Monday, 28 January 2013

Eilian of Garth Darwen

The story of Eilian of Garth Darwen illustrates the power of faerie glamour very well. 
Eilian was a poor servant girl who worked long hard hours for a local midwife, 
when Eilian disappeared one day it was agreed by her mistress and the neighbours 
that the girl had gone off with the faeries. The girl was not seen for some time until 
one dark stormy night the midwife was called out by a stranger to attend his wife, 
who was about to give birth. She was taken to a richly furnished room inside a 
grand house where a young woman  lay on the bed. After a while the baby was 
delivered and the father handed a pot to the midwife and asked her to rub the 
ointment onto the baby's eyes; she did this but accidentally smeared some on to 
one of her own eyes. Instantly the wonderful room vanished and instead there 
was just a damp dark cave and lying on a bed of bracken was the servant girl Eilian. 
The midwife was paid for her services with a handful of gold coins but by the time 
she had reached home the coins had disappeared and dried leaves lay in her purse.
Several months passed before she saw the father again strolling through the 
local market. He was very surprised when the midwife greeted him and inquired 
after the mother and baby. He asked with which eye the midwife could see him and 
when she pointed to it, the eye instantly went blind.

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