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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

February 3

Before the Convent of Yuste, 1556

By From the German of Count Platen

  • The Emperor Charles V., one of the most powerful potentates of history, abdicated on Feb. 2. 1556, in favor of his son Philip II. and retired to a monastery in Spain, where he lived until his death two years later.

  • ’TIS night, and storms continually roar,

    Ye monks of Spain, unbar for me the door.

    Here in unbroken quiet let me fare,

    Save when the loud bell startles me to prayer.

    Make ready for me what your house has meet,

    A friar’s habit and a winding-sheet.

    A little cell unto my use assign;

    More than the half of all this world was mine.

    The head that stoops unto the scissors now,

    Under the weight of many crowns did bow.

    The shoulders on which now the cowl is flung,

    On them the ermine of the Caesars hung.

    I living now as dead myself behold,

    And fall in ruins like this kingdom old.