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

Isar (Iser), the River

To a Bavarian Girl

By Bayard Taylor (1825–1878)

THOU, Bavaria’s brown-eyed daughter,

Art a shape of joy,

Standing by the Isar’s water

With thy brother-boy;

In thy dream, with idle fingers

Threading through his curls,

On thy cheek the sun’s kiss lingers,

Rosiest of girls!

Woods of glossy oak are ringing

With the echoes bland,

While thy generous voice is singing

Songs of Fatherland,—

Songs, that by the Danube’s river

Sound on hills of vine,

And where waves in green light quiver,

Down the rushing Rhine.

Life, with all its hues and changes,

To thy heart doth lie

Like those dreamy Alpine ranges

In the southern sky;

Where in haze the clefts are hidden,

Which the foot should fear,

And the crags that fall unbidden

Startle not the ear.

Where the village maidens gather

At the fountain’s brim,

Or in sunny harvest-weather,

With the reapers trim;

Where the autumn fires are burning

On the vintage-hills;

Where the mossy wheels are turning

In the ancient mills;

Where from ruined robber-towers

Hangs the ivy’s hair,

And the crimson foxbell flowers

On the crumbling stair;—

Everywhere, without thy presence,

Would the sunshine fail,

Fairest of the maiden peasants!

Flower of Isar’s vale!