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


The Night-watch on the Drachenfels

By Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)

To Fritz von B——

Translated by E. A. Bowring

’T WAS midnight as we scaled the mountain height,

The woodpile ’neath the walls the flames devoured,

And as my joyous comrades round it cowered,

They sang of Germany’s renown in fight.

Her health we drank from Rhine-wine beakers bright,

The castle-spirit on the summit towered,

Dark forms of arméd knights around us lowered,

And women’s misty shapes appeared in sight.

And from the ruins there arose low moans,

Owls hooted, rattling sounds were heard, and groans;

A furious north-wind blustered fitfully.

Such was the night, my friend, that I did pass

On the high Drachenfels,—but I, alas,

A wretched cold and cough took home with me!