(Antwerp and Bruges.)
*** In these and others of the Flemish Towns, the
Carillon, or chimes which have a most fantastic and
delicate music, are played almost continually. The custom is
- At Antwerp, there is a low wall
- Binding the city, and a moat
Beneath, that the wind keeps afloat.
- You pass the gates in a slow drawl
Of wheels. If it is warm at all
- The Carillon will give you thought.
- I climbed the stair in Antwerp church,
- What time the urgent weight of sound
At sunset seems to heave it round.
- Far up, the Carillon did search
The wind; and the birds came to perch
- Far under, where the gables wound.
- In Antwerp harbour on the Scheldt
- I stood along, a certain space
Of night. The mist was near my face:
- Deep on, the flow was heard and felt.
The Carillon kept pause, and dwelt
- In music through the silent place.
- At Bruges, when you leave the train,
- --A singing numbness in your ears,--
The Carillon's first sound appears
- Only the inner moil. Again
A little minute though -- your brain
- Takes quiet, and the whole sense hears.
- John Memmeling and John Van Eyck
- Hold state at Bruges. In sore shame
I scanned the works that keep their name.
- The Carillon, which then did strike
Mine ears, was heard of theirs alike:
- It set me closer unto them.
- I climbed at Bruges all the flight
- The Belfry has of ancient stone.
For leagues I saw the east wind blown:
- The earth was grey, the sky was white.
I stood so near upon the height
- That my flesh felt the Carillon.
- October, 1849.
Last modified 5/22/95