The Mummelsee.details

[Picture: The Mummelsee.]
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The Mummelsee.

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A group of water-nymphs bathe in the lake, with the stern figure of the ruler of the lake in the background.

At the southern end of the mountain-range which ascends from the Kniebis to the Hornisgründe lies on its very heights, right amidst sombre pines, a lovely lake, the Mummelsee. In its dark waters nymphs are seen bathing every night. But when the first sun-beams touch the high tree-tops the stern figure of the ruler of the lake, crowned with rushes, dives up to stop the merry game of the Undines, who at once vanish at his call and in day-time float on the water as fragrant white lilies.

In olden times these Undinas used to have intercourse [i.e. interaction, or dealings – Liam] with the people who lived in the wood, near the lake. On long winter evenings they would come with spindle and distaff to their spinning meetings and were always made welcome for bringing fine pearls from the bottom of the lake for the peasants.

Once one of these nymphs has fallen in love with a handsome young peasant and met him every night on the green reed-covered shore of the lake. for a long while they lived in clandestine happiness until one day the lad asked her whence she came and who her parents were? The maiden warned him not to question her on these things, as, if he persistedin learning her mystery, she would forever be lost to him.

His curiosity thereby only more nettled, he followed her one night to the shores of the lake and saw her plunging into its waters. At the very same moment he heard a heart-rending cry followed by a peal of thunder. the lake, previously quite calm, then showed higher waves covered with blood, and a wind rose in the woods. Horror-struck, the youth looked and called after his vanished companion but only heard a mocking laughter that seemed to come from the bottom of the lake. he now understood that his curiosity had brought death to his love and returned home in great grief. In vain he returned to the lake to call her name, and finally he became a monk who died in the monastery at Allerheiligen. (p. 14)



93 x 120mm (3.7 x 4.7 inches)

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