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Elf   /ɛlf/   Listen
Elf

noun
(pl. elves)
1.
(folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievous.  Synonyms: brownie, gremlin, hob, imp, pixie, pixy.
2.
Below 3 kilohertz.  Synonym: extremely low frequency.



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"Elf" Quotes from Famous Books



... white come in at the window, who cut off his hair as he slept, and then went out by the same window: on awaking, he found his hair scattered about on the floor. To what can these things be attributed, if not to an elf? ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... are usually quite ready to play the elf in the rose-garden of love," replied Heinz gaily. "Moreover, I shall soon need a T and an S embroidered on my own doublet, for——Why don't they bring the light? Another cup of wine, the note, and then with renewed vigour we'll go ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... of all deserve the name of "bugges" for no elf or hobgoblin was ever more bizarre. Their legs and heads and bodies are small and aphid-like, but aloft there spring minarets and handles and towers and thorns and groups of hairy balls, out of all reason and sense. Only Stegosaurus ...
— Edge of the Jungle • William Beebe

... dearest children, when with joy You hailed your father's safe return to home From his long mountain toils; for when he came He ever brought some little present with him. A lovely Alpine flower—a curious bird— Or elf-boat found by wanderers on the hills. But now he goes in quest of other game: In the wild pass he sits, and broods on murder; And watches for the life-blood of his foe, But still his thoughts are fixed on you alone, Dear children. ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... kindred type we find the tales of: The boy who ran off with the horn out of which an elf-maiden offered him a drink, and would not return it until she had promised to bestow upon him the strength of twelve men, with which, unluckily, went also the appetite of twelve men ...
— The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought • Alexander F. Chamberlain

... far away and were still and swift as the figures that glance in a crystal. So the child grew up full of mystery; her thoughts were not the thoughts of the people about her, nor their affections her affections. It seemed as if the elf-things or beings carved by the thought of the magician, pushed aside by his strong will and falling away from him, entering into the child became part of her, linking her to the elemental beings who live in ...
— AE in the Irish Theosophist • George William Russell

... but was silent, feeling the uselessness of further words. How expect understanding of a common human hurt from this being, who alternately appeared in the guise of a god and a gamin? She remembered the old tale of the maiden wedded to the beautiful and strange elf-king. Was the legend symbolic of that mysterious thread—call it genius or what you will—that runs its erratic course through humanity's woof, marring yet illuminating the staid design, never straightened with its fellow-threads, never tied, and never to be followed ...
— The Nest Builder • Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale

... he has; he shuns being wounded; he avoids being taken. They do say his age is but that of a girl to be wed. [1]His deeds of manhood have not yet come,[1] nor will he hold out against tried men, this young, beardless elf-man of whom thou spokest." [2]"We say not so,"[2] replied Fergus, "for manful were the deeds of the lad at a time when he was younger than ...
— The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Tain Bo Cualnge • Unknown

... would he shoot The shaft that missed no fowl his aim had doomed. Their flesh he ate, their feathers vestured him. And there lay herbs and healing leaves, the which, Spread on his deadly wound, assuaged its pangs. Wild tangled elf-locks hung about his head. He seemed a wild beast, that hath set its foot, Prowling by night, upon a hidden trap, And so hath been constrained in agony To bite with fierce teeth through the prisoned limb Ere it could win back to its cave, and there In hunger and torturing pains it languisheth. ...
— The Fall of Troy • Smyrnaeus Quintus

... Christmas There came to our house, A right jolly old elf, as still as a mouse; He filled all the stockings, Trimmed each Christmas tree, Made our Christmas ...
— Ohio Arbor Day 1913: Arbor and Bird Day Manual - Issued for the Benefit of the Schools of our State • Various

... went the old cailleach. 'Bring him to me, ye hounds, before I put a curse on ye,' and she tore her coorie from her head, and the wind tore through the strands of her white hair, and they rose like elf-locks. High above her head she threw her arm, her fingers stiff and pointing, there on the quay-head, an awesome sight in the mirk of ...
— The McBrides - A Romance of Arran • John Sillars

... said heedlessly, little knowing there was any danger of Robin's being carried away to Elf-land. Whether the fairies were at that instant listening under the eaves, will never be known; but it chanced, one day, that Wild Robin was sent across the moors ...
— Fairy Book • Sophie May

... was. Well might this old square be named quarter of the Magi—well might the three towers, overlooking it, own for godfathers three mystic sages of a dead and dark art. Hoar enchantment here prevailed; a spell had opened for me elf-land—that cell-like room, that vanishing picture, that arch and passage, and stair of stone, were all parts of a fairy tale. Distincter even than these scenic details stood the chief figure—Cunegonde, the sorceress! Malevola, the evil ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... fours and fives the elfins dance, The elf-king's daughter I see advance. Gaily they ...
— The Serpent Knight - and other ballads - - - Translator: George Borrow • Thomas J. Wise

... let me change this theme, which grows too sad, And lay this sheet of sorrows on the shelf; I don't much like describing people mad, For fear of seeming rather touched myself— Besides, I've no more on this head to add; And as my Muse is a capricious elf, We'll put about, and try another tack With Juan, left half-killed ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... to him came Baltic John, Stept up the brae, and leukit at her, Syne wear his wa', wi' heavy moan, And in a month or twa forgat her: Baltic John was wooing at her, Courting her, but cudna get her; Filthy elf, she 's nae herself, wi' sae mony wooing ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... worth quoting as an example of the medicines to which our forefathers submitted. It is given in a Leech Book of the tenth century or earlier, and is thus translated by Cockayne: "If a man is in the water elf disease, then are the nails of his hand livid, and the eyes tearful, and he will look downwards. Give him this for a leechdom: Everthroat, cassuck, the netherward part of fane, a yew berry, lupin, helenium, ...
— The plant-lore & garden-craft of Shakespeare • Henry Nicholson Ellacombe

