Cold Hagen, bitter wretch.
You sit alone on your rocky throne,
Clutching the ring your father forged.
See it gleam coldly on your aging fingers.
Hold it fast from grasping hands.
Pad your robes with plates of armor,
For the dagger shall hunger
For he who holds the ring.

For the ring did your father speak
A curse upon love's gentle charms.
And now you claim your legacy,
A court in the kingdom of night.

Forever, the scars the ring inflicted
By your father's angry blows
Remain in jagged bloated trails
Upon your bent, grey back.

The ring has tasted your blood.
The ring has tainted your blood.
It slowly devours your spirit
And drives you to madness.

Proud Hagen, heed the Rhinemaidens
From whom your gold was stolen.
Your father's curse shall drag you down,
Alone, a poor and broken wretch,
Into the cold Rhine,
Weighed down by the ring upon your finger,
Your pride, your rage, your bitterness,
The ring you wield against your brothers,
The ring with which you chasten your lovers.

Poor Hagen, you blind and bitter man.
You see the curse, unbelieving.
Sad Hagen, misguided fool.
Hear the raven's warning: the ring is cursed!

George Chadderdon © 1992