Art is I; science is we. - Claude Bernard
The sea princess
Bathing his horse was a prince one fine day....
Round them the sea plashed. "Prince, look at me,
Whispered a voice, and the horse, in a fright,
Plunged, kicked and snorted, and tried to take flight.
"Come, prince," the voice said, "a king's child am I.
Come, my beloved, in my arms you shall lie!"
Out of the sea shows a hand white as milk,
Clutches it does at the bridle of silk.
Then does a maid's head emerge; in the hair
Seaweed is twined; drops of water like rare
Pearls on the neck gleam; the eyes, deep and blue,
Flame with a feverish passion and true.
"Wait!" the prince mutters. "Thou fair damsel, wait!"
Boldly his deft fingers grasp at her plait.
Holds he the maid, while despairingly she
Struggles and weeps and attempts to break free.
Deaf to her pleas and still gripping her tight,
Quickly for shore with the maid makes the knight.
"Ho, friends, come nigh!" to his comrades calls he.
"Look at the prize I have torn from the sea!
"Why do you stand there so still on the shore?
Have you not gazed on such beauty before?"
Back for a glance turns the prince - from his eye
Triumph fast fades and a horrified cry
Bursts from his lips - at his feet lies no pale
Maid but a monster whose green, scaly tail
Coils like a serpent's, and, coming unwound,
Trembles and shivers and twists on the ground.
Sea foam streams down o'er the white, anguished face;
Death's ashen pall shrouds the blue of the gaze;
Limp fingers clutch at the sand, and the weak
Lips muffled words of reproach softly speak....
Off rides the knight, dark of soul, dark of brow—
He would forget her, but does not know how.