Elizabeth, daughter of the King of Hungary,
Lewis, Landgrave of Thuringia, betrothed to her in childhood.
Henry, brother of Lewis.
Walter of Varila, }
Rudolf the Cupbearer, }
Leutolf of Erlstetten, }
Hartwig of Erba, } Vassals of Lewis.
Count Hugo, }
Count of Saym, etc. }
Conrad of Marpurg, a Monk, the Pope’s Commissioner for the
suppression of heresy.
Gerard, his Chaplain.
Bishop of Bamberg, uncle of Elizabeth, etc. etc.
Sophia, Dowager Landgravine.
Agnes, her daughter, sister of Lewis.
Isentrudis, Elizabeth’s nurse.
Guta, her favourite maiden.
Etc. etc. etc
The Scene lies principally in Eisenach, and the Wartburg; changing afterwards to Bamberg, and finally to Marpurg.
Wake again, Teutonic Father-ages,
Speak again, beloved primaeval creeds;
Flash ancestral spirit from your pages,
Wake the greedy age to noble deeds.
Tell us, how of old our saintly mothers
Schooled themselves by vigil, fast, and prayer,
Learnt to love as Jesus loved before them,
While they bore the cross which poor men bear.
Tell us how our stout crusading fathers
Fought and died for God, and not for gold;
Let their love, their faith, their boyish daring,
Distance-mellowed, gild the days of old.
Tell us how the sexless workers, thronging,
Angel-tended, round the convent doors,
Wrought to Christian faith and holy order
Savage hearts alike and barren moors.
Ye who built the churches where we worship,
Ye who framed the laws by which we move,
Fathers, long belied, and long forsaken,
Oh! forgive the children of your love!
Speak! but ask us not to be as ye were!
All but God is changing day by day.
He who breathes on man the plastic spirit
Bids us mould ourselves its robe of clay.
Old anarchic floods of revolution,
Drowning ill and good alike in night,
Sink, and bare the wrecks of ancient labour,
Fossil-teeming, to the searching light.
There will we find laws, which shall interpret,
Through the simpler past, existing life;
Delving up from mines and fairy caverns
Charmed blades, to cut the age’s strife.