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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Rhine Wine
By Matthias Claudius (1740–1815)
 
Translation of Charles Timothy Brooks

WITH laurel wreathe the glass’s vintage mellow,
      And drink it gayly dry!
Through farthest Europe, know, my worthy fellow,
      For such in vain ye’ll try.
 
Nor Hungary nor Poland e’er could boast it;        5
      And as for Gallia’s vine,
Saint Veit the Ritter, if he choose, may toast it,—
      We Germans love the Rhine.
 
Our fatherland we thank for such a blessing,
      And many more beside;        10
And many more, though little show possessing,
      Well worth our love and pride.
 
Not everywhere the vine bedecks our border,
      As well the mountains show,
That harbor in their bosoms foul disorder;        15
      Not worth their room below.
 
Thuringia’s hills, for instance, are aspiring
      To rear a juice like wine;
But that is all; nor mirth nor song inspiring,
      It breathes not of the vine.        20
 
And other hills, with buried treasures glowing,
      For wine are far too cold;
Though iron ores and cobalt there are growing,
      And ’chance some paltry gold.
 
The Rhine,—the Rhine,—there grow the gay plantations!        25
      Oh, hallowed be the Rhine!
Upon his banks are brewed the rich potations
      Of this consoling wine.
 
Drink to the Rhine! and every coming morrow
      Be mirth and music thine!        30
And when we meet a child of care and sorrow,
      We’ll send him to the Rhine.
 
 
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