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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: Ghent

The Platform of St. Nicholas’ Church

By Sir Henry Taylor (1800–1886)

(From Philip van Artevelde, Act IV. Scene I)

THERE lies a sleeping city. God of dreams!

What an unreal and fantastic world

Is going on below!

Within the sweep of yon encircling wall,

How many a large creation of the night,

Wide wilderness and mountain, rock and sea,

Peopled with busy transitory groups,

Finds room to rise, and never feels the crowd!

If when the shows had left the dreamers’ eyes

They should float upward visibly to mine,

How thick with apparitions were that void!

But now the blank and blind profundity

Turns my brain giddy with a sick aversion.