|The Wild Hunt: Aasgaardreien, 1872 , oil on canvas, Peter Nicolai Arbo|
Herla burly harlequin
a dog he has but then
so vast the earth o'er which they sped
so dark the night and dog that lead
so wild the huntsman Hellequin
Old Herla gave they up for dead
Old Herla and his men
©2014 GhostRiders, stephaniepope mythopoetry.com
#ohj #earth #harlequinn
1. One of the origins postulated for the modern harlequin is Hellequin, a stock character in French passion plays or commedia dell'art (see http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/comm/hd_comm.htm). Hellequin, a black-faced emissary of the devil, is said to have roamed the countryside with a group of demons chasing the damned souls of evil people to Hell. This is also the origin of the Dutch "Zwarte Piet". The physical appearance of Hellequin offers an explanation for the traditional colours of Harlequin's mask (red and black)
2. For the myth of King Herla see http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/huntsman.html#henderson
3. For The North American myth of The Ghost Riders see http://esoterx.com/2012/12/09/ghost-riders-in-the-sky-the-wild-hunt-and-the-eternal-stampede/. The following image of the wild hunt in the North American monomyth of the cowboy, "cowboy-as-poet" that is, was memorialized in song. Originally sung by Burl Ives in the 1940's, the song, "Ghostriders In the Sky" entered pop culture prominently displayed in various versions of the song. Here is one version sung by country western's, The Highwaymen. followed by a rendition sung by Johnny Cash alone.
4. The cowboy & horse motif morphs to the motorcycle rider thanks to Marvel comics and film. Here is a movie short displaying the transformation.