This last was written immediately before his death, and the last stanza added on the fatal morning.
The poem, which extends to loot lines written in the irregular alliterative rhymed stanza, is a bird-allegory, of the type familiar in the Parlement of Foules.
Each poem contains twenty-two stanzas, corresponding to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet; and each stanza begins with its proper letter.
Each of the three couplets in a stanza begins with the same letter, so that the alphabet is repeated thrice: cf.
On the other hand, in the very next stanza we are introduced to what is to be the leading motive of the plot: Kriemhild, the Burgundian princess, on whose account "many a noble knight was doomed to perish."