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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

A Time of Gifts

A Time of Gifts - Patrick Leigh Fermor, Jan Morris

bookshelves: published-1977, autumn-2012, travel, nonfiction, one-penny-wonder, 3m-bookshelf-challenge, autobiography-memoir

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Carey Combe
Recommended for: 3Ms
Read from April 03 to October 04, 2012



Three opening quotes, this one is the title source:

For now the time of gifts is gone -
O boys that grow, O snows that melt,
O bathos that the years must fill -
Here is dull earth to build upon
Undercoated; we have reached
Twelfth Night or what you will...you will

Introductory Letter to Xan Fielding




'A splendid afternoon to set out!', said one of the friends who was seeing me off, peering at the rain and rolling up the window.

Hadn't meant to start this one quite yet but it was the smallest nearest-to-hand book to stick in my pocket as I rushed out of the door to go to the Cuckoo Shop to garner kilt hose yarn. By the time we arrived I was in Germany, in 1933, and entranced with the writing. Fantastic so far.

Albert Sterner 1910

Who rides, so late, through night and wind?
It is the father with his child.
He has the boy well in his arm
He holds him safely, he keeps him warm.

"My son, why do you hide your face so anxiously?"
"Father, do you not see the Elfking?
The Elfking with crown and tail?"
"My son, it's a wisp of fog."

"You dear child, come, go with me!
Very lovely games I'll play with you;
Some colourful flowers are on the beach,
My mother has some golden robes."

"My father, my father, and don't you hear
What the Elfking quietly promises me?"
"Be calm, stay calm, my child;
The wind is rustling through withered leaves."

"Do you want to come with me, pretty boy?
My daughters shall wait on you finely;
My daughters will lead the nightly dance,
And rock and dance and sing you to sleep."

"My father, my father, and don't you see there
The Elfking's daughters in the gloomy place?"
"My son, my son, I see it clearly:
There shimmer the old willows so grey."

"I love you, your beautiful form entices me;
And if you're not willing, then I will use force."
"My father, my father, he's grabbing me now!
The Elfking has done me harm!"

It horrifies the father; he swiftly rides on,
He holds the moaning child in his arms,
Reaches the farm with trouble and hardship;
In his arms, the child was dead.
Goethe 'Der Erlkönig'

Page 151: When no buildings were in sight I was back in the Dark Ages. But the moment a farmhouse or a village impuned, I was in the world of Peter Brueghal