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

Harz Mountains


By Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)

(See full text.)

SEE! in the May afternoon,

O’er the fresh short turf of the Hartz,

A youth, with the foot of youth,

Heine! thou climbest again.

Up, through the tall dark firs

Warming their heads in the sun,

Checkering the grass with their shade,—

Up, by the stream with its huge

Moss-hung boulders and thin

Musical water half hid,—

Up, o’er the rock-strewn slope,

With the sinking sun, and the air

Chill, and the shadows now

Long on the gray hillside,—

To the stone-roofed hut at the top.

Or, yet later, in watch

On the roof of the Brocken tower

Thou standest, gazing! to see

The broad red sun, over field,

Forest and city and spire

And mist-tracked stream of the wide,

Wide German land, going down

In a bank of vapors,—again

Standest! at nightfall, alone.

Or, next morning, with limbs

Rested by slumber, and heart

Freshened and light with the May,

O’er the gracious spurs coming down

Of the Lower Hartz, among oaks,

And beechen coverts, and copse

Of hazels green in whose depth

Ilse, the fairy transformed,

In a thousand water-breaks light

Pours her petulant youth,

Climbing the rock which juts

O’er the valley, the dizzily perched

Rock! to its Iron Cross

Once more thou cling’st; to the Cross

Clingest! with smiles, with a sigh.

Goethe, too, had been there.

In the long-past winter he came

To the frozen Hartz, with his soul

Passionate, eager, his youth

All in ferment;—but he

Destined to work and to live

Left it, and thou, alas!

Only to laugh and to die.