Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/152

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CHAPTER XVI.

AN ANCIENT LEGEND OF THE RHINE.

THE last legend reminds one of the "Lorelei"—a legend of the Rhine. There is a song called "The Lorelei."

Germany is rich in folk-songs, and the words and airs of several of them are peculiarly beautiful,—but "The Lorelei" is the people's favorite. I could not endure it at first but by and by it began to take hold of me, and now there is no tune which I like so well.

It is not possible that it is much known in America, else I should have heard it there. The fact that I never heard it there, is evidence that there are others in my country who have fared likewise; therefore, for the sake of these, I mean to print the words and the music in this chapter. And I will refresh the reader's memory by printing the legend of the Lorelei too. I have it by me in the "Legends of the Rhine," done into English by the wildly gifted Garnham, Bachelor of Arts. I print the legend partly to refresh my own memory, too, for I have never read it before.

THE LEGEND.

Lore, (two syllables,) was a water nymph who used to sit on a high rock called Ley or Lei (pronounced like our word lie) in the Rhine, and lure boatmen to destruction in a furious rapid which marred the channel at that spot. She so bewitched them with her plaintive songs and her wonderful beauty that they forgot everything else to gaze up at her,

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