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


In Port

By Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)

  • Translated by C. G. Leland
  • The Rathhaus, in the Market-place, has the side facing the Dom of beautiful Gothic…. In a particular compartment of the cellars beneath it, shown only by permission of the burgomaster, are casks called the Rose, and the Twelve Apostles, filled with fine hock, some of it a century and a half old.—Murray’s Hand-Book, Northern Germany,

  • HAPPY the man who is safe in his haven,

    And has left far behind the sea and its sorrows,

    And now so warm and calmly sits

    In the cosey Town-Cellar of Bremen.

    O, how the world so homelike and sweetly

    In the wine-cup again is mirrored,

    And how the wavering microcosmos

    Sunnily flows through the thirstiest heart!

    All things I see in the glass,—

    Ancient and modern histories by myriads,

    Grecian and Ottoman, Hegel and Gans,

    Forests of citron, and watches patrolling,

    Berlin, and Schilda, and Tunis, and Hamburg,

    But above all the form of the loved one,

    An angel’s head on a Rhine-wine-gold ground.

    O, how fair! how fair art thou, beloved!

    Thou art as fair as roses!

    Not like the roses of Shiraz,

    The brides of the nightingale, sung by old Hafiz!

    Not like the rose of Sharon,

    Holily blushing and hallowed by prophets;

    Thou art like the Rose in the cellar of Bremen!

    That is the Rose of Roses:

    The older she grows, the sweeter she blossoms,

    And her heavenly perfume has made me happy,

    It has inspired me,—has made me tipsy;

    And were I not held by the shoulder fast

    By the Town-Cellar Master of Bremen,

    I had gone rolling over!

    The noble soul! we sat there together,

    And drank, too, like brothers,

    Discoursing of lofty, mysterious matters,

    Sighing and sinking in solemn embraces.

    He made me a convert to Love’s holy doctrine;

    I drank to the health of my bitterest enemy,

    And I forgave the worst of all poets,

    As I myself some day shall be forgiven!