The Mermaid

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The Mermaid  (1913) 
by Bernard Westermann
From Oriental Verses.

By the phosphorous gleam, by the pole star's beam,
By the wheel house lantern white,
I see her rise 'neath the star-set skies.
When the sea-mew cries.
By night.

She beckons and calls to her emerald halls,
She tuneth her living lyre.
And she melts away in the ocean spray
At the break of day.
In fire.

Black is her hair and her face is fair.
Like a corpse she is pale and cold.
And she beckons me to the deep, dark sea.
Boisterous and free.
And bold.

Sweetly she sings where the sea dirge rings.
Where the sands go creeping slow;

Houses of pearl bright flags unfurl.

Where the currents whirl
And flow.

Singeth she soft when the stars are aloft,
Singeth she loud in the gale;
When winds low winging, the waves are flinging,
I hear her singing.
And quail.

Come down to my realm, O thou man at the helm!
Come down unto us, cries she;
Riches we bring from the Islands of Spring,
To make you a king
Of the sea!

Glide and flow, glide and flow.
Come to my castles of gold below.

Mermaids are sleeping, sands are creeping.
Soft and slow, soft and slow.

Glide and flow, glide and flow.
Never a storm in our realm doth blow!
Kings of the earth sleep here below.
Soft and slow, soft and slow.