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Lorelei

by
 It is no night to drown in:
A full moon, river lapsing
Black beneath bland mirror-sheen,

The blue water-mists dropping
Scrim after scrim like fishnets
Though fishermen are sleeping,

The massive castle turrets
Doubling themselves in a glass
All stillness.
Yet these shapes float Up toward me, troubling the face Of quiet.
From the nadir They rise, their limbs ponderous With richness, hair heavier Than sculptured marble.
They sing Of a world more full and clear Than can be.
Sisters, your song Bears a burden too weighty For the whorled ear's listening Here, in a well-steered country, Under a balanced ruler.
Deranging by harmony Beyond the mundane order, Your voices lay siege.
You lodge On the pitched reefs of nightmare, Promising sure harborage; By day, descant from borders Of hebetude, from the ledge Also of high windows.
Worse Even than your maddening Song, your silence.
At the source Of your ice-hearted calling -- Drunkenness of the great depths.
O river, I see drifting Deep in your flux of silver Those great goddesses of peace.
Stone, stone, ferry me down there.

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