Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin
Public Domain Books
“Far, far below the ground are gloomy depths,– A mighty cavern, rocky, dark and vast.”
It was as dark as night down in the kingdom of the Nibelungs, except for the light which flared from the smoking torches, or glowed in the coals upon the anvils.
The family of dwarfs were skilled blacksmiths and metal-workers.
From every little niche and corner came the sound of clinking anvils. Before Alberich stole the gold, the Nibelungs often sang as they worked.
They sometimes made pretty ornaments for their wives to wear or toys for their little children.
But now Alberich had made the ring of gold which bound them to do his will.
He had no love in his heart, so he drove and scolded all the time.
He made them work, work, work, both day and night, and all that they made belonged to him.
So Alberich was daily becoming mightier than ever.