The Sea Witch sings
And hearts will break
And souls will tear
From flesh and bone
To dance within
The pounding foam
— from The Briar Rose
Who doesn’t love the lure of the morgen/morgan (Breton/Welsh water spirits)? Beautifully alluring, their song can lure one to a dark watery death… but still they call to us.
Morgan Le Fay, whose name is often connected to morgens, morgans, mari-morgans; was thought to be a supernatural being early on. Later works show her as human but still retaining her magic… an enchantress. Some tie her to the goddess Morrigan while others hold they are unrelated.
Then there are the Irish tales of the merrows (m is also for merrow), part of the fae, whose males are said to imprison the souls of drowned men in cages beneath the sea. The females, being the more attractive, lure young men beneath the waves where they are to live in an enchanted state.
The most famed of tales, that of The Little Mermaid, is quite a bit more tragic in its original version than what most people associate. In Hans Christian Anderson’s tale, her sisters give their hair in exchange for a knife for her to plunge into the heart of her prince, enabling her to regain her tail. It has a semi-happy ending though, as her love is so great she is unable to kill him. Throwing herself off the ship, she is to become of the air (in 300 years of servitude, mind you)… and yet we are still compelled.