Legends Every Child Should Know - H. W. Mabie

The Lorelei

I know not whence it rises,

This thought so full of woe:

But a tale of the times departed

Haunts me—and will not go.

The air is cool, and it darkens,

And calmly flows the Rhine;

The mountain peaks are sparkling

In the sunny evening-shine.

And yonder sits a maiden,

The fairest of the fair;

With gold is her garment glittering,

And she combs her golden hair.

With a golden comb she combs it,

And a wild song singeth she,

That melts the heart with a wondrous

And powerful melody.

The boatman feels his bosom

With a nameless longing move;

He sees not the gulfs before him,

His gaze is fixed above.

Till over boat and boatman

The Rhine's deep waters run;

And this with her magic singing

The Lorelei hath done!