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



By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

(From Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage)

THE CASTLED crag of Drachenfels

Frowns o’er the wide and winding Rhine,

Whose breast of waters broadly swells

Between the banks which bear the vine,

And hills all rich with blossomed trees,

And fields which promise corn and wine,

And scattered cities crowning these,

Whose far white walls along them shine,

Have strewed a scene, which I should see

With double joy wert thou with me.

And peasant-girls, with deep-blue eyes,

And hands which offer early flowers,

Walk smiling o’er this paradise;

Above, the frequent feudal towers

Through green leaves lift their walls of gray,

And many a rock which steeply lowers,

And noble arch in proud decay,

Look o’er this vale of vintage bowers;

But one thing want these banks of Rhine,—

Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!

I send the lilies given to me;

Though long before thy hand they touch

I know that they must withered be,

But yet reject them not as such;

For I have cherished them as dear,

Because they yet may meet thine eye,

And guide thy soul to mine even here,

When thou behold’st them drooping nigh,

And know’st them gathered by the Rhine,

And offered from my heart to thine!

The river nobly foams and flows,

The charm of this enchanted ground,

And all its thousand turns disclose

Some fresher beauty varying round:

The haughtiest breast its wish might bound

Through life to dwell delighted here;

Nor could on earth a spot be found

To nature and to me so dear,

Could thy dear eyes in following mine

Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine!