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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.


An Old Autumn Sunset at Heidelberg

By John Weiss

NEAR my window, rustling in the breeze,

Stand the autumn trees;

Golden sunlight from a depth of blue

Warms the earth of tawny hue,

And constant Nature calls to mind the time

I adored her in another clime.

O, those ripening hours by Neckar’s stream,

When I sat amid the gleam

Of purple vine-leaves drunken with the sun;

Gazing from some peak I won

Into valleys dropping brown, and deep

Where the shadows sleep

Among chestnuts and the cones of pine;

Looking at the tender line

Of misty hills in distant France,

As they tossed me back the glance

Of Nature’s vintage-maker, o’er the plain

Seemingly steeped in golden rain,

O’er the Rhine, and back to Neckar’s hills

Where the radiance fills

The thunder-riven clefts of tower and keep,

Battered rooms of queens upon the steep:

Thus restored, as if some olden day

Had left its princely sunset here to stay,

Since the princely chambers must decay.

See, the chasms are mended

With the vapor splendid,

Till they ’re solid for the ivy’s foot,

Seem new vantage for the harebell’s root.

O, that golden afternoon,

When unto the mountain-spur

Whence Tilly rained his murder down,

Floated up like gossamer

Above the sleepy, silent town,

That harvest tune!