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Title: Gudrun - A Mediaeval Epic
Author: Nichols, Mary Pickering
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                                 GUDRUN
                           _A Mediaeval Epic_


                         _TRANSLATED FROM THE_
                          _Middle High German_

                                   by
                         MARY PICKERING NICHOLS

                         _BOSTON AND NEW YORK_
                     Houghton, Mifflin and Company
                    _The Riverside Press, Cambridge_
                             M DCCC LXXXIX


                            Copyright, 1889,
                       By MARY PICKERING NICHOLS.
                         _All rights reserved._
           _The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A._
            Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.



                                Preface.


The epic poem of Gu-drun is one of the most important early literary
works of the German race. It is attributed to the latter part of the
twelfth or the beginning of the thirteenth century, and to a date a
little subsequent to that of the Nibelungen Lied. It was first brought to
the notice of the modern world in the year 1817, the only original
manuscript now known to exist having been discovered about that time in
the castle Ambras in the Tyrol, among other manuscripts which had been
collected by the Emperor Maximilian I. (1493-1519). The manuscript is now
in the Imperial Library at Vienna. It has been several times edited and
printed in the original Middle High German, with critical annotations;
various translations into modern German have also been published: but so
far as I can learn, no complete metrical version in the English language
has been made public.

The name of the author is unknown; it is generally thought to have been
constructed, in great measure, from earlier legends which had been
repeated by wandering singers. According to the late Karl Bartsch, the
distinguished critic and editor of Mediæval German literature, the tale
shows affinity to legends of the Scalds of Norway and Denmark, and to
those of the Shetland Isles. Traces of resemblance are said to be found
among the relics of Anglo-Saxon literature. The supposition that the poem
was constructed from various early legends explains some of the
marvellous incidents of the tale, and those chronological inconsistencies
where the rude habits and ideas of earlier times are combined with the
later knightly usages of the Middle Ages and with Christian belief.

The scene of the poem is laid principally on the shores of the North Sea,
and includes Ireland and Normandy, as well as Holland, Denmark, and
Friesland. Very vague ideas of geography were, however, entertained by
the poet. Some names of places are thought to be fabulous, and critics
disagree with regard to the modern countries designated by other names
used.

The poem is founded upon the themes of love and war, and properly
consists of three parts. The first portion, embracing four tales, relates
the adventures of Hagen, the grandfather of Gu-drun; the second part
gives the story of the wooing and abduction of Hilda, his daughter, the
mother of Gu-drun. The proper story of Gu-drun begins only with the ninth
tale.

The narrative gives a vivid picture of the ideas, manners, and customs of
the age of the author; of the dwellings, dress, and ornaments in use; of
the weapons and warfare; of the ships and sea-life; and of the
tournaments and court festivities. From it we see the nature of the
intellectual amusement enjoyed by the northern nations, at that period of
their mental development when literary entertainment in the modern sense
was yet unknown, and its place was supplied by listening to the recitals
of wandering bards.

Modern German critics agree in assigning a high literary value to the
poem of Gu-drun, and compare it not unfavorably with the Nibelungen Lied.
Bartsch, the critic above named, says: “The general impression which the
poem gives is one of greater beauty, though not always of equal grandeur
with that of the Nibelungen; it is a worthy companion-piece. The two are
justly compared, as are the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the Nibelungen as
in the Iliad the fate of a whole people is decided by the sword, and the
ruling house, consisting of noble heroes, meets destruction before our
eyes; but the conquerors do not fully rejoice in their success. The whole
breathes a tragic spirit, even more than the Greek epic. ‘_Nach Freude
Leid_’—‘after joy comes sorrow’—is the earnest tone throughout. Gu-drun,
like the Odyssey, closes more tenderly and in a spirit of reconciliation.
Although pitiless fate has destroyed the happiness of those for whom the
poet has awakened our sympathy, and we see a noble being suffer in the
most shameful manner, yet we are sustained by hope, and a happy end
compensates for woes endured. ‘_Aus Leid Freude_’—‘sorrows end in joy’—is
the final conclusion.... All the characters are worked out in the most
minute and careful manner, and are developed consistently.... The best
traits of the German nature, fearless bravery, unfaltering fidelity, and
unswerving integrity, are presented. The nobility of a feminine soul
which, inspired by pure love, in the distress of a hard captivity,
preserves its fidelity to its beloved, perhaps in no poem of the German
middle ages is so strikingly shown as in the character of Gu-drun.... The
descriptions both of battle and scenery are masterly, and are painted
with a few decisive strokes.”

The metrical form of Gu-drun is similar to that of the Nibelungen. In
both, the accentuation is determined by the logical sense, as in prose,
and not always by the number of syllables, as in most modern verse. In
both, the lines are metrically divided, giving three accents to each
half-line of the stanza, except in the fourth line, in which Gu-drun
differs from the Nibelungen in having five accents instead of four on the
concluding half-line.

The translator has adhered to the original rhythm, and has endeavored in
each stanza to convey strictly the ideas of the author, being careful not
to introduce anything, in thought or simile, foreign to the poem, and, as
far as the verse would permit, to give a verbal rendering.

The translation has been made from Bartsch’s edition of the original
Middle High German (Brockhaus, Leipzig, 1874). He, like the other
editors, has supplied some omissions in the manuscript, an instance of
which may be seen in the sixth line of the fac-simile given. The drawings
introduced are copied from mediæval German printed books.

I wish to acknowledge my obligation to my brother for careful revision
and for many important improvements throughout the translation.

                                                                M. P. N.

Boston, 1889.



                               Contents.


  Tale I. Sigeband, king of Ireland, after the death of his father,
          marries a princess of Norway, who bears him a son, Hagen.
          During the celebration of a court festival, Hagen, now
          seven years old, while outside the castle in the care of
          his attendants, is caught up by a griffin, and borne to
          his nest in a distant land.   Stanzas 1-66.
  Tale II. Hagen, falling from the grasp of one of the young
          griffins, crawls into a cave, where he finds three young
          daughters of kings, who had also been carried off by the
          griffins. He grows up in their company. At last, one day,
          he wanders with them to the seashore, where he finds a
          ship whose master, a lord from Karadie, he persuades to
          rescue them from their exile.   67-113.
  Tale III. The master of the ship inquires of Hagen and the
          maidens concerning their country, and learns that Hagen
          is the son of an old enemy. He threatens to keep him as a
          hostage, but Hagen seizes thirty of the sailors, and
          flings them into the sea, and compels the others to steer
          towards his home. There, he sends messengers to announce
          his arrival to his father and mother, who come down to
          the shore to meet him.   114-150.
  Tale IV. Hagen reconciles his father to the men who had brought
          him home, and receives from his father the government of
          the kingdom. He marries one of the three maidens, Hilda,
          from India. She gives birth to a daughter, likewise named
          Hilda. When she is grown up, her many suitors are
          rejected by her father.   151-203.
  Tale V. Hettel, king of the Hegelings, a suitor for Hilda,
          summons his vassals, Wâ-te, Horant, and Fru-te, and sends
          them to obtain her for his wife. They go, purporting to
          be merchants, carrying seven hundred warriors concealed
          in the hold of the ship. They send rich gifts to Hagen,
          and at the request of his daughter, Hilda, they are
          kindly received at court.   204-371.
  Tale VI. Horant delights the court with his singing, and he with
          his friend Morunc are introduced to the bower of Hilda.
          He tells her of Hettel’s suit, which she, charmed by the
          singing of Horant, receives with favor. They invite her
          to visit their ship, with her father and mother, and the
          invitation is accepted.   372-439.
  Tale VII. Hilda, with her father and mother and her maidens,
          rides down to the shore; she and the maidens go on board
          the ship. While Hagen’s attention is occupied, the vessel
          sets sail, and they arrive in Hettel’s land.   440-486.
  Tale VIII. Hagen and his warriors follow in their ships, in order
          to rescue Hilda, and reach the Hegeling land: a battle
          takes place on the seashore. At Hilda’s entreaty, peace
          is made, and Hagen consents to her marriage with Hettel.
          Hagen returns home, leaving Hilda and her maidens in
          Hettel’s kingdom.   487-562.
  Tale IX. Wâ-te, Horant, and the other vassals of Hettel go back
          to their homes. Hilda bears to Hettel a son, Ortwin, and
          a daughter, Gu-drun, who is afterwards sought by
          Siegfried, king of Moorland. He is rejected by her
          father, Hettel, and retires in anger.   563-586.
  Tale X. Hartmut, a Norman prince, son of Ludwig and Gerlind,
          hears of the beauty of Gu-drun, and resolves to woo her.
          Messengers are dispatched with letters, but receive a
          forbidding answer.   587-616.
  Tale XI. Herwic, king of Sealand, sends suitors for the hand of
          Gu-drun, who are also rejected. Hartmut of Normandy comes
          to woo her in person, and is kindly received by her; she,
          however, begs him, if he values his life, to leave the
          court. He returns to Normandy, resolved to win her by
          force.   617-629.
  Tale XII. Herwic, being forbidden by Hettel to woo his daughter,
          invades his kingdom, and, after a battle, Gu-drun, with
          Hettel’s consent, is betrothed to him.   630-667.
  Tale XIII. Siegfried, a rival suitor for Gu-drun, invades the
          land of Herwic, who sends to Hettel for his assistance:
          Hettel with many of his vassals comes to his help.
          Siegfried is driven into a castle, and there besieged.
          668-724.
  Tale XIV. Hettel sends to announce to Hilda, his wife, and to
          Gu-drun, his daughter, his success in the fight with
          Siegfried. Hartmut, the Norman, takes advantage of the
          absence of both Hettel and Herwic, and invades the
          Hegeling kingdom.   725-752.
  Tale XV. Hartmut sends messengers again to Gu-drun to ask her
          hand, and threatens to take her by force if she still
          rejects his suit. She answers that she is betrothed to
          Herwic, and refuses him. Hartmut and Ludwig bring an army
          and capture the Hegeling castle, and carry away Gu-drun
          with her hand-maidens.   753-809.
  Tale XVI. Hettel and Herwic, being informed of their losses by
          Hilda, make peace with Siegfried, and release him on
          condition that he will unite with them in war against
          Hartmut. They take possession of the ships of a pilgrim
          band, and pursue Hartmut.   810-846.
  Tale XVII. Ludwig and Hartmut, on their way to Normandy with
          Gu-drun, stop at a desert island, called Wulpensand;
          Hettel and Herwic, in pursuit, reach the island, and a
          battle ensues.   847-879.
  Tale XVIII. Ludwig, king of the Normans, slays Hettel, and his
          army steals away with the maidens in the night. The
          Hegelings discover their departure, bury the dead, and
          erect a hospital and cloister in their memory.   880-918.
  Tale XIX. The Hegelings return, and announce to Queen Hilda the
          death of her husband and their ill-success. They decide
          to wait till the young knights become old enough for war,
          and then to make a second campaign against the Normans.
          919-950.
  Tale XX. The Normans reach their land with Gu-drun and her
          maidens; she refuses to marry Hartmut, and is placed in
          the care of Gerlind, his mother, who treats her harshly
          and obliges her to perform menial service. Ortrun, the
          sister of Hartmut, shows kindness to Gu-drun.   951-1040.
  Tale XXI. Gu-drun receives better treatment, but, still refusing
          to marry Hartmut, she is sent to wash clothes on the
          seashore. Hildeburg, one of her maidens, obtains
          permission to share her labors, which are continued
          through many years.   1041-1070.
  Tale XXII. Hilda summons her vassals to make an expedition
          against the Normans. After visiting the graves of their
          kinsmen on the Wulpensand, they pass in safety the
          magnetic rocks at Givers, and arrive on the coast of
          Normandy.   1071-1141.
  Tale XXIII. Herwic and Ortwin, the brother of Gu-drun, agree to
          go forward in advance to procure intelligence in regard
          to her and her maidens.   1142-1164.
  Tale XXIV. While Gu-drun and Hildeburg are washing on the
          seashore, a swan announces to them the approach of Queen
          Hilda’s army for their rescue, and tells them that two
          knights will come the next morning to inform them still
          further of this.   1165-1206.
  Tale XXV. Herwic and Ortwin, coming in a boat, see the maidens
          washing on the shore, recognize them, and make themselves
          known. Thinking it dishonorable to take the maids away
          without winning them in fight, the knights return to
          bring their army. The maidens go back to Gerlind, and,
          feeling sure of her speedy rescue, Gu-drun pretends to
          agree to Hartmut’s suit, and is restored to favor.
          1207-1334.
  Tale XXVI. On their return to their friends, Herwic and Ortwin
          make known the result of their search. The Hegeling army
          arrives before the Norman castle, and is discovered by
          Ludwig and Hartmut.   1335-1365.
  Tale XXVII. Hartmut names to Ludwig the banners of the coming
          knights. On learning that the Hegeling army is
          approaching, Gerlind counsels her son, Hartmut, to await
          a siege; but he chooses to sally forth, with Ludwig and
          their followers, and a battle ensues, in which Ludwig
          overthrows Herwic.   1366-1440.
  Tale XXVIII. Herwic, feeling mortified that Gu-drun from the
          castle should see his fall, returns to the fight, and
          slays Ludwig. Gerlind bribes one of her men to put
          Gu-drun to death, but he is prevented by the threats of
          Hartmut. Hartmut is taken prisoner, and carried on board
          a ship.   1441-1493.
  Tale XXIX. The Hegelings obtain possession of the castle, and
          spare neither old nor young. Ortrun seeks refuge with
          Gu-drun, and Gerlind also implores her protection, but
          she is recognized and killed by Wâ-te. The Hegeling army
          devastate the land: Hartmut and Ortrun are held captive.
          1494-1560.
  Tale XXX. The Hegeling army returns home, bringing Gu-drun and
          her maidens, with the Norman captives. Hilda welcomes the
          returning ships, and embraces her daughter, whom she does
          not at first recognize, after her long absence. By
          Gu-drun’s request, Hilda is reconciled to Hartmut and
          Ortrun, and Ortwin takes Ortrun for his bride. Hartmut
          and his men are set free, on their promise not to escape,
          and Hartmut agrees to wed Hildeburg. Herwic’s sister is
          sent for, and betrothed to Siegfried.    1561-1666.
  Tale XXXI. A great wedding festival is held, at which the four
          kings, Herwic, Ortwin, Hartmut, and Siegfried, try to
          surpass each other in generous giving. Hartmut with his
          bride, Hildeburg, leaves for Normandy.   1667-1695.
  Tale XXXII. Siegfried, king of Moorland, goes home, taking his
          bride, Herwic’s sister. Herwic returns to his home with
          Gu-drun, after she has bidden farewell to her mother,
          Hilda, and to her brother, Ortwin, and Ortrun, his wife.
          1696-1705.



                           Names of Persons.


  Ger,—an early king of Ireland, grandfather of Hagen.
  U-te,—wife of Ger.
  Sigeband,—son of Ger and U-te.
  U-te,—a Norwegian princess, wife of Sigeband.
  Hagen,—son of Sigeband and the second U-te, and grandfather of Gu-drun.
  Hilda,—a princess of India, wife of Hagen.
  Hilda,—daughter of Hagen, wife of Hettel.
  Hettel,—king of the Hegelings, husband of Hilda, and father of Gu-drun
          and Ortwin.
  Gu-drun,—daughter of Hettel and Hilda.
  Ortwin,—prince of Ortland, son of Hettel and Hilda.
  Wâ-te,
  Fru-te,
  Horant,
  Morunc,
  Irold, } vassals of Hettel.
  Ludwig,—king of Normandy.
  Gerlind,—wife of Ludwig.
  Hartmut,—son of Ludwig and Gerlind, a suitor for Gu-drun.
  Ortrun,—daughter of Ludwig and Gerlind.
  Siegfried,—king of Moorland, a suitor for Gu-drun.
  Herwic,—king of Sealand, betrothed to Gu-drun.
  Hildeburg,
  Hergart, } maiden companions of Gu-drun.



                            Names of Places.


  Abakie,—an imaginary Eastern land, subject to Siegfried.
  Abalie,—an Eastern land, noted for gems and cloths.
  Alzabie,—a fabulous Moorland city, the residence of Siegfried.
  Amile,—an imaginary Eastern land, the home of mermaids.
  Araby,—a land whence came fine clothes and treasures.
  Ballian,—Ballyghan, Hagen’s chief city in Ireland.
  Daneland,—not the present Denmark, but, in the ninth century, the seat
          of the Danes in Friesland, near the mouth of the Scheldt.
  Dietmarsch,—a province subject to Hettel.
  Friesland,—subject to Hettel, and held in fief by Morunc and Irold.
  Galeis,—a land whose people are friendly to Herwic.
  Galicia,—Portugal, the home of Hildeburg.
  Garadie,—an indeterminate country, near Ireland.
  Givers,—a fabulous land, subject to Horant.
  Gulstred,—a place in the West.
  Hegeling,—the name of a people on the North Sea, in Holland, governed
          by Hettel.
  Holstein,—variously mentioned as subject to Fru-te, to Irolt, and to
          Ortwin.
  Icaria,—a fabulous land whose people are allies of Siegfried of
          Moorland.
  Ireland,—The situation seems sometimes to correspond with the modern
          Ireland, and sometimes to a part of Holland. There is a place
          in Texel, at the present day, named Eijerland.
  Iserland,—the home of one of Gu-drun’s maiden companions.
  Kampalia,—a fabulous land noted for rich clothing.
  Kampatille,—Hettel’s castle, also called Matelan.
  Karadie,—a land belonging to Siegfried of Moorland.
  Kassian,—the chief city and castle of Normandy.
  Matelan,—see Kampatille.
  Moorland,—the kingdom of Siegfried; owing to the love of the marvelous
          in antiquity, regarded by the poet as the land of the Moors,
          but probably a low country near the North Sea.
  Nifland,—“the land of fogs,” on the lower Rhine, the home of the
          Nibelungen,
  Normandy or Ormanie,—may be the country now known as Normandy, or is
          perhaps a region near the mouth of the Scheldt, where the name
          Ormans-kapelle occurs in an ancient map.
  Ortland,—probably Jutland, under the rule of Ortwin.
  Salme,—a fabulous country.
  Sealand,—Herwic’s kingdom, not the Danish Zealand, but probably the
          sea-lands of Friesland.
  Scotland,—spoken of as belonging to Norway.
  Sturmland,—subject to Wâ-te, adjoining Herwic’s kingdom.
  Waleis,—the western limit of Hettel’s kingdom, by some supposed to be
          Wales, but generally thought to be the country near the mouth
          of the river Waal in Holland.
  Wulpensand,—an island at the mouth of the Scheldt.



                            Tale the First.
               HOW HAGEN WAS CARRIED OFF BY THE GRIFFIN.


                                                                     [1]
  In olden days in Ireland    a king to greatness came
  Who bore the name of Sigeband;    Ger was his father’s name.
  Queen U-te was his mother;    she of a king was daughter;
  High was her worth and goodness,    and well her love beseemed the lord
              who sought her.

                                                                     [2]
  The sway of Ger was mighty,    as unto all is known;
  He many lands and castles    and lordships seven did own:
  Four thousand knights or over    he thence was often leading,
  And wealth, and name yet greater,    he daily won, with those who did
              his bidding.

                                                                     [3]
  Now the youthful Sigeband    to his father’s court must go,
  That he might there be learning    all he had need to know,—
  To bear the spear in riding,    to thrust it, and to shield him,
  That when he met the foeman,    the better fame thereby the fight would
              yield him.

                                                                     [4]
  That age he now was reaching    when he the sword might bear;
  Of all that a knight befitteth    he learned a goodly share.
  This from kin and vassals    praise unmeasured brought him;
  For this he still was striving,    and of the toil it cost he ne’er
              bethought him.

                                                                     [5]
  A few short days thereafter    death came among them all,
  As even to men the greatest    sadly doth befall.
  In every land and kingdom    the truth of this we’re meeting,
  And we, with heavy sorrow,    such news ourselves must every day be
              waiting.

                                                                     [6]
  Sigeband’s mother, U-te,    the widow’s seat must take;
  Her son, so high and worthy,    left all things for her sake.
  No whit he cared for wedlock,    and had no heart for wooing;
  Many a queenly lady    at this was sad, young Sigeband’s sorrow ruing.

                                                                     [7]
  A worthy wife to find him    his mother him besought;
  So might he and his kingdom    to greater name be brought;
  And he with all his kindred,    after their bitter sorrow
  For the death of the king, his father,    might for themselves no
              little gladness borrow.

                                                                     [8]
  The teaching of his mother    he heard in kindly mood,
  And began at once to follow,    as that of a friend one should.
  The best of high-born maidens,    ’mong those in Norway dwelling,
  He bade his men to sue for:    to help in this he found his kinsmen
              willing.

                                                                     [9]
  She soon to him was wedded,    as hath of old been said.
  With her, among her followers,    came many a lovely maid,
  And, from over Scotland’s border,    seven hundred warriors fully;
  They came with her right gladly,    when the worth of the king was
              known to them more truly.

                                                                    [10]
  Proudly their way they wended,    as beseemed the maiden’s birth;
  With all the care they led her    befitting his kingly worth;
  Hidden were the roadways    by gazers without number,
  Who hasted to behold her;    for three miles and a half the throngs the
              ways did cumber.

                                                                    [11]
  Where’er along the roadside    the path with green was spread,
  Flowers and grass were trampled,    by crowds, with heavy tread.
  It fell upon that season    when the leaves are springing,
  And in every copse and thicket    all the birds their best of songs are
              singing.

                                                                    [12]
  Of simple folk and merry    there rode with her enough;
  While many loaded horses    bore much costly stuff,
  Brought there from her birthland    by followers of the maiden;
  They came with her by thousands,    with gold as well as clothing
              heavy-laden.

                                                                    [13]
  On the shore of two wide marches,    the dwellers by the sea,
  As they saw the west wind waft her,    gave her welcome free;
  They found a seemly lodging    for the lovely, well-born lady,
  And brought her all things needful,    by the youthful king, before,
              for her made ready.

                                                                    [14]
  The fair young maid they welcomed    with knightly tournament;
  Not soon their games they ended,    when on the spear-fight bent.
  To the land of Ger his father    they bore her to be wedded;
  She there was loved and mighty,    and men to sound her name she never
              needed.

                                                                    [15]
  All, as they were able,    waited on the maid;
  The gaudy cloth for her saddle    down to the grass was spread;
  The horses’ hoofs were hidden    by the housing, heavy drooping.
  Aha! In mood how gleeful    was Ireland’s lord, once more a blessing
              hoping!

                                                                    [16]
  When now the time was fitting    that he the maid should kiss,
  All crowded thick about him,    in haste to see their bliss.
  The bosses of their bucklers    were now heard loudly clashing,
  Struck with blows together;    each strove to shun the throngs, in
              uproar crashing.

                                                                    [17]
  Now with the dawn of morning,    they sent out, far and wide,
  To give to all the tidings    of the coming of the bride,
  And that, with their master,    they erelong would crown her.
  His queen she was thereafter,    and well she earned from him the honor
              shown her.

                                                                    [18]
  It was not deemed becoming    that he his love should plight,
  Since she by birth was queenly,    and he not yet a knight:
  He first, before his lieges,    must the crown be wearing;
  To this his kinsmen helped him,    and later of his worth were all men
              hearing.

                                                                    [19]
  He, with knights five hundred,    then was dubbed with the sword;
  Whatever they could wish for    was given them at his word,—
  Both shields, and, for their wearing,    every kind of clothing.
  The youthful king so dauntless,    thro’ life, of fame and honor wanted
              nothing.

                                                                    [20]
  For many a day thereafter    his sway did Ireland bless,
  And never did his greatness    at any time grow less.
  To all he freely listened;    the poor man’s wrongs he righted;
  Widely known was his goodness;    no truer knight than he his word e’er
              plighted.

                                                                    [21]
  His boundless acres yielded    a full and ready gain;
  His wife was known for wisdom,    and worthy to be his queen.
  To hold her as their mistress    full thirty lords it booted;
  As long as the sway she wielded,    her hand to each his lands and home
              allotted.

                                                                    [22]
  She bore unto her husband,    within the next three years,
  A child to see most comely;    (such is the tale one hears.)
  When later he was christened,    and they were told to name him,
  They gave the name of Hagen;    and never since, the tale of his life
              doth shame him.

                                                                    [23]
  He had most careful breeding,    and kindly was he nursed;
  Should he be like his fathers,    he would of knights be first.
  Watched over by wise women,    and by maidens of early age,
  His father and fond mother    found in his face their glad eyes’
              pasturage.

                                                                    [24]
  When now the boy, well fostered,    to his seventh year was bred,
  ’Twas seen that he by warriors    by the hand was often led.
  He was happy in men’s teaching,    but was with women wearied;
  All this he knew no longer;    for, torn from them, he far away was
              carried.

                                                                    [25]
  Whene’er to him it happened    weapons at court to see,
  He understood them readily,    and their wearer longed to be;
  The helmet and ringed armor    would he have put on gladly:
  Alas! not long he saw them,    and all his hopes of fighting ended
              sadly.

                                                                    [26]
  While the kingly Sigeband,    beneath a cedar-tree,
  One day on the turf was seated,    the queen said earnestly:
  “Although good name and riches    we share with one another,
  At one thing yet I wonder,    and this from you I dare to hide no
              further.”

                                                                    [27]
  He asked of her: “What is it?”    Then said his helpmeet kind:
  “It me doth sorely worry    in body and in mind,
  And my heart, alas! is heavy;    to my wish you give no heeding,
  To see you ’midst your vassals,    my beaming eyes with pride upon you
              feeding.”

                                                                    [28]
  The king to her thus answered:    “How should it ever be
  That you have had such longing    me with my knights to see?
  I will strive thy will to follow,    of this think not so sadly;
  Ever to meet thy wishes,    both care and toil will I give myself most
              gladly.”

                                                                    [29]
  She said: “No man is living    who owns such wealth, I trow,
  Who has so many castles    or lands so wide as thou,
  With silver and gems so costly,    and gold so heavy weighing;
  For this are our ways too lowly,    and nought there is in life to me
              worth saying.

                                                                    [30]
  “When erst I was a maiden,    and on Scotland’s soil drew breath,
  (Chide not, my lord, thy helpmeet,    but list to what she saith,)
  I there was daily seeing    the liegemen of my father
  For highest prizes striving;    but here such games we never see
              together.

                                                                    [31]
  “A king so rich and mighty,    as you in name have been,
  Before his followers often    should let himself be seen;
  He oft should ride in tilting    with other champions knightly,
  That both himself and his kingdom    should seem more fair, and hold
              their rank more fitly.

                                                                    [32]
  “It shows, in a lord so noble,    a most unworthy mind,
  When he has heaped together    riches of every kind,
  If he with his faithful warriors    to share them is unwilling:
  When men in the storm of warfare    deep wounds have had, how else can
              they find healing?”

                                                                    [33]
  Then said to her King Sigeband:    “Lady, you mock at me;
  In all these warlike pastimes    I will most earnest be;
  And for the strife so worthy    my wish shall never waver:
  No man shall find it easy    the ways of well-born kings to teach me
              ever.”

                                                                    [34]
  She said: “You now for warriors    must send throughout the land;
  Stores of wealth and clothing    must be given with open hand.
  I too will send out heralds    my kinsmen all to rally,
  And to show them my good wishes;    we then shall find our life to pass
              more gaily.”

                                                                    [35]
  At this the king of Ireland    unto his wife thus said:
  “I yield to you most willingly,    for men are often led
  By the wishes of fair women    great feastings to make ready;
  I therefore now will gather    my brave and hardy kinsmen, and those
              too of my lady.”

                                                                    [36]
  To him the queen then answered:    “Sorrow no more I wear;
  Five hundred women’s garments    I will give, to each her share;
  To four and sixty maidens    gay clothes to give I’m willing.”
  Then the king did tell her    high times he soon would hold, his word
              fulfilling.

                                                                    [37]
  The sports were then bespoken:    he bade his men to send,
  In eighteen days or sooner,    to liegeman and to friend,
  To say to all in Ireland,    who would in his games be riding,
  That, after summer was ended,    they should spend the winter, with him
              abiding.

                                                                    [38]
  He bade his men make benches,    so our tale doth run,
  And for these, from out the wilderness,    timber must be drawn;
  For sixty thousand warriors    seats must they make ready.
  His henchmen and deft stewards,    to do this work for the king, were
              skilled and speedy.

                                                                    [39]
  Thither men then hastened    on many a winding way;
  All were kindly cared for    throughout their lengthened stay.
  Now from Ireland’s kingdom,    as the king had bidden,
  Full six and eighty thousand    of warriors strong there to his court
              had ridden.

                                                                    [40]
  From the store-rooms of the castle    clothing now was borne,—
  All the gear they wished for,    and all that could be worn.
  Shields were also given,    and steeds of Irish breeding;
  The proud and queenly lady    bedecked her guests with all they could
              be needing.

                                                                    [41]
  She gave to a thousand women    costly clothes enow,
  And likewise to fair maidens    what one to youth should allow,—
  Broidered bands and jewels,    and silk that glistened brightly;
  The many lovely ladies,    together standing there, were fair and
              sightly.

                                                                    [42]
  To every one who wished it    were given clothes well-made.
  Horses were there seen prancing,    by the hand of foot-boys led;
  These light shields did carry,    and their spears were seizing.
  U-te, the queenly mother,    was gladly seen, as she on the leads sat
              gazing.

                                                                    [43]
  The guests by the king were bidden    freely in tilts to meet;
  The glitter of their helmets    grew dim in the dust and heat.
  The ladies, held in honor,    near by were also seated,
  Where they the deeds of the warriors    saw full well, and with words
              of wonder greeted.

                                                                    [44]
  As oft before has happened,    the show had lasted long;
  The king was not unwilling    to be looked on by the throng.
  This, meanwhile, to his lady    happiness was giving,
  As she, amidst her women,    sat on the roof, and saw their earnest
              striving.

                                                                    [45]
  When now her lord had ridden,    as doth beseem a king,
  He thought to end their onsets;    some rest to them to bring
  He deemed not unbecoming;    to stop the games he bade them.
  And then before the ladies,    after their skill thus shown, he proudly
              led them.

                                                                    [46]
  U-te, the high-born lady,    began her friends to greet,
  With those from far-off kingdoms;    them as guests to meet
  The queen was truly willing;    on them her glad eyes rested.
  The gifts of Lady U-te    were not on scornful friends that evening
              wasted.

                                                                    [47]
  Knights and lovely ladies    together there were seen.
  The good-will of the master    to all well-known had been;
  In all their games and tilting,    his kindness was not hidden.
  Once more the guests, that evening,    to ride in warlike strife by him
              were bidden.

                                                                    [48]
  Their games and sports had lasted    until nine days were gone;
  They, as knights befitteth,    their skill to the king had shown.
  By the many wandering players    the show was liked the better,
  And they plied their work more briskly,    and hoped that their reward
              would be the greater.

                                                                    [49]
  Sackbuts loud and trumpets    there might all men hear;
  Fluting too and harping    fell upon the ear.
  Some on the rote were playing,    others in song were vying;
  They, by their jigs and fifing,    soon would better clothes for
              themselves be buying.

                                                                    [50]
  On the tenth morn it happened,    (now hark to my sorry tale,)
  That, after all their pastimes,    there rose a bitter wail.
  About these days so merry    new tales were told on the morrow;
  And tho’ they now were mirthful,    they came to know deep gloom and
              heavy sorrow.

                                                                    [51]
  When the guests were seated    beside their kingly host,
  There came to them a player,    and proudly made his boast
  That he, before all others,    (who should indeed believe him?)
  Was far more skilled in playing,    and even the greatest lords their
              ear must give him.

                                                                    [52]
  Outside, a lovely maiden    was leading by the hand
  The little son of Sigeband    who swayed the Irish land;
  With him were likewise women    who to the boy gave heeding,
  And friendly kinsmen also,    who carefully taught the child, and
              oversaw his breeding.

                                                                    [53]
  Within the great king’s palace    was heard a din and shout;
  All were there heard laughing,    the roomy walls throughout.
  The guardians of young Hagen    crowded up too nearly,
  And thus lost sight of the maiden,    together with the child they
              loved so dearly.

                                                                    [54]
  The evil luck of their master    to him that day drew near,
  And brought to him and U-te    sudden woe and fear.
  Sent by the wicked devil,    from afar his herald hasted
  To them in their happy kingdom;    they were by this with sorrow sorely
              wasted.

                                                                    [55]
  It was a strong, wild griffin    had quickly thither flown;
  From the little boy of Sigeband,    who ever care had known,
  Came ill luck to his father,    who soon of this was tasting.
  His son, so well-belovéd,    to him was lost, with the mighty bird far
              hasting.

                                                                    [56]
  A shadow now came o’er them,    from wings that bore him fleet,
  As if a cloud had risen;    great strength had the bird, I weet.
  The guests, in pastime busy,    no thought to this had given,
  And the maid, with the child she was leading,    was standing now
              alone, unheeded even.

                                                                    [57]
  Beneath the weight of the griffin    forest trees broke down;
  And now the trusty maiden    looked where the bird had flown;
  Then she herself sought shelter,    and left the child forsaken.
  Hearing a tale so startling,    one truly might the whole for a wonder
              reckon.

                                                                    [58]
  The griffin soon alighted,    and in his claws he held
  The little child, gripped tightly,    while with fear it quailed.
  His ghastly mood and anger    the bird was harshly showing;
  This must knights and kinsmen    long bewail, with sorrow ever growing.

                                                                    [59]
  The boy was sorely frightened,    and began aloud to shriek;
  Higher the mighty griffin    flew,  with outstretched beak;
  To the clouds above them floating    he his prey was bearing.
  Sigeband, lord of Ireland,    loudly wept, his outcries never sparing.

                                                                    [60]
  His friends and all his kinsmen    the sorry tale soon heard;
  They, in the death of his offspring,    his bitter sorrow shared.
  Downcast were he and his lady,    and all their loss felt nearly;
  Sorely they wept together,    mourning the boy, now torn from them so
              early.

                                                                    [61]
  In this their mood so gloomy,    the happy, merry plays
  Must now be sadly ended.    Before their frightened gaze,
  The griffin so had robbed them    that all for home now started,
  Sober, and filled with sadness.    They truly felt forlorn, and
              heavy-hearted.

                                                                    [62]
  The king was bitterly weeping,    his breast with tears was wet;
  The high-born queen besought him    his sorrows to forget,
  Thus wisely to him speaking:    “Should all in death be stricken,
  There must be an end of all things;    it is the will of God their
              lives hath taken.”

                                                                    [63]
  Now all would hence be faring,    but the queen to them did say:
  “I beg you, knights and warriors,    longer with us to stay;
  Our gifts of gold and silver,    that here for you are ready,
  You should not think of meanly;    our love for you is ever true and
              steady.”

                                                                    [64]
  The knights to her bowed lowly,    and then began they all
  To say how they were thankful.    The king, thereon, did call
  For silken stuffs, the richest,    for all who there yet tarried;
  They had ne’er been cut nor opened;    and from far-off lands had erst
              to the king been carried.

                                                                    [65]
  He gave them also horses,    both palfreys and war-steeds;
  The horses out of Ireland    were tall and of hardy breeds.
  Red gold was likewise given,    and silver without weighing;
  The king with care had bidden    outfit good for his guests, no longer
              staying.

                                                                    [66]
  Soon as the queen was willing,    each her leave now takes,
  Both lovely maids and women;    each one herself bedecks
  With gifts that made her fairer;    all new clothes are wearing.
  The high times now are ended;    Sigeband’s land they leave, and are
              homeward faring.



                            Tale the Second.
                      HOW HAGEN SLEW THE GRIFFIN.


                                                                    [67]
  Of how their stay was ended    I will speak no longer here;
  Now I tell you further    of the rushing flight in the air,
  That the child with the angry griffin    far away was bearing.
  For this his friends and kinsmen    long in their hearts were heavy
              sorrow wearing.

                                                                    [68]
  Because the Lord so willed it    the child was not yet dead;
  But, none the less, he later    a life of sadness led,
  After the harsh old griffin    back to his nestlings bore him.
  When on their prey they gloated,    hard toil enough the boy had now
              before him.

                                                                    [69]
  Soon as the bird that bore him    did on his nest alight,
  He dropped the boy he carried,    and in his claws held tight;
  One of the young ones caught him:    that he did not devour him
  Thanks to God thereafter    were given, far and wide, for the watch
              kept o’er him.

                                                                    [70]
  Else the birds had slain him,    and with their claws had torn.
  Now listen all with wonder,    and his bitter sorrow learn:
  Hear how the king of Ireland    then from death was shielded;
  Him a young bird now carried,    strongly clutched, and naught of his
              grip he yielded.

                                                                    [71]
  From tree to tree in the forest    he with the boy took flight;
  The bird a little too boldly    trusted his strength and might.
  Upon a branch he lighted,    but now to the ground must flutter,
  For he was much too heavy;    in the nest to have longer staid had
              methinks been better.

                                                                    [72]
  The child, while the bird was falling,    broke from him away,
  And hid among the bushes,    a little, lorn estray;
  Well-nigh was he to starving,    ’twas long since food he tasted.
  Yet on a day long after    the hopes of women in Ireland on him rested.

                                                                    [73]
  God doth many a wonder,    truly one may say.
  By the craft of the mighty griffin,    it came to pass one day,
  Three daughters fair of princes    had been taken thither,
  And now near by were dwelling.    No man can tell how there they lived
              together,

                                                                    [74]
  And how, thro’ days so many,    their lives to them were spared,
  Were it not that God in heaven    for them in kindness cared.
  Hagen now no longer    need live  without a fellow;
  Those good and lovely maidens    soon found the little waif in a rocky
              hollow.

                                                                    [75]
  When, crawling to his hiding,    they the child did see,
  It might, so thought the maidens,    a dwarfish goblin be,
  Or perhaps it was a water-oaf,    from out the sea up-driven;
  But when the boy came near them,    at once a welcome kind to him was
              given.

                                                                    [76]
  Hagen was ware of the maidens,    as into their cave they stole,
  While with fear and sadness    their little hearts were full,
  Before they yet had knowledge    that they a Christian greeted.
  But the care they later showed him    lifted the pain from many hearts
              o’erweighted.

                                                                    [77]
  First spake the eldest maiden:    “How darest thou in our cave,
  Where from the God of heaven    we home and shelter have?
  Go, seek again thy playmates,    the billowy waters under;
  Enough ourselves we sorrow,    and on our bitter lot in sadness
              ponder.”

                                                                    [78]
  The high-born child then answered:    “I pray you let me stay;
  I truly am a Christian,    you must not say me nay.
  One of the griffins seized me,    and to the cave did carry;
  I cannot live all lonely,    and here with you would I most gladly
              tarry.”

                                                                    [79]
  Then to the child so friendless    they loving welcome gave;
  But they of his worth thereafter    did better knowledge have.
  They now could ask him only,    whence he had been stolen;
  But, such was then his hunger,    in telling his tale, his heart was
              full and swollen.

                                                                    [80]
  Then spake the little foundling:    “Food I sorely need;
  Give to me, in kindness,    a little drink and bread.
  ’Tis long since I have had it,    and now three days I’m fasting,
  The while the griffin bore me,    and full a hundred miles was hither
              hasting.”

                                                                    [81]
  Then answered one of the maidens:    “Our lot it so hath been,
  That we our wonted cup-bearers    never here have seen;
  Neither our lordly steward,    who should food to us be giving.”
  Still they praised God’s goodness;    altho’ their years were few, they
              were wisely living.

                                                                    [82]
  A search they soon were making    for roots and herbage wild,
  Wherewith they hoped to strengthen    Sigeband’s darling child.
  Such food as they had lived on    they gave to him most freely;
  To him ’twas a meal unwonted,    but such as they long time had eaten
              daily.

                                                                    [83]
  Yet he needs must eat it,    for hunger sore he hath,
  And hard it is to any    to meet with bitter death.
  Thro’ all the days so dreary,    while with the maidens dwelling,
  To them his help most willing    he ever gave, his thankfulness thus
              telling.

                                                                    [84]
  They, too, had him in keeping,    that can I say for truth;
  He there grew up in sadness,    throughout his early youth;
  Until, one day, the children,    to make them greatly sorrow,
  Before their cavern-dwelling    saw wonders rise, that threatened more
              to-morrow.

                                                                    [85]
  I know not from what border,    tossing o’er sea to land,
  Came to those shores so rocky    a holy pilgrim band.
  The ground-swell it was heavy,    and rocked the bark full sorely;
  Thereat the banished maidens    felt their care and sorrow growing
              hourly.

                                                                    [86]
  Soon the ship was shattered;    not one his life could save.
  Quickly the stern old griffins    came down beside the wave;
  Seizing many drowned ones,    back to their nest they hurried.
  Many a woman was mourning,    soon as the sorry tale to her was
              carried.

                                                                    [87]
  When to the hungry nestlings    the food they took in haste,
  Back again the griffins    came from their offspring’s nest;
  From what far spot I know not,    along the sea-paths flying.
  Their young they left on the hillside,    with a neighbor grim, while
              they were hither hieing.

                                                                    [88]
  One day the goods of the sailors    Hagen saw near the sea,
  For many had been drowned there;    holy men were they.
  He thought, among the wreckage,    food might still lie hidden;
  But, through fear of the wicked griffins,    he softly crept to the
              shore, by hunger bidden.

                                                                    [89]
  No one could he find there,    but a body in armor alone;
  Thereby the wild old griffin    hard work would give him soon.
  Out from his armor he shook him,    nor did he spurn to wear it:
  He found a bow and weapons,    by its side, on the sandy shore, lying
              near it.

                                                                    [90]
  With these himself he girded,    that simple little child;
  When in the air above him    he heard a rushing wild.
  He wished that he had loitered,    the sorry little master;
  But quickly came the griffin;    to the sheltering cavern fain would he
              flee the faster.

                                                                    [91]
  The bird swung down in anger    to the sandy beach and foam;
  The little playmate and fellow    of the young it left at home,
  Would by the angry griffin    have at once been swallowed;
  But now the bold young Hagen    the ways of a daring foeman bravely
              followed.

                                                                    [92]
  He with strength but youthful    the tightened string drew out,
  And arrows swift and many    from the well-bent bow he shot.
  Alas! he did not hit him;    what hope of his ill-luck turning?
  Then he of the sword bethought him;    he heard the maids bewailing him
              and mourning.

                                                                    [93]
  Tho’ his years were not yet many,    he still was brave enough;
  A wing from the angry griffin    he struck at the shoulder off,
  And in the leg he smote him    a heavier blow and stronger;
  So that his wounded body    the bird away from the spot could drag no
              longer.

                                                                    [94]
  The boy was now the winner;    one of his foes lay dead;
  But quickly came another,    who sorrow for him made.
  All at last were slaughtered;    nor old nor young were living;
  God in heaven helped him;    but truly against such strength ’twere
              hopeless striving.

                                                                    [95]
  When he that feat of wonder    had done, with heart so brave,
  He called the friendly maidens    from out their rocky cave.
  He said: “Let air and sunshine    your sorry hearts be filling;
  Since now the God in heaven    to grant to us some bliss at last is
              willing.”

                                                                    [96]
  His call they kindly welcomed,    and many times, forsooth,
  The boy by the lovely maidens    was kissed upon the mouth.
  Their keeper now lay lifeless;    and none there was to hinder
  Their roaming o’er the hillsides,    and, far or near, at their
              good-will to wander.

                                                                    [97]
  By help of the boy, from sorrow    they now were wholly free;
  The little childish wanderer,    so skilled with the bow was he,
  That birds his well-shot arrows    could never shun by flying.
  He shot them now for pastime;    but to get them soon for food must he
              be trying.

                                                                    [98]
  He in heart was daring,    he was mild, but also brave;
  Hey! from the wild beasts learning,    what nimble leaps he gave!
  As doth the strong young panther,    over the rocks he scrambled;
  Himself was his only teacher,    and, far away from kin, alone he
              rambled.

                                                                    [99]
  While on the shore, by the waters,    his time he often spent,
  He saw, among the sea-waves,    live fishes, as he went;
  To catch them it were easy,    but yet he did not get them,
  For with fire his kitchen smoked not.    Daily his sorrow grew that he
              could not eat them.

                                                                   [100]
  Oft from his rocky shelter    to the forest he would roam;
  Many wild beasts saw he,    strong and grim in their home.
  One there was among them    greedy to devour him;
  But with his sword he slew him,    and let him quickly feel the hate he
              bore him.

                                                                   [101]
  Unto a wild chameleon    this dreadful thing was like;
  Its skin the boy drew from it,    (for that was he not too weak;)
  Now for its blood he thirsted,    and, when of this he had taken,
  He felt great strength come o’er him;    and many thoughts began in him
              to waken.

                                                                   [102]
  Then with the skin of the monster    he wrapped himself around;
  When soon to him it happened    hard by a lion he found.
  To shun him it were hopeless,    for he quickly rushed upon him;
  But the boy was yet unwounded;    his foe from the daring child warm
              welcome won him.

                                                                   [103]
  When he the lion had smitten    to death, with many blows,
  He to the cave would take it,    as homeward thence he goes.
  At all times had the maidens    been by his care upholden,
  But now this food unwonted    did raise their waning strength, and
              their hearts embolden.

                                                                   [104]
  Of fire they yet knew nothing,    but wood they need not seek;
  From out a stone he quickly    many sparks did strike.
  The food they long had wanted    he soon was on them bestowing,
  And, since there was none to do it,    themselves the flesh must cook
              on the coals now glowing.

                                                                   [105]
  When they of food had eaten,    at once they grew more strong;
  Their boldness, too, grew greater,    (to God their thanks belong.)
  And now their bodies also    as healthy were, and comely,
  As if they still were living,    each in her father-land, on fare more
              homely.

                                                                   [106]
  The wild young Hagen also    the strength of twelve did own;
  And for this, thro’ all his lifetime,    praise by him was won.
  But both to him and the maidens    ’twas pain and sorrow only,
  To think that they forever    must pass their lives in a waste so sad
              and lonely.

                                                                   [107]
  They begged of him to lead them    down to the watery flood.
  Shame they felt in going,    for the clothes were none too good
  The maidens now were wearing;    they themselves had sewed them,
  Ere yet the youthful Hagen    them in their banishment found, and his
              kindness showed them.

                                                                   [108]
  For days full four and twenty    they fared thro’ the piny wood;
  At last, on a morning early,    down they came to the flood,
  And saw a laden galley,    that came from Garadé.
  Then did the lonely maidens    sorrow and pain at the sailors’ plight
              betray.

                                                                   [109]
  Hagen shouted loudly;    he was hindered none the more,
  Altho’ the winds were boisterous,    and wild the waves did roar.
  Now the ship was groaning;    and the sailors, landward steering,
  Felt dread of water-nixes,    on seeing the maids, as they the shore
              were nearing.

                                                                   [110]
  The ship it had a master,    a lord from out Salmé;
  Hagen, as well as his kindred,    had he known on a former day.
  They before were neighbors,    but Ireland’s child, here roaming,
  The youthful son of Sigeband,    was to the pilgrims unknown, who now
              were coming.

                                                                   [111]
  The earl forbade his steersman    nearer to sail to the shore;
  But now the childish outcast    but begged of them the more,
  For love of God, to take them    away from that shore forsaken.
  The sailors felt emboldened,    when by the boy the name of Christ was
              taken.

                                                                   [112]
  The earl, with eleven others,    into a boat now sprung;
  Ere he the truth was learning,    the time to him seemed long.
  Whether the maidens as goblins    or mermaids must be treated
  He knew not; such beings never,    in all his life before, his eyes had
              greeted.

                                                                   [113]
  He first began to ask them,    before he reached the strand:
  “Boy, have you been baptized?    What do you in this land?”
  Dight with fresh green mosses    he saw those lovely daughters,
  Who earnestly begged the sailors    that they would deign to take them
              o’er the waters.



                            Tale the Third.
                     HOW HAGEN SAILED TO HIS HOME.


                                                                   [114]
  Ere they went on shipboard,    the pilgrims them besought
  Kindly to take the clothing    they with them had brought.
  However shy were the maidens,    to wear them they were ready;
  They donned the clothes with blushes,    and now their sorrow had an
              ending speedy.

                                                                   [115]
  Soon as the lovely maidens    embarked upon the wave,
  They heartily were greeted    by knights both good and brave,
  Who to the high-born daughters    welcome to give were heedful;
  Tho’ they at first mistook them,    and thought them wicked elves, or
              mermaids dreadful.

                                                                   [116]
  That night the maidens rested    with friends upon the sea;
  So wondrous was their dwelling,    from fear they were not free:
  Wiser it were in the children    to think this home a blessing.
  Soon as the earl had bidden,    their food upon the maids they all were
              pressing.

                                                                   [117]
  After they had eaten,    and while with them he sat,
  The lord of the land of Garadie    the maidens did entreat
  To say by whom such fair ones    were brought unto that shore.
  The children, at his asking,    only felt their sorrow grow the more.

                                                                   [118]
  First answered him the eldest    of those who with him sat:
  “I come from a far-off kingdom,    (my lord, now hear my fate;)
  I was born in the land of India,    a land wherein my father
  Was king while he was living,    but I, alas! the crown must leave to
              another.”

                                                                   [119]
  Then spake the maid next younger:    “I too have come from far;
  Erewhile a strong old griffin    did me from Portugal bear.
  A king in the land was my father;    none than he was prouder,
  Nor for a mighty ruler,    far or near, were ever praises louder.”

                                                                   [120]
  Then the youngest maiden,    who by the earl sat near,
  To him spoke low and modestly,    and said: “I pray you hear;
  From Iserland I was carried,    my father there held power;
  But from those who hoped to rear me,    alas! afar was I borne in an
              evil hour.”

                                                                   [121]
  The high-born knight then answered:    “By God ’tis ordered well,
  Since you among your kinsfolk    not long were left to dwell;
  Now, at last, by his kindness    you are freed from dangers,
  For I within these borders    have found you living here, such lovely
              strangers.”

                                                                   [122]
  However much he asked them,    they yet to tell were loath,
  How unto them it happened    grim death had spared them both,
  When erewhiles the griffin    unto his nest had brought them.
  Many had been their sorrows;    no more to speak of these the maids
              bethought them.

                                                                   [123]
  Then said the worthy leader,    turning to the youth;
  “My dearest friend and fellow,    now let me hear the truth;
  Since unto me these maidens    their sorry tale have given,
  From you would I hear gladly,    and learn the land and kin whence you
              were riven.”

                                                                   [124]
  To him wild Hagen answered:    “That will I tell to you;
  One of those dreadful griffins    bore me hither too.
  Sigeband was my father;    in Ireland once was I living;
  But long with these lovely maidens    I since have dwelt, with many
              sorrows striving.”

                                                                   [125]
  Then they all besought him    to say how it befell
  That, living with the griffins    he had come off so well.
  To them young Hagen answered:    “To God it all was owing;
  But now I have cooled my anger;    no more for them my heart with hate
              is glowing.”

                                                                   [126]
  Then spake the lord of Garadie:    “I fain would learn from you
  How you were freed from danger?”    He said: “I quickly slew
  Both the old and the young ones;    not one of those is living
  By whom my life was threatened,    and who to me such fear were daily
              giving.”

                                                                   [127]
  Then said all the sailors:    “Your strength indeed was great;
  For every man and woman    to praise you it were meet.
  A thousand of us truly    ’gainst them in, vain had striven,
  Nor ever could have slain them;    truly to you have blessings great
              been given.”

                                                                   [128]
  The earl and all his followers    were of the boy afraid;
  His strength was past all measure,    and sorrow for them made.
  They would by craft his weapons    have taken from him gladly,
  But these he sternly guarded,    and soon, thro’ him, it ended for them
              sadly.

                                                                   [129]
  Then spake the earl yet further:    “It now has happened well,
  After our toilsome wanderings,    and all that us befell.
  But since you are a kinsman    of my foeman, Sigeband,
  And here have come from Ireland,    I as a hostage hold you in my hand.

                                                                   [130]
  “You come to me most fitly,    as you shall know ere long,
  For many of your kindred    have done to me great wrong.
  In Garadie’s fair kingdom,    which lies too near their border,
  In a heavy fight, my warriors    were seized upon and murdered by their
              shameful order.”

                                                                   [131]
  Then answered him young Hagen:    “Of all the wrongs they did
  I am wholly guiltless;    if me to them you lead
  I their hearts will soften,    and so will the strife be ended.
  Let hope to me be granted    that I on my kinsmen’s shore may soon be
              landed.”

                                                                   [132]
  Then said the earl to Hagen:    “For a pledge must you abide,
  And I shall keep these maidens    to live at court by my side;
  They will swell my greatness,    and I shall be their owner.”
  Then thought the youthful Hagen,    such words to be to him a wrong and
              a dishonor.

                                                                   [133]
  He quickly said in anger:    “No bondsman will I be;
  That may no man ask for,    who would unscathed go free.
  And now, my worthy sailors,    you needs to my land must bear me;
  I will reward you gladly,    and to give you clothes and gold will
              never spare me.

                                                                   [134]
  “The earl has thought my maidens    his own shall ever be;
  But they shall yet be happy,    and shall of him be free.
  Whoe’er is blest with wisdom,    let him my bidding follow;
  Look to your sails, and turn them,    and guide the ship to Ireland,
              o’er the billow.”

                                                                   [135]
  The men, as the earl had bidden,    to seize the boy now dared,
  But boldly did he meet them,    and for their lives they feared.
  He by the hair caught thirty,    and into the water flung them;
  Soon the strength of his body    was known to all, and dreaded much
              among them.

                                                                   [136]
  Had not the kindly maidens    sought to end the fight,
  Soon the earl of Garadie    he would have killed outright.
  ’Gainst neither low nor mighty    did his anger falter;
  These warriors and sailors    now to Ireland’s shores their way must
              alter.

                                                                   [137]
  They began at once to hasten,    lest he their lives might take;
  For now the wrath of Hagen    made them with fear to quake.
  For seventeen days the sailors    from toiling never rested,
  And sorely were they frightened;    whene’er he seemed unkind they ills
              forecasted.

                                                                   [138]
  When he now drew nearer    unto his father’s shore,
  He saw the roomy castles    he well had known before;
  Soon a lofty palace    he spied at the edge of the river;
  Three hundred towers fully    he there beheld, as strong and good as
              ever.

                                                                   [139]
  In it dwelt King Sigeband,    with his proud and queenly wife.
  Again each pilgrim sailor    thought to lose his life;
  For should the lord of Ireland    aught of them be learning,
  They feared that he would slay them;    but Hagen stood between, his
              anger turning.

                                                                   [140]
  Then spake unto the pilgrims    that brave and warlike man:
  “Your peace will I make gladly,    altho’ I do not reign;
  I hold no sway in the kingdom,    but thither will I be sending,
  And ’twixt yourself and my father    of the hatred old I soon will make
              an ending.

                                                                   [141]
  “Would any now be doing    what wealth to him will bring,
  Let him my errand carry.    Whoever to the king
  Shall say what I shall bid him,    gold will I give him truly;
  And also, very gladly,    my father and my mother will reward him
              duly.”

                                                                   [142]
  Twelve of the stranded pilgrims    he bade to ride away:
  “Now ask of the king, my father,”    thus the youth did say,
  “Whether to see young Hagen,    his son, he still is yearning,—
  Him who erst by the griffin    was stolen far away, heart-sorrow
              learning.

                                                                   [143]
  “I know that what you tell him    the king will not believe;
  Then ask you of my mother    if she her faith will give,
  And if for her child to own me    she will at last be willing,
  If I upon my bosom    will show a golden cross, the proof fulfilling.”

                                                                   [144]
  When those he sent had ridden    farther into the land,
  They found, in the palace seated,    Queen U-te and Sigeband.
  Then knew the king that the riders    from Garadie came thither,
  And that they to him were foemen;    at this both he and his men were
              wroth together.

                                                                   [145]
  He asked of them how dared they    to come within his land?
  Then one among them answered:    “We are sent here at the hand
  Of your son, the youthful Hagen.    If any fain would meet him,
  He now is here, so near you,    that you ere many hours, in truth, may
              greet him.”

                                                                   [146]
  Then spake the kingly Sigeband:    “To cheat there is no need;
  The loss of my dear little one,    who hath so long been dead,
  Still my heart’s deep sorrow    doth too oft awaken.”
  “Ask, then, the queen, your lady,    if for a falsehood should our word
              be taken?

                                                                   [147]
  “The little boy so often    in her fond care has been,
  She knows if on his bosom    a golden cross was seen.
  And if upon this wanderer    be found the self-same token,
  You as your child can own him;    you then will grant that truth by us
              is spoken.”

                                                                   [148]
  Then to the Lady U-te    the tale was quickly told;
  Glad was she of the tidings,    yet mourned she as of old.
  She said: “Now let us hasten,    that the truth no more be hidden.”
  Her lord then bade to saddle;    and steeds for himself and his bravest
              knights were bidden.

                                                                   [149]
  Straightway one of the pilgrims    to the fair Queen U-te said:
  “I will tell you, if you listen,    what now to do you need.
  You first must carry clothing    for each young lovely maiden
  Whose coming does you honor;    as followers of your son were they
              hither bidden.”

                                                                   [150]
  Soon brought they richest clothing,    and tiring-women, too;
  The queen was also followed    by men both brave and true.
  They found the youthful Hagen,    who on the shore was standing;
  And many men from Garadie,    who with the wandering boy on the beach
              were landing.



                            Tale the Fourth.
              HOW HAGEN WAS MET BY HIS FATHER AND MOTHER.


                                                                   [151]
  Soon both men and women    riding there were seen;
  Then the brave young Hagen    went forth to meet his kin.
  Who ’twas that came to greet him    he now to know was seeking;
  The throng grew ever thicker    of friends who came in haste, their
              kindness speaking.

                                                                   [152]
  The king a friendly welcome    into his land soon gave;
  He said: “To send men hither    did you the boldness have,
  To say that our queen beloved    is in truth your mother?
  If the words are true you’ve spoken,    so glad as now I am there’s not
              another.”

                                                                   [153]
  His queen, the lovely U-te,    with lofty breeding, said:
  “Bid that for these new-comers    lodgings now be made;
  I shall know right easily    if he for the crown is fitted.”
  She found, in truth, the token,    and, full of bliss, her youthful son
              she greeted.

                                                                   [154]
  With eyes all wet with weeping,    she kissed him on the mouth:
  “Though I before was ailing,    I now am well in sooth.
  Welcome be thou, my Hagen,    my only child, loved dearly!
  All in the land of Sigeband    right glad shall be for him they lost so
              early.”

                                                                   [155]
  The king to the youth came nearer;    his happiness was great.
  For the hearty love he bore him    his manly cheek was wet;
  With tears that hot had risen    his eyes were overflowing.
  For the child, from him erst stolen,    rightly the father felt the
              love he was showing.

