Gunther asked, so that was decided.
When evening came and Gunther would go to bed, Sigfrid went instead, and Gunther went away in Sigfrid's clothes. And all thought that Gunther was in bed. But Sigfrid had thrown clothes on his head, and pretended he was very tired, and he lay there until everyone had fallen asleep or gone away. Then he went to Brunhild and took her virginity. And in the morning he took from her hand a finger ring
And now a hundred men came out to meet him, and king Gunther was the first, who went to the bed and Sigfrid came to him, and they swapped their clothes again, and nobody knew what had happened.
When the wedding had gone on for seven days and nights, they made ready to ride home. Now Gunther put a chieftain over the castle, but he rode home to Niflungenland with his wife Brunhild. And when he came home he sat quietly in his realm and ruled it in peace, and with him his brother in law Sigfrid and his brothers Hagen and Gernot. But king Dietrich and all his man rode home to Bern, and they parted as good friends.
In these days, in the town called Vernisa
And from the moment that Sigfrid married Grimhild this realm stood in great splendor, mostly because everyone was afraid of the mighty lords who ruled there, and also because they had more cattle, gold, and silver than any other king. They were cruel to their enemies, but among one another they were good friends. But Sigfrid excelled above the others in all things, his skin was as hard as horn, like the breast of a wild boar, and no weapn could pierce it, except between the shoulders, where his skin was like that of other people.
One day queen Brunhild went into her hall
And Grimhild replied: I'll tell you why not. You are sitting on the throne that once belonged to my mother, and I have as much right as you to sit there.
Brunhild replied: Although your mother had this seat, and your father this town and land, now it is mine, and not yours
Then Grimhild said: Why would it be a disgrace to me that Sigfrid is my husband? You start this game now, and you clearly want us to speak more of what is an honour and a dishonour to you. So answer my question promptly: who took your virginity? Who was your first man?
And Brunhild replied: I can easily answer that with honour: king Gunther came to my castle with his men, and on the counsel of my friends I took him for my husband and was duly married with many precious gifts and guests
Then Grimhold said: You lie, as I thought you would. The man who took your virginity was Sigfrid. And Brunhild said: I was never Sigfrid's wife, and he never my husband.
And Grimhild said: I can prove it by this finger ring that he took from you when he had taken your virginity. He drew this gold from your hand and gave it to me.
And when Brunhild saw this gold she knew it had once been hers, and she understood what must have happened
She saw three men coming to here, and the first was king Gunther, and his brother Hagen, and the third was Gernot. They met her, and she cried and wailed and tore her clothes. King Gunther and Hagen had rode to hunt that day, and when they saw queen Brunhild act like that they didn't know what ailed her and halted their horses.
Then the queen said: Noble king Gunther, I gave myself into your power and left my realm and friends and relatives, and I did all of that for your sake. Will you or another man now avenge my disgrace? And if you do not want to avenge me, you should do it for your own sake. Sigfrid has broken his promise of silence and has told his wife Grimhild about everything that you had confided to him: that you were not the first to lie with me, but had Sigfrid take my virginity. And Grimhild said all that in the presence of everyone.
Hagen replied: Noble queen Brunhild, don't cry any longer. Instead, act as if nothing has happened.
Brunhild said: I will do as you say. Sigfrid came to you as a traveler
King Gunther said: My wife, don't cry, and be silent right now. Sigfrid will not be our lord for much longer, and my sister Grimhild will not be your queen. And Brunhild did as the king demanded.
King Gunther and Hagen his brother now rode into town to the hall. And they and Gernot pretended they knew nothing, and Brunhild did the same. Sigfrid had ridden into the forest to hunt, and was not at home at that time.
A few days later Sigfrid returned with his men. And when he came into the hall where king Gunther sat, the king rose and welcomed his brother in law, and so did Hagen and Gernot, and they were quite joyful that evening, but queen Brunhild was not.
