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

Belgium: Antwerp

Antwerp Cathedral

By Henry Alford (1810–1871)

BE it not mine in these high aisles to tread

Lightly, with scornful or with pitying gaze,

Viewing these worshippers, who on the days

When English fanes are silent as the dead,

Throng kneeling, where yon feeble candles shed

Their flickering light: far rather would I raise

My hands in prayer with them, or join in praise,

Or sit beneath their shrines in humble dread.

Because our being’s end is furthered best

Not by the pride of reason, most unjust

When it condemneth,—but by self-distrust,

By mildness, and submission, and arrest

Of sudden judgment: thus we learn to feel

That all are one, and have one wound to heal.