Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Germany
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII.  1876–79.
 
Moselle (Mosel), the River
The Moselle
Henry Glassford Bell (1803–1874)
 
AH! ’t is dying out in me,
The old fire of poesy,
Else my heart, though dark as night,
Would be filled with new delight
Thus to float, as in a dream,        5
Down this old heroic stream,
By whose banks Ausonius sung
In the dead Virgilian tongue,
Down from where the noiseless waves
Lap the solemn walls of Treves,        10
Down by hamlet, tower, and shrine,
Till at length the stately Rhine,
Like a bridegroom watching well,
Weds and bears thee off, Moselle!
 
Ah! ’t is dying out in me,        15
Else I feel that there would be
Kindled in my eager eye
A diviner ecstasy
By those hills o’er which heaven’s sign
Shone in fire to Constantine,—        20
Hills that swell to fairest shape,
Sun-touched peak, and wooded cape,
Jutting crag with crown of green,
Quietest valley spread between,
Where, if sense of awe be less,        25
Deeper grows the tenderness,
Deeper the delight to dwell
Where thou art, beloved Moselle!
 
Up and down the mightier Rhine
Castles rise and cities shine;        30
Thou, like some sweet rustic maid,
Half of thy own charms afraid,
Half unconscious of the grace
Heaven has showered upon thy face,
Wanderest at thy own pure will        35
Where the landscape lieth still,
Far from passion and from sin,
Hearing not the loud world’s din,
Knowing not that yonder Rhine
Soon shall mix his life with thine,        40
Soon like bridegroom watching well,
Wed and bear thee off, Moselle!
 
 
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