A few days later Hagen said to his brother king Gunther: Lord, when do you want to ride into the forest to hunt, and we with you? And the king said he wanted to ride out as soon as the weather was better. And again a few days passed, and then Hagen went to the cooking house and told the cook: Tomorrow morning you will bring us breakfast, and make everything as salt as you can, and give Sigfrid the portion that is saltiest. And then he went to his cup-bearer and told him to give them their drinks very late. And then Hagen left.
The next morning king Gunther and Hagen said that they were going to ride out for a hunt and went to breakfast. Sigfrid came there and asked them what they were planning. Gunther told him they were going for a hunt, and asked if Sigfrid wanted to join them. And Sigfrid agreed to come with them. The king said: Then eat, and Sigfrid did so, and the cook and the cup-bearer did everything that Hagen had ordered them.
When they had eaten they took their horses, rode into the forest, and loosed their dogs. And when Sigfrid had departed from the castle Grimhild went back to bed because she was so angry with Brunhild that she didn't want to sit with her.
Hagen rode away later than the others, and had talked to queen Brunhild. And Brunhild asked Hagen to make sure Sigfrid did not come home that evening, and she offered him gold and silver and jewelry to do so. But Hagen said that Sigfrid was so strong that he wasn't sure he could kill him, but he promised to try. And then he rode out, and the queen wished him goodbye and told him to keep his promise.
Now they hunted, and rode until they were tired, and from time to time they ran. And Sigfrid was the first
Then they came to a brook, and king Gunther lay down and drank, and Hagen did the same, and then Sigfrid came and also lay down to drink. And when Hagen had drunk he rose, took his spear in both hands, and stuck Sigfrid right between the shoulder blades so that it went through his heart and exited through his breast
Then Sigfrid said, when he received the spear: I had not expected that
Then Hagen said: This morning we hunted a boar, and we four
Then king Gunther said: You have hunted well, and this wisent we will take home with us to bring it to my sister. Then they took Sigfrid's body and took it back to the castle.
Queen Brunhild stood on the rampart and saw king Gunther and Hagen and Gernot ride back to the castle, and also saw they brought Sigfrid dead. She went to them and said they were the luckiest hunters, and asked them to bring the body to Grimhild. She sleeps in her bed, she said, let her now embrace the dead, he has what he deserves now, and so does Grimhild.
They now went to her room, which was locked, and they broke open the door and carried the body inside, and threw it onto the bed into her arms, and she woke up and saw that Sigfrid was in her bed and was dead.
Then Grimhild said to Sigfrid: Your wounds are evil. How did you receive them? Your shield and helmet are untouched, how were you wounded like that? You must be murdered. If I knew who'd done it I'd avenge it.
Hagen said: He was not murdered/ We hunted a wild boar, and that boar gave him the fatal wound. And Grimhild said: That boar, that was you, Hagen, and no one else. And she cried bitterly.
Then they went to the hall and were quite happt, and Brunhild was no less happy. But Grimhild called her people and had Sigfrid's body buried.
And when the tale made the rounds that Sigfrid was dead, everyone said that no man like that was in the world any more, nor would ever be born, so strong and brave, and possessed of such noble virtues, and his name would never be forgotten in the German language, nor in the Norse one.
Attila, king of Soest, heard that Sigfrid was dead and that Grimhild had become a widow. He himself was also a widower
He found king Gunther in Vernica and stayed there for a few days.
One day king Gunther called Osid to a conversation, and Hagen and Gernot were with him. Then duke Osid said: King Attila of Soest sends you his greetings, and wants to marry your sister Grimhild, with as many goods as you care to send him
And king Gunther replied: King Attila is a rich man and a great leader, and if Hagen and Gernot agree, I will not deny him this. And Hagen added: I think we should consider it a great honour that the powerful king Attila takes our sister in wedding; he is the richest and most powerful of kings, and we can also become more powerful. But this matter will have to be laid before her herself; her will
Then king Gunther and Osid went to Grimhild, and king Gunther told her the news and asked her what she thought of marrying Attila. She replied that she did not dare to deny king Attila because he was such a mighty king, and the man who brought her the request
King Gunther and his brothers discussed the matter with duke Osid, and it was decided. Then Osid prepared to depart, and when he was ready king Gunther took a gold-plated shield and helm that had belonged to Sigfrid and gave them to Osid
Quickly after king Attila prepared his journey to Niflungenland to his fiancée Grimhild, and he took five hundred knights with him. When king Gunther heard kings Attila and Dietrich had come to his realm he rode to them with his best men, and when they came near king Gunther rode to king Attila and greeted him, and his brother Hagen rode to Dietrich and they kissed one another, and welcomed one another as the best friends.
