Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin
Public Domain Books
Off to the Battlefield
When Brunhilde had heard the story of the curse, she said:–
“But, Father, Alberich could not destroy Valhalla. Think of all the heroes gathered there. Surely, they can protect it from all danger.”
“Brunhilde, my child,” sighed Wotan, “you do not know the power of that ring when it is in the hands of Alberich. Once he gains it, he can do with it what he will, because he has given up all love. With it, he could turn my friends into enemies. Our heroes would then fight for Alberich.
“I have long hoped that a hero might come who would be brave enough to slay the dragon. I hoped it might be Siegmund. But now I must desert him in his time of need. Though it breaks my heart, I must give him up.
“Darkness and gloom are fast gathering upon Valhalla. Go, Brunhilde. Go quickly to the battlefield and shield my wife’s friend.”
“No, no, Father, I cannot!” cried the battle-maiden. “You love Siegmund, and I shall guard him well.”
At these words the mighty Wotan grew wrathful and cried:–
“How dare you disobey me, child? Go, I say! Give to Hunding the victory, and thus fulfill my promise.”
Sadly Brunhilde took up her spear and shield and rode away to the battlefield.