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Among them, always earliest in his place, | And as the Emperor promised he was
ruled. The splendors of a yet unrisen sun. But the one art supreme, whose law is To him all things were possible, and fate, seemed
The Emperor never dreamed of till too Not what he had accomplished, but had late.
dreamed, And what were tasks to others were his Home from her convent to the palace
play, The pastime of an idle holiday. The lovely Princess Emma, whose sweet
name, Smaragdo, Abbot of St. Michael's, said, Whispered hy seneschal or sung by bard, With many a shrug and shaking of the Had often touched the soul of Eginhard. head,
He saw her from his window, as in state Surely some demon must possess the lad, She came, by knights attended through Who showed more wit than ever school
the gate; boy had,
He saw her at the banquet of that day, And learned his Trivium thus without Fresh as the morn, and beautiful as May ; the rod ;
He saw her in the garden, as she strayed But Alcuin said it was the grace of God. Among the flowers of summer with her
inaid, Thus he grew up, in Logic point-device, And said to him, “O Eginhard, disclose Perfectin Grammar, and in Rhetoric nice; The meaning and the mystery of the Science of Numbers, Geometric art, And lore of Stars, and Music knew by And trembling he made answer : “In heart;
good sooth, A Minnesinger, long before the times Its mystery is love, its meaning youth !” Of those who sang their love in Suabian rhymes.
How can I tell the signals and the signs
By which one heart another heart diThe Emperor, when he heard this good vines ? report
How can I tell the many thousand ways Of Eginhard much buzzed about the By which it keeps the secret it betrays ?
court, Said to himself, “ This stripling seems O mystery of love! O strange romance ! to be
Among the Peers and Paladins of France, Purposely sent into the world for me ; Shining in steel, and prancing on gay He shall become my scribe, and shall be steeds, schooled
Noble by birth, yet nobler by great deeds, In all the arts whereby the world is The Princess Emma had no words nor ruled.”
looks Thus did the gentle Eginhard attain But for this clerk, this man of thought To honor in the court of Charlemagne ;
and books. Became the sovereign's favorite, his right hand,
The summer passed, the autumn came; So that his fame was great in all the land, the stalks And all men loved him for his modest Of lilies blackened in the garden walks ; grace
The leaves fell, russet-golden and bloodAnd comeliness of figure and of face.
red, An inmate of the palace, yet recluse, Love-letters thought the poet fancy-led, A man of books, yet sacred from abuse Or Jove descending in a shower of gold Among the armed knights with spur on Into the lap of Danae of old ; heel,
For poets cherish many a strange conceit, The tramp of horses and the clang of And love transmutes all nature by its steel ;
No more the garden lessons, nor the dark | To see the calm that reigned o’er all And hurried meetings in the twilight supreme, park ;
When his own reign was but a troubled But now the studious lamp, and the de- dream. lights
The moon lit up the gables capped with Of firesides in the silent winter nights,
snow, And watching from his window hour by And the white roofs, and half the court hour
below, The light that burned in Princess Emma’s And he beheld a form, that seemed to tower.
Beneath a burden, come from Emma's At length one night, while musing by tower, the fire,
A woman, who upon her shoulders bore O'ercome at last by his insane desire, Clerk Eginhard to his own private door, For what will reckless love not do and And then returned in haste, but still dare ?
essayed He crossed the court, and climbed the To tread the footprints she herself had
winding stair, With some feigned message in the Em- | And as she passed across the lighted peror's name;
space, But when he to the lady's presence came The Emperor saw his daughter Emma's He knelt down at her feet, until she face !
laid Her hand upon him, like a naked blade, He started not; he did not speak or And whispered in his ear: Arise, Sir
But seemed as one who hath been turned To my heart's level, O my heart's de
to stone; light."
And stood there like a statue, nor awoke
Out of his trance of pain, till morning And there he lingered till the crowing broke, cock,
Till the stars faded, and the moon went The Alectryon of the farmyard and the
And o'er the towers and steeples of the Sang his aubade with lusty voice and town clear,
Came the gray daylight ; then the sun, To tell the sleeping world that dawn was who took
The empire of the world with sovereign And then they parted; but at parting, lo! look, They saw the palace courtyard white Suffusing with a soft and golden glow
All the dead landscape in its shroud of And, placid as a nun, the moon on high Gazing from cloudy cloisters of the sky. Touching with flame the tapering chapel “ Alas !” he said, “how hide the fatal spires, line
Windows and roofs, and smoke of houseOf footprints leading from thy door to hold fires, mine,
And kindling park and palace as he And none returning !” Ah, he little
came ; knew
The stork's nest on the chimney seemed What woman's wit, when put to proof, in flame. can do!
And thus he stood till Eginhard ap
peared, That night the Emperor, sleepless with Demure and modest with his comely the cares
beard And troubles that attend on state affairs, And flowing flaxen tresses, come to Had risen before the dawn, and musing ask, gazed
As was his wont, the day's appointed Into the silent night, as one amazed
The Emperor looked upon him with a Long hast thou served thy sovereign, smile,
and thy zeal And gently said : “My son, wait yet Pleads to me with importunate appeal, awhile ;
While I have been forgetful to requite This hour my council meets upon some Thy service and affection as was right. great
But now the hour is come, when I, thy And very urgent business of the state.
