| Stories of Siegfried Told to the Children|
|by Mary Macgregor|
|Siegfried is the central character in this legend, skillfully adapted from the Nibelung, an old German poem, full of strange adventures of tiny dwarves and stalwart mortals. In this retelling of the ancient legend, Siegfried wins the accursed Rhineland treasure, takes Kriemhild as bride, and comes to an untimely end, passing the curse of the Rhinegold on to his enemies. Ages 8-10 |
SIEGFRIED SEES KRIEMHILD
 Queen Uté, the mother of Kriemhild, heard that a
great festival was to be held, and she made up her mind that
she and her daughter should grace it with their presence.
Then was there great glee among the handmaidens of the
Queen, and they scarce slept at night for thinking of bright
ribands and gay raiment.
But to Kriemhild more joyous than any hope of costly
garments was the hope that at the great festival she would
see, nay even speak with, her knight, Sir Siegfried.
Folded away in large chests Queen Uté had a store of
rich raiment. Robes of white embroidered in gold, and
sparkling with gems, she now brought forth, robes of purple
and blue and many another colour she laid before the eyes of
her bewildered maidens. These the
 Queen herself had worked
through the glad days of summer, and through the dark winter
The festival was to be held at Whitsuntide, and as the time
drew near, noble guests were seen daily riding into Worms.
Kings came from afar, thirty-two princes also had journeyed
thither, and when Whitsun morning dawned, five thousand men
and more had come to Rhineland, where free from care dwelt
When the knights had entered the lists, the King sent a
hundred of his liegemen that they might bring Queen
Uté and her gentle daughter to the great hall.
Clad in their rich robes of state, the Queen and her many
maidens came, and among them all was none to compare with
the peerless maiden Kriemhild.
When Siegfried saw the Princess he knew that she was indeed
more radiant in her beauty than he had even dreamed, and the
hero's heart grew heavy.
How could it ever be that he should wed so fair, so kind a
maiden. He could see the
 kindness shining in her bright
eyes. Yet surely he had but dreamed a foolish dream, and
thinking thus the knight grew pale and troubled.
Then King Gernot, whose eyes saw what other eyes were
ofttimes too dull to heed, then King Gernot, seeing
Siegfried's cheeks grow pale, said to his brother Gunther,
"Bid the hero who hath served thee right nobly, bid him go
greet our sister. For though she hath scorned full many a
knight, him will she welcome with right good cheer."
King Gernot's words pleased his royal brother, and a
messenger was sent to Siegfried, bidding him greet the
Swift then leaped the roses to Sir Siegfried's cheeks, as he
hastened to where Kriemhild sat among her maidens.
"Be welcome here, Sir Siegfried, for thou art a good and
noble knight," said the maiden softly. Then, as in reverence
he bent low before his lady, she rose and took his right
hand graciously in her own.
As they stood thus together the great bells of the Minster
pealed, and lords and ladies
 wended their way to the church
of God to hear a Mass sung, and to give thanks for the great
victory the Burgundian heroes had won. At the Minster door
Siegfried must needs leave the Princess that she might sit
among her maidens. But when the service was ended they
walked together to the castle.
"Now God reward thee, Siegfried," said the maiden, "for
right well hast thou served my royal brother."
"Thee I will serve for ever," cried the happy hero, "thee
will I serve for ever, and thy wishes shall ever be my
Then for twelve glad days were Siegfried and Kriemhild
ofttimes side by side. And when he tilted in the tournament,
he felt that the bright eyes of his lady were shining upon
him, and his skill was greater even than it had used to be.
At length the merry Maytide games were over. Gifts of gold
and silks did King Gunther bestow on all his guests ere they
set out for their own lands. Queen Uté also and the
Princess wished them Godspeed as they filed slowly past the
 The festival was over, and it might be he would see the fair
maiden Kriemhild no more, so thought the hero. Well, he
would away, away to his own home in the Netherlands once
But Giselher, Kriemhild's youngest brother, heard that
Siegfried was making ready to leave the royal city, and he
begged him to stay.
"Tarry here a little longer," he said, "and each day, when
toil or sport is over, thou shalt see my fair sister,
"Bid my steed be taken back to its stall," then cried the
happy knight, "and hang my shield upon the wall."
Thus in the gladsome summer days Siegfried and Kriemhild
walked and talked together, and ever did the knight love the
gentle maiden more.
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