The Rhine

William Lisle Bowles

'Twas morn, and beauteous on the mountain's brow
  (Hung with the clusters of the bending vine)
  Shone in the early light, when on the Rhine
We bounded, and the white waves round the prow
In murmurs parted:--varying as we go,
  Lo! the woods open, and the rocks retire,
  As some gray convent-wall or glistening spire
'Mid the bright landscape's track unfolding slow!
Here dark, with furrowed aspect, like Despair,
  Frowns the bleak cliff! There on the woodland's side
  The shadowy sunshine pours its streaming tide;
Whilst Hope, enchanted with the scene so fair,
Counts not the hours of a long summer's day,
Nor heeds how fast the prospect winds away.

In 1788, William Lisle Bowles left England on a journey around Europe to cure a broken heart. The parents of his fiancee had decided that Bowles did not have great prospects and broke off the engagement. Bowles traveled to the continent via Belgium then down the Rhine through Germany to Switzerland.

Main Location:

River Rhine, Germany