Monday, June 8, 2009

accomplished gestures

Crown prince Rudolf and Marie Vetsera

In Vienna the world was often coming to an end;
usually to winegarden songs.

He must be saved by some midnight beyond reason:
the logic of daytime was sinking so fast.

How beautiful the leaves aged on ten thousand twigs!
No politics could produce such glory in a forest.
Only so natural and simple a thing as death.

Rudolf had conjured the glistening anticipation of greatness, only to dissolve into black bafflement.

By then the word Mayerling had already begun to phosphoresce throughout the world.
Abroad it tingled and thrilled. In Vienna it was like some hidden hell machine of which nothing was known except that it was made of gold.

- Frederic Morton, A Nervous Splendor. Vienna 1888/1889