Beside the stock exchange, white-faced
A quaint museum has pride of place
Half-sunk into the cobbled stone
It has a charm all of its own.
Down discreet steps 1238
Recalls a brave historic date
A Franciscan convent here took root
With church and cemetery to boot.
John I, bold Brabant Duke, lies here
They brought Count Egmont on his bier
The monks kept vigil over night
While his tortured soul took flight.
Religious turmoil, monks disbanded
New-style rebuilding single-handed
The French bombardment did the rest
Disappeared - the brave Duke's funeral crest!
Suppressed – a butter market thrived;
Site for the wounded who survived
The gory fate of Waterloo;
When the River vanished, it did too!
While once the monks had helped the poor
Leopold II now set great store
On a symbol of commercial might
This irony does not seem right...
In the Eighties there were road repairs
Someone discovered down damp stairs
The remains of this much hallowed crypt
Now visitors can visit it!
(c) Poet in the woods 2017