The Nibelungenlied - Translated into Rhymed English Verse in the Metre of the Original
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The Nibelungenlied - Translated into Rhymed English Verse in the Metre of the Original

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Project Gutenberg's The Nibelungenlied, trans. by George Henry Needler Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the header without written permission. Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!***** Title: The Nibelungenlied Translated into Rhymed English Verse in the Metre of the Original Author: trans. by George Henry Needler Release Date: January, 2005 [EBook #7321] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on April 13, 2003] Edition: 10 Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE NIBELUNGENLIED *** Produced by David Starner, Thomas Berger, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team The Nibelungenlied Translated into Rhymed English Verse in the Metre of the Original By George Henry Needler Associate Professor of German in University College, Toronto PREFACE This translation of the Nibelungenlied is published with the simple purpose of placing one of the world's great epic poems within the reach of English readers. Translations are at best but poor substitutes for originals. A new translation of a poem implies also a criticism of those that have preceded it. My apology for presenting this new English version of the Nibelungenlied is that none of those hitherto made has reproduced the metrical form of the original. In the hope of making the outlines of the poem clearer for the modern reader, I have endeavored to supply in the Introduction a historical background by summing up the results of investigation into its origin and growth. The translation itself was begun many years ago, when I studied the original under Zarncke in Leipzig. G. H. N. University College, Toronto, September, 1904. CONTENTS Introduction. I. The Nibelungen Saga. 1. Origin of the Saga. 2. The Northern Form of the Saga. 3. The Saga as Preserved in the Nibelungenlied. 4. Mythical Element and Historical Element. II. The Nibelungenlied. 1. The Manuscripts. 2. Stages in the Evolution of the Poem. 3. Character of the Poem. 4. Later Forms of the Saga. 5. Poem and Saga in Modern Literature. 6. Modern German Translations. 7. English Translations. 8. Editions of the Nibelungenlied. The Nibelungenlied. FIRST ADVENTURE: Kriemhild's Dream. SECOND ADVENTURE: Siegfried. THIRD ADVENTURE: How Siegfried Came to Worms. FOURTH ADVENTURE: How Siegfried Fought with the Saxons. FIFTH ADVENTURE: How Siegfried first Saw Kriemhild. SIXTH ADVENTURE: How Gunther Fared to Isenland to Brunhild. SEVENTH ADVENTURE: How Gunther Won Brunhild. EIGHTH ADVENTURE: How Siegfried Fared to his Knights, the Nibelungen. NINTH ADVENTURE: How Siegfried was Sent to Worms. TENTH ADVENTURE: How Brunhild was Received at Worms. ELEVENTH ADVENTURE: How Siegfried Came Home with his Wife. TWELFTH ADVENTURE: How Gunther Bade Siegfried to the Feast. THIRTEENTH ADVENTURE: How They Fared to the Feast. FOURTEENTH ADVENTURE: How the Queens Berated Each Other. FIFTEENTH ADVENTURE: How Siegfried was Betrayed. SIXTEENTH ADVENTURE: How Siegfried was Slain. SEVENTEENTH ADVENTURE: How Kriemhild Mourned for Siegfried. EIGHTEENTH ADVENTURE: How Sigmund Fared Home Again. NINETEENTH ADVENTURE: How the Nibelungen Hoard was Brought to Worms. TWENTIETH ADVENTURE: How King Etzel Sent for Kriemhild. TWENTY-FIRST ADVENTURE: How Kriemhild Fared to the Huns. TWENTY-SECOND ADVENTURE: How Etzel Kept the Wedding-feast. TWENTY-THIRD ADVENTURE: How Kriemhild Thought to Avenge Her Wrong. TWENTY-FOURTH ADVENTURE: How Werbel and Schwemmel Brought the Message. TWENTY-FIFTH ADVENTURE: How the Knights all Fared to the Huns. TWENTY-SIXTH ADVENTURE: How Gelfrat was Slain by Dankwart. TWENTY-SEVENTH ADVENTURE: How They Came to Bechelaren. TWENTY-EIGHTH ADVENTURE: How the Burgundians Came to Etzel's Castle. TWENTY-NINTH ADVENTURE: How He Arose not before Her. THIRTIETH ADVENTURE: How They Kept Guard. THIRTY-FIRST ADVENTURE: How They Went to Mass. THIRTY-SECOND ADVENTURE: How Bloedel was Slain. THIRTY-THIRD ADVENTURE: How the Burgundians Fought with the Huns. THIRTY-FOURTH ADVENTURE: How They Cast Out the Dead. THIRTY-FIFTH ADVENTURE: How Iring was Slain. THIRTY-SIXTH ADVENTURE: How the Queen Bade Set Fire to the Hall. THIRTY-SEVENTH ADVENTURE: How the Margrave Ruediger was Slain. THIRTY-EIGHTH ADVENTURE: How All Sir Dietrich's Knights were Slain. THIRTY-NINTH ADVENTURE: How Gunther and Hagen and Kriemhild were Slain. THE NIBELUNGENLIED I. The Nibelungen Saga 1. Origin of the Saga All the Aryan peoples have had their heroic age, the achievements of which form the basis of later saga. For the Germans this was the period of the Migrations, as it is called, in round numbers the two hundred years from 400 to 600, at the close of which we find them settled in those regions which they have, generally speaking, occupied ever since. During these two centuries kaleidoscopic changes had been taking place in the position of the various Germanic tribes. Impelled partly by a native love of wandering, partly by the pressure of hostile peoples of other race, they moved with astonishing rapidity hither and thither over the face of Europe, generally in conflict with one another or buffeted by the Romans in the west and south, and by the Huns in the east. In this stern struggle for existence and search for a permanent place of settlement some of them even perished utterly; amid the changing fortunes of all of them deeds were performed that fixed themselves in the memory of the whole people, great victories or great disasters became the subject of story and song. We need only to recall such names as those of Ermanric and Theodoric to remind ourselves what an important part was played by the Germanic peoples of that Migration Period in the history of Europe. During it a national consciousness was engendered, and in it we have the faint beginnings of a national literature. Germanic saga rests almost entirely upon the events of these two centuries, the fifth and sixth. Although we get glimpses of the Germans during the four or five preceding centuries, none of the historic characters of those earlier times have been preserved in the national sagas. With these sagas based on history, however, have been mingled in most cases primeval Germanic myths, possessions of the people from prehistoric times. A most conspicuous example of this union of mythical and originally historical elements is the Nibelungen saga, out of which grew