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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.

Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen)


By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

WAS it to disenchant, and to undo,

That we approached the seat of Charlemagne?

To sweep from many an old romantic strain

That faith which no devotion may renew?

Why does this puny church present to view

Her feeble columns? and that scanty chair;

This sword that one of our weak times might wear;

Objects of false pretence, or meanly true?

If from a traveller’s fortune I might claim

A palpable memorial of that day,

Then would I seek the Pyrenean Breach

That Roland clove with huge two-handed sway,

And to the enormous labor left his name,

Where unremitting frosts the rocky crescent bleach.