by Walter Scott, Sir (1771 - 1832)

When the heathen trumpet's clang
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
When the heathen trumpet's clang
Round beleaguered Chester rang,
Veiled nun and friar gray
Marched from Bangor's fair Abbaye;
High their holy anthem sounds,
Cestria's vale the hymn rebounds,
Floating down the sylvan Dee.
O miserere, Domine!

On the long procession goes,
Glory round their crosses glows,
And the Virgin-mother mild
In their peaceful banner smiled;
Who could think such saintly band
Doomed to feel unhallowed hand!
Such was the Divine decree,
O miserere, Domine!

Bands that masses only sung,
Hands that censers only swung,
Met the northern bow and bill,
Heard the war-cry wild and shrill;
Woe to Brockmael's feeble hand,
Woe to Olfrid's bloody brand,
Woe to Saxon cruelty,
O miserere, Domine!

Weltering amid warriors slain,
Spurned by steeds with bloody mane,
Slaughtered down by heathen blade,
Bangor's peaceful monks are laid;
Word of parting rest unspoke,
Mass unsung and bread unbroke;
For their souls for charity,
Sing, O miserere, Domine!

Bangor! o'er the murder wail!
Long thy ruins told the tale,
Shattered towers and broken arch
Long recalled the woful march:
On thy shrine no tapers burn,
Never shall thy priests return;
The pilgrim sighs and sings for thee,
O miserere, Domine!

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes, ed. by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co., 1876–79; Bartleby.com, 2011. www.bartleby.com/270/1/597.html.


Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (G. Pertz) , title 1: "Der Mönche Ausmarch von Bangor"
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "La marche des moines de Bangor", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor] , Ferdinando Albeggiani

This text was added to the website: 2006-01-11
Line count: 40
Word count: 195