"First Sketch of Andernach" [poem]
“First Sketch of ‘Andernach’” a
We have wound a weary way;
Twilightʼs mists are gathering grey.
Purple now the hills are showing;
Bright the western clouds are glowing.
Lashing on with giant force,
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Rolls the Rhine his sullen course;
Flash his waves with flamy red,
Eddying oʼer their basalt bed;—
Now with wide expanded breast,
Now between the hills compressed;
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Ever noble, ever free,
Flows his river majesty.
Now upon the evening skies
Andernacht₼s grey ruins rise,— 1
Memorials of the Roman power;— 2
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Buttress and battlement and tower,
Decaying, falling fast away,
The monuments of Cæsarʼs sway,—
In heaps together loosely thrown,—
The sculptured head, inscriptioned stone:
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Unguarded now the bridgeʼs length,
And failing fast its archesʼ strength;
The green sod in the moat is growing,
The cold wind in the chambers blowing,
And, flapping through the thin night air,
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The owl and bat, the tenants there.