Ludwig I of Bavaria: “The Weeping Rock by Fontainebleau”
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