Lyrics of the song The fountain of Salmacis (1971)

(Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks)
From a dense forest of tall dark pinewood,
Mount Ida rises like an island.
Within a hidden cave, nymphs had kept a child;
Hermaphroditus, son of gods, so afraid of their love.
As the dawn creeps up the sky
The hunter caught sight of a doe.
In desire for conquest,
He found himself within a glade he'd not beheld before.
Hermaphroditus:
"Where are you, my father?
Give wisdom to your son"
Narrator:
"Then he could go no farther
Now lost, the boy was guided by the sun"
And as his strength began to fail
He saw a shimmering lake.
A shadow in the dark green depths
Disturbed the strange tranquility.
Salmacis:
"The waters are disturbed
Some creature has been stirred"
Narrator:
"The waters are disturbed
Naiad queen Salmacis has been stirred"
As he rushed to quench his thirst,
A fountain spring appeared before him
And as his heated breath brushed through the cool mist,
A liquid voice called, "Son of gods, drink from my spring".
The water tasted strangely sweet.
Behind him the voice called again.
He turned and saw her, in a cloak of mist alone
And as he gazed, her eyes were filled with the darkness of the lake.
Salmacis:
"We shall be one
We shall be joined as one"
Narrator:
"She wanted them as one
Yet he had no desire to be one"
Hermaphroditus:
"Away from me cold-blooded woman
Your thirst is not mine"
Salmacis:
"Nothing will cause us to part
Hear me, O Gods"
Unearthly calm descended from the sky
And then their flesh and bones were strangely merged
Forever to be joined as one.
The creature crawled into the lake.
A fading voice was heard:
"And I beg, yes I beg that all who touch this spring
May share my fate"
Salmacis:
"We are the one
We are the one"
Narrator:
"The two are now made one,
Demi-god and nymph are now made one"
Both had given everything they had.
A lover's dream had been fulfilled at last,
Forever still beneath the lake.
THE FOUNTAIN OF SALMACIS
Hermaphrodite: a flower containing both male and female organs; a person or
animal of both sexes. The child Hermaphroditus was the son of Hermes and
Aphrodite, the result of a secret love affair. For this reason he was entrusted
to the nymphs of the isolated Mount Ida, who allowed him to grow up as a wild
creature of the woods. After his encounter with the water-nymph Salmacis, he
laid a curse upon the water. According to fable, all persons who bathed in the
water became hermaphrodites.

Official versions

Nursery Cryme (Album, 1971)
Position in record: 7
Time: 7:54

Three Sides Live [UK Edition] (Album, 1982)
Position in record: 12
Time: 8:15
Version: Live