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 Henry Alford (1810–1871)

THE PEACEFUL moon sheds downward from the sky

Upon the sleeping city her soft light;

Lines of storm-laden vapor heavily

From the low north advance upon the night;

The minster-towers are seen in vision bright

In front, distinct with fretted tracery;

And long glades stretch beneath this giddy height,

Dappled with shadows dark of tower and tree.

Such wert thou, Brussels, when I gazed on thee:

Thou, at whose name the circumstance of war

Rose to my youthful fancy; now no more

A sound to move to tears; to memory

Henceforth, as ever unto freedom, dear,

In virtue of this night so soft and clear.