It is our purpose in setting forth this history to provide the Faithful with a true understanding of the history of Christendom, and with hope for the future. The Empire may lie in ashes, but it was always from the ashes that the Phoenix rose again in glory.- Seldon’s Imperial History, “Preface”.
Scan of the Tittle-page of Cardinal Seldon’s IMPERIAL HISTORY, 1918 English Edition
An important and rare book, Cardinal Seldon’s Imperial History, is one of the few writings which preserves the enigmatic verses:
Wolves with the hair of Ermine
Crows that are crowned as Kings
Though these things be many as vermin
ONE shall outlast these things
In the mountains an EAGLE shall rise
The Flag of the Desert shall burn
Renewed forever shall be old allies
And the Knight Twice Crowned shall return
These verses are found elsewhere in fragmentary forms, the first verse often being misattributed to the revolutionary poet Swinburne (see: Hercule F. Duroc on the History of Heiligwaldenstein), and the second attributed (rightly or wrongly) to Tyrolean folklore. It is rumored that a third verse once existed beginning A SWORD shall be his token, but if this is so, the verse is lost.