Excerpt, “Specimens of the Choicest Lyrical Productions of the Most Celebrated German Poets, from Klopstock to the Present Time.” Translated in English verse by Mary Anne Burt. London: 1855.
John, Lord of the island of Procida, was born about the year 1225. By his profound skill as physician, he acquired the favour of the Emperor Frederic the Second of Germany, Conrad the Fourth and of de Mainfroi, who bestowed on him immense riches, and elevated him to dignity and honour.
After the death of Conrad, he formed the resolution to transfer the crown of Sicily to the head of Peter the Third, King of Aragon. Earliest sources credit him with organizing the overthrow of the French. Others portray him in a more critical light. This insurrection led to an end of French domination in the Kingdom of Sicily.
The War of Sicilian Vespers
JOHN OF PROCIDA
Procida, seest thou rise, from yon calm sea?
The dewy mists of morning veil the coast,
As, ‘gainst the shore, waves ripple tranquilly.
Though not of boundary wide that Isle can boast,
It is renowned through one, on whom has Fame
Bestowed, in Freedom’s cause, a deathless name!
The royal Dynasty was doomed to fall,
No more the House of Hohenstaufen reigned,
A Tyrant governed in the kingly hall,
And, with Sicilian gore, his sword was stained.
Flown was the noble Conrad’s youthful blood,
Upon the scaffold gushed life’s purple flood!
The foreign Despots rule upon that shore,
With arbitrary, dread severity;
They gloat on pleasure, as he gloats on gore,
Upon whose head a murderer’s crown doth lie.
Like Charles of Anjou, on his blood-stained throne,
Here, the voluptuous French, each law disown!
The rights of birth, youth, age, do they defy,
To gross licentiousness are they the slaves,
They glory in each vile atrocity,
And, from indignity, no virtue saves:
To satisfy unbridled lust, they live,
And, to base passions, daily victims give.
How keenly John of Procida doth feel
The rankling wound the brave Sicilians bear!
He fans that spark which hatred doth reveal,
A smouldering spark, enkindled by despair.
The Patriot scorns t’expel their enemy,
By retribution just, all – all shall die!
Long ere, from Aetna’s crater, towering high,
Torrents of bright, destructive lava flow,
Deceptive calms th’irruption prophesy,
And thus a Nation veils a desperate blow.
Foreboding silence, and tranquility
Conceal the thunderbolts that hidden lie.
By one decisive stroke their Foes to slay,
And to avenge the tyranny, long borne,
Will the Sicilians crime by crime repay:
The word: “Extermination!” all have sworn.
Hark! — the Sicilian Vesper-bells resound:
The French, the prey of Death, lie piled around!
Giovanni da Procida 1210-1298
Excerpt, “Specimens of the Choicest Lyrical Productions of the Most Celebrated German Poets, from Klopstock to the Present Time,” translated in English verse by Mary Anne Burt. London: 1855.
Ludwig Charles Augustus, son of Maximilian, King of Bavaria, and of Wilhelmina Augusta of Hesse-Darmstadt, was born the 25th of August, 1786. Ludwig received an excellent education, and, after having pursued his studies at Göttingen, he made a tour through the principal countries of Europe.
In the French-German wars, he fought at the head of the Bavarian troops, till the year 1809, and, on many occasions, gave signal proof of military talents which, during the period, of the soi-disant holy war, would certainly have been developed with éclat, if his declining health had not compelled him to abandon the seat of war. Leisure gave a renewed impulse to his desire to cultivate the Arts and Sciences, for the encouragement of the latter, he founded superb Museums during the lifetime of the illustrious Maximilian Joseph.
Ludwig ascended the Bavarian throne the 18th October 1825. He was particularly careful in limiting all unnecessary luxury in the ceremonies of his court, in economising the expenditures of the war-department, and in the salaries of public functionaries. He employed immense sums for all that accelerated the cultivation of Arts and Sciences, for all that contributed to the intellectual improvement of his subjects, and also for the due celebration of the rites of the catholic church.
By these latter expenses, and by the re-establishment of several convents, many of his contemporaries have reproached this King, with having had too zealous an enthusiasm for the ceremonies of religion. However, by his attachment to the religious creed of his fathers, he has never, in any manner, injured the rights of his protestant subjects, and by his auspicious union, in 1810, with a virtuous and amiable Princess, of the protestant faith, Maria Theresa v. Hildburghausen (now Altenburg) he has given worthy heirs to the Bavarian throne. The Queen of Bavaria was born in 1792.
Ludwig I transferred the University of Landshut to Munich, which he rendered one of the most beautiful and flourishing cities in Germany. By the Convocation of the States, in the years 1826 and 1828, he contributed to the development of the constitutional form of Government in Bavaria, and he exhibited himself to the German nation, in the light of a lyric, patriotic Poet.
The actions of this Monarch which, by many writers, have been ungenerously criticized will, by a posterity more just, be fully appreciated, as the dictates of the noble and liberal heart of a King who is the enthusiastic guardian and patron of Arts and Sciences, and of all those Bavarians, as well as the artists of other nations, who pre-eminently distinguish themselves by their literary attainments.
In 1848, Ludwig I abdicated the throne, in favor of his son. He now resides at Munich, as a private individual, and, unencumbered by the cares of Government, he devotes his leisure to intellectual and scientific occupations, and to the development of these arts which contribute to embellish a social state of existence. This King is beloved by every loyal Bavarian, and honoured by all Germany.
After Greece had thrown off the Ottoman yoke, and was declared an independent monarchy, the King of Bavaria had the satisfaction to see his second son raised to the regal throne of this new kingdom, under the title of Otho the First. ..MAB, 1855
The Works of H.M Ludwig the First, King of Bavaria, were published in two Volumes in 1829 by Cotta, Stuttgart.
Der weinende Fels bei Fontainebleau
“Wilt thou repudiate my heart,
And break a plighted vow?
Spring’s blooming roses soon depart,
And still alone art thou.
Fidelity wilt thou despise?
For change thy soul doth long;
Oh maiden! Swift as west wind flies
The gay, adoring thought!”
Love’s constant vow delights, no more,
He quits his Love, forever.
Of grief that blights his heart’s deep core,
The youth complaineth never.
A lonesome rock is his retreat,
A rock Sophia’s heart!
He finds no enjoyment sweet,
E’er rankles sorrow’s dart.
Far from the world’s tumultuous crowd,
In drear obscurity,
By countless trials is he bowed,
And ne’er, from grief, is free.
Increasing years no peace bestow,
Still gush the trembling tears,
And, farther to augment his woe,
He thinks of former years.
How joyously then passed away
The gay, luxuriant hours,
When mutual love, in life’s young May,
His path bedecked with flowers!
A kind, compassionate God
Who views his mental strife,
Relieves him from his wearying load,
A tearful, hated life!
He’s metamorphosed into stone;
Yet, rock and mountain prove
No barrier, for still flow on
Tears, sacred unto love!
A thousand years have circled by,
And still, on that lone spot,
Love’s trembling tears still greet the eye,
The course arresteth not!
Ludwig I, König von Bayern