William Wordsworth

Was it to disenchant, and to undo,
That we approached the seat of Charlemagne?
To sweep from many an old romantic strain
That faith which no devotion may renew?
Why does this puny church present to view
Her feeble columns? and that scanty chair;
This sword that one of our weak times might wear
Objects of false pretence, or meanly true?
If from a traveller's fortune I might claim
A palpable memorial of that day,
Then would I seek the Pyrenean Breach
That Roland clove with huge two-handed sway,
And to the enormous labor left his name,
Where unremitting frosts the rocky crescent bleach.

Aix-la-Chapelle (now Aachen) was the capital of the Emperor Charlemagne. He died in 814 AD and was buried in Aix-la-Chapelle. His tomb was opened in the year 1000 by Emperor Otto III. It has since disappeared. The "Pyrenean Breach" is the valley of Ronscesvalles where Charlemagne's warrior Roland fought his heroic rearguard action. His famous sword was called Durandel.