Now - is that
a white figure? Yes. The plaintive song begins to well
forth and float away over meadow and river - the cross-bow
is slowly raised to position, a steady aim is taken,
the bolt flies straight to the mark - the figure sinks down,
still singing, the knight takes the wool out of his ears,
and recognizes the old ballad - too late! Ah, if he had
only not put the wool in his ears!
The Crusader went away to the wars again, and presently
fell in battle, fighting for the Cross. Tradition says
that during several centuries the spirit of the unfortunate
girl sang nightly from the cave at midnight, but the music
carried no curse with it; and although many listened
for the mysterious sounds, few were favored, since only
those could hear them who had never failed in a trust.
It is believed that the singing still continues, but it is
known that nobody has heard it during the present century.
An Ancient Legend of the Rhine
The last legend reminds one of the "Lorelei" - a legend
of the Rhine. There is a song called "The Lorelei."
Germany is rich in folk-songs, and the words and airs of
several of them are peculiarly beautiful - but "The Lorelei"
is the people's favorite.