The Song Of The Siren

Marietta Holley 1836 (United States of America) – 1926

Oh, I am the siren, the siren of the sea,
The sea, the wondrous sea, that lies forevermore before;
I stand a fairy shape upon the shadow of a cliff
Where the water's drowsy ripple laps the phantom of a shore,
And, oh, so fair, so fair am I, I draw all hearts to me,
For I am the siren, the siren of the sea.

All the glory of my golden tresses gleams upon the air,
How it falls about my snowy shoulders, round and bare and white;
My lips are full of love as rounded grapes are full of wine,
And my eyes are large and languid, and full of dewy light;
Oh, I lure the idle landsmen many a league for love of me,
For I am the siren, the siren of the sea.

Sometimes they press so near that my breath is on their cheek,
And their eager hands can almost touch the glowing bowl I bear,
They can see the beaded froth, the ruby glitter of the wine,
Then I slip from their embraces like a breath of summer air;
Oh, I lightly, lightly glide away, they come no nigher me,
For I am the siren, the siren of the sea.

Sometimes I float along a-standing in a boat,
Before the ships becalmed, where dusky sailors stand,
And the helmsman drops his oar, and the lookout leaves his glass,
So I beckon them, and lure them, with the whiteness of my hand;
Oh, this the song I sing, well they listen unto me?
For I am the siren, the siren of the sea.

Would you from toil and labor flee,
Oh float ye out on this wonderful sea,
From islands of spice the zephyrs blow,
Swaying the galleys to and fro;
Silken sails and a balmy breeze
Shall waft you unto a perfect ease.

Fold your hands and rest, and rest,
The sun sails on from the east to the west,
The days will come, and the days will go,
What good can man for his labor show
In passionless peace, come float with me
Over the waves of this wonderful sea.

Would you forget, oh sorrowful soul,
Come and drink of this golden bowl,
With jewelled poppies about the rim,
Drink of the wine that flushes its brim,
And drown all your haunting memories there,
Your woe and your weary care.

Oh, I am the siren, the siren of the sea,
The sea, the wondrous sea, that lies forevermore before;
Oh, the mystic music ripples, how they break in rosy spray,
But the crystal wave will mock them, they will reach it
nevermore,
For it glides away, I glide away, they come no nigher me,
For I am the siren, the siren of the sea.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Marietta Holley

Marietta Holley was an American humorist who used satire to comment on US society and politics Her successful series of Samantha books feature the character of Samantha Allen a wise small-town woman or crackerbox philosopher who goes on adventures in urban America and Europe and her foolish husband Josiah Allen Holley was so skilled with satire and so popular that she was often compared to Mark Twain and Edgar Nye more…

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