... pleased to hear him speak so fair, And proud beside, as solar people are; Nor could the treason from the truth descry, So was he ravish'd with this flattery; So much the more, as from a little elf He had a high opinion of himself; Though sickly, slender, and not large of limb, Concluding all the world was made ...
— The Poetical Works of John Dryden, Vol II - With Life, Critical Dissertation, and Explanatory Notes • John Dryden

... chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face, and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly. He was chubby and plump,—a right jolly old elf— And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And, laying his finger aside of ...
— De La Salle Fifth Reader • Brothers of the Christian Schools

... quickly Teddy set to work, but when he had once passed the line round the farmer's body and the tree, he had no difficulty in finishing the work he had begun. Dancing like an elf with the line in his hand, he spun round and round the tree till the line was wound round to its very last extremity, and the farmer looked like some big bluebottle fly entangled in the fine meshes of a spider's web. Still he slept on, and with a ...
— Teddy's Button • Amy Le Feuvre

... with this self-willed elf? To carry out her father's ideas, and let her nature have unrestrained freedom to develop itself, will be the ruin of her! Unless she is controlled and guided she is just the girl to grow up wild and eccentric, and end in running away ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... looked—and did not want to believe his eyes. But the thing, which at first seemed shadowy, became more and more clear to him; and soon he saw that it was something real. It was no less a thing than an elf who sat there—astride the edge of ...
— The Wonderful Adventures of Nils • Selma Lagerlof

... flaxen locks, and little light in their pale-blue eyes; these will not bear comparison with the smooth, braided tresses that glistened like blue-black serpents, or the glances that rained down liquid fire through the twilight of the forests of Elf-land. Slowly the discontented dreamer realizes the fact that the spell is still upon him—riveted when he stole that first fatal kiss in despite of his mistress's warning. Nothing is left for him now but to expiate his folly in the loneliness of the gray old tower, and to look forth, hoping ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... her eyebrows, presented the tips of her fingers, and told Dorothy in a high, squeaky voice that she was very glad to know her. Elf did the same in an exact copy ...
— Dorothy Dainty at Glenmore • Amy Brooks

... about to look for him, here and there, among the enchanted bracken that rustled with elf-life, while the shadows came alive, ...
— Set in Silver • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... fellow's usually pale face looked ghastly white in the late dusk, and the strange brightness of his eyes, and his spindle legs and diminutive body, crowned by the hat at least two sizes too large, made him seem a very elf of the woods. At camp or elsewhere, Skinny was always alone, but he seemed more lonely than ever in that still wood, with the night coming on. Nature was so big and Skinny was ...
— Tom Slade on Mystery Trail • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... "Come here, you envious elf," said her father, taking something from his pocket. Like light she flashed out from under the cloud and was at his side in an instant, dimpling, smiling, and twinkling with expectation, her black ...
— What Can She Do? • Edward Payson Roe

... listen expectantly. Then again he seated himself to wait. Several times, passionately insistent, he shook his head, and it was as if the refusal were being made to an invisible presence. Suddenly he lifted his face as the sound of a weird, wild wail was borne to him, mingling with the elf-like moaning of the wind. He leaned forward slightly, listening intently. From somewhere above him pleading notes from a violin were making the night even more mournful. A change came over the ...
— Rose O'Paradise • Grace Miller White

... to bestow. Mary and Kate are two sprightly girls, near the respective ages of eight and eleven; and Harry, a quiet, innocent-minded, loving child, is in his sixth year. There is another still, a little giddy, dancing elf, named Lizzy, whose voice, except during the brief periods of sleep, rings through the house all day. And yet another, who has just come, that the home of Mr. Bancroft may not be without earth's purest ...
— Lizzy Glenn - or, The Trials of a Seamstress • T. S. Arthur

... nobly dare To scrawl in verse) from Bond-street or the Square? [l] If things of Ton their harmless lays indite, Most wisely doomed to shun the public sight, What harm? in spite of every critic elf, Sir T. may read his stanzas to himself; MILES ANDREWS [107] still his strength in couplets try, And live in prologues, though his dramas die. Lords too are Bards: such things at times befall, And 'tis some praise in Peers to write at all. 720 Yet, did or Taste or Reason sway the times, ...
— Byron's Poetical Works, Vol. 1 • Byron

... Mr. Cobb solemnly, as he remounted his perch; and as the stage rumbled down the village street between the green maples, those who looked from their windows saw a little brown elf in buff calico sitting primly on the back seat holding a great bouquet tightly in one hand and a pink parasol in the other. Had they been farsighted enough they might have seen, when the stage turned ...
— Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... distinguish—1, The active presence of the Sprites in a human habitation. 2, Their masquerading. 3, Their dispatch of human victuals. 4, The liability of Elfin limbs to human casualties. 5, The personality of that saucy Puck, our tiny ambassador elf. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLV. July, 1844. Vol. LVI. • Various

... high. It may be that the Gael's conception of humanised spirits may not have been uninfluenced by the traditions of that earlier diminutive race whose arrow-heads of flint were so long regarded as "elf-bolts." The fairies dwelt only in grassy knolls, on the summits of high hills, and inside cliffs. Although capable of living for several centuries, they were not immortal. They required food, and borrowed meal and ...
— Elves and Heroes • Donald A. MacKenzie

