Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Holland: Rotterdam

To ——

By Thomas Hood (1799–1845)

Composed at Rotterdam

I GAZE upon a city,—

A city new and strange,

Down many a watery vista

My fancy takes a range;

From side to side I saunter,

And wonder where I am;

And can you be in England,

And I at Rotterdam?

Before me lie dark waters

In broad canals and deep,

Whereon the silver moonbeams

Sleep, restless in their sleep;

A sort of vulgar Venice

Reminds me where I am;

Yes, yes, you are in England,

And I ’m at Rotterdam.

Tall houses with quaint gables,

Where frequent windows shine,

And quays that lead to bridges

And trees in formal line,

And masts of spicy vessels

From western Surinam,

All tell me you ’re in England,

But I ’m in Rotterdam.

Those sailors, how outlandish

The face and form of each!

They deal in foreign gestures,

And use a foreign speech;

A tongue not learned near Isis,

Or studied by the Cam,

Declares that you ’re in England,

And I ’m at Rotterdam.

And now across a market

My doubtful way I trace,

Where stands a solemn statue,

The Genius of the place;

And to the great Erasmus

I offer my salaam;

Who tells me you ’re in England,

But I ’m at Rotterdam.

The coffee-room is open,—

I mingle in its crowd,—

The dominos are noisy,—

The hookahs raise a cloud;

The flavor now of Fearon’s,

That mingles with my dram,

Reminds me you ’re in England,

And I ’m at Rotterdam.

Then here it goes, a bumper,—

The toast it shall be mine.

In schiedam, or in sherry,

Tokay, or hock of Rhine;

It well deserves the brightest,

Where sunbeam ever swam,—

“The Girl I love in England”

I drink at Rotterdam!