Hero-Myths and Legends of the British Race
Page: 167Rymenhild awoke from her swoon, and made him repeat his promise. She said: “Ah! Horn, that shall speedily be done. Ere the week is past thou shalt be Sir Horn, for my father loves thee, and will grant the dignity most willingly to one so dear to him. Go now quickly to Sir Athelbrus, give him as a token of my gratitude this golden goblet and this ring; pray him that he persuade the king to dub thee knight. I will repay him with rich rewards for his gentle courtesy to me. May Christ help him to speed thee in thy desires!” Horn then took leave of Rymenhild with great affection, and found Athelbrus, to whom he delivered the gifts and the princess’s message, which the steward received with due reverence.
Horn Becomes a Knight
This plan seemed to Athelbrus very good, for it raised Horn to be a member of the noble Order of Knights, and would give him other chances of distinguishing himself. Accordingly he went to the king as he sat over the evening meal, and spoke thus: “Sir King, hear my words, for I have counsel for thee. To-morrow is the festival of thy birth, and the whole realm of Westernesse must rejoice in its master’s joy. Wear thou thy crown in solemn state, and I think it were nought amiss if thou shouldst knight young Horn, who will become a worthy defender of thy throne.” “That were well done,” said King Ailmar. “The youth pleases me, and I will knight him with
The next day the king and all the court rode out hunting, but Horn made an excuse to stay behind with the princess, and the false and wily Fikenhild was also left at home, and he crept secretly to Rymenhild’s bower to spy on her. She was sitting weeping bitterly when Sir Horn entered. He was amazed. “Love, for mercy’s sake, why weepest thou so sorely?” he asked; and she replied: “I have had a mournful dream. I dreamt that I was casting a net and had caught a great fish, which began to burst the net. I greatly fear that I shall lose my chosen fish.” Then she looked sadly at Horn. But the young knight was in a cheery mood, and replied: “May Christ and St. Stephen turn thy dream to good! If I am thy fish, I will never deceive thee nor do aught to displease thee, and hereto I plight thee my troth. But I would rather interpret thy dream otherwise. This great fish which burst thy net is some one who wishes us ill, and will do us harm soon.” Yet in spite of Horn’s brave words it was a sad betrothal, for Rymenhild wept bitterly, and her lover could not stop her tears.