Why did I fall in love with Antwerp

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With no especial legends of marchings or triumphs or duty,
Assuredly that is the way of it,
The way of beauty. . . .
And that is the highest word you can find to say of it.
For you cannot praise it with words
Compounded of lyres and swords,
But the thought of the gloom and the rain
And the ugly coated figure, standing beside a drain,
Shall eat itself into your brain:
And you will say of all heroes, ‘They fought like the Belgians!’
And you will say, ‘He wrought like a Belgian his fate out of
gloom.’
And you will say, ‘He bought like a Belgian
His doom.’

“Antwerp” Ford Madox Hueffer, 1915

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