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:: MERMAID POETRY ::

For centuries, legends of these mysterious sea people have inspired authors to pen beautiful poetry about them. Below is a collection of some of my favorites.



LORELEY

I do not know what haunts me,
What saddened my mind all day;
An age-old tale confounds me,
A spell I cannot allay.

The air is cool and in twilight
The Rhine's dark waters flow;
The peak of the mountain in highlight
Reflects the evening glow.

There sits a lovely maiden
Above so wondrous fair,
With shining jewels laden,
She combs her golden hair.

It falls through her comb in a shower,
And over the valley rings
A song of mysterious power
That lovely maiden sings.

The boatman in his small skiff
Is seized by a turbulent love,
No longer he marks where the cliff is,
He looks to the mountain above.

I think the waves must fling him
Against the reefs nearby,
And that did with her singing
The lovely Loreley.

- Author Unknown -




SHAKESPEARE'S MERMAIDS
(Exerpts from plays by William Shakespere)

OBERON:

My gentle Puck, come hither.
Thou rememberest since
Once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music?

A Midsummer Night's Dream -excerpt-

~~~


ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE:

O, train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note,
To drown me in thy sister's flood of tears.
Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote;
Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
And as a bed I'll take them and there lie,
And in that glorious supposition think
He gains by death that hath such means to die;
Let Love, being light, be drowned if she sink!

Comedy of Errors -excerpt-



MERMAID

Leagues, leagues over the sea I sail
Couched on a wallowing dolphin's tail.

The sky is on fire, the waves a-sheen,
I dabble my foot in the billows green.

In a sea-weed hat on the rocks I sit,
where tern and sea-mew glide and beat,
and where dark shadows the cormorants meet.

In caverns cool when the tide's a wash,
I sound my conch to the watery splash.

From out their grottos at evenings beam,
the mermaids swim with locks agleam.

- Walter De La Mare -




THE MERMAN

Who would be A merman bold,
Sitting alone, Singing alone
Under the sea, With a crown of gold,
On a throne?

I would be a merman bold,
I would sit and sing the whole of the day;
I would fill the sea-halls with a voice of power;
But at night I would roam abroad and play
With the mermaids in and out of the rocks,
Dressing their hair with the white sea-flower;
And holding them back by their flowing locks
I would kiss them often under the sea,
And kiss them again till they kiss'd me
Laughingly, laughingly;
And then we would wander away, away,
o the pale-green sea-groves straight and high,
Chasing each other merrily.

There would be neither moon nor star;
But the wave would make music above us afar-
Low thunder and light in the magic night-
Neither moon nor star.
We would call aloud in the dreamy dells,
Call to each other and whoop and cry
All night, merrily, merrily.

They would pelt me with starry spangles and shells,
Laughing and clapping their hands between,
All night, merrily, merrily,
But I would throw to them back in mine
Turkis and agate and almondine;
Then leaping out upon them unseen

I would kiss them often under the sea,
And kiss them again till they kiss'd me
Laughingly, laughingly.
0, what a happy life were mine
Under the hollow-hung ocean green!
Soft are the moss-beds under the sea;
We would live merrily, merrily.

- Alfred Lord Tennyson -