                                                                   [156]
  The queenly U-te welcomed    the homeless maids that day;
  Many clothes she gave them,    both bright in hue and gray,
  Of silk, with downy linings,    that much the maidens wanted.
  Their sorrows now were lightened    by all the gifts the wife of
              Sigeband granted.

                                                                   [157]
  Well they clothed the maidens,    as their loveliness became;
  This they long had needed,    and oft had blushed with shame;
  But, decked with gaudy trimmings,    now they came less shyly.
  The king and all his followers    soon to the maidens gave a welcome
              freely.

                                                                   [158]
  Hagen asked that friendship    to the men of Garadie
  Should by the king and his lieges    be granted speedily;
  Beseeching his forgiveness    for all their foul misdoing.
  Soon, at the wish of Hagen,    kindness to the pilgrims he was showing.

                                                                   [159]
  When the king had kissed them    and soothed his angry mood,
  He to the shipwrecked pilgrims    made their losses good.
  To them it was a blessing,    and praise to Hagen carried;
  The lands of the men of Ireland    never since have they as foemen
              harried.

                                                                   [160]
  Then their food and clothing    the guests took out, for use,
  And up on the sands they bore them,    trusting in Hagen’s truce;
  To take their rest for a fortnight    them did he embolden.
  The band of haughty pilgrims    to give to him their thanks were now
              beholden.

                                                                   [161]
  Then, in the midst of uproar,    they rode away from the shore;
  Up the castle of Ballian    came also many more,
  Led by a tale of wonder    that the son of the king was living,—
  Of their king so rich and mighty;    a thing so strange was to many
              past believing.

                                                                   [162]
  The water-weary pilgrims,    long-tossed upon the sea,
  When fourteen days were ended    to leave the land were free.
  To them by the host were given    gifts of gold, bright shining;
  By the help of his son’s great kindness    he hoped a lasting
              friendship to be winning.

                                                                   [163]
  Hagen his maidens never    henceforth unthought-of leaves;
  Kindly doth he teach them    ofttimes to bathe in the waves.
  He showed himself most loving,    ever for them caring;
  Rich clothes to them were given,    and wise beyond his years was all
              his bearing.

                                                                   [164]
  Now was the youth beginning    to be a man well-grown.
  He ever showed his kinsmen    the skill to warriors known;
  Whate’er a knight befitteth    with hand and weapon doing.
  In the land of his father, Sigeband,    his mighty sway he soon to all
              was showing.

                                                                   [165]
  Hagen was ever learning    what doth a king beseem.
  He who of knights is leader    must ever free from shame
  And every stain be living;    this earns fair women’s praises.
  So gentle was he truly    that every one with wonder on him gazes.

                                                                   [166]
  Brave he was and daring,    (such is the olden song,)
  And ever was he ready    to right his neighbor’s wrong.
  He high upheld his honor    in all things, never fearing;
  Throughout the land, his praises    were spoken and were sung in all
              men’s hearing.

                                                                   [167]
  In a waste he grew to manhood,    that youthful son of a king,
  Wild beasts his only fellows;    but none so quick could spring
  That they to flee were able,    if he for them was striving.
  I ween both he and his maidens    had wonders seen, while by the waters
              living.

                                                                   [168]
  Rightly his name was Hagen;    but later men did own
  He was “of kings the Devil;”    so came he to be known
  In every land and kingdom,    such was his strength in fighting.
  The bold and wild young Hagen    well did earn his name, his foemen
              smiting.

                                                                   [169]
  He oft was begged by his kinsmen    that he a wife would take;
  One so fair was near him    that none had need to seek
  A fairer or a lovelier,    all earthly kingdoms over.
  He himself had taught her;    with her in sorrow grown, and now her
              lover.

                                                                   [170]
  She bore the name of Hilda;    from India she had come,
  And love she oft had shown him    under their wretched doom,
  Since, in their early childhood,    he in the cave had found her.
  None better need he wish for,    or seek in any land the heavens under.

                                                                   [171]
  His father bade him hasten    to be knighted with the sword,
  With a hundred of his vassals.    He gave, with kindly word,
  To him and to his maidens,    for clothes and horses needed,
  A thousand marks of silver.    Hagen said that the will of his father
              should be heeded.

                                                                   [172]
  The news of this was bruited    through many a prince’s land;
  And the day when it should happen    all did understand.
  Soon the king’s great kindness    from all won praises golden
  In a year and three days after    the festival of knighting them was
              holden.

                                                                   [173]
  For this the knights made busy,    glad to be bidden there.
  Soon they made them bucklers,    bright and painted fair;
  In making showy saddles    the workmen were not idle;
  With gold both red and shining    the breastplate was bedecked, as was
              the bridle.

                                                                   [174]
  Upon a broad green meadow    the guests of the mighty king
  Were bidden then to gather.    He left not anything
  That they from him could ask for;    seats were spread in order,
  And many guests soon after    were seen to ride to his land from every
              border.

                                                                   [175]
  To those from far now ready    the sword with him to bear
  Fighting-gear was given,    that beseemed them well to wear.
  They who from other kingdoms    into his land were faring
  A thousand men were reckoned;    to give them clothes and steeds he was
              not sparing.

                                                                   [176]
  Unto his friends then said he:    “If now you deem it fit
  That men a king should call me,    it therefore seemeth meet
  That she my heart holds dearest    a crown with me be wearing;
  Never shall I rest happy    until, for her love to me, she this is
              sharing.”

                                                                   [177]
  Then asked of him his followers    who might the lady be,
  Who, riding proudly before them,    they at court should see?
  He said: “Her name is Hilda,    in India once living;
  To me and to my kindred    she, as our queen, no shame will e’er be
              giving.”

                                                                   [178]
  Well pleased was now his mother,    when she the tidings had,
  That they thought to crown the lady;    his father, too was glad.
  Of them was she so worthy,    that high in heart they set her.
  With him the sword was taken    by full six hundred; the number e’en
              was greater.

                                                                   [179]
  As is the way of Christians,    both of them were bid
  First for the crown to be hallowed;    this at once they did.
  King Hagen with Queen Hilda    in state were soon seen riding;
  Many games of knighthood    were played at court by his men, at Hagen’s
              bidding.

                                                                   [180]
  Sigeband, too, rode with them;    high rose his heart as he went;
  He reckoned very little    the wealth that must be spent.
  When in jousts they had ridden,    in ways most true and knightly,
  Then were pages busy    to make the halls for the guests all fair and
              sightly.

                                                                   [181]
  Seats were brought together,    strong, and broad, and long,
  With stools besides, and tables.    After the mass was sung,
  U-te, his wife, came riding,    with women round her thronging;
  These the youthful warriors    to gaze on, as they rode, right
              earnestly were longing.

                                                                   [182]
  While the great King Sigeband    sat by U-te’s side,
  And Hagen next to Hilda,    all looked on with pride;
  And said, in his child-belovéd    happy was their master.
  Before them, while at table,    the throng was great; the clash of
              spears grew faster.

                                                                   [183]
  After the king of Ireland    at the meal his fill had eat,
  By riders the grass was trodden;    flowers to dust they beat
  With rude and heavy trampling,    while in uproar riding.
  The men best known for bravery,    before the fair, in knightly jousts
              were leading.

                                                                   [184]
  Four and twenty warriors,    bearing well the shield,
  Over the plain came riding;    bold were they in the field,
  And now in many a struggle    all their strength were spending.
  ’Twas done in sight of the ladies,    and hard it was of their games to
              make an ending.

                                                                   [185]
  The brave young son of Sigeband    himself in the onset rode.
  Not loth was she to gaze on him    who her with hope had wooed;
  That she to him was friendly    in a far-off land forsaken,
  For this would he reward her.    No truer knight the sword had ever
              taken.

                                                                   [186]
  Amid the throngs here riding,    one thro’ the dust might see
  Men whose birth was princely,    in number twelve and three;
  The Christian and the heathen    to him their fiefs were owing,
  And honor now, right heartily,    to Sigeband and Hagen they were
              showing.

                                                                   [187]
  Long those high times lasted;    their mirth, how loud it rose!
  With crowding and with shouting    great the bustle grows.
  The king now bade the champions    to end the strife so heated;
  And leave to them was given    that they beside the ladies should be
              seated.

                                                                   [188]
  Before his friends and kinsmen    then spake King Sigeband:
  “Unto my dear son Hagen    give I now my land,
  With the dwellers and the strongholds,    be they far or nearer.
  Let all my trusty liegemen    have him now for their lord, and hold
              none dearer.”

                                                                   [189]
  As soon as his father, Sigeband,    his sway did thus forego,
  Hagen his lands and castles    began in fief to bestow;
  This he did right freely,    and to those to whom he gave them
  He seemed so true and worthy    that they indeed from him would gladly
              have them.

                                                                   [190]
  As by feudal law is rightful,    many stretched the hand
  To the youthful king in fealty.    To all, from every land,
  Or far or near, then gave he    clothes and riches hoarded.
  A feast so freely given    would now the poor not harm, and with thanks
              be rewarded.

                                                                   [191]
  At court now dwelt the maidens    who had before been brought
  With him within those borders;    of these one now was sought,
  And sent to the king and Hilda;    there she soon was dwelling.
  The maid it was from Iserland;    of one more fair to see none e’er was
              telling.

                                                                   [192]
  A princely youth soon wooed her,    who saw the maiden fair
  Beside the king’s fair daughter.    Soothly might he swear
  That she by right was worthy    to be of a crown the wearer.
  She had erst been Hilda’s playmate;    of widespread lands she now
              became the sharer.

                                                                   [193]
  At last the guests were scattered,    and all now left the king.
  That high-born lady also    men did straightway bring
  Into the land of Norway,    to her youthful lord’s kind keeping.
  After her heavy sorrows,    blest with hope, she knew no more of
              weeping.

                                                                   [194]
  Now, throughout all Ireland,    did Hagen his sway begin.
  If ever among his lieges    a deed of wrong was seen,
  At once for this the doer    must pay with pain well dreaded;
  Of such, within a twelvemonth,    eighty or more were for evil deeds
              beheaded.

                                                                   [195]
  An inroad made he later    into the lands of his foes.
  He spared the poor, and brought not    flames, to add to their woes;
  But if with pride and rudeness    he was by any treated,
  He quick laid waste their strongholds,    and deadly wounds in bitter
              wrath he meted.

                                                                   [196]
  When it came to fighting,    he was a goodly knight.
  Of heroes high in breeding    he soon brought low the might;
  To all he showed his bravery,    whether far or near him.
  Of kings was he the Devil;    in truth his many foes might greatly fear
              him.

                                                                   [197]
  The life he led was happy,    nor of gladness asked he more.
  His wife, from far-off India,    to her lord and master bore
  A fair and lovely daughter;    she also, like her mother,
  Bore the name of Hilda;    well known is her tale to us, and to many
              another.

                                                                   [198]
  Wild Hagen bade his maidens    so to rear the child,
  That the sun ne’er shone upon her;    nor were rough winds wild
  Oft allowed to touch her.    She was by ladies guarded,
  And cared for by her kinsmen;    most wisely was the trust to them
              awarded.

                                                                   [199]
  Before twelve years were ended    the fair and well-born maid
  Was comely more than any,    and her name was widely spread;
  Rich and high-born princes    gladly would have sought her,
  And earnestly were thinking    how they could win wild Hagen’s lovely
              daughter.

                                                                   [200]
  One of these same princes    in Denmark had his home,
  Within the land of Waleis.    When the tale to him had come
  About this lovely maiden,    his longing ne’er would leave him;
  But he was scorned by Hagen,    who swore of life and name he would
              bereave him.

                                                                   [201]
  Whene’er to seek the maiden    men were by wooers sent,
  In his pride, wild Hagen    upon their death was bent.
  He to none would give her    who than himself was weaker;
  Of the tale of the mighty Hagen,    far and near, was every man the
              speaker.

                                                                   [202]
  He bade that more than twenty    of those sent there be hung;
  None might wreak his anger,    though sore his heart was wrung.
  When all had done their errand,    for Hagen’s daughter suing,
  “Enough,” soon went the saying:    “’Twere best that none should go for
              her a-wooing.”

                                                                   [203]
  But still by high-born warriors    the maid was not unsought.
  Let pride be ne’er so lofty,    as we have long been taught,
  There always is another    with just as high a bearing;
  While to win her kindness    his yearning grows, and his toil he is
              never sparing.



                            Tale the Fifth.
               HOW WÂ-TE WAS SENT TO IRELAND AS A SUITOR.


                                                                   [204]
  Hettel was lord in Daneland;    to be its king he rose;
  ’Twas in the Sturmisch marches,    as many a one well knows;
  There abode his kindred,    who ways of honor taught him.
  Ortland also served him.    His might and worth high fame with all soon
              brought him.

                                                                   [205]
  One among his kinsfolk    the name of Wâ-te bore;
  He for his lands and castles    fealty to Hettel swore.
  As kinsman of his master,    he careful teaching gave him
  In all things good and worthy,    and in his watchful care did ever
              have him.

                                                                   [206]
  A landed knight in Daneland    was Wâ-te’s sister’s son,
  The brave and upright Horant.    Later his faith was shown
  Unto his lord, King Hettel,    who for his worth did crown him.
  This to him he grudged not,    but ever for a prince was glad to own
              him.

                                                                   [207]
  Hettel, rich and mighty,    at Hegeling held his seat,
  Not far from the lord of Ortland;    this is true, I weet.
  He there owned many castles,    eighty at least or over;
  They who these strongholds guarded    in truest faith and honor held
              them ever.

                                                                   [208]
  Lord he was of Friesland,    its waters and its land;
  Ditmarsh, as well as Waleis,    were swayed by his kingly hand.
  Hettel was truly mighty;    his kinsmen they were many;
  Bold was he and daring,    and ’gainst his foes he plotted, well as
              any.

                                                                   [209]
  Hettel was an orphan,    and so he felt the need
  That he a wife should find him.    To him, at last, were dead
  Father as well as mother,    who their lands had left him.
  He friends in truth had many,    yet found he much in life that of
              bliss bereft him.

                                                                   [210]
  The best of these besought him    some maiden’s love to seek,
  Who of his birth was worthy.    The knight did answer make:
  “I here know none who fitly    should be o’er the Hegelings seated,
  Nor is there any lady    who, brought from far, should as my queen be
              greeted.”

                                                                   [211]
  Then spake a knight of Nifland,    Morunc, a youthful lord:
  “I know of a lovely maiden,    of whom I oft have heard;
  She in truth is fairer    than all on earth now living.
  Her will we gladly sue for,    that she her troth to you may soon be
              giving.”

                                                                   [212]
  Then quoth the king: “Who is she?    her name I pray you tell.”
  Then said Morunc: “’Tis Hilda,    in Ireland she doth dwell;
  Her father’s name is Hagen;    King Ger was her forefather.
  If to this land she cometh,    your life will then be blissful
              altogether.”

                                                                   [213]
  Then spake the young King Hettel:    “I oft have heard it said,
  Whoever woos this maiden    her father’s wrath must dread.
  Many a worthy suitor    his life for her has ended;
  But none among my vassals    must meet his death for having me
              befriended.”

                                                                   [214]
  Morunc quickly answered:    “Then send to Horant’s land,
  And bid that he come hither;    he well doth understand
  The ways and moods of Hagen,    for often has he seen them.
  Unless his help he gives you,    ’twill come to nought, howe’er your
              friends demean them.”

                                                                   [215]
  He said: “Your will I follow,    since she is so fair;
  But if my friends shall seek her,    yourself the suit must share;
  And if unto your friendship    the task I’ve trusted fitly,
  Wealth shall you have and honor,    when as the Hegeling’s queen she’s
              greeted rightly.”

                                                                   [216]
  He quickly sent out riders    through the Danish land to haste;
  By them was the mighty Horant,    his nephew, found at last,
  And to the court was bidden;    to come must he be speedy,
  Within seven days, not later,    if he to help his lord in truth were
              ready.

                                                                   [217]
  When Horant met the heralds,    and did their errand hear,
  Then for friendly service    himself he would not spare.
  Right gladly did he listen    to the bidding of his master;
  But this, on a day thereafter,    to him brought sorrow great, and sore
              disaster.

                                                                   [218]
  To the court he soon went riding,    with sixty of his men;
  Of friends at home young Horant    to take his leave was seen.
  He then made haste the faster,    when now the tale was told him
  How he must help his master,    if for a faithful knight he now would
              hold him.

                                                                   [219]
  Upon the seventh morning    he came to Hettel’s land;
  Decked in finest clothing    was he and all his band.
  The king to welcome Horant    rode forth, most glad to greet him,
  And saw that with him Fru-te,    another Danish knight, was there to
              meet him.

                                                                   [220]
  Good news it was of their coming,    of which all men now spoke;
  Glad was the king to see them;    from him a share it took
  Of the deep and heavy sorrow    which his heart was filling.
  “Welcome, Cousin Fru-te!”    cried he, the while he looked upon him
              smiling.

                                                                   [221]
  When Horant now with Fru-te    before the king did stand,
  Then he asked for tidings    of their home in the Danish land.
  Both of them now answered:    “Not many days are ended
  Since we in stormy battle    with many deadly blows our lives
              defended.”

                                                                   [222]
  He asked whence they had ridden    from off the stormy field.
  They said: “It was from Portugal,    where the strife was held;
  There the mighty ruler    from fighting would not spare us;
  Daily within our borders    he did us wrong, and much ill-will did bear
              us.”

                                                                   [223]
  The young King Hettel answered:    “Now cast all care away;
  I know that the aged Wâ-te    will never yield the sway
  He holds o’er the Sturmisch marches;    he of the land is owner;
  Who wins from him a castle    will earn high praise and long be held in
              honor.”

                                                                   [224]
  Within the roomy palace    the guests then took their seats.
  Both Horant and Sir Fru-te    with thoughtless, merry wits,
  Of the loves of high-born ladies    began to gossip gaily.
  To them the young king listened,    and costly gifts he gave unto them
              freely.

                                                                   [225]
  Hettel turned to Horant,    and thus to ask began:
  “If aught hath reached your hearing,    then tell me, if you can,
  How ’tis with Lady Hilda,    King Hagen’s lovely daughter?
  To her would I send most gladly,    and would that words of love from
              me were brought her.”

                                                                   [226]
  The youthful knight then answered:    “She is to me well known;
  A maid so fair and lovely    my eyes ne’er looked upon
  As she, that maid of Ireland,    Hilda, the rich and stately,
  The daughter of wild Hagen;    to wear a crown with you would befit her
              greatly.”

                                                                   [227]
  On this King Hettel asked him:    “Now think you, can it be
  That ever her lordly father    will give this maid to me?
  If I deemed he were so friendly,    I would seek to win her,
  And would reward him ever    who gave to me his ready help to gain
              her.”

                                                                   [228]
  “That can never happen,”    to him young Horant said:
  “No rider with this errand    to Hagen need be sped.
  To hasten thither boldly    I feel, myself, no longing;
  The man sent there to seek her    is either slain with blows, or dies
              by hanging.”

                                                                   [229]
  Then spake again King Hettel:    “Not so for her I care;
  To hang my trusty vassal    should Hagen ever dare,
  Then he, the king of Ireland,    himself must death be facing.
  Be he ne’er so boastful,    he’ll find his rashness is to him no
              blessing.”

                                                                   [230]
  Then spake the knightly Fru-te:    “If Wâ-te deigns to go
  Unto the king of Ireland,    to woo this maid for you,
  Lucky will be our errand,    and we shall bring the lady;
  Or wounds throughout our bodies,    e’en to the heart, to take shall we
              be ready.”

                                                                   [231]
  Then said to him King Hettel:    “My men I now will send
  With word to the lord of Sturmland;    I do not fear the end,
  For Wâ-te will hasten gladly    wherever I shall bid him.
  Bring Irold, too, from Friesland,    with all his men, for sorely do I
              need him.”

                                                                   [232]
  His riders then went quickly    into the Sturmisch land,
  Where the brave old Wâ-te    they found among his band.
  Then the word they gave him,    now to the king to betake him;
  But Wâ-te felt great wonder,    to know for what the Hegeling king did
              seek him.

                                                                   [233]
  He asked if it were needful    to bring, when he should go,
  His breastplate and his helmet,    and any followers, too?
  One of the heralds answered:    “We did not hear it spoken
  That he had need of fighters;    for you alone did his words a wish
              betoken.”

                                                                   [234]
  Wâ-te would be going,    but left behind a guard,
  To care for lands and castles.    Then taking horse, at his word,
  Twelve of his followers only    with him from home now started;
  Wâ-te, the brave old warrior,    at once on his way to court in haste
              departed.

                                                                   [235]
  He reached the land of the Hegelings.    When he now was seen,
  As he came near Kampatille,    but little sorrow, I ween,
  Was felt by the kingly Hettel;    with speed he went to greet him,
  And thought of the kindly welcome    he would give his friend, old
              Wâ-te, when he met him.

                                                                   [236]
  Right glad was he to see him;    with hearty speech he says:
  “Sir Wâ-te, thou art welcome;    many are the days
  Since I have looked upon you,    when on our horses sitting,
  Side by side together,    we proudly met our foes with blows
              befitting.”

                                                                   [237]
  Then answered him old Wâ-te:    “Ever should good friends
  Be glad to be together;    that fight the better ends
  Where, before the foeman,    friends as one are fighting.”
  Then by the hand he held him,    to him his love and friendship warmly
              plighting.

                                                                   [238]
  They took their seats together,    nor place to other gave.
  Hettel, he was mighty,    and Wâ-te, he was brave;
  He yet was also haughty,    and proud in all his bearing.
  Hettel now was thinking    how Wâ-te could be brought to Ireland to be
              faring.

                                                                   [239]
  Then spake the knightly Hettel:    “For this I bade thee come;
  Need have I of riders,    to send to Hagen’s home.
  Truly I know of no one    whom I would send the sooner
  Than thee, my good friend Wâ-te,    or who in this could bring me
              greater honor.”

                                                                   [240]
  Then said the aged Wâ-te:    “Whatever I can do
  To show my love and fealty,    I’ll gladly do for you.
  Herein I may be trusted,    to be for you bold-hearted;
  And to bring about your wishes,    unless in this by death I should be
              thwarted.”

                                                                   [241]
  Then quoth the kingly Hettel:    “Many friends have said
  That if the mighty Hagen    will my wooing heed,
  And give to me his daughter,    she, as my queen, would honor
  Me and my kingdom also;    my heart is bent as a wife and queen to own
              her.”

                                                                   [242]
  Angrily spoke Wâ-te:    “Whoever this has said
  Would truly feel no sorrow    if I this day were dead.
  ’Tis Fru-te, he of Denmark,    I know it is no other,
  Who to this has stirred you,    to send me to the maid, your suit to
              further.

                                                                   [243]
  “This young and lovely maiden    is guarded now with care;
  Horant and Fru-te also,    who say she is so fair,
  And speak to you her praises,    must go with me to seek her.
  Never shall I rest easy    unless they strive with me your own to make
              her.”

                                                                   [244]
  Both these faithful vassals    King Hettel sent for soon;
  To others good and trusty    they also made it known,
  That by their king and master    they at court were wanted.
  No more their thoughts men whispered,    but freely spoke of the coming
              raid, undaunted.

                                                                   [245]
  When Wâ-te, the brave old warrior,    did on Horant look,
  And on the Danish Fru-te,    how sharply then he spoke!
  “Brave knights, may God reward you,    to me you are so friendly,
  And of my fame so careful,    and my trip to court this time you help
              so kindly.

                                                                   [246]
  “You are, forsooth, most willing    that I this errand do;
  But both of you are bounden    with me thereon to go,
  To serve the king, our master,    even as our duty calleth.
  He who my life endangers    himself the risk must share, whate’er
              befalleth.”

                                                                   [247]
  “For this I now am ready,”    answered Horant the Dane;
  “If leave the king will grant us,    I then will shun no pain,
  Nor aught of toil will grudge me.    Only to see this lady,
  For me and for my kinsman,    were happiness enough, and bliss
              already.”

                                                                   [248]
  “Then we ought,” said Fru-te,    “to take upon our way
  Seven hundred warriors.    No man doth honor pay
  To Hagen without grudging.    He is overweening, truly;
  If he thinks that he can crush us,    he soon must lay aside his
              boasting wholly.

                                                                   [249]
  “Sir king, you should bid your workmen    a ship of cypress-wood
  To build upon the river;    strong must it be and good,
  So your band of warriors    shall shipwreck ne’er be ruing.
  From timber white as silver    the lofty masts your men must soon be
              hewing.

                                                                   [250]
  “Also food for your fighters    you must now bespeak;
  And bid that men be busy    helmets for us to make,
  And hauberks strong for many;    when we these are wearing,
  Then wild Hagen’s daughter    we shall the easier win by craft and
              daring.

                                                                   [251]
  “Also my nephew Horant,    who is shrewd and wise,
  Must go with us as a shopman;    (I grudge him not his guise)
  There must he to the ladies    be clasps and arm-bands selling,
  With gold and costly jewels;    thus greater trust in us will they be
              feeling.

                                                                   [252]
  “For sale we also must carry    weapons and clothing, too;
  And since wild Hagen’s daughter    it is such risk to woo,
  That only now by fighting    one can hope to wed her,
  Let Wâ-te choose the warriors    to go with him, and home to the king
              to lead her.”

                                                                   [253]
  Then spake the aged Wâ-te:    “A shop I cannot keep;
  Not often doth my money    in coffers idly sleep;
  My lot I’ve shared with fighters,    and that I still am doing;
  Therein I am not skilful,    that I to ladies gew-gaws should be
              showing.

                                                                   [254]
  “But since my nephew Horant    on me this task has laid,
  He knows full well that Hagen    will never yield the maid:
  He prides himself on owning    the strength of six and twenty;
  If he shall learn of our wooing,    our hope to leave his land will be
              but scanty.

                                                                   [255]
  “Good king, now let us hasten,    but bid that first our hull
  With a deck of deal be covered;    let it, below, be full
  Of knights both strong and doughty,    who shall help be giving,
  If ever the wild King Hagen    forbids that we shall leave his kingdom,
              living.

                                                                   [256]
  “Of these brave knights a hundred,    with outfits good for war,
  Unto the land of Ireland    we in our ships must bear;
  There shall my nephew Horant    in his shop be seated,
  Keeping two hundred near him; thus shall the ladies’ coming be awaited.

                                                                   [257]
  “Your men must also build us    barges strong and wide,
  To carry food and horses,    and to sail our ships beside:
  Enough for a year or longer    we must take to feed us;
  And we will say to Hagen    that to leave our land King Hettel did
              forbid us,

                                                                   [258]
  “And that our lord and master    great wrong to us hath wrought.
  Then with our gifts so costly    we often shall be brought
  To Hagen and to Hilda,    where they their court are keeping;
  Our gifts shall make us welcome,    and kindness from the king shall we
              be reaping.

                                                                   [259]
  “We then the tale will tell him,    we wretched outlaws are;
  And thus at once the pity    of Hagen we shall share.
  To us, poor homeless wanderers,    shelter will be granted,
  And in his land King Hagen    thenceforth will see that nought by us is
              wanted.”

                                                                   [260]
  Hettel asked his warriors:    “My friends, I pray you tell,
  Since you to go are willing,    how soon you hence will sail?”
  “So soon as comes the summer,    and May with gladsome weather,”
  They said, “we shall be ready,    and, riding again to court, will we
              come hither.

                                                                   [261]
  “Meanwhile must men be making    whatever we shall need,—
  Sails and also rudders,    well-made, and that with speed,
  Barges wide, and galleys,    to bear us to our haven;
  So the swell of the waters    shall stir us not, nor make us sick or
              craven.”

                                                                   [262]
  King Hettel said: “Ride quickly,    now, to your land and home.
  For horses and for clothing    no cost to you shall come;
  For you and all your followers    such outfit shall be ready,
  That you no shame shall suffer,    whenever you are seen by any lady.”

                                                                   [263]
  When he his leave had taken,    Wâ-te to Sturmland rode;
  Horant and with him Fru-te    followed in hurried mood,
  Back to the land of Denmark,    where they held the lordship.
  To help their master Hettel    they thought could never be to them a
              hardship.

                                                                   [264]
  Then, in his home, King Hettel    let his will be known;
  Of shipwrights and of workmen    idle was not one.
  While the ships were building    to do their best they hastened;
  The beams that met together,    were with bands of silver strongly
              fastened.

                                                                   [265]
  All the spars and mast-trees,    they were strong and good;
  Red gold, and brightly shining,    was laid on the rudder-wood,
  And like to fire was glowing:    wealth their master blesses.
  When time it was for leaving,    the men their tasks had done, and won
              high praises.

                                                                   [266]
  The ropes that held the anchors    came from a far-off strand,
  Brought from the shores of Araby;    never on sea or land,
  Before that day or after,    had any man seen better:
  So might the men of the Hegelings    easier make their way o’er the
              deep sea-water.

                                                                   [267]
  They who the sails were making    worked late, and early rose;
  For the king had bid them hurry.    For making these they chose
  Silken stuff from Abalie,    as good as could be brought them.
  Truly far from idle    were, in those days, the busy hands that wrought
              them.

                                                                   [268]
  Can any one believe it?    They had the anchors made
  Of purest beaten silver.    The heart of the king was led
  Strongly now to wooing;    no rest would he be knowing,
  Nor of his men was sparing,    until the day when they should thence be
              going.

                                                                   [269]
  Well-framed, with heavy planking,    now the ships were seen,
  Sound ’gainst war and weather.    Then word was sent to the men,
  That to seek the lovely lady    they must soon be faring.
  This was told to no one    but those who the trust of the king were
              rightly sharing.

                                                                   [270]
  Wâ-te to meet King Hettel    from Sturmland held his course;
  With silver gear and housing,    heavily went his horse.
  To court went, too, his followers,    four hundred men undaunted;
  And now the doughty Hettel    brave knights enough, for guests, no
              longer wanted.

                                                                   [271]
  Morunc, the brave and daring,    from Friesland thither went,
  And with him brought two hundred.    Word to the king was sent
  That now, with helms and breastplates,    they were thither riding;
  In haste came Irold also;    thus gladly Hettel’s kinsmen did his
              bidding.

                                                                   [272]
  Thither rode from Denmark    Horant young and brave;
  Hettel to do his errand    did trusty liegemen have;
  A thousand men or over    might he for this be sending;
  Only a prince so mighty    of such a task had ever made an ending.

                                                                   [273]
  Irold, too, of Ortland,    was ready now to go:
  E’en though on him King Hettel    should never clothes bestow,
  Yet, for himself and his followers,    he had of these so many,
  That wheresoe’er they were going,    they never need to beg for aught
              from any.

                                                                   [274]
  The king, as well beseemed him,    greeted all the band;
  First, his liegeman Irold    he kindly took by the hand;
  Then he turned to Wâ-te,    to where he found him seated:
  At last, his hardy warriors,    ready to leave the land, his word
              awaited.

                                                                   [275]
  To all it now was bidden    that they should give good heed,
  And everything make ready    that knights could ever need.
  Now were seen by the warriors    the ships so fair and stately;
  To woo the lovely Hilda    the king in all things showed his
              forethought greatly.

                                                                   [276]
  Two new and well-made galleys    they had upon the flood,
  With two broad ships of burden;    both were strong and good.
  A ship of state went with them;    than this had ne’er a better,
  By any friend or foeman,    on the shores of any land, been seen upon
              the water.

                                                                   [277]
  To start they now are willing;    already on the ships
  Were the clothes and horses loaded.    Then from Wâ-te’s lips
  Came kindly words to Hettel;    he begged him to feel easy,
  Till they should again be coming,    for to do his bidding they would
              all be busy.

                                                                   [278]
  The king to him said mournfully:    “I give into your care
  The knights, untaught and youthful,    who such risks will dare,
  With you upon this errand:    most earnestly I pray you
  That, for your honor, daily    you teach these youths with care, and
              make them to obey you.”

                                                                   [279]
  Him thus Wâ-te answered:    “To that give not a thought;
  Keep a brave heart, I beg you,    that here at home, in nought
  You fail of being steadfast,    where’er your honor reaches:
  Watch well, too, o’er our holdings:    these youths shall learn from me
              what wisdom teaches.”

                                                                   [280]
  The good and trusty Fru-te    the wealth of the king did guard,—
  The gold and costly jewels,    and of many things a hoard.
  The king was free in spending    whatsoe’er was wanted;
  If Fru-te aught did ask for,    thirty-fold to him he gladly granted.

                                                                   [281]
  A hundred men were chosen,    and now within the ship,
  Wherein to woo the maiden    his friends must cross the deep,
  All craftily were hidden,    to help them, if ’twere needful.
  Gifts both rich and worthy    the king to give these faithful men was
              heedful.

                                                                   [282]
  With these, among the followers,    every rank was seen;
  Of knights and squires also,    thirty hundred men,
  Who, for toil and struggle,    from far-off lands came riding.
  Then said the king to his lieges:    “May God in heaven to you give
              careful guiding.”

                                                                   [283]
  To him thus Horant answered:    “From fear now be you free;
  When you shall see us coming,    you then with us will see
  A maid so fair and lovely,    you well may wish to greet her.”
  This the king heard gladly,    but far was the day when he at last
              should meet her.

                                                                   [284]
  They took their leave with kisses,    the king and many a guest;
  For these the king was feeling    wearisome unrest.
  While they for him are toiling,    each hour he fear must borrow;
  He forsooth was downcast,    and nought could cheer him, in his mood of
              sorrow.

                                                                   [285]
  This was for his welfare,    that a wind from out the north
  Now their sails was swelling,    and briskly helped them forth.
  The ships were wafted evenly,    as they from land were turning;
  But hardships they had known not    the youths, upon their way, erelong
              were learning.

                                                                   [286]
  The truth we cannot tell you,    nor can it e’en be guessed,
  For nights full six and thirty    what lodgings gave them rest,
  While upon the water.    The youths they with them carried,
  Bound by oaths of fealty,    swore again to keep them, where’er they
              tarried.

                                                                   [287]
  However willing were they    to sail on the tossing sea,
  Yet sometimes it befell them    in great unrest to be.
  Ease they took but seldom,    as the waves would spare it;
  But he who ploughs the waters    pain must often feel, and yet must
              bear it.

                                                                   [288]
  After the waves had borne them    full a thousand miles,
  They came to Hagen’s castle,    where, as was said erewhiles,
  He, the master of Ballian,    shamefully had lorded:
  This was a wicked falsehood,    the deeds were never done as the tale
              was worded.

                                                                   [289]
  When now the men from Hegeling    over the sea had gone,
  And neared wild Hagen’s castle,    their coming soon was known;
  Much the folk there wondered    from what far kingdom sailing
  The waves had borne them thither;    how finely they were clad all men
              were telling.

                                                                   [290]
  First the ship with an anchor    was fastened on the strand;
  To furl the sails then quickly    each gave a ready hand.
  It was not long thereafter    before the news was bruited,
  Throughout King Hagen’s castle,    that ships, with unknown men, in his
              harbor floated.

                                                                   [291]
  Now on the shore they landed,    and did their goods unlade;
  Whatever could be wanted    on the sands, for sale, they spread,
  And all that any asked for.    In wealth they were not lacking;
  But tho’ their men had silver,    ’twas little that they bought, or for
              themselves were taking.

                                                                   [292]
  Clothed in the garb of tradesmen,    on the shore did stand
  Sixty men or over,    well-dight, a goodly band.
  Fru-te, the lord of Denmark,    was busy as their leader;
  His clothing was far better    than there was worn by any other trader.

                                                                   [293]
  The worthy lord and master    over Ballian town,
  When he heard of their coming,    and the riches they did own,
  Rode down with many followers    to where those crafty sellers
  He found, himself awaiting.    Kind was the mien of all who there were
              dwellers.

                                                                   [294]
  First the master asked them:    “Whence their way they had made,
  And over the sea come thither?”    To him then Fru-te said:
  “God have you in his keeping;    we from afar are sailing;
  Tradesmen truly are we;    our masters rich, near by, in ships are
              dwelling.”

                                                                   [295]
  “Let peace with us be plighted,”    old Wâ-te then began;
  But from the master’s grimness,    the truth to see was plain,
  That, where he was the ruler,    stern and harsh was his bearing.
  Straightway then to Hagen    they led the guests, who with their tale
              were faring.

                                                                   [296]
  Hagen said, as he met them:    “Safeguard to you I give;
  My peace I pledge you willingly.    He shall no longer live,
  But hang upon the gallows,    who these guests shall harry:
  Let them not be fearful;    them shall nothing harm while in my land
              they tarry.”

                                                                   [297]
  Rich and costly jewels    they to Hagen gave,
  In worth, of marks a thousand.    From them he nought did crave,
  Nor even so much as a penny;    but what for sale they offered
  He begged of them to show him,    such as to knights and ladies might
              be proffered.

                                                                   [298]
  For all he thanked them warmly;    he said: “If I should live
  Not more than three days longer,    for all that now they give
  My guests shall be rewarded.    If my liegeman do not heed me,
  And these for aught be lacking,    all shall then for this with right
              upbraid me.”

                                                                   [299]
  Now the gifts they gave him    the king with his men did share;
  Among them there were necklaces,    fit for ladies fair,
  With finger-rings and arm-bands,    as well as ribands dainty,
  And head-gear, to bedeck them:    these the king to many gave in
              plenty.

                                                                   [300]
  His wife and lovely daughter    now most rightly thought
  That never to their kingdom    had gifts for them been brought,
  That were so rare and costly,    by sellers or by traders.
  Horant and Wâ-te also    in sending gifts to court were now the
              leaders.

                                                                   [301]
  Sixty silken garments,    the best that e’er were sold,
  Up to the shore were carried,    and forty wrought with gold.
  They would have prized but lightly    cloths from Bagdad even;
  Of linen suits a hundred,    the best they had, now to the king were
              given.

                                                                   [302]
  Beside the handsome clothing,    made of silken stuff,
  Of richest inner garments    they also gave enough;
  There might perhaps be forty,    or more, if reckoned fully;
  Could ever man buy praises,    they by their costly gifts had gained
              them truly.

                                                                   [303]
  Twelve Castilian horses,    all saddled, were brought, I trow;
  Also many breastplates,    and well-made helmets, too,
  Men were bidden to carry;    twelve bucklers likewise bore they,
  Rimmed with golden edges.    Kind were Hagen’s guests; free givers were
              they.

                                                                   [304]
  Then, too, with gifts came riding    Horant the brave and bold;
  Irold the strong came with him;    this to the king was told:
  ’Twas said to him, moreover,    that those now thither faring
  Of lands were the lords and owners.    This might well be seen by the
              gifts they were bearing.

                                                                   [305]
  After these came riding    four and twenty men
  Whom they were thither leading,    well-bred were they, I ween;
  Such also was their clothing,    they seemed as if well fitted,
  And now in truth were coming,    that very day to be by Hagen knighted.

                                                                   [306]
  Then unto King Hagen    one of his friends thus spake:
  “The gifts the men now bring you    ’tis best you deign to take:
  Never must you leave them    unthanked for all their treasure.”
  Hagen lacked not riches,    but yet his thanks he gave them without
              measure.

                                                                   [307]
  He said: “I thank you kindly,    as I of right should do.”
  Then he bade that his stewards    to see the gifts should go;
  And also that the clothing,    piece by piece, be shown them.
  Glad were they to see them,    and wondered greatly as they gazed upon
              them.

                                                                   [308]
  Then said one of the stewards:    “Hear now the truth I tell:
  Chests there are of silver,    and filled with gold as well,
  With many costly jewels,    rich and kingly even:
  Marks fully twenty thousand    the goods are worth, which they to you
              have given.”

                                                                   [309]
  Then the king thus answered:    “Blessings on my guests!
  I now will share with others    the riches in these chests.”
  Then to his knights was given    whate’er of these they wanted;
  To every one among them    all that he might wish by the king was
              granted.

                                                                   [310]
  The king now seated near him    both the two young men,—
  Irold and also Horant;    he began to ask them then,
  “Whence to his kingdom sailing,    they to come had striven?
  Gifts so rich and worthy    have ne’er before by guests to me been
              given.”

                                                                   [311]
  Then spake the knightly Horant:    “This shall you know full well;
  My lord, now hear us kindly    while we our sorrows tell.
  Outlawed wanderers are we,    and from our homes were driven;
  A king most rich and mighty,    to wreak his anger, woe to us hath
              given.”

                                                                   [312]
  Then spake again wild Hagen:    “What may be his name,
  From whose rich kingdom driven,    outcasts you became?
  You of wealth are owners,    and, if not by his wits forsaken,
  To keep such worthy lieges    within his land he would some pains have
              taken.”

                                                                   [313]
  He asked “Who them had outlawed,    and what name he bore?
  Of what misdoings guilty,    had they to this far shore
  Made their flight in sorrow,    to ask the help of strangers?”
  To him then answered Horant:    “To you will we make known our woes and
              dangers.

                                                                   [314]
  “He bears the name of ‘Hettel,    Lord of the Hegeling land’;
  Brave and mighty is he,    and sways with a heavy hand.
  We of all our happiness    have been robbed and plundered;
  Of right are we embittered,    since from our land and home we now are
              sundered.”

                                                                   [315]
  To him spoke Hagen kindly:    “This to your good shall turn;
  I will in full repay you    the losses that you mourn.
  If I make myself a beggar,    by thus so freely giving,
  Yet from the king of the Hegelings    you need not ask for help while I
              am living.

                                                                   [316]
  “If you, good knights,” he added,    “here with me will stay,
  With you will I share right gladly    the lands I own to-day;
  Such guerdon by King Hettel    ne’er to you was given.
  The wealth from you he has taken,    that give I you, and more by
              tenfold even.”

                                                                   [317]
  “To stay with you we are ready,”    then said Horant the Dane,
  “But we fear that when King Hettel    shall learn that we were seen
  Within the Irish borders,    he will find a way to reach us;
  And I am ever dreading    that we can nowhere live, and this he’ll
              teach us.”

                                                                   [318]
  Then to the band of wanderers    the lordly Hagen said:
  “Do what now I bid you,    and a home for you is made.
  Never will King Hettel    dare for your harm to seek you
  Within my land and kingdom;    it were a wrong to me from hence to take
              you.”

                                                                   [319]
  He bade they should be sheltered,    at once, within his town;
  Then to his men and lieges    he made his wishes known,
  That now unto the wanderers    all honor should be granted.
  The water-weary sailors    soon found the rest that they so long had
              wanted.

                                                                   [320]
  Then the townsmen freely    did the king’s behest;
  To do it they were ready:    houses, the very best,
  Forty, or even over,    were empty left, to be taken
  By the Danish sailors;    their homes, by the king’s good lieges were
              willingly forsaken.

                                                                   [321]
  Up on the beach were carried    the wares, full many a pile,
  That in the ships lay hidden.    Their owners thought, the while,
  That they would rather struggle    with storms upon the water,
  Than to seek their luck and welfare    in wooing Hilda, Hagen’s lovely
              daughter.

                                                                   [322]
  Hagen bade his followers:    “Now ask these guests of mine
  If they will deign most kindly    to eat my bread and wine,
  Till they, within my kingdom,    on lands they hold are living.”
  The Danish Fru-te answered:    “To take your food would shame to us be
              giving.”

                                                                   [323]
  “If erst the great King Hettel    had been to us so good,
  That he both gold and silver    would give to us for food,
  We in our houses had them,    and might of them be wasteful;
  We e’en could stay our hunger,    and feed thereon, if this to us were
              tasteful.”

                                                                   [324]
  ’Twas bidden then by Fru-te    that his booth should be set up.
  To see for sale such riches    men ne’er again could hope.
  Never within their borders    did any trader offer
  Fine goods at such a bargain;    they easily were sold before the day
              was over.

                                                                   [325]
  All could buy who wished them,    gold and jewels rare.
  The king, by greatest kindness,    was to his guests made dear.
  If any, without buying,    still these treasures wanted,
  The traders were so friendly    that they, as gifts, the goods to many
              granted.

                                                                   [326]
  Whate’er of Wâ-te or Fru-te    was said by any one,—
  Of all the deeds of kindness    that here by them were done,—
  The tale might not be trusted,    how they for these were ready;
  They strove to gain high praises,    and this at court was told to many
              a lady.

                                                                   [327]
  Of the poor nor man nor woman    for clothes was seen to lack;
  To those in need among them    they gave their pledges back,
  And from debt they freed them.    To the princess, morn and even,
  Oft by her faithful steward    the tale of these guests from far was
              truly given.

                                                                   [328]
  To the king she made her prayer:    “Dearest father mine,
  Ask that these guests so worthy    to ride to court will deign.
  They say that one among them    hath charms beyond all measure;
  Should he to your bidding listen,    the sight of him ofttimes would
              give me pleasure.”

                                                                   [329]
  To her the king thus answered:    “That shall quickly be;
  His well-bred ways and bearing    I soon will let you see.”
  But still the great King Hagen    never yet had known him;
  Long the ladies waited    till Wâ-te came, and they could look upon
              him.

                                                                   [330]
  Word to the guests was carried;    to them ’twas kindly said,
  That if it e’er should happen    that they of aught had need,
  They should to the king betake them,    and his food be sharing.
  To Fru-te this was pleasing,    for wise he was, not less than he was
              daring.

                                                                   [331]
  Those who came from Denmark,    when at court, took care
  Ever to be blameless    for the clothes that they should wear:
  ’Twas so with the men of Wâ-te,    from Sturmland thither faring,
  And than himself no sword-knight    in any land could show a finer
              bearing.

                                                                   [332]
  Those who came with Morunc    wore mantles over all,
  With robes from far Kampalia.    Fiery red, as a coal,
  Gold and gems that sparkled    on their clothes were shining.
  Irold, the daring champion,    came not alone, young Hilda bent on
              winning.

                                                                   [333]
  Thither came brave Horant;    all others he out-vied
  In rich and costly clothing.    With mantles long and wide,
  Gay in hue and gaudy,    his men were decked out brightly:
  Those brave men from Denmark    proudly came, and had a look most
              knightly.

                                                                   [334]
  Tho’ Hagen’s birth was kingly,    and lordly was his mood,
  He yet went forth to meet them.    His daughter, fair and good,
  Rose up before old Wâ-te    from where she now was seated.
  Such was Wâ-te’s bearing    as if with smiles his friends he never
              greeted.

                                                                   [335]
  She said, in way most seemly:    “Welcome to you I give;
  Both I and the king, my father,    must from your looks believe
  That you are weary warriors,    and sorely have been fighting.
  Good-will the king will show you,    and soon his faith to you will he
              be plighting.”

                                                                   [336]
  To her they all bent lowly;    their ways, they were well-bred.
  The king then bade to be seated,    as hosts are wont to bid.
  Of drink to them was given,    wine the best and rarest;
  Better ne’er was tasted    in the home of any lord, albeit the fairest.

                                                                   [337]
  In talk and fun and merriment    seated were they all.
  Soon the queenly maiden    was seen to leave the hall:
  But first she begged her father    the kindness now to show her
  To bid the knights so worthy    to come to her, for pastime, to her
              bower.

                                                                   [338]
  Her wish the king then granted,    (so to us, ’tis said);
  His young and lovely daughter    at this was truly glad.
  Soon fair clothes and jewels    the maidens all were wearing;
  And earnestly were watching    the many knights from far, to see their
              bearing.

                                                                   [339]
  When now the elder Hilda    sat by her daughter fair,
  Each one of her lovely maidens    demeaned herself with care;
  So that all who saw her    high in breeding thought her,
  And nothing else could say of her,    but that she was indeed a king’s
              fair daughter.

                                                                   [340]
  Now bade they that old Wâ-te    should to the maids be brought;
  Though he was gray and aged,    none the less they thought,
  To guard against his wooing,    they must as children meet him.
  Then to the aged Wâ-te    stepped forth the youthful queen, right glad
              to greet him.

                                                                   [341]
  She was the first to do so,    but wished she might be spared
  When she now must kiss him:    broad and gray was his beard,
  And the hair of the aged Wâ-te    with golden strings was braided.
  He and the Danish Fru-te    the queen’s behest to seat them slowly
              heeded.

                                                                   [342]
  Both the well-clad heroes    before their seats now stood;
  Well they knew fine breeding,    and made their teaching good.
  In many a bitter struggle,    in their manhood early,
  They gained a name as warriors;    and men to them gave praises for it
              fairly.

                                                                   [343]
  Queen Hilda and her daughter,    in lively, merry mood,
  Began to ask of Wâ-te,    whether he thought it good,
  Thus with lovely ladies    to sit in ease and pleasure,
  Or if to him ’twere better    his strength in stormy fight with foes to
              measure?

                                                                   [344]
  The aged Wâ-te answered: “To me the last seems best;
  Altho’ among fair ladies    glad am I to rest,
  Never am I happier    than when with knights most daring,
  Wherever that may happen,    upon the stormy field the fight I am
              sharing.”

                                                                   [345]
  At this the gay young maiden    broke into laughter loud;
  Well she saw, with ladies,    his stern, uneasy mood.
  With this in the halls yet longer    were the maidens merry;
  Queen Hilda and her daughter    to talk with Morunc’s knights were
              never weary.

                                                                   [346]
  She asked about old Wâ-te:    “Say, by what name is he known?
  Has he any liegemen?    Doth he lands and castles own?
  Has he a wife and children    in the land whence he is roving?
  There, as I am thinking,    at his home and hearth, there must be
              little loving.”

                                                                   [347]
  Then answered one of the warriors:    “Both children and a wife
  In his home and land await him.    His riches and his life
  He risketh for his duty;    a hero brave he has shown him.
  A bold and daring champion,    throughout his life, both friend and foe
              have known him.”

                                                                   [348]
  Irold the tale was telling    about this fearless knight,
  That never worthier liegeman,    or bolder man in fight,
  A king need e’er be seeking,    his lands and castles over:
  Though mildly now he bears him,    there ne’er was found a stronger or
              a braver.

                                                                   [349]
  The queen then said to Wâ-te:    “Give heed to what I say;
  Since in his Danish kingdom    Hettel forbids your stay,
  I here, within my borders,    a home will gladly give you;
  There lives no lord so mighty    that he would ever dare from hence to
              drive you.”

                                                                   [350]
  Then to the queen he answered:    “I too, myself, own land;
  There give I clothes and horses,    at will, with open hand.
  To wait on you as liegeman,    would make me sorry-hearted;
  And from my lands and castles,    more than a year, I never can be
              parted.”

                                                                   [351]
  At last they all were going:    then begged the lovely queen,
  That when at court they waited,    they always might be seen
  Seated among the ladies;    no shame by this were done them:
  Then said to her brave Irold,    that in their home this seat was ever
              shown them.

                                                                   [352]
  To load with gifts these wanderers    the king was ever bent.
  But in a mood so haughty    had they been thither sent,
  To no man were they willing    to be for a mark beholden.
  Hagen, the king, was lordly,    and took it ill that their pride should
              them embolden.

                                                                   [353]
  To the king they now betook them;    many were they who came;
  There they found, for pastime,    for each some merry game:
  Draughts were many playing,    or spear and shield were trying;
  For these they cared but little,    but ever were in Hagen’s praises
              vying.

                                                                   [354]
  As happens oft in Ireland,    with every kind of fun
  Forthwith the men made merry.    In this old Wâ-te won
  A friend for himself in Hagen;    but to win the ladies’ praises,
  Horant, the knight from Denmark,    his time in lightsome frolic with
              them passes.

                                                                   [355]
  Fru-te and also Wâ-te    were knights full brave and bold;
  When standing near each other,    both alike looked old.
  Their locks were gray and hoary,    and with gold were twisted;
  But where the bold were needed,    to show their bravery earnestly they
              listed.

                                                                   [356]
  The followers of King Hagen    wore their shields at court,
  With clubs as well as bucklers;    there they strove in sport,
  In the sword-play slashing;    thrusts of spears they parried;
  Well themselves they shielded.    The youthful knights in games were
              never wearied.

                                                                   [357]
  Then asked the brave King Hagen    of Wâ-te and his men,
  “If, where they erst were living,    such fights were ever seen,
  Or such heavy onslaughts,    as his good knights were dealing,
  Here in his Irish kingdom?”    A smile of scorn o’er Wâ-te’s face was
              stealing.

                                                                   [358]
  Then quoth the knight from Sturmland:    “The like I never saw;
  If any here could teach it,    from here would I not withdraw
  Till a year was fully ended,    and I had learned it rightly.
  Whoe’er should be my master,    for his care and pains would I not
              reward him lightly.”

                                                                   [359]
  The king to him then answered:    “For the love to you I bear,
  I will bid my best of masters    teach you his art with care,
  Till the three strokes are easy,    that, in field-storms raging,
  Men give to one another;    by this will you be helped when battle
              waging.”

                                                                   [360]
  Then came a fencing-master,    and began his craft to show
  To Wâ-te, the daring fighter;    in him he found a foe
  Who fear for his life soon gave him.    Wâ-te his onset parried,
  With all the skill of a fencer.    The face of Fru-te the Dane a smile
              now carried.

                                                                   [361]
  To save himself, the teacher    gave a spring as wide
  As doth an untamed leopard.    Wâ-te his weapon plied,
  And in his hand it clattered,    until the fire-sparks glistened
  Upon his foeman’s buckler;    he well might thank the youth who to him
              had listened.

                                                                   [362]
  Then said the king, wild Hagen:    “Give me the sword in hand.
  I will take a little pastime    with him of the Sturmisch land;
  I will be his teacher,    and he my four strokes be learning.
  He for this will thank me.”    Soon was the king high praise from Wâ-te
              earning.

                                                                   [363]
  To him old Wâ-te answered:    “A pledge I now must hear
  That I from you, great Hagen,    no guile soe’er may fear;
  Should I by you be wounded,    with ladies’ scorn shall I redden.”
  In the fight was Wâ-te nimble;    such quickness to believe should none
              be bidden.

                                                                   [364]
  The simple, untaught fencer    smote Hagen many a blow;
  Till, like a wet brand steaming,    was the king before his foe.
  The learner outdid his teacher:    well his strength he boasted.
  The host laid strokes unnumbered    upon the guest, who in his skill
              had trusted.

                                                                   [365]
  Many looked on gladly    to see the strength of both.
  To own the skill of Wâ-te    the king was nothing loth;
  He might have shown his anger,    and brought no shame upon him.
  Great was the strength of Wâ-te,    but yet ’twas seen that Hagen had
              outdone him.

                                                                   [366]
  To the king then spake old Wâ-te:    “Let each no favor show,
  While we together struggle.    Well have I learned from you
  Your four strokes to be plying;    my thanks be you now sharing.”
  Such thanks he later showed him    as doth a fighting Frank or Saxon
              daring.

                                                                   [367]
  No more a truce was thought of    by Wâ-te and the king;
  With strokes that loud were crashing,    the hall began to ring.
  Harder blows than ever    they gave, as now they battled;
  All their thrusts were sudden;    the knobs upon their swords snapped
              off and rattled.

                                                                   [368]
  The two sat down to rest them;    then Hagen said to his guest:
  “You fain would be a learner,    but you in truth are the best
  That ever I was teaching    the skill that the foeman dazes.
  Wherever you are fighting,    you in the field will win most worthy
              praises.”

                                                                   [369]
  Then to the king spake Irold:    “My lord, the strife is done
  That you so well were waging;    such fights have we seen won,
  In the land of our king and master.    Oft, at home, we freely
  Try our skill with weapons;    knights and squires there meet in
              matches daily.”

                                                                   [370]
  Then again spoke Hagen:    “Did I this understand,
  I never a fighting weapon    had taken in my hand.
  No youth have I ever met with    who was so quick at learning.”
  When to these words they listened,    the face of many a one to smiles
              was turning.

                                                                   [371]
  Now by the king ’twas granted    to his guests to pass the day
  As they might all be choosing.    Glad of this were they,
  The men from out the Northland.    When the hours grew weary,
  They vied huge stones in hurling;    or else in shooting arrows made
              them merry.



                            Tale the Sixth.
                        HOW SWEETLY HORANT SANG.


                                                                   [372]
  It came to pass one evening,    good luck did so befall,
  That Horant, the knight of Daneland,    sang before them all.
  His singing was so wondrous    that all who listened near him
  Found his song well-pleasing;    the little birds all hushed their
              notes to hear him.

                                                                   [373]
  King Hagen heard him gladly,    and with him all his men:
  The song of the Danish Horant    friends for him did gain.
  Likewise the queenly mother    hearkened with ear befitting,
  As it sounded thro’ the opening    where she upon the leaded roof was
              sitting.

                                                                   [374]
  Then spake the fair young Hilda:    “What is it that I hear?
  Just now a song the sweetest    was thrilling on mine ear,
  That e’er from any singer    I heard until this hour.
  Would to God in heaven    my chamberlain to raise such notes had
              power!”

                                                                   [375]
  Then she bade them bring her    him who so sweetly sung;
  Soon as the knight came forward,    thanks were on her tongue.
  For her with song the evening    blissfully was ended;
  By Lady Hilda’s women    the minstrel-knight was carefully befriended.

                                                                   [376]
  Then spake the lovely Hilda:    “Once more you must let us hear
  The songs that you this evening    have made to us so dear.
  Truly it were blissful    every day, at even,
  To hear from you such singing;    for this would great reward to you be
              given.”

                                                                   [377]
  “Since you your thanks, fair lady,    have thus on me bestowed,
  Every day will I gladly    sing you a song as good;
  And whoso listens rightly    shall find his pains departed,
  His cares shall all be lessened,    and he henceforth will feel himself
              light-hearted.”

                                                                   [378]
  When he his word had given,    forthwith he left the queen.
  Great reward in Ireland    did his singing win;
  Never in his birthland    had such to him been meted.
  Thus did the knight from Denmark    give his help to Hettel, as him
              befitted.

                                                                   [379]
  Soon as the night was ended,    with the early dawn of day,
  Horant raised his carol;    the birds soon stopped their lay,
  And to his song they listened,    while in hedges hidden.
  The folk who yet were sleeping    rested no more, by his sweet tones
              upbidden.

                                                                   [380]
  Horant’s song rose softly,    higher and yet more sweet;
  King Hagen also heard it,    while near his wife was his seat.
  From out their inner chamber    drawn to the roof, they waited;
  Their guest of this had warning;    and Hilda the young gave ear, where
              she was seated.

                                                                   [381]
  The daughter of wild Hagen    with her maids around her heard
  From where they sat and listened;    and now each little bird
  Wholly forgot his singing,    and in the court-yard lighted;
  The warriors hearkened also,    and well the song of the Danish
              minstrel greeted.

                                                                   [382]
  Thanks to him were given    by women and by men;
  “But,” said the Danish Fru-te,    “would that I ne’er again
  Such songs might hear him singing.    Whom would he be pleasing?
  To whom is my witless nephew    such worthless morning-hymns so bent on
              raising?”

