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


Heidelberg, on the Terrace

By Walter Herries Pollock (1850–1926)

WE stood upon the castle’s height,

So full of old romances;

The moon above shone clear and bright,

And silvered all our fancies.

The Neckar murmured in its flow,

The woods with dew were weeping,

And, lighting up the depths below,

The quiet town seemed sleeping.

The battlements rose grim and still

In majesty before us,

And floating faintly up the hill

We heard a students’ chorus.

Inspired by the brimming cup,

Their words were wildly ringing;

They sang of love,—and I took up

The burden of their singing.

I spoke to you: in sweet surprise

A little while you hovered;

Then in the depths of those gray eyes

Your answer I discovered.

We vowed that while the Neckar’s flow

(How low the words were spoken!)

Ran undisturbed these towers below,

Our troth should rest unbroken.

Again beneath these walls I stand,

And here my footsteps linger,

Where once I pressed with loving hand

This token on your finger.

But now the well-loved view I see

Its old enchantment misses;

The evening breeze sighs back to me

The shadows of our kisses;

Untired still the Neckar flows

In the soft summer weather;

But last year’s leaves and last year’s vows

Have flown away together.