The Mermaid of Elsinore
He climbed it slowly and patiently,
gripping the slabs with stiff
slipping and falling
at last he stood
at the summit
and looked across...
...the whispering dark.
It seemed to him that he himself
was a creature of the sea,
a seal, a dolphin, or a sea lion
made human by some heartless magic,
magic like that which had given the
in the story that had made him cry
cry at the thought
of the little mermaid
with her prince in the big castle in
dancing the minuet
while at each moment
the white hot nails of the land
pierced her poor feet.
Text excerpted from:
"There are Doors"
by Gene Wolfe
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