                                                                   [383]
  Then spake King Hagen’s liegemen:    “My lord, let him be heard;
  There’s none so sick is lying    but would in truth be cheered,
  If to the songs he listened    which fall from him so sweetly.”
  Said Hagen: “Would to Heaven    such skill to sing were mine; ’twould
              glad me greatly.”

                                                                   [384]
  When the knightly minstrel    three songs to the end had sung,
  No one there who heard him    thought they were too long,
  The turn of a hand, not longer,    they had thought it lasted,
  E’en if they had listened    while for a thousand miles a horseman
              hasted.

                                                                   [385]
  When his song he ended,    and to leave his seat was seen,
  The youthful, queenly maiden    more blithe had never been,
  Nor decked, at early morning,    in gayer clothes or better;
  Forthwith the high-born lady    sent to beg her father now to meet her.

                                                                   [386]
  Then came her father quickly,    and on the maiden looked,
  While, in a mood of sadness,    her father’s chin she stroked;
  With her hand she coaxed him,    to make her word the stronger,
  And said: “My dearest father,    bid that he at court may sing yet
              longer.”

                                                                   [387]
  He answered: “Best loved daughter,    if again, at the hour of eve,
  His songs he deigns to sing you,    a thousand pounds I’ll give.
  But now a mien so lofty    these guests of ours are wearing,
  To us ’tis not so pleasant    here, at court, to give his songs a
              hearing.”

                                                                   [388]
  However much she pressed him,    would the king no longer stay;
  Then strove again young Horant,    and never on any day,
  Had his knightly song been better.    Sick and well together
  All lost their wits in hearing,    and none could leave who to listen
              once came hither.

                                                                   [389]
  The wild beasts in the forest    let their pasture grow;
  The little worms that creeping    through grass are wont to go,
  The fishes, too, that ever    amidst the waves were swimming,
  All now stopped to listen;    the singer’s heart with pride was
              overbrimming.

                                                                   [390]
  Whatever he might sing to them,    to no one seemed it long;
  Ill vied with his song the choral    which by priests is sung.
  Even the bells no longer    rang as of yore so sweetly;
  Every one who heard him    was moved by Horant’s song, and saddened
              greatly.

                                                                   [391]
  Then begged the lovely maiden    that he to her be brought;
  Without her father’s knowledge,    she slyly this besought.
  From her mother, Hilda, also    must the tale be hidden
  That unto her, in her bower,    unknown to all, the minstrel had been
              bidden.

                                                                   [392]
  It was a yielding chamberlain    who did the wages gain,
  That, for his help, she gave him;    red gold it was, I ween.
  Glittering and heavy,    with armlets twelve, full-weighted.
  ’Twas thus within her bower    the maid, at eventide, the singer
              greeted.

                                                                   [393]
  By hidden ways he did it;    Horant was glad indeed
  That such good-will and kindness,    at court, had been his meed.
  To win her love for his master    from far had he been faring;
  To his tuneful skill he owed it    that she such friendly will to him
              was bearing.

                                                                   [394]
  She bade her faithful chamberlain    to stand before the house;
  That so there might be no one    who could the threshold cross
  Until the songs were ended,    soon heard with praises truthful.
  None went into her bower    but Horant only and Morunc the youthful.

                                                                   [395]
  She bade the bard be seated:    “Now sing to me once more,”
  Thus spake the high-born maiden,    “those songs I heard before.
  For this I feel sore craving;    than aught beside ’tis sweeter
  Unto your lays to listen;    than any gem or pastime ’tis far better.”

                                                                   [396]
  “If I might dare to sing to you,    most fair and lovely maid,
  And never need be fearful    for this to lose my head,
  Thro’ your father’s anger,    never will I falter
  In any wise to serve you,    if in my master’s land you’ll seek a
              shelter.”

                                                                   [397]
  He then began a ditty    of a mermaid of Amilé,
  Which never man nor Christian    had learned to sing or say,
  Although he may have heard it    on some wild, unknown water.
  In this the good knight, Horant,    gave honor meet at court to Hagen’s
              daughter.

                                                                   [398]
  At last, when he the love-song    had sung unto the end,
  Then said the lovely maiden:    “Thanks I give, my friend.”
  She drew a ring from her finger,    nought of gold were fairer,
  And said: “I give it gladly;    be this of my good-will to you the
              bearer.”

                                                                   [399]
  Now her word she pledged him,    and with it gave her hand:
  “Should she of a crown be wearer,    and ever sway the land,
  That ne’er by the hand of any    need he be further driven
  Than unto her in her castle;    there to live in honor would leave be
              given.”

                                                                   [400]
  Of all she pressed upon him    nothing would he take
  Unless indeed a girdle.    He said: “Let no man speak,
  And say that I the maiden    e’er for myself was wooing;
  I will to my master bring her,    and for this his heart shall be with
              bliss o’erflowing.”

                                                                   [401]
  She asked: “Who is thy master?    By name how is he known?
  Have e’er his liegemen crowned him?    And any lands doth he own?
  For love of thee, most truly,    good-will I bear him ever.”
  The knight from Denmark answered:    “A king so rich and mighty saw I
              never.”

                                                                   [402]
  He said: “To none betray us,    most fair and lovely maid;
  To thee will I tell most gladly    what our master said,
  When from his land we started,    hither to come at his bidding;
  For thy dear sake, fair lady,    unto thy father’s land and castle
              speeding.”

                                                                   [403]
  She said: “Then tell me freely    the errand on which you’re sent
  By him you call your master;    if my will that way is bent
  I shall let you know it truly,    before we yet are parted.”
  But Horant feared wild Hagen,    and began at court to feel himself
              faint-hearted.

                                                                   [404]
  To the lady thus he answered:    “To you he sends this word,—
  That his heart for you is longing;    his love alone is stirred.
  For him, I beg, fair lady,    let now your kindness waken;
  He from other women    has for your sake his love and longing taken.”

                                                                   [405]
  She said: “May God reward him;    such love for me he shows.
  If he in birth is my fellow,    I fain would be his spouse,
  If you will deign to sing to me    every morn and even.”
  He said: “That will I gladly;    to this no care by you need e’er be
              given.”

                                                                   [406]
  Quoth he to the queenly Hilda:    “Most fair and high-born maid,
  There daily live with my master,    and long at court have staid,
  Twelve minstrels who, before me,    earn much higher praises;
  But, though sweet their singing,    my lord, the king, in song still
              better pleases.”

                                                                   [407]
  She said: “If your loving master    in song so skilful be,
  Of longing for him, truly,    I never can be free;
  My best of thanks I give him    for the love he now is showing,
  And, dared I leave my father,    gladly from here would I with you be
              going.”

                                                                   [408]
  Then spake the knightly Morunc:    “Lady, with us there are
  Warriors full seven hundred:    our weal or woe they share,
  And each for this is ready;    if once in our hands we have you,
  Know you nor fear nor sorrow    lest we to meet wild Hagen’s wrath
              should leave you.”

                                                                   [409]
  He said: “From Hagen’s kingdom    we wish forthwith to go;
  Therefore beg your father    the kindness to us to show,
  Youthful, high-born maiden,    that he and your queenly mother
  Will deign our bark to look on;    and you must also come, e’en if no
              other.”

                                                                   [410]
  “That will I do most gladly,    if my father’s leave you have;
  Of him and those about him    this boon you now must crave,
  That I and my maidens also    may ride to the shore some morning.
  If he shall grant your wishes,    three days before, of the time you
              must give us warning.”

                                                                   [411]
  The first of all the chamberlains    was wont, and had a right,
  Often to be with the maidens.    Just then, this very knight
  There had come for pastime,    and to give to them his greeting;
  There found he Horant and Morunc;    well might they fear some harm was
              their lives awaiting.

                                                                   [412]
  He said to Lady Hilda:    “Who are they sitting here?”
  From the lord so hot and hasty    was never such wrath to fear.
  He said: “Whoe’er allowed you    to come into this bower?
  Whoso in this hath helped you    ne’er showed you falser friendship to
              this hour.”

                                                                   [413]
  She said: “Now soothe your anger:    in peace pray let them live.
  If to yourself great evil    you do not wish to give,
  You must unseen by any,    them to their rooms be bringing;
  It else hath helped but little    that his knightly songs the minstrel
              here was singing.”

                                                                   [414]
  “Is this the knight,” he asked her,    “they say so well can sing?
  E’en such a minstrel know I:    never hath any king
  Had a braver fighter.    My father and his mother
  Were children of one father;    worthier knight than he there’s not
              another.”

                                                                   [415]
  The maid began to ask him:    “Tell me, then, his name.”
  He said: “Men call him Horant;    from the Danish land he came.
  Although no crown he weareth,    he yet for one is fitted:
  We now know not each other,    but once at Hettel’s court our love we
              plighted.”

                                                                   [416]
  When Morunc, too, was telling    that erst, in his fatherland,
  He also had been outlawed,    his heart was sorely pained.
  His eyes with tears were welling,    and now were overflowing;
  Then the queenly lady    kindly looked on him, her sorrow showing.

                                                                   [417]
  Then saw the chamberlain also    how that his eyes were wet.
  He said: “Most worthy lady,    these friends whom here we meet
  I know to be my kinsmen;    help now that all goes rightly
  With both these worthy champions:    most careful will I be to keep
              them fitly.”

                                                                   [418]
  Much for them he sorrowed,    and felt heart-pain, forsooth;
  “Durst I before my ladies,    I would kiss upon the mouth
  Each of these knights so worthy.    The days indeed are many
  Since tidings of King Hettel    I could from a Hegeling ask, or learn
              from any.”

                                                                   [419]
  Then spake the maiden further:    “Since these thy kinsmen be,
  Now so much the dearer    are they as guests to me.
  Known unto my father    thou should’st quickly make them;
  They will not then so hastily    to their homes afar across the sea
              betake them.”

                                                                   [420]
  A busy talk began they,    those two young heroes brave;
  Morunc unto the chamberlain    his mind most freely gave.
  He said for Lady Hilda    they came within those borders;
  And that their master Hettel    to bring her back had sent them, as her
              warders.

                                                                   [421]
  Then said to them the chamberlain:    “A twofold care I feel,
  As liegeman of my master,    and to help you, too, as well.
  How could I turn his anger,    if he knew you now were seeking
  To win his maiden daughter?    Never from here could you your way be
              taking.”

                                                                   [422]
  Then spake the knightly Horant:    “Hear well what now I say;
  In four days’ time to Hagen,    we will come, and him will pray
  That we may leave his kingdom,    if such may be his pleasure.
  The king will then make ready    gifts for us of clothes, as well as
              treasure.

                                                                   [423]
  “We will ask for nothing further,    (help you here must lend,)
  But that Hagen shall be willing,    as well beseems a friend,
  To come to the shore to see us,    my lady with him riding,—
  His wife, the high-born Hilda;    there to see the ship in which we’re
              biding.

                                                                   [424]
  “Might we in this be lucky,    our toil we well shall spend;
  And, with a happy outcome,    our sorrows have an end.
  If only to the seashore    he will ride with his daughter,
  We well shall be rewarded    at home by our master Hettel, for whom we
              sought her.”

                                                                   [425]
  Then from out the castle    they were led by the crafty man,
  So that the kingly Hagen    mistrusted not their plan.
  When, for their floating shelter,    they the courtyard quitted,
  All they had done for their master    should not, I ween, by him at
              home be slighted.

                                                                   [426]
  They told the aged Wâ-te    what yet to none was known:
  They said the high-born maiden    her love did freely own
  Unto their master, Hettel,    for whom they now had sought her;
  They talked with wise old Wâ-te    how best to bring her home across
              the water.

                                                                   [427]
  Then spake the aged Wâ-te:    “Were she once outside the gate,
  And I the lovely maiden    there might only meet,
  However hard the struggle    that there we had with the foeman,
  To cross her father’s threshold    none again should see that lovely
              woman.”

                                                                   [428]
  Their plot, well-laid and crafty,    to no one did they break,
  But slyly made them ready    their homeward way to take.
  This they told the warriors    on board their ship there lying;
  Not loth were they to hear it,    for now to sail the weary men were
              sighing.

                                                                   [429]
  They quickly brought together    such goods as they did own;
  Then, in stillness whispered,    their hidden thought made known.
  Later, throughout Ireland,    it was mourned, with bitter wailing;
  Though woe it brought to Hagen,    the Hegeling’s greatness would it
              soon be telling.

                                                                   [430]
  Upon the fourth day’s morning    to court they bravely rode,
  With new and well-cut clothing;    none better ever showed.
  Then the guests there gathered    were their wishes speaking;
  Of the king and all his liegemen    they asked that they their leave
              might now be taking.

                                                                   [431]
  Then spake to them King Hagen:    “Why will you leave my land?
  So far as I was able,    I have striven for this end,—
  That you within my kingdom    should meet with kindness only;
  Now would you hence be sailing,    leaving me here, to lead a life all
              lonely.”

                                                                   [432]
  To him old Wâ-te answered:    “The Hegeling king, our lord,
  Has sent to call us homeward;    he will not hear a word
  Of aught but our forgiveness.    Then, too, for us are mourning
  Those we left behind us;    we therefore soon must back on our way be
              turning.”

                                                                   [433]
  Then said to him wild Hagen:    “Your loss my heart doth break;
  Horses and fine clothing    deign, for my love, to take,
  With gold and costly jewels.    Right well it doth beseem me
  For all your gifts to pay you;    in this shall no one ever dare to
              blame me.”

                                                                   [434]
  Then said the hoary Wâ-te:    “Too rich am I to-day
  That I the gold you give us    should wish to take away.
  Our master, whose forgiveness    our friends have lately won us,
  The rich and mighty Hettel,    in such a deed would truly never own us.

                                                                   [435]
  “One thing we have yet further,    my lord, to ask of thee;
  (If you this kindness show us,    a worthy boon, ’twill be.)
  It is that you shall witness    how well we can be feasting;
  Of food for hearty eaters    we have in store what might three years be
              lasting.

                                                                   [436]
  “To all who ask we give it,    for hence we sail o’er the deep;
  May God long give you honor,    yourself may He ever keep.
  We now betake us homeward,    we here may bide no longer;
  Now may you and your kinsfolk    ride with us to our ship; no guard
              were stronger.

                                                                   [437]
  “If but your lovely daughter,    and with her my lady, your wife,
  Shall look upon our riches,    glad will it make our life,
  And dear to us forever.    If this to us be granted,
  Great and good King Hagen,    from you no other gifts shall e’er be
              wanted.”

                                                                   [438]
  Then to his guests he answered,    with seemly, well-bred mien:
  “Since you are now so earnest,    at early morn shall be seen
  A hundred mares made ready,    saddled for woman or maiden;
  I, too, will ride down with them;    right glad am I that to see your
              ship I’m bidden.”

                                                                   [439]
  Then for the night they left him,    and rode away to the shore.
  Then up on the beach was carried    of wine a goodly store,
  That in the bark was lying;    for food they were not lacking.
  By this the ship was lightened;    wisely had Fru-te of Denmark his
              plans been making.



                           Tale the Seventh.
   HOW THE MAIDENS CAME TO SEE THE SHIP, AND WERE CARRIED TO HETTEL’S
                                KINGDOM.


                                                                   [440]
  Early on the morrow,    after the mass was said,
  To don their richest clothing    strove each wife and maid:
  A throng of these King Hagen    to the sandy shore was leading;
  And with them riding gayly    a thousand stalwart Irish knights were
              speeding.

                                                                   [441]
  Within the town of Ballian    the guests had heard the mass.
  Of all the woe and sorrow,    that soon would come to pass,
  Hagen as yet knew nothing:    little honor was left him
  By his guests’ withdrawal;    this of his fair and well-born child
              bereft him.

                                                                   [442]
  When now they all had ridden    to the ships upon the strand,
  Queen Hilda and her ladies    were lifted down on the sand.
  The young and lovely maidens    to see the ships were taken:
  The traders’ booths were open,    and the goods did wonder great in the
              queen awaken.

                                                                   [443]
  Many fair-wrought jewels    lay in sight in the shops,
  Such as men prize highly;    King Hagen to see them stops,
  And many with him also:    soon as the goods were shown them,
  The maidens, too, must see them,    and rings and bands of gold were
              pressed upon them.

                                                                   [444]
  To see the sights King Hagen    into a boat had gone:
  Not all the booths were open,    nor all the goods were shown,
  When Wâ-te’s men heaved anchor    up from the sea-sands deftly,
  And Hilda with her maidens    was borne away from the land of her
              fathers swiftly.

                                                                   [445]
  For no one’s hate and anger    Wâ-te greatly cares;
  Little he recks what happens    to the shops of costly wares:
  Hilda, the queenly mother,    was sundered from her daughter;
  The men, in the ship long hidden,    up-sprang and sorrow made for
              Hagen on the water.

                                                                   [446]
  Then the sails were hoisted,    and ’twas seen that they were set:
  From the ship they threw the foemen,    who thoroughly were wet,
  Like sea-birds on the water,    when near the sands they flutter.
  For her daughter dear-belovéd    sorrow and anger the queen aloud did
              utter.

                                                                   [447]
  When the weaponed fighters    by Hagen there were seen,
  Then, in truth, how scornful    and wrathful was his mien!
  “Now bring to me my long-spear,    to feel it I will teach them;
  They all shall die full quickly    when my strong right arm with that
              shall reach them!”

                                                                   [448]
  Boldly then spoke Morunc:    “Be not so much in haste!
  Though now you think to fight us,    and to rush on us so fast
  With a thousand well-armed foemen,    we yet will overthrow them,
  And fling them into the water;    a damp, cold lodging we will quickly
              show them!”

                                                                   [449]
  Still, brave Hagen’s followers    the fight would not give o’er;
  The water shone and glistened    with the armor that they wore;
  Then they drew their long-swords,    spears were thickly flying;
  But oars were dipped full quickly,    and fast the boats away from the
              shore were hieing.

                                                                   [450]
  The bold and daring Wâ-te    from the sands had given a bound
  Into a well-manned row-boat;    loud did his mail resound,
  As he, with fifty warriors,    after Hilda hasted:
  Hagen’s careless followers    now must rouse themselves, no time they
              wasted.

                                                                   [451]
  Onward came King Hagen;    his fighting-gear he wore,
  And a heavy sword, the sharpest,    he proudly with him bore;
  But now the aged Wâ-te    almost too long had waited;
  Wild and grim was Hagen,    and high his spear he raised ’gainst his
              foe belated.

                                                                   [452]
  Loudly then he shouted,    and bade his men make haste;
  None of all his followers    would he allow to rest,
  Hoping these guests, now fleeing,    who had been such traitors,
  Might be with speed o’ertaken,    and either should be slain, or bound
              in fetters.

                                                                   [453]
  The king had now about him    fighters many and brave,
  But yet he could not follow    across the wild sea-wave;
  His ships were all unready,    and many of them leaking,
  When now he would be sailing;    of Hagen’s blame for this were all
              soon speaking.

                                                                   [454]
  On the gravelly sea-shore standing,    no other way he knew
  But that more ships be builded    for him and his liegemen true,
  And workmen called together,    who must therein be speedy:
  All came who now were able,    and these he found to be both skilled
              and ready.

                                                                   [455]
  Upon the seventh morning,    there left the Irish land
  The men sent forth by Hettel    to ask for Hilda’s hand,
  And bring to him the lady.    They were a thousand barely;
  Hagen brought against them    thirty hundred men, if reckoned fairly.

                                                                   [456]
  The daring knights of Denmark    sent men home before,
  To carry word to Hettel    that Hagen’s child they bore,
  And to his land would bring her,    with honor him befitting.
  Though now they little thought it,    still harder work erelong must
              they be meeting.

                                                                   [457]
  To them their master, Hettel,    in happy mood then spoke:
  “My sorrows now are over.    Great toils my liegemen took
  For me in Hagen’s kingdom,    and now have brought me gladness;
  Since they on their errand left me,    fear for their doom has filled
              my heart with sadness.

                                                                   [458]
  “Dear friends, if with your tidings    you have not me betrayed,
  And do not tell me falsely    that you have seen the maid
  Near to my land and kingdom,    and in my friends’ safe-keeping,
  For your tale will I reward you,    and gladly will your praise be ever
              speaking.”

                                                                   [459]
  They said: “No lie we tell you,    that we the maid have seen;
  But when we miles had measured,    the daughter of the queen
  Sadly said, for our welfare    she feared, and was heavy-hearted,
  Lest the king, her father,    to follow with his ships e’en then had
              started.”

                                                                   [460]
  For the tidings, Hettel gave them    a hundred marks in worth;
  For all his knights there gathered,    men at once brought forth
  Swords as well as helmets,    and shields for them were bidden:
  Thus from Hettel’s castle    they went, as if to court, to bring the
              maiden.

                                                                   [461]
  All the men he was able    Hettel for this now sought;
  Greatly was he hoping,    and much thereof he thought,
  So great a host to muster,    and these so well outfitted,
  That never to king’s fair daughter    so fine a welcome might again be
              meted.

                                                                   [462]
  In haste were all then bidden    who ought with him to go;
  They still made ready slowly,    till gifts he should bestow
  Of all things that they needed;    they for this were waiting.
  At length by him were gathered    a thousand men or more, for Hilda’s
              greeting.

                                                                   [463]
  Gay were they in clothing,—    ’gainst this could none say nay,—
  Poor as well as wealthy    were shining in war-array:
  To bring the lovely ladies    to their new home and dwelling
  Were Hettel’s lieges earnest;    with lofty hopes of this their hearts
              were swelling.

                                                                   [464]
  Soon as they left the castle,    shouts the land did fill,
  As they their way were making    thro’ lowland and o’er hill;
  Men saw upon the pathways    crowds still thronging nearer:
  Hettel hastened forward,    to see the maid, than every other dearer.

                                                                   [465]
  At last the aged Wâ-te,    the knight from the Sturmisch land,
  Had reached the Waalisch marches    and stepped upon the sand.
  There on the shore were gathered    the sailors, water-weary;
  Shelter they sought for Hilda,    and in a friendly land were glad to
              tarry.

                                                                   [466]
  Stakes for tents were driven    near to the broad sea-flood
  By the followers of Wâ-te;    they were in happy mood.
  Erelong the news was bruited,    and soon to them was given,
  That Hettel, king of the Hegelings,    had left his home, and now was
              near them even;

                                                                   [467]
  And that he with many liegemen    was riding down to the shore,
  To meet his well-belovéd.    Now hoped the maids the more
  That she with greatest honor    should, as her birth befitted,
  Be brought into his kingdom.    No more the thought of strife their
              hearts affrighted.

                                                                   [468]
  The guests for nothing wanted,    they had both wine and food;
  Those who were living near them    freely on them bestowed
  The best that they were able;    the wants of all they heeded;
  Whate’er they had they gave them,    and left them not to lack for
              aught they needed.

                                                                   [469]
  Hettel now drew nearer    to those who had reached his land;
  And with him, gathered hastily,    the strong and goodly band,
  Drawn from his father’s kingdom.    They came bedecked so gaily,
  And in such glittering armor,    the guests looked on full glad, and
              praised them freely.

                                                                   [470]
  Then the men of the Hegelings    came down upon the plain,
  And soon the rushing riders    a tilting-match began;
  All with youthful boldness    for knightly prizes striving:
  Then came the Danish Fru-te,    and with him Wâ-te, wise as any living.

                                                                   [471]
  They were seen from afar by Hettel;    happy in heart was he.
  His horse he set a-prancing;    right glad was he to see
  Two of his bravest liegemen,    sent by him o’er the water,
  With fighters bold to Ireland,    in hopes to win for him wild Hagen’s
              daughter.

                                                                   [472]
  On him, too, looked they gladly,    their worthy king, so good;
  Each day they spent there with him    found them in happy mood.
  Wâ-te with all his fellows,    while far away they were living,
  Had known much bitter hardship:    for this would Hettel now reward be
              giving.

                                                                   [473]
  As he met his friendly liegemen,    King Hettel wore a smile;
  Then said he to them kindly:    “Much have I feared erewhile
  For you, my faithful helpers,    and a heavy heart was bearing,
  Lest in Hagen’s castles    my men were held, and all were bondage
              sharing.”

                                                                   [474]
  Then for love he kissed them,    both those gray old men;
  His eyes had never rested    on so glad a sight as then,
  Nor on a fairer pasture    had fed, with longing fonder.
  I ween that never to Hettel    was aught so full of bliss and sudden
              wonder.

                                                                   [475]
  Then spake the aged Wâ-te:    No harm to us was done;
  But yet a sway so mighty    I ne’er before have known,
  As this that wild King Hagen    over his lands now wieldeth:
  His followers bear them proudly,    and he himself in strength to no
              one yieldeth.

                                                                   [476]
  “It was a day as happy    as ever could be thought,
  When we to you sent tidings    that we had Hilda brought,
  The loveliest of maidens    (no falsehood have I spoken,
  Believe the tale I tell you)    that ever in this world my eyes did
              look on.”

                                                                   [477]
  The high-born knight then added:    “Belike with greatest speed
  Will come these daring foemen;    for this should you take heed
  Lest the angry Hagen    soon shall overtake us
  Here within your marches;    if so, his hatred bitter woe will make
              us.”

                                                                   [478]
  Then Wâ-te and Sir Fru-te    down to the shore did bring
  Many worthy followers,    knights of Hettel, the king,
  There to see fair Hilda,    and there must they await her.
  Upon their shining bucklers    many a spear-shaft crashed in battle
              later.

                                                                   [479]
  Now came the fair young maiden,    under a comely hat;
  Then all the men of the Hegelings    who on their horses sat
  By the side of the king, their master,    upon the grass alighted.
  With merry hearts then gladly    the well-bred throng their love and
              friendship plighted.

                                                                   [480]
  Irold, he of Ortland,    and Morunc of the Frisian land,
  Both of those brave champions,    one on either hand,
  Came with lovely Hilda,    and Hettel soon were meeting;
  Worthy was she of praises.    Now thought the maid to give the king her
              greeting.

                                                                   [481]
  With her there came young maidens,    twenty or even more,
  All clad in fair white linen,—    whiter none e’er wore,—
  Or best of silken clothing,    that could be found by any:
  Proud were they to wear them,    and, gaily decked, they there were
              seen by many.

                                                                   [482]
  The king, both good and stately,    then began to greet
  With well-bred, seemly bearing,    the maid he thought was meet
  To wear the crown hereafter.    He gazed on her with yearning;
  Her in his arms he folded,    and fondly kissed the maid, her face
              upturning.

                                                                   [483]
  Then one by one he welcomed    all the maidens fair;
  But one there was among them    so lofty in her air
  She might of birth be kingly:    in nought her kin were lacking.
  She was one of the maidens    who with the griffin long her home was
              making.

                                                                   [484]
  She bore the name of Hildeburg:    from Hilda, Hagen’s wife,
  She ever had won the honor    befitting her worthy life;
  Born in the land of Portugal,    thence had she been taken.
  She now saw many strangers:    a longing sad for her friends did this
              awaken.

                                                                   [485]
  Hettel to all the maidens    gave a welcome free,
  Yet was their lot no brighter;    for when they thought to see
  An end of all their sadness,    upon the coming morrow,
  Soon as the day was dawning,    there came to them again as great a
              sorrow.

                                                                   [486]
  Her throng of high-born followers    were greeted on every side;
  Near to Hagen’s daughter    on a flowery meadow wide,
  Under silken awnings,    many there were seated.
  But Hagen was now too near them;    to them from him must many ills be
              meted.



                            Tale the Eighth.
                    HOW HAGEN FOLLOWED HIS DAUGHTER.


                                                                   [487]
  When the day was dawning,    there was seen full well,
  And known by Horant of Daneland,    a cross upon a sail,
  With other emblems blazoned,    that pilgrims did betoken.
  For such a band of pilgrims    in Wâ-te’s heart was little love
              bespoken.

                                                                   [488]
  Loudly Morunc shouted    to Irold brave and true:
  “Now ask our lord, King Hettel,    what he thinks to do?
  A sail with the arms of Hagen    comes to our shore too nearly:
  Too long have we been sleeping,    and well to be rid of this will cost
              us dearly.”

                                                                   [489]
  To Hettel the tale was carried    that the father of his bride,
  Hither from Ireland sailing,    with ships broad-built and wide
  As well as many a galley,    now their shore was nearing.
  From Wâ-te and from Fru-te    their wisest thoughts the king was bent
              on hearing.

                                                                   [490]
  Both those knights of Denmark    could hardly this believe,
  Had not their eyes beheld it,    that Hagen, with followers brave,
  Seeking his daughter Hilda,    to the river Waal was steering.
  The men who came from Ortland    lay happy on the beach, no danger
              fearing.

                                                                   [491]
  The fair and noble Hilda    soon heard the wondrous tale,
  Whereat the kindly maiden    did loudly thus bewail:
  “My father, if he comes hither,    soon will make such slaughter,
  That none e’er knew the sorrow    that will be felt by many a wife and
              daughter.”

                                                                   [492]
  “We ’gainst that can guard us,”    answered the knight Irold:
  “However he may bluster,    I would not take of gold
  A mountain’s weight in barter,    that day when foes are mated,
  Could I see my uncle Wâ-te    near wild Hagen come, with anger heated.”

                                                                   [493]
  Then the lovely maidens    began to wail and mourn.
  The ship was tossed and rolling,    now by the west wind borne,
  With warriors filled and crowded,    near to Waal, the river.
  They there, in heavy fighting,    soon found a blood-stained
              resting-place forever.

                                                                   [494]
  Wâ-te bade that Hilda    on board a ship should stay.
  To guard the queenly maiden,    while near the shore it lay,
  On every side all hastily    men their shields were bearing:
  To keep a watch o’er the ladies,    there were on board a hundred
              warriors daring.

                                                                   [495]
  Ready now for battle    were all who to the strand
  Had brought the lovely Hilda    from her Irish fatherland,
  Whence they the maid had stolen,    to her father Hagen’s sorrow.
  Many, sound and healthy,    must sorely fear for their lives before the
              morrow.

                                                                   [496]
  Hettel was soon heard shouting    and calling aloud to his men:
  “Be on your guard, brave fighters!    Who never gold did gain,
  To him it shall be measured,    in handfuls, without weighing.
  Let this be not forgotten,—    that now your Irish foes you may be
              slaying.”

                                                                   [497]
  Bearing then their weapons,    down they rushed to the sand;
  Stirred with warlike bustle    was all the Waalisch strand.
  Thither to King Hettel    flocked his champions daring;
  Friends as well as foemen    soon towards the self-same spot were
              faring.

                                                                   [498]
  Now had Hagen also    reached the sandy shore,
  And men at him were hurling    the spears they bravely bore:
  Those upon the seashore    well their lives then guarded
  From the stormy Irish onset;    but wounds yet all the more their
              bravery rewarded.

                                                                   [499]
  How seldom would a father    have wished to send his child
  Where sparks of fire, all-glowing,    were struck by foemen wild
  Forth from hardened helmets,    in sight of many a maiden!
  To have sailed with these roving fighters    did now at last the lovely
              Hilda sadden.

                                                                   [500]
  By turns they smote each other    with heavy spears and long:
  Altho’ themselves they guarded    beneath their bucklers strong,
  Yet wounded thro’ their hauberks,    they were gashed and bloody;
  And soon with flowing life-blood    the waters’ depths were deeply
              stained and ruddy.

                                                                   [501]
  Then to his trusty liegemen    Hagen called aloud:
  The sea gave back his shouting,—    truly his strength was good,—
  He bade them help to land him,    their wounds by them unheeded;
  Glad were they to do it:    thereby were spears in many hearts
              imbedded.

                                                                   [502]
  Hagen now drew nearer,    not far was he from the sand;
  His sword it clattered loudly;    Hettel, near at hand,
  Was standing by the water,    on the seashore waiting:
  There, with daring followers,    deeds he did that praise should aye be
              meeting.

                                                                   [503]
  Hagen, wild with anger,    leaped into the wave,
  And to the shore he waded.    Then on that warrior brave
  Came a shower of lances;    like snowflakes falling thickly,
  Fast they fell around him,    shot by the Hegeling foemen, thronging
              quickly.

                                                                   [504]
  Then from the clash of sword-blades    a mighty noise arose.
  Those who would slay wild Hagen    soon beneath his blows
  Were seen to reel and stagger.    Hettel, the noble fighter,
  Drew near to Hilda’s father;    at this the maiden wept, with tears
              most bitter.

                                                                   [505]
  It was indeed a wonder,    as we the tale have heard,
  So strong and brave was Hagen,    that Hettel, the Hegeling lord,
  Before him held his footing.    As soon as, wildly fighting,
  They had reached each other,    their helmets rang beneath the heavy
              smiting.

                                                                   [506]
  But not so quickly ended    was yet the stormy fight.
  Soon was Hettel wounded    by brave King Hagen’s might:
  Wâ-te the old of Sturmland,    with his kin, to Hettel hasted,
  With Irold, too, and Morunc,—    knights as good as foemen’s lands e’er
              wasted.

                                                                   [507]
  Now came the brave old Fru-te    and Wâ-te with his throng:
  Knights there were a thousand,—    the press of them was strong.
  Hettel’s Hegeling kinsmen,    well their weapons plying,
  Wounded many foemen;    on every side stretched low, the men were
              lying.

                                                                   [508]
  After bravest fighting,    now had reached the land
  The followers of Hagen;    then crowded to the sand,
  After his friends so faithful,    a host from Ireland’s borders.
  Soon were helmets shattered:    grimly they fought to win the maids
              from their warders.

                                                                   [509]
  Hagen saw then near him    Hettel, the youthful knight:
  Many strong and stalwart    were shorn of strength outright,
  Both by those from Daneland    and the Hegeling lieges:
  Now to meet wild Hagen    every one old Wâ-te loud beseeches.

                                                                   [510]
  Then, by his strength, King Hagen    broke thro’ the crowd a path,
  And with his sword hewed boldly;    well he wreaked his wrath,
  Because his much-loved daughter    from him by craft was taken;
  Coats of mail lay fallen:    the wrongs of Hagen hate in him did waken.

                                                                   [511]
  He might not quench his anger    with the sword alone;
  By the thrust of his heavy long-spear    soon were overthrown
  Many a knight most daring:    never the tale was given
  By these unto their kinsmen,    of how in the stormy fight their luck
              had thriven.

                                                                   [512]
  Now came Wâ-te quickly,    the knight well born and good;
  Soon of his well-loved kinsmen    he saw the flowing blood,
  Under the slash of broadswords,    out of their armor dripping:
  Of those who would have helped him,    five hundred wounded men in
              death were sleeping.

                                                                   [513]
  Everywhere were gathered    friends as well as foes,
  All in uproar minged;    a mighty din arose.
  Wâ-te and wild Hagen    rushed on each other madly,
  Whoe’er could shun their pathway    of all the risk he had fled was
              thinking gladly.

                                                                   [514]
  Hagen laid on Wâ-te    many a heavy blow,—
  Well his strength he wielded.    Their helmets were aglow
  With fiery sparks outflashing,—    like to brands they glittered;
  Each cleft the other’s helmet,    and ever still, each other’s blows
              they bettered.

                                                                   [515]
  The ground beneath was trembling    with aged Wâ-te’s stroke:
  Scarcely could the maidens    of his onslaught shun the shock.
  Now the wounds of Hettel    his faithful friends were binding;
  He then began to ask them    where his cousin Wâ-te he could be
              finding.

                                                                   [516]
  With Hagen, “of kings the Devil,”    he found old Wâ-te soon:
  The skill of him of Sturmland    to guard himself was shown:
  Brave were both these warriors,    and oft the tale was spoken
  How Wâ-te the bold and Hagen    in hardest strife had each his anger
              wroken.

                                                                   [517]
  Hagen’s spear was broken    erelong on Wâ-te’s shield:
  Well in the fight he bore it,    and strength enough did wield.
  Ne’er on the field of warfare    did blows of men fall thicker,
  Even of bravest warriors;    Wâ-te scorned to flinch, or seem the
              worker.

                                                                   [518]
  Hagen cleft the head-piece    of Hettel’s brave old man,
  The trusty, daring Wâ-te,    till blood from his helmet ran,
  From out his wounds fast flowing.    Now the wind blew colder,
  For eventide was nearing;    the struggling throng in fight but grew
              the bolder.

                                                                   [519]
  Wâ-te gave back in anger    each grim and deadly blow,
  Making the blood, like tear-drops,    on Hagen’s breast to flow;
  Strokes he gave his foeman,    until the sword-blade glittered
  On the bosses of his helmet;    daylight before his darkened eyesight
              flittered.

                                                                   [520]
  Wounded, too, was Irold,    Ortland’s champion brave.
  Though many there lay dying    from the wounds that Hagen gave,
  Yet the blows of Wâ-te    still did Hagen batter.
  Sorely wept the maidens    when of so many swords they heard the
              clatter.

                                                                   [521]
  Now, in fear and sorrow,    Hilda, the maiden fair,
  Cried unto King Hettel,    and begged of him to spare
  Her father from old Wâ-te,    the fight so grimly waging.
  He called for his standard-bearer,    and bade him lead his men where
              the strife was raging.

                                                                   [522]
  Then the kingly Hettel    right well and bravely fought;
  Soon he found old Wâ-te,    to whom no joy it brought:
  Then Hettel called to Hagen:    “Let hatred hence be driven;
  So shall it raise your honor,    if now our friends no more to death be
              given.”

                                                                   [523]
  Hagen shouted loudly,—    fell indeed was his mood,—
  “Who bids that we be parted?”    Then cried the warrior good:
  “I bid it, I, King Hettel,    the Hegelings’ lord and master,
  Who for the Lady Hilda    sent my friends so far, from you to wrest
              her.”

                                                                   [524]
  Then spake the lordly Hagen:    “Since first to me ’twas told
  How you to win my daughter    showed yourself so bold,
  This to your name with warriors    shame has ne’er been doing;
  Clever was the cunning    to which your winning of my child is owing.”

                                                                   [525]
  Hettel then sprang nearer,    as oft by one is done,
  Who thinks to stop the fighting.    Grim was the mood yet shown
  By the bold and aged Wâ-te;    but he and Hagen yielded:
  Then with all his followers    Hagen stepped back, nor longer his
              weapon wielded.

                                                                   [526]
  Now the lordly Hettel    his helmet laid aside;
  A truce was loudly called for    by all, both far and wide;
  ’Twas said by Hilda’s father    there was an end of fighting:
  For many a day, the maidens    had heard no tale their ears so much
              delighting.

                                                                   [527]
  The men took off the armor    which they in fight had worn,
  And now at last they rested.    Many then must mourn
  For wounds, in warfare given,    whence the blood was welling;
  But many lay there also    who never more on thoughts of war were
              dwelling.

                                                                   [528]
  Then stepped forth King Hettel    and near to Hagen stood,
  And thus he spake to the warrior:    “Since I well have wooed
  Your lovely daughter Hilda,    ’tis fit that you allow her
  To wear the crown beside me:    my many well-bred knights will fealty
              show her.”

                                                                   [529]
  Then Hettel sent for Wâ-te,    of whom he was in need;
  For many years now ended,    of him it had been said
  That he from some wild woman    had learned a leech’s cunning:
  Wâ-te, forsooth, was skilful    to heal deep wounds and stanch the
              life-blood running.

                                                                   [530]
  Wâ-te laid by his weapons;    his wounds he first had bound.
  Herbs that were good for healing    by him were quickly found;
  He had a box full costly,    that in it held a plaster.
  Now the fair Queen Hilda    besought his help, and at his feet she cast
              her.

                                                                   [531]
  She said, “My dear friend Wâ-te,    my father heal, I pray;
  For this, whate’er you ask me,    I ne’er will say you nay;
  And help his warriors also,    who in the dust lie bleeding,
  And show your skill to his liegemen    who stood by him, when he their
              help was needing.

                                                                   [532]
  “Nor must you be forgetful    of those of the Hegeling land,
  Who were friends to Hettel;    wet with their blood is the sand
  On which they now are lying,    as if a rain were falling:
  Sorrowful tales of their fighting    for me there ne’er can be an end
              of telling.”

                                                                   [533]
  Then spake the aged Wâ-te:    “Their wounds I cannot heal,—
  In that I will not meddle,    until as friends they feel
  Each unto the other,—    Hagen brave and knightly,
  And Hettel, my lord and master;    till then shall I withhold my skill
              most rightly.”

                                                                   [534]
  The high-born maiden answered:    “This I may not dare
  To ask of the king, my father;    his tears I did not spare,
  And now have not the boldness    to bring to him my greeting;
  Both he and all his kinsmen    I fear would now my love with scorn be
              meeting.”

                                                                   [535]
  Then ’twas asked of Hagen:    “My lord, may this now be,
  That it would not stir your anger    your daughter here to see,
  The youthful, queenly Hilda?    If you for this are willing,
  She will come most gladly,    and soon your many wounds will help in
              healing.”

                                                                   [536]
  “Gladly will I see her,    whatever she has done;
  To me will she be welcome:    why should I her disown,
  Here in a land of foemen,    nor take her greeting kindly?
  To me and to my daughter,    King Hettel must atone for deeds
              unfriendly.”

                                                                   [537]
  Horant, the knight from Daneland,    led her by the hand,
  And with him went brave Fru-te,    to where the king did stand;
  One maiden only with them    looked on Hagen wounded.
  For friends did Hilda sorrow,    though Hettel’s love for her was all
              unbounded.

                                                                   [538]
  On Hildeburg and Hilda    when Hagen now did look,
  Then, from his seat upspringing,    thus he quickly spoke:
  “Welcome be thou, my daughter,    Hilda, most noble lady!
  I cannot leave unspoken    the greeting warm which I to give am ready.”

                                                                   [539]
  His daughter he allowed not    the care of his wounds to take;
  While Wâ-te these was binding    he bade the maids step back,—
  The youthful high-born ladies.    Wâ-te’s wish was the stronger
  To heal her father quickly,    that so his daughter there might weep no
              longer.

                                                                   [540]
  Healed with plants and herbage    and many a far-sought weed,
  From all his pain did Hagen    feel himself now freed;
  They eased his hurts with plaster,    and when again the maiden
  Turned to see her father,    she found him well, with aches no longer
              laden.

                                                                   [541]
  Wâ-te, the healing-master,    made haste,—no time he lost;
  He hoped to gain such riches    among this wounded host,
  That scarce could they by camels    be carried to his dwelling.
  A skill so great and wondrous    never, that I have heard, have men
              been telling.

                                                                   [542]
  First he healed King Hettel,    the lord of the Hegeling land;
  Then all he saw there wounded    he helped by his skilful hand.
  Those in the care of others    still with pain did sicken;
  But they, when nursed by Wâ-te,    were turned to life, tho’ they by
              death were stricken.

                                                                   [543]
  There would they no longer    let the maidens stay.
  Hagen said to Hilda:    “Elsewhere must we to-day
  Find us rest and shelter;    while others must not idly
  Leave the dead thus lying,    who burial scarce can wait, here
              scattered widely.”

                                                                   [544]
  Hettel begged King Hagen    with him to his home to go;
  Though loath, to this he yielded,    as soon as he came to know
  That he, the king of the Hegelings,    of many lands was owner:
  Hagen then with his daughter    went with him to his home, and there
              had honor.

                                                                   [545]
  The youthful knights were singing,    as they left the field.
  Happy then were the living;    but, never to be healed,
  They behind were leaving    three hundred dead and dying,
  The rich and poor together,    slashed with the sword, and pitifully
              lying.

                                                                   [546]
  Then the war-worn fighters    through the land went home;
  All who there were dwelling    were blithe to see them come:
  But the kinsmen of the warriors    who in death lay sleeping
  Were slow their hearts to gladden;    they for kindred slain long time
              were weeping.

                                                                   [547]
  Hettel and Hilda with him    took their homeward way.
  Many, bereft of fathers,    sorely wept that day,
  Whose after life was happy.    The mighty Hettel later
  Crowned the fair young Hilda;    by this the Hegeling name became the
              greater.

                                                                   [548]
  Hettel now had thriven,—    his suit he well did gain.
  Old and young together    with swords at court were seen,
  As were the guests of Hagen who from the ships came kindly.
  The wedding of his daughter    was highly praised by Hagen, now grown
              friendly.

                                                                   [549]
  Then with what great honor    to the bridal seat was led
  That high-born, lovely lady!    Moreover, it is said
  That full five hundred liegemen    then at court were knighted.
  Fru-te the wise from Denmark    to guard King Hettel’s wealth was
              thought well fitted.

                                                                   [550]
  The riches of King Hettel    by Hagen now were seen;
  The tale had erst been told him    by many of Hettel’s kin,
  That over seven princedoms    well his sway had thriven.
  All the poor there with them    were home in gladness sent, and
              lodgings given.

                                                                   [551]
  Hettel gave rich clothing    to Ireland’s warriors brave;
  Bright-red gold and silver,    and horses, too, he gave.
  The whole they scarce could carry,    as they homeward wended:
  Thus good friends he won him,    and this for Hilda in highest praises
              ended.

                                                                   [552]
  Upon the twelfth day’s morning    they left King Hettel’s land.
  The horses bred in Denmark    led they out on the sand;
  Each his mane, thick hanging,    down to his hoofs was shaking.
  The guests from afar were happy    that they King Hettel’s friendship
              had been making.

                                                                   [553]
  Grooms and also stewards    with Hagen then did ride,
  With cup-bearers and carvers.    Ne’er, in his greatest pride,
  In his home and kingdom,    had he been served so truly.
  The crown was worn by Hilda,    and Hagen’s heart with bliss was
              brimming fully.

                                                                   [554]
  Food as well as lodgings    they found upon their road;
  On Hagen and his followers    all men their care bestowed:
  So to their homes most gladly    they the tale did carry
  Of how the friends of Hettel    in showing them all kindness ne’er were
              weary.

                                                                   [555]
  Hagen greeted Hildeburg,    and clasped her in his arms;
  He said, “Watch over Hilda    for the love your bosom warms.
  So great a throng of followers    at times a woman dazes;
  Care for her so kindly    that of your worth all men shall speak with
              praises.”

                                                                   [556]
  “My lord, that will I gladly:    to you has much been told
  Of the woes that with her mother    I bore in days of old;
  And I for years my friendship    for her did never loosen;
  Her for miles I followed    ere for a lover you by her were chosen.”

                                                                   [557]
  Hagen bade the others    their way to court to take;
  Never then could the maidens    an end of weeping make:
  Now by the hand he took them,    and to Hettel they were given;
  He asked for them his kindness,    since from their homes they sadly
              had been riven.

                                                                   [558]
  Then said he to his daughter:    “So well the crown now wear,
  That neither I nor your mother    the tale shall ever hear
  That men ill-will do bear you.    High your lot has raised you,
  And you of blame were worthy,    if when men spoke your name they never
              praised you.”

                                                                   [559]
  Low bowed to the king wild Hagen,    and kissed his child again.
  Neither by him nor his followers    ever more was seen
  The kingdom of the Hegeling:    too far away was their dwelling.
  Back to his home in Ballian,    in his trusty ships, King Hagen soon
              was sailing.

                                                                   [560]
  When he had reached his castle,    and sat with the queen alone,
  The mother of fair Hilda,    Hagen was free to own
  That none to win his daughter    more fitly could have pleaded;
  And if he had yet others,    he fain to the Hegeling land would send
              them to be wedded.

                                                                   [561]
  Hilda for this gave praises    to her master, Christ the Lord:
  “That I of my dear daughter    such happy news have heard
  Fills my heart with gladness,    and with bliss o’erflowing.
  How fares it with her followers,    and Hildeburg, who long her love
              was showing?”

                                                                   [562]
  Then spake the kingly Hagen:    “Now in their land and home
  All of them are happy;    great hath our child become;
  Ne’er, with us, were her maidens    clothed in such fine dresses.
  There we now must leave them:    for her were many breastplates hacked
              to pieces.”



                            Tale the Ninth.
                  HOW GUDRUN WAS SOUGHT BY SIEGFRIED.


                                                                   [563]
  We speak no more of Hagen.    A word may now be told
  About King Hettel’s kinsmen:    they who land did hold
  Ever owed him fealty    for these and for their castles;
  To court they all came often    when Hettel and Hilda sent to call
              their vassals.

                                                                   [564]
  Wâ-te went to Sturmland,    Morunc to Nifland rode;
  Horant, prince of Denmark,    led his warriors good
  To Givers, by the seashore,    where as lord they held him;
  There their homes they guarded,    and many, far and wide, their master
              called him.

                                                                   [565]
  With mighty sway in Ortland    Irold had his seat;
  Its lands he held of Hettel;    so, as a vassal meet,
  Near and far to serve him,    his duty was the greater:
  The king was brave and worthy;    and ne’er for a lord of lands was
              known a better.

                                                                   [566]
  If ever in any kingdom    Hettel heard them speak
  Of a fair and well-born maiden,    her he sought to take
  Into his home and castle,    as handmaid to his lady:
  Whatever Hilda wished for,    to help wild Hagen’s child they all were
              ready.

                                                                   [567]
  The king, with his wife beside him,    was happy on the throne;
  Their life was ever blissful.    To all in the land ’twas known
  That better far and dearer    than all on earth he thought her.
  Never by all his kinsmen    a lovelier could be found, where’er they
              sought her.

                                                                   [568]
  Within seven years thereafter    Hettel, in stormy fight,
  Thrice to his foes gave battle.    They who, day and night,
  To wrong his name and honor    did their utmost gladly,
  Now by the knightly Hettel    found themselves brought low and
              chastened sadly.

                                                                   [569]
  His castles he did strengthen,    and peace he gave to his land,
  As well a king befitteth:    such were the deeds of his hand,
  That never in any kingdom,    when his name was spoken,
  Was it said he was faint-hearted.    The praise of all did well his
              worth betoken.

                                                                   [570]
  While, with name so worthy,    Hettel held the throne,
  Wâ-te, the man of wisdom,    never left undone
  His duty to his master,    to see him three times yearly;
  Truly he was faithful,    far and near, to the lord he held so dearly.

                                                                   [571]
  Horant, the lord from Denmark,    to court not seldom rode;
  Costly gems and clothing    on the maids he there bestowed,
  With gold and silken raiment,    meet for women’s wearing:
  He from Daneland brought them,    and to all who wished was he of gifts
              unsparing.

                                                                   [572]
  The service true and steady    that the liegemen of the king
  Gave to the lordly Hettel    honor to him did bring.
  Praised was he for knighthood    more than any other:
  This Hilda also furthered,    a queen herself, and child of a queenly
              mother.

                                                                   [573]
  Hilda, Hagen’s daughter,    children two did bear
  Unto her lord, King Hettel:    to bring them up with care
  His faithful friends were bidden.    Soon among his vassals
  Were the tidings bruited    that an heir no more was lacking for his
              lands and castles.

                                                                   [574]
  One became a warrior,    Ortwin was his name;
  To Wâ-te he was trusted.    It was the teacher’s aim
  That he from early boyhood    should his thoughts be turning
  To all things good and worthy;    to be a trusty knight he thus was
              learning.

                                                                   [575]
  The very comely daughter    of Hilda and the king
  Was called Gu-drun the lovely:    from the land of the Hegeling
  To Denmark she was carried,    to be in her kinsmen’s wardship.
  Thus they helped King Hettel,    and this they never felt to be a
              hardship.

                                                                   [576]
  When the maid grew older,    her shape became so fair
  That neither man nor woman    to praise her could forbear:
  Far from the maiden’s birthplace,    all her worth were telling.
  Gu-drun her kinsfolk called her,    in the Danish land where now she
              had her dwelling.

                                                                   [577]
  That age she now was reaching    when, had she been a man,
  A sword she might have wielded.    Many a prince was fain
  To wed the lovely maiden,    and sought her love and favor;
  But many came a-wooing    who soon their hopes must lose, and win her
              never.

                                                                   [578]
  However fair was Hilda,    Hettel’s lovely wife,
  Yet was Gu-drun more lovely,    and fair beyond belief;
  More fair than the early Hilda,    erst to Ireland carried.
  Above all other women    Gu-drun was praised, ere yet the maid was
              married.

                                                                   [579]
  Her father scorned to give her    to the king of Alzabé;
  When he heard he could not win her    to him ’twas a sorry day.
  He held himself most highly    for all his kingly graces,
  And thought there could be no one    whose deeds, like his, were worthy
              of men’s praises.

                                                                   [580]
  Both brave he was and daring,    and from the Moorland came:
  He was known afar and widely,    Siegfried was his name;
  A king was he full mighty    over vassals seven.
  He sued for Hilda’s daughter,    such tales of her lofty worth to him
              were given.

                                                                   [581]
  He, with his faithful liegemen    from far Icaria’s strand,
  Won many costly prizes    there in Hettel’s land:
  His strong and doughty warriors,    in sight of ladies seated
  Before King Hettel’s castle,    in games of knighthood often there were
              mated.

                                                                   [582]
  When Hilda and her daughter    passed the hall within,
  Before the house of Wigaleis    there rose a mighty din
  From warriors of the Moorland,    who, all boldly dashing,
  Rode in the sight of the women;    oft of spears and shields was heard
              the clashing.

                                                                   [583]
  Never could knight in tilting    better in this behave.
  A friendly will she bore him,    and oft kind words she gave,
  Though he was brown to look on,    and in hue was dusky even.
  He for her love was yearning,    yet for a wife she ne’er to him was
              given.

                                                                   [584]
  This pained him beyond measure,    and truly he was wroth
  That he from far had ridden,    yet gave she not her troth.
  To burn the land of Hettel    then did he threaten madly:
  His followers from Moorland,    when now his hopes were lost, were
              mourning sadly.

                                                                   [585]
  From him was the maid withholden    by Hettel’s lofty pride;
  And now their loving friendship    was ended on either side.
  Then swore the Moor that never    he his hate would slacken,
  And that the grudge he bore him,    whate’er befell, should never be
              forsaken.

                                                                   [586]
  Then from the land of the Hegeling    rode they all away.
  When many years were ended,    there came at last a day
  When by a knight most worthy    was bitter sorrow tasted;
  Then the foes of Herwic    did him the worst they could, nor in it
              rested.



                            Tale the Tenth.
                    HOW HARTMUT SENT TO WOO GUDRUN.


                                                                   [587]
  Now in the land of Normandy    the tale was widely told,
  That never fairer maiden    did any man behold
  Than was King Hettel’s daughter,    Gu-drun, the high-born lady.
  A king, whose name was Hartmut,    to her then turned his love, to woo
              her ready.

                                                                   [588]
  Gerlind, Hartmut’s mother,    her wish to him made known,
  That he should woo the maiden;    her word he followed soon.
  First they sent for his father,    when they of this had spoken;
  He bore the name of Ludwig,    and in Norman lands he wore the kingly
              token.

                                                                   [589]
  Then the aged father    rode to see his son.
  Of the end that he was seeking    had Ludwig knowledge won;
  But when to him he hearkened,    and learned his wishes wholly,
  Evil he foreboded,    yet still the youth’s fond hopes upheld he fully.

                                                                   [590]
  “Who tells you,” said King Ludwig,    “she is so very fair?
  Tho’ she all lands were owning,    the home is not so near,
  Wherein the maid is dwelling,    that we should go a-wooing;
  If we sent our men before us    to ask her love, their task they would
              soon be ruing.”

                                                                   [591]
  Then did Hartmut answer:    “For me ’tis not too far;
  Whene’er the lord of a kingdom    no pain or toil doth spare
  To win a wife and riches,    he gains a life-long blessing.
  My wish, I pray you, follow;    let men be sent, that they my suit be
              pressing.”

                                                                   [592]
  Then spake his mother, Gerlind,    of Normandy the queen:
  “Letters must now be written;    let clothes, the best e’er seen,
  With gold, to those be given    upon your errand speeding;
  They, too, must learn the roadways    that towards the home of fair
              Gu-drun are leading.”

                                                                   [593]
  Then spake again King Ludwig:    “Know you not full well
  That Hilda, the maiden’s mother,    did erst in Ireland dwell?
  And know you not what happened    to many a one who sought her?
  Her kin are proud and lofty,    and now will scorn the love we shall
              have brought her.”

                                                                   [594]
  Then young Hartmut answered:    “Tho’ with a warlike band
  I afar must seek her,    over sea and land,
  That shall I do most willingly:    my heart to her is given,
  And never will I rest me    till I for Hilda’s daughter happily have
              striven.”

                                                                   [595]
  “Gladly will I help you,”    King Ludwig then did say:
  “Let this now make you happy;    erelong, upon the way
  I’ll send twelve sumpter-horses    bearing silver treasure;
  That when they hear our errand,    our wealth and worth they may more
              rightly measure.”

                                                                   [596]
  By Hartmut then were chosen    sixty men, to send
  To woo the fair young maiden,    and help to him to lend;
  With food and clothing also    well were they outfitted,
  And on the road well guided:    Ludwig was wise, and was in this
              foresighted.

                                                                   [597]
  When everything was ready    that soon the men would need,
  Then were letters written,    sealed, and given with speed,
  Both by brave young Hartmut    and his queenly mother.
  Then from home they started;    so proud a throng there never was
              another.

                                                                   [598]
  Fast they rode and steadily    for many a day and night,
  Until the land they sought for    came at last in sight,
  And they might tell the errand    they were thither bringing.
  Long was Hartmut waiting,    while love and care were in his heart
              upspringing.

                                                                   [599]
  Over land and rivers    they took their toilsome way,
  As far as in days a hundred    a pasturing herd may stray,
  Until the land of the Hegelings    lay before them stretching.
  Their steeds were worn and weary    ere they gave the letters they were
              fetching.

                                                                   [600]
  At last they far had ridden,    and to the sea had come,
  Upon the shores of Denmark:    sadly they long did roam,
  Before they reached the kingdom,    and its lord did know them;
  Now they begged for guidance,    and men were bid the nearest way to
              show them.

                                                                   [601]
  The news was given to Horant,    the knight well-bred and bold;
  Now asked the errand-bearers,    and the truth to them was told,
  About King Hettel and Hilda,    and all they had been hearing.
  They saw the men of Hettel    coming in throngs, their shields and
              weapons bearing.

                                                                   [602]
  Horant, lord of Daneland,    then to his liegemen spake,
  And bade for the errand-bearers    a safeguard now to make,
  And that the men of Hartmut    should be by them well guided
  To the court of his lord, King Hettel;    they grudged no toil, and
              well his bidding heeded.

                                                                   [603]
  When thro’ the Hegeling kingdom    the heralds took their way,
  So lordly was their bearing,    that often men did say:
  “These folk are rich and mighty,    whatever they are seeking.”
  The news to the king was carried,    and soon to him all men the tale
              were speaking.

                                                                   [604]
  To all the guests from Normandy    were lodgings given there;
  The king now bade his liegemen    to wait on them with care.
  He knew not yet their errand,    and why to him they had ridden;
  But on the twelfth day, early,    young Hartmut’s men before the king
              were bidden.

