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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

The Field of Battle

By Robert Southey (1774–1843)

(From The Poet’s Pilgrimage)

SOUTHWARD from Brussels lies the field of blood,

Some three hours’ journey for a well-girt man;

A horseman who in haste pursued his road

Would reach it as the second hour began.

The way is through a forest deep and wide,

Extending many a mile on either side.

No cheerful woodland this of antic trees

With thickets varied and with sunny glade;

Look where he will, the weary traveller sees

One gloomy, thick, impenetrable shade

Of tall straight trunks, which move before his sight,

With interchange of lines of long green light.

Here, where the woods receding from the road

Have left on either hand an open space

For fields and gardens and for man’s abode,

Stands Waterloo; a little lowly place,

Obscure till now, when it hath risen to fame,

And given the victory its English name.