Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Spain, &c.
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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: Ligny
Ligny
Robert Southey (1774–1843)
 
(From The Poet’s Pilgrimage)

EASTWARD from hence we struck, and reached the field
  Of Ligny, where the Prussian, on that day
By far-outnumbering force constrained to yield,
  Fronted the foe, and held them still at bay;
And in that brave defeat acquired fresh claim        5
To glory, and enhanced his country’s fame.
 
Here was a scene which Fancy might delight
  To treasure up among her cherished stores,
And bring again before the inward sight
  Often when she recalls the long-past hours:        10
Well-cultured hill and dale extending wide,
Hamlets and village spires on every side;
 
The autumnal-tinted groves; the upland mill
  Which oft was won and lost amid the fray;
Green pastures watered by the silent rill;        15
  The lordly Castle yielding to decay,
With bridge and barbican and moat and tower,
A fairer sight perchance than when it frowned in power:
 
The avenue before its ruined gate,
  Which when the Castle, suffering less from time        20
Than havoc, hath foregone its strength and state,
  Uninjured flourisheth in nature’s prime;
To us a grateful shade did it supply,
Glad of that shelter from the noontide sky.
 
 
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