"Forth peeped out of the pool, with dark, glistening curls around her head, and an elf-smile in her eyes, the image of a little maid"
Water nymphs (1909)
Public DomainWater nymphs (1909) - Credit: Henrietta Ray

Adding to the pantheon of fairy folk to whom Pearl has already been compared, she now takes on the form of one of the elusive, mysterious water nymphs with which myth is so replete. These beings are typically depicted as alluring girls or young women who entice humans to join them in their watery homes. They are usually joyful creatures, fond of singing and dancing and, like Pearl, are impervious to insult and emotional pain. However, it is well to be wary of them: the Ancient Greeks warned against gazing upon your reflection in the water as the nymphs would pull it — and thereby your soul — down amongst them, leaving your body to perish.

A water nymph makes a leap towards her own reflection
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA water nymph makes a leap towards her own reflectiion