Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Walton Castle

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


Walton Castle

By William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)

(From Banwell Hill)

LOOK around!

Above the winding reach of Severn stands,

With massy fragments of forsaken towers,

Thy castle, solitary Walton. Hark!

Through the lone ivied arch was it the wind

Came fitful! There by moonlight we might stand,

And deem it some old castle of romance;

And on the glimmering ledge of yonder rock,

Above the wave, fancy it was the form

Of a spectre-lady for a moment seen,

Lifting her bloody dagger, then with shrieks

Vanishing! Hush! there is no sound,—no sound

But of the Severn sweeping onward! Look!

There is no bleeding apparition there,—

No fiery phantoms glare along thy walls!

Surrounded by the works of silent art,

And far, far more endearing, by a group

Of breathing children, their possessor lives;

And ill should I deserve the name of bard,

Of courtly bard, if I could touch this theme

Without a prayer,—an earnest, heartfelt prayer,—

When one, whose smile I never saw but once,

Yet cannot well forget,—when one now blooms,

Unlike the spectre-lady of the rock,

A living and a lovely bride!