Road trip to the lovely Rhine

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“The castled crag of Drachenfels
Frowns o’er the wide and winding Rhine,

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Whose breast of waters broadly swells
Between the banks which bear the vine,

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And hills all rich with blossom’d trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine,

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And scatter’d cities crowning these,
Whose far white walls along them shine,

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Have strew’d a scene, which I should see
With double joy wert thou with me.”

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The river nobly foams and flows,
The charm of this enchanted ground,
And all its thousand turns disclose
Some fresher beauty varying round:

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The haughtiest breast its wish might bound
Through life to dwell delighted here;
Nor could on earth a spot be found
To nature and to me so dear,

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Could thy dear eyes in following mine
Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine!

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By Coblentz, on a rise of gentle ground,
There is a small and simple pyramid,

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Crowning the summit of the verdant mound;
Beneath its base are heroes’ ashes hid,

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Adieu to thee, fair Rhine! How long delighted
The stranger fain would linger on his way!
Thine is a scene alike where souls united
Or lonely contemplation thus might stray;
And could the ceaseless vultures cease to prey
On self-condemning bosoms, it were here,
Where Nature, nor too sombre nor too gay,
Wild but not rude, awful yet not austere,
Is to the mellow Earth as Autumn to the year.”

(from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage by Lord Byron)

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