Lord, Come back within the hour. On thy Will crown thy love with such supreme return
reward, The work appointed for thee shalt hou A gift so precious kings have striven in learn."
To win it from the hands of CharleHaving dismissed this gallant Trouba- magne.”
dour, He summoned straight his council, and Then sprang the portals of the chamber
wide, And steadfast in his purpose, from the And Princess Emma entered, in the throne
pride All the adventure of the night made of birth and beauty, that in part o'er
known ; Then asked for sentence ; and with eager The conscious terror and the blush of breath
shame. Some answered banishment, and others And the good Emperor rose up from his death.
And taking her white hand within his Then spake the king : “Your sentence is not mine ;
Placed it in Eginhard's, and said : “My Life is the gift of God, and is divine ;
son, Nor from these palace walls shall one This is the gift thy constant zeal hath depart
won ; Who carries such a secret in his heart ; Thus I repay the royal debt I owe, My better judgment points another way. And cover up the footprints in the snow." Good Alcuin, I remember how one day When my Pepino asked you, What are men ?'
INTERLUDE. You wrote upon his tablets with your pen,
Thus ran the Student's pleasant rhyme Guests of the grave and travellers that Of Eginhard and love and youth ;
Some doubted its historic truth, This being true of all men, we, alas ! But while they doubted, ne'ertheless Being all fashioned of the selfsame dust, Saw in it gleams of truthfulness, Let us be merciful as well as just ; And thanked the Monk of Lauresheim. This passing traveller, who hath stolen away
This they discussed in various mood"; The brightest jewel of my crown to-day, Then in the silence that ensued Shall of himself the precious gem restore ; Was heard a sharp and sudden sound By giving it, I make it mine once more. As of a bowstring snapped in air ; Over those fatal footprints I will throw And the Musician with a bound My ermine mantle like another snow.' Sprang up in terror from his chair,
And for a moment listening stood, Then Eginhard was summoned to the Then strode across the room, and found hall,
His dear, his darling violin And entered, and in presence of them Still lying safe asleep within all,
Its little cradle, like a child The Emperor said : “My son, for thou That gives a sudden cry of pain, to me
And wakes to fall asleep again ; Hast been a son, and evermore shalt be, And as he looked at it and smiled,
By the uncertain light beguiled, The impending tale that terrified ; Despair ! two strings were broken in When suddenly, to his delight, twain.
The Theologian interposed,
Saying that when the door was closed, While all lamented and made moan, And they had stopped that draft of cold, With many a sympathetic word Unpleasant night air, he proposed As if the loss had been their own, To tell a tale world-wide apart Deeming the tones they night have From that the Student had just told ; heard
World-wide apart, and yet akin, Sweeter than they had heard before, As showing that the human hearc They saw the Landlord at the door, Beats on forever as of old, The missing man, the portly Squire ! As well beneath the snow-white fold He had not entered, but he stood Of Quaker kerchief, as within With both arms full of seasoned wood, Sendal or silk or cloth of gold, To feed the much-devouring fire, And without preface would begin. That like a lion in a cage Lashed its long tail and roared with rage. And then the clamorous clock struck
eight, The missing man! Ah, yes, they said, Deliberate, with sonorous chime Missing, but whither had he fled ? Slow measuring out the march of time, Where had he hidden himself away ? Like some grave Consul of old Rome No farther than the barn or shed ; In Jupiter's temple driving home He had not hidden himself, nor fled ; The nails that marked the year and date. How should he pass the rainy day Thus interrupted in his rhyme, But in his barn with hens and hay, The Theologian needs must wait; Or mending harness, cart, or sled ? But quoted Horace, where he sings Now, having come, he needs must stay The dire Necessity of things, And tell his tale as well as they.
That drives into the roofs sublime
Of new-built houses of the great
When ceased the little carillon
To herald from its wooden tower Nor oak nor maple has so clear
The important transit of the hour, A flame, or burns so quietly,
The Theologian hastened on, Or leaves an ash so clean and white" ; Content to be allowed at last Thinking by this to put aside
To sing his Idyl of the Past.
THE THEOLOGIAN'S TALE.
“Ah, how short are the days! How soon the night overtakes us !
Thus spake Elizabeth Haddon at nightfall to Hannah the housemaid,
Nothing was dark but the sky, and the distant Delaware flowing
Then with a smile on her lips made answer Hannah the housemaid :
But Elizabeth checked her, and answered, mildly reproving :
Meanwhile Hannah the housemaid had closed and fastened the shutters,
Then Elizabeth said, “Lo ! Joseph is long on his errand.
Thus in praise of her servant she spake, and Hannah the housemaid
Thereupon answered Hannah the housemaid, the thrifty, the frugal :
But in meekness of spirit, and calmly, Elizabeth answered :