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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: Ostend

The Bells of Ostend

By William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)

HOW sweet the tuneful bells’ responsive peal!

As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze

Breathes on the trembling sense of pale disease,

So piercing to my heart their force I feel!

And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall!

And now, along the white and level tide

They fling their melancholy music wide;

Bidding me many a tender thought recall

Of summer days, and those delightful years

When from an ancient tower, in life’s fair prime,

The mournful magic of their mingling chime

First waked my wondering childhood into tears!

But seeming now, when all those days are o’er,

The sounds of joy once heard, and heard no more.