A famous German epic of the thirteenth century, probably a compilation of different lays. It is divided into two parts, one ending with the death of Siegfried, and the other with the death of Kriemhild, his widow. The first part contains the marriage of Günther, King of Burgundy, with Queen Brunhild; the marriage of Siegfried with Kriemhild, his death by Hagan, the removal of the “Nibelungen hoard” to Burgundy, and its seizure by Hagan, who buried it somewhere under the Rhine. This part contains nineteen lays, divided into 1,188 four-line stanzas. The second part contains the marriage of the widow Kriemhild with King Etzel, the visit of the Burgundians to the court of the Hunnish king, and the death of all the principal characters, including Hagan and Kriemhild. This part, sometimes called The Nibelungen-Nôt, from the last three words, contains twenty lays, divided into 1,271 four-line stanzas. The two parts contain thirty-nine lays, 2,459 stanzas, or 9,836 lines. The tale is based on a legend in the Völsunga Saga.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894