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

Rhine, the River

Song of the Rhine

By From the German

Translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

FORTH rolled the Rhine-stream strong and deep

Beneath Helvetia’s Alpine steep,

And joined in youthful company

Its fellow-travellers to the sea.

In Germany embraced the Rhine,

The Neckar, the Mosel, the Lahu, and the Main,

And strengthened by each rushing tide,

Onward he marched in kingly pride.

But soon from his enfeebled grasp

The satraps of his power,

The current’s flowing veins unclasp,—

He moves in pride no more.

Forth the confederate waters broke

On that rebellious day,

And, bursting from their monarch’s yoke,

Each chose a separate way.

Wahl, Issel, Leck, and Wecht, all, all

Flowed sidewards o’er the land,

And a nameless brook, by Leyden’s wall,

The Rhine sank in the sand.