                                                                   [605]
  An earl there was among them;    how well his breeding showed!
  Upon their clothing also    were praises high bestowed;
  They rode the best of horses    on which men e’er were seated,
  And before the king they gathered,    in fairest guise, that well they
              might be greeted.

                                                                   [606]
  The king gave kindly welcome,    as also did his men,
  Until their wooing errand    was unto him made plain:
  Then were they ill-treated,    and knew the king’s hard feeling.
  I ween the mighty Hettel    to grant young Hartmut’s wish would ne’er
              be willing.

                                                                   [607]
  One who in that was skilful    to the king the letters read;
  But he was greatly angered    that they to court were led
  By the good and upright Horant,    a knight so brave and noble;
  And, had they not his friendship,    they had not left the king without
              more trouble.

                                                                   [608]
  Then spake to them King Hettel:    “No good to you ’twill bring
  That you were sent a-wooing    by Hartmut, your lord and king.
  To pay for this full dearly    you may well be fearing;
  Your kingly master’s wishes    both I and Lady Hilda are wroth at
              hearing.”

                                                                   [609]
  One among them answered:    “Hartmut makes it known
  That much he loves the maiden;    and if to wear the crown
  In Normandy she deigneth,    before his friends there living,
  That he, a knight all spotless,    will rightly earn the love she shall
              be giving.”

                                                                   [610]
  Then quoth the Lady Hilda:    “How can she be his wife?
  A hundred and three of his castles    his father held in fief,
  Within the land of Cardigan,    from Hagen, my noble sire;
  It ill becomes my kinsmen    to be King Ludwig’s vassals, or owe him
              hire.

                                                                   [611]
  “Ludwig dwelt in Scotland,    and there it erst befell
  That a brother of King Otto    did wrong to Ludwig deal:
  Both were Hagen’s vassals,    and of him their lands had taken;
  And thus my father’s friendship    for him was lost, and hate instead
              did waken.

                                                                   [612]
  “Say you now to Hartmut    she ne’er his wife shall be.
  Your lord is not so worthy    that he to boast is free,
  That he doth love my daughter,    and she doth not disdain him;
  Bid him elsewhere be looking,    if he be fain a queen for his land to
              gain him.”

                                                                   [613]
  The heralds’ hearts were heavy;    ’twas not for their good name
  That they, for miles full many,    in sorrow and in shame,
  Back to their homes in Normandy    this news must carry sadly.
  Hartmut, as well as Ludwig,    was vexed that they herein were foiled
              so badly.

                                                                   [614]
  Forthwith to them said Hartmut:    “Tell me now the truth,
  The grand-daughter of Hagen    have you seen, forsooth?
  Is the maid, Gu-drun, as lovely    as men have here been saying?
  May God bring shame to Hettel,    that he my suit with such ill-will is
              paying!”

                                                                   [615]
  Then the earl thus answered:    “This can I truly say,—
  Whoe’er shall see the maiden    must feel her charms and sway;
  Above all maids and women,    her worth is past the telling.”
  Then quoth the kingly Hartmut:    “To live without her ne’er shall I be
              willing.”

                                                                   [616]
  Whereon his mother, Gerlind,    sadly thus did say,
  With tears her lot bewailing:    “My son, oh, lack-a-day!
  Alas that e’er the heralds    to win the maiden started!
  If we at home had kept them,    e’en to this day had I been still
              light-hearted.”



                           Tale the Eleventh.
      HOW HERWIC SENT TO SEEK GUDRUN AND HOW HARTMUT CAME HIMSELF.


                                                                   [617]
  Hartmut left his wooing    to wait for many a year.
  Soon a tale was bruited    (’twas true what men did hear)
  Of one whose name was Herwic,    a king as yet but youthful;
  Often his worth was spoken,    and men yet speak of him with praises
              truthful.

                                                                   [618]
  He began his wooing,    trusting the lovely maid
  Would take him for her lover;    long his hopes he fed,
  And much he toiled to win her,    both with love and riches:
  But tho’ the maid was willing,    her father, Hettel, he in vain
              beseeches.

                                                                   [619]
  Though Herwic long was striving,    and men to seek her rode,
  Yet was his wooing slighted;    for this his wrath he showed.
  The heart of proud young Herwic    by heavy care was fettered;
  Freely his love he gave her,    and thought a life with her could not
              be bettered.

                                                                   [620]
  There came at length a morning    when it to them befell
  That in the Hegeling kingdom    both knights and maids as well,
  With many lovely ladies,    his coming never fearing,
  Before them saw bold Hartmut;    Hettel could not believe he’d be so
              daring.

                                                                   [621]
  From this did endless evil    soon come upon the land:
  These guests high-born and worthy    were yet an unknown band;
  Hartmut and his kinsmen    their host’s goodwill were sharing,
  And he the hope still harbored    that the maid would yet the crown
              with him be wearing.

                                                                   [622]
  Now before Queen Hilda    by ladies he was seen
  To stand with lofty breeding,    and with a stately mien.
  There the proud young Hartmut    wore a look so knightly,
  That he the love of ladies    well might ask, and ’twould be granted
              rightly.

                                                                   [623]
  Well-grown was he in body,    fair he was and bold,
  Kind as well as lordly.    Why I ne’er was told
  Had Hettel and Queen Hilda    from him withheld their daughter,
  When he had thought to woo her;    wroth was he to be scorned when now
              he sought her.

                                                                   [624]
  Of her his heart had longed for    he now had gained the sight;
  There oft were stolen glances    between Gu-drun and the knight.
  He made it known to the maiden,    by speech from others hidden,
  That he was young King Hartmut,    and from the Norman land had lately
              ridden.

                                                                   [625]
  Then she told her wooer    the pain to her it gave;
  And tho’ she wished he ever    a happy life might have,
  Yet from her father’s kingdom    she begged him now to hasten,
  For in the land of Hettel    was his life at risk, and this would never
              lessen.

                                                                   [626]
  She looked on him so kindly    that now her heart was warned
  That he should stay no longer,    for here his suit was spurned.
  Friendly was she to Hartmut,    who her love so wanted,
  But his hopes she little heeded,    and while he wooed, not much to him
              she granted.

                                                                   [627]
  At last her well-bred lover    from Hettel’s land must go;
  He bore upon his shoulders    a heavy load of woe:
  To wreak his wrath on Hettel    would he now be choosing,
  Yet feared he, if he harmed him,    that he the maiden’s love would
              then be losing.

                                                                   [628]
  ’Twas thus the daring Hartmut    the Hegeling kingdom left;
  Much he felt of sadness,    though not of hope bereft.
  He knew not yet the ending    of his wooing of the maiden;
  For the sake of her, thereafter,    were helmets cleft, and many
              sorrow-laden.

                                                                   [629]
  When he had reached his kingdom,    and home again did turn,
  Where dwelt his father and mother,    Hartmut, grim and stern,
  For war with Hettel longing,    began to make him ready.
  Gerlind, the old she-devil,    at all times spurred him on with hatred
              steady.



                           Tale the Twelfth.
  HOW HERWIC MADE WAR ON HETTEL, AND HOW GUDRUN WAS BETROTHED TO HIM.


                                                                   [630]
  What more befell young Hartmut    we now forbear to say.
  Upon the brave King Herwic    a weight of sorrow lay,
  As great as that of Hartmut,    for love of the high-born lady.
  He, with all his kinsmen,    to woo Gu-drun, as best they might, made
              ready.

                                                                   [631]
  Near her he was dwelling,    and there he held his land.
  A thousand times tho’ daily    he should send to ask her hand,
  Ever would his wooing    be met with scorn and flouting;
  But though he now was thwarted,    later on her, as his wife, he was
              fondly doting.

                                                                   [632]
  The king forbade him longer    to woo Gu-drun, his child;
  Then sent he word in anger    that never would he yield:
  Hettel should see him coming,    with men and shields, a-wooing;
  And this to him and Hilda    would evil bring, that they would long be
              ruing.

                                                                   [633]
  Whose rede it was I know not,    but thrice a thousand men,
  Showing thus their friendship,    were soon with Herwic seen.
  By them against the Hegelings    harm erelong was plotted
  For the sake of the lovely maiden    he fondly hoped would be to him
              allotted.

                                                                   [634]
  Those who came from Sturmland    the tale would not believe,
  To those from Denmark also    none the tidings gave;
  But Irold, lord of Ortland,    soon the word was hearing
  That now the daring Herwic    for warlike ends to Hettel’s home was
              faring.

                                                                   [635]
  When ’twas known to Hettel    that Herwic, fearing naught,
  E’en now the land was nearing,    and followers with him brought,
  Then asked he of his kinsmen,    and of the queen, his lady:
  “What say you to the tidings?    I hear that guests to our home have
              come already.”

                                                                   [636]
  She said: “What can I answer,    but that ’tis well and right,
  When one such deeds is doing    as befit a worthy knight,
  Tho’ good or ill it bring us,    praise should they be earning.
  Can aught amiss befall him?    Herwic is wise, and aye for honor
              yearning.”

                                                                   [637]
  His queenly wife said further:    “Yet must we beware,
  That he may bring no burden    unto our kinsmen here.
  This have many told me,—    ’tis for the sake of your daughter
  That he with many warriors    has come into your borders, o’er the
              water.”

                                                                   [638]
  Hettel with his kinsmen    had waited a little too long:
  The wrath of young King Herwic    now had waxen strong.
  In the cool of the early morning,    he, with followers daring,
  Reached King Hettel’s castle,    and later with his men the strife was
              sharing.

                                                                   [639]
  While yet the men were sleeping    within King Hettel’s halls,
  The watchman from the castle    down to them loudly calls:
  “Up from your rest now, quickly!    Arm yourselves and listen!
  Foes from abroad are coming!    E’en now, on their way, I see the
              helmets glisten.”

                                                                   [640]
  From off their beds upsprang they,    no longer dared they lie;
  Whoe’er there was among them,    in rank or low or high,
  Must bear a heavy burden,    for life and honor caring.
  Thus the young King Herwic    strove for a wife, the storm of warfare
              daring.

                                                                   [641]
  Hettel and Queen Hilda    had now to the window come:
  Men they saw with Herwic,    brought from a far-off home
  Among the hills of Galeis,    where they had their dwelling;
  These the mighty Morunc    in Waleis knew, and oft of them was telling.

                                                                   [642]
  The foes were seen by Hettel,    thronging towards the gate.
  Well Gu-drun’s brave father    must fear to meet their hate,
  As they were rushing onward,    tho’ high his heart was swelling:
  Much they roused his anger,    but them his burghers helped erelong in
              quelling.

                                                                   [643]
  Armed to guard the castle    were a hundred men or more;
  Hettel himself fought boldly,    goodwill for this he bore.
  His lieges all were doughty,    but yet they could not save him;
  Hard were the blows for Hettel,    that in the fight the brave young
              Herwic gave him.

                                                                   [644]
  Upon his foeman’s helmet    whizzing blasts, fire-hot,
  Were struck by the daring Herwic.    The many blows he smote
  Gu-drun now saw with wonder,    her eyes upon him feeding:
  He seemed a knight most worthy,    and love she felt, e’en though her
              heart was bleeding.

                                                                   [645]
  Hettel bore his weapon    grimly ’gainst his foe;
  Of strength no less than riches    he had, in truth, enow:
  But soon he did unwisely,    he pressed on him too nearly,
  And those within the castle    saw the fight between them all too
              clearly.

                                                                   [646]
  The sore-beleaguered dwellers    the gates would gladly shut;
  But now their losses told them    that this would nothing boot:
  Friends as well as foemen    near the gates were thronging,
  And great was the hope of Herwic    to win the maid for whom his heart
              was longing.

                                                                   [647]
  Hettel then and Herwic    against each other dashed,
  In sight of all their followers;    flames shot out and flashed
  On the bosses of the bucklers    which they both were wearing:
  But little while it lasted,    ere knowledge of each other they were
              sharing.

                                                                   [648]
  When Hettel saw in Herwic    a warrior so proud,
  And one so truly daring,    he cried to all aloud:
  “Should any here forbid me    that I with him be friendly,
  He knows the knight but little;    deadly wounds he hews, in mood
              unkindly.”

                                                                   [649]
  Gu-drun, the lovely maiden,    looked on, and heard the din.
  Luck is round and rolling,    like a ball, I ween;
  And since to end the fighting    to her it was not given,
  She hoped that, when ’twas over,    her father and his foe would find
              their strength was even.

                                                                   [650]
  She then began to call to him,    from out the palace hall:
  “Hettel, my noble father,    behold how blood doth fall,
  From out the hauberks flowing!    Everywhere about us
  The walls therewith are spattered!    A neighbor ill is Herwic, and
              harm hath wrought us.

                                                                   [651]
  “If you would grant my wishes,    you now will be at peace;
  Give rest to heart from anger,    and let your fighting cease,
  Till I can ask of Herwic,    and he to us be telling,
  About his land and kingdom,    and where his nearest kinsmen have their
              dwelling.”

                                                                   [652]
  Then said the proud young Herwic:    “Not yet may peace begin,
  Unless without my weapons    I your love may win.
  If rest a while be granted,    the knowledge you are seeking
  I then will give you freely,    and of my kinsmen will to you be
              speaking.”

                                                                   [653]
  Now, for love of the maiden,    the strife did they forego.
  Then shook they off their armor,    each battle-weary foe,
  And bathed in running waters,    from rusty stains to free them.
  They soon were cheered and rested,    and none could grudge in happy
              mood to see them.

                                                                   [654]
  A hundred knights with Herwic    went from the field to find
  Gu-drun, the Hegeling maiden,    still wavering in her mind.
  She, with other ladies,    gave him welcome kindly;
  But the worthy, high-born Herwic    hardly dared to think their wishes
              friendly.

                                                                   [655]
  The fair and comely maiden    showed the guests their seats;
  The bravery of Herwic    erelong with love she meets:
  His high and noble breeding    earned him kindest greeting.
  ’Twas thought Gu-drun and Hilda    should grant his suit, without a
              longer waiting.

                                                                   [656]
  To the ladies then spake Herwic:    “I oft have heard it said
  That you of me speak lightly,    and think me lowly bred:
  Your scorn may bring you sorrow,    after all my striving;
  The rich may from the poorest    a blessing gain, the while with them
              they’re living.”

                                                                   [657]
  She said: “Where is the maiden    who could behold with scorn
  A knight who strove so bravely,    or from his love could turn?
  Believe me,” said the maiden,    “I do not hold you lightly;
  Never maid more kindly    has looked on you, or prized your worth more
              rightly.

                                                                   [658]
  “If now my friends and kindred    leave for this will give,
  Even as you wish it,    with you I will gladly live.”
  Then with fondest glances    he her eye was seeking:
  In her heart she bore him,    and owned the truth to all, no falsehood
              speaking.

                                                                   [659]
  The brave and happy Herwic    begged that he might dare
  To woo the fair young maiden.    Now to grant his prayer
  Were Hettel and Hilda ready;    but first must they be knowing
  Whether Gu-drun, their daughter,    was glad or sorry for the kingly
              Herwic’s wooing.

                                                                   [660]
  Herwic was quick in learning    how kindly was her mood:
  And now the brave young warrior    before the maiden stood,
  In shape as fair and comely    as if the hand of a master
  On a white wall had drawn him:    while there he stood her love but
              grew the faster.

                                                                   [661]
  “If you your love will give me,”    he said, “most lovely maid,
  Then shall my truest worship    to you be ever paid;
  Throughout my lands and castles    to you there shall be given
  My kinsmen’s faithful service,    and ne’er shall I repent that thus
              I’ve striven.”

                                                                   [662]
  She said: “I give you freely    the love for which you pray;
  By all your toils and daring    you well have earned to-day
  That you and all my kindred    foes shall be no longer.
  Now none can make me sorrow,    and every day our bliss shall grow the
              stronger.”

                                                                   [663]
  Then they sent for Hettel:    thus ended was the fight.
  Soon came he to his daughter;    and many a faithful knight
  Followed the king, their master,    who unto him had ridden
  From all the Hegeling kingdom.    Thus to the strife a long farewell
              was bidden.

                                                                   [664]
  Now when Hettel’s kinsmen    their wish for this did speak,
  Then asked he of his daughter    if she would gladly take
  Herwic, the knight so noble,    who in his heart had set her.
  Then said the lovely maiden:    “There’s not another I could love the
              better.”

                                                                   [665]
  They then betrothed the maiden    at once to the knightly king,
  Who in his land would crown her.    This did gladness bring
  To him, and sorrow likewise:    ere many years were ended,
  And she to him was wedded,    good knights in stormy fight their lives
              defended.

                                                                   [666]
  To take the maiden with him    Herwic now was fain;
  But this her mother grudged him:    thereby much woe and pain
  Came upon him later    from foes as yet unheeded.
  The king was told by Hilda    that longer time ere she be crowned was
              needed.

                                                                   [667]
  They thought it best for Herwic    to leave the maiden there,
  While he with other women    might pass the time elsewhere,
  And wait to wed the lady    until a year were ended.
  This learned the men of Alzabie:    to wait so long for her young
              Herwic ill befriended.



                          Tale the Thirteenth.
                 HOW SIEGFRIED MADE WAR AGAINST HERWIC.


                                                                   [668]
  Siegfried, king of Moorland,    called for all his men;
  Ships were soon made ready,    wherever they were seen;
  Then with food and weapons    to load them it was bidden,
  For war against King Herwic:    from all but faithful friends his
              thoughts were hidden.

                                                                   [669]
  A score of wide, strong barges    bade he to be made.
  I ween they liked it little    to whom the king now said
  That forthwith unto Sealand    to fight must they be faring;
  And he would thither hasten    as soon as, winter o’er, springtide was
              nearing.

                                                                   [670]
  Eighty thousand warriors    soon to him had come;
  Of fighting men in Alzabie    none were left at home.
  Then swore the Moorland princes    for war to make them ready;
  Some of these still lingered,    others to follow with the king were
              speedy.

                                                                   [671]
  Then against the Sealands    the threat of war he made.
  This roused the wrath of Herwic,    who well might him upbraid;
  To earn the hate of Siegfried    wrong had he done him never.
  His marches and his castles    he bade his men to guard, now more than
              ever.

                                                                   [672]
  Then he said in sorrow    to friends who came in haste
  That foes would burn his castles,    and his lands lay waste:
  All he could give his liegemen,    that he held but lightly.
  They took their wages gladly;    that war would bring them riches,
              hoped they rightly.

                                                                   [673]
  About the gladsome May-time,    there went across the sea
  Warriors out of Alzabie,    and eke from Abakie.
  Onward came they proudly,    as tho’ the world’s end seeking;
  Many now trod boldly    who in the dust their rest would soon be
              taking.

                                                                   [674]
  Into the land of Herwic    they cast the burning brand.
  Then all whom he could gather,    and all his friends at hand,
  Rode to the field with Herwic.    Thro’ war-storms grimly driven,
  They with their lives must bargain    for gold and gems and silver to
              them given.

                                                                   [675]
  To him, the king of Sealand,    great ill erelong was wrought.
  A stalwart foeman was he:    Aha, how well he fought!
  He made the land the richer    with the dead there lying:
  The old in fight grew youthful:    the strong were slain, who recked
              not yet of dying.

                                                                   [676]
  Long the fighting lasted,    till thickly lay the dead:
  Then to the brave King Herwic    came at last the need
  To flee into his marches,    for life he there was turning;
  All his lands lay smoking:    of this to Gu-drun, his lady, sent he
              warning.

                                                                   [677]
  Now to the land of Hettel    men at his bidding went:
  Many tears and bitter    they shed when they were sent
  To find the great King Hettel,    and the tale to him to carry.
  They were not long in showing    unto the king their plight so hard and
              dreary.

                                                                   [678]
  Tho’ sad in mood he found them,    a welcome kind he gave,
  Such as far-off wanderers    and homeless friends should have.
  He asked if from their homesteads    they were hither driven,
  When foes their lands had wasted,    and all their marches had to
              flames been given.

                                                                   [679]
  Then to him they answered:    “In sorrow did we leave:
  The faithful men of Herwic,    from early morn till eve,
  Sell their lives full dearly,    and well his gifts are earning;
  They fight for name and honor:    for this at home are many women
              mourning.”

                                                                   [680]
  Then to them said Hettel:    “To my daughter make it known;
  Whatever she shall wish for    at once shall that be done.
  If she for vengeance calleth    for the wrongs he wrought you,
  We then will help you gladly,    and pay him back the ill that he has
              brought you.”

                                                                   [681]
  Before they yet had spoken    unto the fair young maid,
  Already of her sorrow    her friends had taken heed.
  The lady had been longing    to see the heralds hourly;
  Them in haste she sent for,    the loss of land and honor, mourning
              sorely.

                                                                   [682]
  When they came before her,    they found the queenly maid
  Sitting sad, and weeping,—    faithful love she had;
  She asked them of her lover,    and how they leave had taken,
  And if he still was living    when they of late had land and home
              forsaken.

                                                                   [683]
  Then answered one among them:    “We left him sound and well;
  But since the day we saw him    we know not what befell,
  Or how the men of Moorland    may his home have wasted:
  Mischief they had done him,    neither from fire and plunder had they
              rested.

                                                                   [684]
  “Listen, high-born maiden!    my master’s bidding heed:
  He and all his warriors    are now in sorest need.
  To lose both life and honor    they are fearing daily;
  And now my lord, King Herwic,    sends to beg your men to his help to
              rally.”

                                                                   [685]
  Gu-drun, the lovely maiden,    then from her seat upstood;
  The wrongs that had been done her    she to her father showed:
  She said her men were slaughtered,    and her castles wasted,
  And told her father, Hettel,    that to ride to Herwic’s help she would
              he had hasted.

                                                                   [686]
  Then in her arms she pressed him,    her eyes with weeping wet:
  “Help, O dearest father!    My woes are all too great,
  Unless your many liegemen,    with ready hand, are willing
  To help my good friend Herwic:    none else can end the strife, my
              sorrow healing.”

                                                                   [687]
  “That will I leave to no one,”    the king did freely say;
  “I will haste to help King Herwic,    and wait not many a day.
  As well as I am able,    I will end your sorrow:
  I will call for the aged Wâ-te    and many other friends, before the
              morrow.

                                                                   [688]
  “He will bring from Sturmland    all the men of his lands;
  And when ’tis known by Morunc    how ill with us it stands,
  Fighters full a thousand    to bring will he be speedy.
  Our foes shall find out quickly,    that under helmets we to march are
              ready.

                                                                   [689]
  “Horant, too, from Denmark    shall bring upon the way
  Of men full thrice a thousand:    nor will Irold stay;
  But he will raise his banner,    and hasten to the slaughter.
  Then, too, thy brother Ortwin    will come, and all will earn the
              blessing of my daughter.”

                                                                   [690]
  The heralds soon went riding    whom the maid did send.
  Her friends far off were living,    but all who help would lend
  To heal the maiden’s sorrow    would honor great be earning;
  Knights would she warmly welcome:    for this erelong the more to her
              were turning.

                                                                   [691]
  Hilda, the maiden’s mother,    unto her daughter spake:
  “Whoe’er is quick to help you,    and now his shield shall take
  To follow with your warriors    when they to war are faring,
  Whate’er we gain by fighting    he shall, in truth, henceforth with us
              be sharing.”

                                                                   [692]
  Then the chests were opened;    men to court soon bore
  Whate’er therein was lying,    of fighting-gear a store,
  Fast with steel well studded;    then the knights were laden
  With armor white as silver:    this made glad the heart of the queenly
              maiden.

                                                                   [693]
  To full a thousand warriors    were given clothes and steeds;
  Out of stalls men brought them,    as oft the horse one leads,
  When, along the highways,    men to the fight go riding.
  Of all the king’s good horses    they left but very few at rest
              abiding.

                                                                   [694]
  When from his queenly lady    the king his leave did take,
  Both Hilda and her daughter    began to weep for his sake;
  But on the knights forth riding    gladly they were gazing,
  And said: “May God in heaven    so help the fight that men may you be
              praising.”

                                                                   [695]
  After they all were gathered    without the castle gate,
  Youths were there heard singing,    hoping for plunder great.
  Each thought, by hardest fighting,    to win himself much riches;
  But far must they yet be riding,    for long the way to their master’s
              foemen stretches.

                                                                   [696]
  On the third morning early    came, at break of day,
  The very aged Wâ-te    with a thousand to the fray;
  And from the Danish kingdom,    as the seventh day was dawning,
  Came Horant with four thousand,    to whom the fair Gu-drun had sent
              her warning.

                                                                   [697]
  From out the Waalisch marches    Morunc thither rode;
  He ever fought for the ladies,    for the love to them he owed.
  Twenty thousand warriors    he brought,—for nought he tarried:
  These were all well-weaponed,    and happily rode, while help to the
              king they carried.

                                                                   [698]
  The queenly maiden’s brother,    Ortwin, the youthful knight,
  Brought across the water,    to help her in the fight,
  Forty hundred warriors,    or even a number greater:
  Were it known to the men of Alzabie,    well might they have feared to
              meet him later.

                                                                   [699]
  Before they yet could help him,    to Herwic and his men
  The strife had now gone badly,    his luck began to wane:
  To him and all his followers    was evil sore betiding;
  Altho’ they struggled bravely,    his foes too near his castle gate
              were riding.

                                                                   [700]
  Great mishaps to Herwic    from Siegfried’s kin arose;
  For now the gates of the castle    were shattered by their blows.
  False friends had made it easy,    and boasts too loudly spoken:
  If e’er to such one trusteth,    it worketh him no good, and his hopes
              are broken.

                                                                   [701]
  Now ’twas told to Herwic,    men fast for help had gone.
  The foes from fight ne’er rested,    by anger driven on;
  From early morn to even,    they oft to the strife were bidden:
  But now the friends of Herwic    on every side drew near, nor long lay
              hidden.

                                                                   [702]
  When this the men of Karadie    did learn, they well might fear
  That now two kings against them    in the fight should share:
  For them it was unlucky    that Hettel now was leading
  His many fighters thither;    he from afar had come, to Herwic
              speeding.

                                                                   [703]
  Friends were they to each other;    so both would meet the foe.
  These, the men from Moorland,    bold themselves did show:
  One saw by all their bearing    they would from none be flying;
  Those who with them struggled    by hardest toil must their reward be
              buying.

                                                                   [704]
  Wâ-te, the very daring,    with all his knights had come;
  Gu-drun, the lovely lady,    had called him from his home
  To help her lover, Herwic,    and a host had ridden hither:
  Whate’er might now befall them,    later full happy rode they thence
              together.

                                                                   [705]
  Although their foes were heathen,    from out the Moorish land,
  They might not back be driven:    one well might understand
  That in any earthly kingdom    they were the best and boldest.
  To all who came to meet them    they gave a sorry welcome and a shelter
              coldest.

                                                                   [706]
  Herwic, king of Sealand,    his loss would now make good
  Upon his foes from Alzabie.    For this must flow the blood
  On either side of many;    to friends and kin were given
  Wounds full fast and heavy:    to bear his own was hard for Hettel
              even.

                                                                   [707]
  When they had come together    of whom I spoke before,
  Bringing all their followers,    gladness they knew no more;
  On them were ever resting    heavy care and sorrow
  For what the night might bring them.    They thought: “How shall we
              live to see the morrow?”

                                                                   [708]
  Thrice with the Moorish foemen    they strove on the stormy field,
  While peace was given the castle,    as knights are wont to yield.
  Again with sword and spear-shaft    they the strife would settle:
  Peace not yet they wished for,    but wounds the more they got in
              hard-fought battle.

                                                                   [709]
  Nor Herwic’s men nor Siegfried’s    yet would leave the fight;
  They to the last had struggled,    and many a bravest knight
  Upon the field lay wounded,    or in death was sleeping.
  This was told to the women,    who now began a wild, unmeasured
              weeping.

                                                                   [710]
  How well the daring Wâ-te    in battle-storm did fight!
  Strong was he and skilful,    and oft the aged knight
  Gave to the foe heart-sorrow,    by all the ill he wrought him:
  Ever to fight with his warriors,    by the side of the boldest and
              best, his wishes taught him.

                                                                   [711]
  Horant, too, from Denmark,    brave was he enough!
  Beneath his hand were shattered    helmets strong and tough;
  Ne’er by him ’twas forgotten    to wear his armor shining;
  Ill he wrought to many,    and oft the ranks of his foemen he was
              thinning.

                                                                   [712]
  The quick and fearless Morunc    boldly stretched his hand
  Ofttimes beyond his buckler,    and oft the fight he gained.
  To shun the king of Moorland    ne’er would he be seeking;
  Upon that king, so mighty,    he the wrath of Herwic now was wreaking.

                                                                   [713]
  The great and doughty Hettel,    when that his daughter fair
  Had sent to beg her father    in Herwic’s fight to share,
  That peace at last might follow,    fought for him not idly:
  If life were dear to any,    ’twere best to shun King Hettel’s borders
              widely.

                                                                   [714]
  Bravely strove King Herwic    on the field and at the gate;
  None than he fought better.    His head was often wet,
  Beneath his armor dripping,    with sweat that fast was oozing.
  In death were many deafened;    they who would crush him must their
              lives be losing.

                                                                   [715]
  Wigaleis, the faithful,    great ill to many wrought.
  Sir Fru-te, too, from Daneland,    with knightly prowess fought:
  The thanks of all his fellows    he should of right be sharing;
  He strove where the fight was stormy,    and none e’er knew an aged
              knight so daring.

                                                                   [716]
  The lord who came from Ortland,    Ortwin, brave and young,
  Showed the hand of a warrior;    it was on many a tongue,
  That never man in warfare    bore himself more boldly:
  Wounds he gave the deepest,    and this by none was ever told of
              coldly.

                                                                   [717]
  For twelve long days of fighting,    earnestly they strove.
  The men led on by Hettel    oft their spear-shafts drove
  Thro’ their foes’ light bucklers,    as close they met together:
  The fighters proud from Moorland    sorely rued the day that brought
              them thither.

                                                                   [718]
  Upon the thirteenth morning,    ere early mass was said,
  With sorry heart spake Siegfried:    “How many here lie dead
  Of all our bravest warriors!    In his lofty wooing
  The king of Sealand also    here to himself has evil great been doing.”

                                                                   [719]
  Then to the men of Karadie    made he known his will,
  To a stronghold to betake them,    there their wounds to heal:
  They, with those from Alzabie,    were earnest to go thither;
  Right glad were these far-riders    that all in death might not be
              found together.

                                                                   [720]
  Then to a sheltering castle    to turn they all began,
  Where onward, fast beside it,    a wide, deep river ran.
  While they were thither riding,    fleeing away from danger,
  They were still seen fighting    with those who ne’er would yield their
              homes to a stranger.

                                                                   [721]
  Now against King Hettel    the king of Moorland rode:
  Well might one believe it,    his former warlike mood
  Was but a slight beginning;    he soon a foe was meeting
  Who many of his kinsmen    with deep and deadly wounds of late was
              greeting.

                                                                   [722]
  Hettel, he of the Hegelings,    and Siegfried, the Moorland king,
  There unto the struggle    all their strength did bring;
  Shields were hacked to pieces    by the swords they wielded:
  The mighty lord of Moorland    to the castle fled, nor to him of
              Daneland yielded.

                                                                   [723]
  Camps by the men from Denmark    for themselves were made:
  Then the beleaguered warriors,—    it cannot be gainsaid,—
  E’er many days were over,    with care were burdened sadly;
  However good their shelter,    all would then have been at home more
              gladly.

                                                                   [724]
  Thus the boastful fighters    were by the foeman’s hand
  Fast held within the stronghold;    nor was their knightly band
  Now able to give battle,    although for this yet longing.
  Their castle well they guarded,    as best they might, wherein they now
              were thronging.



                          Tale the Fourteenth.
              HOW HETTEL SENT TIDINGS FROM HERWIC’S LAND.


                                                                   [725]
  Hettel then sent tidings,    to still their fears at home.
  To the fair and high-born ladies    men with news did come,
  That unto the old and youthful,    throughout the stormy fighting,
  Good luck had aye befallen;    and now, with hope must they for them be
              waiting.

                                                                   [726]
  He bade his men to tell them    how Siegfried was besieged,
  While he with all his followers    war against him waged,
  To help the lord of Sealand,    loved by Gu-drun, his daughter;
  That all, as they were able,    daily fought for her, and for him who
              sought her.

                                                                   [727]
  Hettel’s queen, fair Hilda,    the hope began to have
  That luck would follow Herwic    and all his warriors brave;
  And, as their worth befitted,    all might well be speeding.
  Then said Gu-drun: “God grant it,    that they our friends may back in
              health be leading.”

                                                                   [728]
  By Wâ-te’s men from Sturmland,    the foes from Alzabie
  And all who came from Moorland    were kept away from the sea;
  Sadly must they tarry    within the sheltering castle:
  In Wâ-te and in Fru-te    foes they had with whom they ill could
              wrestle.

                                                                   [729]
  Loudly swore King Hettel    the castle ne’er to leave;
  That he and all his followers    still to the end would strive,
  Till those to him had yielded    who now the Moor befriended.
  Unwise had been their inroad,    and this for them one day in sorrow
              ended.

                                                                   [730]
  Meanwhile the spies of Hartmut,    whom he had thither sent,
  Tho’ little good they looked for,    from the Norman border went;
  Ever to learn what happened    they a watch were keeping,
  And from the stormy warfare    they hoped that Hettel might no gain be
              reaping.

                                                                   [731]
  Now they saw that Siegfried,    the Moorland king high-born,
  Was kept within the castle,    besieged both eve and morn;
  Thence could he sally never,    and this he knew with sorrow;
  His lands so far were lying,    he little help from them could hope to
              borrow.

                                                                   [732]
  The Norman errand-bearers,    sent forth their watch to make
  By Ludwig and young Hartmut,    to them now hastened back:
  The happy news they carried,    and soon at home were giving,
  That Hettel, the king, and Herwic    were busy now, in warfare ever
              striving.

                                                                   [733]
  To them the lord of Normandy    thanks for the tidings gave,
  And asked them: “Can you tell us    how long those foemen brave,
  The men from the land of Karadie,    will in Sealand tarry,
  Fighting ’gainst its warriors,    till they, their wrongs avenged, of
              war are weary?”

                                                                   [734]
  One of them made answer:    “The truth you now may hear:
  There they yet must linger    more than another year.
  Never from their stronghold    will the Hegelings free them;
  They there so well are guarded,    that on their homeward way none e’er
              shall see them.”

                                                                   [735]
  Then the knight of Normandy,    the daring Hartmut, spake:
  “This frees my heart from sorrow,    and hope in me doth wake!
  If they are now beleaguered,    then are we well befriended;
  We must to Hegeling hasten,    ere Hettel’s fight with Siegfried shall
              be ended.”

                                                                   [736]
  Ludwig and young Hartmut    had both the selfsame mind,—
  Had they ten thousand fighters    whom they at once could find,
  Gu-drun they might lay hold on,    and to their home might carry,
  Before her father, Hettel,    came back again from the land where he
              did tarry.

                                                                   [737]
  Hartmut’s mother, Gerlind,    earnestly gave thought
  To wreak her wrath on Hettel,    that he to harm be brought,
  Because her dear son Hartmut    he shamefully had slighted.
  She wished the aged Wâ-te    and Fru-te might be hanged, for the help
              they plighted.

                                                                   [738]
  Then spake the old she-devil:    “Good knights, your hire behold!
  If you will now ride thither,    my silver and my gold,
  That will I give you freely,—    but women shall not share it.
  I care not if Hettel and Hilda    shall rue their wrong, and ne’er
              again will dare it.”

                                                                   [739]
  Quoth Ludwig, Hartmut’s father:    “We from our Norman land
  Forthwith must make an inroad:    soon will I have at hand
  Twenty thousand fighters    whom I for war will gather;
  With these it will be easy    to seize Gu-drun, and bear her from her
              father.”

                                                                   [740]
  Then spake the youthful Hartmut:    “Might ever this betide,
  That Hilda’s lovely daughter    I here should see my bride,
  I would not take in barter    for that a princedom fairest;
  Then might we here together    pass our lives, each one to the other
              dearest.”

                                                                   [741]
  Busily his followers,    hour by hour, gave thought
  How they could do his wishes.    A host King Ludwig brought
  To lead against the Hegelings;    well were they outfitted.
  How should Hilda know it,    that soon thereby her welfare would be
              blighted?

                                                                   [742]
  The wife of Ludwig also    helped them as she could.
  For this she plotted ever,    that fair Gu-drun be wooed,
  And, as the bride of Hartmut,    to Normandy be carried;
  She did her best most busily    that the maid one day should to her son
              be married.

                                                                   [743]
  Ludwig said to Hartmut,    his well belovéd son:
  “Think well, O knight most worthy,    no toil we now must shun,
  Until our foes are mastered    and from their lands are driven.
  Reward the guests who help us;    to our men at home by me shall gifts
              be given.”

                                                                   [744]
  These they soon were sharing,    all and every one.
  Never yet in Suabia    gifts so rich were known,
  Of steeds for war or burden,    saddles, and shields fair shining;
  I ween they were gladly given:    Ludwig ne’er before such thanks was
              winning.

                                                                   [745]
  Quickly all made ready    to start upon their way.
  Sailors were found by Ludwig;    skilful men were they,
  Who the deep sea-pathways    knew, and well could follow;
  Hard must they be toiling    to win their wages high upon the billow.

                                                                   [746]
  Now, in seemly measure,    fit were they to go.
  Throughout the lands and highways    soon the news did grow
  That Ludwig and young Hartmut    home and land were leaving.
  They yet would see much sorrow,    when they erelong their Hegeling foe
              were braving.

                                                                   [747]
  When to the shore they had ridden,    ships were floating there,
  That workmen well had builded,    the knights away to bear;
  Gerlind’s gold and riches    had made them strong and steady.
  Nor Wâ-te the old nor Fru-te    of this knew aught, nor were for their
              coming ready.

                                                                   [748]
  With three and twenty thousand    they sailed the waters o’er.
  Now for Gu-drun young Hartmut    a weight of sorrow bore:
  This, before his followers,    to hide he was not earnest;
  He hoped to meet King Hettel,    and him to overcome in strife the
              sternest.

                                                                   [749]
  As yet they knew not fully    how they his land could reach.
  To the sons of many a mother    the raid did sorrow teach.
  Near to the shores of Ortland    the rolling billows bore them,
  Before ’twas known to Hettel:    now Hilda’s castle rose in sight
              before them.

                                                                   [750]
  The warriors led by Hartmut    were still twelve miles away;
  Yet had they come already    over the wide, deep sea,
  Unto the land of the Hegelings,    and to its shores so nearly
  That castles, towers, and palaces    in Hilda’s town they all could see
              most clearly.

                                                                   [751]
  Ludwig, king of Normandy,    bade that on the sand
  They now should drop the anchors;    he then gave word to land
  To all his men together,    and bade them do it quickly:
  They now had come so near them,    they feared the Hegeling bands would
              gather thickly.

                                                                   [752]
  Then bore they up the weapons,    with shields and helmets good,
  That they had with them carried    over the heaving flood:
  They to fight made ready;    yet they at first bethought them
  To send through the land their runners,    to learn if friendly helpers
              might be brought them.



                          Tale the Fifteenth.
                    HOW HARTMUT CARRIED AWAY GUDRUN.


                                                                   [753]
  Now at Hartmut’s bidding    heralds quickly rode
  To where the queenly Hilda    and her daughter dear abode.
  To them his word they carried,    that if to wed the maiden
  They should think him worthy,    her and her mother both it well might
              gladden.

                                                                   [754]
  If she her love would give him,    as he had asked before,—
  Ofttimes his heart was heavy    for the love to her he bore,—
  That he would ever serve her    so long as he was living,
  And many lands wide-reaching,    held of his father, would to her be
              giving.

                                                                   [755]
  But if she would not love him,    she then would earn his hate;
  He asked of her that kindly    she his love would meet,
  So that he to his fatherland    his lovely bride might carry
  Without a fight or struggle.    To hope for this brave Hartmut ne’er
              was weary.

                                                                   [756]
  Did she gainsay his wooing,    Hartmut sent this word:
  “I will not be bought with silver,    albeit a heavy hoard,
  To leave in peace her kingdom;    she yet shall give me heeding.
  I will show Gu-drun, fair maiden,    brave knights enough, to be for
              her eyes fine feeding!

                                                                   [757]
  “Further, good errand-bearers,    this say to her from me:
  I ne’er will leave her borders    to sail on the wide, deep sea;
  Better will I think it    to be hewn in pieces even,
  Unless the Hegeling maiden    will follow me hence, to me in wedlock
              given.

                                                                   [758]
  “But, should she scorn me wholly,    and never my bride will be,
  Then me, with my daring fighters,    riding here she will see.
  Before the Hegeling castle    I will then leave lying
  Twenty thousand warriors,    on both sides of the roadway, dead or
              dying.

                                                                   [759]
  “Since by the craft of Wigaleis    King Hettel has been led,
  And by the aged Wâ-te,    hither our way we’ve made
  Into the Hegeling kingdom,    time and toil thus spending;
  For this shall many be fatherless,    and glad shall I be of the whole
              to make an ending.”

                                                                   [760]
  Those sent forth by Hartmut    fast on their way did ride,
  For he bade them wait no longer.    They came to a castle wide,
  By name ycleped Matelan;    therein was Hilda dwelling,
  And with her was her daughter,    the maid about whose charms all men
              were telling.

                                                                   [761]
  With them sent Hartmut also    two earls of wealth and name,
  Who with him out of Normandy    over the waters came.
  He bade them see Queen Hilda,    and kindly to bespeak her;
  To pledge to her his friendship,    and say that his goodwill would
              ne’er forsake her.

                                                                   [762]
  Of her they must ask her daughter,    for him who in his mind
  So high had ever set her,    above all womankind:
  In worthy love he wooed her,    and she would rank be taking
  That for aye would make her happy;    to do her will she ne’er would
              find him lacking.

                                                                   [763]
  To the maiden’s waiting-women    the news was quickly told,
  That from out the land of Normandy    a band of wooers bold
  Hither rode to Matelan,    and for Gu-drun were suing:
  Hilda hushed the tidings,    for now Gu-drun in fright the tale was
              ruing.

                                                                   [764]
  Queen Hilda’s faithful warders    opened soon the gate;
  Those who had ridden thither    need no longer wait;
  They to come in were bidden.    The gate was thrown wide open,
  And the men sent there by Hartmut    into Matelan rode: no ill to them
              did happen.

                                                                   [765]
  They quickly told their wishes,    to see King Hettel’s wife.
  It was not yet allowed them;    they who should guard her life,
  And to the king must answer,    at first had this forbidden:
  They never left uncared for    Hilda the queen, and eke Gu-drun the
              maiden.

                                                                   [766]
  At last the men of Hartmut    into the hall were led.
  To them the queenly Hilda    kindly greeting made,
  As did Gu-drun the lady,    with fair and lofty bearing;
  But she, the high-born maiden,    love for Herwic in her heart was
              wearing.

                                                                   [767]
  Altho’ they felt unfriendly,    yet drink they gave to the men
  Ere yet they told their errand;    freely then the queen
  Bade them to be seated    before herself and her daughter.
  She begged them then to tell her:    “What boon to seek had brought
              them o’er the water?”

                                                                   [768]
  All the men of Hartmut    before their seats yet stood,
  As well-bred men beseemeth,    and errand-bearers should.
  Then they told the ladies    what they would there be doing,—
  That for their master, Hartmut,    they for the fair Gu-drun had come
              a-wooing.

                                                                   [769]
  The high-born maiden answered:    “Of this I nought will hear,—
  That with the young King Hartmut    I the crown should share,
  Before our friendly kinsmen,    and troth to him be plighted:
  The name of the knight is Herwic    whose love shall never by myself be
              slighted.

                                                                   [770]
  “To him I am betrothed;    me he chose for a wife,
  And him for myself I have taken.    Ever, throughout his life,
  All of good I wish him    that can henceforth befall him:
  Ne’er, till my days are ended,    will I ask the love of another, or my
              lord will call him.”

                                                                   [771]
  One of them then answered:    “This warning Hartmut gives:
  If nay shall be your answer,    before three days, if he lives,
  Against great Matelan castle    you shall see him leading
  All his knightly followers.”    Smiles at this were the maiden’s face
              o’erspreading.

                                                                   [772]
  Their leave they would be taking,    and hasten on their way,
  Those two great earls so haughty;    but Hilda bade them stay.
  Altho’ she ne’er had known them,    of gifts she was not chary;
  But yet they would not take them,    for crafty men were they, and in
              truth were wary.

                                                                   [773]
  At those sent there by Hartmut    Hettel’s followers sneered,
  And said, their scorn and anger    they very little feared:
  If to drink the wine of Hettel    they were, in truth, unwilling,
  Then this warning gave they:    that they their cup with blood would
              soon be filling.

                                                                   [774]
  When they had heard this answer,    back to the shore they went
  Whence they had been by Hartmut    upon their errand sent.
  He then ran forth to meet them, to ask how they were treated,
  And what had them befallen,    and how his courtship by Gu-drun was
              greeted.

                                                                   [775]
  Then one of them thus answered:    “This to us they said:
  The high and queenly maiden    a lover long has had,
  For whom, beyond all others,    love in her heart she is feeling:
  If you will not taste their wine-cup,    they soon will fill to you,
              your life-blood spilling.”

                                                                   [776]
  “Ah, woe is me!” said Hartmut,    when he this answer heard;
  “My heart is full of anger,    with shame I hear your word!
  Never men more friendly    shall I need, till I am dying,
  Than those who now will help me.”    Straightway his men upsprang, on
              the shore then lying.

                                                                   [777]
  Ludwig now and Hartmut,    with their men, set out for war;
  Their banners high uplifted    in pride and wrath they bore.
  These from Matelan castle    were seen afar to shimmer:
  “Cheer up!” then said the maiden;    “Herwic and Hettel come! their
              weapons glimmer!”

                                                                   [778]
  But Hilda saw the standard    bore not King Hettel’s mark:
  “Ah, woe shall now betide us    before this day grows dark!
  To seek Gu-drun are coming    foemen grim and daring;
  Many a well-made helmet    their blows shall hew before the night is
              nearing.”

                                                                   [779]
  Then her friendly Hegelings    thus to Hilda spake:
  “If those led on by Hartmut    to-day an onslaught make,
  Wounds we then must deal them,    and show we are the stronger.”
  Queen Hilda then gave bidding    to shut the castle gates, and wait no
              longer.

                                                                   [780]
  But the men of brave King Hettel    followed not her hest;
  They who the castle guarded    thought to fight their best.
  They bade that now their banners    to the shafts be fastened;
  King Hettel’s daring followers,    to slay his foes, from out the
              castle hastened.

                                                                   [781]
  The bars that should be lowered,    to keep the foemen out,
  Were left, in over-boldness,    and the gates not fully shut,
  Since from Hartmut’s foreguard    they little harm foreboded.
  But when they pressed in boldly,    then came the rest, who ever on
              them crowded.

                                                                   [782]
  A thousand men or over    stood before the gate;
  These, their swords upbearing,    the fight did there await.
  A thousand more with Hartmut    now came thronging thickly;
  They then from their steeds alighted,    and back to the rear they sent
              their horses quickly.

                                                                   [783]
  Spears in hand they carried,    with points full keen to cut.
  Who could shun their onset?    With heavy wounds they smote
  Those who the castle guarded,    in their pride o’erweening.
  Just at the hour came Ludwig,    with his Norman knights, as the fight
              was now beginning.

                                                                   [784]
  Much the women sorrowed    as Ludwig nearer rode:
  The banners o’er them floating    well and proudly showed
  The fearless foe oncoming;    beneath each standard flocking,
  Three thousand now came boldly,    tho’ sad on their homeward way they
              might yet be looking.

                                                                   [785]
  Before the walls beleaguered    the guards were a busy band:
  Never hardier fighters    were seen in any land
  Than were the faithful warders    in Hettel’s castle dwelling;
  Their blows they were thickly dealing,    and Hartmut’s men their
              strength were quickly feeling.

                                                                   [786]
  Ludwig, Hartmut’s father,    the Norman king, was seen
  From hardened rims of bucklers    to strike a fiery sheen:
  Truly, great was the bravery    that now his heart was swelling;
  His friends and followers also,    in the bloody game, were bold beyond
              all telling.

                                                                   [787]
  When they who the castle guarded    hoped for rest and peace,
  Then their daring foemen    did nearer to them press,
  Led by him of Normandy:    the youthful Hartmut’s father
  Grudged no toil to help him;    and this from that day’s fight one well
              might gather.

                                                                   [788]
  Now the trustful warders    began in truth to mourn,
  That they, ’gainst Hilda’s bidding,    had their care forborne,—
  The hest of the wife of Hettel,    the high and worthy lady.
  For this their shields were shattered,    and many a life was lost, in
              fight too ready.

                                                                   [789]
  Ludwig now and Hartmut    on the field had met,
  And, holding speech together,    learned that, striving yet,
  Queen Hilda’s men were seeking    the castle gates to fasten;
  Then, with shields before them,    to bear their flags within they all
              did hasten.

                                                                   [790]
  Rocks were hurled from the castle,    and many spears were thrown,
  But the foe it hurt but little,    and his daring lessened none.
  Little thought was given    to the dead around them lying:
  With heavy stones down beaten,    many bold besiegers there fell dying.

                                                                   [791]
  When Hartmut and King Ludwig    came within the gate,
  Many, badly wounded,    from them their death-stroke met.
  For this the lovely maiden    began to sorrow sorely;
  Now in Hettel’s castle    the woe they wrought was growing greater
              hourly.

                                                                   [792]
  Then the king of Normandy    was glad enough, I ween,
  When to the halls of Hettel    he could lead his men,
  Bearing well their weapons:    soon his banner fluttered
  Over the roof of the castle.    Hilda at this her sorrow loudly
              uttered.

                                                                   [793]
  Greatly do I wonder    what might these guests befall,
  Had now the grim old Wâ-te    been there, and seen it all,
  The while the men of Hartmut,    with Ludwig, brave and daring,
  Thro’ the halls were rushing,    and from her home the fair Gu-drun
              were tearing.

                                                                   [794]
  Both Wâ-te and King Hettel,    if to them that day
  A warning had been given,    would stoutly have barred the way;
  They their foemen’s helmets    with swords would so have riven
  That back to their homes in Normandy,    without Gu-drun, would they
              have soon been driven.

                                                                   [795]
  Now within the castle    were all in saddest mood;
  So men to-day might sorrow.    Whate’er the foemen would,
  There did they lay hands on,    and took from out the dwelling.
  Rich grew Hartmut’s followers,—    you well may trust that I the truth
              am telling.

                                                                   [796]
  Then came the bold young Hartmut    where he Gu-drun could see,
  And said: “Most worthy lady,    you erst looked down on me;
  But now both I and my followers    think of your kin so little,
  We will not seize and hold them,    but slay and hang them, so the
              strife to settle.”

                                                                   [797]
  Then said the maiden only:    “Alas! O father mine,
  Had you of this been knowing,    that I, a child of thine,
  One day from out your kingdom    would thus by foes be stolen,
  Never to me, poor maiden,    such woe and sorry shame had here
              befallen.”

                                                                   [798]
  Then was the gold and clothing    borne out by the robber band:
  Forth they took Queen Hilda,    led by her snow-white hand.
  Matelan’s goodly castle    they would have burned up gladly;
  For what became of the dwellers    the Normans never cared, nor thought
              of sadly.

                                                                   [799]
  But Hartmut now had bidden    that it should not be burned,
  To leave the land he hastened,    and home again he turned,
  Before ’twas known to Hettel,    who with his men was lying
  Within the Waalisch marches,    and there against his foe his strength
              was trying.

                                                                   [800]
  “Leave your stolen booty!”    to his men young Hartmut said;
  “At home my father’s riches    will I give to you instead:
  Thus o’er the watery pathway    our sail will be the lighter.”
  To Gu-drun the hand of Ludwig    brought a heavy wrong, and woe full
              bitter.

                                                                   [801]
  They overthrew the castle,    the town with fire they burned;
  From it the best was taken;    with wealth they homeward turned:
  Two and sixty women    thence with them they carried,
  And many lovely maidens.    With heartfelt woe was queenly Hilda
              wearied.

                                                                   [802]
  How were they filled with sadness    to leave the wine behind!
  Now did the queenly mother    a seat in the window find,
  And looked upon her daughter,    from home in sorrow turning.
  Many a stately lady    the Normans left in tears, and bitterly
              mourning.

                                                                   [803]
  Weeping now and wailing    was heard on either hand;
  No one there was happy,    when from the father-land
  The foe with Hilda’s daughter    and with her maidens hasted.
  Many, now but children,    for this, when men, to work them woe ne’er
              rested.

                                                                   [804]
  Those who were seized by Hartmut    down to the shore he took;
  All their lands were wasted;    their homes went up in smoke.
  Now his hopes and wishes    happily were granted:
  Both Gu-drun and Hildeburg    he with him carried off,—the prize he
              wanted.

                                                                   [805]
  Well he knew that Hettel    was many a league away,
  And war was grimly waging;    no more would Hartmut stay.
  Yet from the Hegeling kingdom    no whit too fast he speeded,
  For word was sent by Hilda    to Hettel and his friends, that much
              their help was needed.

                                                                   [806]
  How mournful were the tidings    before the king she laid!—
  That in his home and castle    his knights were lying dead,
  Or else were left by Hartmut    now with death-wounds bleeding;
  That foes had seized his daughter,    and with her many maids were
              homeward speeding.

                                                                   [807]
  She said: “Now tell King Hettel    that I am here alone;
  Evil hath me o’ertaken, and now,    with pride o’ergrown,
  Our mighty foeman, Ludwig,    back to his land is faring;
  A thousand men or better    lie at our gates, and the pains of death
              are bearing.”

                                                                   [808]
  Quickly then went Hartmut,    and, ere three days were o’er,
  On board his keels was ready;    these the plunder bore,
  As much as they could carry,    whate’er his men had stolen.
  The men of brave King Hettel    were dazed and stunned by all that had
              befallen.

                                                                   [809]
  What further did betide them,    who in truth can tell?
  Loud on the ear it sounded,    as they shifted the flapping sail,
  And away from the Hegeling kingdom,    unto an isle forsaken,
  They their barks were turning;    the name of Wulpensand—or shore of
              the wolves—it had taken.



                          Tale the Sixteenth.
 HOW HILDA SENT TO HETTEL AND HERWIC TO ASK THEIR HELP AGAINST HARTMUT.


                                                                   [810]
  The fair and queenly Hilda,    with all her will and mind,
  Gave her thoughts now wholly    trusty men to find
  To bear the tale to Hettel.    Her heart indeed was riven
  By the wrongful deeds of Hartmut,    and food for tears he to her eyes
              had given.

                                                                   [811]
  To Herwic and her husband    she bade that it be said
  That foes had seized her daughter,    that many knights lay dead;
  And she was left in wretchedness,    lonely and forsaken;
  That all her gold and jewels    the Normans on their way had with them
              taken.

                                                                   [812]
  Quickly rode the heralds    and through the land they went:
  The queen in greatest sorrow    these on their way had sent.
  Upon the seventh morning,    they came where they were greeted
  With the sight of beleaguering Hegelings    who before their Moorland
              foes were seated.

                                                                   [813]
  Oft in knightly matches    strove they every day,
  And one might also hear them    at many a game and play,
  That they might not be weary    who the siege were keeping;
  Some at a mark were shooting,    and others strove in running and in
              leaping.

                                                                   [814]
  When by the Danish Horant    errand-bearers were seen
  Who to the land were coming,    thither sent by the queen,
  Then said he unto Hettel:    “With news for us they’re riding;
  May God in kindness grant it,    no ill to those at home is now
              betiding!”

                                                                   [815]
  The king himself went forward,    and met them where they stood.
  He said, with seemly bearing,    to them in their sorry mood:
  “Brave knights, I give you welcome    here to this far-off border.
  How fares it with Queen Hilda?    Who sent you here? and who is left to
              guard her?”

                                                                   [816]
  Said one: “Your lady sent us;    to you for help she turns:
  Wasted are your castles;    your lands the foeman burns.
  Gu-drun from thence is carried;    her maidens, too, are taken:
  Never can your kingdom    from all these woes and ills again awaken.

                                                                   [817]
  “This must I say, moreover,    we are in straitest need;
  Now of your men and kindred    a thousand there lie dead;
  And into far-off kingdoms    have foes your riches carried;
  Your hoard of wealth is scattered:    it shames good knights that thus
              your lands are harried.”

                                                                   [818]
  The king then bade them tell him    who these deeds had done.
  One among them answered,    and their names to him made known:
  “Ludwig was one, the Norman;    with many knights he fought us;
  Hartmut, his son, was the other:    ’twas they the inroad made, and
              havoc wrought us.”

                                                                   [819]
  Then King Hettel answered:    “To Hartmut I would not give,
  For his bride, Gu-drun my daughter;    for this he now doth strive
  To waste with war my kingdom.    I know his lands are holden
  Of Hagen, her mother’s father;    to woo her should his rank not him
              embolden.

                                                                   [820]
  “To our beleaguered foemen    we nought of this must tell,
  And to our friends but whisper    the ills that us befell;
  We then must call our kinsmen    hither to be hasting.
  Worse could never happen    unto good knights at home, from warfare
              resting.”

                                                                   [821]
  Herwic then was bidden    to Hettel forthwith to go:
  Hettel’s friends and kindred    and his men were sent for, too.
  When now these knights so worthy    their way to him had taken,
  They found their king and master    dark in mind, and of every hope
              forsaken.

                                                                   [822]
  Then said the lord of the Hegelings:    “To you I make my moan;
  And, trusting in your friendship,    my sorrows must I own:
  The queen, my Lady Hilda,    has sent to give us warning,
  That the men of the Hegeling kingdom    are ill bestead, and bitterly
              are mourning.

                                                                   [823]
  “My lands with fire are wasted,    and my castle broken down;
  Ill our walls were guarded    while we from home were gone:
  Foes have seized my daughter;    my kin in death are sleeping;
  My trusty men are slaughtered    to whom I left my land and name in
              keeping.”

                                                                   [824]
  Herwic now was weeping,    in his eyes the tear-drops stood;
  Wet were the eyes of Hettel,    and fast they overflowed:
  So it was with others,    at seeing them thus weeping;
  Every one was sorrowful    who, near the king, his faith to him was
              keeping.

                                                                   [825]
  Then said the aged Wâ-te:    “Further of this say nought.
  For all the woe and losses    these friends to us have brought,
  Soon will we repay them,    and we shall yet be gladdened;
  Ludwig’s kin and Hartmut’s    shall at our hands for this erelong be
              saddened.”

                                                                   [826]
  Hettel asked in wonder:    “How can that be done?”
  To him old Wâ-te answered:    “’Tis best that peace be won
  Now with the king of Moorland,    with whom we yet are warring;
  Our men, who here besiege him,    to seek for fair Gu-drun we may then
              be sparing.”

