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

Moselle (Mosel), the River

The Moselle

By Henry Glassford Bell (1803–1874)

AH! ’t is dying out in me,

The old fire of poesy,

Else my heart, though dark as night,

Would be filled with new delight

Thus to float, as in a dream,

Down this old heroic stream,

By whose banks Ausonius sung

In the dead Virgilian tongue,

Down from where the noiseless waves

Lap the solemn walls of Treves,

Down by hamlet, tower, and shrine,

Till at length the stately Rhine,

Like a bridegroom watching well,

Weds and bears thee off, Moselle!

Ah! ’t is dying out in me,

Else I feel that there would be

Kindled in my eager eye

A diviner ecstasy

By those hills o’er which heaven’s sign

Shone in fire to Constantine,—

Hills that swell to fairest shape,

Sun-touched peak, and wooded cape,

Jutting crag with crown of green,

Quietest valley spread between,

Where, if sense of awe be less,

Deeper grows the tenderness,

Deeper the delight to dwell

Where thou art, beloved Moselle!

Up and down the mightier Rhine

Castles rise and cities shine;

Thou, like some sweet rustic maid,

Half of thy own charms afraid,

Half unconscious of the grace

Heaven has showered upon thy face,

Wanderest at thy own pure will

Where the landscape lieth still,

Far from passion and from sin,

Hearing not the loud world’s din,

Knowing not that yonder Rhine

Soon shall mix his life with thine,

Soon like bridegroom watching well,

Wed and bear thee off, Moselle!