An ancient legend of the Rhine

I cannot divine what it meaneth,
This haunting nameless pain:
A tale of the bygone ages
Keeps brooding through my brain:

The faint air cools in the gloaming,
And peaceful flows the Rhine,
The thirsty summits are drinking
The sunset's flooding wine;

The loveliest maiden is sitting
High-throned in yon blue air,
Her golden jewels are shining,
She combs her golden hair;.

She combs with comb that is golden,
And sings a weird refrain
That steeps in a deadly enchantment
The listener's ravished brain:

The doomed in his drifting shallop,
Is tranced with the sad sweet tone,
He sees not the yawing breakers,
He sees but the maid alone:

The pitiless billwos engulf him!-
So perish sailor and bark;
And this, with her baleful singing,
Is the Lorelei's gruesome work.

Aus: A Tramp Abroad. Vol 1-2. Leibzig: Tauchnitz, 1880 Band I, Mark Twain 1880

Geschichten und Bilder rund um die Loreley

Loreley-Online, Stand: 02-04-2002, Dipl. Ing. (FH) Rudolf Reckenthäler