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


The Land Salique

By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

YET their own authors faithfully affirm

That the land Salique is in Germany,

Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe;

Where Charles the Great, having subdued the Saxons,

There left behind and settled certain French;

Who, holding in disdain the German women

For some dishonest manners of their life,

Establish’d then this law,—to wit, no female

Should be inheritrix in Salique land:

Which Salique, as I said, ’twixt Elbe and Sala,

Is at this day in Germany call’d Meisen.

Thus doth it well appear, the Salique law

Was not devised by the realm of France;

Nor did the French possess the Salique land

Until four hundred one-and-twenty years

After defunction of King Pharamond,

Idly suppos’d the founder of this law;

Who died within the year of our redemption

Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great

Subdued the Saxons, and did seat the French

Beyond the river Sala, in the year

Eight hundred five.