Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin
Public Domain Books
A SONG OF THE PAST
One very dark night, three Norns came to the mountain crest to spin.
[Illustration: THREE NORNS CAME TO THE MOUNTAIN CREST TO SPIN]
If you had seen them, you would have called them witches.
They spun the thread of fate.
They were very, very old. The eldest was almost as old as the world.
They were tall and gaunt, and wore long black gowns.
Their faces and hands were deep-wrinkled with age, and their hair was as white as the snow.
They had come up from the great, dark earth-hole, where they lived, and now they crouched upon the rocks to spin their thread.
The eldest was the first to spin the thread, and as she spun, she sang a song about the past, when Wotan and his happy family lived out of doors upon the mountain-side.
She sang of the time when he split from the world’s ash tree the piece of wood from which he made the magic spear, which had ruled the world for so many hundreds of years.
She sang of Freya’s apples, and of the strength and youth of the giant family.
At length her voice wavered, the strange, weird song ceased, and she tossed the thread to the second Norn.