Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin

Presented by

Public Domain Books

A Song of the Present

As the second Norn took the thread in her worn hands, she crooned a sorrowful song about the present.

She sang of Alberich and the stolen gold. Of the love that he had given up in order to make the ring.

She sang of Wotan and how he grasped the ring and carried it into the world, bringing with it Alberich’s curse.

Then she told of Fafner.

Mournfully she sang:–

“It has robbed all who have had it of their freedom and happiness.

“It has brought envy and discontent to those who have struggled to gain it.

“Now Wotan’s magic spear is splintered.

“Oh! How this gold has tangled all my threads!” she wailed.

Her long, gaunt fingers pulled and worked at the knots, but all in vain.

She could not straighten out the snarls.

“Sing, oh, my Sister, sing!” she cried. “You know what the end will be.”

And she tossed the snarled threads to the third 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