Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LORELEI, by GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE LORELEI, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: At bacharach was a sorceress with flaxen locks
Last Line: With hair of the sunlight and with eyes of the sky.
Alternate Author Name(s): Kostrowitzky, Wilhelm Apollina
Subject(s): Sirens (mythology)

At Bacharach was a sorceress with flaxen locks
For love of whom the men around died in flocks

She was called to the tribunal at the bishop's manse
But because of her beauty he absolved her in advance

O beauteous Lorelei with eyes of jeweled smiles
From what magician have you learned your wiles

I am tired of living and mine eyes are accurst
Those who have beheld them, bishop, died of lusting thirst

Mine eyes are flames they are not sparkling jewels
Throw throw to the flames these devil's fuels

I flare in the flames O beauteous Lorelei
Let another condemn you you have bewitched me I

Bishop you jest pray I find the Virgin's breast
Send me to die with the Lord may you rest

My love has gone to a far-off coast
Send me to die for my love is lost

My heart is sore stricken indeed I must die
If I could behold myself it would glaze my eye

My heart is sore stricken since he went away
My heart is sore stricken from his parting day

The bishop summoned three lance-tall cavaliers
Take her to the convent with her insane tears

Go crazy Lora go Lora with trembling sight
You will be a sister robed in black and white

Then off they started all four on the way
The Lorelei besought them and her eyes were like the day

Cavaliers let me mount that distant height
Once more to glimpse my castle ere it pass fore'er from sight

Once more to behold myself mirrored in the flood
Then to the convent of maid- and widowhood

There her loosened locks in the wind waved high
And the cavaliers shouted Lorelei Lorelei

Below on the Rhine a slow skiff crawls
And my lover guides it he has seen me and he calls

My heart becomes calm again 'tis my lover mine
Then she leaned over and she fell into the Rhine

For seeing in the water the beauteous Lorelei
With hair of the sunlight and with eyes of the sky.

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