“Wherefore, thus into my dwelling, crept you
nameless, in disguise?
Wherefore, but to cheat and rob me, and my bride bear off a prize?
Honor, Fridthjof, sits not nameless, hospitality’s rude guest;
Bright its shield as sun at noonday, on its face all eyes may rest.
“Fame had told us of a Fridthjof, whom both
men and gods revere;
Shields he cleft and temples wasted, bold and brave, without a fear.
Soon with war-shield, so I reasoned, he will come against my land;
And he came, but clad in tatters, beggar’s staff within his hand.
“Wherefore now cast down your eyelids?
Once, like you, I too was young;
From the first is life a struggle, and fresh youth its Berserk-gang.
Hardly pressed and tried it must be, that its onset triumph not;
I have proved you and forgiven. I have pitied and forgot.
“Now am I grown old and weary, in the grave
shall rest me soon,
Therefore take O youth, my kingdom, take my queen, she is thine own;
Be my son, till then remaining still my guest as heretofore.
Swordless champion shall protect me and our feud exist no more.”
“As a thief,” said Fridthjof sadly, “came
I not, O king, to thee;
Had I wished thy queen to capture, tell me, who had hindered me?
But my bride, though lost forever, wished I to behold once more;
Fool was I! anew I kindled flames which were half quenched before.
“In thy halls too long I’ve tarried; here
I must no longer stay.
Gods unreconciled their anger rest upon me day by day;
Balder, with the light locks flowing, loveth all mankind but one;
Only I am now rejected; see, he hateth me alone}!
“Yes, l set on fire his temple. Fane-profaner
call they me.
Children shriek when I am mentioned, joy and gladness from me flee;
Northland casteth out the lost one, and in anger cries—depart!
In my native land I’m outlawed, I am outlawed in my heart.
“I will seek for peace no longer on the earth,
so green and sweet,
Trees no more their shade aford me, burns the ground beneath my feet.
Ingeborg I’ve lost forever; she, my bride, accepted Ring,
From my life the Sun has vanished, night and noonday darkness bring.
“Therefore hence to ocean’s billow!
Out, away my dragon good,
Bathe again thy pitch-black bosom in the briny boiling flood;
Wave in clouds thine inky pinions, let the sea a path prepare,
Fly as far as star can guide us, far as conquered billows bear.
“Let me hear the rolling thunder, let me hear
the lightning’s voice;
When it thunders all around me, Fridthjof’s heart will then rejoice;
Clang of shields and rain of arrows! Let the
sea the battle fill;
Purified, I’ll then fall gladly, reconciled to heaven’s will.”
King Ring’s death.
Golden mane flowing,
Draweth the spring sun more bright than before;
Morning beams glowing
Doubly as beauteous,
Sport in the hall;—there’s a knock at the door.