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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

The Steamer on the Rhine

By Henry Glassford Bell (1803–1874)

A Sketch

SOME sat in silence with a vacant air;

Some portly ladies slumbered here and there;

Five gentlemen drank beer; and other two

With greasy whiskers gobbled up a stew;

One read the “Times”; and one was on the rack

Because his trunk was left at Andernack;

The steward went about with cakes and ices,

And German sausages in dumpy slices;

Some pug-nosed dogs lay in some spinsters’ laps;

Some soldiers strutted in some odd-shaped caps;

Promiscuous groups, stretched listless ’neath the awning,

Were smoking, knitting, munching grapes, and yawning:

The breathing landscape swept in glory by,—

“When will they give us dinner?” was the cry;

Green summer smiled upon the vine-clad hills,—

The tourists counted up their little bills;

Old church, and older castle, lovely both,—

“Thank Heaven! at last they lay the tablecloth!”