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.
 
Rhine, the River
The Nibelunger’s Treasure
Karl Simrock (1802–1876)
 
Translated by H. W. Dulcken

IT was an ancient monarch
  Ruled where the Rhine doth flow,
And naught he loved so little
  As sorrow, feud, and woe:
His warriors they were striving        5
  For a treasure in the land;
In sooth they near had perished
  Each by his brother’s hand.
 
Then spake he to the nobles:
  “What boots this gold,” he said,        10
“If with the finder’s life-blood
  The price thereof is paid?
The gold, to end the quarrel,
  Cast to the Rhine away;
There lie the treasure hidden,        15
  Till dawns the latest day!”
 
The proud ones took the treasure,
  And cast it to the main;
I ween it all hath melted,
  So long it there hath lain:        20
But, wedded to the waters
  That long have o’er it rolled,
It clothes the swelling vineyards
  With yellow gleam, like gold.
 
O, that each man were minded,        25
  As thought this monarch good,
That never care might alter
  His high, courageous mood!
Then deeply would we bury
  Our sorrows in the Rhine,        30
And, glad of heart and grateful,
  Would quaff his fiery wine.
 
 
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