I found myself, with two new friends, still singing it in the small hours as we descended the valley. We passed the luminous vision of a watermill fossilized in ice and snow. When we reached the river, we rowed across to a circular bastion and a tall belfry glimmering among the trees on the other bank. As we climbed the steps into the starry town of Pöchlarn, a window opened and told us to stop making such a noise.

We were invading one of the most important Danubian landmarks of the Nibelungenlied! The polymath had said it was the only place in the whole saga where no slaughter had broken out. The Margrave Rüdiger entertained the Nibelungen-Burgundians in this very castle, feasting them in coloured tents pitched all over the meadows. They were celebrating a betrothal with dancing and songs to the viol. Then the great army rode away to Hungary and their doom. ‘And none of them,’ the poet says, ‘ever got back alive to Pöchlarn.

Patrick Leigh Fermor - "A Time of Gifts" (1977)

@темы: poetry, nibelungen, middle centuries, fermor, patrick leigh, f, english-british, deutsche, 20