On the morning of his marriage to Effie, James, a Scottish farmer, is visited by a mesmerizing forest spirit - the Sylph. She flutters in the air around James, who is sleeping by the fireplace, and wakes him up with a kiss. James is enchanted by the Sylph and tries to catch her, but she disappears. When the guests arrive, so does the Sylph, but she is visible only to James. Madge, the witch, prophesizes that Effie is to have a different husband – Gurn; James chases her away. She leaves, harbouring resentment towards him. During the wedding the Sylph appears again and steals the wedding ring. Unable to resist her charms, James rushes after her, leaving the grief-stricken Effie behind.