Symbolism in animal form. LION, EAGLE, WHALE, SIREN - THE SIREN
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In the sea are many wonders. The mermaid is like a
maiden to the waist, but otherwise she is exactly like a fish
with fins. This marvel dwells in dangerous places where
the water is shallow, and she sinks ships and works harm
thus. Merrily this maid sings, and she has many voices, —
many and shrill, — but they are all evil, for sailors forget
their steering because of her singing, and they slumber
and sleep and wake too late ; and the ships sink with the
confusion, and come up nevermore. Wise men and wary
know how to flee, and often escape with uncorrupted heart.
By this maiden of whom you have heard, this monster
half human and half fish, something is betokened.
Many men illustrate the meaning of this example : with-
out, they wear the skin of sheep ; within, they are wolves
wholly ; they speak piously, but wicked are their deeds ;
their deeds are all unlike what their mouths speak. Two-
fold they are in spirit, — they swear by the cross, by the
sun, and by the moon, and they lie both in their speech
and in their singing. They deceive thee then ; they destroy
thy goods with treachery and thy soul with lying.
Translated by M. H. S.