"I met the Love-Talker one eve in the glen,
He was handsomer than any of our handsome young men,
His eyes were blacker than the sloe, his voice sweeter far
Than the crooning of old Kevin’s pipes beyond in Coolnagar.
I was bound for the milking with a heart fair and free—
My grief! my grief! that bitter hour drained the life from me;
I thought him human lover, though his lips on mine were cold,
And the breath of death blew keen on me within his hold."
Call him demon lover, incubus, vampire, bad boy. The Love Talker is scattered through literature and folklore, dangerous and seductive, ultimately destroying the life and/or happiness of the woman who trusts him.
He might appear to a young woman and make her fall in love with him with a single kiss. He might meet her several times, become her lover. He can promise the moon - true love, fidelity, protection, boundless wealth - or simply sensual delights beyond his victim's wildest experience.
Every woman wants him but none can have him, making the woman who can finally win his love better, more special, than all other women. This is perhaps the most seductive lure of all.
"I might have had a king’s daughter,
And she would have married me;
But I forsook her golden crown,
And for the love of thee."
Inevitably, it ends in loss. He always leaves her to wither away and die. Should she dare to go on without him, however, or worse, recover and love again, he will not hesitate to come back and destroy her new life. He will even go so far as to kill her. (Is it comforting or scary to know that stalkers aren't a new phenomenon?)
"‘O whaten a mountain is yon,’ she said,
‘All so dreary wi frost and snow?’
‘O yon is the mountain of hell,’ he cried,
‘Where you and I will go.’
He strack the tap-mast wi his hand,
The fore-mast wi his knee,
And he brake that gallant ship in twain,
And sank her in the sea."
Or to put it in modern terms:
"Your love is like a tidal wave
Spinnin' over my head
Drownin' me in your promises
Better left unsaid
You're the right kind of sinner to release my inner fantasies
The invincible winner, and you know that you were born to be
You're a heartbreaker, dreammaker,
Love-taker, don't you mess around with me
Your love has set my soul on fire
Burnin' outta control
You taught me the ways of desire
Now it's takin' its toll"
Book: The Love-Talker, Ethna Carbery
Music: Heartbreaker, Pat Benatar