Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin
Public Domain Books
Slowly the storm clouds drifted away. The twilight came.
Still Brunhilde lay in fear and grief at Wotan’s feet.
At length she lifted her sad eyes to Wotan and cried:–
“Was it so wrong, this thing that I have done? ’T is you who taught me to shield the brave and the true. I only sought to care for one you loved.”
“Brunhilde, you disobeyed me. I have told you what your punishment shall be. I cannot change it.”
“Then grant me, Father, this one wish: that you will make the place where I sleep so no coward can reach me. Make it so none but a hero will dare come near.”
Then, taking Brunhilde in his arms, he said:–
“I grant your wish, my child. I shall encircle the place with magic fire. Only he who knows no fear may claim you for his bride.”
Then Wotan kissed Brunhilde upon each eyelid, and she fell fast asleep.
Gently he bore her to a mossy mound beneath a spreading fir tree.
Laying her down, he looked long and lovingly upon her sweet, brave face.
He drew her helmet close over her eyes, and laid her shield upon her breast.
The flowers went to sleep.
Brunhilde’s noble steed lay down and slept.
“Farewell, my child, most brave and beautiful! Thou life and light of all my heart, farewell! Pride of my soul, farewell, a long farewell!”