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sue them. Silently and mournfully he returns to the castle he so often had entered before as conqueror, in order to communicate the sad tidings to Gudrun's mother, Hilda :

O weh! welch grimmes Leiden, sprach des König's Weib,
Wie ist von mir gewichen, mein Herz der süsse Leib :
Der mächtige Recke Hettel, meine Ehre muss nun schwinden,
Und sie ist auch verloren! Mein Auge wird Gudrun nicht wieder

finden! Gudrun is then conducted to Ludwig's castle, where Queen Sigelinda at first receives her kindly, but soon alters her tone, when she finds Gudrun determined to keep inviolate the faith she has pledged to her beloved Herwig. Nothing, not even the most cruel treatment she has to suffer, can make her swerve from the path of duty and virtue. Obliged to do the lowest menial work, she cheerfully submits rather than act against the dictates of her conscience. Thus several years elapse, during which the Friesian heroes make strenuous efforts to repair their losses, and to get ready an armed expedition for the delivery of Gudrun; at last they are able to start. After a long and dangerous voyage, they reach an island, from the most elevated part of which they discover the Norman coast, glittering in the morning light,- blessed sight, after so many toils and labours! Gudrun, on the eve of their arrival, had been sent as usual to the sea-shore; here a nymph had appeared to her, informing her that her sufferings would now soon come to an end. Thus engaged in conversation, she had remained beyond the time allotted by her cruel mistress. To punish her, she is sent back to the dreary shore on the following morning, barefooted and thinly dressed. On this very morning, her brother and her bridegroom Herwig, arrive in a barge to reconnoitre the country: they see poor Gudrun cold and shivering, her golden hair a play to the wild winds of heaven; they approach and salute without recognising her. At last, when she sees the ring on her bridegroom's finger, she can no longer restrain her feelings, for She has recognized them at the first glance. They are then informed of the cruel treatment which she, for her lover's sake, had suffered; they refrain, however, from delivering her then; for, according to the strict code of honour of those times, it would have been deemed dishonourable in a knight, to get by stealth what he could have obtained by his good sword. They return, in order to prepare for assaulting the castle that very night. Gudrun, and her faithful companion in suffering, Hildburg, watch the approach of their deliverers from the castle tower; the moon shines bright, and the steel helmets of the heroes can be seen glittering in the

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distance. Here the poem beautifully describes a dialogue between Gudrun and Hildburg, in which the former weeps over the bloodshed and misery which for her sake is about to take place:

Da sah sie reiche Segel sich blähn auf der See, Da sprach die edle Jungfrau : 'Nun ist es erst mir weh.' • Ach! wehe mir Verlassenen, dass ich je ward geboren, Manchem wackeren Helden, geht Leib und Leben jetzt verloren.' The storm now begins: Ludwig, the Norman king, falls under the heavy blows of Herwig; Sigelinda has already drawn the sword to revenge her husband's death on Gudrun, who in her turn is saved by Hartmut. Sigelinda falls by the hand of the chief Wate, Gudrun having vainly interposed to save her life. When the combat is over, all resentment ceases: Gudrun is joined to Herwig. Hartmut, the Norman king, marries Hildburg, the faithful companion of Gudrun during her captivity and sufferings, and Ortwin, Gudrun's brother, is joined to Hartmut's sister, Ortrun. The last traces of their dissensions are effaced by an alliance between Herwig and Ortwin, by which they take a pledge to defend each other against any aggressor.

Ortwin und Herwig schwuren jetzt zusammen, Einander stete Treue dass sie ihr Fürstenamt, Wollten in hohen Ehren und preiswürdig tragen, Wer ihnen schaden wollte, den wollten beide fangen und erschlagen. Whilst in the Nibelungen-lay we sympathise with the unutterable grief of Kriemhild, our moral feelings condemn the act which makes her commit so fearful a revenge. In Gudrun, however, we see a pattern of every womanly virtue, purity, gentleness, and resignation. Restored to her former position, she effaces the last traces of the past, by doing good to those who persecuted her in the hour of her misfortunes. In the Nibelungen, the sun sets gloomily among hatred, strife, and bloodshed ; in Gudrun, it leaves us shedding its benign rays over the country around in majesty and peace. For the preservation of this poem we are indebted to the Emperor Maximilian I., who had it inscribed on parchment and preserved in the imperial library of Ambras, in the Tyrol. Gervinus and Keller, two eminent German philologists, have in modern times translated this second pearl of our early epic poctry.

SIXTH ERA. Of the 6th Era,* called the Lombardian, the poems of King

* The Norwegian Vilkinasaga, written towards the middle of the thirteenth century, contains the history of the King of Wilkinaland (Osanbrix), bearing


Rother, King Otnit, and of Huy and Wolfdietrich, deserve to be mentioned. King Rother, residing at Bari in Apulia, sends twelve knights to the Emperor Constantine, whose daughter he is anxious to marry.*

Whilst negotiations are carried on for this purpose at Constantinople, Rother, somewhat impatient, suddenly appears in that town, where, by stratagem and force, he obtains possession of the fair princess, and carries her off. The Turks, however, succeed in delivering her; but, after a second battle, Rother, through the cooperation of a host of giants, proves victorious, and gains finally permanent possession of the object of his wishes. The poem, although of a secondary order, is not without some literary merit.

The legend of Otnit dates from a more remote origin. Otnit ardently loves the daughter of a heathen king: but like all the knightly swains of that period, has to fight for his love. He vanquishes, however, all obstacles, leads the lovely maiden home, has her baptized and called Sidrat, and then lives with her many years happy and prosperous at Garda.

