Siren Land by Norman Douglas

Siren Land

byNorman Douglas

Kobo ebook | July 30, 2013

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It was the Emperor Tiberius who startled his grammarians with the

question, what songs the Sirens sang? I suspect he knew more about the

matter than they did, for he was a Siren-worshipper all his life,

though fate did not allow him to indulge his genius till those last

few years which he spent among them on the rock-islet of Capri. The

grammarians, if they were prudent, doubtless referred him to Homer,

who has preserved a portion of their lay.


Whether Sirens of this true kind are in existence at the present day

is rather questionable, for the waste places of earth have been

reclaimed, and the sea's untrampled floor is examined and officially

reported upon. Not so long ago some such creatures were still found.

Jacobus Noierus relates that in 1403 a Siren was captured in the

Zuider Sea.  She was brought to Haarlem and, being naked, allowed

herself to be clothed; she learned to eat like a Dutchman; she could

spin thread and take pleasure in other maidenly occupations; she was

gentle and lived to a great age. But she never spoke. The honest

burghers had no knowledge of the language of the sea-folk to enable

them to teach her their own tongue, so she remained mute to the end of

her days--a circumstance to be regretted, since, excepting in the Arab

tale of "Julnar the Sea-born," little information has been handed down

to us regarding the conversational and domestic habits of mediaeval


Title:Siren LandFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:July 30, 2013Publisher:WDS PublishingLanguage:English

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