                                                                   [827]
  Wise was the aged Wâ-te,    the words he spake were meet:
  “To-morrow morning early,    let us with Siegfried treat;
  And we ought so to bear us    that he shall well be knowing
  That, should we not allow it,    he with his men can ne’er be homeward
              going.”

                                                                   [828]
  Then said the daring Herwic:    “Wâ-te has spoken right;
  To-day must you be thinking    how, with the morrow’s light,
  You all before the foeman    may show a warlike bearing:
  It gives me pain that women    should make us leave our siege, and
              hence be faring.”

                                                                   [829]
  Then they got together    horses and clothes with speed;
  Unto the words of Wâ-te    they readily gave heed.
  When the day was dawning,    they again were striving
  ’Gainst those from Abakia.    Great praise for this were all to them
              soon giving.

                                                                   [830]
  On every side, with banners,    they to the field did throng;
  Many, sound in body,    there were slain erelong:
  Wâ-te’s men from Sturmland    “Nearer! Nearer!” shouted;
  But those they would o’ermaster    were quicker yet in fight, and
              nought it booted.

                                                                   [831]
  Soon the knightly Irold,    over the edge of his shield,
  Called out, “Men of Moorland,    to peace with us will you yield?
  King Hettel bids us ask you,    will you this be choosing?
  Your lands so far are lying,    that you your goods and men will else
              be losing.”

                                                                   [832]
  Siegfried, lord of Moorland,    answered to him thus:
  “Would you for peace have pledges,    then win the fight o’er us;
  With no one will I bargain    for aught my name may lessen:
  If you think to overcome us,    you will the more by this your losses
              hasten.”

                                                                   [833]
  Then spake the knightly Fru-te:    “If help to us you’ll give,
  And pledge your word to do it,    your stronghold you may leave
  And go from my master’s kingdom,    without more bloody fighting.”
  The Moors from Karadie    on this stretched forth the hand, their faith
              thus plighting.

                                                                   [834]
  There came to strife a stand-still,    this I for truth may say.
  The glad and happy warriors    met that selfsame day;
  Those who erst were foemen    their help to each other granted.
  They both had quenched their hatred;    to fight the Normans now was
              all they wanted.

                                                                   [835]
  Then to Siegfried of Moorland    at once King Hettel told
  All the heavy tidings    that he in his breast did hold;
  He pledged to him his friendship,    so long as he was living,
  If Hartmut’s foul misdoing    now to repay, his help he would be
              giving.

                                                                   [836]
  To him the lord of Alzabie,    the Moorish Siegfried said:
  “Knew we where to find them,    they should our coming dread.”
  The aged Wâ-te answered:    “I can show you nearly
  Their path across the water:    and we perhaps on the sea may meet them
              early.”

                                                                   [837]
  Then to them all spake Hettel:    “Where can ships be sought?
  And, if I wish to harm them,    how bring my wish about?
  I might at home make ready    within their lands to seek them,
  And there, when I had found them,    my anger for my wrongs should
              quick o’ertake them.”

                                                                   [838]
  To him then said old Wâ-te:    “In this I can help you still;
  God is ever mighty    to do whate’er he will.
  I know within these borders    now are lying near us
  Well-made ships full seventy;    filled with food, these barks from the
              sands will bear us.

                                                                   [839]
  “In them have wandering pilgrims    sailed the waters o’er:
  Their ships, whatever happens,    we must seize upon the shore;
  The pilgrims must be willing    that on the sand we leave them,
  Until our Norman foemen    make good our wrongs, or we again shall
              brave them.”

                                                                   [840]
  At once old Wâ-te started,    no longer would he wait;
  A hundred knights went with him,    the others lingered yet.
  He said he came for buying;    what could the pilgrims sell him?
  For this men died thereafter,    and, for himself, but sorry luck
              befell him.

                                                                   [841]
  On the shore he found the pilgrims,—    this I know is true,—
  Fully thirty hundred,    I ween, and better, too.
  To fight were they unready,    and could not rouse them quickly:
  Nearer came King Hettel,    and with him led his men, now crowding
              thickly.

                                                                   [842]
  Their goods the pilgrims guarded,    yet Wâ-te sent on shore
  All that he had no need for,    of silver and clothes a store;
  But the food was left on shipboard,    so old Wâ-te chooses:
  He said he should come hereafter,    and would reward them well for all
              their losses.

                                                                   [843]
  Sadly mourned the pilgrims,    for sorest was their need;
  But for all they said old Wâ-te    cared not a crust of bread:
  The bold, unyielding warrior,    stern and never smiling,
  Said: “Both ships and flatboats    they to leave to him must now be
              willing.”

                                                                   [844]
  Hettel recked but little    if ever they sailed again
  Over the sea with their crosses:    then he took of their men
  Five hundred at least, or over,    the best they had among them;
  Of these to the Hegeling kingdom    few came back, from the death that
              overhung them.

                                                                   [845]
  I know not whether Hettel    atoned for his evil deed
  Done to these poor pilgrims,    that made their hearts to bleed,
  And, in a far-off kingdom,    rent their band, to their sorrow.
  I ween the God in heaven    saw the wrong, and his anger showed on the
              morrow.

                                                                   [846]
  King Hettel and his followers    met with a kindly breeze,
  And now their way were taking    quickly across the seas;
  Seeking for their foemen,    they sailed far over the water,
  Wherever they might find them,    longing to show their wrath, and bent
              on slaughter.



                         Tale the Seventeenth.
      HOW HETTEL CAME TO THE WULPENSAND IN SEARCH OF HIS DAUGHTER.


                                                                   [847]
  Ludwig, king of the Normans,    and Hartmut, too, his son,
  Now, with all their followers,    far away had gone,
  And on a lone, wild seashore,    after their toil, were resting.
  Though many there were gathered,    yet little happiness they then were
              tasting.

                                                                   [848]
  ’Twas on a broad, low island,    hight the Wulpensand,
  That now the brave King Ludwig,    and they of the Norman land,
  Shelter for men and horses    had found unto their liking;
  But a doom to them most woful    erelong must come, instead of the rest
              they were seeking.

                                                                   [849]
  The very high-born maidens,    torn from the Hegeling land,
  Had been led out, and wandered    along the barren sand;
  So far as ’twas allowed them    to show their feelings freely,
  They who had been stolen    in sadness wept before the foeman daily.

                                                                   [850]
  Fires upon the seashore    were seen on every side;
  The men from far-off Normandy    were thinking there to abide.
  Gladly with the maidens    would they seven days have rested,
  And there have made them lodgings;    but every hope of this erelong
              was blasted.

                                                                   [851]
  While on this isle forsaken    Hartmut now must stay,
  Loth were he and his followers    the hope to put away,
  Which till now they fostered,    that they for rest might tarry
  Throughout a week in the shelter    whither they the maidens fair did
              carry.

                                                                   [852]
  It was from far-off Matelan    that Ludwig and his band
  The fair Gu-drun had taken    unto this lonely strand;
  Nor felt they now uneasy    lest to their hidden dwelling
  Wâ-te them should follow,    and never harm from him were they
              foretelling.

                                                                   [853]
  Now saw King Ludwig’s sailors,    tossing on the wave,
  A ship with sails the richest.    To the king they warning gave;
  But when ’twas seen by Hartmut,    and others with him standing,
  That on the sails were crosses,    they said these must be pilgrims,
              bent on landing.

                                                                   [854]
  On the waters floating    three good ships were seen,
  With new and well-made flatboats;    they bore across the main
  Those who on their clothing    never yet wore crosses,
  Their love to God thus showing.    The Normans must from them meet
              heavy losses.

                                                                   [855]
  As they the shore were nearing,    one on the ships might see
  Helmets brightly shining.    No more from care were free
  King Ludwig and his kinsmen,    and harm their fears foreboded:
  “Look there!” then shouted Hartmut;    “with grimmest foes of mine
              these ships are loaded.”

                                                                   [856]
  The ships were turned so quickly    that now men loudly heard
  Rudders strained and cracking,    held by those who steered.
  Both the young and aged,    who on the sea-sands rested,
  Were indeed bewildered    when to spring on shore the foeman hasted.

                                                                   [857]
  Ludwig and young Hartmut    their shields in hand now bore.
  For them it had been easier    to reach their homes once more
  If they had not too freely    their rest on the island taken:
  They had falsely reckoned    that Hettel had now no friends, and was
              all forsaken.

                                                                   [858]
  Ludwig called out loudly    to all his trusty men,
  (He thought it child’s play only    that he before had seen,)
  “Now with worthy foemen    must I, at length, be striving!
  He shall be the richer    who ’neath my flag his help to me is giving.”

                                                                   [859]
  Soon was Hartmut’s banner    raised upon the shore.
  The ships had now come nearer;    with spears the Normans bore
  To reach the foe were easy    from where they now were waiting:
  I ween the aged Wâ-te    was ready with his shield, the foeman meeting.

                                                                   [860]
  Ne’er before so grimly    did champions guard their land.
  Boldly the Hegeling warriors    nearer pressed to the strand;
  Soon they met the Normans    with sword and spear, undaunted;
  Blows they freely bartered:    such bargains cheaply given no more they
              wanted.

                                                                   [861]
  Everywhere the Hegelings    sprang upon the shore.
  After a wind from the hill-tops    was never seen before
  Snow so thickly whirling    as spears from hands that threw them:
  Though they had done it gladly    idle it were to shun the strokes that
              slew them.

                                                                   [862]
  Thick fly the spears on both sides:    the time but slowly goes,
  Till they on the beach are standing.    Quickly on his foes
  Sprang the aged Wâ-te,    just as they were nearing;
  His mood was of the grimmest,    and soon they saw what mind he now was
              bearing.

                                                                   [863]
  Ludwig, king of the Normans,    then at Wâ-te ran,
  And hurled a spear well sharpened    against the brave old man.
  The shaft, in splinters shattered,    high thro’ air went crashing,
  For Ludwig drove it bravely;    soon to the fight came Wâ-te’s kinsmen
              dashing.

                                                                   [864]
  With a heavy stroke, old Wâ-te    Ludwig’s helmet cut;
  The edge of the sword he wielded    the head of his foeman smote,
  Who beneath his breastplate    a shirt of silk was wearing;
  (In Abalie ’twas woven;)    were it not for this, his end he must be
              nearing.

                                                                   [865]
  Hardly from him could Ludwig    with life and limb go free;
  The spot he would fain be leaving,    for Wâ-te was ill to see
  When he was roused to anger,    and to win the day was trying:
  Struck by his hand were many,    who, brave in warfare, now on the
              field lay dying.

                                                                   [866]
  Irold and young Hartmut    each on the other sprang:
  On either side their weapons    on the foeman’s helmet rang;
  Throughout the throng of fighters,    all could hear it loudly;
  For bold in war was Irold,    and Hartmut, too, was brave, and bore him
              proudly.

                                                                   [867]
  Herwic from the Sealands,    a warrior strong and good,
  Could not reach the landing,    but leaped into the flood,
  And in the waves was standing,    up to his shoulders hidden.
  Soon to his cost was he learning    how hard a task it is to win a
              maiden.

                                                                   [868]
  They the shore who guarded    their foemen thought to drown
  While in the waters struggling.    Shafts at them were thrown,
  And many on them broken;    but they, their foes now seeking,
  Soon the sands were treading,    and many a knight his wrath on them
              was wreaking.

                                                                   [869]
  Ere they had reached the shoreland,    one saw the watery flood
  Dyed by the killed and wounded,    in hue as red as blood;
  Everywhere, so widely    the reddened waves were flowing,
  One could not shoot beyond them,    how far soe’er he might his spear
              be throwing.

                                                                   [870]
  Heavier toil and losses    heroes never found,
  And never so many warriors    lay trampled on the ground:
  Enough were they for a kingdom    who lay, unwounded, dying.
  The Normans who o’erthrew them,    on all sides too, I ween, in death
              were lying.

                                                                   [871]
  It was to save his daughter    that there King Hettel fought,
  And all his kinsmen with him.    On every side were wrought,
  By him and those who helped him,    havoc and bitter sorrow.
  Dead on the Wulpensand    were many bodies found before the morrow.

                                                                   [872]
  Unto their lords all faithful,    they strove upon the sand,—
  Alike the men of Normandy    and they of the Hegeling land.
  Warriors brave from Denmark    fought with matchless daring;
  He ne’er should wait their onset    who much for his welfare or his
              life was caring.

                                                                   [873]
  Morunc and with him Ortwin    boldly held their ground,
  And for themselves won honor;    nowhere could be found
  Men who greater slaughter    wrought, with hearts undaunted:
  The heroes twain, with their followers,    gave full many wounds, with
              spears well planted.

                                                                   [874]
  Proudly the men from Moorland,    as I have heard it said,
  When from their ships they landed,    the way to the foemen led.
  Hettel hoped, in his struggle,    help from them to be gaining,
  For they were daring fighters:    one saw the blood beneath their
              helmets raining.

                                                                   [875]
  How could he who led them    have braver or bolder been?
  That day he dimmed with life-blood    many breastplates’ sheen;
  Siegfried it was, unyielding    in storm of battle ever.
  How could the Danish Fru-te,    or even Wâ-te the old, have shown them
              braver?

                                                                   [876]
  Thickly hurled were lances,    hither and thither thrown:
  Ortwin, with his followers,    in hopeful mood came on;
  Helmets that day he shattered,    blows upon them dealing.
  Gu-drun was bitterly weeping:    her women, too, were deepest sorrow
              feeling.

                                                                   [877]
  The strife, on both sides, lasted    throughout the livelong day;
  Longing to reach each other,    they crowded to the fray.
  There to knights and warriors    must the fight go badly,
  Where the friends of Hettel    to win his daughter back were striving
              gladly.

                                                                   [878]
  The evening sun sank lower;    and for King Hettel now
  His losses grew the greater.    King Ludwig’s men, I trow,
  Did their best in fighting,    but could not flee the slaughter;
  Their foes they wounded deeply,    and guarded thus Gu-drun from those
              who sought her.

                                                                   [879]
  The strife began at morning;    by night alone ’twas stopped,
  And steadily had lasted;    they ne’er their weapons dropped.
  The old and young together    gained no shame in fighting.
  Now the brave King Hettel    forward pressed, the king of the Normans
              meeting.



                          Tale the Eighteenth.
          HOW LUDWIG SLEW HETTEL, AND STOLE AWAY IN THE NIGHT.


                                                                   [880]
  High in hand their weapons    Hettel and Ludwig bore,—
  Well had they been sharpened.    Soon each knew the more
  Who was now his foeman,    such strength they both were showing.
  Ludwig slew King Hettel;    and out of this our mournful tale is
              growing.

                                                                   [881]
  When the lord of Matelan    upon the field lay slain,
  Soon ’twas told to his daughter:    loudly then began
  Gu-drun to mourn her father,    so did many a maiden;
  Not one could stop her wailing:    friends and foes alike were
              sorrow-laden.

                                                                   [882]
  Soon as the grim old Wâ-te    the death of the king did know,
  He cried and roared in anger.    Like to the evening glow,
  Now were helmets blazing,    beneath the strokes quick given
  By him and all his followers,    who by their loss were unto madness
              driven.

                                                                   [883]
  However hard their fighting,    how could it bring them good?
  Drenched was all the island    with many knights’ hot blood.
  Not yet the Hegeling warriors    to think of peace were ready;
  Away from the Wulpensand    they only wished to bring Gu-drun, their
              lady.

                                                                   [884]
  In stormy fight the Waal men    bewreked the death of the king;
  To many a fighting Ortlander    and hard-pressed Hegeling
  Those who came from Denmark    of friendship gave a token:
  Soon these knights so daring    found in their hands their trusty
              weapons broken.

                                                                   [885]
  Now to avenge his father    Ortwin bravely strove:
  Faithful to him did Horant    and all his followers prove.
  Night the field had darkened,    the light of day was failing;
  Then were given to many    wounds from which the life-blood fast was
              welling.

                                                                   [886]
  Soon, in the dark, on Horant    a Danish follower sprang;
  The sword that he was holding    loud on the armor rang:
  Thinking he was a foeman,    Horant at once upon him
  Wrought most bitter sorrow:    a deadly wound by that warrior brave was
              done him.

                                                                   [887]
  When Horant saw that his kinsman    beneath his blow lay dead,
  Then he bade that his banner    be borne with his own o’erhead.
  The voice of him who was dying    told whose life he had taken
  With his hand so rashly;    sorely he mourned the friend who never
              would waken.

                                                                   [888]
  Loudly called out Herwic:    “Murder here is done!
  Since we can see no longer,    and daylight now is gone,
  We all shall kill each other,    friends and foes together.
  If this shall last till morning,    two may be left to fight, but not
              another.”

                                                                   [889]
  Where’er they saw old Wâ-te    on the stormy fighting-ground,
  No one there was willing    near him to be found;
  No welcome, in his madness,    was he to any giving:
  Many a foe he wounded,    and laid on the spot that he would ne’er be
              leaving.

                                                                   [890]
  ’Twas well the foes were sundered    until the break of day;
  On either side the foemen    near each other lay,
  Wounded to death or slaughtered.    Fast the light was waning,
  Not yet the moon was risen,    and the Hegeling foe the field were
              nowhere gaining.

                                                                   [891]
  The warriors grim, unwillingly,    to the strife now put a stop;
  The hands of all were weary    ere they gave the struggle up:
  But, when the fight was over,    they near each other loitered.
  Wherever fires were burning,    for each the other’s shields and
              helmets glittered.

                                                                   [892]
  Ludwig then and Hartmut,    lords of the Norman land,
  Talked aside together.    Then to his faithful band
  Spake the elder warrior:    “Why be longer staying
  So near the brave old Wâ-te,    who all of us is madly bent on
              slaying?”

                                                                   [893]
  The wily king then bade them:    “Lie low, and be not seen,
  With your heads upon your bucklers:    you then must make a din;
  And so the men of the Hegelings    my plan will not be knowing,—
  That, if I now can do it,    I with you all may hence unseen be going.”

                                                                   [894]
  Ludwig’s men and kinsmen    did as he had said:
  They upon their sackbuts    and trumpets loudly played,
  As if they, by their prowess,    the land had gained them wholly.
  Ludwig now to his followers    showed his crafty plot and cunning
              fully.

                                                                   [895]
  Then were heard, on all sides,    mingled shouts and cries;
  But wailing from the maidens    was not allowed to rise:
  All who would not stop it    were threatened death by drowning,—
  To be sunk beneath the waters,—    if they were sobbing heard, or
              loudly moaning.

                                                                   [896]
  Whate’er was owned by the Normans    now to the ships was ta’en;
  The dead were there left lying,    e’en where they were slain.
  Friends were lost to many    who, seeking, could not find them:
  So few there were still living,    that many an empty ship was left
              behind them.

                                                                   [897]
  Thus unbeknown and slyly,    sailed away o’er the main
  The men of the land of Normandy;    great was the women’s pain
  From kinsfolk to be sundered,    and yet to hush their weeping.
  Of this the men knew nothing    who now upon the Wulpensand were
              sleeping.

                                                                   [898]
  Before the day was dawning,    well were on their way
  They whom the Danish warriors    had thought that morn to slay.
  Then Wâ-te bade that loudly    his war-horn should be sounded;
  He was in haste to follow,    and hoped erelong to fell them, deeply
              wounded.

                                                                   [899]
  On foot and on their horses,    the men of the Hegeling land
  All were seen together,    flocking o’er the sand,
  To fight the fleeing Normans;    never in this they rested.
  Ludwig with his followers    already far upon their way had hasted.

                                                                   [900]
  Many ships lay empty,    and clothing there was found;
  All about the Wulpensand    ’twas scattered o’er the ground;
  Many weapons also    were seen, with none to bear them.
  They had overslept their going,    and never to harm their foes could
              they come near them.

                                                                   [901]
  When this was told to Wâ-te,    with anger he was torn:
  How for the death of Hettel    he bitterly did mourn!
  And that on Ludwig’s body    his wrath he was not wreaking!
  Helmets there lay shattered;    for this must many a woman’s heart be
              aching.

                                                                   [902]
  How gloomily and sadly    now, in angry mood,
  Ortwin was bewailing    the loss of his warriors good!
  He said: “Rouse up, my fighters!    we may perhaps o’ertake them
  Before they leave these waters;    not far from shore we yet in flight
              may check them.”

                                                                   [903]
  Willingly old Wâ-te    would his bidding do:
  Fru-te the winds was watching,    to learn which way they blew.
  Then said he to his kinsmen:    “What helps it though we hasten?
  Mark what now I tell you:    the thirty miles they’ve gained we ne’er
              can lessen.

                                                                   [904]
  “Moreover, we of fighters    have not here enough
  That we in aught can harm them,    e’en should we now set off:
  Scorn me not,” said Fru-te,    “and to my words give heeding;
  What more to say is needful?    Your foes you cannot reach, howe’er
              you’re speeding.

                                                                   [905]
  “Bid that now the wounded    upon the ships be laid;
  Then on the field of battle    let search for the dead be made,
  And bid that they be buried    upon this strand forsaken,
  So friends may rest together;    this good at least from them should
              not be taken.”

                                                                   [906]
  All, standing there together,    wringing their hands were seen.
  For this one sorrow only,    would their lot have hapless been,—
  To lose the youthful maiden,    Hilda’s lovely daughter.
  How, when they saw her mother,    if home they went, could news so sad
              be brought her?

                                                                   [907]
  Then to them said Morunc:    “Would there were nothing more,
  Beyond our own sad losses,    for which our hearts are sore!
  Small reward will be given    for the news we home shall carry,
  That Hettel dead is lying:    far from Hilda fain would I longer
              tarry.”

                                                                   [908]
  Then went the warriors searching    for the dead upon the sand.
  Those they knew were Christians    who lay upon the strand,
  As the Sturmisch Wâ-te bade them,    were all together carried;
  Then both the old and the younger    chose a spot whereon the dead were
              buried.

                                                                   [909]
  Then said the knight, young Ortwin:    “Let us bury them here;
  And thought must we be taking    to build a church full near,
  That they be not forgotten,    while this their end is showing.
  For it shall all their kinsmen    give of their wealth, each one his
              share bestowing.”

                                                                   [910]
  Then spake the Sturmisch Wâ-te:    “In this thou well hast said;
  We now should sell the horses    and the clothing of the dead,
  Who on the shore are lying;    so, since their life is ended,
  Shall many poor and needy,    with the wealth they left, be holpen and
              befriended.”

                                                                   [911]
  Then asked the warrior Irold, if foes who there lay dead
  Should also now be buried,    or if wolves should on them feed,
  And hungry ravens tear them,    that round their bodies hovered?
  Then to the wise they listened;    none of the dead were left on the
              field uncovered.

                                                                   [912]
  When now the fight was over,    and all were free from care,
  Hettel, their king, they buried,    who for his daughter dear,
  Upon this barren seashore,    e’en unto death had striven.
  To others who had fallen,    whate’er their land and name, was burial
              given.

                                                                   [913]
  First, the men from Moorland    each by himself they laid;
  The same was done for the Hegelings    found among the dead;
  Unto the Normans, also,    gave they graves allotted:
  Alone was each one buried,    if Christian he were or heathen, it
              nothing booted.

                                                                   [914]
  Until six days were over,    busy were they, at their best,
  And never time were finding    (for the warriors took no rest)
  To ask for dead and dying    the grace of God in heaven,
  For sins of which they were guilty;    that they for their misdeeds
              should be forgiven.

                                                                   [915]
  Saying mass and singing    were later heard on the strand.
  Never was God so worshipped,    in any other land,
  For the dead in stormy fighting.    Wherever men were lying
  With their death-wounds smitten,    holy priests they brought to shrive
              the dying.

                                                                   [916]
  Many there did tarry    to care for the churchly men.
  A deed of gift was written,    wherein it could be seen
  How of land to the brothers    three hundred hides was given.
  Far and wide ’twas bruited,    that well a godly house was builded, and
              had thriven.

                                                                   [917]
  All who there were mourning    the loss of friends and kin
  Gave of their wealth a tithing,    women as well as men,
  For weal of the souls of any    whose bodies there lay buried.
  The cloister soon was wealthy,    by the yield of three hundred hides,
              through toil unwearied.

                                                                   [918]
  Now may God in his keeping    have those who there lie dead,
  And the holy men there dwelling.    Those then homeward sped
  Who still upon the Wulpensand    were left among the living;
  After all their sorrows,    they reached their fatherland, no more in
              warfare striving.



                          Tale the Nineteenth.
             HOW THE HEGELINGS WENT HOME TO THEIR OWN LAND.


                                                                   [919]
  The kinsmen of King Hettel    upon the sands had left
  Many in death’s fast keeping;    never knights bereft
  Their homeward way had taken,    hearts so sorry bringing.
  Thereafter lovely women    for this, with weeping eyes, their hands
              were wringing.

                                                                   [920]
  Ortwin, the knight of Ortland,    who to the fight had come,
  After such shame and losses,    back to fair Hilda’s home
  Feared to bring these tidings,    his mother dear to sadden.
  She there was waiting daily,    hoping her men would bring Gu-drun the
              maiden.

                                                                   [921]
  Wâ-te, fearing sorely,    rode to Hilda’s land;
  The others dared not tell her    of the loss on the Wulpensand.
  Ill in the storm of fighting,    his strength her men had warded;
  Not lightly her forgiveness    he hoped to gain, who thus her lord had
              guarded.

                                                                   [922]
  When the word was spoken    that Wâ-te near had come,
  At once were men faint-hearted.    Erewhiles when he came home,
  Back from the war-field riding,    it was with war-horns braying.
  This he did at all times;    but now they all were still, and nought
              were saying.

                                                                   [923]
  “Woe’s me!” said Lady Hilda,    “what sorrows must we fear?
  The men of the aged Wâ-te    shattered shields now bear;
  Slowly step the horses,    with armor heavy-loaded.
  Some evil has befallen.    Oh! say what harm to the king is now
              forboded?”

                                                                   [924]
  When thus the queen had spoken,    but little time had passed
  Ere to the aged Wâ-te    crowds came up in haste,
  Who of friends and kinsfolk    tidings now were seeking.
  Soon a tale he told them    with which the hearts of all were well-nigh
              breaking.

                                                                   [925]
  Thus spake the Sturmisch Wâ-te:    “Your loss I may not hide,
  Nor falsehood will I tell you;    all in the fight have died.”
  The young and old together    at this with fear were stricken.
  Ne’er was a throng more wretched;    no other woes could one to theirs
              e’er liken.

                                                                   [926]
  “Alas! my bitter sorrow!”    said King Hettel’s wife.
  “From me my lord is sundered,    who there laid down his life,
  The great and mighty Hettel!    My pride, how is it fallen!
  Lost are child and husband!    Gu-drun I ne’er shall see, from me
              forever stolen.”

                                                                   [927]
  Then both knights and maidens    with sharpest woe were torn;
  Their sorrow knew no healing.    Loudly the queen forlorn
  Was heard, throughout the palace,    for her husband mourning.
  “Ah, wretched me,” cried Hilda,    “that now to Hartmut’s side the luck
              is turning!”

                                                                   [928]
  Then spake the brave old Wâ-te:    “My lady, end your moan:
  Home are they coming never,    but when to men are grown
  The youths within our kingdom,    sad days will have an ending;
  To Ludwig and to Hartmut    the like we’ll do, our wrath upon them
              spending.”

                                                                   [929]
  Then quoth the weeping lady:    “Alas, that I must live!
  Whatever I am owning    I would most gladly give
  Could e’er my wrongs be righted.    If but this were granted,
  That I, poor God-forsaken,    might see Gu-drun again, naught else were
              wanted.”

                                                                   [930]
  Old Wâ-te spake to Hilda:    “Lady, weep no more.
  ’Tis best that we be sending,    before twelve days are o’er,
  To gather all your warriors,    who will help you gladly
  To plan a raid on the foeman;    so with the Norman will it yet go
              badly.”

                                                                   [931]
  He said: “My Lady Hilda,    list to what befell:
  Erewhile I took from pilgrims    nine ships, and then set sail:
  These should again be given    to those we ill have treated;
  That when new strifes we’re waging,    a better luck to us may then be
              meted.”

                                                                   [932]
  The weeping Hilda answered:    “’Tis best that this be done;
  Ever is it fitting    that men for misdeeds atone.
  To steal the goods of pilgrims    is a sin not lightly shriven:
  For every mark we’ve taken,    to them three marks of silver shall be
              given.”

                                                                   [933]
  The ships were brought to the pilgrims,    as the queen did say;
  Not one there was among them,    when they sailed away,
  Who left a curse behind him.    For wrongs they found a healing;
  And for Hilda, Hagen’s daughter,    they harbored, when they left, no
              bitter feeling.

                                                                   [934]
  Upon the morrow early,    thither to come was seen
  Herwic, the lord of Sealand;    soon he found the queen
  Weeping for her husband,    who in death was lying.
  She gave the knight a welcome,    with hands she ever wrung, and deeply
              sighing.

                                                                   [935]
  Seeing the lady weeping,    then, too, to weep began
  The young and lordly Herwic;    soon spake that well-born man:
  “Their lives not all have given,    who help to you are owing,
  And who would gladly grant it;    though many by their death their love
              were showing.

                                                                   [936]
  “My arm shall never falter,    nor heart from care be free,
  Till Hartmut feels my anger,    who stole the maid from me,
  And dared from home to tear her,    death to many dealing:
  Soon will I ride to his borders;    then will I seize and hold his
              lands and dwelling.”

                                                                   [937]
  His men, though filled with sorrow,    rode towards the town,
  Flocking to Matelan castle.    The queen her hope made known
  That, whatsoe’er might happen,    their fealty would not weaken;
  And, though the worst befell them,    that she by them would never be
              forsaken.

                                                                   [938]
  To her the men from Friesland    and those from Sturmland went,
  And from the Danish kingdom    were warriors likewise sent;
  The knights of Morunc also,    from the land of Waleis riding,
  Thither came with the Hegelings,    to where the fair Queen Hilda was
              abiding.

                                                                   [939]
  Forthwith there came from Ortland,    Ortwin, Hilda’s son;
  Then mourned they, as was fitting,    his father dead and gone.
  Soon were all the warriors    aside with their ladies speaking,
  And talking of the inroad    the fighters strong one day would thence
              be making.

                                                                   [940]
  Then said the aged Wâ-te:    “This can never be
  Till those who now are children    fully-grown we see,
  And worthy to be swordsmen.    Then, their fathers mourning,
  And of their kinsmen mindful,    gladly will they with us to war be
              turning.”

                                                                   [941]
  Queen Hilda then made answer:    “To wait for this were long;
  Meanwhile Gu-drun, my daughter,    held by foemen strong,
  Must in a far-off kingdom    be kept in bondage bitter;
  And I, poor queen and mother,    shall know no bliss, and my heart will
              ne’er grow lighter.”

                                                                   [942]
  Then said the Danish Fru-te:    “The maid we cannot free
  Until once more your kingdom    shall full of warriors be.
  Then, for the struggle ready,    we hence shall ride, unfearing;
  And so upon our foemen    shall work the greatest ill with blows
              unsparing.”

                                                                   [943]
  To this Queen Hilda answered:    “That day may God soon give;
  But I, unhappy woman,    a weary life must live.
  Whoe’er of me is mindful,    and of Gu-drun, poor maiden,
  Him will I trust most fully,    knowing his heart for us with care is
              laden.”

                                                                   [944]
  They now their leave were taking;    to them the lady spake:
  “May he be blest and happy    who thought for me shall take.
  ’Tis right that you, brave warriors,    to fight for me are ready;
  Meanwhile for the coming inroad    do all you can, and therein be you
              speedy.”

                                                                   [945]
  Wisely then spake Wâ-te,    the warrior old and good:
  “Lady, we should be felling    trees in the western wood.
  Since we to fight have chosen,    our hopes upon it staking,
  The men of every princedom    should forty well-built ships for us be
              making.”

                                                                   [946]
  “I too will bid,” quoth Hilda,    “that near the deep sea-flood
  Twenty ships be builded,    strong, and firm, and good;
  And have them fully ready    —my hest shall well be heeded—
  To bear my friends and kindred    to where they for the fight will soon
              be needed.”

                                                                   [947]
  Siegfried, lord of Moorland,    while their leave they took,
  With kind and seemly bearing,    thus to the women spoke:
  “You have to tell me only    when our time to wait is ending;
  To sail shall I be ready,    nor need you then for me be further
              sending.”

                                                                   [948]
  Then to the sorrowing women,    before they spread the sail,
  The friendly guests, now leaving,    bade a kind farewell.
  The hearts of knights and maidens    deep in woe were sinking;
  Yet warlike deeds they plotted    of which their Norman foes were never
              thinking.

                                                                   [949]
  When they at length had ridden    back again to their land,
  Sadly they mourned their losses:    then to the Wulpensand,
  For the sake of the dead, did Hilda    bid that food be taken
  To the priests for them there praying.    The queen was wise, the dead
              were not forsaken.

                                                                   [950]
  There she bade to be builded    a minster fair and wide;
  A house for the sick, and a cloister    built they at its side,
  Near where the slain were buried.    In many a land one heareth
  Its name, and of those there fallen:    ‘The church of Wulpensand’ is
              the name it beareth.



                          Tale the Twentieth.
                   HOW HARTMUT WENT HOME TO NORMANDY.


                                                                   [951]
  No further will we tell you    of how with these it fared,
  Or how the cloister-brothers    their life together shared.
  Now to the tale of Hartmut    we ask you all to listen;
  How he with many maidens,    high-born and fair, unto his land did
              hasten.

                                                                   [952]
  After the fight was ended,    as I have told before,
  For many there was sorrow    for the bitter wounds they bore:
  Many who had fallen    on the stormy field lay dying;
  Children bereft of fathers    bewailed them soon with tears they ne’er
              were drying.

                                                                   [953]
  With heavy hearts the Normans    were wafted o’er the flood;
  Every night and morning    many a warrior good
  Felt ashamed and sorry,    thus from the sands to be driven;
  So felt the old and the youthful,    although in all things else they
              well had thriven.

                                                                   [954]
  They came to the Norman borders,    unto King Ludwig’s land.
  It was a day of gladness    to all the sailing band,
  To see at last their homesteads    and thither to be steering.
  Then said one among them:    “These are Hartmut’s towns that we are
              nearing.”

                                                                   [955]
  Helped by kindly breezes,    soon they reached the shore.
  Now the men of Normandy    happy hearts all bore,
  When to their wives and children    they again were coming;
  Long had they been fearing    that they must die, while they afar were
              roaming.

                                                                   [956]
  When now the glad King Ludwig    did on his castles look,
  Thus the lordly Norman    to Gu-drun, the maiden, spoke:
  “See you that palace, Lady?    In bliss you may there be living;
  If you to us are kindly,    our richest lands will we to you be
              giving.”

                                                                   [957]
  Then the high-born maiden    thus made her sorrow known:
  “To whom should I feel kindly,    when kindness none have shown?
  From that, alas! I’m sundered,    and in my hopes am thwarted;
  Nothing I know but hardship,    and all my weary days I spend
              sad-hearted.”

                                                                   [958]
  Then answered her King Ludwig:    “Throw off this sorry mood,
  And give your love to Hartmut,    a knight both brave and good.
  Whatever we are owning    to give you we are willing;
  With one who is so worthy    blest may you live, and lofty rank be
              filling.”

                                                                   [959]
  Then spake Hilda’s daughter:    “Why leave me not in peace?
  Rather than wed with Hartmut    death would I dread far less.
  That he should be my lover    by birth he is not fitted;
  To lose my life were better    than take his love and as his bride be
              greeted.”

                                                                   [960]
  When this was heard by Ludwig,    filled with wrath was he;
  Quick by the hair he seized her,    and flung her into the sea.
  Straightway the daring Hartmut    his ready help then gave her;
  He sprang at once to the maiden,    and from the whirling waves his arm
              did save her.

                                                                   [961]
  Just as the maid was sinking    Hartmut reached her side;
  Had not her lover helped her    drowned were she in the tide.
  Her yellow locks well grasping,    then from out the water
  With his hands he drew her:    else nought from death had spared Queen
              Hilda’s daughter.

                                                                   [962]
  Back to the ship did Hartmut    bring the maiden fair;—
  Rough ways to lovely women    Ludwig did not spare.
  Dragged from out the water,    she in her smock was seated;
  How full was she of sadness!    Never before had the maiden thus been
              treated.

                                                                   [963]
  Then all her friends together    wept for the lovely maid,
  None could there be happy;    for what could be more sad
  Than to see the king’s own daughter    handled thus so roughly?
  The thought to them was rising:    “To us they now will bear themselves
              more gruffly.”

                                                                   [964]
  Then said the knightly Hartmut:    “Why drown my hoped-for wife,
  Gu-drun, the lovely maiden,    dear to me as life?
  If any but my father    so foul a wrong had done her,
  Sore would be my anger,    and I from him would take both life and
              honor.”

                                                                   [965]
  To him King Ludwig answered:    “Ever free from shame
  Have I till age been living,    and still a worthy name
  And rank among my fellows    will hold till life is ending.
  Bid now Gu-drun, your lady,    that she no more her scorn on me be
              spending.”

                                                                   [966]
  Now unto Queen Gerlind    errand-bearers came,
  Who, in mood most happy,    bore in Hartmut’s name
  Words of love and honor,    as from her son was fitting.
  He asked a friendly welcome    for his many knights who on the shore
              were waiting.

                                                                   [967]
  They bore from him the tidings    that he across the wave
  Had brought the Hegeling maiden,    to whom his love he gave
  Ere he had looked upon her,    and for whom he still was pining.
  When this was heard by Gerlind,    a happier day on her was never
              shining.

                                                                   [968]
  Then said he who told it:    “Lady, you now should ride
  To the sea before the castle,    where yet the maid doth bide,
  And give her, in her sorrow,    your love and kindly greeting;
  You and your daughter, Ortrun,    should haste to the shore, the
              homeless maiden meeting.

                                                                   [969]
  “Likewise, riding with you    down unto the flood,
  Should go both maids and women,    and also warriors good.
  Her you will find in the harbor    who from home was riven;
  Both to the maid and her followers    a welcome kind by you should now
              be given.”

                                                                   [970]
  Then Queen Gerlind answered:    “That will I gladly do;
  ’Twill make me richly happy    King Hettel’s child to know,
  And to find that, with her maidens,    she has come to tarry.
  Well I know that Hartmut    will soon be blest, when he the maid shall
              marry.”

                                                                   [971]
  Then she bade that horses,    with saddle-cloths, be brought.
  Ortrun, the youthful princess,    was happy in the thought
  Soon in her father’s kingdom    to see Gu-drun, the maiden,
  If this might truly happen;    for the speech of all was with her
              praises laden.

                                                                   [972]
  Then out of chests were taken    of all the clothes the best
  They knew therein were lying,    to be worn to meet the guest.
  Soon the knights of Hartmut    to don the clothes were bidden;
  Erelong a throng of followers,    gaily bedight, from Gerlind’s halls
              had ridden.

                                                                   [973]
  Upon the third day early,    women as well as men,
  All who there had gathered    before Gerlind, their queen,
  To give the maidens welcome,    were ready and outfitted;
  Out of the gates they crowded,    and on their steeds not long in the
              court-yard waited.

                                                                   [974]
  The Normans now with the women    had into the harbor come:
  The booty they unloaded    that they would carry home.
  All unto their birthland    back had come right gladly;
  Gu-drun and her band of maidens,    alone of all, demeaned themselves
              but sadly.

                                                                   [975]
  Now the brave Sir Hartmut    led her forth by the hand,
  If she had deemed it fitting,    this she had not deigned;
  Yet the poor child, in sorrow,    took his love but coldly,
  Altho’ he showed it warmly,    and worship more had done freely and
              boldly.

                                                                   [976]
  With her went sixty maidens    who over the sea had come:
  One saw, as he beheld them,    how that all from their home
  Came with proudest bearing.    They erst high rank had taken,
  In other lands and kingdoms;    their hearts were heavy now, of bliss
              forsaken.

                                                                   [977]
  The sister of young Hartmut    between two barons rode;
  Now to Hilda’s daughter    a welcome warm she showed:
  Ortrun, Ludwig’s daughter,    her eyes now wet with weeping,
  Kissed the homeless maiden,    while she her fair white hands in her
              own was keeping.

                                                                   [978]
  Then the wife of Ludwig    to kiss her, too, was fain,
  But to the youthful maiden    the thought was full of pain.
  Thus she spake to Gerlind:    “Why come you here to meet me?
  Loath am I to kiss you,    and neither can I bear that you should greet
              me.

                                                                   [979]
  “’Twas by your own ill-doing    that I, poor wretched maid,
  Have known no home nor dwelling;    heart-sorrow long I’ve had;
  My lot, alas! is shameful,    and will, I fear, grow harder.”
  Then Ortrun strove to soothe her,    and did her best that with love
              Gu-drun should reward her.

                                                                   [980]
  One by one she greeted    the maids on every side.
  Now rose a wondrous shouting;    men flocked from far and wide:
  Upon the pebbly sea-beach    stakes for tents were driven;
  With silken ropes were they fastened;    to Hartmut and his men was
              shelter in them given.

                                                                   [981]
  To bear the goods from the seaside    the folk were all astir.
  Gu-drun, fair maiden, sorrowed,    and pain it gave to her
  To see that all around her    the Normans were so many;
  Unless it were to Ortrun,    she never showed a friendly mood to any.

                                                                   [982]
  The maidens on the seashore    must all the day abide.
  With tears their eyes were flowing,    whatever others did;
  Dry were they but seldom,    their cheeks were pale with sorrow:
  Hartmut tried to soothe them,    but their sadness lasted yet through
              many a morrow.

                                                                   [983]
  To hold Gu-drun in honor    was Ortrun ever stern,
  And, e’en if others wronged her,    with love to her did turn:
  She in her father’s kingdom    strove to make her merry,
  But, far from friends and kindred,    often the poor young girl was sad
              and weary.

                                                                   [984]
  To the Normans home was welcome,    as indeed was right;
  They boasted much of the booty,    both churl as well as knight,
  Brought from the Hegeling kingdom,    as they home were turning.
  What welcome glad all gave them    who ne’er to see them hoped, albeit
              yearning!

                                                                   [985]
  Soon as Hartmut’s warriors    from all their toil were free,
  And they were fully rested    from off the stormy sea,
  They quickly left each other,    for their homes in many places:
  While some their hands were wringing,    smiles were seen to brighten
              others’ faces.

                                                                   [986]
  Then did Hartmut also    turn away from the shore,
  And to a stately palace    the fair Gu-drun he bore.
  Henceforth the youthful maiden    must tarry there far longer
  Than she to stay was minded,    and there her woe and pain grew ever
              stronger.

                                                                   [987]
  When now the high-born maiden    sat in Hartmut’s hall,
  Where his men should crown her,    then he bade them all
  To be forever faithful,    and their goodwill to show her;
  So would she not forget them,    but would enrich whoe’er should
              kindness do her.

                                                                   [988]
  Then spake the mother, Gerlind,    old King Ludwig’s wife:
  “When will Gu-drun be ready    to share young Hartmut’s life,
  Our youthful prince so noble,    and in her arms to fold him?
  Of her his rank is worthy,    and ne’er will she be sorry for her lord
              to hold him.”

                                                                   [989]
  Gu-drun to this had listened,    the wretched, homeless maid;
  She said: “My Lady Gerlind,    ’twould make you sad indeed
  If you must take in wedlock    one who the lives had wasted
  Of many friends and kinsfolk;    by toil for him your life were ever
              blasted.”

                                                                   [990]
  “This shall no one hinder,”    to her then said the queen;
  “Gainsay his will no longer,    let your love for him be seen,
  And on my head I pledge you    that rich shall be your guerdon:
  If to be a queen you spurn not,    you of my crown shall bear the happy
              burden.”

                                                                   [991]
  Then said the sorrowing maiden:    “That will I never wear;
  Of all his wealth and greatness    you the tale may spare.
  Your son, the knightly Hartmut,    my love can ne’er be winning:
  Unwilling here I linger,    and hence to go I day by day am pining.”

                                                                   [992]
  Then the youthful Hartmut,    who of the land was lord,
  Was angry with the maiden    when he her answer heard.
  He said: “If, then, to wed her    the lady granteth never,
  So, also, to the fair one    shall my goodwill and love be wanting
              ever.”

                                                                   [993]
  Then the wicked Gerlind    to Hartmut said, in turn:
  “Ever the young and thoughtless    from the wise should learn.
  Now leave to me this maiden,    let me for her be caring,
  And I so well shall teach her    that she will quickly drop her lofty
              bearing.”

                                                                   [994]
  “That will I grant you gladly,”    Hartmut answering said;
  “Whate’er from this may follow,    to you I give the maid,
  To have in your good keeping,    as suits her rank and honor;
  The maid is sad and homeless;    lady, ’tis right that kindly care be
              shown her.”

                                                                   [995]
  So Gu-drun, the fair one,    when Hartmut went that day,
  Was left unto his mother,    and given to her sway:
  But Hilda’s youthful daughter    Gerlind’s guidance hated;
  She could not brook her teaching,    and never her dislike for this
              abated.

                                                                   [996]
  Then to the lovely maiden    the old she-devil spake:
  “If you will not live happy,    then sorrow you must take.
  You have to heat my chamber;    yourself the fire must kindle;
  See, there is none to help you,    nor may you hope your toil will ever
              dwindle.”

                                                                   [997]
  The high-born maiden answered:    “That I well can do;
  Whatever you shall bid me,    in all must I yield to you,
  Until the God in heaven    at last my wrongs has righted.
  Never my mother’s daughter    the fire upon the hearth ere this has
              lighted.”

                                                                   [998]
  Said Gerlind: “As I’m living,    to toil must you begin,
  As never queenly daughter    to do before was seen.
  To be so proud and headstrong    I will make you weary:
  Before to-morrow darkens,    your maidens you must leave, and ne’er be
              merry.

                                                                   [999]
  “You hold yourself too highly,    as I have heard it said;
  For this shall work most toilsome    soon upon you be laid.
  This pride and froward bearing    must be by you forsaken;
  Your lofty mood will I lower,    and all your hopes will very quickly
              weaken.”

                                                                  [1000]
  Then went the wicked Gerlind    to court, in anger wild;
  She said to her son, young Hartmut:    “Hettel’s wilful child
  Scorns both you and your kindred,    and ever at us is sneering:
  Would we had never seen her,    if we such talk from her must now be
              hearing.”

                                                                  [1001]
  Then spake unto his mother    Hartmut, the knight so brave:
  “Pray treat the maiden kindly,    howe’er she may behave:
  So, for the care you show her,    my thanks will you be earning.
  Greatly have I wronged her;    it well may be that she my love is
              spurning.”

                                                                  [1002]
  Then said to him old Gerlind:    “Whate’er by us is done,
  In mood she is so stubborn    that she will yield to none.
  Unless we treat her harshly    she ne’er, as you would have her,
  Will come to you in wedlock;    this must we do, or else to herself
              must leave her.”

                                                                  [1003]
  Then to her thus answered    the worthy Norman knight:
  “Good lady, show her kindness    henceforth in all men’s sight,
  Now for the love you bear me;    such care I beg you give her
  That from her love and friendship    the king’s fair daughter may not
              bar me ever.”

                                                                  [1004]
  Then his devilish mother,    with anger brimming o’er,
  To the throng of Hegeling maidens    quickly went once more.
  She said: “Make ready, maidens,    and to your toil betake you,
  To do what you are bidden;    the task to each that’s given ne’er
              forsake you.”

                                                                  [1005]
  The maidens then were sundered,    and soon from each other torn;
  They saw not one another,    and long must live forlorn.
  Those who once so worthily    lofty rank were taking,
  In winding yarn were busied;    while they sat at work their hearts
              were aching.

                                                                  [1006]
  Some her flax were combing,    others for her must spin;
  Ladies of lofty breeding,    whose pastime it had been
  On their silken clothing    to lay, with skill unsparing,
  Gold and gems most costly,    these for her now heavy toil were
              bearing.

                                                                  [1007]
  The first in birth among them    at the court was kept;
  Water she must carry    to the room where Ortrun slept:
  To wait upon that lady    the high-born maid was bidden;
  By name was she called Hergart;    her lofty birth was nought, she
              still was chidden.

                                                                  [1008]
  Among them was another,    brought from Galicia’s strand;
  The griffin her from Portugal    had borne to a far-off land.
  She to the Hegeling kingdom    with Hagen’s child was carried,
  From over Ireland’s borders;    now with the maids in the Norman land
              she tarried.

                                                                  [1009]
  She was a prince’s daughter,    who castles owned and lands;
  The fire must now be lighted    by her, with fair white hands,
  While in the room well heated    Gerlind’s ladies rested.
  For all the work she was doing    no thanks on her by them were ever
              wasted.

                                                                  [1010]
  Now you well may wonder    to hear her sorry plight.
  For Gerlind’s lowest wenches    she drudged both day and night;
  Whatever task they set her,    to do must she be willing.
  It helped her not with the Normans    that she at home a lofty rank was
              filling.

                                                                  [1011]
  The work was mean and shameful    that they were made to do
  For seven half years and over,    —this is all too true,—
  Until the young Lord Hartmut,    when three wars were ended,
  Had come again to his kingdom,    and found the maids at work, and
              ill-befriended.

                                                                  [1012]
  To see again his loved one    Hartmut deeply yearned;
  But when he looked upon her,    the truth he quickly learned,
  That she good food and lodging    of late had seldom tasted:
  For choosing to live rightly,    ’twas her reward to be with sorrow
              wasted.

                                                                  [1013]
  When forth she came to meet him,    to her young Hartmut said:
  “Gu-drun, most lovely maiden,    what is the life you have led
  Since I, with all my warriors,    my lands and home was leaving?”
  She said: “Such tasks they set me,    ’twas sin for you, and shame to
              me ’twas giving.”

                                                                  [1014]
  Then outspoke young Hartmut:    “Why has this been done,
  Gerlind, my dearest mother?    Your love she should have known;
  When with you I left her,    her lot you should have brightened,
  And all her heavy sorrows    you should for her within my land have
              lightened.”

                                                                  [1015]
  His wolfish mother answered:    “How could I better teach
  King Hettel’s ill-bred daughter?    ’Twas bootless to beseech,
  Nor could I ever bend her,    to make her leave her jeering:
  She scorned both you and your father    and kindred, too: to this
              should you give hearing.”

                                                                  [1016]
  Then again spake Hartmut:    “Much wrong we’ve done the maid.
  Slain by us, her kindred    and many knights lie dead;
  While from the lovely maiden    her father we have taken,
  Slain by my father, Ludwig,    and now with thoughtless words her woes
              we waken.”

                                                                  [1017]
  Then answered him his mother:    “My son, ’tis truth I say;
  If we Gu-drun, proud maiden,    for thirty years should pray,
  If she with brooms were stricken,    or with rods were beaten,
  Your wife we ne’er could make her;    hopeless it is the wayward maid
              to threaten.”

                                                                  [1018]
  She farther said to Hartmut:    “However, since you bid,
  I’ll gladly treat her better.”    But still her mind she hid,
  And Hartmut never knew it;    erelong Gu-drun would find her
  Harsher yet than ever;    and now the maiden’s wrongs could no one
              hinder.

                                                                  [1019]
  Then went again old Gerlind    to where Gu-drun then sat,
  And said to the Hegeling maiden,    in her wrath and hate:
  “’Twere best you now bethink you,    or else, my fair young maiden,
  You with your flowing tresses    must wipe the stools and seats, with
              dust thick laden.

                                                                  [1020]
  “Then the room I sleep in,    mark what now I say,
  You, to do my bidding,    must sweep three times a day;
  You carefully must warm it,    and keep the fire well burning.”
  Said she: “That do I gladly,    rather than take a lover I am
              spurning.”

                                                                  [1021]
  Whatever she was bidden    the willing maiden did;
  No work of hers she slighted,    nor should for aught be chid.
  For seven years, full-numbered,    in a land far over the water,
  The maid was toiling wearily,    and none did hold her as a kingly
              daughter.

                                                                  [1022]
  The years had long been running,    and the ninth was coming on,
  When Hartmut to bethink him    wisely had begun,
  That indeed ’twas shameful    that he no crown was wearing;
  And for himself and his kinsmen    ’twas right the name of king he now
              were bearing.

                                                                  [1023]
  After heavy fighting,    Hartmut, with his men,
  Bearing the prize of bravery,    riding home was seen.
  He hoped the love of the maiden    would now to him be granted;
  For, more than any other,    he the fair Gu-drun for his true love
              wanted.

                                                                  [1024]
  When he reached his homestead,    he bade them bring the maid.
  His evil mother, Gerlind,    allowed her to be clad
  In meanest clothing only:    Gu-drun but little heeded
  The youthful Hartmut’s wooing;    steadfast and true, no love from him
              she needed.

                                                                  [1025]
  To him his friends then whispered,    that, whether glad or no
  For this might be his mother,    he never should forego
  To bend the maid to his wishes;    and must his care be giving
  That so he might with the lady    for many a happy day in love be
              living.

                                                                  [1026]
  To the ladies’ room he hastened,    when thus his kinsmen spoke,
  And there he found the maiden;    her by the hand he took,
  And said to her: “Fair lady,    love me now, I pray you,
  And sit as queen beside me;    my knights and men shall worship ever
              pay you.”

                                                                  [1027]
  Then said the lovely maiden:    “For this I have no mind;
  For while the fiendish Gerlind    to me is so unkind,
  The love of knights, tho’ worthy,    I can long for never.
  To her and all her kindred    henceforth am I a bitter foe forever.”

                                                                  [1028]
  “Sorry am I,” said Hartmut;    “to you will I make good
  The hate my mother Gerlind    to you so harshly showed;
  As for both of us is worthy,    your wrongs shall now be righted.”
  The high-born maiden answered:    “I trust you not; your word need
              ne’er be plighted.”

                                                                  [1029]
  Then said to her young Hartmut,    the lord of the Norman land:
  “Gu-drun, most lovely maiden,    you well must understand
  Mine are these lands and castles:    to none may you betake you;
  Who is there here would hang me    if, ’gainst your will, I now my own
              should make you?”

                                                                  [1030]
  Then said King Hettel’s daughter:    “That were a deed of shame:
  Of aught so wrong and hateful    never did I dream.
  It would be said by princes,    should they the tale be hearing,
  That one of the kin of Hagen    in Hartmut’s land a harlot’s name is
              bearing.”

                                                                  [1031]
  Then did Hartmut answer:    “What care I what they say?
  If only you, fair lady,    do not say me nay,
  A king my men shall see me,    and you my seat be sharing.”
  Then said the maid to Hartmut:    “That I should love you be you never
              fearing.

                                                                  [1032]
  “Well you know, Sir Hartmut,    how with me it stands;
  And all the wrong and sorrow    I met with at your hands,
  When far from home you carried    me whom you had stolen,
  And, wounded by your warriors,    my father’s men erewhile in death had
              fallen.

                                                                  [1033]
  “Well known to you ’tis also,    —for this I mourn again,—
  How my father, Hettel,    was by your father slain.
  Were I knight, and not a woman,    he durst not come before me
  Unless his weapons wearing.    Why wed the man who from my kindred tore
              me?”

                                                                  [1034]
  For many years now bygone,    it ever was the way,
  No man should take a woman,    and have her in his sway,
  Unless they both were willing.    Much praise for this is owing.
  Gu-drun, the homeless maiden,    her father’s loss still mourned, with
              tears o’erflowing.

                                                                  [1035]
  Then spake to her in anger    Hartmut, the youthful knight:
  “Whatever may befall you,    I reck not for your plight;
  Since now you are not willing    to wear the crown beside me,
  You’ll have what you are seeking,    your meed you’ll daily earn, nor
              need you chide me.”

                                                                  [1036]
  “That will I earn most gladly,    as I have done before,
  Though for the men of Hartmut    the hardest toil I bore,
  And for Queen Gerlind’s women.    If God my wrongs forgetteth,
  To bear them I am willing;    but heavy is the woe that me besetteth.”

                                                                  [1037]
  Still they sought to soothe her:    first to the court they sent
  Young Ortrun, Hartmut’s sister,    whose looks all kindness meant;
  ’Twas hoped that she and her maidens,    now by friendly dealing,
  Would bring Gu-drun, poor lone one,    to bear towards them all a
              better feeling.

                                                                  [1038]
  Then to his sister Ortrun    Hartmut freely spake:
  “Wealth I will give you, sister,    if kindly, for my sake,
  To me you will be helpful,    and bring Gu-drun, fair lady,
  Soon to forget her sorrows;    nor o’er her woes to brood be ever
              ready.”

                                                                  [1039]
  Then spake the youthful Ortrun,    the Norman maiden fair:
  “To help both her and her maidens    shall ever be my care,
  Till they forget their sorrows:    I bow my head before her,
  And I and mine will hold her    even as our kin, and watchful love
              spread o’er her.”

                                                                  [1040]
  Gu-drun now said to Ortrun:    “My hearty thanks you win,
  That you, with kindly wishes,    would see me sit as queen,
  By the side of Hartmut,    while with pride I’m gladdened:
  For this my trust I give you,    but homeless, none the less, my days
              are saddened.”



                         Tale the Twenty-First.
               HOW GUDRUN MUST WASH CLOTHES ON THE BEACH.


                                                                  [1041]
  Then to Gu-drun they offered    castles strong and lands:
  Of these would she have nothing.    So, upon the sands,
  She must wash their clothing,    from early morn till even.
  Great ill this wrought for Ludwig,    when he with Herwic in the fight
              had striven.

                                                                  [1042]
  First, Gu-drun was bidden    to leave her seat, that soon
  She, the high-born maiden,    should go with fair Ortrun;
  They bade that she be merry,    and wine with her be drinking.
  The homeless wanderer answered:    “To make me queen you never need be
              thinking.

                                                                  [1043]
  “Well you wot, Lord Hartmut,    whate’er your wish may be,
  Betrothed am I to another,    and am no longer free.
  That I one day shall wed him    has with an oath been plighted;
  Until by death he’s taken    I will not wed with any man e’er
              knighted.”

                                                                  [1044]
  Then spake the lordly Hartmut:    “You only waste your breath;
  By nought shall we be sundered    unless it shall be death.
  In friendship with my sister    you should now be living;
  Your hardships she will lighten,    and will, I know, her love to you
              be giving.”

                                                                  [1045]
  Fain to think was Hartmut    that her unyielding mood
  Might now by this be softened;    he hoped, whatever good
  Should e’er befall his sister,    the maiden would be sharing:
  Thus for both he trusted,    that a happy life erelong would them be
              cheering.

                                                                  [1046]
  Gu-drun soon greeted kindly    many a friend and maid.
  Ortrun sat beside her;    her hue grew rosy-red
  With eating and with drinking,    ere many days were ended.
  Enough was always ready:    still the poor girl her mood ne’er wisely
              mended.

