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

The Epic of Siegfried

The gatekeeper sat fast asleep in his lodge while the chains and heavy keys lay rusted at his feet. Neither he nor the sentinels on the ramparts above stirred or awoke at the sound of Greyfell's clattering hoofs. As Siegfried passed from one part of the castle to another, many strange sights met his eyes. In the stables, the horses slumbered in their stalls and the grooms lay snoring by their sides. The watchdogs with fast-closed eyes lay stretched at full length before the open doors. In the garden, the fountain waters no longer played, the bees had gone to sleep among the blossoms of the apple trees, and the flowers themselves had forgotten to open their petals to the sun. In the kitchen, the cook was dozing over the half-baked meats in front in front of the smoldering fire. In the pantry, the dairymaid was quietly napping among the milk pans, the butler was snoring, and even the houseflies had gone to sleep over the crumbs of sugar on the shelves. In the great banquet room a thousand knights, overcome with slumber, sat silent. Their chief, sitting on the dais, also slept with his half-emptied goblet at his lips.

Siegfriend passed hurriedly from room to room and from hall to hall and cast but one hasty glance at the strange sights that met him at every turn. For he knew that none of the drowsy ones in that spacious castle could be awakened until he had aroused the princess Brynhild. In the grandest hall of the palace he found her. The exquisite maiden, most richly adorned, reclined upon a couch beneath a gold-hung canopy, and her attendants, the ladies of the court, sat near and around her. Her breathing was so gentle that, but for the blush upon her cheeks, Siegfried would have thought her dead. For long, long years had her head thus lightly rested on that gold-fringed pillow, and in all that time neither her youth had faded nor her wondrous beauty had waned.

Siegfried stood beside her. Gently he touched his lips to the matchless lips and softly he spoke her name - "Brynhild!

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