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“ This must be Charlemagne !” and as before Did Olger answer : “No; not yet, not yet.”

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And then appeared in panoply complete
The Bishops and the Abbots and the Priests
Of the imperial chapel, and the Counts;
And Desiderio could no more endure
The light of day, nor yet encounter death,
But sobbed aloud and said: “Let us go down
And hide us in the bosom of the earth,
Far from the sight and anger of a foe
So terrible as this !” And Olger said:
“When you behold the harvests in the fields
Shaking with fear, the Po and the Ticino
Lashing the city walls with iron waves,
Then may you know that Charlemagne is come."
And even as he spake, in the northwest,
Lo! there uprose a black and threatening cloud,
Out of whose bosom flashed the light of arms
Upon the people pent up in the city;
A light more terrible than any darkness,
And Charlemagne appeared; a Man of Iron!

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His helmet was of iron, and his gloves
Of iron, and his breastplate and his greaves
And tassets were of iron, and his shield.
In his left hand he held an iron spear,
In his right hand his sword invincible.
The horse he rode on had the strength of iron,
And color of iron. All who went before him,
Beside him and behind him, his whole host,
Were armed with iron, and their hearts within
Were stronger than the armor that they wore.
The fields and all the roads were filled with iron,
And points of iron glistened in the sun
And shed a terror through the city streets.

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This at a single glance Olger the Dane
Saw from the tower, and turning to the king
Exclaimed in haste : 66 Behold! this is the man
You looked for with such eagerness ! ” and then
Fell as one dead at Desiderio's feet.

INTERLUDE.

WELL pleased all listened to the tale,
That drew, the Student said, its pith
And marrow from the ancient myth
Of some one with an iron flail ;
Or that portentous Man of Brass
Hephæstus made in days of yore,
Who stalked about the Cretan shore,
And saw the ships appear and pass,
And threw stones at the Argonauts,
Being filled with indiscriminate ire
That tangled and perplexed his thoughts ;
But, like a hospitable host,
When strangers landed on the coast,
Heated himself red-hot with fire,
And hugged them in his arms, and pressed
Their bodies to his burning breast.

The Poet answered : “No, not thus
The legend rose ; it sprang at first
Out of the hunger and the thirst

In all men for the marvellous.
And thus it filled and satisfied
The imagination of mankind,
And this ideal to the mind
Was truer than historic fact.
Fancy enlarged and multiplied
The terrors of the awful name
Of Charlemagne, till he became
Armipotent in every act,
And, clothed in mystery, appeared
Not what men saw, but what they feared.

“ Besides, unless my memory fail,

Your some one with an iron flail
Is not an ancient myth at all,
But comes much later on the scene
As Talus in the Faerie Queene,
The iron groom of Artegall,
Who threshed out falsehood and deceit,
And truth upheld, and righted wrong,
And was, as is the swallow, fleet,
And as the lion is, was strong."

The Theologian said: “Perchance
Your chronicler in writing this
Had in his mind the Anabasis,
Where Xenophon describes the advance
Of Artaxerxes to the fight;
At first the low gray cloud of dust,
And then a blackness o'er the fields
As of a passing thunder-gust,
Then flash of brazen armor bright,
And ranks of men, and spears up-thrust,

Lines 12-21 are wanting in first edition.

Bowmen and troops with wicker shields,
And cavalry equipped in white,
And chariots ranged in front of these
With scythes upon their axle-trees."

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To this the Student answered: “Well,
I also have a tale to tell
Of Charlemagne; a tale that throws
A softer light, more tinged with rose,
Than your grim apparition cast
Upon the darkness of the past.
Listen, and hear in English rhyme
What the good Monk of Lauresheim
Gives as the gossip of his time,
In mediæval Latin prose."

THE STUDENT'S TALE.

EMMA AND EGINHARD.

Written November 9, 1872.

WHEN Alcuin taught the sons of Charlemagne,
In the free schools of Aix, how kings should reign,
And with them taught the children of the poor
How subjects should be patient and endure,
He touched the lips of some, as best befit,
With honey from the hives of Holy Writ;
Others intoxicated with the wine
Of ancient history, sweet but less divine;
Some with the wholesome fruits of grammar fed ;
Others with mysteries of the stars o'erhead,
That hang suspended in the vaulted sky
Like lamps in some fair palace vast and high.

In sooth, it was a pleasant sight to see
That Saxon monk, with hood and rosary,
With inkhorn at his belt, and pen and book,
And mingled love and reverence in his look,
Or hear the cloister and the court repeat
The measured footfalls of his sandaled feet,
Or watch him with the pupils of his school,
Gentle of speech, but absolute of rule.

Among them, always earliest in his place,
Was Eginhard, a youth of Frankish race,
Whose face was bright with flashes that forerun
The splendors of a yet unrisen sun.
To him all things were possible, and seemed
Not what he had accomplished, but had dreamed,
And what were tasks to others were his play,
The pastime of an idle holiday.

Smaragdo, Abbot of St. Michael's, said,
With many a shrug and shaking of the head,
Surely some demon must possess the lad,
Who showed more wit than ever school-boy had,
And learned his Trivium thus without the rod;
But Alcuin said it was the grace of God.

Thus he grew up, in Logic point-device,
Perfect in Grammar, and in Rhetoric nice;
Science of Numbers, Geometric art,
And lore of Stars, and Music knew by heart;
A Minnesinger, long before the times
Of those who sang their love in Suabian rhymes.

The Emperor, when he heard this good report Of Eginhard much buzzed about the court,

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