Once upon the ocean dreary, while I wandered, weak and weary,
On the creaking and the squeaking deck of my sailing yacht Lenore —
While I stumbled, nearly crashing, suddenly there came a splashing,
As of someone gently splashing, splashing near the yacht Lenore.
“Tis some flopping fish,” I muttered, “splashing near my yacht
Only a fish and nothing more.

Since my hearing is in error, it was a forgotten terror
That led my lonely crew to sail towards the far and rocky shore.
As I stopped my ears were tingling, seemed to me I heard some singing,
As of someone gently singing, singing on the distant shore.
Tis a siren that led my crew to fling themselves overboard.
My crew has drowned and is no more.

As I brought the yacht to linger, I dimly saw with outstretched finger
A slender fairy form singing, lulling on the moonlit shore.
As I stared with my mouth open, my lovesick heart soon was hopin’
To have her close to beholden, to have, to hold ever more.
Tis a shame she did not see me staring from my yacht Lenore.
I made a wish and nothing more.

Dreaming love without dimension, I was drawn to her attention
As she slipped quietly into the sea swimming to my Lenore.
When she came out from the water, she fell into arms that caught her.
Standing again with this daughter, I could see her eyes implore.
So I raised those lips to mine and kissed what no man kissed before.
I did her kiss and nothing more.

Though her knowledge seemed so meager, yet I felt she was so eager
As I kissed enchanting mermaid, my green and silver paramour.
When our kiss at last was broken, she gazed at me, words unspoken
Words that seemed only a token to the feelings my heart bore.
So we embraced, kissing deeper as we lay upon the floor.
She did me kiss and something more.

At the ending of those kisses that took me to heav’nly blisses,
I still dreamed the empassioned tender visions on the wooden floor.
When my eyes at last were open, I saw what I was agropin’
A slimy scaled form more loathen not as lovely as before,
By my side with heaving breathing and cold flesh for ever more.
I had a fish and nothing more.