Her beauty was her undoing. Lorelei was not
willfully seductive, but men could not resist
her charms, and she could not resist their
advances. She was bringing scandal and disgrace
to the respectable town of Bacharach-on-the-Rhine.
There was even talk that she must be a witch
or a woman possessed of the devil. The bishop,
however, would not hear of an execution without
due process, and he summoned her to his court.
His questions were at first stern and severe.
Her answers were simple and sincere.
The bishop's severity, his piety, and his
priesthood, however, did not prevail, and in
the end he pronounced her free of all guilt.
"I cannot continue like this!" she cried.
"My eyes are the destruction of every man who
looks into them. I have loved only one man,
and he abandoned me and left for a distant land.
Please let me die!"
But the good bishop could not bring himself to
pronounce a death sentence. Instead, he
proposed that she dedicate herself to God, and
called three knights to accompany her
to the convent. Arrangements were made forthwith,
and the three knights were soon underway with
their beautiful ward.
When their path led them past a high cliff
overlooking the Rhine, Lorelei had one last
request of her escorts. "Please," she said,
"let me climb the cliff and have one last look
into the Rhine." Unable to deny her this wish,
the three knights tethered their horses, and
the four of them climbed to the top of the cliff.
Standing at the edge of the precipice,
Lorelei said, "See that boat on the Rhine.
The boatman is my lover!" And with no further
warning, she jumped from the cliff into the Rhine.
The three knights also met their death there,
without a priest and without a grave.
Who is the singer of this song?
A boatman on the Rhine,
And we always hear the echo
Of the Three-Knight-Stone:
As though there were three of us.
Retold from the ballad "Lore Lay"
by Clemens Brentano (1801).
The spelling "Lorelei" was used by
poets Joseph von Eichendorff,
Heinrich Heine, and others.
Said by the artist Peter Pracownik....
Light and dark is where we walk through life...
It is the connection of dream time and waking
reality.. The power of the Earth Dragon is the
power within us that is closest to nature.....
Married to a Wood Sprite
Collected by Ellen Lagergren in 1932 (Swedish).
A charcoal burner was out in the woods working
his kilns. This was in Hartzberg Forest.
One evening a handsome woman appeared and talked
to him. She said that she had just arrived in the
area and wanted to go to Stripa but did not know
the way. She was easygoing and nice. He thought
that she could stay with him and help him with
the kilns. So she stayed with him for three years,
and they had three children. The youngest was
a girl, and the woman named her Snorvipa.
But she made the charcoal burner promise that
whenever he had been away someplace, he would
first knock on a certain tree, which she
pointed out to him, before coming home. He
should knock three times.
One day, however, he forgot. When he got to
the kilns, he saw her the way she really was.
She stood there stoking the kiln with her nose
and claws and damping the fire with her tail,
which she dipped in a bucket of water.
He got very frightened because he now understood
that he was living with a wood sprite. He did
not say anything to her but turned around and
went to an old Finn and asked him for advice.
The Finn said:
"Take her and the children with you on a sleigh
out on Lake Rasvaln. You must sit on the horse
yourself, but put the harness pins in loosely
so that you can kick them out with your heel.
Don't tie any tight knots in the harness,
everything must be loose. When you come to
the middle of the lake, ride away from them
and don't turn around until you get to the
Now the charcoal burner went back and knocked
on the tree as he usuaully did, and the she
was was a handsome woman once more. He brought
the horse and sleigh. He said that they were
going for a drive. He put her and the children
in the sleigh, and he mounted the horse.
When they got to the middle of the lake, seven
white wolves appeared on the ice. When she saw
them, and it dawned on her what he was going
to do, she begged for mercy for herself and
"If you don't have pity on me and the older
two, at least have pity on little Snorvipa.
If you are going to do what you are thinking of,
I am going to call my brother in Hartzberg,
my sister in Ringkalla, and my cousin in Stripa!"
But he rode away.
Then she called for help, and shots rained down
from all three mountains, and thundered like
cannonballs, hitting the ice behind him.
It was blue ice. But he rode away unscathed
because he had tied all the knots loosely.
The woman and her children, however, were
devoured by the wolves.