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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

The Burial of Charles the Fifth

By Count Anton Alexander von Auersperg (Anastasius Grün) (1806–1876)

Translated by C. T. Brooks

IN Saint Just the silent bowers

Hear a drowsy funeral lay:

Bells are humming from the towers

For the monk who died to-day.

Look upon the dead man’s forehead! Round it

Runs a line of faded bloody red.

Once a crown of thorns, in penance, bound it?

No, a golden crown once pressed that head!

Comes a monk to that dead face, now,

Draws the cap down o’er the eye;—

Of the crown that evil trace, now,

Veiled from mortal sight shall lie.

See that arm! a sceptre once it wielded;

Half a world could feel its faintest stir;

Firmer, higher still, towards heaven he held it,

Like a rock that holds a towering fir!

That dead arm,—there comes to raise it,

Now, a brother of St. Just,

Puts a cross therein, and lays it

On the bosom’s lifeless dust.

Like the rainbow stairway, heavenward soaring,

Shone the day that hailed his new-born eye;

Kings his cradle rocked, the child adoring,

Queenly voices sang his lullaby.

Now a choir of monks, with droning,

Dismal voice, the dirge prolong,

As they ever do, intoning

Burial hymn or Easter-song.

Lo! the sun goes down,—that sun that never

To this dead man’s empire said farewell;

For what these call evening-red, is ever

Morning-red to those that westward dwell.

Softly, now, the bells are ringing:

Lovely valleys, fare ye well!

Hoarsely, now, the monks are singing:

World of vanity, farewell!

Through church windows yet once more is flaming

On the bier the sun’s great eye of red,

Here to see, what there he ’ll go proclaiming,

How the ruler of two worlds lies dead!

Swain and herdsmaid, as the pealing

Bell and dirge sound far and wide,

Bare their heads, and pray with feeling

For the pious monk that died.