The Erlking

Who rides so late through the night and wind?
It’s the father with his child;
He has the boy safe in his arm,
He holds him secure, he holds him warm.

“My son, what makes you hide your face in fear?” –
Father, don’t you see the Erlking?
The Erlking with crown and flowing robe? –
“My son, it’s a wisp of fog.” –

“You dear child, come along with me!
Such lovely games I’ll play with you;
Many colorful flowers are at the shore,
My mother has many a golden garment.”

My father, my father, and do you not hear
What the Erlking promises me so softly? –
“Be quiet, stay quiet, my child;
In the dry leaves the wind is rustling.”

The Erlking,  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Translated by Hyde Flippo


The Erlking by Albert Sterner, ca. 1910


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