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,—
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
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
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.
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—
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:
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
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.
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
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.