The Rhine and the Moselle

As the glory of the sun,
When the dismal night is done,
Leaps upward in the summer-blue to shine,
So gloriously flows
From his cradle in the snows
The king of all the river floods – the Rhine.

As a mailed and sceptred king
Sweeps onwards triumphing,
With waves of helmets flashing in his line,
As a drinker past control
With the red wine on his soul,
So flashes through his vintages – the Rhine.

As a lady who would speak
What is written on her cheek,
If her heart would give her tongue the leave to tell;
Who fears and follows still,
And dares not trust her will,
So follows all her windings – the Moselle.

Like the silence that is broken,
When the wished-for word is spoken,
And the heart hath a home where it may dwell;
Like the sense of sudden bliss,
And the first long loving kiss
Is the meeting of the Rhine and the Moselle.

Like the two lives that are blended
When the loneliness is ended,
The loneliness each heart hath known so well;
Like the sun and moon together
In a sky of splendid weather,
Is the marriage of the Rhine and the Moselle.

(Edwin Arnold)


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