Aix-la-Chapelle

WAS it to disenchant, and to undo,
That we approached the Seat of Charlemaine?
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
Which ROLAND clove with huge two-handed sway,
And to the enormous labour left his name,
Where unremitting frosts the rocky Crescent bleach.

(William Wordsworth, Memorials of a tour on the continent, 1820)


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