There was a sound of revelry by night, And Belgium’s Capital had gathered then Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and bright The lamps shone o’er fair women and brave men
Did ye not hear it?—No; ’twas but the wind, Or the car rattling o’er the stony street ; On with the dance! let joy be unconfined ;
Within a windowed niche of that high hall Sate Brunswick’s fated chieftain; he did hear That sound the first amidst the festival, And caught its tone with Death’s prophetic ear;
Three nights before the battle of Waterloo the English Duchess of Richmond gave a ball in Brussels, and invited many of the officers of the allied English and Prussian armies, which were at war with the French.
While the ball was at its height a messenger brought word to Wellington that the French under Napoleon were advancing towards the city. He did not wish to alarm the people, and so kept the information secret, but he sent the officers one by one to their regiments, and finally left for the field himself.
The Duke of Brunswick, Frederick William was the first to hear the sound amidst the celebrations. He could recognize from the tone that it was the sound of cannon.