The ages blaspheme
The people are weak
As in a dream
They evilly speak.
Their words in a clatter
Of meaningless sound
Without form or matter
O whither is fled thy changeling child
And by what witching craft?
It was the Eulenspiegel spake
And as he spake he laughed.
For well he knew that wrought it so,
The bitch and the changeling too
Are vanished away from the stormwinds’ play
And the stricken mother’s mew.
(Stevie Smith, Collected Poems, ‘Eulenspiegelei’)
Reading Stevie Smith’s Tender Only To One, I came upon ‘Eulenspiegelei’. It tells the story of a ‘changeling child’ who vanishes one stormy night, leaving her mother grieving at home.