"St. Goar" [poem]
WE past a rock, whose bare front ever
Had borne the brunt of wind and weather; 1
And downwards by the Rhine we bore
Upon the village of St. Goar,
That, ʼmid the hills embosomed, lay
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Where the Rhine checked his onward way,
And lay the mighty crags between;
As if, enamoured of the scene,
He loved not on his way to wind,
And leave a scene so fair behind.
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For grim the chasm through whose cleft
The waters had a passage reft;
And gaunt the gorge that yawned before,
Through which, emerging, they must roar.
No marvel they should love to rest,
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And peaceful spread their placid breast,
Before in fury driving dread,
Tormented on their rocky bed;
Or flinging far their scattering spray
Oʼer the peaked rocks, that barred their way,—
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Wave upon wave at random tossed
Or in the giddy whirlpool lost, 2
And now are undisturbed sleeping,—
No more on rocks those billows beating
But, lightly laughing, laps the tide,
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Where stoop the vineyards to his side.