                                                                  [1047]
  If Hartmut thought to greet her,    and spoke in friendly mood,
  How little did it cheer her!    She o’er her woes did brood,
  That she and all her maidens    in a far-off land were bearing.
  Soon, against young Hartmut,    of harsh and angry words she was not
              sparing.

                                                                  [1048]
  So long a time this lasted,    the king at length was wroth;
  He said: “Gu-drun, fair lady,    as good am I in birth
  As is the young King Herwic,    who now you think is fitter
  Than I to be your lover:    too much you jeer at me, with words most
              bitter.

                                                                  [1049]
  “If you would leave your sorrow,    for both of us ’twere gain.
  It wounds me out of measure    when any gives you pain,
  Or seeks your heart to burden,    or in your wish to cross you:
  Though now you are unfriendly,    to be my queen I yet would gladly
              choose you.”

                                                                  [1050]
  Then young Hartmut left her,    and straight his men he sought.
  He bade them to be watchful    of ills that threatened aught,
  And well to guard his kingdom;    for he the while bethought him,
  So sorely was he hated,    ’twas much to fear some harm would yet be
              wrought him.

                                                                  [1051]
  The cross and wicked Gerlind    for her hard tasks did set;
  She on a seat but seldom    any rest did get.
  Erst ’mong princes’ daughters    men were wont to greet her,
  As for her was rightful;    now with the scorned and lowly they must
              meet her.

                                                                  [1052]
  To her, in mood unfriendly,    the old she-wolf then spake:
  “Now Queen Hilda’s daughter    I a drudge will make;
  Although her evil feelings    seem so strong and steady,
  We yet shall see her toiling    as ne’er before to do has she been
              ready.”

                                                                  [1053]
  Then said the high-born maiden:    “To work with all my might,
  With hand and heart, I’m willing;    in this, both day and night,
  Will I be always busy,    and every hour be striving;
  Since ill-luck begrudges    that I among my friends should now be
              living.”

                                                                  [1054]
  The wicked Gerlind answered:    “Now daily to the beach
  You my clothes must carry,    there on the sands to bleach.
  You must for me and my maidens    be washing and be drying;
  And that no one find you idle,    your work with care you ever must be
              plying.”

                                                                  [1055]
  Then spake the high-born maiden:    “Wife of a mighty king,
  If they will only teach me    the way to wash and wring,
  And how to cleanse your clothing,    to do it I am willing.
  Bliss no more I look for;    still greater woe my heart must yet be
              filling.

                                                                  [1056]
  “Bid them now to teach me,    and I will gladly learn;
  So high I do not hold me    that I the task should spurn.
  Thus shall I be earning    the food I here am eating;
  Nought I say against it.”    The poor Gu-drun her lot was wisely
              meeting.

                                                                  [1057]
  Then by a washerwoman    clothes to the sands were brought,
  And how to wash and dry them    the maiden now was taught.
  Much at first she sorrowed,    and by the work was flurried,
  Yet was she spared by no one.    So was the fair Gu-drun by Gerlind
              worried.

                                                                  [1058]
  Before King Ludwig’s castle,    she gained a skilful hand;
  For knights who there were dwelling    within the Norman land,
  None could be more helpful,    their clothing better washing.
  Loudly mourned her maidens    to see her toiling where the waves were
              dashing.

                                                                  [1059]
  One there was among them    who was also a great king’s child;
  The wailing of the others    was to hers a whisper mild.
  This work so mean and lowly    went to their hearts too nearly,
  As they saw the high-born lady    drudging on the shore, both late and
              early.

                                                                  [1060]
  Then with love true-hearted    Hildeburg made moan:
  “Well we all must rue it—    to God may this be known—
  Who in this Norman kingdom    erst with Gu-drun were landing;
  No rest ought we to hope for    while on the sea-beach washing she is
              standing.”

                                                                  [1061]
  This was heard by Gerlind,    who in anger spoke:
  “If on the toils of your lady    with such ill-will you look,
  The work shall you be doing,    and her place be filling.”
  “That would I do right gladly,”    said Hildeburg, “if only you were
              willing.

                                                                  [1062]
  “For the love of God Almighty,    Gerlind, my lady queen,
  Let not this great king’s daughter    toiling alone be seen:
  A crown, too, wore my father,    yet work would I be doing;
  Let me with her stand washing,    whatever good or ill we may be
              knowing.

                                                                  [1063]
  “It fills my heart with sorrow,    I feel her woes my own.
  Once the greatest honor    to her by God was shown:
  Her forefathers and kindred    were kings, and none were higher;
  Though now her work is lowly,    to toil with the maiden I shall never
              tire.”

                                                                  [1064]
  Then said the wicked Gerlind:    “This oft will bring you pain;
  However hard the winter,    still in snow and rain
  My clothes must you be washing,    altho’ cold winds are blowing;
  So will you be wishing    that you the warmth of heated rooms were
              knowing.”

                                                                  [1065]
  Unwillingly she waited    until the night drew near;
  From this Gu-drun the high-born    gained at last some cheer.
  Then into her bedroom    went Hildeburg in sorrow;
  There they wept together    for the work that they must do upon the
              morrow.

                                                                  [1066]
  Then the Lady Hildeburg    said to her in tears:
  “The woes that you are bearing    my heart with you now shares;
  I begged the old she-devil    no more alone to leave you
  Upon the sea-sands washing;    with you I’ll bear the burden, and my
              help will give you.”

                                                                  [1067]
  The homeless maiden answered:    “May Christ your love reward,
  That you with so much sorrow    of all my woes have heard.
  If we may wash together,    the days will be the brighter,
  And time will seem far shorter,    and on our hearts the shame will
              weigh the lighter.”

                                                                  [1068]
  Soon as her wish was granted,    down to the sandy shore
  The clothing then she carried,    gladness to know no more.
  There must they wash in sorrow,    whatever was the weather;
  Whate’er was done by others,    yet still these two must wash and toil
              together.

                                                                  [1069]
  When her throng of handmaidens    had time from work to spare,
  Bitter was their weeping,    to see her standing there
  Upon the sea-sands washing.    Loud were their moans and many,
  Nor did their sorrow lessen;    greater woe was never known by any.

                                                                  [1070]
  Long the toiling lasted,—    that is true enough;
  There must they be working    full five years and a half.
  Clothes for Hartmut’s followers    they must wash and whiten:
  Ne’er were maidens sadder;    their toils before the castle nought
              could lighten.



                        Tale the Twenty-Second.
             HOW HILDA MADE WAR TO BRING BACK HER DAUGHTER.


                                                                  [1071]
  We now will speak no longer    of the toil the maidens bore
  For knights as well as ladies.    Queen Hilda evermore
  Her thoughts to this had given    how to win back her daughter,
  Out of the Norman kingdom,    whither from home the daring Hartmut
              brought her.

                                                                  [1072]
  First were workmen bidden,    near to the deep sea-flood,
  Of ships to build her seven,    strong, well made, and good;
  With two-and-twenty barges,    broad, with both ends rounded.
  Whate’er for them was needed    was quickly brought, and everything
              abounded.

                                                                  [1073]
  Forty galleys also    lay upon the sea;
  On these her eyes were feeding.    Longing great had she
  To see the throng of fighters    who should soon be sailing.
  She their food made ready;    for this the knights her praise were
              loudly telling.

                                                                  [1074]
  The time was drawing nearer,    when now to cross the sea
  No more should they be waiting,    who wished the maids to free,
  That in a far-off kingdom    in hardest toil were living.
  Now Hilda sent for her liegemen;    to those who called them clothes
              she first was giving.

                                                                  [1075]
  The day that she had chosen    was at the Christmas-tide,
  When they must seek the foemen    by whom King Hettel died.
  Forthwith to friends and kinsmen    Hilda gave her bidding,
  That they to bring her daughter    back from the Norman land must then
              be speeding.

                                                                  [1076]
  Trusty men were bidden    by Hilda first to go
  To Herwic and his followers,    that one and all should know
  Of the inroad on the Normans    that she had sworn and plotted.
  To many Hegeling children    this erelong an orphan’s life allotted.

                                                                  [1077]
  The men sent out by Hilda    to Herwic rode in haste:
  For what they then were coming    the king full quickly guessed;
  Then went he forth to meet them,    soon as he saw them nearing;
  Gladly them he greeted,    and soon from them Queen Hilda’s wish was
              hearing.

                                                                  [1078]
  “Well you know, Lord Herwic,    our woe and plight forlorn,
  And how the Hegeling warriors    to help the queen have sworn.
  Yourself Queen Hilda trusteth    more than any other;
  To none Gu-drun is dearer,—    the homeless maid, long sundered from
              her mother.”

                                                                  [1079]
  The well-born knight thus answered:    “I know in truth too well
  How Hartmut had the boldness    my fair betrothed to steal,
  Because his love she slighted,    and hearkened to my wooing;
  For this Gu-drun, my lady,    her father lost, and still her lot is
              ruing.

                                                                  [1080]
  “My pledge and hearty greeting    bear to your lady good;
  No more the Norman Hartmut    by me shall be allowed
  To hold so long in bondage    my own betrothéd maiden:
  For me, of all, ’tis fittest    to bring the lady home, our lives to
              gladden.

                                                                  [1081]
  “To Hilda and her kinsmen    this answer you may say:
  When Christmas time is over,    on the sixth-and-twentieth day,
  I will ride to the Hegelings,    three thousand fighters taking.”
  Then the men of Hilda    waited no more, but home their way were
              making.

                                                                  [1082]
  Now Herwic made him ready,    and to the strife gave thought,
  With many faithful liegemen    who oft had bravely fought.
  Those who to go were willing    he for war outfitted;
  Though wintry was the weather,    they to take the field no longer
              waited.

                                                                  [1083]
  Of help the widowed Hilda    sorely felt the need:
  Soon to her friends in Denmark    she sent her men with speed,
  To tell the knights and warriors    no more at home to tarry;
  For they to the Norman kingdom    must ride, to free Gu-drun from
              bondage dreary.

                                                                  [1084]
  They bore to the youthful Horant    this errand from the queen:
  That he and all his kinsmen    were to her lord of kin,
  And the sorrows of her daughter    should by them be heeded;
  For death to her were better    than ever that her child to Hartmut
              should be wedded.

                                                                  [1085]
  Then sent the knight this answer:    “Unto Queen Hilda say,—
  Though yet ’twill cost to women    many a bitter day,
  I still, with all my followers,    will help be gladly giving;
  For this will be heard the weeping    of many a mother’s child, in the
              land now living.

                                                                  [1086]
  “I bid you now, moreover,    to say unto the queen,—
  Ere many days are ended,    in her land will I be seen;
  Tell her that my wishes    all to war are bending,
  And soon ten thousand warriors    from out the Danish land will I be
              sending.”

                                                                  [1087]
  The men sent there by Hilda    of Horant took their leave:
  They sped to the Waalisch marches,    and found Morunc the brave
  With all his men about him,    a margrave rich and daring.
  He gladly saw them coming,    and of a loving welcome was not sparing.

                                                                  [1088]
  Then spake the knightly Irold:    “Since now by me ’tis known
  That into the Hegeling kingdom,    before seven weeks are gone,
  I with all my followers    am bidden to be riding,
  For this will I be ready,    whatever luck be there for us betiding.”

                                                                  [1089]
  The news was spread by Morunc,    within the Holstein land,
  That Hilda now was sending    for all her friends at hand;
  He said that all good warriors    must the field be taking.
  To the Danish knight, brave Fru-te,    they also gave the word, his
              help bespeaking.

                                                                  [1090]
  The worthy knight, then answering,    his ready will did show:
  “Back to her home will we bring her.    Thirteen years ago,
  We swore the land of the Normans    should with war be wasted;
  ’Twas then the friends of Hartmut    stole the maid Gu-drun, and
              homeward hasted.”

                                                                  [1091]
  Wâ-te, the knight from Sturmland,    to this at once gave thought,
  How he might also help her.    Altho’ he yet knew nought
  Of the word that Hilda sent him,    yet he at once bestirred him;
  Of his knights a goodly number    then in haste he called, who gladly
              heard him.

                                                                  [1092]
  All of them were busy    with care for the coming war;
  Wâ-te the old from Sturmland    brought from near and far
  Full a thousand kinsmen,    for the fight well fitted;
  With these he hoped that Hartmut    would soon be overcome and be
              outwitted.

                                                                  [1093]
  The sad and homeless women    in toil and pain were kept
  By the cross and evil Gerlind:    but fewer wrongs were heaped
  Upon the Lady Hergart;    (this name to her was given:)
  She loved the king’s high cup-bearer,    and greatly hoped to be a
              princess even.

                                                                  [1094]
  For this fair Hilda’s daughter    often sorely wept;
  And Hergart, too, yet later    woe and sorrow reaped,
  Because she ne’er with others    would their toils be sharing.
  Whate’er to her might happen,    Gu-drun for all her ills was little
              caring.

                                                                  [1095]
  Of the Hegelings none were idle,    as you before have heard:
  Tho’ many for all their toiling    would find but scant reward,
  Yet all within the kingdom their    ready help were lending.
  Now the knights were thinking    for the brother of Gu-drun ’twere best
              they should be sending.

                                                                  [1096]
  Riders then went swiftly    into the land of the North,
  And found in an open meadow    the youth of kingly birth,
  Where by the edge of a river    many birds were flocking:
  There with his trusty falconer    he showed his skill, and spent his
              time in hawking.

                                                                  [1097]
  As soon as, riding quickly,    these by him were seen,
  He said: “Those men now coming    are sent to us by the queen;
  They come to give her bidding,    proudly hither hasting;
  My mother thinketh wrongly    that we the war forget, and time are
              wasting.”

                                                                  [1098]
  He set his hawk a-flying,    and thence at once he rode.
  Very soon thereafter    darkened was his mood;
  For when the men he greeted,    and they their tale were telling,
  He learned that the queen, his mother,    ever in tears her loss was
              aye bewailing.

                                                                  [1099]
  She to the youthful warrior    sent her greeting kind:
  In her wretched lot, she asked him    what might be his mind;
  And asked how many followers    he could to the war be leading;
  For from the Hegeling kingdom    they all to the Norman land must soon
              be speeding.

                                                                  [1100]
  Then Ortwin sent this answer:    “Me dost thou rightly bid;
  I from hence will hasten,    and bring from far and wide
  Twenty thousand fighters,—    men both brave and daring;
  These my steps will follow    even to death, their lives and homes
              forswearing.”

                                                                  [1101]
  Now from every border    many warriors went
  Riding to Hilda’s kingdom,    for whom the queen had sent;
  They vied with one another,    to win her praises striving.
  Not less than sixty thousand    together came, their help for Hilda
              giving.

                                                                  [1102]
  On the river Waal Sir Morunc    had upon the wave
  Of broad-built ships full sixty,    strong to bear the brave
  Who with the Hegelings sailing    would o’er the sea be carried,
  To free Gu-drun, the maiden,    who sadly now among the Normans
              tarried.

                                                                  [1103]
  From out the Northland also    finest ships were brought,
  With horses and with clothing,    as good as could be sought:
  Decked were all the helmets,    the weapons glittered brightly,
  Ready for the onset    bravely they came, in armor fair and knightly.

                                                                  [1104]
  Now by their shields men reckoned    how many there might be
  Who to the Norman kingdom    would go the maid to free,
  And to the great Queen Hilda    their help to give were ready;
  They numbered seventy thousand;    gifts to all were given by the
              queenly lady.

                                                                  [1105]
  On all who there were gathered,    or to court who later came,
  The queen, though ever mournful,    yet let her kindness beam:
  She gave them hearty welcome,    and every one she greeted;
  Wondrous was the clothing    that to the chosen knights Queen Hilda
              meted.

                                                                  [1106]
  The many ships of Hilda    were stored with all things well,
  And early on the morrow    were ready thence to sail;
  Seemly was the outfit    for her worthy guests who waited:
  They chose not to be going,    while aught they lacked to meet the
              foeman hated.

                                                                  [1107]
  They put on board the weapons,    as was the queen’s behest,
  And with them many helmets    of beaten steel the best.
  Hauberks white were given,    besides the ones in wearing,
  For warriors full five hundred;    these she bade them take, to war now
              faring.

                                                                  [1108]
  Their anchor-ropes well twisted    of strongest silk were made:
  Their sails both rich and showy    to the winds were spread;
  These to the shores of the Norman    the Hegelings would carry,
  Who back to Lady Hilda    would gladly bring Gu-drun, of waiting weary.

                                                                  [1109]
  The anchors for the sailors    were not of iron made,
  But of bell-metal moulded;    (so have we heard it said:)
  They with Spanish brasses    all were bound and strengthened,
  That loadstones should not hold them,    and so the sailors’ way by
              this be lengthened.

                                                                  [1110]
  To Wâ-te and his followers    the Lady Hilda gave
  Many clasps and arm-bands.    This roused the strong and brave
  To meet their death from foemen,    for the Hegelings fighting,
  When they from Hartmut’s castle    strove to wrest the maid, in bondage
              sitting.

                                                                  [1111]
  Freely then and earnestly    Queen Hilda spoke her thought
  Unto the men from Daneland:    “When you have bravely fought
  On the stormy field of warfare,    I will reward you fitly.
  Still my banner follow;    that will show the way, and lead you
              rightly.”

                                                                  [1112]
  They asked of her, who held it;    to this then answered she:
  “He bears the name of Horant;    a Danish lord is he.
  His mother, Hettel’s sister,    she it was who bore him;
  Let him by you be trusted;    forsake him not in fight with foes before
              him.

                                                                  [1113]
  “Never, my hardy warriors,    must you forget my son,
  Young Ortwin, dear-belovéd,    to manhood nearly grown.
  Of life the youth has numbered    twenty years already;
  If any risk should threaten,    to guard him well then let your help be
              speedy.”

                                                                  [1114]
  To this they pledged them gladly,    and all together said,
  So long as they were with him    nought had he to dread;
  If he their lead would follow,    those from whom he parted
  Again unharmed would see him.    At this young Ortwin showed himself
              light-hearted.

                                                                  [1115]
  Soon the ships were laden    with goods of every kind,
  And now to tell his wonder    none fit words could find.
  They asked good Hilda’s blessing    on the work now undertaken;
  The queen then begged of Heaven    that they by Christ should never be
              forsaken.

                                                                  [1116]
  Many youths went with them    whose fathers erst were slain;
  Now bereft, these brave ones    to right their wrongs were fain.
  The women of the Hegelings    were mourning all and weeping,
  Beseeching God in Heaven    to bring them back their sons in his holy
              keeping.

                                                                  [1117]
  But all this pain and sorrow    the warriors might not bear;
  They sternly bade the women    their bitter wails to spare;
  Then on their way they started    in gladness, shouting loudly,
  And as they went on shipboard    all were heard to sing, and set forth
              proudly.

                                                                  [1118]
  After these daring sailors    had cast off from the land,
  Many sorrowing women    did at the windows stand:
  From Matelan’s lofty castle,    never the watch forsaking,
  Their eyes the sea-path followed,    as from the land the men their way
              were taking.

                                                                  [1119]
  A friendly wind was blowing,    and loudly cracked the mast;
  They the sails stretched tightly,    and left the land at last.
  The son of many a mother    went, for honor seeking;
  Though this awaited many,    yet to gain it they must toil be taking.

                                                                  [1120]
  I cannot tell you fully    of all that them befell,
  Save that the lord of Karadie,    who in that land did dwell,
  With fighters came to help them,    the foeman never fearing;
  He from home brought with him    ten thousand knights, all men of
              strength and daring.

                                                                  [1121]
  Where foes upon the Wulpensand    had met in deadly fray,
  These knights from many a kingdom,    now, at this later day,
  Chose the spot for meeting;    and here they came together:
  A church had here been builded,    and old and young alike had their
              gifts brought hither.

                                                                  [1122]
  Now within its harbor,    to seek their fathers’ graves,
  Out of the ships here gathered    went many of Hilda’s braves.
  Bitter was their sorrow,    and anger keen did waken;
  Hard would it be for any    who erst in fight the lives of their
              friends had taken.

                                                                  [1123]
  Unto the lord of Moorland    they hearty welcome gave.
  Four and twenty broad-boats    he brought with warriors brave;
  Food therein was laden    that might for all have lasted
  Till twenty years were ended:    to war with the Normans now they
              gladly hasted.

                                                                  [1124]
  When they to sail were ready,    they left the sheltering shore
  To make their way o’er the waters;    but heavy toil they bore
  Upon the wild sea-billows    before their sail was ended.
  What helped it that their leaders,    Fru-te the Dane and Wâ-te, them
              befriended?

                                                                  [1125]
  A wind from the south was blowing,    and drove them out to sea.
  The crew of warlike shipmates    from fear no more were free;
  They could not find the bottom,    altho’ they should be casting
  Lengths of rope a thousand;    many sailors wept, their lot
              foretasting.

                                                                  [1126]
  Before the mount at Givers    soon lay Queen Hilda’s host;
  However good their anchors,    upon that gloomy coast,
  Drawn by loadstones thither,    they a long time rested.
  Their masts so tough and hardy    soon before their eyes were bent and
              twisted.

                                                                  [1127]
  When now the hopeless sailors    were weeping o’er their lot,
  Thus spoke the aged Wâ-te:    “Anchors again throw out,
  The strongest and the heaviest,    into the sea unsounded.
  I’ve heard of many wonders    I would rather see, than here on the
              rocks be grounded.

                                                                  [1128]
  “Since, astray long sailing,    our lady’s ships here lie,
  And we so far are driven    across the darkling sea,
  I now will tell a sea-tale,    that stirred my childish wonder,
  Of how, near the mount at Givers,    a kingdom erst was built by a
              mighty founder.

                                                                  [1129]
  “Men there in wealth are living;    so rich is all their land
  That under the flowing rivers    silver is the sand;
  With this they make their castles,    and the stones are golden
  With which their walls are builded.    In all the kingdom none in want
              are holden.

                                                                  [1130]
  “’Twas told to me, moreover,    (by God are wonders wrought,)
  If one who by the loadstone    unto this mount is brought,
  Here will only tarry    till the wind from the land is blowing,
  He with all his kindred    may be forever rich when homeward going.

                                                                  [1131]
  “Let us our food be eating    until our luck shall turn,”
  Said then the aged Wâ-te;    “before we hence are borne,
  Our ships that here are lying    shall with ore be loaded:
  When this we home shall carry,    wealth shall we have that no one e’er
              foreboded.”

                                                                  [1132]
  Then spake the Danish Fru-te:    “A still, unruffled sea
  Shall never keep in idleness    the men now here with me:
  A thousand times I swear to you,    no gold would I be seeking,
  But rather away from this mountain,    with friendly winds, would I my
              way be taking.”

                                                                  [1133]
  The Christian men among them    raised to Heaven a prayer;
  But yet the ships ne’er yielded,    strongly fastened there:
  For four long days or over    all their hopes were thwarted;
  Sorely feared the Hegelings    that they from thence could nevermore be
              started.

                                                                  [1134]
  The clouds now lifted higher,    as the mighty God had willed;
  Then no more they sorrowed,    for soon the waves were stilled,
  And from out the darkness    the sun was shining brightly.
  A wind from the west was blowing,    and now the woes were o’er of the
              wanderers knightly.

                                                                  [1135]
  For miles full six and twenty,    past Givers’ craggy shore,
  The ships at last were wafted.    By this they saw yet more
  The work of God and his goodness,    in all the help then given.
  Wâ-te with his followers    had been too near the rocks of loadstone
              driven.

                                                                  [1136]
  To smoothly flowing waters    they now were come at last:
  Their sins were not rewarded,    and all their woes were past,
  While fear from them was taken,    since God was not unwilling.
  The ships that bore the warriors    straight to the Norman land at
              length were sailing.

                                                                  [1137]
  But soon among the sailors    arose again a wail;
  For now the ships were groaning,    and soon began to reel,
  Tossed among the breakers    that overwhelmed them nearly:
  Then said the brave knight Ortwin:    “We now indeed must buy our
              honors dearly.”

                                                                  [1138]
  Outspake then one of the sailors:    “Alas! and well-a-day!
  I would we were at Givers,    and dead near its mountain lay!
  If one is by God forgotten,    by whom is he befriended?
  My brave and hardy warriors,    the roar of the blustering sea is not
              yet ended.”

                                                                  [1139]
  Then cried the knight, Sir Horant,    he of the Danish land:
  “Be of good heart, brave fellows;    I well can understand
  This wind no harm will do us;    from out the west ’tis blowing.”
  This cheered the lord of Karadie,    on him and on his men fresh hope
              bestowing.

                                                                  [1140]
  Horant, the daring warrior,    up to the topmast climbed,
  And the widely stretching billows    swept, with eyes undimmed,
  Keeping for land an outlook.    They soon his call were hearing:
  “Wait you now, unfearing;    I see that we the Norman land are
              nearing!”

                                                                  [1141]
  The word to all was given,    that they should lower sail:
  Searching the waters over,    they saw far off a hill,
  Lofty, and thickly wooded,    with groves and leafage shaded;
  Then old Wâ-te bade them    thither to bend their way, and this they
              heeded.



                         Tale the Twenty-Third.
       HOW HILDA’S WARRIORS LANDED IN SIGHT OF HARTMUT’S KINGDOM.


                                                                  [1142]
  Before the hill they landed,    in sight of the leafy grove;
  Wary to be, and daring,    them did it now behoove.
  First they dropped their anchors,    deep the waters under;
  In a lonely spot were they hidden,    where none could see, nor at
              their coming wonder.

                                                                  [1143]
  Then from the ships, to rest them,    they stepped upon the beach.
  Hey! what they had longed for    was now within their reach!
  A stream of pure, cold water,    through the fir-trees flowing,
  Ran down the wooded hillside,    upon the wave-worn knights new life
              bestowing.

                                                                  [1144]
  While the weary warriors    were resting and asleep,
  Irold soon had clambered,    there his watch to keep,
  Into a tree high-branching.    He then began to ponder
  Which way they should be taking;    and, lo! the Norman land he saw
              with wonder.

                                                                  [1145]
  “Now, my youths, be merry!”    thus cried the youthful knight.
  “My cares indeed are lightened,    for now I have in sight
  Seven lofty palaces,    with roomy halls wide-spreading;
  Before to-morrow’s midday,    the land of Normandy shall we be
              treading.”

                                                                  [1146]
  Then said the wise old Wâ-te:    “Up to the sands now bear
  All your shields and weapons,    whate’er in fight you wear.
  Let every one be busy,    and let the youths be hastened;
  At once lead out the horses;    helmets and breastplates must with
              straps be fastened.

                                                                  [1147]
  “And now, if any outfits    are not good to wear,
  Nor meet for you in fighting,    to that I’ll give my care.
  The queen, my lady Hilda,    has sent with us already
  Full five hundred breastplates;    these will we give to any who are
              needy.”

                                                                  [1148]
  Quickly were the horses    forth on the sea-beach led;
  And all the showy horse-cloths,    that should on them be spread,
  Were by the men unfolded,    and laid on steeds in waiting,
  To see which best beseemed them;    and each then took the one he
              deemed most fitting.

                                                                  [1149]
  In leaping, and in galloping    up and down the shore,
  They rode, and watched the horses;    many, strong before,
  Now were dull and sluggish,    nor longer quick at running;
  Too long had they been standing,    and Wâ-te had them killed, as not
              worth owning.

                                                                  [1150]
  Fires by the men were lighted;    and good and hearty food,
  The best that could be met with    so near the shore and flood,
  By the tired and hungry wanderers    soon was cooked and eaten.
  They had not hoped beforehand    that rest like this their toilsome
              life would sweeten.

                                                                  [1151]
  Throughout the night they rested,    till dawn of the coming day.
  To Ortwin Wâ-te and Fru-te    each his mind did say;
  Talking aside on the seashore,    many a threat was spoken
  Against their Norman foemen,    who into the Hegeling castle erst had
              broken.

                                                                  [1152]
  “Men must we now be sending,”    to them young Ortwin said,
  “Who shall tidings bring us,    if they be not yet dead,
  About my long-lost sister    and many a homeless maiden;
  For when on them I’m thinking,    my heart is heavy, oft with sorrow
              laden.”

                                                                  [1153]
  Together they bethought them,    whom they hence should send,
  By whom the news they wished for    might with truth be gained,
  And who could tell them rightly    where to find the maiden;
  By them, too, must the errand    on which they came, from foes be
              wisely hidden.

                                                                  [1154]
  Then spake the youthful Ortwin,    who from Ortland came,
  A faithful knight as any:    “Myself for the search I name;
  The maid, Gu-drun, is my sister,    child of my father and mother;
  Of all, however worthy,    am I more fit to go than any other.”

                                                                  [1155]
  Then spake the kingly Herwic:    “I too will go with thee;
  To live or die I am ready,    seeking the maid to free.
  To you she is a sister,    but to me for a wife they gave her;
  To her am I ever faithful,    nor for a day uncared-for will I leave
              her.”

                                                                  [1156]
  Then quoth Wâ-te angrily:    “’Tis childish thus to speak,
  Brave and chosen warriors:    such risks you should not seek,
  And this for truth I tell you.    Spurn you not my warning;
  Should you be found by Hartmut,    you’ll on his gallows hang, your
              rashness mourning.”

                                                                  [1157]
  To him King Herwic answered:    “Though good or ill betide,
  Friends should aye be friendly,    standing side by side.
  I and my friend, young Ortwin,    will ne’er the task give over,
  Whatever shall befall us,    and search will make till we Gu-drun
              recover.”

                                                                  [1158]
  When now upon this errand    both were bent to go,
  They sent for friends and kinsfolk,    and did their wishes show.
  They bade them to be faithful,    and said the oaths then taken
  Must never be forgotten,    and they who went must never be forsaken.

                                                                  [1159]
  “Of your pledges I remind you,”    the youthful Ortwin said:
  “If we, by foemen taken,    should be in bondage led,
  You with gold must free us,    and so our bonds must loosen;
  Lands must you sell and castles,    nor ever sorrow feel that thus
              you’ve chosen.

                                                                  [1160]
  “And, warriors brave, now hearken    to what we more will say;
  If foes our life begrudge us,    and us in fight shall slay,
  Be not our death forgotten,    let it on them be wroken:
  Your swords in Hartmut’s kingdom    must make your daring there be
              loudly spoken.

                                                                  [1161]
  “This we further bid you,    my good and well-born knights:
  E’en though, with toil the hardest,    every warrior fights,
  Let not those homeless maidens    be by you forsaken;
  Until the strife is settled,    let not their hope and trust in you be
              shaken.”

                                                                  [1162]
  Their faith then freely pledging,    each gave to the king his hand;
  And all the best among them    swore that home and land
  They nevermore would look on,    but still afar would tarry,
  Until again to their homesteads    they from the Norman land the maids
              should carry.

                                                                  [1163]
  All of them were faithful,    but yet were weeping sore;
  They feared the hate of Ludwig,    and ills for them in store.
  That they could send no others    they were deeply mourning;
  And all were sadly thinking,    “No one now can death from them be
              turning.”

                                                                  [1164]
  All day they talked together;    it now was near its end:
  The sun, that low was sinking,    thro’ clouds its beams did send:
  Erelong it sank o’er Gulstred,    and there at last was hidden.
  Ortwin and Herwic tarried,    that night to go, by the waning light
              forbidden.



                        Tale the Twenty-fourth.
               HOW THEIR COMING WAS MADE KNOWN TO GUDRUN.


                                                                  [1165]
  Of them we speak no longer;    we now will let you hear
  Yet more about the maidens:    how hope their lot did cheer
  Who on a far-off seashore    must wearily toil at washing:
  Gu-drun and Hildeburg    must wash all day on the sands where waves
              were dashing.

                                                                  [1166]
  ’Twas the time of spring-tide fasting,    and at the noon of day.
  To them a swan came floating;    thereat Gu-drun ’gan say:
  “O bird so fair and lovely,    such pain for me thou art feeling,
  That now thou hither speedest    from a far-off land, across the water
              sailing.”

                                                                  [1167]
  Then to her in answer    spake the friendly swan,
  Although a God-sent angel,    in speech most like a man:
  “Words from God I bring you;    if you for this be seeking,
  Tidings I give of your kindred;    of these, most high-born maid, would
              I be speaking.”

                                                                  [1168]
  When the lovely maiden    his speech so wondrous heard,
  Scarce could she believe it,    that thus an untamed bird,
  Now, within her hearing,    in tones like these had spoken.
  While to him she listened,    it seemed that his words from the mouth
              of a man had broken.

                                                                  [1169]
  Then said the bird-like angel:    “Hopeful you now may be,
  Homeless, sorrowing maiden;    gladness shall come to thee.
  If you would hear of your birth-land,    listen while I tell you;
  From there I bring you tidings,    for God hath sent me, of your woes
              to heal you.”

                                                                  [1170]
  At this, Gu-drun, the fair one,    upon the sands down fell;
  Crossing her arms, the maiden    her lowly prayers did tell.
  Then she said to Hildeburg:    “God hath us in his keeping,
  And help to us has granted;    we now no more shall sorrow know, nor
              weeping.”

                                                                  [1171]
  To the bird then said the maiden:    “Christ has sent thee here
  To us, poor homeless maidens,    our heavy hearts to cheer;
  Good and trusted harbinger,    tidings tell yet other:
  Is now Queen Hilda living?    Of poor Gu-drun is she the much-loved
              mother.”

                                                                  [1172]
  The Heaven-sent bird thus answered:    “This can I say to thee;
  Hilda, thy queenly mother,    in health did I lately see.
  To search for thee already    her warriors she has banded;
  Such throngs no kin or widow,    seeking for friends, on foeman’s shore
              e’er landed.”

                                                                  [1173]
  Then spake the high-born maiden:    “Good tidings thou dost bear:
  Be thou with me not weary,    still more I fain would hear.
  Lives yet my brother Ortwin,    as king in Ortland dwelling,
  And Herwic, my betrothéd?    ’Twould gladden me could’st thou this news
              be telling.”

                                                                  [1174]
  The bird-like angel answered:    “That can I gladly tell;
  Herwic and young King Ortwin    are both alive and well.
  Upon the swelling billows,    that rose and sank unending,
  I saw those knightly sailors;    each with even stroke to his oar was
              bending.”

                                                                  [1175]
  She said: “This tell me also,    if ’tis known to thee,
  Whether Morunc and Irold    are now upon the sea,
  And hither come to seek me;    the truth I fain would gather.
  Gladly I would see them,    for they are kin to Hettel, who was my
              father.”

                                                                  [1176]
  To her the bird thus answered:    “That can I tell you, too;
  Morunc, and with him Irold,    I saw, in search of you.
  They to this land are coming;    their help will soon be given
  To fight for you, fair lady,    and many a helmet will by them be
              riven.”

                                                                  [1177]
  Then spake the winged angel:    “I bid you now farewell,
  And leave you in God’s keeping,    for work awaits me still.
  I overstay my errand    to linger here, yet speaking.”
  Then from their sight he faded,    and left the maidens’ hearts
              well-nigh to breaking.

                                                                  [1178]
  Then said Hilda’s daughter:    “My sorrows none can know;
  Much that I wished to ask thee,    now must I forego.
  For the sake of Christ, I beg thee,    ere thou alone dost leave me,
  Poor and wretched maiden,    that freedom from my woes thou yet wilt
              give me.”

                                                                  [1179]
  Before her eyes he floated,    and once again he spake:
  “Ere yet we two are parted,    and hence my way I take,
  If I in aught can help you,    of that I will not weary,
  And, since through Christ you ask it,    to tell you of your kin will
              longer tarry.”

                                                                  [1180]
  She said: “I fain were hearing,    if thou the truth hast learned,
  If Horant, lord of Denmark,    his way has hither turned,
  And with him leads his kinsmen?    They leave me here forsaken.
  Knowing him brave and daring,    I would my lonely lot his care might
              waken.”

                                                                  [1181]
  “From Denmark sailing hither,    Horant, your kinsman, comes;
  He to war is leading    his followers from their homes.
  The banner of Queen Hilda    aloft in his hand he is bearing;
  ’Tis thus the Hegeling warriors    now the Norman Hartmut’s land are
              nearing.”

                                                                  [1182]
  Gu-drun then asked him further:    “This would I also hear:
  Lives Wâ-te still of Sturmland?    If so, no more I fear.
  We all might then be happy,    if thou could’st this be telling,—
  That under the flag of my mother    he and the aged Fru-te are hither
              sailing.”

                                                                  [1183]
  To her the angel answered:    “Hither comes in haste
  Wâ-te the old from Sturmland.    He in his hand holds fast
  The strong and guiding rudder,    and Fru-te’s ship is steering.
  Truer friends or better    you ne’er need wish their swords for you
              were bearing.”

                                                                  [1184]
  Once more the bird was ready    upon his way to go;
  Then said the wretched maiden:    “I still am full of woe;
  And now to know am longing—    if life such bliss can lend me—
  When I, poor homeless maiden,    shall see my mother’s knights, whom
              she doth send me.”

                                                                  [1185]
  The angel answered quickly:    “Your happiness is near;
  To-morrow morning early,    will two brave knights be here.
  Both are true and upright,    and falsehood ne’er will tell you;
  Whatever news they bring you    you well may trust, and never will it
              fail you.”

                                                                  [1186]
  At last the heavenly angel    hence in truth must go:
  From him the homeless maidens    sought no more to know.
  In mind they ever wavered,    ’twixt hope and fear still tossing;
  Where their helpers lingered    they could not know, yet trust were
              never losing.

                                                                  [1187]
  Lazily and slowly    they washed the livelong day;
  Of knights sent there by Hilda,    who now were on their way
  From over the Hegeling border,    busily they chatted:
  Gu-drun’s good, faithful kinsmen    were by the long-lost maids
              uneasily awaited.

                                                                  [1188]
  Each day must have its ending;    to the castle now must go
  The weary, homesick maidens.    They there must harshness know
  From evil-minded Gerlind,    who their lives still harrowed;
  A day went by but seldom    that she scolded them not, nor still their
              bondage narrowed.

                                                                  [1189]
  Thus she spoke to the maidens:    “Who gave the word to you
  That you might wash so slowly    my clothes and linen, too?
  All the things I gave you    must be quickly whitened;
  ’Twere best that you be careful,    you else shall weep, and for your
              lives be frightened.”

                                                                  [1190]
  Then answered her young Hildeburg:    “Our work we ever mind;
  Truly you ought, fair lady,    to be to us more kind.
  We oft are almost freezing,    with water o’er us splashing;
  If only the winds were warmer,    we might for you far better then be
              washing.”

                                                                  [1191]
  Grimly answered Gerlind,    and roughly them did twit:
  “Whatever be the weather,    my work you may not slight.
  Early must you be washing,    nor rest till night be knowing;
  To-morrow morn, at daybreak,    you from my room must down to the beach
              be going.

                                                                  [1192]
  “I ween you know already    that Holytide is near;
  Palm-Sunday soon is coming,    and guests will then be here:
  If to ill-washed clothing    my knights shall then be treated,
  Never in kingly castle    to those who washed have woes like yours been
              meted.”

                                                                  [1193]
  Then the maidens left her;    they laid aside, all wet,
  The clothing they were wearing—    they better care should get.
  All they had known of kindness    for them no longer lasted,
  And soon for this they sorrowed,    for bread and water now was all
              they tasted.

                                                                  [1194]
  Now the downcast maidens    for sleep had sought their bed;
  But this was not the softest,    and each one, in her need,
  A dirty shirt was wearing.    Thus was Gerlind showing
  Her care and kindness for them,    on benches hard a pillow ne’er
              bestowing.

                                                                  [1195]
  Never Gu-drun, poor maiden,    on a harder bed had lain;
  All were tired with watching    till day should dawn again.
  They had but broken slumber;    I ween, they oft bethought them
  How soon the knights were coming,    of whom the angel-bird the news
              had brought them.

                                                                  [1196]
  Soon as the morning lightened,    Hildeburg the good,
  Erst from Galicia stolen,    at the window gazing stood;
  All night she slept but little,    but on her bed lay tossing.
  She saw that snow had fallen,    and hope the heart-sick maid was
              wellnigh losing.

                                                                  [1197]
  Then spake the hapless maiden:    “To wash we now must go.
  Should God not change the weather,    and we, in storm and snow,
  To-day must stand a-washing,    before the evening cometh
  We, all chilled and barefoot,    shall dead be found, while us the cold
              benumbeth.”

                                                                  [1198]
  By hope they yet were gladdened,    e’en as they well might be,
  That those sent out by Hilda    they ere night should see.
  When the lovely maidens    upon this thought were dwelling,
  It made them now more happy,    and lighter was the pain their hearts
              were feeling.

                                                                  [1199]
  Then said Hilda’s daughter:    “My friend, you should beseech
  The stern, ill-minded Gerlind,    that on the pebbly beach
  Shoes she will allow us;    she may herself be learning
  That if we go there barefoot    we soon shall freeze, and there our
              death be earning.”

                                                                  [1200]
  The maidens then went seeking    King Ludwig and his queen.
  He, in sleep held fondly,    in Gerlind’s arms was seen;
  Both were sunk in slumber,    and the maids, their anger fearing,
  Dared not them to waken:    erelong Gu-drun yet greater woe was
              bearing.

                                                                  [1201]
  The weeping of the maidens    by the sleeping queen was heard,
  Who quick began to chide    them with many a surly word:
  “Why, you heedless maidens,    are you not to the seashore going,
  There to wash my clothing,    and rinse them with clean water o’er them
              flowing?”

                                                                  [1202]
  Then said Gu-drun, in sorrow:    “I know not where to go,
  For in the night has fallen    a deep and heavy snow.
  That we by death be stricken    unless you now are willing,
  Do not send us washing;    to stand without our shoes will us be
              killing.”

                                                                  [1203]
  To her the she-wolf answered;    “That I do not fear;
  Now to the shore betake you,    or weal or woe to bear.
  If you be slow in washing,    my wrath may you be dreading;
  E’en if you die, what care I?”    At this the hopeless maids more tears
              were shedding.

                                                                  [1204]
  Taking then the clothing,    they went to the water’s brink:
  “Of this,” said Gu-drun,    “God willing, I will make you think.”
  Then, in the cold, barefooted,    through the snow they waded;
  The very high-born maidens,    forsaken in their woe, were worn and
              faded.

                                                                  [1205]
  Down to the beach they plodded,    as was their wont before,
  Bearing the clothing with them    to the bleak and sandy shore.
  They once more were standing,    over the washing stooping;
  Ever they were thinking    of their sorry plight, and sadly were they
              hoping.

                                                                  [1206]
  Often now, and earnestly,    over the watery waste,
  While they toiled and sorrowed,    longing looks they cast;
  Still of those now dreaming    sent by the queen to free them,
  Who o’er the sea were sailing.    The high-born maidens hoped erelong
              to see them.



                         Tale the Twenty-Fifth.
                  HOW HERWIC AND ORTWIN FOUND GUDRUN.


                                                                  [1207]
  After they long had waited,    now saw these washers lone
  Two in a boat fast nearing;    others were there none.
  Then said the maiden, Hildeburg,    unto Gu-drun, the lady:
  “These two are sailing hither;    perhaps the friends sent here are
              come already.”

                                                                  [1208]
  She, full of sorrow, answered:    “Ah, woe is me, poor maid!
  Although, in truth I’m happy,    I yet am also sad.
  If at the seaside washing    Queen Hilda’s men shall see us,
  Standing thus barefooted,    we from the shame of this can never free
              us.

                                                                  [1209]
  “A poor, unhappy woman,    I know not what to do:
  Hildeburg, my dearest,    your mind now let me know;
  To hide me were it better,    or shall I stay to shame me
  When they shall find me toiling?    Rather would I that they a drudge
              should name me.”

                                                                  [1210]
  Then said the maiden Hildeburg:    “E’en how it stands you see;
  A thing that is so weighty    you should not leave to me,
  Whate’er you think the better,    your choice will I be sharing;
  With you I’ll stay forever,    both good, and ill together with you
              bearing.”

                                                                  [1211]
  Then from the water turning,    both fled away in haste;
  But now the boat of the sailors    had neared the land so fast,
  They saw the lovely washers,    away from the seashore hieing,
  And at once bethought them    that they for shame away from the clothes
              were flying.

                                                                  [1212]
  They called unto the maidens,    as they sprang upon the beach:
  “Whither so fast are you fleeing,    fair washers, we beseech?
  We are far-off wanderers,    as well our looks are showing;
  Your linen may be stolen,    if you leave it here, and from us in haste
              are going.”

                                                                  [1213]
  They kept their way still swiftly,    as if they heard it not:
  But yet the boisterous shouting    had reached their ears, I wot.
  The bold and knightly Herwic    too roughly bade them hear him,
  For he not yet mistrusted    ’twas his betrothed that now he saw so
              near him.

                                                                  [1214]
  Cried Herwic, lord of Sealand:    “Maidens fair and young,
  Tell us now, we pray you,    to whom these clothes belong.
  We ask you in all honor,    by the faith to maidens owing,
  Most fair and lovely ladies,    that back to the shore you will again
              be going.”

                                                                  [1215]
  Gu-drun, the maid, then answered:    “It were a shame, forsooth,
  Since to the trust of woman    you give your pledge in truth,
  Were I of this unworthy,    nor faith in you were showing:
  To the shore we back will hasten,    although my eyes with tears are
              overflowing.”

                                                                  [1216]
  They, in their smocks, came nearer;    both with the sea were wet.
  Before that time, the maidens    were always clean and neat;
  Now the wretched drudges    with cold and frost were quaking;
  Little of late had they eaten,    and with the March-like winds were
              chilled and shaking.

                                                                  [1217]
  The time had come already    for snows to melt away,
  And, with each other vying,    the little birds, each day,
  Again their songs would warble,    as soon as March was ended;
  But in the snow, and ice-cold,    the maids were found forlorn, and
              unbefriended.

                                                                  [1218]
  Stiff were their locks and frosted,    when they now drew near;
  However well and carefully    they had smoothed their hair,
  It now was tossed and tumbled    by the wind so wildly blowing:
  Hard bestead were the maidens,    toiling there, whether it rained or
              was snowing.

                                                                  [1219]
  The ice was loose and broken,    floating everywhere
  Upon the sea before them.    The maids were filled with care;
  Pale were now their bodies,    e’en as the snow around them,
  By their scanty clothes scarce hidden.    Sad was the lot in which the
              knights had found them.

                                                                  [1220]
  Then the high-born Herwic    a kind “Good-morning” bade
  To the sad and homeless maidens;    of this sore need they had,
  For oft their keeper, Gerlind,    had them with harshness taunted.
  To hear “Good-morning,” “Good-evening,”    was now to the maids but
              very seldom granted.

                                                                  [1221]
  Then said the youthful Ortwin:    “I beg you say to me
  To whom belongs this clothing,    that on the sands I see?
  For whom are you here washing?    You both are so comely showing,
  Who can this shame have done you?    May God bring low the man such
              outrage doing!

                                                                  [1222]
  “So fair are you and lovely,    you well might wear the crown;
  If all that is your birthright    you now could call your own,
  You would, in truth, be worthy    to be with ladies seated.
  Has he for whom you are toiling    more such washers fair so foully
              treated?”

                                                                  [1223]
  To him the lovely maiden    in greatest sorrow spoke:
  “Many he hath beside us    who fairer still do look.
  All that you list now ask us;    yet, with eye unsleeping,
  One from the leads doth watch us,    who ne’er will forgive the talk
              with you we’re keeping.”

                                                                  [1224]
  “Be not at this uneasy,    but deign our gold to take,
  And with it these four arm-bands.    These your reward we make,
  If you, most lovely ladies,    of speech will not be wary;
  To you we give them gladly,    if of the truth we seek you be not
              chary.”

                                                                  [1225]
  “God leave to you your arm-bands,    albeit you we thank;
  Nought for hire may you give us,”    quoth the lady high in rank.
  “Ask what you will, but quickly,    for we must hence be going;
  If we were seen here with you,    nothing but sorrow should we then be
              knowing.”

                                                                  [1226]
  “We beg you first to tell us    who this land doth own?
  Whose are the castles also?    By what name is he known
  Who leaves you without clothing,    low tasks upon you laying?
  He may of his worth be boastful;    that he doeth well no man may now
              be saying.”

                                                                  [1227]
  To him Gu-drun thus answered:    “Hartmut is one of the lords
  To whom these lands owe fealty.    His castles well he guards,
  With Ludwig, king of the Normans,    who is Hartmut’s father:
  And many knightly vassals,    to keep their lands from foes, they round
              them gather.”

                                                                  [1228]
  “Gladly would we see them,”    said Ortwin, the friendly knight;
  “Happy were I, fair lady,    if we could learn aright
  Where, within their kingdom,    we might those kings be meeting,
  We bring to them an errand;    as henchmen of a king, we bear his
              greeting.”

                                                                  [1229]
  Gu-drun, the high-born lady,    thus to the warrior spake:
  “This very morning early,    ere yet they were awake,
  I left them in their castle;    in their beds they slumbered.
  I know not if thence they have ridden:    their men, I think, full
              forty hundred numbered.”

                                                                  [1230]
  Again King Herwic asked her:    “To us yet further tell,
  Why is it such brave princes    in fear like this should dwell,
  That they so many warriors    always should be needing?
  Had I that band of fighters,    to gain a kingdom I would them be
              leading.”

                                                                  [1231]
  To him Gu-drun thus answered:    “Of that we nothing know;
  And where their lands are lying,    that neither can we show:
  But from the Hegeling kingdom,    although it is not near them,
  They fear that harm awaits them    from foes who soon may come, who
              hatred bear them.”

                                                                  [1232]
  Trembling, cold, and shivering,    the maids before them stood;
  Then the knightly Herwic    spake, in kindly mood:
  “I would, most lovely ladies,    if we might be so daring,
  And if no shame it gave you,    that on the shore our cloaks you would
              be wearing.”

                                                                  [1233]
  Hilda’s daughter answered:    “May God your kindness bless;
  We cannot take your mantles,    but we thank you none the less.
  No eye shall ever see me    manly clothing wearing.”
  If only the maidens knew it,    much greater ills would they yet be
              often bearing.

                                                                  [1234]
  Oft the eyes of Herwic    did on the maiden rest;
  To him she seemed most comely,    and her bearing was the best.
  For all her heavy sorrows    sighs in his heart were wakened;
  And to one erst thought of kindly,    from him long taken, he the
              maiden likened.

                                                                  [1235]
  Then spake again young Ortwin,    who was of Ortland king:
  “Can either of you ladies    tidings whatever bring
  Of a band of homeless maidens    who to this land were carried?
  Gu-drun was one among them,    and gladly would we learn where she has
              tarried.”

                                                                  [1236]
  To him the maiden answered:    “To me is that well known;
  A maiden throng came hither    in days now long bygone:
  They to this far-off kingdom    by fighters bold were taken;
  And full of heavy sorrow    came these maids forlorn, of hope forsaken.

                                                                  [1237]
  “The maid whom you are seeking    I know,” she said, “full well;
  I here have seen her toiling,    this for a truth I tell.”
  She was herself the maiden    who was by Hartmut stolen,
  Gu-drun, Queen Hilda’s daughter,    and all she told had erst herself
              befallen.

                                                                  [1238]
  Then spake the knightly Herwic:    “Ortwin, list to me:
  If fair Gu-drun, your sister,    yet alive may be,
  In any land whatever,    for us on earth still watching,
  This must be that lady;    ne’er have I seen two maids so nearly
              matching.”

                                                                  [1239]
  To him then said young Ortwin:    “The maid in truth is fair,
  But to my long-lost sister    no likeness doth she bear.
  The days are not forgotten    when we were young together;
  Should I rove the whole world over,    so fair as she I ne’er could
              find another.”

                                                                  [1240]
  When now Gu-drun, who listened,    heard the name of the man,
  That his friend did call him Ortwin,    she looked at him again:
  For she indeed were happy    if she were thus befriended,
  And found in him a brother,    for then her cares were o’er and her
              sorrows ended.

                                                                  [1241]
  “However they may call you,    a worthy knight are you:
  A man in all things like you    in days of yore I knew;
  The name of Herwic bore he,    in Sealand was his dwelling.
  If that brave knight were living,    to loose us from our bonds he were
              not failing.

                                                                  [1242]
  “I am one of the maidens    whom Hartmut’s warriors stole,
  And bore across the waters,    in thraldom sorrowful.
  Gu-drun you here are seeking,    but need not thus have hasted;
  The queenly Hegeling maiden    at last is dead, with toil and hardship
              wasted.”

                                                                  [1243]
  The eyes of Ortwin glistened,    filling fast with tears;
  Nor was it without weeping    that now King Herwic hears
  The tidings to them given,—    that fair Gu-drun, their lady,
  From them by death was taken;    at this their heavy hearts to break
              were ready.

                                                                  [1244]
  When both, before her weeping,    were seen by the homeless maid,
  With eyes upon them fastened,    thus to them she said:
  “It seems to me most likely,    by the mood that you are wearing,
  That to Gu-drun, the maiden,    you worthy knights are love and kinship
              bearing.”

                                                                  [1245]
  To her young Herwic answered:    “Yes, for the maid, forsooth,
  I shall pine till life be ended;    to me she gave her troth,
  And to me, in wedlock plighted,    with faithful oaths was given:
  Since then, by the craft of Ludwig,    her have I lost, by him from her
              birthland riven.”

                                                                  [1246]
  Then said the sorrowing maiden:    “Your words would me mislead,
  For men have often told me    that Herwic long is dead.
  No bliss on earth were greater,    that God to me were granting,
  Could I learn that he is living;    a friend to lead me hence were then
              not wanting.”

                                                                  [1247]
  Then said the knightly Herwic:    “Upon my hand now look;
  Know you this ring I am wearing?    Mine is the name you spoke;
  With this were we betrothéd:    to Gu-drun I am faithful ever,
  And if you were my loved one,    I would lead you hence, and would
              forsake you never.”

                                                                  [1248]
  Upon his hand then looking,    a ring there met her sight,
  Set with a stone from Abalie,    in gold that glittered bright;
  Never her eyes had rested    on one more rich or fairer.
  Gu-drun, the queenly maiden,    of this same ring had whilom been the
              wearer.

                                                                  [1249]
  The happy maiden, smiling,    with words her bliss did show:
  “Of this I once was owner,    and well the ring I know.
  Look upon this I am wearing;    ’twas the gift of my early lover,
  While I, a gladsome maiden,    still dwelt at home, nor stepped its
              borders over.”

                                                                  [1250]
  He, on her hand now gazing,    upon the ring did look;
  Then unto the maiden    the knightly Herwic spoke:
  “That a queenly mother bore thee,    I see by many a token;
  After my heavy sorrows,    a blessed sight upon my eyes has broken.”

                                                                  [1251]
  Then in his arms he folded    the fair and high-born maid:
  For all they told each other    they were both glad and sad.
  He kissed the maiden fondly,    how oft I cannot reckon;
  So, too, he greeted Hildeburg,    showing his love to both the maids
              forsaken.

                                                                  [1252]
  Then the youthful Ortwin    begged the maid to say
  Whether to do her task-work    there was no other way
  Than, standing by the seaside,    all day to wash the clothing?
  At this she greatly sorrowed,    and felt for her work the deepest
              shame and loathing.

                                                                  [1253]
  “Tell me now, fair sister,    where may your children be
  Whom you have borne to Hartmut,    in his land across the sea,
  That all alone on the seashore    to wash they thus allow you?
  If here a queen they call you,    the name you bear but little good can
              do you.”

                                                                  [1254]
  Shedding tears, she answered:    “How should I have a child?
  No love could Hartmut kindle,    that I to him should yield;
  And well do all men know it    who near him here are dwelling.
  Because I would not love him    I now must toil, and woe my heart is
              swelling.”

                                                                  [1255]
  Then spake the knightly Herwic:    “We now can truly say
  That we good luck have met with,    on our errand far away;
  And nought could have befallen    that for us were better.
  It behooves us now to hasten    to free the maid from the ills that
              here beset her.”

                                                                  [1256]
  Then said the knight, young Ortwin:    “That may never be.
  Had I a hundred sisters,    I would sooner let them die
  Than here, in another’s kingdom,    to hide a deed of plunder;
  Stealing those from our foemen    whom they by stormy fight from us did
              sunder.”

                                                                  [1257]
  Then spake the lord of Sealand:    “This do I greatly fear,
  Should our search be known to any,    or if they find us here,
  They then may take the maiden,    and her far hence may carry,
  And never shall we see her:    ’twere best to hide the deed, nor longer
              tarry.”

                                                                  [1258]
  Him did Ortwin answer:    “How can we leave in need
  Her faithful band of maidens?    So long a stay they’ve made
  Here in this land of foemen    that well may they be weary:
  Gu-drun, my worthy sister,    should ne’er forsake her maids, in
              bondage dreary.”

                                                                  [1259]
  To him then spake brave Herwic:    “Is this in truth your mind?
  Ne’er shall my well-belovéd    be left by me behind;
  To take the ladies with us,    e’en as we can, ’tis better.”
  Him did Ortwin answer:    “Here to be hacked with the sword for me were
              fitter.”

                                                                  [1260]
  Then said the downcast maiden:    “What have I done to thee,
  My dearest brother Ortwin?    Never as yet in me
  Was seen such ill-behavior    that I for that was chidden.
  For what great sin I know not    am I, my lord, to make atonement
              bidden?”

                                                                  [1261]
  “I do not thus, dear sister,    for want of love to thee;
  Thereby your band of maidens    I shall the better free.
  Only as fits my honor,    hence will I ever take you;
  Herwic for your lover    you yet shall have, and ne’er will he forsake
              you.”

                                                                  [1262]
  Gu-drun was heavy-hearted    as they went on board the boat;
  She said: “Woe worth my wanderings!    my sorrow endeth not.
  He whom once I trusted,    must hope in him be shaken
  That he will break my bondage?    My bliss is yet far off, and my faith
              mistaken.”

                                                                  [1263]
  In haste the daring warriors    turned from the shore away.
  Gu-drun, the maid, heart-broken,    to Herwic called to stay:
  “Of me you once thought highly,    but now you hold me lightly:
  To whom, in my woe, do you leave me?    Bereft of kin, to whom can I
              trust me rightly?”

                                                                  [1264]
  “I do not hold you lightly;    you are of maids the best.
  My coming, queenly lady,    hide within your breast;
  Again, ere morning lightens,    these shores will I be treading,—
  For this my troth I pledge you,—    eighty thousand followers with me
              leading.”

                                                                  [1265]
  As fast as they were able    they hastened then away;
  Never friends were sundered    more sadly than that day
  Were these from one another;    (the truth to you I’m telling.)
  As far as their eyes could follow,    the maidens watched the boat away
              fast sailing.

