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The course of love with this humble pair did not run smooth.

On one side or the other the parents were decidedly opposed to the intimacy which existed, and by their persecutions, they so far succeeded, that the young man was compelled to emigrate to some far distant land. In this cove the lovers met for the last time in life, and vowed under the light of the full moon, that living or dead they would meet at the end of three years.

The young woman remained with her friends -- the young man went to the Indies. Time passed on, and the three years, which had been years of melancholy to both, were expiring. One moonlight night, when the sea was tranquil as a mirror, an old crone sat on the edge of the cliff "making her charms. On this rock sat the maiden, looking anxiously out over the sea, until, from the rising of the tide, she was completely surrounded. The old woman called; but in vain--the maiden was unconscious of any voice.

There she sat, and the tide was rising rapidly around her. The old woman, now seeing the danger in which she was, resolved to go down into the cove, and, if possible, awaken the maiden to a sense of her danger. To do this, it was necessary to go round a projecting pile of rocks. While doing this, she lost sight of the object of her interest, and much was her surprise, when she again saw the maiden, to perceive a young sailor by her side, with his arm around her waist. Conceiving that help had arrived, the old woman sat herself down on the slope of the descending path, and resolved patiently to await the arrival of the pair on shore, and then to rate the girl soundly.

She sat watching this loving and lovely pair, lighted as they were on the black rock by a full flood of moonshine. There they sat, and the tide rose and washed around them. Never were boy and girl so made, and at last the terrified old woman shrieked with excitement. Suddenly they appeared to float off upon the waters.

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She thought she heard their voices; but there was no sound of terror. Instead of it a tranquil murmuring music, like the voice of doves, singing:. Awestruck, the old woman looked on, until, as she said, "At last they turned round, looked me full in the face, smiling like angels, and, kissing each other, sank to rise no more. They tell us that the body of the young woman was found a day or two after in a neighboring cove, and that intelligence eventually reached England that the young man had been killed on this very night. The deacon had a horse with a gray mane, which he was always in the habit of riding, and which he called Faxi.

Some time before he had started out on this ride there had been heavy snow and frost, but this very day there came so rapid a thaw that the river over which the deacon had safely ridden, trusting to the firmness of the ice, became impassable during the short time he spent with his betrothed. The floods rose, and huge masses of drift ice were whirled down the stream.

When the deacon had left the farm, he rode on to the river, and being deep in thought did not perceive at first the change that had taken place.

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As soon, however, as he saw in what state the stream was, he rode up the banks until he came to a bridge of ice, on to which he spurred his horse. But when he arrived at the middle of the bridge, it broke beneath him, and he was drowned in the flood. Next morning, a neighboring farmer saw the deacon's horse grazing in a field, but could discover nothing of its owner, whom he had seen the day before cross the river, but not return.

He at once suspected what had occurred, and going down to the river, found the corpse of the deacon, which had drifted to the bank, with all the flesh torn off the back of his head, and the bare white skull visible. One of the maidservants opened the door, but seeing nobody there, thought it was because the night was not sufficiently light, for the moon was hidden for the time by clouds.

So saying, "Wait there till I bring a light," went back into the house. As she had by this time finished dressing, she slipped only one sleeve of her winter cloak on, and threw the rest over her shoulders hurriedly. When she opened the door, she saw the well known Faxi standing outside, and by him a man whom she knew to be the deacon. When they came to the river it was frozen over, all except the current in the middle, which the frost had not yet hardened.

The horse walked onto the ice, and leaped over the black and rapid stream which flowed in the middle. But as she began to ring them, she felt someone grasp her and pull so fiercely at her cloak that it was torn off her, leaving only the one sleeve into which she had thrust her arm before starting from home. Then turning round, she saw the deacon jump headlong into the yawning grave, with the tattered cloak in his hand, and the heaps of earth on both sides fall in over him, and close the grave up to the brink.

From time to time, also, a neighboring priest came and sat on the edge of the bed, reading the Psalms of David to protect her against this ghostly persecution.

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The Abbess and the Devil Germany About a hundred years ago [in the eighteenth century] a noblewoman from Oberland was engaged to marry a very handsome officer. Shortly before their marriage he was called to the field of battle, where he remained. The noblewoman was so beside herself that in her despair she cursed God. In the night the devil came to her in the form of her beloved, and he called upon her to pledge her soul to him. In return he would accompany her, in this form, as long as she lived.

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Further, he would give her great magic power. She agreed to this, and the devil remained with her. He was not exactly invisible, but still secret, and no one knew about him. After a while he advised her to enter a convent, which she did. She would now lock herself in her cell with her beloved, while her phantom form was praying in the church. She gained the reputation of great piety, and soon afterward became the abbess. From this time forward miraculous events began to occur in the convent. Most prominently, from time to time several nuns were attacked with long-lasting and unknown ailments, which she was able to cure through her apparent intercession.