... always black or white, and hangs in agreeable folds over the neck and shoulders. There is but little beauty among them; and alas! how should there be? They are in general filthy; the hair of both old and young is allowed to fall in uncombed elf-locks about their heads; and the old women are often hideous and disgustful in the extreme. The heart bleeds for the women: they have more than their share of the labors of the field; they have all the toils of the men, added to the pains and cares of womanhood. They dig, they reap, ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... unaffected, without a trace of conceit, gifted with a keen sense of humour and evidently as full of the joy of living as a school-boy. He thought her laugh delightfully musical, and it was frequently and readily evoked by Burke's droll remarks or the quaint oracular sayings from the self-possessed elf on Wargrave's knee. Her admiration of and genuine affection for Mrs. Dermot was very evident when Noreen joined ...
— The Jungle Girl • Gordon Casserly

... which the wild bees settle, Tints that spot the violet's petal, Why Nature loves the number five, And why the star-form she repeats: Lover of all things alive, Wonderer at all he meets, Wonderer chiefly at himself, Who can tell him what he is? Or how meet in human elf Coming ...
— Poems - Household Edition • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... find that out," he said. "Trust you to get telepathic messages from the elf-folk! Why, this gorge teems with fairy tales and legends of magic, black and white. The Rhine Valley and the Black Forest together haven't as many or as wonderful ones. I should like you to hear the stories from some of the village ...
— The Motor Maid • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... rose-bushes ridged in down, and at last to his favorite winter nook, a thicket of black alders freighted with a wealth of berries. How crimson they were amid the white quiet of the garden! And the brightly colored fruit of the barberry flamed forth from a snowy bush like the cheerful elf-lamps of a wood-gnome. ...
— When the Yule Log Burns - A Christmas Story • Leona Dalrymple

... rocks and the caves and the snowy crags, they could see no signs of the cunning fugitive. Then they went back to his house again to consult what next to do. And, while standing by the hearth, Kwaser, a sharp-sighted elf, whose eyes were quicker than the sunbeam, saw the white ashes of the burned net lying undisturbed in the still hot embers, the woven ...
— Hero Tales • James Baldwin

... servant-maids and dogs grew dull; His kitten, late a sportive elf; The woods and lakes, so beautiful, 740 Of dim stupidity were full. All grew dull as ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... knew, And with pencil and book they sat by and took Each action, if false, or if true. White marks for the deeds done for others— Black marks for the deeds done for self. And nobody hid what he said or he did, For no one, of course, sees an elf. ...
— Yesterdays • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... brows are bound with bracken-fronds, And golden elf-locks fly above; Her eyes are bright as diamonds And ...
— Just So Stories • Rudyard Kipling

... first page, the second page, and the song-form already noticed)—the movement is carried to completion. It is very difficult to play, but when well done is effective and serious. The second movement is a very playful scherzo, which is designated as elf-like—as light and swift as possible. The third movement is designated "tenderly, longingly, yet with passion"; the hero is now in love, very much so; his being is stirred to its utmost core; his rhythm is shaken up so that two's and three's intermingle in the most inviting confusion; ...
— The Masters and their Music - A series of illustrative programs with biographical, - esthetical, and critical annotations • W. S. B. Mathews

... limber elf, Singing, dancing to itself, A fairy thing with red round cheeks, That always finds, and never seeks, Makes such a vision to the sight 660 As fills a father's eyes with light; And pleasures flow in so thick ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... you're not the man," he said, nodding his head until his elf-locks danced around his face. "Of course you're not the man. I know it—ho, ho! you can wager that I know it! A little ruse of mine, Captain Plum. Pardonable—excusable, eh? I wanted to know if you were a liar. I wanted to see ...
— The Courage of Captain Plum • James Oliver Curwood

... left-hand side of the road, and was speeding onward fast, with the Taf at some distance on my right, when I saw a strange-looking woman advancing towards me. She seemed between forty and fifty, was bare-footed and bare-headed, with grizzled hair hanging in elf locks, and was dressed in rags and tatters. When about ten yards from me, she pitched forward, gave three or four grotesque tumbles, heels over head, then standing bolt upright, about a yard before me, raised her right arm, ...
— Wild Wales - Its People, Language and Scenery • George Borrow

... from the very cradle every prerogative of eldership (and he did struggle first into life, too, so he was the first-born), had grown to be a swarthy, strong, big-boned man, of the Roman-nosed, or, more physiognomically, the Jewish cast of countenance; with melo-dramatic elf-locks, large whiskers, and ungovernable passions; loud, fierce, impetuous; cunning, too, for all his overbearing clamour; and an embodied personification of those choice essentials to criminal happiness—a hard heart and a good digestion. ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... afraid she'll disgrace us all!" Upon which Sara would comfort her by saying that, as most parrots were trained by rough people, nothing better could be expected, and she was sure nobody would blame them; while Molly, the naughty little elf, would shake her curls with a ...
— Sara, a Princess • Fannie E. Newberry

... three years back? I think not. Whither, then, has the sprite vanished? In some hidden fairy nook, in some mysterious cloud-land he must exist still. Again, in your slim-formed girl of eight years, you look in vain for the sturdy elf of five. Gone? No; that cannot be—'a thing of beauty is a joy for ever.' Close your eyes: you have her there! A breeze-like, sportive, buoyant thing; a thing of breathing, laughing, unmistakable life; she is mirrored on your retina as plainly as ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 419, New Series, January 10, 1852 • Various

