The Erl-King

O who rides by night through the woodland so wild?
It is the fond father embracing his child;
And close the boy nestles within his loved arm,
To hold himself fast, and to keep himself warm.

“O father, see yonder! see yonder!” he says;
“My boy, upon what dost thou fearfully gaze?”
“O, ’tis the Erl-King with his crown and his shroud!”
“No, my son, it is but a dark wreath of the cloud.”

The Erl-King speaks:
“O come and go with me, thou loveliest child.
By many a gay sport shall thy time be beguiled;
My mother keeps for thee many a fair toy,
And many a fine flower shall she pluck for my boy.”

“O father, my father, and did you not hear
The Erl-King whisper so low in my ear?”
“Be still, my heart’s darling–my child, be at ease;
It was but the wild blast as it sang through the trees.”

The Erl-King speaks:
“O wilt thou go with me, thou loveliest boy?
My daughter shall tend thee with care and with joy:
She shall bear thee so lightly through wet and through wild,
And press thee, and kiss thee, and sing to my child.”

“O father, my father, and saw you not plain
The Earl-King’s pale daughter glide past through the rain?”
“Oh yes, my loved treasure, I knew it full soon;
It was the grey willow that danced to the moon.”

The Erl-King speaks:
“O come and go with me, no longer delay,
Or else, silly child, I will drag thee away.”
“O father! O father! now, now, keep your hold,
The Erl-King has seized me–his grasp is so cold!”

Sore trembled the father; he spurr’d through the wild,
Clasping close to his bosom his shuddering child.
He reaches his dwelling in doubt and in dread,
But, clasp’d to his bosom the infant was dead.

By Sir Walter Scott

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Traditional Witchcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Erl-King

  1. silfrsmith says:

    That’s a gorgeous poem. Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s