The German Student’s Love-Song

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BY the rush of the Rhine's broad stream,
Down whose rapid tide
We sailed as in some sweet dream
Sitting side by side;
By the depth of its clear blue wave
And the vine-clad hills,
Which gazed on its heart and gave
Their tribute rills;

By the mountains, in purple shade,
And those valleys green
Where our bower of rest was made,
By the world unseen;
By the notes of the wild free bird,
Singing over-head
When nought else in the sunshine stirr'd
Round our flowery bed;

By these, and by Love's power divine,
I have no thought but what is thine!

By the glance of thy radiant eyes,
Where a glory shone
That was half of the summer skies
And half their own;
By the light and yet fervent hold
Of thy gentle hand,--
(As the woodbines the flowers enfold
With their tender band

By thy voice when it breathes in song,
And the echo given
By lips that to Earth belong,
Float up to Heaven;
By the gleams on thy silken hair
At the sunset hour,
And the breadth of they forehead fair
With its thoughtful power;

By these, and by Love's soul divine,
I have no hope but what is thine!

By the beauty and stilness round
When the lake's lone shore
Scarce echoed the pleasant sound
Of the distant oar;
By the moonlight which softly fell
On all objects near,
And thy whisper seemed like a spell
In thy Lover's ear;

By the dreams of the restless past,
And the hope that came
Like sunshine in shadow cast
With thy gentle name;
By the beat of thy good true heart
Where pure thoughts have birth;
By thy tears, when Fate bade us part,
And thy smiles of mirth;

By these, and by Love's power divine,
I have no hope but what is thine!

By the gloom of those holy fanes
Where the light stream'd through
Dim orange and purple panes
On the aisles below;
By the ruin'd and roofless wall
Of that castle high,
With its turrets so grey and tall
In the clear blue sky;

By beauty, because its light
Should thy portion be,
And whatever is fair and bright
Seems a part of thee;
And by darkness and blank decay,
Because they tell
What the world would be, THOU away,
Whom I love so well;

By these, and by Love's power divine,
My heart, my soul, my life, are thine!

© Caroline Norton