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


Nelson’s Pillar

By George Croly (1780–1860)

THERE is a gloomy splendor in the sun,

That levels his last beam along the shore;

The clouds are rolling downwards stern and dun;

The long, slow wave is streaked with red, like gore

On some vast field of battle; and the roar

Of wave and wind comes like the battle’s sound.

From the sea’s verge a column seems to soar,

A shaft of silver, on whose summit, wound

With golden beams, sits Britain’s Image, throned and crowned!

And now the sun sinks deeper; and the clouds,

In folds of purple fire, still heavier lower;

Till sudden storm the shore and ocean shrouds.

But o’er the darkness glows that stately tower,

A giant height, on which the sunbeams shower

Their undiminished glories. Nelson’s name

Is on the column. Thus the battle’s hour

But showed the splendor of his spirit’s flame,

Thus in earth’s final light shall blaze the hero’s fame.