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

Belgium: Waterloo

On the Drawing of the Elm-tree

By George Crabbe (1754–1832)

Under Which the Duke of Wellington Stood Several Times During the Battle of Waterloo

IS there one heart that beats on English ground,

One grateful spirit in the kingdoms round;

One who had traced the progress of the foe,

And does not hail the field of Waterloo?

Who o’er that field, if but in thought, has gone,

Without a grateful wish for Wellington?

Within that field of glory rose a tree

(Which a fair hand has given us here to see),

A noble tree, that, pierced by many a ball,

Fell not,—decreed in time of peace to fall:

Nor shall it die unsung; for there shall be

In many a noble verse the praise of thee,

With that heroic chief,—renowned and glorious tree!

Men shall divide thee, and thy smallest part

Shall be to warm and stir the English heart;

Formed into shapes as fancy may design,

In all fair fame and honor shall be thine.

The noblest ladies in the land with joy

Shall own thy value in the slightest toy;

Preserved through life, it shall a treasure prove,

And left to friends, a legacy of love.

And thou, fair semblance of that tree sublime,

Shalt a memorial be to distant time;

Shalt wake a grateful sense in every heart,

And noble thoughts to opening minds impart;

Who shall hereafter learn what deeds were done,

What nations freed by Heaven and Wellington.

Heroic tree we surely this may call,—

Wounded it fell, and numbers mourned its fall;

It fell for many here, but there it stood for all.