... frolic; not a mouse Shall disturb this hallow'd house: I am sent with broom before, To sweep the dust behind the door. Through the house give glimmering light, By the dead and drowsy fire: Every elf and fairy sprite Hop as light as bird from brier; And this ditty, after me, Sing, and dance it trippingly. First, rehearse your song by rote, To each word a warbling note: Hand in hand, with fairy grace, Will we sing, ...
— English Songs and Ballads • Various

... had he prepared; to that bade the prince of men All his noblest thanes. That with mickle haste 10 Did the warriors-with-shields perform; came to the mighty chief The people's leaders going. On the fourth day was that After that Judith, cunning in mind, The elf-sheen virgin, him ...
— Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and the Dream of the Rood • Anonymous

... younger, is bright-haired, of blooming complexion, merry to madness; in spirit, the personification of a romping elf; in physique, a sort of Hebe. Helen, on the other hand, is dark as gipsy, or Jewess; stately as a queen, with the proud grandeur of Juno. Her features of regular classic type, form tall and magnificently moulded, amidst others she appears as a palm rising ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... river-side; but Miss Meliora had forgotten the number. They must have returned, their quest unsatisfied, had not Olive seen a little girl leaning out of an upper window,—her ragged elbows on the sill, her elf-like black eyes watching the boats up ...
— Olive - A Novel • Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)

... to face with the children leaving school. I had been accustomed to seeing these wild, bare-legged mountaineers breaking loose from school in a state of subdued frenzy, leaping up and down the side ditches, screaming, yelling, panting, with their elf-locks blinding their eyes, and their bare feet flashing amid the green of grasses or the brown of the ditch-mould. They might condescend to drop me a courtesy, and then—anarchy, as before. Today they moved slowly, with eyes bent modestly on ...
— My New Curate • P.A. Sheehan

... Thou happy, happy elf! (But stop, first let me kiss away that tear,) Thou tiny image of myself! (My love, he's poking peas into his ear!) Thou merry, laughing sprite, With spirits feather light, Untouched by sorrow, ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... herd are gone. Through channels new the brooklet rushes, Its ancient course conceal'd by bushes. Where the hollow was, a mound Rises from the upheaved ground. Doubting, shouting with surprise, How the fool stares, and rubs his eyes! All's so changed, the simple elf Fancies he is changed himself! Ho! ho! 'tis a merry sight The hag shall have when dawns the light. But see! she halts and waves her hand. All is done ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... man in the fairy-stories," he said in a voice Joy did not quite know, "who catches an elf-girl in some unfair way, and finds her turn to a dear human woman in his house. Joy ... will she ...
— The Wishing-Ring Man • Margaret Widdemer

... pretty blonde, sweet, serious, timid and a little slow, and Dorothy Rose—a sparkling brunette, quick, elf-like, high tempered, full of mischief and always getting ...
— The Outdoor Girls in a Winter Camp - Glorious Days on Skates and Ice Boats • Laura Lee Hope

... o' them elf-men, I believe; that different from ordinary you can even make dollars o' doughnuts. Arrah musha, 'twas a smart decent day when Miss Amy fetched you home to Fairacres! Sent, was ye, to make the old family rich; and ...
— Reels and Spindles - A Story of Mill Life • Evelyn Raymond

... locks—distressingly shaggy and unkempt—he wore no hat, and he looked like a brownie, grotesque, though somewhat sad. But even more did he resemble an ape—or say the missing link—and only his eyes seemed human. These were large, dark and brilliant, sparkling like jewels under his elf-locks. He sat cross-legged on the sward and hugged a fiddle, as though he were nursing a baby. And, no doubt, he was as attached to his instrument as any mother could be to her child. It was not difficult for Miss Greeby to guess that this weird, hairy ...
— Red Money • Fergus Hume

... of hunting-piece, full of the sparkle, the color and romance of bugles and horns,—a spirited fanfare broken by hushed phrases of strings or wood, or an elf-like mystic dance on the softened call of trumpets. The Trio sings apart, between the gay revels, in soft voices and slower pace, like ...
— Symphonies and Their Meaning; Third Series, Modern Symphonies • Philip H. Goepp

... the trees danced and quivered after her, smiling and darkening as she dimpled or was grave. The little whirlwinds of the gulches seized the leaves and danced with her too, the birches and aspens tossed their hands, and rising ever higher and wilder and more elf-like came the mocking ...
— The Claim Jumpers • Stewart Edward White

... act the part generally of a human limited providence, which is a better thing than fairy godmothers, or enchanted cats, or frogs under the bridge at the world's end, in which guise the gentle charities clothed themselves in the old elf fables, that were told, I truly believe, to be lived out in real doing, as much as the New Testament Parables were. And a great deal of the manifold responsibility that Mr. Dakie Thayne undertakes, as broker or agent in the concerns of ...
— The Other Girls • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... Wood of the Old Wives' Fables They glittered out of the grey, And with all the Armies of Elf-land I strove ...
— Poems • G.K. Chesterton

... danger, and being conscious of perfidy, now hated Hunter for his momentary suspicion. As he leaned over the insensible man, his light, bleary eyes gleaming with ferocious satisfaction, his lank, shambling figure, and yellow, matted hair hanging in elf locks round his sharp visage, he looked like an unclean bird of prey hovering over a carcase. And a carcase it was over which he bent his head; dead now to every honorable hope, worse than useless to his kind, a hunted outcast, a mass of decaying matter, kept alive only by the fiery hope ...
— Edward Barnett; a Neglected Child of South Carolina, Who Rose to Be a Peer of Great Britain,—and the Stormy Life of His Grandfather, Captain Williams • Tobias Aconite

