Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
III. The Opening of the Tomb of Charlemagne
By 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,        5
  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,        10
  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.

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