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

Belgium: Franchimont


By Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

(From Marmion)

DIDST e’er, dear Heber, pass along

Beneath the towers of Franchemont,

Which, like an eagle’s nest in air,

Hangs o’er the stream and hamlet fair?

Deep in their vaults, the peasants say,

A mighty treasure buried lay,

Amassed, through rapine and through wrong,

By the last lord of Franchemont.

The iron chest is bolted hard,

A huntsman sits, its constant guard;

Around his neck his horn is hung,

His hanger in his belt is slung;

Before his feet his bloodhounds lie:

An ’t were not for his gloomy eye,

Whose withering glance no heart can brook,

As true a huntsman doth he look,

As bugle e’er in brake did sound,

Or ever hollooed to a hound.

To chase the fiend, and win the prize,

In that same dungeon ever tries

An aged Necromantic priest;

It is an hundred years, at least,

Since ’twixt them first the strife begun,

And neither yet has lost or won.

And oft the conjurer’s words will make

The stubborn demon groan and quake;

And oft the bands of iron break,

Or bursts one lock, that still amain,

Fast as ’t is opened, shuts again.

That magic strife within the tomb

May last until the day of doom,

Unless the adept shall learn to tell

The very word that clenched the spell,

When Franch’mont locked the treasure-cell.

An hundred years are past and gone,

And scarce three letters has he won.