This is the legend of Loreley:
Deep in the Rhine Valley in Germany flows the twisting Rhine River. At the narrowest and deepest point of the river, across from the town St. Goar, lies the rock of the Loreley, a beautiful siren with a voice that could enchant sailors and lure them to their death in the turbulent waters surrounding the great rock. Loreley, however, was once a beautiful maiden who lived in the Rhine Valley.
The beautiful young Loreley believed that she was betrayed by her lover. Heartbroken and in despair, she stood upon the rock gazing at his castle, and then threw herself into the Rhine River where she was transformed into a siren.
The story of Loreley is a tragic one. Never again to walk the land, Loreley sits alone upon her rock, waiting for her lover to return. She sometimes appears as a mermaid, other times a beautiful woman. The song of Loreley, enchanting and magical, charms anyone who hears it, demanding from them the love she never received from her unfaithful lover.
This poem, written by Heinrich Heine in the early 1800s, is one of the most popular translations about the Loreley saga:
I wonder why I am so weary,
What’s making me so depressed,
It must be the tale, old and dreary,
That’s keeping my mind quite obsessed.
The air is cool, night is sinking,
And quietly is flowing the Rhine,
The tops of the mountains are blinking,
In purple-red sun-setting shine.
There’s sitting high up in the light,
A maiden so beautiful, fair,
Her jewels are glistening bright,
She combs her gold shimmering hair.
Her comb is of most precious gold,
She’s combing and singing so sweet,
Bewitching young fishers and old
Their hearts start to quiver and beat.
There’s man in his boat on the river,
He cannot but listen and stare,
A longing is making him shiver,
Look out, on the rock’s ledge, oh beware!
I fear there’s a crash, the boat sinking,
The man will be swallowed and gone,
And that with melodious singing
The Loreley will have done.