Thinking thus he waxed oft white and red; yea, graceful and proud stood the son of Sieglind, goodliest of heroes to behold, as he were drawn on parchment by the skill of a cunning master. And the knights fell back as the escort commanded, and made way for the high hearted women, and gazed on them with glad eyes. Many a dame of high degree was there.
Said bold Sir Gernot, the Burgundian, then, “Gunther, dear brother, unto the gentle knight, that hath done thee service, show honor now before thy lieges. Of this counsel I shall never shame me. Bid Siegfried go before my sister, that the maiden greet him. Let her, that never greeted knight, go toward him. For this shall advantage us, and we shall win the good warrior for ours.”
Then Gunther’s kinsmen went to the knight of the Netherland, and said to him, “The king bids thee to the court that his sister may greet thee, for he would do thee honor.”
It rejoiced Siegfried that he was to look upon Uta’s fair child, and he forgot his sorrow.
Mild and Maidenly
She greeted him mild and maidenly, and her color was kindled when she saw before her the highminded man, and she said, “Welcome, Sir Siegfried, noble knight and good.” His courage rose at her words, and graceful, as beseemed a knight, he bowed himself before her and thanked her. And love that is mighty constrained them, and they yearned with their eyes in secret. I know not whether, from his great love, the youth pressed her white hand, but two love desirous hearts, I trow, had else done amiss.
Nevermore, in summer or in May, bore Siegfried in his heart such high joy as when he went by the side of her whom he coveted for his dear one. And many a knight thought, “Had it been my hap to walk with her, as I have seen him do, or to lie by her side, certes, I had suffered it gladly! Yet never, truly, hath warrior served better to win a queen.” From what land soever the guests came, they were ware only of these two. And she was bidden kiss the hero. He had never had like joy before in this world.
Said the King of Denmark then, “By reason of this high greeting many good men lie low, slain by the hand of Siegfried, the which hath been proven to my cost. God grant he return not to Denmark!”
Then they ordered to make way for fair Kriemhild. Valiant knights in stately array escorted her to the minster, where she was parted from Siegfried. She went thither followed by her maidens; and so rich was her apparel that the other women, for all their striving, were as naught beside her, for to glad the eyes of heroes she was born.
Scarce could Siegfried tarry till they had sung mass, he yearned so to thank her for his gladness, and that she whom he bore in his heart had inclined her desire toward him, even as his was to her, which was meet. Now when Kriemhild was come forth to the front of the minster, they bade the warrior go to her again, and the damsel began to thank him, that before all others he had done valiantly. And she said, “Now, God requite thee, Sir Siegfried, for they tell me thou hast won praise and honor from all knights.”