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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Fonthill Abbey

Fonthill Abbey

By William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)

THE MIGHTY master waved his wand, and, lo!

On the astonished eye the glorious show

Burst like a vision! Spirit of the place!

Has the Arabian wizard with his mace

Smitten the barren downs, far onward spread,

And bade the enchanted palace rise instead?

Bade the dark woods their solemn shades extend

High to the clouds yon spiry tower ascend?

And starting from the umbrageous avenue

Spread the rich pile, magnificent to view?

Enter! from the arched portal look again

Back on the lessening woods and distant plain!

Ascend the steps! the high and fretted roof

Is woven by some elfin hand aloof:

Whilst from the painted windows’ long array

A mellow light is shed as not of day.

How gorgeous all! O, never may the spell

Be broken that arrayed those radiant forms so well!