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IN the market-place of Bruges stands the belfry old and brown;

Thrice consumed and thrice rebuilded, still it watches o’er the town.

As the summer mom was breaking, on that lofty tower I stood

And the world threw off the darkness, like the weeds of widowhood.

Thick with towns and hamlets studded, and with streams and vapors gray, 7

Like a shield embossed with silver, round and vast the landscape lay.

At my feet the city slumbered. From its chimneys, here and there,

Wreaths of snow-white smoke, ascending, vanished, ghostlike, into air.

Not a sound rose from the city at that early morning hour,
But I heard a heart of iron beating in the ancient tower.

From their nests beneath the rafters sang the swallows wild and high;

And the world, beneath me sleeping, seemed more distant than the sky.

Then most musical and solemn, bringing back the olden times,

With their strange, unearthly changes rang the melancholy chimes,

Like the psalms from some old cloister, when the nuns sing in the choir;

And the great bell tolled among them, like the chanting of a friar.

Visions of the days departed, shadowy phantoms filled my brain;

They who live in history only seemed to walk the earth again; .

All the Foresters of Flanders, — mighty Baldwin Bras de Fer,

Lyderick du Bucq and Cressy, Philip, Guy de Dampierre.

I beheld the pageants splendid, that adorned those days of old;

Stately dames, like queens attendedfknights who bore the Fleece of Gold; .

. I

Lombard and Venetian merchants with deep-laden argosies;

Ministers from twenty nations; more than royal pomp and ease.

I beheld proud Maximilian, kneeling humbly on the

ground; , I beheld the gentle Mary, hunting with her hawk and bound;

And her lighted bridal-chamber, where a duke slept with the queen, And the armed guard around them, and the sword unsheathed between. Longfellow. I. 15

I beheld the Flemish weavers, with Namur and Juliers bold

Marching homeward from the bloody battle of the Spurs of Gold;

Saw the fight at Minnewater, saw the White Hoods moving west,

Saw great Artevelde victorious scale the Golden Dragon’s nest.

And again the whiskered Spaniard all the land with terror smote

And again thewild alarum sounded from the tocsin’s throat;

Till the bell of Ghent responded o’er lagoon and dike of sand

“I am Roland! I am Roland! there. is victory in the land!”

. ' I Then the sound of drums aroused me. The awakened city’s roar Chased the phantoms I had summoned back into their graves once more.

Hours had passed away like minutes; and, before I was aware,

Lol the shadow of the belfry crossed the sun-illumined square.



'I‘ms is the place. Stand still, my steed,
Let me review the scene,

And summon from the shadowy Past
The forms that once have been.

The Past and Present here unite
» Beneath Time’s flowing tide
Like footprints hidden by a brook,
But seen on either side.

Here runs the highway to the town;
There the green lane descends,

Through which I walked to church with thee,
O gentlest of my friends!

The shadow of the linden-trees
Lay moving on the grass;

Between them and the moving boughs,
A shadow, thou didst pass.

Thy dress was like the lilies,
And thy heart as pure as they:

One ofGod’s holy messengers
Did walk with me that day.

I saw the branches of the trees
Bend down thy touch to meet,
The clover-blossoms in the grass
Rise up to kiss thy feet.

“Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting cares,
Of earth and folly born!”

Solemnly sang the village choir
On that sweet Sabbath morn.

Through the closed blinds the golden sun
Poured in a dusty beam,

Like the celestial ladder seen
By Jacob in his dream.

And ever and anon, the wind,
Sweet-scented with the hay,

Turned o’er the hymn-book’s fluttering leaves
That on the window lay.

Long was the good man’s sermon,
Yet it seemed not so to me;

For he spake of Ruth the beautiful,
And still I thought of thee.

Long was the prayer he uttered,
Yet it seemed not so to me;

For in my heart I prayed with him,
And still I thought of thee.

But now, alas! the place seems changed;
Thou art no longer here:

Part of the sunshine'of the scene
With thee did disappear.

Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,
Like pine-trees dark and high,

Subdue the. light of noon , and breathe
A low and ceaseless sigh;

This memory brightens o’er the past,
As when the sun , concealed

Behind some cloud that near us hangs,
Shines on a distant field.

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