The Erl-King

2 thoughts on “The Erl-King”

  1. When I was a kid I had like a haunted house book that came with a record, and one of the poems on the record was the original “The Erl-King”. I remember being so creeped out by the poem and the spooky narrator. I found a transcription of it that matches the poem from the record at http://www.emule.com/2poetry/phorum/read.php?4,27917

    Who rides so late on a night so wild?
    A Father is riding with his Child.
    He clasps the Boy close in his arm.
    He holds him tightly, he keeps him warm.

    “My son, You are trembling, what do You fear?”

    “Look Father, the Erl-King, He’s coming near
    With his Crown and his Shroud, Yes, that is He”

    “My Son, it is only the Mists that You see.”

    “O, lovely Boy,, O, come with Me,
    Such Games we’ll play, how glad We’ll be.
    Such Flowers to pick’
    Such Sights to behold.
    My Mother will make You Clothes of Gold.”

    “O, Father, O, Father, do You not hear
    The Erl-King whispering in my Ear?”

    “Be still, my Child, lie quietly
    It is only the Wind in the Leaves of the Tree.”

    “Dear Boy, if You will but come away
    My Daughters will wait on You Everyday
    They’ll give you the prettiest Presents to keep
    They’ll dance when you wake
    And they’ll sing you to Sleep”

    “Look Father, O, Father, do you not see?
    The Erl-Kings pale Daughters waiting for Me?”

    “My Son, my Son, I see what you say
    The Willow is waving, it ‘s Branches are grey.”

    ” I love You, Child, so come without Fear or Remorse
    And if you’re not willing, I’ll take you by Force!”

    ” O, Father, Dear Father, tighten your Hold!
    The Erl-King has caught me, his Fingers are cold!”

    The Father shudders, He spurs on his Steed,
    He carries the Child with desperate Speed.
    He reaches the Courtyard, and looks down with dread
    For there in his Arms, the Boy lies dead.

    Liked by 1 person

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