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.
 
Koesen
A Legend of Koesen Bridge
George Browning (1813?–1878)
 
LONG, long ago in Thüringen,
  Upon the Saale’s shore
A shepherd loved a shepherdess:
  His love was triéd sore;
For on the left bank he his flock        5
  Did tend, while on the right
Was hers,—but yet across the stream
  Their true love they did plight.
 
One day Count Rudolph riding by,
  It pleased him to command        10
His vassals here to build a bridge
  For his Thüringen land.
Soon was the work begun, huge stones
  Were lowered in the stream,
And the shepherd lad he danced to think        15
  Fulfilled might be his dream.
 
Though in the building of the bridge
  Full many a year had flown,
The love of that true, loving pair
  Had but intenser grown.        20
At length the road across the stream
  Was free; to yonder side
The shepherd drove his little flock,
  There to embrace his bride.
 
The shepherdess was eager too        25
  To meet her own true, love,
So towards the new-built bridge her flock
  She with a full heart drove,—
And on the bridge these lovers met,
  They vowed they ne’er would part,—        30
To seal their love then each one carved
  Upon the brink a heart.
 
Those lovers ’twain were soon relieved
  Of separation’s woe,
And their two flocks from that day forth,        35
  Together grazed below.
E’en to this day those hearts remain
  Carved there,—do not forget
In passing o’er the bridge to look—
  ’T is where those lovers met!        40
 
 
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