The Water Man

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The Water Man (Slovene: Povodni mož) was the first Slovene ballad. It was written in the spring of 1826 by the Slovene Romantic poet France Prešeren and was a narration about Urška, a flirt from Ljubljana who ended up in the hands of a handsome man who happened to be a vodyanoy (povodni mož). The poem was based on a story from The Glory of Carniola about a dance at Old Square in Ljubljana in July 1547, when Urška Šefer was enchanted by a vodyanoy and pulled into the Ljubljanica. Prešeren wrote it due to his unfulfilled love for Zalika Dolenc. In the first publication of the poem, Urška was named Zalika. Later, in Prešeren's Poems (1847), she was named Urška.