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

Wales: Bangor

The Monks of Bangor’s March

By Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

WHEN the heathen trumpet’s clang

Round beleaguered Chester rang,

Veiled nun and friar gray

Marched from Bangor’s fair Abbaye;

High their holy anthem sounds,

Cestria’s vale the hymn rebounds,

Floating down the sylvan Dee.

O miserere, Domine!

On the long procession goes,

Glory round their crosses glows,

And the Virgin-mother mild

In their peaceful banner smiled;

Who could think such saintly band

Doomed to feel unhallowed hand!

Such was the Divine decree,

O miserere, Domine!

Bands that masses only sung,

Hands that censers only swung,

Met the northern bow and bill,

Heard the war-cry wild and shrill;

Woe to Brockmael’s feeble hand,

Woe to Olfrid’s bloody brand,

Woe to Saxon cruelty,

O miserere, Domine!

Weltering amid warriors slain,

Spurned by steeds with bloody mane,

Slaughtered down by heathen blade,

Bangor’s peaceful monks are laid;

Word of parting rest unspoke,

Mass unsung and bread unbroke;

For their souls for charity,

Sing, O miserere, Domine!

Bangor! o’er the murder wail!

Long thy ruins told the tale,

Shattered towers and broken arch

Long recalled the woful march:

On thy shrine no tapers burn,

Never shall thy priests return;

The pilgrim sighs and sings for thee,

O miserere, Domine!