Erlkönig - Erlking
by Johann Wolfgang Goethe
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."
"Won't you come along with me, my fine boy?
My daughters shall attend to you so nicely.
My daughters do their nightly dance,
And they'll rock you and dance you and sing you to sleep."
My father, my father, and do you not see over there
Erlking's daughters in that dark place?
"My son, my son, I see it most definitely:
It's the willow trees looking so grey."
"I love you; I'm charmed by your beautiful form;
And if you're not willing, then I'll use force."
My father, my father, now he's grabbing hold of me!
Erlking has done me harm!
The father shudders, he rides swiftly,
He holds in (his) arms the moaning child.
He reaches the farmhouse with effort and urgency.
In his arms the child was dead.