Soul Catcher


Soul Catcher

Elen Sentier


All along, down along, out along ley

Faster than lightning rides the Sidhe.

All along, down along, out along ley

The hounds are yelping across the sea

The Wild Ones come and the souls flee


Mother! The wild Geese are coming!

Hush child, under the covers with’ee!

But mother, I hear them …

Hush child or the dogs will have thee!

‘Tis the Gabriel Hounds will away with thee!


Clackety-clack, the hooves,

As the satyrs hear the bells of morning ringing down on them.

Running, they drop their saws and leave the old tree.

Another year and Yggdrasil is left in peace to grow another wedding ring


“Dendrology! That’s the thing!

We’ll soon discover how long these Earthlings lived.”

And smacking his forecastle with a tentacle the Eldar Mome-Rath outgrabed yet again.

The Slithy Toves were so impressed they brilligged all over the place,

for archaeologists are the priests of heaven


Down he comes, down and down the winding, twisty stairs.

First sunwise then widdershins,

but his feet know the Way

and make no untimely steps upon the stairs.

Darkness blinds him but his feet lead him down inside the Isle of Glas


They scent him now, remembering forgotten blood-smells.

A whine. A yelp.

“Quiet!” comes the master’s voice “You’ll wake the dead!”


Mother! Mother! I hear the Wild Geese coming!

Hush child! Or the dogs will have thee!


Down and down he comes.

Now ahead he sees the stag’s crown hanging before him.

His hands reach out, pull the ancient helmet to his brow.

The King is come


White tails wag,

muscles ripple under the white fur,

red ears prick

and eyes glow like coals in a furnace.

Thirty couple of hounds there are at his wild bidding



Pale in the darkness the white mare gleams like frost in moonlight.

One silver hoof she raises, drops and taps the crystal floor.

Softly she calls to him


He rests a hand now on her shoulder.

His fingers entwine the silver mane.

An instant more and he leaps astride her.

The flesh of his thighs caresses her silken coat as he grips her firmly,

knees turning her towards the darkness.

Her silver hooves carry them forward striking lightning from the granite.

The dogs rumble in their throats.

The white mare springs forward.

Earth-Fire rises and the wind carries them out into the world


All along, down along, out along ley

Faster than lightning rides the Sidhe.


Mother! The wild Geese are coming!

Hush child! ‘Tis the Gabriel Hounds.


He sounds his horn as out across the sky they flee.

Yo-yip-yip-yip Yowwww!

Yip-yip-yow the hounds echo.

The clouds muster, gather, bank and mass before him.

Again he sounds his horn.

The hounds tear the clouds to tatters

Ripping apart the decent covering of the night

So Dian’s body round and soft and butter-gold

Shines out above the earth all brazen-bold.


Soul Catcher! she breathes.

Owls and moonbeams tumble from her arms

The forest fills with light and feathers.


The light of night pierces deep down into the graves

and the souls come forth.

Singly now and then in twos and threes

they rise up through the earth like misty goblins,

wandering abroad for mischief.


But the hounds see them.

Working to and fro amongst their woolly flock

they gather in the wandering souls and guide them to the river.

No longer do they fester,

wailing plaintive chants to chill the living,

wandering unknown and unknowing in times past.

Now they hear their Master, the Horned Shepherd-Friend,

and feel his dogs unleashed upon them

but to bring them home.


Quiet now they wait upon the bank.

Soft now he sounds a single note upon the horn.

Then they hear the dipping of the pole

as the Ferryman brings his boat up to the shore.

The dogs nuzzle, nip and push.

The souls crowd the planks and huddle close

for fear of drowning in the river of forgetfulness.


Safe now! he says.


The white mare rears and climbs the skies.

The dogs follow.

A streaming, joyous comet lights the sky

and binds a girdle round the Earth.


Then, sighting the tower,

her nipple, standing atop the hill,

rising out her watery silver robe,

he flies towards her.


Soft the troupe,

man and horse and hounds,

sink into the Mother’s Breast.

Down and down they go into the glassy halls.


Dian drifts her naked body across the cloud-wrack, falling homewards.


Mother! Mother! I heard the Wild Geese tonight.


All along, down along, out along ley

Faster than lightning rides the Sidhe.

All along, down along, out along ley

The hounds are yelping across the sea

The Wild Ones come and the souls flee.


Soulcatcher by elen sentier.  © annie konig 2001. All Rights Reserved.