The Old Houses of Flanders

The old houses of Flanders,
They watch by the high cathedrals;
They overtop the high town-halls;
They have eyes, mournful, tolerant and sardonic, for the ways of men
In the high, white, tiled gables.

The rain and the night have settled down on Flanders;
It is all wet darkness; you can see nothing.

Then those old eyes, mournful, tolerant and sardonic,
Look at great, sudden, red lights,
Look upon the shades of the cathedrals;
And the golden rods of the illuminated rain,
For a second….

And those old eyes,
Very old eyes that have watched the ways of men for generations,
Close for ever.
The high, white shoulders of the gables
Slouch together for a consultation,
Slant drunkenly over in the lea of the flaming cathedrals.

They are no more, the old houses of Flanders.

This poem is in the public domain.