Legend of the siren lorelei

Above Coblentz, where the Rhine flows through hills covered with vineyards,
There is a steep rock, around which many a legend has been woven – the Lorelei Rock.
The boatman gazes up at its gigantic summit with awful reverence
When his boat glides over the waters at twilight.

Like chattering children the restless waves whisper round the rock,
Telling wonderful tales of its doings.
Above on its gray head, the legend relates that a beautiful but false nymph,
Clothed in white with a wreath of stars in her flowing hair,
Used to sit and sing sweet songs, until a sad tragedy drove her forever away.

Long, long ago, when night in her dark garment descended from the hills,
And her silent comrade, the pale moon,
Cast a silver bridge over the deep green steam, the soft voice of a woman was heard from the rock,
And a creature of divine beauty was seen on its summit.
Her copper locks flowed like a queenly mantle from her graceful shoulders,
Covering her snow white raiment so that her tenderly-formed body appeared like a cloud of light.

Woe to the boatman who passed the rock at the close of day!
As of old, men were fascinated by the heavenly song of the Grecian hero,
So was the unhappy voyager allured by this Being to sweet forgetfulness, his eyes, even his soul,
Would be dazzled, and he could no longer steer clear of reefs and cliffs,
And this beautiful siren only drew him to an early grave.

Forgetting all else, he would steer towards her,
Already dreaming of having reached her;
But the jealous waves would round his boat and at last dash him treacherously against the rocks.
The roaring waters of the Rhine would drown the cries of agony of the victim would never be seen again.

But the virgin to whom no one had ever approached,
Continued every night to sing soft and low,
Till darkness vanished in the first rays

of light,
And the great star of day drove the gray mists from the valley.

Ronald was a proud youth and the boldest warrior at the court of his father, the Palatinate Count.
He heard of this divine, enchanting creature,
And his heart burned with the desire to behold her.
Before having seen the waternymph,
He felt drawn to her by an irresistible power.
Under the pretence of hunting, he left the court,
And succeeded in getting an old sailor to row him to the rock.
Twilight was brooding over the valley of the Rhine when the boat approached the gigantic cliff;
The departing sun had long sunk below the mountains,
And now night was creeping on in silence;
The evening star was twinkling in the deep blue firmament.
Was it his protecting-angel who had placed it there as a warning to the deluded young man?

He gazed at it in rapture for some time,
Until a low cry from the old man at his side interrupted him.
“The Lorelei!” whispered he, startled, “do you see her – the enchantress?”
The only answer was a soft murmur which escaped from the youth.
With wide-open eyes he looked up and lo!, there she was.
Yes, this was she, this wonderful creature! A glorious picture in a dark frame.
Yes, that was her copper hair, and those were her flowing white garments.
She was hovering up above on the rocks combing her beautiful hair;
Rays of light surrounded her graceful head, revealing her charms in spite of the night and the distance,
And as he gazed, her lips opened,
And a song thrilled through the silence,
Soft and plaintive like the sweet notes of a nightingale on a still summer evening.
From her height she looked down into the hazy distance and cast at the youth

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Legend of the siren lorelei