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HOME > Children's Novel > The Story of Siegfried > Adventure XX. How the Hoard Was Brought to Burgundy.
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Adventure XX. How the Hoard Was Brought to Burgundy.
 And what was done on the morrow?  
Too sad is the tale of Kriemhild’s and her grief for the dead. Let us pass it by in tearful, pitying silence, nor wish to the echoes of that morning of hopeless which dawned on the cold and cheerless of the kings. For peace had fled from Burgundy, nevermore to return.
Siegfried was dead. Faded, now, was the glory of the Nibelungen Land, and gone was the mid-world’s hope.
It is told in ancient story, how men built a funeral-pile far out on the meadows, where the quiet river flows; and how, in busy silence, they laid the sun-dried beams of ash and elm together, and made ready the hero’s couch; and how the pile was dight with many a sun-bright shield, with war-coats and glittering helms, and silks and rich dyed cloths from the South-land, and furs, and fine- ivory, and gem-stones priceless and rare; and how, over all, they sweet spices from Araby, and the pleasantest of all perfumes. Then they brought the golden Siegfried, and laid him on his couch; and beside him were his shield, and Balmung with its fire-edge bare. And, as the sun rose high in heaven, the noblest earl-folk who had loved Siegfried best touched fire to the funeral-pile. And a pleasant breeze from the Southland fanned the fire to a flame, and the white blaze leaped on high, and all the folk cried out in mighty agony to the gods.
Such was the story that men told to each other when the world was still young, and the heroes were unforgotten.[EN#34] And some said, too, that Brunhild, the fair and hapless queen, died then of a broken heart and of a hopeless, sorrow, and that she was burned with Siegfried on that high-built funeral-pile.
“They are gone,—the lovely, the mighty, the hope of the ancient earth: It shall and bear the burden as before the day of their birth:... It shall , and be oft-times holpen, and forget their deeds no more, Till the new sun beams on Balder and the happy sealess shore.”[EN#35]
Another and much later story is sometimes told of these last sad days,—how the hero’s body was laid in a , and buried in the quiet earth, amid the sorrowful lamentations of all the Rhineland folk; and how, at Kriemhild’s earnest wish, it was afterwards removed to the place where now stands the little minster of Lorsch. As to which of these stories is the true one, it is not for me to say. Enough it is to know that Siegfried was dead, and that the spring-time had fled, and the summer-season with all its golden glories had faded away from Rhineland, and that the powers of darkness and of cold and of evil had prevailed.
To this day the city where was the dwelling of the Burgundian kings is called Worms, in remembrance of the dragon, or worm, which Siegfried ; and a figure of that monster was for many years painted upon the city arms, and borne on the banner of the Burgundians. And, until recently, travellers were shown the Reisen-haus,—a stronghold, which, men say, Siegfried built; and in it were many strange and mighty weapons, which, they claim, were by the hero. The lance which was shown there was a great beam nearly eighty feet in length; and the war-coat, wrought with steel and gold, and bespangled with gem-stones, was a wonder to . And now, in the Church of St. Cecilia, you may see what to be the hero’s grave. And a pleasant meadow, not far from the town, is still called Kriemhild’s Rose-garden; while farther away is the place called Drachenfels, or the dragon’s field, where, they say, Siegfried met Fafnir. But whether it is the same as the Glittering Heath of the ancient legend, I know not.
And what became of the of Andvari?
The story is told.[EN#36] When the days of mourning were past, and the people had gone back sadly to their homes, Queen Kriemhild began to speak of returning to the land of the Nibelungens. But Ute, her mother, could not bear to part with her, and her to stay, for a while at least, in the now Burgundian castle. And Gernot and Giselher, her true and loving brothers, added their words of also. And so, though heart-sick, and with many , she agreed to for a season in this cheerless and comfortless place. Many days, even months, dragged by, and still she remained; for she found it still harder and harder to tear herself away from her mother, and all that her heart held dear. Yet never, for three years and more, did she even speak to Gunther, or by any sign show that she remembered him. And, as for Hagen, no words could utter the deep and settled hate she felt towards him. But the dark-browed chief cared either for love or hate; and he walked , as in the days of yore, and he smiled and frowned alike for both evil and good. And he said, “It was not I: it was the Norns, who wove the woof of his life and mine.”
The years went by on leaden wings, and brought no sunlight to Gunther’s dwelling; for his days were full of sadness, and his nights of fearful dreams. At length he said to chief Hage............
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