In writing these stories, no attempt has been made to follow the plot or problem of the poems, which in almost every case lies beyond the child's reach. The simple purpose as found in the whole, or the suggestion of only a stanza or scene, has been used as opportunity for picturing and reflecting something of the poetry and intention of the originals.
e and the deed they had brought the world. Some of them went about dreaming and thinking of all the ways there were of finding it. But they seldom did anything of all they thought, so they were called the Mist-men. And there were others, who worked always, digging in the darkest caverns of the mountains, and lived underground and almost forgot the real light, watching for the glow of the gold. These were called the Earth-dwarfs, for they grew very small and black living away from the light. But there were a great many blessed ones who lived quite free and glad in the world, loving and serving one another and not thinking very much of the gold.
There was a boy whose name was Siegfried, and though he lived with an Earth-dwarf in the deep forest, he knew nothing of the magic gold or the world. He had never seen a man, and he had not known his mother, even, though he often thought of her when he stood still at evening and the birds came home. There was one thing she had left him, and that was a broken swor