Now they all rode to the town of Vernica, and there a most glorious feast was prepared, and at this feast king Gunther gave his sister Grimhild to king Attila.
And when the feast had ended king Attila and king Dietrich rode home. And when they departed king Gunther gave Grani, Sigfrid's horse, to king Dietrich, and the sword Gram he gave to margrave Rodinger
King Attila and king Dietrich
When seven winters had passed since Grimhild came to Hunnenland, one night she said to king Attila: I haven't seen my brothers in seven years now, couldn't you invite them over? And I can tell you, and maybe you already know, that my husband Sigfrid had so much gold that no king in the world was as wealthy. Now my brothers own this, and they haven't even offered me a penny. But if I were to get the gold, it would be seemly if you owned it together with me.
When king Attila heard these words he knew they were true. And since he was the most avaricious of people he desired the treasure, and said: I know Sigfrid had much gold, the gold he took from the dragon
Not long after Grimhild called two men to her, and told them to go to Niflungenland to bring her message, and for this journey she would equip them with gold and silver and good clothes and horses. And the minstrels
Now the Niflungen rode into Rodinger's courtyard
Now the Niflungen undressed near the fires, and Gotelinde, margrave Rodinger's wife, and she was sister to duke Nudung who fell at Gransport, said: The Niflungen have brought many white armours, and hard helemts, and sharp swords, and new shields, but Grimhild still cries for her husband Sigfrid every day. When the fires had gone out king Gunther and Hagen and their brothers went into the hall, sat there and drank with joy, and then they went to sleep.
Now margrave Rodinger lay in bed with his wife, and he asked her: What honourable gift shall I give to king Gunther and his brothers? And she replied: Anything you would like to give, I will agree with. And he said: If you agree, I would like to give our daughter to young Giselher as my first gift. And Gotelinde said: If he could enjoy our daughter it would be well done, but I am afraid he won't.
When day came Rodinger invited the Niflungen to stay for a few days, but they wanted to ride on. And margrave Rodinger told them he wanted to ride with them. And during breakfast Rodinger had a helmet carried in, and gave it to king Gunther. And the king thanked him for this gift. Then Rodinger gave a new shield to Gernot.
Then he had his daughter brought in and gave her to Giselher, and said: Good Giselher, this maiden I would like to give you for your wife, if you want to tak her. And Giselher replied he would become the happiest of men with her, and took her with many thanks.
And again Rodinger spoke: See here, young Giselher, the sword Gram that I would like to give you. It used to be Sigfrid's sword, and I think it would be the best of weapons to carry where you are going. And again Giselher thanked Rodinger.
Then margrave Rodinger said to Hagen: My good friend, what do you see around here that you would like to have? And Hagen said: I see a shield that is sea blue, and large, and it ought to be strong and has large cuts in it. I would like that for a gift.
And Rodinger said: That shield was carried by a good hero, duke Nudung, and the cut is from Mimung, strong Witig's sword, before he fell. And when Gotelinde heard this she cried many tears for her brother Nudung. And Hagen received the shield, and everyone thanked Rodinger again.
Then alll rode from the castle, including margrave Rodinger and his men. Gotelinde wished them well, and hoped they would return with honour. And margrave Rodinger kissed his wife and asked her to rule his realm until he returned.
Now nothing more is said of their travel than that they rode on day after day, and when they entered Soest it was rainy and windy, and all Niflungen were wet. And when they came to Thorta
The man replied: The latest news is that the Niflungen have come to Hunnenland, and king Attila is preparing them a feast, and I was sent to invite you, but I could just as well return with you, since I have done my errand. And then Rodinger asked how many men king Attila expected to receive. And the messenger said: I think there are no fewer men in this company than king Attila has invited
Then Rodinger told the man to ride to king Attila and tell him that the Niflungen and he had arrived. Then king Attila ordered that all houses in the town should be prepared, some with tents
Now king Attila asked king Dietrich to ride out and meet them. And he did so, met the Niflungen, and they all went to the town.
