Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin
Public Domain Books
The Magic Fire
Wotan strode a few steps away from where Brunhilde slept, then struck the rock with his mighty spear.
Red flames shot up, leaping almost to the sky. They were magic flames and would not harm any one.
But they looked like real fire, and none but a hero would dare go into them.
They would frighten away all cowards.
Wotan walked around the peak, drawing a line with his spear.
From every place the spear touched the fire burst forth, until at length the mound where Brunhilde slept was entirely encircled by lurid flames.
Great Wotan looked upon his work. Then he turned and called to all the mountains and the valleys below:–
“Whoso dareth Wotan’s spear, Whoso knoweth naught of fear, Let him burst these flames of war, Let him leap this fiery bar!”