The Watershed
Lines written between Munich and Verona
Black mountains pricked with pointed pine
   A melancholy sky.
Out-distanced was the German vine,
   The sterile fields lay high.
From swarthy Alps I travelled forth
Aloft; it was the north, the north;
   Bound for the Noon was I.
I seemed to breast the streams that day;
   I met, opposed, withstood
The northward rivers on their way,
   My heart against the flood—
My heart that pressed to rise and reach,
And felt the love of altering speech,
   Of frontiers, in its blood.
But O the unfolding South! the burst
   Of summer! O to see
Of all the southward brooks the first!
   The travelling heart went free
With endless streams; that strife was stopped;
And down a thousand vales I dropped,
   I flowed to Italy.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created April 8, 2001; not revised.