From off the mighty dwarf, Alberich, he stripped his famous Cloak of Darkness, which made him who wore it not only invisible, but strong as twelve strong men. He snatched also from the dwarf’s fingers his wishing-rod, which was a Magic Wand. And last of all he made Alberich and his thousands of tiny warriors take an oath, binding them evermore to serve him alone. Then hiding the treasure in the cave with the seven hundred champions whom he had conquered, he left Alberich and his army of little men to guard it, until he came again. And Alberich and his dwarfs were faithful to the hero who had shorn them of their treasure, and served him for evermore.
Siegfried, the magic sword Balmung by his side, the Cloak of Darkness thrown over his arm, the Magic Wand in his strong right hand, went over the mountain, across the plains, nor did he tarry until he came again to the castle built on the banks of the river Rhine in his own low-lying country of the Netherlands.
SIEGFRIED COMES HOME
The walls of the old castle rang. King Siegmund, his knights and liegemen, all were welcoming Prince Siegfried home. They had not seen their hero-prince since he had been sent long years before to be under the charge of Mimer the blacksmith.
He had grown but more fair, more noble, they thought, as they gazed upon his stalwart limbs, his fearless eyes.
And what tales of prowess clustered around his name! Already their Prince had done great deeds as he had ridden from land to land.
The King and his liegemen had heard of the slaughter of the terrible dragon, of the capture of the great treasure, of the defiance of the warlike and beautiful Brunhild. They could wish for no more renowned prince than their own Prince Siegfried.
Thus Siegmund and his subjects rejoiced that the heir to the throne was once again in his own country.
In the Queen’s bower, too, there was great joy. Sieglinde wept, but her tears were not those of sadness. Sieglinde wept for very gladness that her son had come home safe from his wonderful adventures.
Now Siegmund wished to give a great feast in honor of his son. It should be on his birthday which was very near, the birthday on which the young Prince would be twenty-one years of age.
Far and wide throughout the Netherlands and into distant realms tidings of the feast were borne. Kinsmen and strangers, lords and ladies, all were asked to the banquet in the great castle hall where Siegmund reigned supreme.
It was the merry month of June when the feast was held, and the sun shone bright on maidens in fair raiment, on knights in burnished armor.
Siegfried was to be knighted on this June day along with four hundred young squires of his father’s realm. The Prince was clad in gorgeous armor, and on the cloak flung around his shoulders jewels were seen to sparkle in the sunlight, jewels made fast with gold embroidery worked by the white hands of the Queen and her fair damsels.