May Be Described As A Series Of Glass-Enclosed Parlors
CLINGING TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE, One Against Each
And Every Bed-Chamber And Drawing-Room.
They are like long,
narrow, high-ceiled bird-cages hung against the building.
My room was a corner room, and had two of these things,
a north one and a west one.
From the north cage one looks up the Neckar gorge;
from the west one he looks down it. This last affords
the most extensive view, and it is one of the loveliest
that can be imagined, too. Out of a billowy upheaval of
vivid green foliage, a rifle-shot removed, rises the huge
ruin of Heidelberg Castle, [2. See Appendix B] with empty window
ivy-mailed battlements, moldering towers - the Lear of
inanimate nature - deserted, discrowned, beaten by the storms,
but royal still, and beautiful. It is a fine sight to see
the evening sunlight suddenly strike the leafy declivity
at the Castle's base and dash up it and drench it as with
a luminous spray, while the adjacent groves are in deep shadow.
Behind the Castle swells a great dome-shaped hill,
forest-clad, and beyond that a nobler and loftier one.
The Castle looks down upon the compact brown-roofed town;
and from the town two picturesque old bridges span
the river. Now the view broadens; through the gateway
of the sentinel headlands you gaze out over the wide
Rhine plain, which stretches away, softly and richly tinted,
grows gradually and dreamily indistinct, and finally melts
imperceptibly into the remote horizon.
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