... mother's toys; Or follow'd by their Bonne, in Norman cap, Affect to take their first-born to their lap— To gaze enraptured, think you, on a face, In which a husband's lineaments they trace? Smiling, to win the notice of their elf? No! but to draw the ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 365, March, 1846 • Various

... of the Wanderer were harsh as ever, but his red shock peruke, for such it proved, was laid aside, his sable elf-locks were trained, by a little of Joceline's assistance, into curls, and his fine black eyes shone from among the shade of these curls, and corresponded with the animated, though not handsome, character of the whole head. In his conversation, he had laid ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... any annoyance I may have thus inadvertently given. May I hope that in future they will recognise the distinction between severe language used in sober earnest, and the "words of unmeant bitterness," which Coleridge has alluded to in that lovely passage beginning "A little child, a limber elf"? If the writer will refer to that passage, or to the preface to "Fire, Famine, and Slaughter," he will find the distinction, for which I plead, far better drawn out than I could hope to do in any ...
— A Tangled Tale • Lewis Carroll

... night—a night in March—people who had stayed up late by their firesides, talking of their sons at the front or dozing over the Temps, heard a queer music in the streets below, like the horns of elf-land blowing. It came closer and louder, with a strange sing-song note in which ...
— The Soul of the War • Philip Gibbs

... things," she announced, calmly, crossing her dainty feet and gazing guilelessly at him. "I'm a witch, a Brownie, a sprite, an elf, a kobold, a pixie——" ...
— The Come Back • Carolyn Wells

... pleasant. The scent of the flowers and the grass possessed him. The sun was far from setting, and a young crescent moon was hovering high in the heavens, looking like a silver sickle against the blue. From the distant church came the sound of bells ringing for even-song, faint as horns of elf-land, through the still air. He felt that he would like to lie there always—just resting, and drinking in the beauty of ...
— Austin and His Friends • Frederic H. Balfour

... dayes of the Kyng Arthour, Of which that Britons speken greet honour, All was this land fulfild of fairye. The elf queene with hir joly compaignye Daunced ful ofte in many a greene mede. This was the olde opinion as I rede,— I speke of manye hundred yeres ago,— But now kan no man se none elves mo, For now the grete charitee ...
— The Evolution Of An English Town • Gordon Home

... hideous dwarf, Before Lord Richard stands, And, as he crossed and blessed himself, 'I fear not sign,' quoth the grisly elf, 'That is ...
— The Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... contemptible it,) a short-lived tyranny: Xenophon says "Fire burns only when we are near it; but a beautiful face burns and inflames, though at a distance: Plato calls beauty a privilege of nature: Theophrastus (arch fellow,) a silent cheat: Theocritus, (cunning elf,) a delightful prejudice; Carneades, a solitary kingdom, (which he doubtless would keep to himself): Domitian says that nothing is more grateful, (not even killing flies); Aristotle affirms that beauty is better than all the letters of recommendation in the world: ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 20, No. - 580, Supplemental Number • Various

... conquest in his face. And that dear little elf of a boy-what a voice! So bright and so arch too. Then the Miranda- she took all by surprise. I believe half the spectators took ...
— The Long Vacation • Charlotte M. Yonge

... stronger of the distance at which the first possessors of this island lived from the present time, is afforded by the stone heads of arrows which are very frequently picked up. The people call them Elf- bolts, and believe that the fairies shoot them at the cattle. They nearly resemble those which Mr. Banks has lately brought from the savage countries in the Pacifick Ocean, and must have been made by a nation to which the use ...
— A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland • Samuel Johnson

... had dreaded this child—the little black-haired elf that had seen him hiding. It had made him shiver to think of her—the small woodland demon, the devil's spy whose lisping treble might be distinct and loud enough to utter his death sentence. A thousand times he had wondered about her—thinking: "She is growing up. ...
— The Devil's Garden • W. B. Maxwell

... Mulu Ashreen Thirty Mulu nintau Thalateen Forty Mulu fula Arbae'in Fifty Mulu fula neentan Kumseen Sixty Mulu sebaa Setteen Seventy Mulu sebaa nintan Sebae'in. 374 Eighty Mulu nani T'aramana'een Ninety Mulu nani neentaan Tasa'een One hundred Kemi Mia One thousand Uli Elf ...
— An Account of Timbuctoo and Housa Territories in the Interior of Africa • Abd Salam Shabeeny

... of Night, thou spirit-elf, Rise up and bless. Help us to cleanse in holiness Show how to dress in saintliness Our weary selves, Expurge our deeds of earthiness Expunge desires of selfliness Rise up and bless ... This strong Soul dying in ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... like a bell To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf. Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades Past the near meadows, over the still stream, Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep In the next valley-glades: Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music:—do I ...
— The Hundred Best English Poems • Various

... his black eyes wide open, with slate in one hand, his pencil in the other, and the sandy kitten clinging to his shoulder (for Jan never lowered his chin to help her to balance herself), he looked more like some elf than a child ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... Middle Age. Like many another great poet, he put the final touch to the various literary forms that he found in cultivation. Thus his Knight's Tale, based upon Boccaccio's Teseide, is the best of English mediaeval romances. And yet the Rime of Sir Thopas, who goes seeking an elf queen for his mate, and is encountered by the giant Sir Olifaunt, burlesques these same romances with their impossible adventures and their tedious rambling descriptions. The tales of the prioress and the second nun are saints' legends. The Monk's Tale is a ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... little Man, and tiny Maid, Who love the Fairies in the glade, Who see them in the tangled grass The Gnomes and Brownies, as they pass, Who hear the Sprites from Elf-land call Go, frolic with these Brownies small, And join these merry sporting Elves, But ever be ...
— The Goblins' Christmas • Elizabeth Anderson

... beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laugh'd when I saw him, in spite of myself. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 217, December 24, 1853 • Various

... and thinner than we can See from the sea-betroth'd Venetian, Were all of ice, not made to overlast One supper, and betwixt two cowslips cast. A prettier hath not yet been told, So neat the glass was, and so feat the mould. A little spruce elf then (just of the set Of the French dancer or such marionette), Clad in a suit of rush, woven like a mat, A monkshood flow'r then serving for a hat; Under a cloak made of the Spider's loom: This fairy (with them, held a lusty groom) ...
— Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts • Rosalind Northcote

... did not hear him. thing in the world to him. Only while she passed did he see her as a gleam of colour, a gypsy elf poorly clad, her bare feet flashing beneath a short green skirt, a twig of rowan berries stuck carelessly into her black hair. Her face was pale. She had an ...
— The Little Minister • J.M. Barrie

... havril want?" Uncertain steps not long after sounded along the creaking passage; the door was opened, and presented to the impatient glance of the new proprietor the visage of the grumbling Gael. He was an old decrepit man, with bright ferocious eyes gleaming through his elf-locks. If he had succeeded in making a "swap" of his habiliments with any scarecrow south of the Tay, he would have had by far the best of the bargain, for his whole toilet consisted in a coarse ...
— Tales from Blackwood, Volume 7 • Various

... themselves, saying that a Venetian devil was travelling abroad in a German carriage. To describe the son of the Cup-Bearer himself would be a long story; suffice it to say that he seemed to us an ape or a parrot in a great peruke, which he liked to compare to the Golden Fleece, and we to elf-locks.19 At that time even if any one felt that the Polish costume was more comely than this aping of a foreign fashion, he kept silent, for the young men would have cried out that he was hindering culture, that he was checking progress, that he was a traitor. Such ...
— Pan Tadeusz • Adam Mickiewicz

... beautiful elf, Was the water clear as heaven, Did you weave a crown of flowers for yourself, ...
— A Legend of Old Persia and Other Poems • A. B. S. Tennyson

... of reply, the little lady, light as an elf, took me by the fingertips, and, gleefully skipping forward, piloted me through the mazes of her city until we came out into the great square fronting on the palace, which rose beyond it like a white ...
— Gulliver of Mars • Edwin L. Arnold

... sun nor winter weather May ever change sweet amaranthus' hue, So she though love and fortune join together, Will never leave to be both fair and true. And should I leave thee then, thou pretty elf? Nay, first let Damon ...
— Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles - Phillis - Licia • Thomas Lodge and Giles Fletcher

... take notice. akt|a (-ade, -at), to consider worthy, respect, notice; — sig, beware. akt|giva (-gav, -givit), to notice, pay attention. aktning (-en), respect. al (-en, -ar) alder. aldrig, never. alf (-en, -er), elf. all, (allt, alla), all. allena, (allen), alone. allenast, only. Allfader (-n), Father of All, Oden. alltfr, altogether too. alltid, always, forever. alltren, already. alltjmt, all the time, always. allts, thus. alltnog, enough. alltsedan, ...
— Fritiofs Saga • Esaias Tegner

... though; she hardly affected one like a child, I remember. Do you know," exclaimed Mr Powell, who clearly must have been, like many seamen, an industrious reader, "do you know what she looked like to me with those big eyes and something appealing in her whole expression. She looked like a forsaken elf. Captain Anthony had moved towards her to keep her away from my end of the table, where the tray was. I had never seen them so near to each other before, and it made a great contrast. It was wonderful, for, with his beard ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... olde dayes of the King Arthour, Of which that Britons speken greet honour, Al was this land fulfild of fayerye. The elf-queen, with hir joly companye, Daunced ful ofte in many a grene mede; This was the olde opinion, as I rede. But now can no man see none elves mo. For now the grete charitee and prayeres Of limitours ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... for what seemed a long time, trying to catch the undersong that thrilled through the forest, "the horns of elf-land faintly blowing," the hum such as bees at home make when late May sees the chestnut trees in flower. Here the song was a veritable psalm of life, in which every tree, bird, bush, and insect had its own part to play. It ...
— Morocco • S.L. Bensusan

... Robert, a boy on whom the same capacious brow as Janet's sat better than on the feminine creature. He was reading on, undisturbed by the pranks of three younger children, John Lucas, a lithe, wiry, restless elf of nine, with a brown face and black curly head, and Armine and Barbara, young persons of seven and six, on whom nature had been more beneficent in the matter of looks, for though brown was their prevailing ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... and, obviously, a most powerful ruffian. On his face he carried more than one large glazed cicatrix, that assisted the savage expression of malignity impressed by nature upon his features. And his matted black hair, with its elf locks, completed the picturesque effect of a face that proclaimed, in every lineament, a reckless abandonment to cruelty and ferocious passions. Maximilian himself, familiar as he was with the faces of military butchers in the dreadful ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... said to resemble the dulcet melody they played; while every delicate arpeggio, every rippling chord was muffled with a soft pressure of their hands ere the sound had time to become vehement. This elf-like harping continued for a short interval, during which the priests, gathering in a ring round a huge bronze font-shaped vessel hard by, dipped their flambeaux therein and suddenly ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... stately way of old, From the ears' drooping lobes On festivals and Lord's-day of the week, Show all too matron-sober for the cheek,— Which, now I look again, is perfect child, Or no—or no—'t is girlhood's very self, Moulded by some deep, mischief-ridden elf So meek, so maiden mild, But startling the close gazer with the sense Of passions forest-shy and ...
— Gloucester Moors and Other Poems • William Vaughn Moody

