By Ludwig Tieck

The Fairies

Translated & Arranged by Bruce & Marion Donehower

“I was terrified!” said the old ferryman. “But the awful uproar did not allow me to sleep. I crept to the window and peered out toward the river. Tremendous clouds scudded angrily across the heavens, and the distant trees thrashed about. It felt as though my tiny house would quake and shake to pieces. Suddenly I saw a stream of white light that became stronger and stronger—until it became as bright as a thousand falling stars. It shimmered and played about the darkened pine trees, flowed over the fields, and broadened toward the river. Then I heard a whirring, scurrying, hurrying, rustling sound. Closer and closer! I saw something moving toward my boat. Into that ferry climbed all manner of shining creatures—large and small, male and female—and children, too, as it appeared. The stranger ferried them all. They crossed the river, and in the waves, next to the ferryboat, swam and fluttered a thousand brilliant shapes.” – Ludwig Tieck, The Fairies

“Tieck shows us how the philosopher can inspire the artist.” — Rudolf Steiner