W. Strang, Thomas Hardy, 1893
W. Strang, Thomas Hardy, 1893

Sonnet on the Belgian expatriation

I dreamt that people from the Land of Chimes
Arrived one autumn morning with their bells,
To hoist them on the towers and citadels
Of my own country, that the musical rhymes

Rung by them into space at measured times
Amid the market’s daily stir and stress,
And the night’s empty starlit silentness,
Might solace souls of these and kindred climes.

Then I awoke: and lo, before me stood
The visioned ones, but pale and full of fear;
From Bruges they came, and Antwerp, and Ostend,

No carillons in their train. Vicissitude
Had left these tinkling to invader’s ear,
And ravaged street, and smouldering gable-end.

De bijdrage van Thomas Hardy aan King Albert’s Book. A Tribute to the Belgian People from Representative Men and Women Throughout the World, een uitgave ten bate van het Daily Telegraph Belgian Fund, 1914.