a guest Jul 11th, 2018 61 Never
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- Who rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
- The father it is, with his infant so dear;
- He holdeth the boy tightly clasp'd in his arm,
- He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.
- "My son, wherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to hide?"
- "Look, father, the Erl-King is close by our side!
- Dost see not the Erl-King, with crown and with train?"
- "My son, 'tis the mist rising over the plain."
- "Oh, come, thou dear infant! oh come thou with me!
- For many a game I will play there with thee;
- On my strand, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold,
- My mother shall grace thee with garments of gold."
- "My father, my father, and dost thou not hear
- The words that the Erl-King now breathes in mine ear?"
- "Be calm, dearest child, 'tis thy fancy deceives;
- 'Tis the sad wind that sighs through the withering leaves."
- "Wilt go, then, dear infant, wilt go with me there?
- My daughters shall tend thee with sisterly care;
- My daughters by night their glad festival keep,
- They'll dance thee, and rock thee, and sing thee to sleep."
- "My father, my father, and dost thou not see,
- How the Erl-King his daughters has brought here for me?"
- "My darling, my darling, I see it aright,
- 'Tis the aged grey willows deceiving thy sight."
- "I love thee, I'm charm'd by thy beauty, dear boy!
- And if thou'rt unwilling, then force I'll employ."
- "My father, my father, he seizes me fast,
- For sorely the Erl-King has hurt me at last."
- The father now gallops, with terror half wild,
- He grasps in his arms the poor shuddering child;
- He reaches his courtyard with toil and with dread, –
- The child in his arms finds he motionless, dead.
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