The Fairy Tale of Pomphul: A Story of Spring

Updated on December 12, 2016
Eva Weggelaar profile image

Eva Weggelaar is a writer and translator, especially interested in poetry and folklore. She also runs her own blog: Paradise is this Way.



The heath still lay dry and abandoned, the lakes were frozen, the fields bare, and in the forest surrounding the three burial mounds over at Springdel1 the old forest giants stood guard, shrouded in white winter cloaks of hoar and sleet, as though they were old grey warriors from Valhalla.
Hymer2, the grim old Wintergiant, still ruled firmly and kept his daughter Gerda2, the young sleeping earth, captured in chains of ice. Both evening and morning he lit a magical circle of flaming fires around her so that no one would be able to approach her, and the people called these fires the afterglow and the red of dawn.

Courting Gerda

Froh2, the young god of the sun and spring, looked down from his heavenly window. There below lay the young slumbering beauty. Her arms glowed and cast their light on the white clouds. Then he was overcome by a great love and sent a white bird to Hymer’s garden. The bird flew over the flaming fires and sung a magical tune with which he woke the sleeper.
Froh saw how she awoke and roamed through her father’s court. Then he took his sword ‘Sunbeam’, jumped on his horse and rode to the Wintergiant’s dwelling. He sped through the flaming fire glow of the red dawn.
His steaming horse carried him to the gates of Gerda’s dwelling, where the animal stamped so that the ground shook.There Froh dismounted and let his horse graze.
At the gate sat an old man, blind in one eye and accompanied by two ferocious dogs, who barred his way. He conquered them with his shining sword.
Gerda herself opened the gate and invited the young god to come in for a hospitable drink. As he entered, the hall was filled with the young light of spring.

To win her love he offered her eleven golden apples of the eleven months, but Gerda told him: ‘Never will I take these apples as a token of love from a man, never will I live with you in the same hall.’
‘Then I will give you the nine-fold ring of light;’ but she answered: ‘In my father’s garden many treasures lie buried in the ground. I have no need for yours.’
‘Foolish child,’ spoke Froh, ‘what can you do with your treasures of hidden seed? If I don’t raise them up into golden grain, they will forever remain hidden.’
Then Gerda finally consented and a marriage feast was held.

The Wedding Feast

The flowers blossomed and butterflies came to greet the couple. It was as if the whole world celebrated. And all over the heath spring cheered.
The skies were filled with cheerful rumour and through the trees moved the airy, golden sound of wings. The old forest giants shook off their wintery cloaks and covered themselves in new, light-green finery.

On a wind-woven cloud a warm breath of air travelled over the mountains and the fields.
The cuckoo was heard at least a hundred times and thousands of warblers sung between the branches.
There was a wedding, a wedding so gay, so gay. And in the moonlit spring night a choir of nightingales sung in the Springdel. There the light-elves came with pattering feet all around the spring in the dale. From under the bushes, from between the heather; there they went on gossamer wings and whirled, whirled around and around, all around the spring. It was a cloud of waving wings. It was a shuffle of pattering feet, around and around. There a group of white elves whirled down and another, ever more and more, and now the old forest was filled with laughter, ‘round and ‘round. The animals bounced, the animals bounced, the elves danced in a circle around. Round and round the spring in the dale.
There was no end to the wedding-cheer. They danced and floated hand in hand and filled the air with laughter.

Then the cock crowed…and the fun was over. They rushed away and raced away under the bushes and into the hedge, into the heather and the foxberry.

When the light of dawn looked over the hills to see what was happening in the valley, all that remained was an acorn cap, the hat of one who had lost it.

From Legends of the Veluwe/Veluwsche Sagen by Gust van de Wall Perné, published in 1910-1912 by Scheltens & Giltay and translated by Eva Weggelaar

John Atkinson Grimshaw
John Atkinson Grimshaw


1. Pomphul is a hill near Hoog Soeren, a village that is probably older than Apeldoorn and the former site of a settlement belonging to the earliest inhabitants of the Veluwe, as attested by the numerous Germanic burial mounds in the area. Legend has it that the spring of Pomphul is so old that Wodan himself might have created it. In later years a pump was built at the site of the spring.
Springdel, literally ‘Springdale’, is the old name of Pomphul (literally ‘Pumphill’) and according to Van De Wall Perné the site of a castle that once stood at the crossroads between the Echoput (Echowell), Apeldoorn, Assel and the Dassenberg (Badgermountain).
2. Hymer: Gymir, Gerda: Gerð, Froh: Freyr.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Eva Weggelaar profile imageAUTHOR

        Eva Weggelaar 

        2 years ago

        Thank you James!

      • James Slaven profile image

        James Slaven 

        2 years ago from Indiana, USA

        Another wonderful tale, Eva! I love these!


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)