Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin
Public Domain Books
The king of the giants went forth from his castle and called Brunhilde, his favorite battle-maiden.
He loved Brunhilde more than any other of the Walkuere.
She was the bravest of them all.
He loved her as a father loves a daughter.
“Brunhilde,” said Wotan, “to-day there is to be a fearful battle. The fierce Hunding is to fight with my dearest friend–the valiant Siegmund.
“Long have I wished to have my noble friend at Valhalla. Fly, Brunhilde, to the battlefield. Give to Siegmund the victory. Carry him here to dwell upon the heights.”
At that moment Wotan’s wife rushed to them in great anger.
“Wotan,” she cried, “Siegmund must not be brought to Valhalla. I ask that my friend, the forest chief, shall be given aid. Send Brunhilde to bear Hunding to our castle.”
“No,” replied Wotan, “I must protect Siegmund. He it is who won my sword.”
“Take the sword from him,” replied Wotan’s wife in rage. “I plead for Hunding’s rights. Promise me that you will forbid your war-maiden to give aid to Siegmund.”
Wotan’s heart ached at the thought of failing this friend he loved so well.
On Siegmund were centered all his hopes. Yet he feared to refuse his wife’s request.
Quarrels and strife must not come into Valhalla.
He threw himself upon a rocky seat and hung his head and thought in silence.
At length he said:–
“I promise. From Siegmund I withdraw my aid.”