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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: Antwerp

The Antwerp Image-breakers

By Walter Thornbury (1828–1876)

YESTERNIGHT I shot ten down,

Monday clove a shaven crown—

That beat all; but—gelden loo!—

I quite forgot the other two.

Now the old kirk is alight,

It will flare all through the night,—

Altars, crucifix, and shrine:

Curse the Mass and drink this wine.

Pile the chasubles and copes,—

Why, here ’s clothes for fifty Popes!

How the incense stinks! but whesh!—

That ’s the greasy abbot’s flesh.

Burn the mass-books, red and gold,—

Here ’s a Breviary,—but hold!

Scorch the Fathers, twenty score:

They will build the fire up more.

Break the benches, Orangemann

Here ’s a work for Lutheran.

Hoog and Hendrick, mind the fire—

Hear it bellow in the choir!

Cratz and Henders, hew the roof;

Toppler, ’ware the beams, and Hoof!

Let the saints go—what a roar!

Hell has got five Papists more!

“Here ’s a priest we caught at prayer!”

Would the rascal had more hair!

Then we ’d hang him to the vane,

There to bleach in sun and rain.

Tie the match-cord round his thumb,

Take this scarf and gag him dumb.

When I fire my pistol off,

Drag the Papist to the trough.

Scoop me out this diamond eye:

Holy Virgin jewels? Fie!

See that saint in cloth of gold;—

Paul made tents, so we are told.

Chop that screen up; lop the throne,—

Only Popes should sit alone;

Smash that blood-red window-pane:

Black Rome’s loss is Fleming’s gain.

Shout!—the smoke comes,—brothers, shout!

And the quick fire-tongues leap out.

Ha! the nave has got it—loo!

And the roof is catching too!

Now the end of all begins,—

Heaven helps their many sins.

Down the beams crash through the dark!

What a splash of smoke and spark!

Three monks cower beside the bell,

Nearly red-hot; faster swell,

Stifling smoke-cloud, so it smother

One by one each praying brother.

Hoo! the old pile ’s gone at last!

One had thought it would stand fast.

Hurrah! for the Pope’s nest burnt!

Is n’t our day’s pay well earnt?