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Nacken - Water Demon

Erik Johan Stagnelius 1793 (Öland) – 1823 (Stockholm)

The evening is festooned with golden clouds
the fairies dance in the meadow
and the leaf-crowned Nacken
plays his fiddle in the silvery brook.
Little boy in the brush on the bank
resting in the violet vapor
hears the noise from the chilly water
calls out in the still night.

"Poor old fellow, why do you play?
will it take the pain away?
you bring the woods and the fields to life
but you'll never be a child of God.

Paradise's moonlit nights
eden's flower-crowned plains
angels of the light on high--
never to be beheld by your eye."

Tears stream down the old man's face
down he dives into the rapids
the fiddle silences.
And the Nacken will never
play again in the silvery brook.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Erik Johan Stagnelius

Erik Johan Stagnelius was born October 14, 1793 in Gärdslösa, on the island Öland, Sweden, and died on April 3, 1823 in Stockholm. He was a Romantic poet and playwright. 1810 to 1840 was a blossoming time in Swedish poetry, and there were several writers of distinguished merit, among them Esaias Tegnér, Erik Gustaf Geijer, Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom and Erik Johan Stagnelius. The brief and mysterious life and death of Erik Johan Stagnelius have given a romantic interest to all that is connected with his name. more…

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    "Nacken - Water Demon" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/12758/nacken---water-demon>.

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