Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin
Public Domain Books
Closely Brunhilde watched the struggle.
When she saw how fairly and valiantly the noble Siegmund fought, and how unfair and cowardly was the wicked Hunding, she thought:–
“I shall obey my king’s wishes, not his words. He loves Siegmund.”
She hovered nearer as the battle grew more terrible.
Suddenly she dashed to Siegmund’s side and cried:–
“Slay him, Siegmund, with your matchless sword!”
Siegmund raised his sword to deal the deadly blow, when lo! Wotan dashed through a rift in the clouds and struck Siegmund’s sword with his mighty spear.
The sword fell in pieces at the feet of Brunhilde. The victory belonged to Hunding.
Brunhilde, terrified by the angry Wotan, snatched up the broken pieces of the sword, and, springing to her saddle, dashed away.
Faster and faster she fled to the forest, bearing the broken blade to Siegmund’s wife.
“Siegmund is slain!” she cried. “These are the pieces of his mighty sword. Keep them for your son, Siegfried. He will be brave like his father.
“Yes, Siegfried will be the bravest hero the world has ever known.”
Then, springing again to her saddle, she fled toward the mountains.
“On! on! my fiery steed!” she urged.
No battle-maiden ever rode so fast.
If she could but reach the other battle-maidens before the wrathful Wotan overtook her, surely, they would protect her from his anger.