Now Hagen had drawn near to the King, and as he listened to Siegfried’s words, the grim warrior said, “Sire, since the Prince knows the customs of Isenland, let him go with thee on thy journey, to share thy dangers, and to aid thee in the presence of this warlike Queen.”
And Hagen, for he hated the hero, hoped that he might never return alive from Isenland.
But the King was pleased with his counselor’s words. “Sir Siegfried,” he said, “wilt thou help me to win the matchless maiden Brunhild for my queen?”
“That right gladly will I do,” answered the Prince, “if thou wilt promise to give me thy sister Kriemhild as my bride, should I bring thee back safe from Isenland, the bold Queen at thy side.”
Then the King promised that on the same day that he wedded Brunhild, his sister should wed Prince Siegfried, and with this promise the hero was well content.
“Thirty thousand warriors will I summon to go with us to Isenland,” cried King Gunther gaily.
“Nay,” said the Prince, “thy warriors would but be the victims of this haughty Queen. As plain knight-errants will we go, taking with us none, save Hagen the keen-eyed and his brother Dankwart.”
Then King Gunther, his face aglow with pleasure, went with Sir Siegfried to his sister’s bower, and begged her to provide rich garments in which he and his knights might appear before the beauteous Queen Brunhild.
“Thou shalt not beg this service from me,” cried the gentle Princess, “rather shalt thou command that which thou dost wish. See, here have I silk in plenty. Send thou the gems from off thy bucklers, and I and my maidens will work them with gold embroideries into the silk.”
Thus the sweet maiden dismissed her brother, and sending for her thirty maidens who were skilled in needlework she bade them sew their daintiest stitches, for here were robes to be made for the King and Sir Siegfried ere they went to bring Queen Brunhild into Rhineland.
For seven weeks Kriemhild and her maidens were busy in their bower. Silk white as new-fallen snow, silk green as the leaves in spring did they shape into garments worthy to be worn by the King and Sir Siegfried, and amid the gold embroideries glittered many a radiant gem.
Meanwhile down by the banks of the Rhine a vessel was being built to carry the King across the sea to Isenland.
When all was ready the King and Sir Siegfried went to the bower of the Princess. They would put on the silken robes and the beautiful cloaks Kriemhild and her maidens had sewed to see that they were neither too long nor too short. But indeed the skilful hands of the Princess had not erred. No more graceful or more beautiful garments had ever before been seen by the King or the Prince.
“Sir Siegfried,” said the gentle Kriemhild, “care for my royal brother lest danger befall him in the bold Queen’s country. Bring him home both safe and sound I beseech thee.”