Miriam Carreon

The Story Of The Forest Nymph

Long, long ago in a far-away land, there lived a beautiful forest nymph. She lived alone and preferred to slumber during the day; but once dusk settled in she would arise from her dwellings and the forest would come alive; she would fill the air with her captivating voice and she would dance lithely with the woodland beasts,

amidst the soft glow of the midnight moon.

All the townspeople avoided her forest at all cost. And rightly so, because any man who was fool enough to enter the forest at night would return to the town the next day, crying, sobbing, refusing to eat or talk, and would very soon die, uttering these same words...

She took my heart.

It was the beautiful forest nymph who did all this, for she was also an enchantress.

No mortal could ever resist her. Every man would fall hopelessly in love with her, but she would merely laugh teasingly and run away, and the man will follow... until the dawn comes, and the man, at the end of his senses, will say,

'I would give you anything, anything, just love me back.'

And the forest nymph would lose her smile, and stare at the man, and say,

'Give me your heart.' And no one has ever refused...

One summer night, she met a man with a face so handsome it looked carved exquisitely in marble... he was not an ordinary man.

The beautiful forest nymph cried, for the first time in her life. 'I love you! ' she wept.

To which the man replied, I have journeyed two oceans and a desert to find you.

'Why did you look for me? '

To end your life.

The forest nymph was curious. 'Why so? '

So you would learn to love, he replied. He unsheathed his sword and looked at her with kind eyes. You will cease to become a forest nymph, he told her. You will be reborn as a mortal in a different land, in a different time. You will have your beauty, as you have now... but in that land, you will be the one to give away your heart, and you will be the one to cry.

Upon hearing this, the forest nymph was deeply saddened. 'But until when? ' she asked. 'Giving away one's heart is a painful thing.'

Yes, the man said, you will feel the pain but all that would be nothing. When you are ready, a man will come to claim back your heart for you.

'Who is that man? '

The only one worthy of you.

With one swift movement so she won't feel the pain, he killed her.

Then he uttered a silent plea.

Wait for me, my love...

And he fell down noiselessly,

Beside

The beautiful forest nymph.

Poem Submitted: Monday, February 18, 2008

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