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- THE waters purled, the waters swelled,--
- A fisher sat near by,
- And earnestly his line beheld
- With tranquil heart and eye;
- And while he sits and watches there,
- He sees the waves divide,
- And, lo! a maid, with glistening hair,
- Springs from the troubled tide.
- She sang to him, she spake to him,--
- "Why lur'st thou from below,
- In cruel mood, my tender brood,
- To die in day's fierce glow?
- Ah! didst thou know how sweetly there
- The little fishes dwell,
- Thou wouldst come down their lot to share,
- And be forever well.
- "Bathes not the smiling sun at night--
- The moon too--in the waves?
- Comes he not forth more fresh and bright
- From ocean's cooling caves?
- Canst thou unmoved that deep world see,
- That heaven of tranquil blue,
- Where thine own face is beconing thee
- Down to the eternal dew?
- The waters purled, the waters swelled,--
- They kissed his naked feet;
- His heart a nameless transport held,
- As if his love did greet.
- She spake to him, she sang to him;
- Then all with him was o'er,--
- Half drew she him, half sank he in,--
- he sank to rise no more.
- Goethe, (translated by Charles T. Brooks)
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