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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Siren
Bestiaries and Lapidaries
Guillaume le Clerc de Normandie (Thirteenth Century)
 
THE SIREN is a monster of strange fashion, for from the waist up it is the most beautiful thing in the world, formed in the shape of a woman. The rest of the body is like a fish or a bird. So sweetly and beautifully does she sing that they who go sailing over the sea, as soon as they hear the song, cannot keep from going towards her. Entranced by the music, they fall asleep in their boat, and are killed by the siren before they can utter a cry. 1  1
 
Note 1. References to the siren are innumerable; the most famous perhaps is Heine’s ‘Lorelei.’ Cf. also Dante, ‘Purgatorio,’ xix. 19–20. [back]
 
 
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