Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Introductory to Belgium

The Storks

By James Thomson (1834–1882)

(From Autumn)

WHERE the Rhine loses his majestic force

In Belgian plains, won from the raging deep,

By diligence amazing, and the strong

Unconquerable hand of Liberty,

The stork-assembly meets; for many a day,

Consulting deep and various ere they take

Their arduous voyage through the liquid sky:

And now their route designed, their leaders chose,

Their tribes adjusted, cleaned their vigorous wings;

And many a circle, many a short essay,

Wheeled round and round, in congregation full

The figured flight ascends; and, riding high

The aerial billows, mixes with the clouds.