                                                                  [1266]
  Gu-drun, the queenly maiden,    her washing now forgot;
  Betwixt her bliss and sorrow,    her toil she heeded not.
  The harsh and wicked Gerlind,    the idle women spying
  Standing by the seashore,    in anger stormed, that her clothes
              unwashed were lying.

                                                                  [1267]
  Then said the maiden Hildeburg,    from Ireland, o’er the sea:
  “Why do you let the clothing    here uncared for be?
  The clothes of Ludwig’s followers    still unwashed are waiting.
  If this be known to Gerlind,    yet harder blows from her shall we be
              getting.”

                                                                  [1268]
  Queen Hilda’s daughter answered:    “Too proud I am, I ween,
  That for the wicked Gerlind    I e’er should wash again.
  Henceforth a toil so lowly    in scorn shall I be holding,
  For two young kings have kissed me,    they in kindness me in their
              arms enfolding.”

                                                                  [1269]
  Then Hildeburg made answer:    “Scorn not that I should teach
  Or that I now would show you    how best the clothes to bleach:
  We must not leave them yellow,    but carefully must whiten;
  Else do I greatly fear me    our backs with blows and stripes will well
              be beaten.”

                                                                  [1270]
  Then said old Hagen’s grandchild:    “At last my lot is bright,
  With hope and gladness beaming.    If they my back shall smite
  With rods, from now till morning,    I trow it will not kill me;
  But soon shall those who wronged us    know themselves the ills they
              chose to deal me.

                                                                  [1271]
  “These clothes I should be washing    down to the tide I’ll bear,
  And fling them into the water,”    said the maiden fair;
  “Their freedom I will give them,    even as ’tis fitting
  That I, a queen, should do it;    hence they may float away, no
              hindrance meeting.”

                                                                  [1272]
  Whate’er was said by Hildeburg,    Gu-drun the clothes then took,
  That Gerlind her had given;    her task she would not brook,
  But far into the billows    she threw them, strongly hurling:
  I know not if ever she found them;    they soon were lost to sight, in
              the waters swirling.

                                                                  [1273]
  The night was drawing nearer,    and the light began to wane;
  To the castle, heavy-laden,    went Hildeburg again.
  Seven robes of finest linen    she bore, with other clothing;
  Gu-drun, young Ortwin’s sister,    with Hildeburg went also, bearing
              nothing.

                                                                  [1274]
  When they had reached the castle,    the time was very late.
  Before King Ludwig’s palace,    standing at the gate,
  They saw the wicked Gerlind,    watching there to meet them:
  Soon as she saw the washers,    with words of bitter scorn she ’gan to
              greet them.

                                                                  [1275]
  Thus she spake in anger:    “What does this gadding mean?
  Stripes upon your bodies    you both have earned, I ween,
  Thus upon the seashore,    in the evening light, to wander;
  For me it were unseemly    into my room to take you, after loitering
              yonder.”

                                                                  [1276]
  She said: “Now tell me quickly,    think you this is meet?
  You spurn the greatest princes,    and show them nought but hate,
  But linger yet, at nightfall,    with low-born varlets flirting.
  Would you be thought of highly,    know you that this your own good
              name is hurting.”

                                                                  [1277]
  The well-born maiden answered:    “Why speak of me so ill?
  Never have I, poor maiden,    had the thought or will
  With any man to tattle,    however dear I held him,
  Unless it were a kinsman;    a talk with him I rightfully might yield
              him.”

                                                                  [1278]
  “Say you I chide you wrongly?    Hush, you idle jade!
  For this, to-night, I tell you,    a reckoning shall be made.
  To be so bold and shameless    you then will dare no longer;
  Before with you I’ve ended,    your back shall feel that I than you am
              stronger.”

                                                                  [1279]
  “In that will I gainsay you,”    said then the maiden proud;
  “Again with rods to beat me    you ne’er shall be allowed.
  You and all your kindred    in birth are far below me;
  You may yet for this be sorry,    if treatment so unseemly you shall
              show me.”

                                                                  [1280]
  Then spake the wolfish Gerlind:    “Where is my clothing left,
  That, folded in your apron,    you thus your hands have wrapt;
  Bearing yourself so idly,    now from toil thus turning?
  If I live a little longer,    another kind of work shall you be
              learning.”

                                                                  [1281]
  King Hagen’s grandchild answered:    “Down by the deep sea-flood
  I left your clothing lying.    It was too great a load;
  I found the weight too heavy,    alone to the house to carry.
  If never again you see them,    but little I care, the while with you I
              tarry.”

                                                                  [1282]
  Then quoth the old she-devil:    “All this shall help you not;
  Before I sleep this evening,    bitter shall be your lot!”
  Then were tied, at her bidding,    rods from hedges broken;
  Gerlind would not give over    the training hard ’gainst which the maid
              had spoken.

                                                                  [1283]
  Then strongly to a bedstead    she bade them bind the maid,
  And alone in a room to leave her,    where not a friend she had:
  There should she be beaten,    till skin from bone was falling.
  When this was known to her women,    they all began to weep, and loud
              were wailing.

                                                                  [1284]
  Then spake Gu-drun, with cunning:    “Now list to what I say:
  If I with rods am beaten    thus shamefully to-day,
  Should e’er an eye behold me    with kings and princes seated,
  And I a crown be wearing,    to you a fit reward shall then be meted.

                                                                  [1285]
  “Henceforth for me such teaching    ’twere best you let alone;
  Sooner the king I’ve slighted    shall have me for his own:
  Then as queen of Normandy    here will I be dwelling;
  And when I here am mighty,    what I will do may no one now be
              telling.”

                                                                  [1286]
  “Be this your will,” said Gerlind,    “angry no more I’ll be:
  E’en if a thousand garments    you thus had lost for me,
  I would, in truth, forgive it;    well you will have thriven
  If to my son, young Hartmut,    the Norman prince, your love at last be
              given.”

                                                                  [1287]
  Then said the lovely maiden:    “I now would take some rest;
  This care and heavy sorrow    my strength doth sorely waste.
  Send for the young King Hartmut,    bid him be hither speeding,
  And say, whate’er he wishes,    that I henceforth will always do his
              bidding.”

                                                                  [1288]
  Those who heard them talking,    straightway to Hartmut ran,
  And to the youthful warrior    told the tale again.
  Some of his father’s liegemen    there with him were seated,
  When word to him was given    in haste to seek Gu-drun, who for him
              waited.

                                                                  [1289]
  Then said the one who told him:    “Give me now my fee;
  Queen Hilda’s lovely daughter    will grant her love to thee.
  She bids you now to hasten    at once to her in her bower;
  No longer are you hated,    for better thoughts she harbors than of
              yore.”

                                                                  [1290]
  The high-born knight then answered:    “To lie you have no need.
  If true indeed were your tidings,    well should you be feed;
  By me would three great castles    and a hide of land be given,
  With sixty golden arm-bands;    while bliss thenceforth my days should
              long enliven.”

                                                                  [1291]
  Then said to him another:    “This tale, I know, is true;
  The fee should I be sharing.    At court they wish for you;
  Gu-drun, the maid, has said it.    To love you she is ready;
  And if in truth you wish it,    she in your land will be your queen and
              lady.”

                                                                  [1292]
  To those who told the tidings    his thanks young Hartmut gave;
  From off his seat, o’er-gladdened,    upsprang the warrior brave.
  He thought that, in His kindness,    God this boon had done him,
  And, with a heart now happy,    he sought the maiden’s bower who love
              had shown him.

                                                                  [1293]
  In garments wet there standing,    was seen the high-born maid;
  With eyes still dim with weeping,    greeting to him she said.
  Forward she came to meet him;    and now so near was standing
  That he, in fondness turning,    her in his arms would clasp, towards
              her bending.

                                                                  [1294]
  She said: “Not so, King Hartmut,    this you may not do;
  For men in truth would wonder    if they should look on you.
  Nought am I but a washer;    in scorn would they be holding
  You, a king so mighty,    if in your arms Gu-drun you should be
              folding.”

                                                                  [1295]
  “This will I, Sir Hartmut,    freely to you allow,
  When, by my crown, your kinsmen    me as a queen shall know.
  No longer shall I scorn you,    when I that name am bearing:
  For both will this be fitting;    me in your arms to take you may then
              be daring.”

                                                                  [1296]
  Then, with all good-breeding,    he farther off withdrew,
  And thus Gu-drun he answered:    “Maiden fair and true,
  Since now you deign to love me,    richly will I reward you;
  Myself and all my kinsmen,    whate’er you bid, will kindness show
              toward you.”

                                                                  [1297]
  Then said to him the maiden:    “Such bliss I never knew.
  If, after my weary toiling,    I aught may ask of you,
  This first of all I wish for,    that I, poor wretched lady,
  This night, before I slumber,    may have for me a restful bath made
              ready.

                                                                  [1298]
  “And list to me yet further:    another boon I crave;
  ’Tis that my friendly maidens    I now with me may have.
  Among Queen Gerlind’s women    you will find them, sad and weary;
  But in their room no longer    those toiling ones away from me must
              tarry.”

                                                                  [1299]
  “Your wish I grant you freely,”    the young King Hartmut said.
  Then from the room of the women    the many maids were led;
  With hair unkempt and streaming,    and scanty clothing wearing,
  They to court betook them:    for them the wicked Gerlind nought was
              caring.

                                                                  [1300]
  Of these came three and sixty;    on them did Hartmut look.
  Then Gu-drun, the high-born,    with lofty breeding spoke:
  “Behold, my lord, these maidens!    Is it your worth befitting
  That they are thus uncared for?”    He said: “No more shall they the
              like be meeting.”

                                                                  [1301]
  Then spake the high-born lady:    “Hartmut, for love of me,
  I beg that these my maidens,    whom here in shame you see,
  May have a bath made ready.    Let now my word be heeded;
  You ought yourself to see them    decked in the comely clothes they
              long have needed.”

                                                                  [1302]
  To her then answered Hartmut,    of knights a worthy one:
  “Gu-drun, belovéd lady,    if clothes the maids have none
  Erst by them brought hither,    when they their home were leaving,
  To them yet other clothing,    the best in all the world, will I be
              giving.

                                                                  [1303]
  “Gladly would I see them,    with you, more fitly clad.”
  Then by those in waiting    baths were ready made.
  Among the kin of Hartmut    chamberlains many were there;
  To help Gu-drun they hastened,    thinking that later she their hopes
              would further.

                                                                  [1304]
  Gu-drun and all her maidens    were by the bath made glad;
  Then the best of clothing    that any ever had
  To all the homeless women    alike was freely given.
  The lowliest one among them    might gain the love of a king, if she
              had striven.

                                                                  [1305]
  When they their bath had taken,    wine to them was brought;
  In all the land of Normandy    none better need be sought;
  And soon the weary maidens    the best of mead were drinking.
  To Hartmut thanks were given;    to gain such praises how could he e’er
              be thinking!

                                                                  [1306]
  Soon the lovely maiden    was seated in the hall.
  Gerlind bade her daughter    then, with her maidens all,
  To don their clothing quickly,    the finest and most fitting,
  If they Queen Hilda’s daughter    wished to see, among her maidens
              sitting.

                                                                  [1307]
  At once the well-born Ortrun    clothed her in her best;
  To seek Gu-drun then straightway    gladly did she haste.
  The grandchild of wild Hagen    quickly went to meet her;
  When they saw each other,    the happiness of both was never greater.

                                                                  [1308]
  Each one kissed the other,    ’neath a band of gold on her head;
  The hue of both was brighter    for the golden light they shed.
  Each in her way was happy;    Ortrun’s eyes were beaming,
  To see the high-born washer    in finest clothes now clad, so comely
              seeming.

                                                                  [1309]
  The poor Gu-drun was blithesome,    as we have said before,
  That soon her friendly kinsmen    she would see once more.
  The maidens sat together,    with playful talk now gladdened;
  Whoever looked upon them    might gain a happy heart, however saddened.

                                                                  [1310]
  “’Tis well for me,” said Ortrun,    “that I have lived till now,
  When as the wife of Hartmut    you here yourself will show.
  To one who loves my brother    gladly will I give her
  The crown of my mother, Gerlind,    that I of right should wear did I
              outlive her.”

                                                                  [1311]
  “Ortrun, may God reward you,”    thus the maiden spake;
  “Whatever you shall bid me,    that will I do for your sake.
  You have bewept so often    the sorrows I was bearing,
  From you will I ne’er be sundered,    and every day shall you my love
              be sharing.”

                                                                  [1312]
  Then with maiden wiliness    spake the fair Gu-drun:
  “Now you ought, Sir Hartmut,    to send out runners soon,
  Through all the Norman kingdom,    to give to friends your bidding,
  As many as will hear it,    to come to your palace now, to see our
              wedding.

                                                                  [1313]
  “When peace is in your borders,    this to you I say,
  Before your host of warriors    I will wear the crown one day.
  How many he has who woos me    thus shall I be knowing;
  Then before your liegemen    myself and all my kin will I be showing.”

                                                                  [1314]
  The maid in truth was crafty;    from the castle on that day
  A hundred men or over    did Hartmut send away.
  So, when the Hegeling fighters    should for him be seeking,
  Fewer foes should meet them:    for this was Gu-drun their going thence
              bespeaking.

                                                                  [1315]
  Then spake the old Queen Gerlind:    “Now, fair daughter mine,
  You two must leave each other;    when another morn shall shine,
  Then may you be together,    with none your bliss forbidding.”
  She left Gu-drun, low bowing,    and begged that God would her in his
              ways be leading.

                                                                  [1316]
  Then did Hartmut leave her.    All hearkened to her word;
  They gave to the maiden cup-bearers,    and carvers at the board:
  The high-born lady’s wishes    they bade should well be heeded;
  Nor food nor drink she wanted:    busy were they to bring her all she
              needed.

                                                                  [1317]
  Then spake one lovely maiden    among the Hegeling band:
  “When we on this are thinking,    how from our fatherland
  Our foes have brought us hither,    to live unblest forever,
  We still are bowed with sorrow;    when in our homes, such woe we
              thought of never.”

                                                                  [1318]
  She then began a-weeping,    where sat her lady fair.
  When this was seen by others    who stood beside her there,
  They felt yet greater sorrow    their heavy hearts now filling.
  All then wept together;    but they saw their mistress, fair Gu-drun,
              was smiling.

                                                                  [1319]
  They thought that now forever    they far from home must stay:
  But their lady ne’er was thinking    to bide so long away;
  They would, ere four days later,    their freedom all be knowing.
  The time had come already    to whisper to Gerlind that they would soon
              be going.

                                                                  [1320]
  Beyond her wont a little    to laugh had the maid begun;
  For fourteen years now bygone    she never bliss had known.
  Of her glee the bad she-devil    quickly now was hearing;
  She gave the hint to Ludwig,    for care she felt, and anger past all
              bearing.

                                                                  [1321]
  She went at once to Hartmut,    and said: “Oh, son of mine,
  List to the truth I tell you!    throughout this land of thine,
  All within it dwelling    shall see both strife and toiling.
  Why it is I know not,    the fair young queen, Gu-drun, is now so
              smiling.

                                                                  [1322]
  “I know not how it happened,    or how the news she heard,
  But men sent out by her kinsmen    hither to come have dared.
  Therefore, knightly Hartmut,    some way must you be choosing,
  Lest, thro’ the friends she looks for,    your worthy name and life you
              may be losing.”

                                                                  [1323]
  He said: “Be not so fearful.    I grudge it not to the maid
  That she, with all her women,    should for a time be glad.
  All her nearest kinsmen    far from me are dwelling;
  What harm can they be doing?    I need not guard ’gainst ills they may
              be dealing.”

                                                                  [1324]
  Gu-drun, now over-wearied,    some of her maidens sent
  To see if her bed were ready,    for she on sleep was bent;
  For a night at least her sorrow    she could now be leaving.
  Then went with them most kindly    King Hartmut’s chamberlain, his
              service giving.

                                                                  [1325]
  Youths of the Norman palace    before her bore the light;
  On her they ne’er had waited    until that very night.
  Thirty beds or over    now were found made ready;
  Nice were they and cleanly,    meet for Gu-drun and many a well-born
              lady.

                                                                  [1326]
  On them were pillows lying    from far Arabia brought,
  With green, like leaves of clover,    and other hues, inwrought.
  Bedspreads on them hanging    were sewed in strips most fairly;
  And red as fire was shining    the gold mixed in with silken threads
              not sparely.

                                                                  [1327]
  Beneath the silken bedspreads    fishes’ skins were laid,
  To make them thicker and warmer.    The fair and lovely maid,
  Thither come from the Hegelings,    Hartmut would be wooing,
  For he as yet knew nothing    of the harm to him that her friends would
              soon be doing.

                                                                  [1328]
  Then said the high-born maiden:    “To sleep you now may go,
  All you that wait on Hartmut;    we, too, the same will do.
  I, and my ladies with me,    one night at least will rest us;
  For, since our coming hither,    freedom from hardest toil hath never
              blest us.”

                                                                  [1329]
  All who there were gathered    of Hartmut’s knights and men,
  The wise as well as youthful,    thence to go were seen;
  They to rest then hasted,    the ladies’ bower now leaving.
  Wine and mead unstinted    to the homeless maids were others freely
              giving.

                                                                  [1330]
  Then said Hilda’s daughter:    “Now shut for me the door.”
  They barred the ladies’ bedroom    with heavy bolts full four:
  The room was shut so tightly    that what therein was doing,
  However much one listened,    outside he nought could hear, nor might
              be knowing.

                                                                  [1331]
  Awhile they all were seated,    merrily drinking wine;
  Then said Gu-drun, the queenly:    “Dearest maidens mine,
  You well may now be happy,    after your heavy sorrow:
  Your friends I soon will show you;    on gladsome sights your eyes
              shall feed to-morrow.

                                                                  [1332]
  “Herwic, my betrothéd,    did I this morning kiss,
  And Ortwin, too, my brother;    you now may think on this.
  She shall soon be richer,    and care from her be taken,
  Who shall well be mindful,    when night is over, me in the morn to
              waken.

                                                                  [1333]
  “You well shall be rewarded.    To us glad days are nigh:
  And freely will I give you    castles strong and high,
  And with them many acres;    for these shall I be gaining,
  If I the day shall witness    when, as a queen, I o’er my lands am
              reigning.”

                                                                  [1334]
  They now lay down to slumber,    with hearts all free from care.
  They knew to them were speeding    knights full brave to dare,
  Who erelong would help them,    and their woes would lighten.
  To see them they were hoping,    soon as to-morrow’s sun the day should
              brighten.



                         Tale the Twenty-Sixth.
             HOW THE HEGELINGS LANDED NEAR LUDWIG’S CASTLE.


                                                                  [1335]
  We ask you now to listen    to a tale as yet untold:
  Ortwin still and Herwic    their way did onward hold
  Until they found their followers    on the seashore standing.
  Then ran these Hegeling liegemen    to meet them on the sands where
              they were landing.

                                                                  [1336]
  Them they gladly welcomed,    and bade that they make known
  The news that they were bringing,    and freely all to own.
  First they asked of Ortwin,    if he could them be telling,
  If still Gu-drun were living,    and if in Ludwig’s land she now was
              dwelling?

                                                                  [1337]
  The knightly Ortwin answered:    “Of this I may not speak
  To each and all that ask it;    the truth I will not break
  Till all are met together;    then shall you be hearing
  All that our eyes there greeted,    when we to come near Hartmut’s
              walls were daring.”

                                                                  [1338]
  The word was told to others,    and soon a mighty band
  Of warriors brave and knightly    around the two did stand.
  Then to them said Ortwin:    “Sad is the news I give you,
  And, were my wishes granted,    gladly I’d spare the tale, for much
              ’twill grieve you.

                                                                  [1339]
  “List to what has happened,    for wonders now begin;
  Gu-drun, my long-lost sister,    I, in truth, have seen,
  And with her also Hildeburg,    erst in Ireland living.”
  When he the tidings gave them,    they thought the tale he told not
              worth believing.

                                                                  [1340]
  All then said together:    “It is not well to jest;
  For her we long have waited,    and now our time you waste.
  We hoped from Ludwig’s kingdom    you would bring her sooner;
  To Ortwin and his followers    belong the shame and blame for wrongs
              still done her.”

                                                                  [1341]
  “Ask you, then, King Herwic:    he, too, has seen the maid;
  And he can also tell you    what wrongs on us are laid.
  Could you, my friends, bethink you    of any shame that’s greater?
  We found Gu-drun and Hildeburg    upon the seashore standing, washing
              in the water.”

                                                                  [1342]
  Soon were his kindred weeping,    all who there were seen.
  At this the aged Wâ-te    right scornful was, I ween:
  “Truly for women only    is such behavior fitting;
  Why you weep you know not.    This, in a knight, one never should be
              meeting.

                                                                  [1343]
  “But if you are in earnest,    to help Gu-drun in her need,
  The clothes that she has whitened    must you in war make red.
  Erst white hands did wash them    for men who must be bleeding;
  So you now may help her,    and soon the maid forlorn be homeward
              leading.”

                                                                  [1344]
  Then said the Danish Fru-te:    “How can this be done?
  How can we reach their kingdom    before our plan is known,
  Before the men of Ludwig,    and Hartmut’s knights, are learning
  That Hilda’s friends are gathered,    and toward the Norman land at
              length are turning?”

                                                                  [1345]
  Then said the aged Wâ-te:    “Hear what ’tis best to do;
  I trust before his castle    fitly to meet the foe,
  If I may live to see him    there before me standing.
  Brave knights, your rest now leaving,    soon on the Norman shore must
              you be landing.

                                                                  [1346]
  “The air is fresh and gladsome,    the sky is broad and bright,
  And, well for us it happens,    the moon will shine to-night.
  From the sandy shore now hasten,    my warriors bold and daring:
  Before it dawns to-morrow,    we King Ludwig’s stronghold must be
              nearing.”

                                                                  [1347]
  Then they all were busy,    when thus old Wâ-te spoke;
  Soon their clothes and horses    on board the ships they took.
  All the night still sailing,    towards the land they hasted;
  And ere the morrow’s daylight,    before the castle, on the sands they
              rested.

                                                                  [1348]
  Hushed were all by Wâ-te,    throughout the warlike band,
  As soon as they to rest them    lay down upon the sand.
  To his water-weary followers    leave for this was granted;
  Their shields about them spreading,    on them they laid their heads,
              for sleep they wanted.

                                                                  [1349]
  “Whoe’er to-morrow morning    hopes to gain the fight
  Must not,” said the aged Wâ-te,    “oversleep to-night.
  For the struggle now before us    we hardly can be waiting;
  As soon as morning lightens,    then, good knights, the foe must we be
              meeting.”

                                                                  [1350]
  “Further I give you warning:    whoe’er my horn shall hear
  Along the seashore sounded,    soon as it meets his ear,
  Let him at once make ready    the foeman to be meeting.
  When I shall blow at daybreak,    no longer then may any there be
              waiting.

                                                                  [1351]
  “When I again shall blow it,    let each to this give heed;
  Quickly let his saddle    be laid upon his steed.
  Let him then be waiting,    till I see ’tis daylight fully,
  And the time has come for the onset;    let none hang back, but meet
              the struggle truly.”

                                                                  [1352]
  To do as Wâ-te bade them    their word they gladly gave.
  How many a lovely woman    did he of bliss bereave!
  For soon their dearest kindred    unto death were wounded,
  Who now were only waiting    until the horn in the early morning
              sounded.

                                                                  [1353]
  “When you, my friends and kinsmen,    thrice my horn shall hear,
  Then, seated on your horses,    must you your weapons wear;
  Thus must you, brave warriors,    wait, your steeds bestriding,
  Till me you see, well-weaponed,    under the fair Queen Hilda’s banner
              riding.”

                                                                  [1354]
  Now on the seashore weary    lay they, one and all;
  Very near were they resting    to old King Ludwig’s hall.
  Altho’ the night had fallen,    its towers they saw while waking;
  The brave and fearless warriors    in stillness lay, no sound or outcry
              making.

                                                                  [1355]
  The early star of morning    now had risen high;
  Then came a lovely maiden    unto the window nigh.
  She there was gazing skyward,    to see when day was breaking,
  That she might bring the tidings,    and rich reward from fair Gu-drun
              be seeking.

                                                                  [1356]
  Ere she long had waited,    there dawned on the maiden’s sight,
  With its wonted gleam on the waters,    the early morning light;
  Then the sheen of helmets    and many shields there flittered:
  Foes had besieged the castle,    and all the sands below with weapons
              glittered.

                                                                  [1357]
  Back then went the maiden    to where Gu-drun she found:
  “Arouse, my queenly lady,    wake from your slumber sound!
  The land is held by foemen,    who will these walls be storming;
  We have not been forgotten    by those at home; our friends come hither
              swarming.”

                                                                  [1358]
  Gu-drun, the high-born lady,    quickly sprang from her bed,
  And, hasting to the window,    to the maid her thanks she said.
  “For this good news you give me,    wealth shall you be earning.”
  After her heavy sorrow,    now for her friends Gu-drun was sorely
              yearning.

                                                                  [1359]
  Rich sails were seen to flutter    near by upon the sea;
  Then said the high-born maiden:    “Ah, wellaway! Woe’s me!
  Would that I ne’er were living!”    the wretched one was sighing:
  “Many a doughty warrior    this day for me shall here in death be
              lying.”

                                                                  [1360]
  While thus she was bewailing,    nearly all still slept;
  But soon was one heard shouting,    who guard for Ludwig kept:
  “Be up, you careless warriors!    your arms, your arms be taking!
  And you, my king of Normandy!    I fear that all too late you will be
              waking.”

                                                                  [1361]
  This the wicked Gerlind    heard, as the warder cried;
  Then, while fast he slumbered,    she left the old king’s side.
  Up to the roof of the castle    then at once she hastened;
  She thence saw many foemen,    and on her devilish heart great sorrow
              fastened.

                                                                  [1362]
  Back again she speeded    to where she found the king:
  “Awake, my lord, make ready    for guests who followers bring!
  Now hem they in your castle,    and well may they be dreaded:
  That smile of young Gu-drun    will cost your knights a strife as yet
              unheeded.”

                                                                  [1363]
  “Hush!” then answered Ludwig,    “I will go myself to see;
  We must all be bravely waiting    for whatsoe’er may be.”
  Then looked he from his castle,    to see the foemen thronging;
  His eyes by guests were greeted,    on whom to look he never might be
              longing.

                                                                  [1364]
  Before his palace waving,    he saw their banners spread;
  Then said the old King Ludwig:    “Let some one go with speed
  And bear this news to Hartmut.    I for pilgrims take them,
  To sell their wares come hither;    before my hall a market would they
              make them.”

                                                                  [1365]
  Then they wakened Hartmut,    that he the tale might hear.
  Outspoke that daring warrior:    “Let none be sad or fear.
  I see full twenty princes    their blazoned banners bearing;
  I ween these foes are coming    to wreak the hate they long ’gainst us
              are wearing.”



                        Tale the Twenty-Seventh.
               HOW LUDWIG AND HARTMUT MET THE HEGELINGS.


                                                                  [1366]
  Asleep still left he lying    all his faithful men.
  He and his father Ludwig,    the twain, to go were seen,
  And, gazing from the window,    they saw the throngs below them.
  Quickly then said Hartmut:    “Too near our castle-walls methinks they
              show them.

                                                                  [1367]
  “I ween they are not pilgrims,    in truth, my father dear;
  More like it is that Wâ-te    and all his men draw near.
  He from Sturmland cometh,    the lord of Ortland bringing;
  The men I see are like them,    as I know from the flag that they to
              the breeze are flinging.

                                                                  [1368]
  “I see a brown silk pennon,    that comes from Karadé;
  Before that flag is lowered,    many will rue the day.
  On it a head is blazoned,—    as red as gold it glitters:
  Guests so bold and warlike    we well can spare; their sight the day
              embitters.

                                                                  [1369]
  “The Moorland king is bringing    full twenty thousand men,
  Knights as strong and daring    as any I have seen;
  To win from us great honor    methinks they now are craving.
  There comes another banner,    that o’er yet other knights its folds is
              waving.

                                                                  [1370]
  “It is the flag of Horant,    the knight from the Danish land;
  I see with him Lord Fru-te,    I know both him and his band.
  And hither, too, from Waleis,    many foemen leading,
  Morunc now comes riding;    he, for the morning’s fight, o’er the sands
              is speeding.

                                                                  [1371]
  “I see another banner,    on it a chevron red,
  With sharpened spears within it;    for this shall many bleed.
  Ortwin it is who bears it,    from Ortland hither faring:
  Erewhile we slew his father;    no kindly thought to us he now is
              bearing.

                                                                  [1372]
  “There floats another banner,    whiter than any swan;
  Blazons bright and golden    you well may see thereon.
  It is our mother Hilda    who sends it o’er the water;
  The hatred of the Hegelings    will soon be known by me who stole her
              daughter.

                                                                  [1373]
  “There I see uplifted    a flag outspreading wide;
  Of sky-blue silk ’tis woven.    The truth I will not hide;
  Herwic bears this banner,    he in the Sealands dwelling.
  Sea-leaves are shown upon it;    he soon on us his wrath will here be
              telling.

                                                                  [1374]
  “There Irold, too, is coming,—    this that I say is true,—
  From Friesland leading many,    as well indeed I know,
  With fighting men from Holstein,    warriors brave and daring.
  A stormy fight is nearing;    now in our castle all must arms be
              wearing.”

                                                                  [1375]
  Then cried Hartmut loudly:    “Up, my faithful men!
  If to these guests so warlike,    who ’neath our walls are seen,
  It may not now be granted    to ride so boldly near us,
  Then, before the gateway,    with sword-blows we must greet them, and
              bravely bear us.”

                                                                  [1376]
  Then from their beds upsprang they    all who yet did lie;
  At once, to bring their war-gear,    loudly did they cry.
  The call to guard their master    gladly they were hearing;
  Forty hundred warriors    showed themselves, their shining armor
              wearing.

                                                                  [1377]
  Ludwig and Hartmut with him    armed themselves for fight:
  To the sad and homeless maidens    this was a sorry sight;
  These within the castle    uneasy hearts were keeping;
  They said to one another:    “Let him who smiled before this day be
              weeping!”

                                                                  [1378]
  Quickly came Queen Gerlind,    old King Ludwig’s wife;
  She said: “What will you, Hartmut?    Would you lose your life,
  With that of all your kinsmen    who here our lot are sharing?
  The foe will surely slay you,    if to leave the castle-walls you now
              be daring.”

                                                                  [1379]
  The well-born knight then answered:    “Mother, stay within;
  You may not give your teaching    to me or to my men.
  Spare your words for women;    they mayhap will listen,
  While they sit at sewing,    making their silks with gold and gems to
              glisten.

                                                                  [1380]
  “Now, mother, let us see you    send Gu-drun to wash,
  As you did before, with her maidens,    where the billows dash.
  You weened they all were friendless,    and had no kindred living;
  You yet may see, ere nightfall,    what thanks to us our guests will
              yet be giving.”

                                                                  [1381]
  Then spake his devilish mother:    “I did it for your sake,
  Thinking her will to bridle.    My bidding kindly take;
  Strongly built is the castle,    let now the gates be fastened;
  They then will gain but little    who on their toilsome way have hither
              hastened.

                                                                  [1382]
  “Full well you know it, Hartmut,    you bear the maiden’s hate,
  For you have slain her kinsmen:    your watch you must not bate.
  It is not friends or kinsfolk    who at our gates are knocking;
  The proud and warlike Hegelings,    twenty to one of us, come hither
              flocking.

                                                                  [1383]
  “Of this bethink you further,    my well-belovéd son:
  Bread we have in the castle    and wine for every one;
  Food will not be lacking    if here for a year we are staying;
  But if on the field you are taken,    our foes will you from bondage
              ne’er be freeing.”

                                                                  [1384]
  Then to him spake further    old King Ludwig’s wife:
  “Ever guard your honor,    but do not lose your life.
  Bid men to shoot with longbows    at the loop-holes standing;
  So shall wounds be given,    for which their friends at home will tears
              be spending.

                                                                  [1385]
  “Let slings with ropes be fitted;    we then will meet the foe
  By hurling rocks upon them:    knights we have enow.
  Before with these new-comers    you your swords are crossing,
  Stones will I and my maidens    bring in aprons white, on them to be
              tossing.”

                                                                  [1386]
  Angrily spake Hartmut:    “Lady, get you gone!
  Why do you seek to lead me?    Is not my mind my own?
  Before my foes shall find me    within my castle hiding,
  Outside I would die far sooner,    in fight with Hilda’s men, against
              me riding.”

                                                                  [1387]
  Then to him said, weeping,    old King Ludwig’s wife:
  “I gave to you this warning    that you might spare your life,
  And guard yourself the better.    Whoe’er is seen this morning
  Beneath your banner fighting,    rich gifts from us shall he be fairly
              earning.

                                                                  [1388]
  “Now arm ourselves,” cried Gerlind,    “stand by my son in fight;
  Strike from your foemen’s helmets    a glowing, fiery light.
  Be always near your master,    to help him ever striving;
  Fitly these guests to welcome,    deep be the wounds that you to them
              are giving.”

                                                                  [1389]
  Then to his men said Hartmut:    “My mother’s words are true;
  If you to me are faithful,    and strive your best to do,
  And this day, in the struggle,    to give your help are ready,
  When fathers shall have fallen,    a friend I’ll be to sons bereft and
              needy.”

                                                                  [1390]
  A thousand and a hundred    within King Ludwig’s halls
  Now were all well-weaponed.    Before from out the walls
  Went any thro’ the gateways,    they left the stronghold guarded;
  Still within it posted,    five hundred warriors brave the castle
              warded.

                                                                  [1391]
  On four gates of the castle    the bolts were backward thrown:
  Ne’er had they been opened    to a single spur alone.
  Then with the youthful Hartmut,    outgoing at his bidding,
  All with helmets fastened,    went thirty hundred followers boldly
              riding.

                                                                  [1392]
  The hour of strife drew nearer.    He of the Sturmisch land,
  Wâ-te, his horn was blowing;    and loud across the sand,
  For thirty miles or over,    men the blast were hearing;
  The fighters of the Hegelings,    to flock to Hilda’s flag, their arms
              were wearing.

                                                                  [1393]
  Once again he blew it:    at this should all take heed,
  That every knight among them    then should mount his steed,
  And each his men should gather    to ride as they were bidden.
  A knight so old as Wâ-te,    and yet so brave, to the fight had never
              ridden.

                                                                  [1394]
  The third time that he blew it,    he such a blast did make
  That all the land was shaken,    and the sea a sound gave back;
  Almost from Ludwig’s castle    the corner-stones were falling:
  To raise Queen Hilda’s banner    Wâ-te to Horant then was loudly
              calling.

                                                                  [1395]
  They feared old Wâ-te sorely,    none dared to speak aloud;
  A horse was e’en heard neighing.    Upon the roof now stood
  Herwic’s well-belovéd,    and saw the warriors daring,
  Onward proudly riding,    to wage the fight with Hartmut, nothing
              fearing.

                                                                  [1396]
  Hartmut rode to meet them;    he and all his men,
  Bearing well their weapons,    to leave the gates were seen.
  Those from the windows gazing    saw the helmets glisten
  Of friends as well as foemen.    Hartmut not alone to the fight did
              hasten.

                                                                  [1397]
  To all four sides of the castle    the foes their banners bore;
  Bright in hue like silver    was the armor that they wore;
  The bosses of their bucklers    were seen to glitter brightly.
  Much was Wâ-te dreaded;    no lion grim and wild were feared more
              rightly.

                                                                  [1398]
  The fighters from the Moorland    were seen apart to ride,
  And heavy shafts were hurling;    splinters were scattered wide.
  When with the Norman foemen    soon the fight did thicken,
  Sharply from their weapons    and from their breastplates fiery sparks
              were stricken.

                                                                  [1399]
  The warriors from Denmark    near to the castle rode.
  There the mighty Irold    six thousand fighters good
  Up to the walls was leading,    an onslaught to be making:
  Brave and daring were they;    sore ill from them erelong was Ludwig
              taking.

                                                                  [1400]
  Elsewhere, riding boldly,    Ortwin his followers led,
  No less than eighty hundred;    sorrow and woe they made
  For many of the Normans,    and all the land they harried.
  Gerlind and Ortrun weeping,    watching the fight from the roof,
              together tarried.

                                                                  [1401]
  Then came Herwic also,    betrothed to fair Gu-drun;
  Through him full many a woman    must come to sorrow soon,
  When, for his heart’s belovéd,    he to the fight was springing.
  Beneath the heavy weapons    were heard the clattering helmets loudly
              ringing.

                                                                  [1402]
  Now came the aged Wâ-te,    with warriors not a few;
  Grim was he and fearless,    as soon they all well knew.
  His spear not yet he lowered    as he to the walls came riding:
  Sad was the sight to Gerlind,    but other were the thoughts Gu-drun
              was hiding.

                                                                  [1403]
  Then came the Norman Hartmut,    riding before his men.
  E’en had he been Kaiser,    never would he be seen
  To bear himself more proudly.    In the sun was seen to glisten
  All his shining armor.    His boldness on the field not yet did lessen.

                                                                  [1404]
  When he was seen by Ortwin,    the lord of Ortland’s throne,
  He said: “Will any tell us,    to whom this knight is known,
  Who is the daring fighter    now against us turning?
  He shows as bold a bearing    as if to win a kingdom he were yearning.”

                                                                  [1405]
  Then said one among them:    “’Tis Hartmut whom you see;
  There indeed is a warrior!    a daring knight is he.
  The selfsame foeman is he    who erstwhile slew your father.
  Where’er the strife is raging,    a bolder man than he there’s not
              another.”

                                                                  [1406]
  Angrily spake Ortwin:    “Me for his wrongs he owes,
  And must atone full dearly    before from here he goes.
  The ills that he has done us    must he be soon undoing;
  Gerlind cannot help him    that he from hence may e’er alive be going.”

                                                                  [1407]
  Down upon young Ortwin    Hartmut riding bore.
  Altho’ he did not know him,    deep he plunged his spur;
  His horse sprang forward widely,    against brave Ortwin driven.
  Both their spears were lowered;    fire on their armor flashed from
              spear-strokes given.

                                                                  [1408]
  No thrust against the other    did either leave undone:
  The war-horse then of Ortwin    was on his haunches thrown;
  Soon, too, the steed did stagger    whereon was Hartmut seated;
  They could not bear the onset    of kings who rushed together, to
              madness heated.

                                                                  [1409]
  High upreared the horses;    a mighty clang arose
  From clash of kingly sword-blades.    Thanks were due to those
  Who the fight thus opened,    as knights beseemeth ever.
  Brave were both and fearless;    to shrink from one another thought
              they never.

                                                                  [1410]
  On both sides came their followers,    lowering their spears,
  And bringing death to many;    each his foeman nears,
  And in the shock of the onset    heavy wounds was giving.
  All of them were faithful,    and well for a worthy name they now were
              striving.

                                                                  [1411]
  A thousand ’gainst a thousand,    now the strife began
  Of Hartmut’s men with Wâ-te’s,    each man against his man.
  Soon by the lord of Sturmland    were they so badly treated
  That whoso now came near him    never a second time with him was mated.

                                                                  [1412]
  Now were thickly mingled    of foes ten thousand men,
  Among King Herwic’s warriors;    they came in anger keen.
  Their mood it was so stubborn    that rather than be flying
  Far from the field of fighting,    they on the ground would first in
              death be lying.

                                                                  [1413]
  A knight indeed was Herwic;    what daring deeds he did!
  Earnest was he in fighting,    that so the lovely maid
  Might be to him the kinder.    But how could he be dreaming
  The boon could e’er befall him,    that the eyes of fair Gu-drun on him
              were beaming?

                                                                  [1414]
  Ludwig, king of the Normans,    and they of the Danish land,
  Now had met together.    Ludwig bore in hand
  His strong and heavy weapon;    lordly was his bearing,
  Yet he with all his followers    to come too far without the walls was
              daring.

                                                                  [1415]
  There, with his men from Holstein,    Fru-te, brave and bold,
  Slew full many a foeman;    of this could much be told.
  Now, too, from the land of Waleis,    Morunc, many slaying,
  Before King Ludwig’s castle    made rich the earth with the dead he low
              was laying.

                                                                  [1416]
  Irold, the youthful champion,    a knight both true and good,
  Slashed thro’ foemen’s armor,    shedding their hot life-blood.
  Under Hilda’s banner    was Wâ-te’s kinsman fighting;
  Many in death grew paler    as Horant thinned the crowd he fast was
              smiting.

                                                                  [1417]
  Now the young King Hartmut    and Ortwin met again.
  Thicker then than snow-flakes    blown by the wind are seen,
  The sword-strokes of the warriors    upon each other lighted:
  Thus it was that Hartmut    once more by Ortwin on the field was
              greeted.

                                                                  [1418]
  Gu-drun’s young brother, Ortwin,    was bold and brave enow,
  But Hartmut through his helmet    smote him a heavy blow;
  Over his shining breastplate    soon the blood was streaming:
  The followers of Ortwin    sadly saw the flow, its brightness dimming.

                                                                  [1419]
  Great was the crush and uproar;    hand to hand they fought;
  Many wounds were gaping    thro’ rings of steel well-wrought;
  Many a head had fallen    beneath the sword-strokes given:
  Death was like a robber,    that from their kin the dearest friends had
              riven.

                                                                  [1420]
  Now saw the Danish Horant    that Ortwin from his foe
  A bloody wound had taken;    then Horant bade them show
  Who ’twas that thus had wounded    his master loved so dearly.
  Hartmut at this was laughing,    for both upon the field had met too
              nearly.

                                                                  [1421]
  Ortwin himself then answered:    “’Tis Hartmut this has done.”
  Then Hilda’s banner was given    by Horant to one of his own;
  Thinking thus the foeman    he could harm the better,
  And gain himself much honor:    now he sought his foe with boldness
              greater.

                                                                  [1422]
  Hartmut heard around him    a loud and stormy din.
  On many of his warriors    streams of blood were seen
  Fast from wounds out-welling;    down to their feet ’twas flowing.
  Then cried Hartmut boldly:    “For this shall you atone, and this be
              ruing.”

                                                                  [1423]
  Now he turned him quickly    where Horant met his sight;
  Then might one be seeing,    so brave were both in fight,
  How from their ringed armor    sparks of fire were flying;
  Blunted were the sword-blades    which they on each other’s helmets
              fast were plying.

                                                                  [1424]
  Hartmut wounded Horant,    even as he had done
  Not long before to Ortwin;    a ruddy stream full soon
  Ran from out his armor,    at Hartmut’s hand forth welling.
  Strong indeed was his foeman;    who now to win his lands could hope be
              feeling?

                                                                  [1425]
  Then in bitter struggle    many, on either side,
  Saw their bucklers shattered,    tho’ strong and often tried;
  Beaten were they and broken    by sword-strokes quickly given
  By each upon the other.    Well to guard himself had Hartmut striven.

                                                                  [1426]
  Now the friends of Ortwin,    and those of Horant, too,
  Away from the field did lead them;    and care did they bestow
  To bind their wounds wide-gaping;    no time for this they wasted.
  Then again to the war-field    the knights both rode; once more to the
              strife they hasted.

                                                                  [1427]
  We now must leave them fighting    as bravely as they will.
  Who the day was winning,    or whom his foe did kill,
  Before King Ludwig’s castle,    none could yet be saying.
  Grimly strove the Normans;    their foes, not less, for fame were
              strength outlaying.

                                                                  [1428]
  Of all that there befell them    none may ever tell;
  But ’tis not yet forgotten    that many a knight there fell.
  On every side were sword-blades    heard together ringing;
  Foemen all were mingled,    the slow with those who quick in fight were
              springing.

                                                                  [1429]
  Wâ-te stood not idle,    that can I well believe.
  He bade farewell to many,    nor longer let them live;
  Cut down by him in the struggle,    were they before him lying.
  Fain were Hartmut’s kinsmen    to wreak their wrath for friends who
              there were dying.

                                                                  [1430]
  Now came Herwic nearer,    so the tale is told,
  And led against King Ludwig    many a champion bold.
  He saw that aged warrior    his weapons bravely bearing,
  Where he with all his liegemen,    a wondrous host of foes beat down,
              unsparing.

                                                                  [1431]
  Herwic called out loudly:    “Can any one now tell
  Who is that fighting graybeard,    who all his foes doth fell?
  Deepest wounds for many    there his hand is hewing,
  With bravery so fearless:    women in tears will this erelong be
              ruing.”

                                                                  [1432]
  When this was heard by Ludwig,    outspoke that Norman foe:
  “Who in the midst of battle    seeks my name to know?
  I bear the name of Ludwig:    for Normandy I’m fighting;
  Could I but meet my foemen,    them indeed would I be sorely smiting.”

                                                                  [1433]
  Then spake to him King Herwic:    “This thou well dost earn:
  Seeing thou art Ludwig,    with hate for thee I burn.
  For us, upon the sand-drifts,    many knights thou wast slaying:
  Thou slewest Hettel also;    a warrior brave was he, beyond all saying.

                                                                  [1434]
  “Still further thou hast wronged us,    before thy day was done:
  For this we still are mourning.    I for my loss have known
  Heart-heaviness and sorrow:    thou hast my lady stolen
  From me upon the Wulpensand;    and many knights for her in death have
              fallen.

                                                                  [1435]
  “I bear the name of Herwic:    thou hast taken my hoped-for wife,
  And again to me must give her;    else to give his life,
  With that of many a liegeman,    must one of us be willing.”
  Then King Ludwig answered:    “Too boldly thou in my land in threats
              art dealing.

                                                                  [1436]
  “Thy name, and this thy warning,    thou hast no need to tell;
  There yet are many others    from whom I took, as well,
  Their goods and eke their kinsmen.    To trust my word be ready,
  In this I will not falter;    thou nevermore may’st hope to kiss thy
              lady.”

                                                                  [1437]
  When they thus had spoken,    the kings no more did rest,
  But sprang upon each other.    If either got the best,
  To hold it was not easy;    youths were forward pushing
  Under both the standards,    and daring knights to help their lords
              were rushing.

                                                                  [1438]
  A fearless king was Herwic,    and long and bravely fought;
  But quickly Hartmut’s father    the youthful Herwic smote,
  Till he began to stagger    ’neath blows by Ludwig given,
  Who gladly would have slain him,    or would from out his lands his foe
              have driven.

                                                                  [1439]
  If Herwic’s faithful followers    so near him had not been,
  And given help so quickly,    never could he, I ween,
  Have freed himself from Ludwig,    or left the field yet living;
  So well that aged warrior    to make young Herwic dread him now was
              striving.

                                                                  [1440]
  But help to him was granted,    his life he did not lose;
  And, neither stunned nor wounded,    he from his fall arose.
  Then to the roof quick turning,    his eyes he now was raising,
  To see if, ’mongst the ladies,    his heart’s beloved had on his fall
              been gazing.



                        Tale the Twenty-Eighth.
                        HOW HERWIC SLEW LUDWIG.


                                                                  [1441]
  Now said Herwic sadly:    “Ah, welaway! Woe’s me!
  If fair Gu-drun, my lady,    my fall did lately see.
  Should e’er the hour be coming    when I shall clasp the maiden,
  And as a wife shall own her,    with blame and scorn shall I by her be
              laden.

                                                                  [1442]
  “Sorely doth it shame me,    that now the gray old man
  Thus has overthrown me.”    Forthwith he bade again
  His men to raise his banner,    and ’gainst King Ludwig bear it;
  Then rushed they on the foemen,    who might not flee the fight, but
              all must share it.

                                                                  [1443]
  Ludwig heard behind him    an uproar loud and din;
  Then he turned him quickly,    and Herwic sought again.
  Soon he heard on helmets    many sword-blows stricken.
  Those who stood near Ludwig    well might dread the wrath that both did
              quicken.

                                                                  [1444]
  They sprang upon each other,    and fast and well they smote;
  Blows on blows loud sounded    the stormy field throughout.
  Who can tell how many    now in death were lying?
  The day was lost to Ludwig,    who there his strength with Herwic would
              be trying.

                                                                  [1445]
  Soon Gu-drun’s betrothéd    reached over Ludwig’s shield,
  And smote him ’neath his helmet;    well his sword did he wield.
  Him he sorely wounded,    and strength no more did leave him;
  Grim death he there awaited    until King Herwic should of life bereave
              him.

                                                                  [1446]
  Then Herwic with his broadsword    smote the king anew;
  At once the head of Ludwig    from off his shoulders flew.
  Well repaid was Herwic    for his shameful overthrowing;
  The king lay dead before him.    For this fair eyes must soon be
              overflowing.

                                                                  [1447]
  Ludwig’s faithful followers,    after their king was slain,
  His banner to the castle    thought to bear again;
  But all too far from the gateway    they had now been straying:
  From them the flag was taken,    and death must them erelong with their
              lord be laying.

                                                                  [1448]
  The watchman saw from the castle    how Ludwig lost his life;
  Then was heard the mourning    of knights and many a wife:
  Their king, so old and mighty,    they knew in death was lying;
  Gu-drun and all her maidens    stood in the hall in fear, and loud were
              crying.

                                                                  [1449]
  As yet the Norman Hartmut,    knew nothing of the tale,
  How that the king, his father,    and kinsmen young as well,
  With many bravest warriors,    now in death were sleeping,
  Then he heard from the castle    the shrieks and wails of those who
              there were weeping.

                                                                  [1450]
  Now the knightly Hartmut    unto his followers said:
  “’Tis best we hence withdraw us;    how many here lie dead
  Who in stormy fighting    thought our men to be slaying!
  Now will we seek the castle,    and there until a better time be
              staying.”

                                                                  [1451]
  To him they listened gladly,    and followed where he rode.
  Great was the work of slaughter    the field around them showed,
  Where with grimmest foemen    they were closely warring;
  Freely had blood been flowing    beneath the hand of Hartmut and his
              followers daring.

                                                                  [1452]
  “So well,” he said, “have you helped me,    who my kinsmen are,
  That all my lands and riches    gladly with you I’ll share.
  We now will ride to my castle,    and there to rest betake us;
  Men the gates will open,    and wine for us will pour, and mead will
              make us.”

                                                                  [1453]
  Fallen knights full many    they left on the field behind:
  Were these of the land the owners,    still with no braver mind
  They then had met the onset.    Those for the gates now striving,
  By Wâ-te and his thousand    were not allowed to reach the castle
              living.

                                                                  [1454]
  He with a host of fighters    near the gates was seen,
  When Hartmut with his followers    sought to come within;
  They in this were baffled,    and their strength were wasting.
  Those who the castle guarded    heavy stones from off the wall were
              casting.

                                                                  [1455]
  They hurled them down so wildly    on Wâ-te and his men,
  Like hailstones they were falling,    with not a stop between.
  Wâ-te recked but little    how many were dead or living,
  Might he the day be gaining;    to this alone his thoughts he now was
              giving.

                                                                  [1456]
  Hartmut saw old Wâ-te    before the castle-gate.
  He said: “Tho’ from our foemen    our gains this day are great,
  Before it shall be ended,    for this their hate they’ll show us:
  Let now the strong be heedful;    dead must many lie on the field below
              us.

                                                                  [1457]
  “Fear and care it gives me    that many here are seen
  Whom we must now be meeting.    Wâ-te with all his men
  I see before the gateway,    there with sword-strokes hewing.
  If he of the gate be keeper,    I look for little kindness he’ll be
              doing.

                                                                  [1458]
  “See for yourselves, my warriors,    the gateways and the walls
  By foes on all sides girded;    knight to knight there calls.
  The roadways all are crowded,    whichever way we’re turning:
  Gu-drun’s good friends and champions    will spare no toil; to win the
              day they’re burning.

                                                                  [1459]
  “That you may know too truly,    as I see already well;
  Friends we must lose full many.    Howe’er it so befell,
  Before the outer gateway    already see I waving
  The Moorland foeman’s banner;    lest they get in, a care must you be
              having.

                                                                  [1460]
  “Near to the second gateway    I see yet other foes:
  I saw Lord Ortwin’s banner,    as on the breeze it rose.
  Gu-drun’s young brother is he;    fair women’s smiles he’s seeking:
  Ere he shall cool his anger,    beneath his blows will helmets yet be
              breaking.

                                                                  [1461]
  “Now see I, too, brave Herwic,    before the third gate there;
  With him seven thousand followers    upon the field are near.
  He comes in guise most knightly,    to win his own heart’s lady;
  On him are gazing gladly    the fair Gu-drun, and many maids already.

                                                                  [1462]
  “To hasten back to my castle,    the thought too late has come.
  I know not where, with my warriors,    now to seek a home.
  I see the stern old Wâ-te    before the fourth gate fighting;
  My many friends in the castle,    I fear indeed must long for us be
              waiting.

                                                                  [1463]
  “Fly from here I cannot;    no wings for this have I;
  Nor in the earth can hide me,    whatever else I try.
  Neither from the foeman    to the waves can we be turning:
  Now, in our lot so wretched,    what best it is to do from me be
              learning.

                                                                  [1464]
  “Good knights of mine, now hearken;    there’s nothing left to do
  But, to the ground alighting,    their hot life’s-blood to hew
  From out the ringed armor:    fear not the word I’ve given.”
  Then, from their saddles leaping,    their horses back at once from
              them were driven.

                                                                  [1465]
  “Now on, brave knights and warriors!”    Hartmut called to all;
  “To the castle-gates press nearer,    whatever may befall.
  I yet must meet old Wâ-te,    whether I live or am dying;
  To drive him from the gateway,    and from the walls, I will at least
              be trying.”

                                                                  [1466]
  Soon, with swords uplifted,    rushing on were seen
  The brave and youthful Hartmut,    and with him all his men.
  He fell upon grim Wâ-te,    who met his coming gladly;
  Now their sword-blades clattered,    and many knights lay dead, or
              wounded badly.

                                                                  [1467]
  When Wâ-te saw young Hartmut    the onslaught on him make,
  While Fru-te bore the banner,    in wrath old Wâ-te spake:
  “I hear the swords loud ringing    of many pressing near us;
  I beg, dear cousin Fru-te,    let none come out from the gates; from
              that now spare us.”

                                                                  [1468]
  Then Wâ-te, wild with anger,    did on King Hartmut run;
  But he, so brave and daring,    the onset would not shun.
  The sun with dust was darkened,    now from the struggle rising:
  Their strength was unabated;    still for good name they fought, that
              both were prizing.

                                                                  [1469]
  What helped it that of Wâ-te    men said he was as strong
  As six and twenty warriors?    Though this was on each tongue,
  Yet still to him young Hartmut    his knightly skill was showing:
  Howe’er his foe was striving,    the Norman lord and his men no less
              were doing.

                                                                  [1470]
  A knight he was most truly,    and well indeed he fought;
  Of the dead there lay a mountain    whom on the field he smote.
  It was, forsooth, a wonder    that Hartmut had not yielded,
  And died before old Wâ-te:    grim was the wrath from which himself he
              shielded.

                                                                  [1471]
  Soon heard he, loudly shrieking,    old King Ludwig’s wife;
  Sorely she was mourning    the loss of her husband’s life.
  She said she would reward him    who felt his death past bearing,
  And would Gu-drun be slaying,    with all the maids who there her lot
              were sharing.

                                                                  [1472]
  Then ran a worthless fellow,    to whom the fee was dear,
  To where the Hegeling maidens    sat together near.
  Then the hearts of the women    with many fears he loaded;
  For the sake of gold to be given,    to take their lives he now was
              sharply goaded.

                                                                  [1473]
  When that Hilda’s daughter    against her saw him bear
  A sharp and naked weapon,    she well indeed might fear,
  And mourn that, far from kindred,    she was thus forsaken.
  Had not young Hartmut seen it,    the knave her head from her would
              then have taken.

                                                                  [1474]
  She so forgot her breeding    that now she screamed aloud,
  As if in dread of dying;    great fear made wild her mood.
  ’Twas the same with all her maidens,    there beside her seated,
  From out the window gazing;    the ladies such behavior ill befitted.

                                                                  [1475]
  At once the sound of her wailing    to Hartmut made her known;
  And greatly did he wonder    what made her scream and moan.
  Soon he saw a ruffian    whose sword was near to falling,
  As if he meant to kill her.    Loudly now to him ’gan Hartmut calling:

                                                                  [1476]
  “Who are you, low-born dastard?    For what reward or need
  Do you affright these maidens,    and seek to strike them dead?
  If you shall strike one lady,    I give you now this warning,
  Your life shall quick be ended;    your kinsmen too shall hang, this
              very morning.”

                                                                  [1477]
  Back then sprang the rascal,—    his anger he did fear;
  For now the youthful Hartmut    held his life not dear,
  When to the homeless maidens    he his help was giving:
  With care was he o’erladen,    while from grim death to free them he
              was striving.

                                                                  [1478]
  Quickly then came Ortrun,    she of Norman lands,
  The fair and youthful princess;    in woe she wrung her hands.
  She to Gu-drun came nearer,    the stately, high-born maiden,
  And, at her feet down-falling,    bewept her father’s death, with
              sorrow laden.

                                                                  [1479]
  She said: “Most queenly lady,    do not your tears forbear,
  For all my many kinsmen    who death together share.
  Bethink you, if you also    a father slain were weeping,
  How you would feel, great princess.    My father slain I mourn, in
              death now sleeping.

                                                                  [1480]
  “Behold, most high-born maiden,    my woe and bitter need;
  How almost all my kinsmen    lie, with my father, dead:
  And now the knightly Hartmut    is death from Wâ-te fearing.
  If I should lose my brother,    bereft of kindred, nought could life be
              cheering.

                                                                  [1481]
  “Reward the love I’ve shown you,”    said the Norman maid.
  “Of all that saw your sorrow,    when none a tear did shed,
  I then alone was friendly,    and had you in my keeping;
  For all the wrongs they did you,    I the livelong day for you was
              weeping.”

                                                                  [1482]
  Queen Hilda’s daughter answered:    “Thou wast indeed my friend;
  But yet this strife so deadly    I know not how to end.
  Were I indeed a warrior,    and knightly weapons wearing,
  I’d stop the fighting gladly;    and none to slay your brother then
              were daring.”

                                                                  [1483]
  Ortrun was sorely weeping;    she still the maid besought,
  Until within the window    Gu-drun at length she brought,
  Who with her hand then beckoned,    and begged that it be told her
  If from the land of her fathers    knights had come who did in
              friendship hold her.

                                                                  [1484]
  Then the knightly Herwic    answer thus did make:
  “Who are you, young maiden,    who news from us do seek?
  We are not the Hegelings,    whom you see so near you;
  We hither come from the Sealands.    Tell us, maiden, how we now can
              cheer you?”

                                                                  [1485]
  “This do I beseech you,”    said the queenly maid:
  “Sore has been the fighting;    him will I thank, indeed,
  Who now cuts short the struggle.    Me will he be cheering
  Who from the hands of Wâ-te    will Hartmut free in the strife that I
              am fearing.”

