Seated high above the vaulted crags
An unfinished mystery attacks all eyes
Like a stab in the fog or the dark,
A tribute to legend and history’s once mad king
Who dreamed of living his myth-like life.
Tristan and Isolde above his bed,
The king of kings above his head,
The fabled swan swam all around
Until the day his sickness drowned;
The music protected by young Parcifal
High above the gorge that binds its walls.
Bavaria’s home, this castle, a fairy tale unfulfilled,
Tannhauser lives through ages never viewed
From the bridge which outgrew her master’s disease;
Marienbrucke threw off the son she could not appease.
Ludwig, O Ludwig, how wondrous was your work
Admired through your scope from below.
Could you have imagined the fame
Your masterpiece would elicit;
Or the elevation of your name
Inspired by a million visits?
Did your father’s house deepen, or deplete, your resolve?
Was your favorite schloss a hindrance to your will?
How then did you cope when your enemies brought bad news?
Your mistress, incomplete, stands thwarted yet adorned;
Her imperfections are an art that others would scorn.
Your love for one composer did justice to design,
And today your chapel stands to weather time.