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The Count Of Hapsburg (a ballad)
by [?]

“Then the Count made him mount on his stately steed,
And the reins to his hands he confided,
That he duly might comfort the sick in his need,
And that each holy rite be provided.
And himself, on the back of the steed of his squire,
Went after the chase to his heart’s full desire,
While the priest on his journey was speeding
And the following morning, with thankful look,
To the Count once again his charger he took,
Its bridle with modesty leading.”

“‘God forbid that in chase or in battle,’ then cried
The Count with humility lowly,
‘The steed I henceforward should dare to bestride
That had borne my Creator so holy!
And if, as a guerdon, he may not be thine,
He devoted shall be to the service divine,
Proclaiming His infinite merit,
From whom I each honor and earthly good
Have received in fee, and my body and blood,
And my breath, and my life, and my spirit.'”

“‘Then may God, the sure rock, whom no time can e’er move,
And who lists to the weak’s supplication,
For the honor thou pay’st Him, permit thee to prove
Honor here, and hereafter salvation!
Thou’rt a powerful Count, and thy knightly command
Hath blazoned thy fame through the Switzer’s broad land;
Thou art blest with six daughters admired;
May they each in thy house introduce a bright crown,
Filling ages unborn with their glorious renown’–
Thus exclaimed he in accents inspired.”

And the emperor sat there all-thoughtfully,
While the dream of the past stood before him;
And when on the minstrel he turned his eye,
His words’ hidden meaning stole o’er him;
For seeing the traits of the priest there revealed,
In the folds of his purple-dyed robe he concealed
His tears as they swiftly coursed down.
And all on the emperor wonderingly gazed,
And the blest dispensations of Providence praised,
For the Count and the Caesar were one.

[1] The somewhat irregular metre of the original has been preserved in this ballad, as in other poems; although the perfect anapaestic metre is perhaps more familiar to the English ear.