The Beleagured City

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I have read in some old marvellous tale,
Some legend strange and vague,
That a midnight host of spectres pale
Beleaguered the walls of Prague.

Beside the Moldau's rushing stream,
With the wan moon overhead,
There stood as in an awful dream,
The army of the dead.

White as a sea-fog, landward bound'
The spectral camp was seen,
And, with a sorrowful,deep sound
The river flowed between.

No other voice nor sound was there
No drum, nor sentry's pace;
The mist-like banners clasped the air
As clouds with clouds embrace.

But when the old cathedral bell
Proclaimed the morning prayer,
The white pavilions rose and fell
On the alarm'd air.


Down the broad valley fast and far
The troubled army fled;
Up rose the glorious morning star,
The ghastly hound was dead.