Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin
Public Domain Books
The Careless Rhine-Daughters
Alberich was the most hideous of all the black, ugly little Nibelungs.
The Nibelungs had cross, scowling faces, because they were always scolding each other.
They quarreled from morning till night, so, of course, their faces grew to look quarrelsome and ugly.
As Alberich hurried after the Rhine-daughters, he suddenly caught sight of the gold glittering in the morning sun.
He stood still. Then he straightened up as tall as his crooked, misshapen little back would let him. He opened his eyes wide.
“Oh! Sisters! See how Alberich is staring at our gold!” whispered one of the Rhine-daughters. “Perhaps this is the foe of which our father warned us. How careless we have been!”
“Nonsense,” answered one. “Who would fear this little black fellow? He will do us no harm. Let him gaze upon the gold. Come, let us sing!”
The maidens joined hands and circled about the gold, singing:–
“Hail to thee! Hail to thee! Treasure most bright! Rhine-gold! Rhine-gold! Beautiful sight!
“Hail to thee! Hail to thee! Out of the night! Rhine-gold! Rhine-gold! Wakened so bright!”