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


On the Drachenfels

By Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810–1876)

Translated by K. Freiligrath-Kroeker

HIGH stood I on the Drachenfels,

I bit my lip, my eye flashed proudly,

From cliff and crag with joyous yells

My pointer roused glad echoes loudly;

He flew before, he leapt, he ran,

As though some game he were pursuing,

But I looked forth, a joyful man,

The scene beneath me lost in viewing.

In luscious glory of its vine

Of purple and of yellow cluster,

I saw the Valley of the Rhine

Arch, like a goblet green of lustre;

A chalice rare!—Tradition dreams

Upon its brink on ruins hoary;

The wine that in the goblet beams,—

Love and romance, renowned in story!

Lo! how it sparkles! joust and fight!

Cheeks glow and flush, and hearts beat madly,

Helmet and casque are flashing bright,

And fresh fair wounds are trickling gladly;

While on yon turret pensive stands

To whom are lowered lance and crest;—

Wherefore am I thus strangely moved?

What sweet foreboding thrills my breast?