"Lille" [section title]
"Lille" [poem]
OH, red the blushing east awoke,
And bright the morn on Cassel broke;
Along the green hillside we flew;
Flashed the clear sunshine in the dew
That on the clustering herbage hung,—
System generated line number

That to the tangled copse‐wood clung,—
That shot like stars through every shade,
And glanced on every wildwood glade.
At length, by many a wind descending
That ever to the plain were bending
System generated line number

Farther, and farther still, we pressed
From Casselʼs insulated 1 crest,
That, back retiring, fainter still
Showed the rich outlines of its hill,
And faded in the purple haze
System generated line number

That spoke the coming noontide blaze.
That noontide blaze delayed not long;
On Tournayʼs towʼrs 2 ʼtwas fierce and strong,
And, ere we gained the middle way,
The glow was like an Afric day.
System generated line number

Full upon Lilleʼs high ramparts round, 3
On massive wall and moated mound,
Shot the fierce sun his glaring ray,
As bent we on our burning way:
Till past the narrow drawbridge length—
System generated line number

The massive gatesʼ portcullised strength,
And moat, whose waves found steepy shore 4
Where forward high the bastion bore; 5
And where the sentinels were set
High on the dizzy parapet:
System generated line number

Till the last portals echoes woke,
And Lille upon us sudden broke,
Giving to view another scene,
So clear, so noble, so serene,
ʼTwould seem enchantmentʼs varied hue
System generated line number

On palace, street, and avenue.
Those ancient piles rose huge and high
In rich irregularity;
Colossal form and figure fair
Seemed moving, breathing, living there.
System generated line number

The vaulted arch, where sunlight pure
Might never pierce the deep obscure,—
Where broadly barred, the ancient door
Was with such carving imaged oʼer,—
The bending Gothic gable‐roof
System generated line number

Of past magnificence gave proof;
The modern windowʼs formal square
With Saxon arch was mingled there,
Whose stern recesses, dark and deep,
The figured iron stanchions 6 keep.
System generated line number

"Lille" [essay]
Passeport, monsieur, sʼil vous plait. I hate fortified towns, in general,
that is.—Their houses are like barracks, their public buildings like prisons,
their population like so many rats in a rat trap; they are arduous to get
in, a difficult to get out, and disagreeable to remain in. To all this, how‐
ever, Lille is an exception, except in one circumstance—its difficulty of access.
We were detained after a long dayʼs journey under a burning sun, hot,
hungry, and stupid, while our passport was examined. Slowly the sentinel
unfolded the paper, spelled over its contents with tiresome coolness and
provoking minuteness, slowly returned it, and then came—Passez. 7 And
pass we did right gladly. Lille is a beautiful, a most beautiful town. I
have seen none equal to it, for grandeur of effect, for the massive magni‐
ficence of its edifices, for the palace like nobility of its streets, except
Genoa. The day also on which we entered it was almost Italian, the sky
was of such a deep and unbroken blue, and a stream of rich, glowing,
tawny light shot upon the full fretwork and elaborate carving of the upper
parts of the houses; but their bases, owing to the narrowness of the
streets and the enormous height of the opposing buildings, were wrapt in
shade, deep, gloomily deep, when contrasted with the flood of sunshine
that glanced on the gable roofs, and almost gave to life b the many statues
of the Virgin, that stood beneath their Gothic niches, really very respect‐
ably sculptured, at every angle of the streets. 8