"Ommegang" means walkabout;
When religious pageants wielded clout
Under the yoke of Catholic Spain
When Charles V was old and lame.
The year was 1549
Young Philip, soon second of his line
Watched a spectacular display
As the city guilds in fine array
Filed past with banners flying high
With the 'bon peuple' standing by
The religious orders swelled the ranks
The wealth of Brussels then gave thanks
To a treasured relic in its shrine
And dove of peace – a precious sign;
All this the Emperor showed his son
A gentle transfer had begun...
Despite displays of jewels and gold
Brussels, Philip thought, was cold
He plumped for sun in torrid Spain
In fact, he rarely came again.
But the pageant lives on, never fear
Thousands watch it every year
Re-enactment on a July night
Of 16th century Brussels might!
(c) Poet in the woods 2016
2018 dates: 4th and 6th July