Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Germany
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII.  1876–79.
Rhine, the River
A Thought from the Rhine
Charles Kingsley (1819–1875)
I HEARD an eagle crying all alone
Above the vineyards through the summer night,
Among the skeletons of robber towers,—
The iron homes of iron-hearted lords,
Now crumbling back to ruin year by year,—        5
Because the ancient eyry of his race
Is trenched and walled by busy-handed men,
And all his forest-chace and woodland wild,
Wherefrom he fed his young with hare and roe,
Are trim with grapes, which swell from hour to hour        10
And toss their golden tendrils to the sun
For joy at their own riches: so, I thought,
The great devourers of the earth shall sit,
Idle and impotent, they know not why,
Down-staring from their barren height of state        15
On nations grown too wise to slay and slave,
The puppets of the few, while peaceful love
And fellow-help make glad the heart of earth,
With wonders which they fear and hate, as he
The eagle hates the vineyard slopes below.        20

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