Who rides so late through the windy night?
The father holding his young son so tight.
The boy is cradled safe in his arm,
He holds him sure and he holds him warm.
Why is your face so frightened my son?
The King of elves, father, see him yon?
The Elfin King with his tail and crown?
It is the fog, my son, streaming down.
Yes, you my dear child, come go with me!
The games I play, you'll like them, come see.
The shore is coloured with flow'rs in bloom,
My mother's gold gowns, you will see soon.
Oh father, father, can you not hear
What the elfking promises? I fear!
Be calm, stay quiet my dearest son,
The wind blows the dry leaves of autumn.
My darling boy, won't you come with me?
I have daughters in whose care you'll be.
My daughters dance round the fairy ring.
Each night they'll cradle you, dance and sing.
Father, dear father, can you not see
The elf king's daughter staring at me?
My son, my son, I see it so well:
Gray meadows on which the moonlight fell.
I love you for your beauty of course,
If free you'll not come, I will use force.
Father, dear father, he's touching me.
Of elf king's hurt, father please, free me.
Dread grips the father, he spurs the roan,
In loving arms he feels the boy moan.
At last, the courtyard, with fear and dread,
He looks at the child; the boy is dead.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe