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Beneath these battlements, within those walls, Power dwelt amidst her passions; in proud state Each robber chief upheld his armed halls,
Doing his evil will, nor less elate
Than mightier heroes of a longer date.
What want these outlaws 10 conquerors should have?
Their hopes were not less warm,
full as brave.
their souls were
In their baronial feuds and single fields, What deeds of prowess unrecorded died! And Love, which lent a blazon to their shields. With emblems well devised by amorous pride, Through all the mail of iron hearts would glide; But still their flame was fierceness, and drew on Keen contest and destruction near allied, And many a tower for some fair mischief won, Saw the discoloured Rhine beneath its ruin run.
But Thou, exulting and abounding river! Making thy waves a blessing as they flow Through banks whose beauty would endure for ever Could man but leave thy bright creation so, Nor its fair promise from the surface mow With the sharp scythe of conflict, then to see Thy valley of sweet waters, were to know Earth paved like Heaven; and to seem such to me Even now what wants thy stream?-that it should Lethe be.
A thousand battles have assail'd thy banks, But these and half their fame have pass'd away, And Slaugther heap'd on high his weltering ranks; Their very graves are gone, and what are they? Thy tide wash'd down the blood of yesterday, And all was stainless, and on thy clear stream Glass'd with its dancing light the sunny ray; But o'er the blakened memory's blighting dream Thy waves would vainly roll, all sweeping as they
Thus Harold inly said, and pass'd along,
In glens which might have made even exile dear:
Joy was not always absent from his face,
But o'er it in such scenes would steal with transient.
Nor was all love shut from him, though his days
On such as smile upon us: the heart must Leap kindly back to kindness, though disgust Hath wean'd it from all worldlings: thus he felt, For there was soft remembrance, and sweet trust In one fond breast, to which his own would melt, And in its tenderer hour on that his bosom dwelt.
And he had learn'd to love, I know not why,
For this in such as him seems strange of mood,
Small power the nipp'd affections have to grow,
And there was one soft breast, as hath been said,
Still undivided, and cemented more
But this was firm, and from a foreign shore
Well to that heart might his these absent greetings
The castled crag of Drachenfels II
And peasant girls, with deep blue eyes,
Look o'er this vale of vintage-bowers;
But one thing want these banks of Rhine, Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!