This is the legend of the Lorelei, a German tale of a maiden who sits on a rock high above the water, only to
be seen at night. As the old story goes, the Lorelei was a maiden of a wondrous beauty who lived in the Rhine river. All day she would hide in the river so that no one could see her, but when night came she would climb to a high rock where she could be seen in the moonlight by all who passed by the river. There she would sit and sing, combing her beautiful golden hair.
This curious maiden had a wonderful power over all who listened to
her sweet singing. The shipmen and fishermen were so enchanted by her wondrous songs that they forgot to guide their boats, ships which would drifted about and were finally dashed to pieces on the rocks below the Lorelei. So many ere lost while listening to her songs, that a band of soldiers were sent to carry her off to the darkness. But when the soldiers neared the rock where the Lorelei sat singing he sad sweet melodies, they too were spellbound and could not move either. While the soldiers stood there, held by her magic spell, the Lorelei took off her sparking jewels and threw them into the river which began to rise. When the water had reached the top of the great rock, where she was standing, she jumped into a green chariot drawn by horses with white manes and vanished from the sight of the wondering soldiers who had come to seize her. The water flowed back where it had been:
This is one version of the legend of the Lorelei of Germany...
Another tale version of the Lorelei-
The Lorelei had one Knight that she loved best. He wanted to go to the war to win honor and glory for her sake. She begged him not to go. but he was determined to do so. A long time passed. No word came from the knight, and the maiden was very unhappy.
The people declared she had caused so many to be lost in the river by her wondrous singing that they brought her before the Magistrate. She flung herself at his feet and begged to die, for she loved the knight who had gone away.
The Magistrate listened to her story, and bade two knights take her to a convent where she would never be trouble anymore.
They crossed the river, and drew near a huge rock, which the Lorelei asked leave to climb and take a last look at her home.
The knights consented. As she reached the top of the rock, a ship came in sight. In it stood a knight, clad in complete armour. At once the maiden saw it was the knight who had gone to war and whom she mourned as dead. With joy she called to the knight as he stood in his ship far below her. He heard her wondrous voice calling to him, and paid no heed to his ship, which a carried swiftly away by the strong current of the river.
This was the end of the second version of the Lorelei-
There is a statue of the Lorelei that sits across the Rhine from the Sankt Goarshausen and soars some
120meters above the water line. After leaving Switzerland, the Rhine is at its narrowest and swiftest here. A very strong current and rocks below the waterline have caused many boat accidents. So the stretch is considered very dangerous for ships/boats until modern times too! On this rock is a huge erotic Lorelei Statue...
These legends date back to the 1200's and have many other versions of the Lorelei...
Heinrich Heine wrote a song about his famous maiden in 1822-
Heine's Lorelei Song~ Original version German
lch weiBB nicht, was soll es bedeuten,
DaBB ich so traurig bin,
Ein Marchen aus uralten Zeiten,
Das Kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.
Die Luft ist kuhl und es dunkelt,
Und ruhig flieBBt der Rhein;
Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt,
Die schonste Jungfrau sitzet
Dort oben wunderbar,
lhr gold'nes Geschmeide blitzet,
Sie Kammt ihr goldenes Hagr,
Sie Kammt es mit goldenem Kamme,
Und singt ein Lied dabei;
Das hat eine wundersame,
Gewalt' ge Melodei.
Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe,
Erqreift es mit wildem Weh;
Er Schaut nicht die Felsenriffe,
Er Schaut nur hinauf in die Hoh'.
lch glaube,die Wellen verschlingen
Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn,
Und das hat mit ihrem Singen,
Die Loreley getan
Note; I did the best I could on the translation for the German language on this Poem I hope that I did OK
Heine's Lorelei's Song-
I don't know what it may mean
That I am so sad;
A Tale from ancient times
I cannot get out of my mind.
The air is cool and 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 sifting
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 the boatman in his small boat
with unrestrained woe.
He does not look below to the rocky shoals
He only looks up at he heights.