Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Spain: Saint Just (San Yuste), the Convent

San Yuste

By Luis Çapata

Translated by Sir W. S. Maxwell

SO Charles the emperor, whose mighty reign

The globe itself scarce held within its bound,

At Yuste, a fair abbey of our Spain,

A lowly home and quiet haven found:

Here, half his heart in heaven, did he remain,

Tranquil as Jove with sovran glories crowned;

In all things save the hood a holy friar,

In Christian graces peerless in the choir.

Kings erst have left their sceptred state and sway,

Pale terror prompting, not calm strength of soul;

Flashed, in their dreams, the falchion’s dreadful ray,

Lurked, in their fears, the drug within the bowl;

(So beavers, hunted, cast their spoils away,)

Yet fame’s loud tongues the noble deed extol:

But greater Charles, with glory all his own,

Resigned a peaceful, sure, and splendid throne.


His end at last foreknowing, like the swan,

The emperor to his side bids quickly bring

The opening Austrian flower, his young Don John;

Reveals his birth; and to the absent king

Commends in loving wise this other son;

Then, soothed with holy rites, his soul takes wing,

With fitful flickering like a lamp that dies,

To God’s high seat and bliss beyond the skies.