They of Denmark were aghast when they heard their king was taken captive; they told it to his brother, who fell in a great fury by reason of the disaster.
So the mighty Ludgast was taken by Siegfried’s prowess, and given in charge to Hagen. When that good knight heard that it was Ludgast he was not sorry.
They bade raise the standard of Burgundy. “Forward!” cried Siegfried. “More shall be done or the day end, if I lose not my life. The Saxon women shall rue it. Hearken now, ye men of the Rhine. I can lead you to Ludger’s army. There ye will see helmets hewn by the good hands of heroes. They shall be in evil case or we turn again.”
Then Gernot and his men sprang to horse. The banner was unfurled by Folker, the minstrel knight. He rode before the host, and they all made them ready for battle. They numbered not more than a thousand men, and thereto the twelve strangers. The dust rose from their path, and they rode through the land, their shields flashing.
The Saxons, also, were come up, bearing well sharpened swords. So hath the story been told me. The swords in the heroes’ hands dealt grim blows in defense of their castles and their land.
The marshal led the army, and Siegfried was come forward with the twelve men that he had with him from the Netherland. Many a hand was bloody that day in the battle. Sindolt and Hunolt and eke Gernot smote many heroes dead in the fight, that were bold enow till they felt their prowess. For their sake sorrowed women not a few. Folker and Hagen and Ortwin, the fierce warriors, quenched the flash of many helmets with blood. Dankwart, also, did wonders. The Danes proved their mettle, and loud were heard the hurtling of shields and the clash of sharp swords swung mightily.
The Saxons, bold in strife, made havoc Enow. Wide were the wounds by the men of Burgundy when they rushed to the encounter. Blood ran down the saddles.
Rhine kept pace
So was honor wooed of these knights bold and swift. Loud rang the keen swords in the hands of the heroes of the Netherland, when they rode with their lord into the fray. They rode with Siegfried like good knights. None from the Rhine kept pace with him. By reason of Siegfried’s hand streams of blood ran from bright helmets, till that he lit on Ludgast amidst of his men. Thrice he pierced through the army of the Saxons, and thrice returned. Hagen, by this time, was come up with him, that helped him in his quest. They slew many a brave knight.
When bold Ludger found Siegfried with Balmung, the good sword, swung aloft, wherewith he made a mighty slaughter, he was wroth, and of his mood full grim. With a fierce rush and clash of swords the warriors came together. So exceeding furious was their onset that the host gave way. Terrible was their hate.
The Saxon king knew well that his brother was taken captive, and he was wroth thereat; but he knew it not for Siegfried’s work till now. They had blamed Gernot. Now he found out the truth. Ludger smote so hard that Siegfried’s horse reeled under him. But when he was come to, Siegfried was more terrible than afore. Hagen and Gernot, Dankwart and Folker, stood by him.