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User comments for Lorelei (Meaning / History Only)
Loreli (Lorely) are mythological nymphs (mermaids) of the Rhine river in Germany who sang sweetly to lure the sailors to their deaths. The sailors would end up crashing on the rocks while entraced in the Loreli's song.
― Anonymous User
Translation of the famous German poem written in the early 1800s.
"The Lorelei" by Heinrich Heine
I don't know what it may signify
That I am so sad;
There's a tale from ancient times
That I can't get out of my mind.
The air is cool and the twilight is falling
and the Rhine is flowing quietly by;
the top of the mountain is glittering
in the evening sun.
The loveliest maiden is sitting
Up there, wondrous to tell.
Her golden jewelry sparkles
as she combs her golden hair
She combs it with a golden comb
and sings a song as she does,
A song with a peculiar,
It seizes upon the boatman in his small boat
With unrestrained woe;
He does not look below to the rocky shoals,
He only looks up at the heights.
If I'm not mistaken, the waters
Finally swallowed up fisher and boat;
And with her singing
The Lorelei did this.
Lorelei was a Siren, not a mythological nymph. Sirens were in fact described as very ugly, looking somewhat like a mutant seabird and nothing at all like a mermaid in the traditional sense. From a distance, their looks were appealing and their songs sweet, but up close their true appearances and voices were revealed, leaving the poor sailors nothing pleasant to drown to. [noted -ed]
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