WAYLAND THE SMITH 319
When Freya had spoken, she beckoned to the green maiden, who held in her hand a root and a knife. She cut pieces off the root and laid them on Wayland's feet, and on his eye, then, placing some leaves from her garland over the whole, she breathed gently on it. ' Eyr the physician has healed me,' cried Wayland, and the fairies took him in their arms and bore him across the waves to a bower in the forest, where he dreamed that Alvilda and Slagfid and Eigil were all bending over him.
When he woke Alvilda was indeed there, and he seemed to catch glimpses of his brothers amid the leaves of the trees. ' Arise, my husband,' said Alvilda, ' and go straight to the Court of Nidud. He still sleeps, and knows nothing. Throw this mantle on your shoulders, and they will take you for his servant.'
So Wayland went, and reached the royal chamber, and in his sleep the King trembled, though he knew not that Wayland was near. ' Awake,' cried Wayland, and the King woke, and asked who had dared to disturb him thus.
' Be not angry,' answered Wayland; ' had you slain Wayland long ago, the misfortune that I have to tell you of would never have happened.'
' Do not name his name,' said the King, ' since he sent me those drinking cups a burning fever has laid hold upon me.'
'They were not shells, as he told you,' answered Wayland, 'but the skulls of your two sons, Sir King. Their bodies you will find in Wayland's tower. As for your daughter she is tossing, bound, on the wild waves of the sea. But now I, Wayland, have come to give you
your deathblow-----' But before he could draw his sword
fear had slain the King yet more quickly.
So Wayland went back to Alvilda, and they went into another country, where he became a famous smith, and he lived to a good old age; and when he died he was carried in Alvilda's arms to Walhalla, as Freya had promised.