Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Belgium: Antwerp


By Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)

THEY came unto a Citie farre up land,

The which whylome that Ladies owne had bene;

But now by force extort out of her hand

By her strong foe, who had defaced cleene

Her stately towres and buildings sunny sheene,

Shut up her haven, mard her marchants trade,

Robbed her people that full rich had beene,

And in her necke a Castle huge had made,

The which did her commaund without needing perswade.

That Castle was the strength of all that State,

Untill that State by strength was pulled downe;

And that same Citie, so now ruinate,

Had bene the keye of all that Kingdomes crowne;

Both goodly Castle, and both goodly Towne,

Till that th’ offended heavens list to lowre

Upon their blisse, and balefull fortune frowne.

When those gainst states and kingdomes do coniure,

Who then can thinke their hedlong ruine to recure!

But he had brought it now in servile bond,

And made it beare the yoke of Inquisition,

Stryving long time in vaine it to withstond;

Yet glad at last to make most base submission,

And life enioy for any composition:

So now he hath new lawes and orders new

Imposd on it with many a hard condition,

And forced it, the honour that is dew

To God, to doe unto his Idole most untrew.

To him he hath before this Castle Greene

Built a faire chappell, and an altar framed

Of costly ivory full rich beseene,

On which that cursed Idole, farre proclamed,

He hath set up, and him his god hath named;

Offring to him in sinfull sacrifice

The flesh of men, to Gods owne likenesse framed,

And powring forth their bloud in brutishe wize,

That any yron eyes, to see, it would agrize.