Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin

Presented by

Public Domain Books



One very dark night, 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.


More About the Stories  •  The Rhine-Gold  •  Alberich  •  The Careless Rhine-Daughters  •  The Theft  •  The Sad Rhine-Daughters  •  A Castle On the Rhine  •  The Morning  •  The Payment  •  Loki  •  Youth or Age?  •  Nibelheim  •  The Best Smith in Nibelheim  •  The Master  •  The Boaster  •  The Wishing-Cap  •  The Trick  •  The Curse  •  The Greedy Fafner  •  A Slave to Gold  •  The Beautiful Valhalla  •  The Walkuere  •  The Valiant Siegmund  •  Hunding’s Wife  •  Hunding  •  The War-Maidens  •  Wotan’s Wife  •  Wotan and Brunhilde  •  Off to the Battlefield  •  The Flight  •  The Punishment  •  The Sleep  •  The Magic Fire  •  Siegfried  •  The Dragon  •  A Baby in the Forest  •  Mimi and the Baby  •  Siegfried and His Friends  •  The Broken Sword  •  A Big Brown Bear  •  Siegfried and Mimi  •  Siegfried Mends His Father’s Sword  •  Siegfried Goes to Fight the Dragon  •  A Wood-Bird’s Song  •  Siegfried and the Dragon  •  A Change Comes Over Siegfried  •  Mimi Has a Surprise  •  Mimi and Alberich Stop to Quarrel Too Long  •  Siegfried Reaches the Mountain  •  Siegfried Learns What Fear Is  •  The Awakening  •  Goetterdaemmerung  •  A Song of the Present  •  A Song of the Future  •  A Pledge of Love  •  The Doom of Valhalla  •  Love