The motif "the old man of the stream" in HCA : The Marsh King's Daughter (1858)
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The motif "the old man of the stream" in HCA : The Marsh King's Daughter (1858)

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See also Merman, mermaid, Nix


Water, death

Description of this motif: Creature, that lives in streams and with its singing and playing attracts people as pray. Thus related to mermaids, sirens, elfs, wood spirits (huldrer) and nøkken; the water elf or 'nix'. See also the tale The Bell Deep.

Example 1:

But if any of them-thrall or huntsman, it mattered not – set foot in the quagmire, they fared the same a thousand years ago as they would fare today. In they would fall, and down they would sink to him whom they call the Marsh King, who rules below throughout the entire marsh land. They also call him King ot the quicksands, but we like the name Marsh King better, and that was what the storks called him. Little or nothing is known about his rule, but perhaps that is just as well.

Example 2:

"The Princess sobbed and lamented. Her tears sprinkled down on the alder stump, and the stump moved, for it was the Marsh King himself, who lives under the quagmire. (...)"

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