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Main > Norway folktales > Fairy tale "The Epic of Siegfried"

The Epic of Siegfried

"This is a place of blood," said he, "and the way to glory leads not through it. Let the Glittering Hoard stay on the heath. I will go my way and the world shall know me for better deeds than this." He turned and left his sword Balmung behind, thinking perhaps because it had been fashioned under the care of the twisted Regin, it may not be the proper companion for him on his right-minded adventures.

Siegfried turned his back on the fearful scene and rode away. So swiftly did Greyfell carry him over the desert and the mountains that by nightfall they reached the shore of the great North Sea. There he stayed and at daybreak, when Siegfried gazed towards the west, a white ship with sails all set came speeding over the waters toward him. It came nearer and nearer and the sailors rested upon their oars as it glided into the quiet harbor. The vessel touched the sands and the crew leapt upon the beach.

"Hail, Siegfried the Golden!" cried the harper. "Whither do you fare this summer day?"

"I have come from a land of horror and dread," answered the lad. "I wish now to venture to a brighter place."

"Then go with me," said the harper. He touched the strings of his harp and strains of the softest music arose in the still morning air. Siegfried stood entranced, for never before had he heard such music.

"Tell me who you are," he cried, "and I will go to the ends of the earth with you."

"I am Bragi," answered the harper, smiling. He was as fair of speech as he was skillful in song. Right gladly did Siegfried agree to sail with Bragi over the sea, for he sensed that the bright and wise musician would be a very different guide from the cunning, evil-eyed Regin. So he went onboard with Bragi, with the gleaming Greyfell behind, and the sailors sat at their oars. Bragi stood in the prow and touched the strings of his harp. As the music arose, the white sails leaped up the masts and a warm south breeze began to blow.

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