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

Belgium: Brussels


By Robert Southey (1774–1843)

WHERE might a gayer spectacle be found

Than Brussels offered on that festive night,

Her squares and palaces irradiate round

To welcome the imperial Moscovite,

Who now, the wrongs of Europe twice redressed,

Came there a welcome and a glorious guest?

Her mile-long avenue with lamps was hung,

Innumerous, which diffused a light like day;

Where through the line of splendor old and young

Paraded all in festival array;

While fiery barges, plying to and fro,

Illumined as they moved the liquid glass below.

By day with hurrying crowds the streets were thronged,

To gain of this great Czar a passing sight;

And music, dance, and banquetings prolonged

The various work of pleasure through the night.

You might have deemed, to see that joyous town,

That wretchedness and pain were there unknown.