Thus her holy reputation grew ever greater. The first suspicion came from several children who often visited the convent. The abbess, who loved children, would show them magic tricks whenever she was alone with them. She told others about this, although she had strictly forbidden them to do so. Above all, the abbess would ask the children if they would like her to make some little mice for them, whereupon the table would immediately be crawling with small, tame mice. The children were too young for one to give much credibility to their talk, but once a young nun, on her way to church, passed by the abbess's cell and heard the abbess whispering lightly with a man's voice.

Curious, she looked through the keyhole and saw the abbess and an officer. But when she entered the church she saw the abbess's form praying there before the altar, and she feinted with fright.

Afterward she reported what she had seen. The abbess was arrested in her bed that night. She very forward, saying that she would get up and go along with them if they would just reach her stick to her. Someone standing there threw the first stick to her that came to hand, but she refused it, asking for a specific other one. They took note of this and refused to give it to her, in spite of her cunning pretenses. Even after she was put in jail, she continued to try to get hold of the stick through all kinds of tricks, but to no avail.

She finally lost her daring, and shortly before she was executed, she confessed. If she had gotten hold of the stick, no power on earth would have been able to restrain her. She was finally burned to death, after having confessed many things. This story combines elements of type tales with Faust and witchcraft traditions.

Click below for links to legends of these latter two types: Faust legends. Witchraft legends. She had lost her father and mother, but she loved the handsomest lad in the village where she lived. They were as happy together as a pair of turtle-doves in the wood. They fixed the day of the wedding at a not very distant date, and invited their most intimate friends to it; the girl, her godmother -- the lad, a dear old friend of his.

Time went on, and the wedding would have taken place in another week, but in the meantime war broke out in the country. The king called out all his fighting-men to march against the enemy.

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The sabres were sharpened, and gallant fellows, on fine, gaily-caparisoned horses, swarmed to the banners of the king, like bees. The war lasted two years, and then peace was concluded between the belligerents. The girl was highly pleased with the news, because she expected to see her lover return with the others. She grew impatient, and would sally forth on the road by which he was expected to return, to meet him.

She would go out often ten times a day, but as yet she had no tidings of her John. Three years elapsed; four years had gone by, and the bridegroom had not yet returned. The girl could not wait any longer, but went to see her godmother, and asked for her advice, who I must tell you, between ourselves was a witch. The old hag received her well, and gave her the following direction: "As it will be full moon tomorrow night, go into the cemetery, my dear girl, and ask the gravedigger to give you a human skull.

If he should refuse, tell him that it is I who sent you. Then bring the skull home to me, and we shall place it in a huge earthenware pot, and boil it with some millet, for, say, two hours. You may be sure it will let you know whether your lover is alive yet or dead, and perchance it will entice him here. She found the gravedigger enjoying his pipe in front of the gate. What are you doing here at this hour of the night? Having arrived at home, she put it in a huge earthenware pot with some millet, and at once placed it on the fire. The millet soon began to boil and throw up bubbles as big as two fists.

The girl was eagerly watching it and wondering what would happen. When, all of a sudden, a huge bubble formed on the surface of the boiling mass, and went off with a loud report like a musket. The next moment the girl saw the skull balanced on the rim of the pot.

The girl waited a little longer, when two more loud reports came from the pot, and the skull said, "He has got halfway. His charger was snow-white, and he himself was clad entirely in white, including his helmet and boots. As soon as he caught sight of the girl, he asked, "Will you come to the country where I dwell? When they got outside the village, they saw ten mounted men rush past, all clad in spotless white, like to the finest wheat flour.

As soon as they vanished, another ten appeared, and could be very well seen in the moonlight, when suddenly John said: How beautifully shines the moon, the moon; How beautifully march past the dead.

Are you afraid, my love, my little Judith? So soon as the hundred vanished another hundred appeared and followed the others. Again her lover said: How beautifully shines the moon, the moon; How beautifully march past the dead. As a reward, you shall have everything that your heart can wish when we get to my new country. John stopped here and said to his sweetheart, "This is our country, my little Judith, we shall soon come to our house. When she had reached the mansion she shook every door, but none of them would open to her entreaties, except one that led to a long corridor, at the end of which there was a dead body laid out in state in a coffin.

The lass secreted herself in a dark corner of the fireplace. As soon as John discovered that his bride had run away he jumped out of the grave and pursued the lass, but in spite of all his exertions could not overtake her. When he reached the door at the end of the corridor he knocked and exclaimed, "Dead man, open the door to a fellow dead man.

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  • Again said Jack, "Dead man, open the door to a fellow dead man. The sea is my soft bed of down, my love The sand be my white Holland sheet The long hungry worms they do feed off me As I lie every night in the deep. When will you come back again? Return to Lyrics List. Traditional Johnny he promised to marry her She fears he's with some fair one and gone There's something that ails him but she don't know what it is And she's weary of lying alone Johnny he came at the appointed hour Knocked on her window so slow This fair maid arose and hurried on her clothes And she bid her true love welcome home She took him by the hand and she laid him down Felt he was as cold as the clay She said, my dearest dear, if only I had my wish This long night would never turn to day Where is your soft bed of down, my love?

    The sea is my soft bed of down, my love The sand be my white Holland sheet The long hungry worms they do feed off me As I lie every night in the deep "When will I see you again, my love? This site is for educational purposes only.