It was strange that he loved her, for
youth was gone by
And the bloom of her beauty was fled;
Twas the glance of the harlot that gleamd
in her eye,
And all but the monarch disgusted
The art that had tinged her cheek
Yet he thought with Agatha none might
That Kings might be proud of her
The court seemd a desert if she were not
None else he thought
<She only was> lovely, she only was fair,
Such dotage possessd Charlemagne.
The soldier, the statesman, the courtier,
Alike this their rival detest,
And the good old Archbishop who ceasd to
Shook his grey head in sorrow, &
To sing her the requiem of rest.
A joy ill dissembled soon gladdens them
For Agatha sickens & dies,
And now they are ready with bier &
The tapers gleam gloomy amid the high
And the bell it tells long thro the
They came, but he sent them in anger
For she should not be buried, he
And, despite of all counsel, for many a
Arrayd in her costly apparel she lay
And he would go sit by the dead.
The cares of the kingdom demand him in
The army in vain ask their Lord.
The Lombards, the fierce misbelievers of
Now revenge the realms of the proud
And still he unsheathes not the
The soldiers they clamour, the priests
bend in prayer
In the quiet retreats of the cell;
The Physicians to counsel together
They pause & they powder, at last
That his senses are bound by a spell.
With relics protected & confident
And telling devoutly his beads,
The Archbishop prepares him, & when
it was known
That the King for awhile left the body
To search for the spell he proceeds.
Now careful he searches with tremulous
For the spell that bewitches the
And under the tongue for security
Its margin with mystical characters
At length he discovers a ring.
On his finger he slipt it & hastened
The monarch reentered the room,
The enchantment was ended, & suddenly
He bade the attendants no longer
But bear her with speed to the tomb.
Now merriment, joyaunce & feasting
Enlivend the palace of Aix,
And now by his heralds did King
Invite to his palace the courtier
To hold a high festival day.
And anxiously now for the festival
The highly born maidens prepare;
And now, all apparelled in costly
Exulting they come to the palace of
Young & aged, the brave & the
Oh happy the damsel who mid her
For a moment engaged the King’s eye!
Now glowing with hopes, & now feverd
Each maid or triumphant or jealous
As noticed by him or past by.
And now as the evening approachd, to the
In anxious suspense they advance;
Each hoped the Kings choice on her
beauties might fall
When lo, to the utter confusion of
He askd the Archbishop to dance.
The damsels they laugh & the barons
Twas mirth & astonishment all.
And the Archbishop started & mutterd
And wrath at receiving such mockery
Withdrew him in haste from the hall.
The moon dimpled over the water with
As he wandered along the lake side,
When lo! where beside him the King met
O turn thee Archbishop – my joy &
Oh turn thee my charmer! he cried.
Oh come where the feast & the dance
& the song
Invite thee to mirth & to love.
Or – at this happy moment away from the
To the shade of yon wood let us haste
The moon never pierces that grove.
Amazement & anger the prelate
With terror his accents he heard;
Then Charlemagne warmly & eagerly
The Archbishops old withered hand to his
And kissd his old grey grizzle beard
Let us well then these fortunate moments
Cried the Monarch with passionate tone
Come away then dear charmer – my angel –
my joy –
Nay – struggle not now – tis in vain to
be coy –
And remember that we are alone.
Blessed Mary protect me! the Archbishop
What madness is come to the King!
In vain to escape from the monarch he
When luckily he on his finger espied
The glitter of Agathas ring.
Overjoyed the old Prelate rememberd the
And far in the lake flung the ring,
The water closed round it, &
wonderous to tell
Released from the cursed enchantments of
His reason returned to the King.
But he built him a palace there close by
And there did he stablish his reign,
And the traveller who will may behold at
A monument now in the ruins at Aix,
Of the spell that possessd
Wednesday 11. April.