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.
 
Biberich
The Rhine near Biberich
Thomas Gold Appleton (1812–1884)
 
O, THERE be isles within the Rhine,
Which cradle on their mother’s breast,
That breast that loves them all, and heaves
In music through their noonday rest;
 
And some there be, soft, green, and low,        5
That as the infant in its pillow
Nestles its drowsy head, so these
Hide half their brightness in the billow.
 
And others wear the scars of Time
Upon their bleak, ascending towers,        10
That fill the gazer’s eyes with tears,
Reverting to those sunnier hours,
 
When at the corselet’s vivid gleam
Blue eyes peeped forth from turret stair,
While jubilant the far-seen train        15
Waved Christ’s red banner through the air.
 
And still those shattered, ivied piles
Are nourished with romantic tears,
And phantoms in their own moonshine
Mock the old gleam of feudal spears.        20
 
Ay! all are fair; but one I love
So deeply it doth seem mine own,
For I have gazed upon its trees
Till they into my heart have grown.
 
I see it now, so meekly proud,        25
Steadfast amid the gliding water,
And proud as should be isle that is
Bower for a Duke’s preferréd daughter.
 
Therefore its columned sweep of trees
Have something of a courtly bearing,        30
And e’en its scented thickets wild
Their flowers coquettishly are wearing.
 
But sure no royal maiden’s foot
Ere pressed the pride of India’s loom
As this, so soft and colored fair,        35
With turfy slope and glossiest bloom.
 
It leaves the waves and glances wide
Its living carpet round the isle,
Enclosing in an emerald ring
The dove’s low song, the daisy’s smile.        40
 
 
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