The Erl King

Greetings all. ‘Tis the season to be scary and whatnot, and I’ve had this scary poem bouncing around in my head for awhile, so I thot I’d present it to you, my readers. It isn’t original, I heard it when I was a child, years ago, and it stuck with me. so Here it is, in all it’s scary glory. Enjoy
The Erl King

Who’s riding so late where the winds blow wild

Tis a father grasping his colding child

He holds the boy, embraced in his arm

He grasps him snugly, he keeps him warm


“My son, why cover your face in fear?”

“Do you see the Erl King father, he’s near

The King of the Erls with crown and train!”

“My son, the mist is on the plain”


‘Sweet lad, o come and join me, do

Such pretty games I will play with you

On the shore bright flowers their colors unfold

My mother has many garments of gold!’


“My father, my father, can you not hear

The promise the Erl King breathes in my ear?”

“Be calm, stay calm, my child, lie low:

In withered leaves the night winds blow.”


‘Will you, sweet lad, come along with me?

My daughters shall care for you tenderly;

In the night my daughters their revelry keep,

They’ll rock you and dance you and sing you to sleep.’


“My father, my father, o can you not trace

The Erl king’s daughters in that gloomy place?”

“My son, my son, I see it clear

How grey the ancient willows appear.”


‘I must have you, your warm soul charms me, my boy

And if you’re not willing my force I’ll employ.’

“Now father, my father, he’s seizing my arm.

The Erl-King has done me a cruel harm.”


The father now shudders, his ride is wild

In his arms he’s holding the groaning child

Reaches the court with toil and dread

The child he holds in his arms is dead.


[1782-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]

Happy Halloween Everybody!!



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