Poet's Pilgrimage to Waterloo - Ostend

Robert Southey

We left our pleasant Land of Lakes, and went
Throughout whole England's length, a weary way,
Even to the farthest shores of eastern Kent:
Embarking there upon an autumn day,
Toward Ostend we held our course all night,
And anchored by its quay at morning's earliest light.

Small vestige there of that old siege appears,
And little of remembrance would be found,
When for the space of three long painful years
The persevering Spaniard girt it round,
And gallant youths of many a realm from far
Went students to that busy school of war.

Yet still those wars of obstinate defence
Their lessons offer to the soldier's hand;
Large knowledge may the statesman draw from thence:
And still from underneath the drifted sand,
Sometimes the storm, or passing foot lays bare
Part of the harvest Death has gathered there.

Peace be within thy walls, thou famous town.
For thy brave bearing in those times of old;
May plenty thy industrious children crown,
And prosperous merchants day by day behold
Many a rich vessel from the injurious sea,
Enter the bosom of thy quiet quay.

Embarking there, we glided on between
Strait banks raised high above the level land,
With many a cheerful dwelling white and green
In goodly neighbourhood on either hand.
Huge-timbered bridges o'er the passage lay,
Which wheeled aside and gave us easy way.