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

The Epic of Siegfried

Suddenly a flash of light came from behind him. He turned and the beaming Greyfell, his long mane sparkling like a thousand sunbeams, dashed up the beach and stood beside him. As his noble steed in all his strength and beauty stood before the youth, Siegfried felt fresh courage. He looked toward the sea again and saw in the blue distance a white-sailed ship drawing swiftly near, its golden dragon-stem plowing through the waves like some great bird of the deep.

The ship drew near shore and the sailors rested on their oars. Siegfried and Greyfell sprang upon the deck. At that, the sailors silently bent again to their rowing. The flapping sails were filled and tightened by the strong west wind and the light vessel leapt from wave to wave like a thing of life until the tall towers of the palace of Isenland faded from sight in the mist.

Siegfried and his noble steed seemed to be the only living beings on board, as the sailors who plied the oars were so silent and phantom-like that they appeared to be nothing but the ghosts of summer sea breezes.

When the day had passed and evening twilight had come, Siegfried saw that the ship was nearing land, but it was a strange land. Like a fleecy cloud, it appeared to rest above the waves midway between the earth and the sky. A dark mist hung upon it and it seemed a land of dreams and shadows. The ship drew nearer and nearer to the mysterious shore. As it touched the beach, the sailors rested from their rowing. Siegfried and the horse Greyfell leaped ashore but when they looked back, the fair vessel that had carried them was nowhere to be seen. The thick mists and the darkness of night closed over and around both hero and horse, They dared not stir, but stood long hours in the silent gloom, waiting for the coming of the dawn.

At length morning came, but the light was not strong enough to scatter the fogs and thick vapors that rested upon the land. Siegfried mounted Greyfell, and as the sunbeams began to flash from the horse's mane and from the hero's glittering suit of armor, the hazy clouds fled upward and away.

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