... joy attended the illumination; nor can I quite forget that child who, wilfully foregoing pleasure, stoops to "twopence coloured." With crimson lake (hark to the sound of it - crimson lake! - the horns of elf-land are not richer on the ear) - with crimson lake and Prussian blue a certain purple is to be compounded which, for cloaks especially, Titian could ...
— Memories and Portraits • Robert Louis Stevenson

... very word is like a bell To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well As she is famed to do, deceiving elf. Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades Past the near meadows, over the still stream, Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep In the next valley-glades: Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music:—do I ...
— The Golden Treasury - Of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language • Various

... slow to recognize a geist; his knees shook, and he dared not utter a word. The elf looked down upon him half displeased, yet ...
— Connor Magan's Luck and Other Stories • M. T. W.

... tale of elf and fairy did she tell the dying child, Till his eyes lost half their anguish, and his worn, wan features smiled; Tales herself had heard haphazard, caught amid the Babel roar, Lisped about by tiny gossips ...
— Poems Teachers Ask For, Book Two • Various

... least what they had expected! This was neither the blonde beauty of Maxwell's foretelling, nor the black-haired elf described by Mellicent. The first ...
— About Peggy Saville • Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey

... neckcloth, call'd a rope, Of robbing cure this elf; If so I'll write, without a trope, His dying ...
— Lover's Vows • Mrs. Inchbald

... were around the ships with some ten warriors in each. Still they came, shoals of them, like fish, with savages almost naked, the harbor smooth as glass, the grand tyee, or great chief of the tribes, standing erect shouting a welcome, with long elf-locks streaming down his back. Women and children now appeared in the canoes. That meant peace. The women were chattering like magpies; the men gurgling and spluttering their surprise at the white visitors. For safety's sake the guns of the two ships were pointed ...
— Vikings of the Pacific - The Adventures of the Explorers who Came from the West, Eastward • Agnes C. Laut

... if she were hovering in the air and might vanish, like a glimmering light, that comes we know not whence, and goes we know not whither. Beholding it, Hester was constrained to rush towards the child,—to pursue the little elf in the flight which she invariably began,—to snatch her to her bosom, with a close pressure and earnest kisses,—not so much from overflowing love, as to assure herself that Pearl was flesh and blood, and not utterly delusive. But Pearl's laugh, ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... something more deep and mysterious the feelings which then pervaded me might originate. Who can lie down on Elvir Hill without experiencing something of the sorcery of the place? Flee from Elvir Hill, young swain, or the maids of Elle will have power over you, and you will go elf-wild!—so say the Danes. I had unconsciously laid myself down upon haunted ground; and I am willing to imagine that what I then experienced was rather connected with the world of spirits and dreams than with what I actually saw and heard around me. Surely the elves and genii of the place were ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... "If an elf or a goblin come, smear his forehead with this salve, put it on his eyes, cense him with incense, and sign him frequently with the ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... Presidential address ('Journal of the Anthropological Institute,' May 1880, p. 451) remarks: "It appears from several papers of the Berlin Society as to the German 'high- fields' or 'heathen-fields' (Hochacker, and Heidenacker) that they correspond much in their situation on hills and wastes with the 'elf-furrows' of Scotland, which popular mythology accounts for by the story of the fields having been put under a Papal interdict, so that people took to cultivating the hills. There seems reason to ...
— The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the action of worms with • Charles Darwin

... carefully cleaned and disposed into short curls, or else set up on end, as is represented in old paintings, in a manner resembling that used by fine gentlemen of our own day, escaped in sable negligence from under a furred bonnet, and hung in elf-locks, which seemed strangers to the comb, over his rugged brows, and around his very singular and unprepossessing countenance. His keen, dark eyes were deep set beneath broad and shaggy eyebrows, and as they were usually bent on the ground, seemed as if they were themselves ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... stream rushing through hills and meadows; and then again, the splendid expanse dotted with proud three-masters and with countless islets. After a five hours' ride through rich valleys and splendid groves, I reached the town of Drammen, which lies on the shores of the sea and the river Storri Elf, and whose vicinity was announced by the beautiful country-houses ornamenting the approach ...
— Visit to Iceland - and the Scandinavian North • Ida Pfeiffer

... was like the tinkle of a little bell. It was a pretty sight,—the tiny woman, all white from cap to toe, standing in the full tide of sunbeams, bunches of honeysuckle and catalpa flowers, half as big as herself, in her arms, the elf-like face smiling out of them at the eagerness of her feathered darlings, darting and glancing and gleaming and humming about her, as if she had been a larger edition of themselves, and not of a different genus. She made me stand by her while this was going on, saying that the hummers were ...
— When Grandmamma Was New - The Story of a Virginia Childhood • Marion Harland

... fellow elf and I In circle dance do trip it round, And if we chance, by any eye There present, to be seen or found, Then if that they do speak or say, But mummes continue as they go,[1] Then night by night I them affright, With pinches, ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 82, May 24, 1851 • Various

... laverock climbs the golden steep: Marian is waiting: is Robin Hood asleep? Round the fairy grass-rings frolic elf and fay, In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break ...
— Modern British Poetry • Various

