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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Before the Convent of St. Just, 1556

By August, Graf von Platen (1796–1835)

From Richard Chenevix Trench’s ‘The Story of Justin Martyr and Other Poems’ and in ‘Poets and Poetry of Europe’

’TIS night, and storms continually roar;

Ye monks of Spain, now open me the door.

Here in unbroken quiet let me fare,

Save when the loud bell startles you 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 Cæsars hung.

I living now as dead myself behold,

And fall in ruins like this kingdom old.