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

Rhine, the River

The Rhine

By Bryan Waller Procter (1787–1874)

WE ’ve sailed through banks of green,

Where the wild waves fret and quiver,

And we ’ve down the Danube been,

The dark, deep, thundering river!

We ’ve threaded the Elbe and Rhone,

The Tiber and blood-dyed Seine,

And have watched where the blue Garonne

Goes laughing to meet the main:

But what is so lovely, what is so grand,

As the river that runs through Rhine-land?

On the Rhine-river were we born,

Midst its flowers and famous wines,

And we know that our country’s morn

With a treble-sweet aspect shines.

Let other lands boast their flowers,

Let other men dream wild dreams,

Let them hope they ’ve a land like ours,

And a stream, like our stream of streams:

Yet what is half so bright or so grand

As the river that runs through Rhine-land?

Are we smit by the blinding sun

That fell on our tender youth?

Do we, coward-like, shrink and shun

The thought-telling touch of Truth?

On our heads be the sin, then, set!

We ’ll bear all the shame divine:

But we ’ll never disown the debt

That we owe to our noble Rhine!

O, the Rhine! the Rhine! the broad and the grand,

Is the river that runs through Rhine-land!