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
Rhenish Wine Song
Georg Herwegh (1817–1875)
 
Translated by A. Baskerville

WHERE such a fire still lives to fame,
Where such a wine still vomits flame,
There never shall the German’s name,
No, never cease to reign.
      A toast! a toast! the Rhine,        5
      And were ’t but for the wine,
E’er German shall remain.
 
Take down the musket from its stand,
Take up the rapier in the hand,
Whene’er the foe for Gallic land        10
Shall seek the Rhine to gain
      Strike, brothers, for the Rhine!
      Our ancient father Rhine
E’er German shall remain.
 
The right and left bank of thy wave,        15
How false it sounds! Thus speaks the knave.
No, not a drop, shall, like a slave,
E’er turn the Frenchman’s mill again!
      Drink, brothers, drink! the Rhine,
      And were ’t but for the wine,        20
E’er German shall remain.
 
Its grapes’ red blood ne’er grace his board,
Be ne’er by German maid adored
The man who will not wield his sword
To rout the hostile train.        25
      Charge, charge the battle-line!
      ’T is for the Rhine! The Rhine
E’er German shall remain.
 
O purest gold! O noble wine!
No hireling slave shall call thee “Mine!”        30
And would ye Franks behold the Rhine,
First hear our song’s refrain:
      Hurrah! Hurrah! The Rhine,
      And were ’t but for the wine,
E’er German shall remain.        35
 
 
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