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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Opening of the Tomb of Charlemagne

Sir Aubrey de Vere (1788–1846)

AMID the cloistered gloom of Aachen’s aisle

Stood Otho, Germany’s imperial lord,

Regarding, with a melancholy smile,

A simple stone, where, fitly to record

A world of action by a single word,

Was graven ‘Carlo-Magno.’ Regal style

Was needed none; that name such thoughts restored

As sadden, yet make nobler, men the while.

They rolled the marble back. With sudden gasp,

A moment o’er the vault the Kaiser bent,

Where still a mortal monarch seemed to reign.

Crowned on his throne, a sceptre in his grasp,

Perfect in each gigantic lineament,

Otho looked face to face on Charlemagne.