Queen Grimhild stood on a tower and saw her brothers coming into Soest, and she said: Now it is a nice green summer, and my brothers come here with many new shields, white armours, and brave heroes, and I still remember Sigfrid's great wound. And she cried bitterly over Sigfrid.
Then she went to the Niflungen and welcomes them, and kissed those who were nearest to her
And now the town was filled with men and horses, and even before there were many hundreds of men and horses in Soest
King Attila led his brothers in law to his hall, and had fires made, but the Niflungen did not take off their armour, and did not lay down their weapons. Now Grimhild came into the hall where her brothers were drying near the fires, and she saw their armour under their cloaks.
Then Hagen saw his sister Grimhild, and he took his helmet, put it on his head, and tightened it, and Volker did the same. Then Grimhild said: Hagen, did you bring he the Niflungen treasure that Sigfrid once had?
But Hagen replied: I bring you a strong enemy who follows my shield and my helmet with my sword, and I will never take off my armour. Then king Gunther said: My sister, come and sit here. And then Grimhild went to her young brother Giselher and kissed him, and she sat down between him and king Gunther
Then Giselher asked: Why do you cry? And she replied: That I can tell you. I am pained most by the great wounds Sigfrid received between his shoulders, and no weapon has touched his shield.
Then Hagen replied: Let's not remember Sigfrid's wounds for now. King Attila should be as dear to you as Sigfrid used to be, and he is half as much richer, but it is not possible any more to heal Sigfrid's wounds, and what has happened has happened. Then Grimhild rose and went away.
Now Dietrich von Bern came to invite the Niflungen to the meal, and he was followed by Aldrian, king Attila's son. King Gunther took Aldrian on his arm and carried him with him.
But king Dietrich and Hagen were such good friends that they took each other's hands
King Attila now sat on his throne, and to his right sat king Gunther, and next to him young Giselher, then Gernot, then Hagen, then their relative Volker. On Attila's left sat king Dietrich von Bern, then margrave Rodinger, then master Hildebrand, and these sat at king Attila's high table.
And in the hall were also the noblest of men one next to the other, and they drank good wine and feasted. And such a large amount of people were in town that all houses were filled. And they all slept in peace this night.
The next morning they got up, and king Dietrich and Hildebrand and many other knights came to the Niflungen. Dietrich asked how they had slept, and Hagen said he had slept well, but that his mood was still average.
Then king Dietrich said: Be merry, good friend Hagen, and be welcome; but be aware that your sister Grimhild still grieves for Sigfrid, and you will notice that before you go home. And thus Dietrich was the first man to warn the Niflungen
Then they went out into the courtyard
And now king Attila went onto the balcony
Now Hagen and Volker went forth through the town, and they each had their hand around the other's shoulder, and they saw many well-bred women. And how they took off their helmets and showed themselves. And Hagen was white like ash, and he had but one eye.
Now the Niflungen stood out by the town wall and saw the town, but Dietrich von Bern went back to his court, where he had business to do.
Now king Attila saw how many people there were in town, and he could not fit them all into his great hall. But since it was nice weather he had a feast prepared in his garden
Meanwhile queen Grimhild entered Dietrich's hall to speak to him. And she wailed and wept and said: Good friend Dietrich, I have come to ask for your help to avenge Sigfrid, I want to pay back Hagen and Gunther and their brothers. If you help me I'll give you as much gold and silver as you want, and I will also help you when you go back over the Rhine to avenge yourself
Then she went away weeping and went to the hall where duke Osid was, and again she spoke: Lord Osid, don't you want to help me avenge my grief? I want to pay the Niflungen back for the death of Sigfrid, and if you do so I'll give you a large realm and anything you should ask for. But Osid said: If I did that, I would have king Attila's enmity, since he is a good friend of them.
