Farewell, farewell! Before our prow
Leaps in white foam the noisy channel;
A tourist's cap is on my brow,
My legs are cased in tourist's flannel:
Around me gasp the invalids—
(The quantity to-night is fearful)
I take a brace or so of weeds,
And feel (as yet) extremely cheerful.
The night wears on:—my thirst I quench
With one imperial pint of porter;
Then drop upon a casual bench—
(The bench is short, but I am shorter)—
Place 'neath my head the havre-sac
Which I have stored my little all in,
And sleep, though moist about the back,
Serenely in an old tarpaulin.
Bed at Ostend at 5 a.m.
Breakfast at 6, and train 6.30,
Tickets to Königswinter (mem.
The seats objectionably dirty).
And onward through those dreary flats
We move, with scanty space to sit on,
Flanked by stout girls with steeple hats,
And waists that paralyse a Briton;—
By many a tidy little town,
Where tidy little Fraus sit knitting,
(The men's pursuits are, lying down,
Smoking perennial pipes, and spitting;)
And doze, and execrate the heat,
And wonder how far off Cologne is,
And if we shall get aught to eat,
Till we get there, save raw polonies;
Until at last the 'grey old pile'
Is seen, is past, and three hours later
We're ordering steaks, and talking vile
Mock-German to an Austrian waiter.
On, on the vessel steals;
Round go the paddle wheels,
And now the tourist feels
As he should;
For king-like rolls the Rhine,
And the scenery's divine,
And the victuals and the wine
From every crag we pass 'll
Rise up some hoar old castle;
The hanging fir-groves tassel
And the vine her lithe arm stretches
O'er peasants singing catches—
And you'll make no end of sketches,
I should hope.
We've a nun here (called Therèse),
Two couriers out of place,
One Yankee with a face
Like a ferret's:
And three youths in scarlet caps
Drinking chocolate and schnapps—
A diet which perhaps
Has its merits.
And day again declines:
In shadow sleep the vines,
And the last ray through the pines
Then sinks behind yon ridge;
And the usual evening midge
Is settling on the bridge
Of my nose.
And keen's the air and cold,
And the sheep are in the fold,
And Night walks sable-stoled
Through the trees;
And on the silent river
The floating starbeams quiver;—
And now, the saints deliver
Us from fleas.
Avenues of broad white houses,
Basking in the noontide glare;—
Streets, which foot of traveller shrinks from,
As on hot plates shrinks the bear;—
Elsewhere lawns, and vistaed gardens,
Statues white, and cool arcades,
Where at eve the German warrior
Winks upon the German maids;—
Such is Munich:—broad and stately,
Rich of hue, and fair of form;
But, towards the end of August,