                                                                  [1486]
  Then asked the well-bred warrior    who from the Sealands came:
  “Tell me, worthy maiden,    what may be your name?”
  She said: “Gu-drun they call me,    of Hagen’s blood I own me;
  Altho’ my birth was lofty,    of late but little love has here been
              shown me.”

                                                                  [1487]
  He said: “If you, fair lady,    my dear Gu-drun can be,
  Then faithfully to help you    gladness will give to me;
  For I, in truth, am Herwic;    you for my own I have chosen,
  And fain am I to show you    how you from bonds of sorrow I can
              loosen.”

                                                                  [1488]
  She said: “If you would help me,    my good and worthy knight,
  I trust that you will grant me    that what I ask is right:
  To me these lovely maidens    their prayers are ever making,
  That from the fight with Wâ-te    some friendly hand will  Hartmut soon
              be taking.”

                                                                  [1489]
  “That will I do right gladly,    dearest lady mine.”
  Then to his men young Herwic    called above the din:
  “Now against old Wâ-te    let my flag be carried.”
  Herwic then pressed forward,    and none of all his men behind him
              tarried.

                                                                  [1490]
  To do the lady’s bidding    hard it was for him;
  But Herwic called out loudly    to Wâ-te old and grim,
  And said, “My dear friend Wâ-te,    to grant my wish be ready:
  Let strife be ended quickly:    this is the prayer of many a lovely
              lady.”

                                                                  [1491]
  Then spake in wrath old Wâ-te:    “Sir Herwic, get you gone!
  Did I mind the will of a woman,    how should I do my own?
  If I thought to spare the foeman,    unasked I’d do it even.
  I will not do your bidding:    Hartmut to pay for his sins must now be
              driven.”

                                                                  [1492]
  Herwic, for love of his lady,    on both the fighters sprang
  Right fearlessly and boldly;    loud the sword-blades rang.
  Wâ-te was wild with anger,    and bitter pain it gave him
  That, ere the foeman yielded,    Herwic from his hand should dare to
              save him.

                                                                  [1493]
  Then he smote King Herwic    a strong and heavy blow,
  Ere he could part the fighters,    and quickly laid him low;
  Now rushed the men of Herwic,    and did from Wâ-te bear him.
  Hartmut was seized and taken,    though Herwic and his knights had
              sought to spare him.



                         Tale the Twenty-Ninth.
                    HOW HARTMUT WAS TAKEN PRISONER.


                                                                  [1494]
  Wâ-te loud was storming;    then went he towards the hall
  That stood before the gateway.    On every side did fall
  The din of sword-blades clashing,    of groaning and of weeping.
  Hartmut was in bondage;    ill luck alone his liegemen, too, were
              reaping.

                                                                  [1495]
  With him were also taken    eighty warriors brave;
  The others all were slaughtered.    Hartmut his life did save,
  But to a ship was carried,    and fast and long they kept him.
  Not yet was sorrow ended;    greater ills must they know who now bewept
              him.

                                                                  [1496]
  Though often from the stronghold    Wâ-te’s men they drove,
  Both with slings and arrows,    yet still he grimly strove,
  And won from them the castle.    The heavy bolts were broken
  That once the gates had fastened;    at this fair women wept, with fear
              outspoken.

                                                                  [1497]
  Horant, the lord of Denmark,    Queen Hilda’s flag now bore;
  Him followed many warriors,    he might not wish for more.
  Up to a palace tower    that high its walls was rearing,
  Far above all others,    the Hegeling men the banner soon were bearing.

                                                                  [1498]
  As I have told already,    the castle now was won:
  To those they found within it    grimmest deeds were done.
  Great was the crowd on-pressing,    for booty to enrich them.
  Then cried the stern old Wâ-te:    “Where are now the sacks, and youths
              to fetch them?”

                                                                  [1499]
  Now was broken open    many a well-filled room;
  Loud was the din and uproar    that from within did come:
  But all were not like-minded    who the halls were thronging;
  While wounds were dealt by many,    others for plunder searched, for
              riches longing.

                                                                  [1500]
  They bore so much from the castle,    as we have heard it told,
  That such a heavy burden    two ships could never hold:
  Richest silken clothing,    silver and gold, were taken,
  To load the ships on the waters;    tho’ much they took, yet much must
              be forsaken.

                                                                  [1501]
  Now within the castle    joy was all unknown.
  To all the folk there gathered    the greatest wrongs were done;
  Men alike and women    were slain who there were dwelling:
  To children in their cradles,    even to them, the foemen death were
              dealing.

                                                                  [1502]
  Irold then to Wâ-te    thus his mind made known:
  “Of harm to you these children    devil-a-bit have done.
  They indeed are blameless,    nor hate to our kin were showing;
  For the love of God, I beg you,    spare the poor babes, some pity now
              bestowing.”

                                                                  [1503]
  The aged Wâ-te answered:    “Thou hast the mind of a child;
  Tho’ now in the cradle wailing,    say, wouldst thou have willed
  That I should leave them living?    As soon as they are older,
  They never can be trusted;    to trust a Saxon wild would be no
              bolder.”

                                                                  [1504]
  Blood throughout the castle    flowed on every side.
  Those who saw the slaughter,    how bitterly they cried!
  Now the high-born Ortrun,    filled with care and sorrow,
  Sought Gu-drun, kind maiden:    she feared yet greater wrongs before
              the morrow.

                                                                  [1505]
  Then, her head low bending    before the lovely maid,
  She said: “Gu-drun, my lady,    have pity on my need,
  And, in my sharpest sorrow,    leave me not forsaken;
  I trust me to your kindness,    or else my life will by your friends be
              taken.”

                                                                  [1506]
  “Gladly will I shield you,”    she answered, “if I can;
  Ever to do you kindness,    and help you, I am fain.
  I will gain for you forgiveness;    no more for life be fearing.
  Your maids and women also    must stand near me, my care they, too, are
              sharing.”

                                                                  [1507]
  “This doth make me happy,”    the youthful Ortrun said.
  With three and thirty maidens,    she was kindly kept and fed;
  Warriors two and sixty    there the ladies guarded:
  If they should gain their freedom,    their keepers would be slain, and
              thus rewarded.

                                                                  [1508]
  The old and wicked Gerlind    ran to Gu-drun in haste;
  As if she were her bondwoman,    herself at her feet she cast,
  Saying: “Most high-born lady,    thou alone canst save us
  From Wâ-te and his followers;    else will his wrath, I ween, of life
              bereave us.”

                                                                  [1509]
  To her said Hilda’s daughter:    “I hear you asking now
  That I to you be friendly;    how should I kindness show?
  Nought that e’er I wished for    to grant me were you willing:
  To me you showed but hatred;    and now my heart with hate for you is
              swelling.”

                                                                  [1510]
  That Ortrun then was near him    Wâ-te became aware:
  He his teeth was gnashing,    and straight up-stood he there;
  Now his eyes were flashing;    his yard-wide beard was flowing;
  And all were sorely frightened,    and feared what the Sturmisch lord
              would next be doing.

                                                                  [1511]
  Over him blood was streaming,    with it his clothes were wet.
  Tho’ Gu-drun was glad to see him,    she had liked it better yet
  If he, in mood less wrathful,    had come for her to greet him;
  Such fear they all were feeling,    I ween that no one there was glad
              to meet him.

                                                                  [1512]
  To meet her friend, old Wâ-te,    went Gu-drun alone;
  Then said Hilda’s daughter,    with sad and care-fraught tone:
  “Welcome art thou, Wâ-te!    How glad would be my greeting,
  If now these folk so many    no evil from thy hand should here be
              meeting.”

                                                                  [1513]
  “I thank you, fair young maiden!    Are you Queen Hilda’s child?
  Who are these many women,    whom here you seek to shield?”
  “This,” said Gu-drun, in answer,    “is Ortrun, high in breeding;
  I beg you, Wâ-te, spare her:    her women here your wrath are sorely
              dreading.

                                                                  [1514]
  “Those there are wretched maidens,    from far across the sea,
  Brought from the Hegeling kingdom    by Ludwig’s men with me.
  But you are wet and bloody;    do not come so near us:
  For all your help we thank you,    nor in our woe do scorn the love you
              bear us.”

                                                                  [1515]
  Wâ-te went on further,    and Herwic soon he found,
  And with him youthful Ortwin,    as king in Ortland owned.
  Irold was there and Morunc;    Fru-te had thither hasted:
  None of these were idle;    many they slew, nor soon from slaughter
              rested.

                                                                  [1516]
  Quickly then came Hergart,    the lady of a duke,
  And said: “Gu-drun, good lady,    on me with kindness look,—
  On me, a wretched woman.    Forget not that we ever
  Have been and are your handmaids;    and let me, lady, lose thy
              friendship never.”

                                                                  [1517]
  Gu-drun in anger answered:    “Stand back, come not so near!
  Whatever we poor maidens    of wrong have had to fear,
  For all you wept but little,    and cared for it but slightly.
  Not much do I care either    whether for you it now goes ill or
              rightly.

                                                                  [1518]
  “You still among my maidens    may linger, if you choose.”
  Now the stern old Wâ-te    looked round among his foes,
  To find the wicked Gerlind,    whom he in wrath was seeking.
  That devilish crone, with her women,    the kindness of Gu-drun was now
              bespeaking.

                                                                  [1519]
  Grimly then old Wâ-te    stood before the hall,
  And said: “Gu-drun, my lady,    send down, with her maidens all,
  The old and wicked Gerlind,    who made you wash by the water;
  And with her send her kinsmen,    who in our land so many knights did
              slaughter.”

                                                                  [1520]
  The lovely maiden answered:    “Not one of them is here.”
  Then Wâ-te, in his anger,    went in and to her came near;
  He said: “Now show me quickly    the women I am seeking;
  Else shall they, with your maidens,    all alike in the grave their
              home be making.”

                                                                  [1521]
  Wâ-te was sorely angry,    of this was she aware.
  A wink of her eye then gave him    a lovely maiden there,
  And he knew the old she-devil,    on whom her glance was turning.
  “Tell me,” he said, “Queen Gerlind,    for other maids to wash are you
              still yearning?”

                                                                  [1522]
  Then by the hand he took her,    and dragged her thence away;
  The while the wicked Gerlind    sank down in sore dismay.
  Said Wâ-te, wild to madness:    “Most lofty queen, I warn you,
  Never again, at your bidding,    shall my ladies wash for you; they now
              can scorn you.”

                                                                  [1523]
  I ween that when he brought her    without the palace gate,
  All looked on to witness    what he would do in his hate.
  Then by the hair he grasped her,    no one a whit he dreaded,
  His wrath indeed was bitter,    and at once the evil queen he there
              beheaded.

                                                                  [1524]
  Loudly shrieked the maidens,    their fright at this was sore.
  Back again went Wâ-te,    and said: “Who is there more,
  Who to the queen owns kinship?    To me you now must show her;
  However high she holds her,    I yet to earth her head will quickly
              lower.”

                                                                  [1525]
  Sobbing then and weeping,    the child of Hettel said:
  “Let these with me find shelter,    who now to me have fled,
  To ask of me forgiveness,    here my love bespeaking.
  This is the well-born Ortrun,    who with her Norman maids my help is
              seeking.”

                                                                  [1526]
  Those who were forgiven    she bade stand further back.
  Then, in mood unfriendly,    the angry Wâ-te spake:
  “Where shall I find young Hergart,    now of a lord the lady,
  Who here within this kingdom    to take the love of the king’s great
              lord was ready?”

                                                                  [1527]
  None of them would tell him,    but he to her came near,
  And said: “Were you the owner    of all this kingdom here,
  Who could in you be looking    to see so proud a bearing?
  Ill have you served your lady,    here in the land where you her lot
              were sharing.”

                                                                  [1528]
  Then all cried out together:    “Let her now go free.”
  But the aged Wâ-te answered:    “That can never be;
  I have the care of the women;    behold my overseeing!”
  With a stroke he her beheaded,    while the maids in fright behind
              Gu-drun were fleeing.

                                                                  [1529]
  Now from the bloody struggle    there was a rest for all.
  Then the brave King Herwic    came to Ludwig’s hall,
  Leading in his warriors,    with stains of blood upon them.
  Gu-drun her welcome gave him;    her love for him was shown, and
              kindness done them.

                                                                  [1530]
  Soon the knightly Herwic    his sword from his side unbound:
  He then shook off his armor    into his shield on the ground,
  And stood before the ladies;    iron-stained was his body.
  That day, for love of his lady,    he oft on the field had hewn a
              pathway bloody.

                                                                  [1531]
  With him came Ortwin also,    who was of Ortland king.
  When Irold came with Morunc,    the clothes they off did fling
  Worn outside their armor,    for they were over-heated.
  They wished to see the ladies,    and hoped by them they would be
              kindly greeted.

                                                                  [1532]
  When now the Danish warriors    were both with slaughter spent,
  They laid aside their weapons,    and before the ladies went.
  Shields no longer bore they,    their helmets were unfastened;
  A very loving welcome    to give to both the knights Gu-drun then
              hastened.

                                                                  [1533]
  Irold and Morunc with him    then most lowly bowed
  Before the lovely maiden.    How well her bearing showed
  That to see these guests so lordly    she was indeed most willing!
  Right glad and happy truly    the child of the Hegeling Hilda now was
              feeling.

                                                                  [1534]
  Alike they all were thinking,    both lords and all their men:
  “Since now we have the castle,—    the stronghold Kassiane,—
  Of the land are we the masters,    and everything is ours.”
  Soon bade the aged Wâ-te    that men should burn with fire the palace
              with its towers.

                                                                  [1535]
  The Danish Fru-te answered:    “That may never be;
  In this my queenly lady    to live must now be free.
  Bid that from out the castle    men the dead shall carry;
  Then ’twill be the better    for all our knights who in the land shall
              tarry.

                                                                  [1536]
  “Very strong is the castle,    wide it is and good;
  Bid from the walls now everywhere    to wash away the blood,
  That for a home the maidens    may not dislike it wholly:
  Then the land of Hartmut    we will raid throughout, and see it fully.”

                                                                  [1537]
  They did as Fru-te bade them,    for wise he was, in truth;
  They bore from out the castle    many who there, forsooth,
  Were sorely slashed and wounded,    and many who were dying:
  Then to the waves they carried    those who before the gates in death
              were lying.

                                                                  [1538]
  They to the sea intrusted    four thousand of the dead;
  This to them was toilsome,    but Fru-te thus had bade.
  The work that they were doing    not as yet was ended;
  Then in Ludwig’s castle    the maid Ortrun was held, now
              ill-befriended.

                                                                  [1539]
  Two and sixty warriors    and thirty maidens fair
  With her were also taken.    Then said Gu-drun: “Forbear!
  The maids are in my keeping,    my word to them I plighted:
  Wâ-te may do as he wishes    with the knights he seized, until my
              wrongs are righted.”

                                                                  [1540]
  Siegfried, king of Moorland,    found a welcome warm,
  As should to knights be granted    after the battle-storm.
  Thanks to that worthy warrior    were by the ladies given,
  That he from the land of Karadie    so far had come, and so well for
              them had striven.

                                                                  [1541]
  To the care of the Danish Horant    they their foes did give
  Who in the castle of Kassian    still were left alive.
  To him was Gu-drun intrusted,    and all her maidens near her:
  To her was he a kinsman;    they so might hope that he would kindness
              bear her.

                                                                  [1542]
  Him they made the master    of forty towers strong,
  And six wide, roomy dwellings,    that stood the shore along.
  Over three rich palaces    to him was lordship granted,
  And there Gu-drun, the maiden,    with him must stay, and nought she
              ever wanted.

                                                                  [1543]
  To guard their ships on the waters    others now they bade;
  Then back to castle Kassian    Hartmut, the knight, was led
  With many of his kinsmen,    who in the fight were taken;
  There the Norman ladies,    seized with the knights, were held, by hope
              forsaken.

                                                                  [1544]
  They bade that care be taken    that none from them might flee;
  A thousand of their brave ones    must the women oversee:
  They, with the men from Denmark,    kept guard in many places.
  Wâ-te, meanwhile, with Fru-te,    sought other foes, and shields to hew
              in pieces.

                                                                  [1545]
  Thirty thousand warriors    with them the war-path shared.
  Fire was thrown on all sides;    flames now flashed and flared.
  Throughout the land, the dwellings    everywhere were burning;
  And now the brave young Hartmut,    sad at heart, his first true woe
              was learning.

                                                                  [1546]
  The warriors from Sturmland,    and they of the Danish land,
  Broke down the well-built castles    on every hill and strand.
  They took away more plunder    than foemen ever carried;
  Many lovely women    the Hegelings seized, the while the land they
              harried.

                                                                  [1547]
  Before the friends of Hilda    came back thro’ the wasted land,
  Six and twenty castles    fell beneath their hand.
  Happy went they homeward;    proud were they of their raiding;
  Soon of those there taken    a thousand or more to Hilda they were
              leading.

                                                                  [1548]
  Throughout the Norman kingdom    was Hilda’s banner seen,
  Waving now unhindered;    back again her men
  Bore it down to the sea-sand,    where they had left their lady.
  Here would they stay no longer;    to seek their homes they all were
              glad and ready.

                                                                  [1549]
  Those who still were resting    within King Hartmut’s halls
  Down to their friends came riding    from out the castle walls.
  Gladly both old and youthful    now each other greeted;
  Then asked they of Denmark:    “Youths, what luck in the raid hath you
              awaited?”

                                                                  [1550]
  To them King Ortwin answered:    “We there have done so well
  That I to those who helped me    my thanks must ever tell.
  Our foes are well rewarded,    tho’ sore has been the fighting,
  For all the wrongs they did us;    a thousand-fold have we ourselves
              been righting.”

                                                                  [1551]
  Then spake the aged Wâ-te:    “Who best can tarry here
  To guard for us this kingdom?    Bid now Gu-drun, the fair,
  Come down again to meet us;    soon shall we be going
  To Hilda’s land of the Hegelings;    and what we bring we will to her
              be showing.”

                                                                  [1552]
  Then said they all together,    both the old and young:
  “To Horant and to Morunc    doth the warder’s task belong;
  They, and a thousand with them,    here in this land must tarry.”
  ’Twas done as they had bidden;    but those who went did many a hostage
              carry.

                                                                  [1553]
  When to go back to Hegeling    they now made up their minds,
  Then to their ships they carried    goods of many kinds,
  All they once brought with them,    and all they had of plunder.
  Gladly they bore their booty;    on this their friends at home would
              look with wonder.

                                                                  [1554]
  Hartmut now was bidden    to leave his father’s hall,
  With all his bravest warriors,    five hundred men in all;
  They now were held in bondage    who had in strife been taken,
  And won from their foes thereafter    many a weary day, of hope
              forsaken.

                                                                  [1555]
  Ortrun took they likewise,    the fair and high-born maid;
  On her and on her maidens    a heavy woe they laid:
  As they away from fatherland    far from friends were carried,
  They well might know the sorrows    felt by Gu-drun and her maids, who
              with them tarried.

                                                                  [1556]
  Those whom they had taken    they bore with them away.
  The castles, overmastered,    henceforth must own the sway
  Of Morunc and of Horant:    when they homeward started,
  They left in the Norman kingdom    a thousand of their men, all
              fearless-hearted.

                                                                  [1557]
  “Now do I beseech you,”    to them young Hartmut spake,
  “That in my father’s kingdom    my freedom I may take;
  If this to me be granted,    I pledge my life and riches.”
  The aged Wâ-te answered:    “Now in our hands to keep you wisdom
              teaches.

                                                                  [1558]
  “Why it is I know not,    that ’tis my nephew’s will
  To carry home young Hartmut,    who him would gladly kill,
  And take from him his riches.    Even before the morrow,
  Were only my nephew willing,    I would see that his foe no more in
              bonds should sorrow.”

                                                                  [1559]
  Then spake the youthful Ortwin:    “What gain to us would come
  If we should slay our foemen    here in their land and home?
  Hartmut and his kindred    may better things be hoping;
  Them will I bring to my mother,    as well beseems a knight to wrong
              ne’er stooping.”

                                                                  [1560]
  All their goods and riches    down to the ships were brought;
  With gold and gems and clothing,    and horses they were fraught.
  Her whom they had sought for    they were homeward bringing:
  They who once went mourning    now on their way were heard in gladness
              singing.



                          Tale the Thirtieth.
                 HOW GUDRUN WAS BROUGHT HOME TO HILDA.


                                                                  [1561]
  Homeward the men of the Hegelings    gladly took their way;
  But many whom they carried    erewhile across the sea
  Now lay dead and wounded;    these must they be leaving:
  Three thousand men or over    were mourned by friends, who tears to
              each were giving.

                                                                  [1562]
  Now their ships went smoothly,    the winds for them were good:
  Bearing home their booty    they came in happy mood.
  How it was done I know not,    they sent on men before them
  Unto the Hegeling ladies:    of what had them befallen they tidings
              bore them.

                                                                  [1563]
  With all their speed they hastened,—    that I well can say,—
  And reached at last their kingdom,—    I cannot tell the day.
  Never a tale so happy    had Lady Hilda gladdened
  As this that now they told her:    Ludwig was slain, who long her life
              had saddened.

                                                                  [1564]
  She asked: “Still lives my daughter,    and all her maiden band?”
  They answered: “Herwic brings her,    his own, again to her land.
  Ne’er to so brave a warrior    it hath befallen better.
  Ortrun, too, they are bringing,    and Hartmut, her brother; these in
              bonds they fetter.”

                                                                  [1565]
  “A happy tale you bring me,”    said then the well-bred queen;
  “My life with care and sadness    by them hath cumbered been.
  If e’er my eyes behold them,    ill shall they be faring:
  Through them have I much sorrow,    untold and openly, for years been
              bearing.

                                                                  [1566]
  “The news that you have brought me    a rich reward shall gain;
  For you my heart have lightened    of hopeless woe and pain.
  Gold I give you freely,    and this I do most rightly.”
  They said: “Most noble lady,    to make us rich we need your gold but
              slightly.

                                                                  [1567]
  “Of the booty we have gotten    we’re bringing home so much,
  You need not think us scornful    if your gold we do not touch:
  Indeed, our boats are heavy    with shining gold they’re bearing.
  Over all our riches    keepers we have, who well for it are caring.”

                                                                  [1568]
  Then did Lady Hilda,    when she the tidings heard
  That guests so dear were coming,    for food and drink give word;
  For stools and benches, also,    on which they should be seated.
  She of all was thoughtful,    that they might feel that they were fitly
              greeted.

                                                                  [1569]
  Now at Matelan castle    none were idle found;
  Down on the sandy beaches    and on the level ground
  Workmen quickly gathered,    who nought of toil abated
  That fair Gu-drun and Herwic,    as them beseemed, should worthily be
              seated.

                                                                  [1570]
  I cannot tell you truly    if aught upon the sea
  Of ill had them befallen.    Six long weeks it must be
  Ere Ortwin’s men saw Matelan    at length before them looming.
  They brought with them their lady,    and many well-bred maids with her
              were coming.

                                                                  [1571]
  When now they reached their homeland,    this for truth we hear,
  Their search and strife for the lady    had lasted full a year:
  It was upon a May-time    their foes they home were bringing.
  Their toils were not forgotten,    but, as they came, the strand with
              shouts was ringing.

                                                                  [1572]
  Soon as Matelan castle    now from the ships was seen,
  Of sackbuts and of trumpets    loud began the din,
  Of horns as well as fluting,    and drums that men were beating.
  The ships of the aged Wâ-te    at last in a harbor good their rest were
              meeting.

                                                                  [1573]
  After these came also    Ortland’s warriors brave;
  Then Hilda with her ladies    to them a welcome gave.
  Out from Matelan’s castle    she to the shore went riding;
  Gu-drun they saw was coming,    with well-bred maidens wont to do her
              bidding.

                                                                  [1574]
  Alighted from their horses,    and standing on the sand,
  Were Hilda and all her ladies.    Then, leading by the hand
  Gu-drun, the lovely maiden,    came Irold, proud and knightly.
  Though Hilda well had known her,    yet now she knew her not, nor
              others rightly.

                                                                  [1575]
  Hilda, among the followers    a hundred women saw;
  She said: “I know not truly    which one from me should draw
  A mother’s loving welcome;    unknown to me is my daughter:
  I give to all my greeting    who here with her have come across the
              water.”

                                                                  [1576]
  “This is your long-lost daughter,”    by Irold she was told;
  Hilda to her stepped nearer.    Could ever wealth or gold
  Outweigh the bliss that filled them,    as each the other greeted,
  And welcome gave with kisses?    Now from their hearts had all their
              sorrow fleeted.

                                                                  [1577]
  To Irold and his kinsmen    kind greeting Hilda said;
  Then to the aged Wâ-te    a lowly bow she made.
  “Welcome, knight of Sturmland!    bravely thou hast striven!
  Who can e’er reward thee,    unless to thee both land and crown are
              given?”

                                                                  [1578]
  He to the lady answered:    “To help you all I may,
  For that am I most willing,    e’en to my latest day.”
  Then, for love, she kissed him,    and Ortwin thus she greeted.
  Now came Herwic also,    with proud and worthy knights, as him
              befitted.

                                                                  [1579]
  Ortrun, the Norman maiden,    then by the hand he led.
  Gu-drun besought her mother    kindly to meet the maid:
  “Dear lady, greet with kisses    this good and high-born maiden;
  Oft in my years of sorrow    my life with help and kindness she did
              gladden.”

                                                                  [1580]
  “To none will I give kisses    who is to me unknown.
  Who are this maiden’s kinsmen?    What name doth the lady own,
  That you should bid me kiss her,    and be so friendly with her?”
  He said: “Her name is Ortrun;    she from the Norman kingdom cometh
              hither.”

                                                                  [1581]
  “Never shall I kiss her;    how can you ask for this?
  If I should bid them kill her    I should not do amiss.
  Truly have her kinsmen    filled my life with sorrow;
  They fed their eyes upon it,    and gladness all the while from this
              did borrow.”

                                                                  [1582]
  Gu-drun to Hilda answered:    “Ne’er hath this lovely maid
  The word to any given    that wrong on you be laid.
  Bethink you now, dear mother,    would blame to me be owing
  Should our men slay her kinsmen?    To the luckless maid, I beg, your
              love be showing.”

                                                                  [1583]
  Gu-drun in vain besought her,    until at last, with tears,
  The maid now begged her mother;    then gave she willing ears,
  And said: “I can no longer    see you sadly weeping:
  If e’er the maiden helped you,    for this shall she, in my land, her
              life be keeping.”

                                                                  [1584]
  Then the stately Hilda    kissed King Ludwig’s child,
  And greeted other ladies,    e’en as Gu-drun had willed.
  Then came also Hildeburg,    from far-off lands brought thither,
  Erst with her found washing.    Now, by the hand, Sir Fru-te led her
              hither.

                                                                  [1585]
  Then Gu-drun said further:    “Mother, most dear to me,
  Your greeting give to Hildeburg.    What better can there be
  Than true and faithful friendship?    Gold and jewels even,
  Whate’er the kingdom holdeth,    to Hildeburg most rightly should be
              given.”

                                                                  [1586]
  Then said to her Queen Hilda:    “To me it hath been told
  How she both weal and sorrow    hath borne with you of old.
  Never shall I sit happy    beneath the crown I’m wearing,
  Till I indeed reward her    for all the ills that she with you was
              sharing.”

                                                                  [1587]
  At once she kissed the maiden,    and others, too, as well.
  Then Hilda said to Fru-te:    “No shame for this I feel,—
  That I have come to meet you    and those whom you are leading.
  Good knights, you all are welcome    into the Hegeling land, now
              homeward speeding.”

                                                                  [1588]
  As they with thanks were bowing,    and she her greeting gave,
  Siegfried, king of Moorland,    drew nearer on the wave,
  And with his warriors, shouting,    up to the beach was springing:
  A merry song from Araby    were all, as best they might, together
              singing.

                                                                  [1589]
  Queen Hilda him awaited    till on the shore he stood.
  Then to the lord of Karadie    a greeting warm she showed:
  “Sir Siegfried, king of Moorland,    welcome to you is given;
  It ne’er shall be forgotten    how you to right my wrongs have ever
              striven.”

                                                                  [1590]
  “Lady, if I have helped you,    to do it I was glad.
  Now must I hasten thither    to where my home I’ve had
  Since early days of boyhood,    ere I thence had ridden
  To war against King Herwic;    henceforth to strive with him it is
              forbidden.”

                                                                  [1591]
  Then they their ships unloaded,    and up they bore on the sand
  The many things brought with them    into Queen Hilda’s land.
  The night was drawing nearer,    the air was colder growing;
  The guests no longer waited:    to seek a shelter they in haste were
              going.

                                                                  [1592]
  Then with the guests Queen Hilda    rode up on to the plain.
  Before great Matelan castle    huts and tents were seen
  Bedecked with gold and shining;    there the guests were seated
  Upon rich seats made ready:    within the tents were all most kindly
              treated.

                                                                  [1593]
  Such wealth, at Hilda’s bidding,    was brought up to the land,
  That none need leave behind him    his pledge or bond to stand.
  Never in giving freely    could any host be vying
  With this most high-born widow:    no guest need wine or other cheer be
              buying.

                                                                  [1594]
  There the weary rested    until five days were gone.
  The greatest care and kindness    unto the guests were shown;
  But Hartmut greatly sorrowed—    no happiness it gave him—
  Until the lovely maiden    begged Queen Hilda would in freedom leave
              him.

                                                                  [1595]
  Then Ortwin went with his sister    where Hilda had her seat.
  She said: “My dearest mother,    never this forget,—
  We must not reward with evil    him who a wrong is doing.
  Of your worthy name bethink you;    you should on Hartmut smile,
              forgiveness showing.”

                                                                  [1596]
  She answered: “Dearest daughter,    you do not ask aright:
  I at the hands of Hartmut    the greatest ills have met;
  He must atone in bondage    for all his wrongful dealing.”
  Then at the feet of Hilda    Gu-drun fell down, with sixty maidens,
              kneeling.

                                                                  [1597]
  Then spake the lady Ortrun:    “In freedom let him live;
  To you will he be faithful,    for this my word I give.
  Be to my brother friendly,    nor of your love be sparing;
  ’Twill be to you an honor    if he again the kingly crown be wearing.”

                                                                  [1598]
  His friends all wept together    that he in bondage sat,
  Wearing chains so heavy;    their eyes with tears were wet:
  Much they pitied Hartmut,    no more his kingdom swaying.
  On him and on his followers    fetters fast and strongest now were
              weighing.

                                                                  [1599]
  Then spake to them Queen Hilda:    “Leave your weeping now;
  Their chains will I unloosen;    they to my court may go:
  But not to seek their freedom    they their word must give me,
  And with an oath must swear it,—    not hence to ride unbidden, nor to
              leave me.”

                                                                  [1600]
  Now the noble bondsmen    were from chains set free.
  Gu-drun then bade these warriors    to bathe them in the sea;
  Then, in finest clothing,    men to court must lead them.
  Knights were they most worthy;    and so the more, good luck did ever
              speed them.

                                                                  [1601]
  There among the others    Hartmut now was seen;
  Never a braver warrior    or better knight had been:
  E’en now, amid his sorrows,    such a mien was he wearing,
  It seemed as if a pencil    had drawn him there, and a parchment him
              was bearing.

                                                                  [1602]
  Now on him with kindness    did all the ladies look,
  While he, their friendship trusting,    greater boldness took.
  Ill-will, that erst was borne him,    none were longer feeling;
  It was by all forgotten    what wounds they erst had been to each other
              dealing.

                                                                  [1603]
  Herwic now bethought him    from the land of the Hegeling
  How he might be going.    He bade his men to bring
  His clothing and his weapons,    and on the horses load them:
  When this was known to Hilda,    to let them go no ready will she
              showed them.

                                                                  [1604]
  She said: “My good Lord Herwic,    I beg you longer stay!
  All your love and kindness    a weight on me doth lay.
  Not yet with my good wishes    may you hence be riding;
  Before you yet shall leave me,    there shall be high times for the
              guests with me abiding.”

                                                                  [1605]
  To her Lord Herwic answered:    “Lady, you know the way,
  How those who send their kinsmen    to lands which others sway
  Again at home to see them    are always greatly longing:
  With pain our friends are waiting    until again they see us homeward
              thronging.”

                                                                  [1606]
  Then spake again Queen Hilda:    “Grudge not, I beg, to me
  One happiness and honor,    for none can greater be;
  Herwic, king most worthy,    the boon now deign to give me,
  That I, poor lonely woman,    may see my daughter crowned, ere she
              shall leave me.”

                                                                  [1607]
  For this was he unwilling;    but still she begged and bade:
  Thereby those held in bondage    were soon from sorrow freed.
  When now at last he told her    that to do it he was willing,
  Then the Lady Hilda    was glad in heart, and rest of mind was feeling.

                                                                  [1608]
  Seats were made at her bidding,    yet more and better still,
  Which many knights with honor,    near Hilda, soon did fill,
  When came the high times merry,    that now were widely bruited.
  To crown Gu-drun, the fair one,    King Herwic bade, for him it now
              well suited.

                                                                  [1609]
  Of those who him had followed    there went away not one
  Before at Matelan castle    the high times were begun.
  Then by Lady Hilda    was clothing kindly given
  To sixty maids or over:    for praise and honor she had ever striven.

                                                                  [1610]
  To full a hundred women    clothing good she gave:
  None of those were slighted,    but all her care did have,
  Who from their homes were taken;    these had clothes the rarest.
  The gifts indeed were wondrous    that Hilda gave, of queens the best
              and fairest.

                                                                  [1611]
  Irold must guard the treasure;    to dwell in Hilda’s home
  That knight erelong was bidden,    and quickly did he come:
  Wâ-te, he of Sturmland,    must carve the meat at table;
  They also sent for Fru-te,    to come to her as soon as he was able.

                                                                  [1612]
  Her cup-bearer she made him;    thereon thus spake the knight:
  “That will I be most gladly,    if now you think it right.
  A fief you then will give me,    with banners twelve to show it;
  Then am I lord in Denmark.”    Queen Hilda smiled, but never thought to
              do it.

                                                                  [1613]
  To Fru-te thus she answered:    “That gift is not for thee;
  For still your nephew Horant    Daneland’s lord must be.
  You, in his stead, for friendship,    must now our cup be filling;
  And, while he is with the Normans,    kindly to care for him must you
              be willing.”

                                                                  [1614]
  The men and maids in waiting    all to their tasks were set:
  Silken clothes were called for;    a hoard both rich and great,
  In rooms and chests long treasured,    Queen Hilda bade them open.
  These were brought by stewards,    and all the guests to them were
              freely holpen.

                                                                  [1615]
  Of these the very lowest    had clothing of the best.
  If others than the Normans    were bidden to the feast,
  Or why they called them thither,    I have no way of telling:
  Full thirty thousand were they    whom there they brought, in Norman
              lands once dwelling.

                                                                  [1616]
  Clothes for all were wanted,    but where could these be found?
  If e’en the wealth of Araby    any there had owned,
  I ween he could no better    or finer clothes have given
  Than now they shared so freely: that this should be, Gu-drun her best
              had striven.

                                                                  [1617]
  Soon as this lovely maiden    by the guests had now her seat,
  She sent for her brother Ortwin,    and did his coming wait,
  That she the word might give him    to be fair Ortrun’s lover;
  She, King Ludwig’s daughter,    beside Gu-drun was seated then, as
              ever.

                                                                  [1618]
  Ortwin, lord of Ortland,    made haste to his sister’s bower:
  Him welcomed many a maiden    who sat with her that hour.
  Then, from her seat arising,    by the hand she kindly took him;
  And him aside then leading,    at the further end of the hall she thus
              bespoke him,

                                                                  [1619]
  Saying: “Dearest brother,    hear what for you is best;
  All that I shall tell you    comes from a faithful breast.
  If you for bliss are hoping,    so long as you are living,
  Then for Hartmut’s sister    you must, as best you may, henceforth be
              striving.”

                                                                  [1620]
  To her young Ortwin answered:    “Now think you this is well?
  I and her brother Hartmut    never as friends can feel;
  We slew their father Ludwig,    and, when to me she’s wedded,
  Of him will she be thinking;    then with her sighs I oft shall be
              upbraided.”

                                                                  [1621]
  “You such love must show her    that for him she will not long.
  If now this word I give you,    ’tis from a love as strong
  As I have had for any,    or e’er in my life was feeling.
  Should she to you be wedded,    your bliss with her will be beyond all
              telling.”

                                                                  [1622]
  Then said her knightly brother:    “If she to you is known,
  And now you think the Hegelings    will her for a mistress own,
  Gladly will I love her,—    a maid of such high-breeding.”
  Him Gu-drun then answered:    “You’ll ne’er a sorry day with her be
              leading.”

                                                                  [1623]
  Of this he spoke to others,    but Hilda’s word was nay;
  He told it unto Herwic,    to hear what he would say,
  Who held it right and worthy;    then to Fru-te speaking,
  That friend would have him woo her,    “for many knights will she your
              own be making.

                                                                  [1624]
  “Soothed should be the hatred    that we each other bore;
  Of how it may be ended,    I now will tell you more;
  Then,” said the Danish Fru-te,    whose word was ever heeded,
  “Hildeburg, the maiden,    to young King Hartmut also must be wedded.”

                                                                  [1625]
  The wise and upright Herwic    with faithful words thus spake:
  “I deem it right and fitting    the maiden him should take;
  When in the land of Hartmut    she is queen and lady,
  A thousand lordly castles    to own her sway will there be glad and
              ready.”

                                                                  [1626]
  Then to the high-born Hildeburg    Gu-drun the fair thus spake,
  With words unheard by others:    “Care for your weal I’ll take;
  If I may well reward you,    my friend and playmate dearest,
  For all the love you’ve shown me,    soon in the Norman land a crown
              thou wearest.”

                                                                  [1627]
  To her then said fair Hildeburg:    “For me it were not well
  To give my troth to any    who ne’er his love did tell,
  Nor unto me, in fondness,    e’er his heart was turning;
  Should we grow old together,    I fear between us oft there’ll be
              heart-burning.”

                                                                  [1628]
  Her Gu-drun thus answered:    “Give not a thought to that:
  I soon will send to Hartmut,    and bid him answer straight
  Whether he now would like it    if from his pledge I free him,
  As well as all his followers,    and send him home, that his friends
              again may see him.

                                                                  [1629]
  “If he his thanks shall tell me,    I then in turn will bid
  That he by deeds shall show it,    and shall my wishes heed.
  I then will freely ask him    if he will wed a maiden,
  That I and all my kinsmen    may him with love and friendship ever
              gladden.”

                                                                  [1630]
  To her they brought young Hartmut,    king of the Norman land,
  And with him came old Fru-te.    Near her, on either hand,
  Proud Hildeburg and Ortrun    within her bower were sitting;
  If the lady’s word they heeded,    their many woes they both would be
              forgetting.

                                                                  [1631]
  Hartmut, the son of Ludwig,    went through the palace hall;
  To him a friendly greeting    was given by one and all,
  Alike both high and lowly    from their seats arising.
  None than he was braver;    no worth or greatness e’er in him was
              missing.

                                                                  [1632]
  He by Gu-drun, fair lady,    to seat himself was told;
  And neither of the others    her greeting did withhold.
  Then said Queen Hilda’s daughter:    “I beg you to be sitting
  Near my faithful maidens,    who washed with me for your knights, as
              was befitting.”

                                                                  [1633]
  “This in scorn you bid me,    fair and lovely queen!
  Whatever wrong was done you    truly gives me pain:
  ’Twas by my mother’s wishes    that this from me was hidden;
  To keep it from my father,    and from his knights as well, were all
              men bidden.”

                                                                  [1634]
  To him the maiden answered:    “My wish I may not hide:
  I now, in truth, Sir Hartmut,    must speak with you aside.
  I and yourself, we only,    may hear what I am saying.”
  Hartmut then bethought him:    “May God now grant she is not falsely
              playing.”

                                                                  [1635]
  No one else but Fru-te    allowed she to come near;
  Then the high-born maiden    said in Hartmut’s ear:
  “If you to me will hearken,    and do what I shall tell you
  With ready heart and freely,    now of all your sorrows I will heal
              you.”

                                                                  [1636]
  “Well I know your wisdom,”    then young Hartmut said;
  “Of aught that is unworthy    I need not be afraid.
  My heart for nothing wishes,    unless to do your bidding:
  Gladly, high-born lady,    to all that you shall say will I give
              heeding.”

                                                                  [1637]
  She said: “My wish I tell you,    and now your life would cheer;
  I, and my kinsmen with me,    will give you a helpmeet fair.
  To keep both land and honor    you may thus be seeking,
  And of the hate we bore you    none shall evermore a word be speaking.”

                                                                  [1638]
  “Who is it, say, fair lady,    that you for me will choose?
  Ere yet my love I give her,    life would I rather lose
  Than ever that my kinsmen    her with scorn were eying;
  For me it were far better    that I in death upon the field were
              lying.”

                                                                  [1639]
  “I will give your sister Ortrun,    the maid beloved and fair,
  To be a wife to my brother,    himself to me most dear.
  You must wed with Hildeburg,    of a king the well-born daughter:
  Never a dearer maiden    you in the world could find, where’er you
              sought her.”

                                                                  [1640]
  “If this indeed may happen,”    then young Hartmut said,
  “And now your brother Ortwin    shall take that lovely maid,
  My dear-loved sister, Ortrun,    and she to him is wedded,
  Then I will woo fair Hildeburg;    thus hate will end, nor longer shall
              be dreaded.”

                                                                  [1641]
  She said: “To this I’ve brought him;    his troth to her he gave.
  If now ’twould make you happy    your father’s lands to have,
  And again within his castles    that you should soon be living,
  You well may wed with Hildeburg,    and there the queenly crown to her
              be giving.”

                                                                  [1642]
  He said: “That pledge I gladly,    and on it give my hand;
  As soon as the king of Ortland    shall with my sister stand,
  And both the crown have taken,    then I, no more forbearing,
  Will, with lovely Hildeburg,    among our men our lands and fiefs be
              sharing.”

                                                                  [1643]
  When he his word had plighted,    then said the high-born maid:
  “Now will I do gladly    a further friendly deed;
  Unto the lord of Karadie    for a wife will I be giving
  The sister of King Herwic,    that she with him may evermore be
              living.”

                                                                  [1644]
  I ween that never hatred    was smoothed as now was done:
  Brave knights who long were foemen    now became as one.
  Fru-te, the lord of Daneland,    thought it right and fitting
  Soon to send for Ortwin;    also the Moorland king must them be
              meeting.

                                                                  [1645]
  When they to court were coming,    finest clothes they wore.
  The news Gu-drun had told them    others to Wâ-te bore;
  To Irold, too, they gave it,    as soon as he came thither;
  This aside they talked of,    and fitting speech long time they held
              together.

                                                                  [1646]
  Then spake the aged Wâ-te:    “Peace we can never know
  Until Ortrun and Hartmut    to Hilda, the queen, shall go,
  And ask of her forgiveness,    down at her feet low bending.
  Only if she allows it,    can we be friends, and hatred have an
              ending.”

                                                                  [1647]
  Then spake Gu-drun, the high-born:    “This I can truly say:
  To them is she not unfriendly;    Ortrun wears to-day
  Such clothes as by my mother    to me and my maids were given.
  I’ll gladly gain forgiveness;    in me they all may trust, from home
              now riven.”

                                                                  [1648]
  Within a ring of maidens    Ortrun then they set,
  And with her also Hildeburg,    of birth both high and meet:
  Ortwin then and Hartmut    led them out to wed them.
  “I hope,” said Lady Hilda,    “that now, forever, we our friends have
              made them.”

                                                                  [1649]
  When to his side young Ortwin    did the maiden Ortrun bring,
  Lovingly and kindly,    he took a golden ring,
  And this upon the finger    of her fair white hand he fitted.
  Then far off were driven    the many woes that late her life had
              greeted.

                                                                  [1650]
  Hartmut around fair Hildeburg    then his arms did throw;
  Each on the hand of the other    did a golden ring bestow.
  The lovely maid was blameless,    and sorrow gave him never;
  Of him and of fair Hildeburg    nothing their faithful hearts thro’
              life could sever.

                                                                  [1651]
  Then said Queen Hilda’s daughter:    “Herwic, my lord most dear,
  Say, does the land of your fathers    lie to us so near
  That men could bring your sister,    if this by us were needed,
  Here to my mother’s kingdom,    that she to the lord of Karadie may now
              be wedded?”

                                                                  [1652]
  To her King Herwic answered:    “This will I say to you:
  Your men, if they will hasten,    in twelve days’ time can go;
  But if any to your kingdom    the maiden would be leading,
  Ill luck, I ween, awaits him,    unless with him my own good knights be
              speeding.”

                                                                  [1653]
  Then answered Hilda’s daughter:    “Your help, I beg you, grant;
  By doing this, of happiness    you nought shall ever want.
  To your men both food and clothing    my mother will be giving;
  Only bring us the maiden,    that I may thank you, long as you are
              living.”

                                                                  [1654]
  To her then said Lord Herwic:    “How can she be clad?
  The mighty lord of Karadie    a waste of my kingdom made;
  There he burned my castles,    and of her clothes bereft her.”
  Then said the king of Moorland:    “Her would I woo, if only a smock
              were left her.”

                                                                  [1655]
  To bring the maid then Herwic    a hundred warriors sent;
  He bade his men to hasten    when on their way they went.
  He begged that Wâ-te and Fru-te    would with them go riding:
  This was to them a burden;    but yet the worthy knights both did his
              bidding.

                                                                  [1656]
  With greatest speed they hastened,    both by day and night,
  Until they found the maiden.    Wâ-te they feared would fight,—
  ’Gainst this did Herwic’s liegemen    give their careful heeding.
  Soon from her home the lady,    with four and twenty maids, the knights
              were leading.

                                                                  [1657]
  By Wâ-te they were guided    from the castle down to the sand:
  Two ships they found, with row-boats,    lying by the strand;
  One of these they seized on,    and, helped by breezes blowing,
  They fast away were sailing:    throughout twelve days they to their
              homes were going.

                                                                  [1658]
  When to the land of the Hegelings    they had brought the maid,
  Many knights bethought them    over the sand to speed,
  To meet the lovely lady,    and all with banners hasted.
  They who had brought the maiden    had kept their oaths, nor from the
              task had rested.

                                                                  [1659]
  How could any maiden    a better welcome find?
  Gu-drun went forth to meet her,    and gave her greeting kind;
  Hilda, with many ladies,    to see the maiden hasted:
  Nor came King Herwic’s sister    all alone, though with fire her land
              was wasted.

                                                                  [1660]
  She from home was followed    by full three hundred men.
  Now when the kingly Herwic    his sister met again,
  He, to show her honor,    rode forward, proudly dashing;
  So did many others:    loud were the shields of the knights together
              clashing.

                                                                  [1661]
  Four kings both rich and mighty    rode to meet her there;
  Thereon the knights ’gan wrangle    which of the ladies fair
  Was loveliest and fairest.    Long their time they wasted,
  For all alike were worthy;    on this at last their wordy war they
              rested.

                                                                  [1662]
  The fair Gu-drun then kissed her    and those who with her came.
  They walked along the seashore,    till a tent was seen by them,
  With richest silken hangings;    while they stood thereunder,
  What now to her should happen    gave to Herwic’s sister greatest
              wonder.

                                                                  [1663]
  Now the king of Karadie    forthwith to come they bade;
  Then they asked the maiden:    “Will you this man now wed?
  Kingdoms nine most mighty    have for their master owned him.”
  With him were knights full many,    yellow in hue, now standing all
              around him.

                                                                  [1664]
  His father and his mother    were not of faith the same;
  But him, so light in color,    one might a Christian name.
  Like to gold, spun finely,    the hair on his head was lying:
  She would choose unwisely    if she to him her love were now denying.

                                                                  [1665]
  She was slow her love to grant him,    as oft one sees a maid;
  But she to him was given.    The worthy knight then said:
  “So well I like this lady,    from love I ne’er can free me.
  Never will I leave her,    and as her husband men erelong shall see
              me.”

                                                                  [1666]
  At last this knight and maiden    each their troth did plight:
  Both of them scarce waited    till day should turn to night,
  When, from others hidden,    they should their bliss be owning.
  Soon, ’mid knightly warriors,    daughters of four rich kings were
              hallowed for the crowning.



                         Tale the Thirty-First.
            HOW THE FOUR KINGS WERE WEDDED IN HILDA’S LAND.


                                                                  [1667]
  Then the kings were hallowed,    as in days of yore;
  Also there were knighted    five hundred men or more.
  Now in Hilda’s kingdom    the folk high times were having;
  It was at Matelan castle,    before the walls where the sea the sands
              was laving.

                                                                  [1668]
  There the fair Queen Hilda    to all fine clothing gave.
  How, in the sight of ladies,    rode Wâ-te old and brave!
  How Irold, too, and Fru-te    of Daneland, rode before them!
  One heard the spear-shafts broken,    as these they lowered, and in the
              onset bore them.

                                                                  [1669]
  Lightly the wind was blowing,    but the dust was dark as night;
  Yet to the maidens’ clothing    the knights gave heeding slight,
  Altho’ ’twas soiled and covered    with the dust thick flying.
  Before the ladies seated,    riders bold in many a tilt were vying.

                                                                  [1670]
  Now at length the maidens    were left no longer there;
  They, with the queenly Hilda,    were led to a window near,
  Where the daring champions    their eyes on them were feeding:
  Beside the four betrothéd,    a hundred well-clothed maids they were
              thither leading.

                                                                  [1671]
  Many wandering players    there let their skill be shown;
  The best that each was able,    how gladly was it done!
  When early mass was ended,    upon the next day’s morning,
  And God by them was worshiped,    knights of the sword again to their
              games were turning.

                                                                  [1672]
  Of uproar and of gladness    where could more be found?
  Of many tunes and singing    the halls gave back the sound.
  Until four days were over,    there the high times lasted:
  Well-born throngs were gathered,    nor oft the hours in idleness they
              wasted.

                                                                  [1673]
  An open-handed giver,    that day was Herwic seen.
  He knew the wandering players,    who there had come again,
  Were bent on growing richer,    and well for this were striving;
  Herwic meant, in kindness,    that all, while there, should gain an
              easy living.

                                                                  [1674]
  First the lord of Sealand    flung his gifts around
  With willing hand so freely    that thanks from all did sound
  Who saw his love and kindness,    or heard about it later:
  In ruddy gold King Herwic    the worth of full a thousand pounds did
              scatter.

                                                                  [1675]
  Clothing, too, was given    by his friends as well as kin;
  Horses finely saddled    many there did win,
  Who before not often    on such steeds had ridden.
  When this was seen by Ortwin,    in giving then he would not be
              outbidden.

                                                                  [1676]
  He, the king of Ortland    finest clothes now gave:
  Since then, if better clothing    knights did ever have,
  Forsooth we cannot tell you,—    it never reached our hearing.
  He and all his followers    stood bereft, erelong, of much that they
              were wearing.

                                                                  [1677]
  No one now could reckon    what store of clothing good
  Was given by those from Moorland.    There fine horses stood,
  Soon to be given also,—    such indeed is the saying:
  Those who were to have them    for better never hoped, nor e’er were
              praying.

                                                                  [1678]
  All were now made richer,    both the young and old.
  Then, too, was seen King Hartmut;    nought would he withhold,
  As though his home and kingdom    had not in war been wasted:
  They saw him give so freely,    that greater love and kindness none
              e’er tasted.

                                                                  [1679]
  By him and his friendly kinsmen    who thither with him came,
  And there were held in bondage,    how readily by them
  Was given what was left them,    that any from them wanted!
  By Hartmut and his followers    all that could be asked was gladly
              granted.

                                                                  [1680]
  Gu-drun, the lovely maiden,    a friendly will e’er bore
  To Hildeburg of Ireland,    with whom, in days of yore,
  To wash upon the sea-sands    the clothes she oft was bearing.
  I ween no pains she slighted    that Hartmut’s love her friend might
              now be sharing.

                                                                  [1681]
  Gu-drun then bade her steward    a hoard of goods to take
  For those who shared her kindness.    Men of this would speak,
  And say in wealth to give them    she would ne’er be wanting;
  Heavy gold and silver,    and clothes, could she to all her friends be
              granting.

                                                                  [1682]
  Before his seat upstanding,    the Sturmisch lord was seen,
  Clad so well and richly    that never king nor his men
  Finer clothes or better    at any time were wearing.
  None long time were waiting    who hoped that day his kindness to be
              sharing.

                                                                  [1683]
  Above all others, Wâ-te    gave such clothing there
  That truly never better    a king was seen to wear;
  With gold and gems it sparkled,    o’erhung with richest netting:
  Such clothes with him he carried    when on his way to court he was
              forth setting.

                                                                  [1684]
  In every one of the meshes    lay a costly stone,
  However one might name it;    thereby it could be known
  That in the land of Abalie    the gems therein were fitted.
  To Wâ-te and his followers    all gave the hand, and them with thanks
              they greeted.

                                                                  [1685]
  None of those there gathered,    who saw the clothes that day,
  Could of the brave old Wâ-te    this truth indeed gainsay,—
  That beyond the gifts of princes    his were far outreaching.
  Of wealth he soon was master    who for these gifts his hand was now
              outstretching.

                                                                  [1686]
  Willingly did Irold    let them see his mind,
  That he to none was grudging    gifts of any kind.
  Good care of Hilda’s riches    was Fru-te ever taking:
  He was a faithful steward,    and long of him thereafter men were
              speaking.

                                                                  [1687]
  The high times now were ended,    and all their leave would take.
  Then ’twas allowed to Hartmut,    as well his worth bespake,
  His peace to gain forever;    to this Gu-drun had brought him.
  Then for their home they started;    each happier went than he had erst
              bethought him.

                                                                  [1688]
  With friendly love, Queen Hilda    bade them all farewell;
  With her, Gu-drun and Hildeburg    went, with kind goodwill,
  Far beyond the castle,    with all their maids-in-waiting.
  There took they leave of Hartmut,    when he at last was on his way
              forth setting.

                                                                  [1689]
  A guard Queen Hilda gave them    across the land and sea;
  Great was the host that Herwic    and Ortwin now set free,
  Whom, long held in bondage,    they now were homeward sending;
  Full a thousand followers    Hartmut brought to his land when the war
              was ending.

                                                                  [1690]
  Everywhere the ladies    one another kissed.
  Many now were sundered    who long each other missed,
  And nevermore thereafter    might again be meeting.
  The high-bred Ortwin and Herwic    went with them to the boats that for
              them were waiting.

                                                                  [1691]
  Irold must be their leader,    while they did homeward fare.
  Then by the king ’twas bidden    that he the word should bear
  To Horant, lord of Denmark,    how they the land were leaving:
  Soon Irold to the warriors    guidance and guard unto their homes was
              giving.

                                                                  [1692]
  The time, or late or early,    in truth I cannot tell,
  When they for their home in Kassian    did at last set sail.
  The folk, now faring thither,    were nought but gladness showing;
  After many sorrows,    God on them was fullest bliss bestowing.

                                                                  [1693]
  Irold said to Horant,    when he reached the Norman land,
  That he by the king was bidden    homeward to lead the band.
  “To leave to them their kingdom,”    he answered, “it is fitting,
  They home have come so gladly;    I, too, to see my land with pain am
              waiting.”

                                                                  [1694]
  Then they welcomed Hartmut,    and to him his land did leave;
  But how he swayed his kingdom    I now no knowledge have.
  With all his friends, then Horant    quickly homeward hasted,
  And left the land behind them;    Denmark they reached, nor many days
              they wasted.

                                                                  [1695]
  There we now will leave them,    and only this will say:
  That never from a wedding    homeward took their way
  Happier knights and kinsmen    than now from there were going:
  Only the men of Karadie    tarried still in the land, their gladness
              showing.



                        Tale the Thirty-Second.
                   HOW THEY ALL WENT TO THEIR HOMES.


                                                                  [1696]
  Now with the friendly Hegelings    none would tarry more.
  Soon on the way to Alzabie    they Herwic’s sister bore,
  Shouting all for gladness    that they the maid were bringing;
  While, on their watery pathway,    with proud and happy hearts, the
              knights were singing.

                                                                  [1697]
  Queen Hilda gave, at parting,    a kind farewell to them.
  Tho’ rich were Herwic’s followers    when first to her they came,
  Yet gifts she gave full many    to them, when homeward faring.
  When one is seen so lavish,    the name of a wonder-worker is he
              rightly bearing.

                                                                  [1698]
  Gu-drun then spake to her mother:    “May blessings on you be!
  Mourn not for the fallen;    by both my lord and me
  Shall love to you be given:    no more you need be feeling
  Heaviness or sorrow;    your woes shall Herwic’s kindness now be
              healing.”

                                                                  [1699]
  To her Queen Hilda answered:    “Dearest daughter mine,
  If you would make me happy,    henceforth must friends of thine
  Come to the land of the Hegeling    thrice to see me yearly;
  Else must I greatly sorrow,    and never can bear the loss I feel so
              nearly.”

                                                                  [1700]
  Then said Gu-drun, the high-born:    “Mother, it shall be done.”
  At once, with smiles and weeping,    and glances backward thrown,
  She left the castle of Matelan,    with many a friendly maiden.
  Her sorrows now were ended:    nought before did ever maids so gladden.

                                                                  [1701]
  Hither men brought horses,    saddled and fitly bred,
  To bear her hence with her maidens;    these their keepers led:
  Light were all the breastplates,    and golden-red each bridle.
  I ween the ladies wished not    longer far from home to linger idle.

                                                                  [1702]
  Many, with hair down-flowing,    and decked with gold, rode there;
  Methinks from tears and sorrow    none could then forbear,
  Who must at last from Ortrun    and from her maids be parted.
  Should Ortrun be unhappy,    Gu-drun would then be sad and
              heavy-hearted.

                                                                  [1703]
  Ortrun, betrothed to Ortwin,    then her thanks did give
  To fair Gu-drun, the queenly,    that she had granted leave
  To hold the Norman kingdom    to Hartmut, her knightly brother:
  “Gu-drun, may God reward you!    my cares are gone, I ne’er shall know
              another.”

                                                                  [1704]
  To her mother Hilda, also,    Ortrun her thanks did say,
  That she in Ortland’s kingdom    the crown should wear one day,
  Together with King Ortwin,    and there be called his lady.
  Then said to her Queen Hilda    that she to grant her this was ever
              ready.

                                                                  [1705]
  Ortwin then and Herwic    each to the other swore,
  With strong and steady friendship,    that they forevermore
  Would sway with right and honor    the lands to them belonging,
  And ever would be earnest    to seize and slay whoe’er was either
              wronging.



                          Transcriber’s Notes


--Retained publisher information from the printed copy (the electronic
  edition is in the public domain in the country of publication).

--Corrected some palpable typos.

--In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.





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