Then the queen went to king Attila and said to him: Lord king, where is the gold or silver that my brothers brought here? And the king said he had not seen any gold or silver, but he would still treat them well as guests in his house. And Grimhild said: Then who will avenge my disgrace if you won't? Sigfrid was murdered! Now help me, and you can win the Niflungen treasure and all of Niflungenland.
The king said: Do not speak of that any more. How could I betray my brothers in law? They have come here in good faith, and neither you nor anyone else should offend them. Then she went away and she felt quite bad.
Now Attila went into the garden where the feast would take place and called all others in. And the queen told the Niflungen: Now give your weapons to me for safe keeping. No one should bear arms here, and you will see the Huns do so as well.
Then Hagen said: You are a queen
Then Gernot said: Hagen was never in a good mood since we set out on this journey, and it could be he will prove his courage even today. And now Gernot, too, started to suspect betrayal, and recalled that Hagen had said so before they ever went on this journey, and he, too, bound his helmet tightly on his head.
Now king Attila, too, saw this happening, and he asked Dietrich who those were that bound their helmets so tightly. And Dietrich told him they were Hagen and Gernot, and both are brave heroes in foreign lands,
Now king Attila went to king Gunther and Giselher, and took their hands, Gunther's in his right hand, and Giselher's in his left, and called to Hagen and Gernot, and he placed them all on the high table to his right, as was said before
And all Niflungen had come to the garden in their armour with their swords, but their shields and spears they had given to their squires for safe keeping, and twenty squires were set by the door
Volker sat with the foster of Aldrian, Attila's son, and Grimhild had her chair set opposite king Attila, and duke Osid was with her.
At this time queen Grimhild went to the knight who was set over her other knights and who was called Irung. And she said: Good friend Irung, don't you want to avenge my dishonour? Neither king Attila wants to do so, nor king Dietrich, nor any other of my friends. Irung asked: What should we avenge, my lady, and why do you cry so bitterly
And the queen replied: I remember how Sigfrid was mudered, and I want to avenge him, if anyone wants to help me. And she took his gold-plated shield and said: Good friend Irung, do you want to avenge my dishonour? I will fill this shield with red gold if you do, and you'll also have my friendship. And Irung replied: Lady, your friendship is worth more than gold. He got up, armed himself, called his knights, and unfurled his banner.
The queen told him to first go to the squires and kill them, and then make sure none of the Niflungen entered the garden, and that those who were already inside would not escape with their lives.
Now king Attila descended from his tower and went to the fighting. And Hagen said to him: It would be a brave man's work, king Attila, if you gave young Giselher peace. He is innocent of Sigfrid's death, because I alone gave him the fatal wound. So do not hold Giselher responsible for it, he could become a good warrior if he lives.
But Giselher said: Don't tell me not to defend myself. My sister knows that I was but five years old when Sigfrid was killed, and I was in bed with my mother, and I am not to blame for this struggle. But I do not want to live alone among my brothers.
And Giselher jumped to master Hildebrand and gave him one blow after the other, but their duel ended as one could suspect, that master Hildebrand gave him a fatal wound. And so Giselher fell.
Now king Dietrich went to Hagen and asked if he could still be healed, but Hagen said he might live a few more days but there was no doubt he would die from these wounds.
Now king Dietrich had Hagen carried to his hall, and had his wounds tended to. And he gave Hagen his relative Herrat to tend to his wounds. And in the evening Hagen asked Dietrich for a woman for his last night, and Dietrich did so.
And in the morning Hagen told this woman: It could happen you get a son from me, and he should be called Aldrian. And here are keys you will keep and give to the boy, for these keys go to Sigfrid's cellar, where the Niflungen treasure is
And thus the Niflungen had ended their lives, and also the most powerful men in Hunnenland except for king Attila, king Dietrich, and master Hildebrand. In this struggle a thousand Niflungen fell, and four thousand Hunnen and Amelungen. And German men say that no battle has been more famous in old sagas than this one. And after the battle Hunnenland was empty of men for king Attila's remaining days.
Now queen Erka's prophecy
Status: summary of 52 chapters complete.