... two small wings doth fly, And, flying, carry on those wings yourself; Methinks I see you, looking from your eye, As tho' you thought the world a wicked elf. Offspring of summer! brimstone is thy foe; And when it kills ye, soon you lose your breath: They rob your honey; but don't let you go, Thou harmless victim of ambitious death! How sweet is honey! coming ...
— Poetic Sketches • Thomas Gent

... stream that, near the sea, Hides mony an elf and plum, And rives wi' fearful din the stanes, A ...
— The Book of Old English Ballads • George Wharton Edwards

... windows Of men I serve no more, The groaning of the old great wheels Thickened to a throttled roar; All buried things broke upwards; And peered from its retreat, Ugly and silent, like an elf, The secret ...
— A Cluster of Grapes - A Book of Twentieth Century Poetry • Various

... real elf—a most peculiar person. He was extremely small, thin, and wiry, about two and a half inches high, and his costume a cross between that of a student or professor and that of a miner, for on his bushy head was a miner's cap with ...
— Prince Lazybones and Other Stories • Mrs. W. J. Hays

... house, as he should do, Delighteth in no game or fellowship, Loves no good deeds, and hateth talk; But sitteth in a corner turning crabs, Or coughing o'er a warmed pot of ale. Backwinter th'other, that's his nown[123] sweet boy, Who like his father taketh in all points. An elf it is, compact of envious pride, A miscreant born for a plague to men; A monster that devoureth all he meets. Were but his father dead, so he would reign, Yea, he would go good-near to deal by him As Nebuchadnezzar's ungracious son, Foul Merodach[124], by his father dealt: ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition) • Various

... trips across the meadows, The weird, capricious elf! The buds unfold their perfumed cups For love of her sweet self; And silver-throated birds begin to tune their lyres, While wind-harps lend their ...
— The Upward Path - A Reader For Colored Children • Various

... of the prairie-schooner type, were from ten to a dozen wild-looking Mexicans, their straggling elf-locks crowned by high-peaked sombreros, and their serapes streaming out wildly about them, whipped into loose folds by the pace at which they rode. As Coyote Pete had said, there was little difficulty for any one who had seen ...
— The Border Boys Across the Frontier • Fremont B. Deering

... and wrath both burning. Here I shall only trace it in relation to ethics. But I need not remind the reader that the idea of this combination is indeed central in orthodox theology. For orthodox theology has specially insisted that Christ was not a being apart from God and man, like an elf, nor yet a being half human and half not, like a centaur, but both things at once and both things thoroughly, very man and very God. Now let me trace this notion ...
— Orthodoxy • G. K. Chesterton

... understanding. If he had been a man of weak or superstitious mind, unacquainted with life and the world, it is impossible to say what he might have imagined. Independently of this—strong-minded as he was—the impression made upon him by the elf-like sprites that ran about so busily, almost induced him, for a few moments, to surrender to the illusion that he stood among individuals who had little or no natural connection with man or the external world which he inhabited. ...
— Willy Reilly - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... hall mark of its author as surely as a Goya, a Daumier, a Velasquez, and a Mathew Maris, should be the unmistakable creations of those masters. This is not to speak of tricks and manners which lend themselves to that facile elf, the caricaturist, but of a certain individual way of seeing and feeling. A young poet once said of another and more popular poet: "Oh! yes, but be cuts no ice." And, when one came to think of it, he did not; a certain flabbiness of spirit, a lack of temperament, ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... back into the wood; for a wood is a palace with a million corridors that cross each other everywhere. I really had the feeling that I had seen the creative quality; which is supernatural. I had seen what Virgil calls the Old Man of the Forest: I had seen an elf. The trees thronged behind my path; I have never seen him again; and now I shall not see him, because ...
— Tremendous Trifles • G. K. Chesterton

... of love are brutal, bestial, and if one comes to think of it, grotesque! ... Oh! My poor child, what joking elf, what perverse sprite could have prompted the concluding words of your letter to me? I have made a collection of them, but out of love for you, I will not show them ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume IV (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... monks' eyes, though not in ours. There were Nixes in the streams, and Kobolds in the caves, and Tannhauser in the dark pine-glades, who hated the Christian man, and would lure him to his death. There were fair swan-maidens and elf-maidens; nay, dame Venus herself, and Herodias the dancer, with all their rout of revellers; who would tempt him to sin, and having made him sell his soul, destroy both body and soul in hell. There was Satan and all the devils, too, plotting to stop the Christian ...
— The Roman and the Teuton - A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge • Charles Kingsley

... chapters in literary history more fascinating than those which tell the story of Shelley at Oxford. We see him entering the hall of University College—a tall, shy stripling, bronzed with the September sun, with long elf-locks. He takes his seat by a stranger, and in a moment holds him spell-bound, while he talks of Plato, and Goethe, and Alfieri, of Italian poetry, and Greek philosophy. Mr. Hogg draws a curious sketch of Shelley at work in his ...
— Oxford • Andrew Lang

... whistled call Hearkens his ready ear, Scarcely waiting to hear; Silk locks, white feet, all Rush, like a furry elf Tumbling ...
— On the Tree Top • Clara Doty Bates

... room Classes B, C, and D have taken their young teachers in hand—Rukma, Preena, and Sanda. Of these Rukma (Radiance) has the clearest ideas about discipline; Preena (the Elf) knows best how to coax; and Sanda, excellent Mouse that she is, has the gift of patience. These three (who after all are only school-girls, continuing their own education with their Prema Sittie) are attempting to instruct the babies on the lines of organised ...
— Lotus Buds • Amy Carmichael



Words linked to "Elf" :   electromagnetic spectrum, faerie, folklore, leprechaun, sprite, fairy, radio frequency, fay, faery, sandman



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