An antique story comes to me
And fills me with anxiety,
I wonder why I fear so much
What surely has no modern touch?
It is of Germany it speaks
One evening time; the mountain peaks
Are in the sun, but the old Rhine
Flows secretly and does not shine.
There, on a rock majestical,
A girl with smile equivocal
Painted, young and damned and fair
Sits and combs her yellow hair.
With a yellow comb she combs it,
Sings a song, and sometimes moans it,
That has a most pecular turn,
It makes the heart and belly burn.
The sailor sailing, hearing it
Falls at once into a fit,
He does not see the rocky race
His eyes are looking for a face.
The boat strikes hard, as she must do,
And down she goes, and she goes too.
This story brings me so much grief
I know not how to find relief.
Lurks there some meaning underneath?