"Andernacht" [essay]
Andernacht
What is it that makes the very heart leap within you
at the sight of a hills blue outline, that so aetheriallizes the
soul and ennobles the spirit that so raises you from the
56

earth an
f
d
from aught of the earth Ist it their apparent proximity
to the blue heavens inaccessibleness, is it the humbling sense
of your own littleness, or that immoveable unchangeable mag
nificence of th
e
at
pa which has seen the beginning of the world
and will see its end, or is it that the thoughts range insens‐
ibly from the things created to him who created them. I
know not How it thrilled through me when first, far away
across the lake like swell of the blue
deep
waters of that wondrous
river rose the cloudy outline of the blue mountains Long time
has past over me since I saw the swell of a blue hill I have
longed for them, I have yearned for them as an exile yearns
for his native land, and I am with them, —. We left Co‐
logne
on a misty summer morning, its many turreted spires
rising colossally but grey and faint amid the wreathing
columns of mist that smoked upward from the course
of the Broad Rhine. There was the huge cathedral, dark
with the confused richness of its own fretwork, and the
remains of its magnificent but unfinished tower 1 show‐
ing ruinlike beside it There were the red sails and
mingled masts of the innumerable shipping without
one sail swelling or a flag bending to the morning breeze
There was that peaceful and lovely lassitude over every
thing that sleep of the earth and the air and the
sky that charms the mind into a corresponding fascin‐
ation of stillness, the very thoughts seem at rest.
We went on we past Bonne and Godesberg, and
Drachenfels 2 and sunset was bending
sorrowing
over hill and
valley when the gloomy and venerable towrs of Ander‐
nacht
frowned over us. I love to look upon the crags that
Caesar has scaled, ont the towers that his legions hav
i
e
ng
founded.
The one is now as it was then, looking up to the broad blue heaven, the others
is
are
in ruins.— 3 Yet it
they
is here, mighty in its
their
ruin, and majestic in its
their

decay, but their Lords are departed and forgotten as the waves that then once
lashed their foundations, a Other s
n
h
ows have melted and the Rhine yet flows
onward unbroken but those waves are lost in the ocean for ever.—