The legend of Hug and Wolfdietrich, is interwoven with that of Otnit. Like his predecessors, Hugdietrich loves a fair princess, enters her father's castle in disguise, and elopes with her. Hugdietrich's son, Wolfdietrich, having been deprived of his inheritance by his brothers, declares war against them; but in the struggle, his bravest and most faithful adherents are either killed or made captives. The poem describes in glowing terms, Wolfdietrich's grief at the loss of his friends, another instance of the heart-felt attachment shewn by the old chiefs towards their allies and adherents, fidelity having always been a striking feature in their character. After many encounters with giants and dragons, he meets Otnit, vanquishes him, and becomes finally his ally. When Wolfdietrich, some time afterwards sets out for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Otnit receives from his treacherous father-in-law two young dragons, by whom he is ultimately devoured. This part of the poem is rich in touching episodes, and describes the attachment shown to Otnit during his combats with the dragons by his faithful horse and dog. When returning from his pilgrimage, Wolfdietrich revenges Otnit's death, obtains his celebrated breast-plate called

great analogy to the events of King Rother, or Ruother, and unquestionably proves the poem to be of German origin, * Hin ze Constantinopole

dar holze unde geberge lach, der vel mêren burge.

dâr zugen Rộtheres man. Eine mîle nider half der stat

Brünne, mentioned in the Eggenlied, and finally marries the widow Sidrat. After this, he vanquishes his brothers, delivers his captive friends, and, having yielded his empire to his son Hugdietrich, enters a convent, and is said to have died during a nightly combat with the spirits.

These Lombardian legends, of which the authors are unknown, form part of the celebrated Heldenbuch.


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KUNSTEPOS. WE E now come to a period void of that essentially national cha

racter which had distinguished German literature hitherto. On a previous occasion, I enumerated the cycles on which our earliest national legends are founded. I shall now, in the same manner, indicate the various literary groups constituting the era, which, on account of its more refined character, has been called that of Asthetic poetry (Kunstepos).

To the First of these groups belong the French legends of Charlemagne, also called the Carlovingian era, including the • Rolandslied, 'Die Roncevalschlacht,' and 'Wilhelm von Oranse.' The SECOND contains the legends of the Holy Graal,' or Graalsage,' on which the trilogy Parcival,' Lohengrin,' and • Titurel' is founded. The THIRD embraces the legends of the Celtic tribes, the ancient Britons and Welsh, those of King Arthur, and the Knights of the Round Table, including s Tristan' and

Isolt,' by Gottfried von Strasbourg, ' Erec'and • Iwein,' by Hartmann von der Aue,' and · Wigalois,' by Grafenberg.

The FOURTH contains all the legends based on ancient poems, such as the Trojan War, Virgil's Æneid, by Heinrich von Veldekin, and Lamprecht's Alexander the Great. The legends of the Fifth group bear an essentially saintly character.

The Carlovingian era is almost exclusively represented in our poetry by the Ronceval battle, or Rolandslied. Grown originally in the soil of France, the poetical seeds have been scattered over many countries; for, independently of several French versions, we possess a Latin, English, German, and Icelandic account of the legend. The Rolandslied itself is founded on an event, of comparatively little importance, occurring between the years 777 and 778. Eginhard, the secretary of Charlemagne, relates, that in the year 777, an embassy was sent by the Governor of Caesaris


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Augusta, now Saragossa, to Paderborn, where Charlemaso resided, in order to demand assistance against Emir Abdaraman. Having complied with the request, Charles leaves for Spain, subdues the country, as far as Saragossa, but in the midst of his victories he is informed that the Saxons have broken out in rebellion under their chief, Wittekind, and massacred Charles' great chief, Hruodlandus. Out of these scanty materials, Roumanic poetry has erected one of its loftiest monuments, a convincing proof that the respective merits of the poems and legends of antiquity cannot be measured by the events on which they are based; for the historical element, independently of its being confused and contradictory, is, in most cases, of a very subordinate nature. We must, therefore, not look to the events, but to the character of the nation described therein; and, in this respect, these early poems reflect it most faithfully; we hear, in reading them, as it were, the beating of a nation's heart. A priest, of the name of Conrad, translated the subject from a French original, at the instigation of Duke Henry the Lion, between the years 1172 and 1177. The poem begins thus :

Creator of all things, Emperor of all kings,
Thou highest Priest and Judge, teach me thy words,
Send unto me thy holy law, that I may shun falsehood,
And write down the truth of a beloved man, how he won God's kingdom,

that's Charles the Emperor,
Now with God, with whose help he overcame many a heathen country,

and thus did honour to the Christians.


•Schöpfer aller Dinge, Kaiser aller Könige, wol du oberster Priester und Richter (Ewart) lehre mich selbst deine Worte, sende mir zu Munde, deine heilige Urkunde, dass ich die Lüge vermeide, die Wahrheit schreibe, von einem theuerlichen Mann, wie er das Gottesreich gewann, das ist Karl der Kaiser, vor Gott ist er, denn er mit Gott überwand viel manch heidnische Land, damit er die Christen hat geehrt.

The following forms the subject of the Rolandslied :-Charles, followed by a great army, leaves for Spain, to subdue the heathen. Having advanced as far as Saragossa, he receives a message from King Marsilie, who, closely pressed, and following the advice of the old sage, Blanscandiz, offers his submission, expressing, at the same time, the wish of becoming a Christian. His real design, however, is to deceive Charles, and, ultimately, to betray the small detachment of troops, which the latter, trusting in Marsilie's professions, would have left behind. Roland, Oliver, Turpin, and Naimes, his great chiefs, at once perceive the snare, and warn their master to be on his guard. Genelun, Roland's stepfather, how

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