Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Nibelunger’s Treasure

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

Rhine, the River

The Nibelunger’s Treasure

By Karl Simrock (1802–1876)

Translated by H. W. Dulcken

IT was an ancient monarch

Ruled where the Rhine doth flow,

And naught he loved so little

As sorrow, feud, and woe:

His warriors they were striving

For a treasure in the land;

In sooth they near had perished

Each by his brother’s hand.

Then spake he to the nobles:

“What boots this gold,” he said,

“If with the finder’s life-blood

The price thereof is paid?

The gold, to end the quarrel,

Cast to the Rhine away;

There lie the treasure hidden,

Till dawns the latest day!”

The proud ones took the treasure,

And cast it to the main;

I ween it all hath melted,

So long it there hath lain:

But, wedded to the waters

That long have o’er it rolled,

It clothes the swelling vineyards

With yellow gleam, like gold.

O, that each man were minded,

As thought this monarch good,

That never care might alter

His high, courageous mood!

Then deeply would we bury

Our sorrows in the Rhine,

And, glad of heart and grateful,

Would quaff his fiery wine.