1797, in Scott's translation of Goethe, from German Erl-könig, literally "alder-king," Herder's erroneous translation of Danish ellerkonge "king of the elves." Cf. German Eller, Erle "alder" (see alder).
O father, my father, and did you not hear The erl-king whisper so low in my ear?
Then, like erl-king in the German legends, they broaden out to engulf their opponent.
Perhaps the erl-king has an unlimited supply of those deceitful daughters of his!
Such works as Schubert's "erl-king" show what can be 351 done.
During his eighteenth year, when he wrote the "erl-king," he composed no less than 144 songs.
There is a German superstition, which eight or ten years after I read, of the erl-king and his daughter.
And as for poor Schubert, well, Goethe ignored him, and actually thought he had misinterpreted the erl-king!
I was trying it over the other night, long after you were in bed, and I decided it was quite as fine as the erl-king music.
O father, my father, and saw you not plain The erl-king's pale daughter glide past thro' the rain?
Like the invitations of the erl-king in Goethe's ballad, it "whispered low in mine ear."