From The Poem of the Cid


The Poem of the Cid is a unique medieval epic in that it is based on a real-life character: Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar. The Cid (from the Ariabic sayyid, or “leader”) was widely considered to be the most successful and greatest general of his time. As a vassal to Ferdinand I and his sons, Sancho and Alfonso, the Cid garnered notoriety and respect from both friends and foes. Due to his successes and accumulated power, the Cid had been exiled twice by the then king, Alfonso. He was recalled and pardoned by the king in the first instance because Alfonso needed his help in defending against an orthodox Muslim sect threatening all of Iberia. After being exiled a second time (again, for the amount of perceived power the Cid was wielding) and pardoned a second time, the Cid chose to remain where he was in Valencia until his death at the age of fifty-six in 1099.

As a reader might expect, The Poem of the Cid takes some liberties and idealizes the Cid to meet the knightly expectations of the time and affords him attributes of a martyr. The poem revels in the details of war and spoils gained from victory—there are connections here to the types of riches gained in the Crusades because in both cases the “enemies” are Muslim. Nevertheless, in both the Cid’s life and the poem, there was a complex relationship between Christians and Muslims on the Iberian peninsula. The poem is found in a single fourteenth-century manuscript. From a manuscript studies perspective, this means it was not a very popular tale; otherwise, the poem would have been transcribed into numerous manuscripts. For example, Le Roman de la Rose, a thirteenth-century French allegorical poem, is found in about 300 manuscripts—a medieval best seller as it were. However, the style of the writing suggest that the poem was transcribed from an oral tradition. Much like Homer’s Iliad, there are repeated lines and phrases (i.e., “born in a fortunate hour”) that are used to fill the metrical necessity of a line and help the story teller access the next phase of the poem. Since the text originates from an oral tradition, the popularity of such a poem is near impossible to determine. Its popularity aside, the written poem consists of 152 epic stanzas, or laisse, ranging from three lines to more than a hundred lines. The lines are also irregular, but are usually around fourteen syllables and broken into two halves. Regardless of its metrical irregularity and non-uniform stanza length, The Poem of the Cid is a fantastic tale of an epic hero and the quintessential epic of Castilian culture.

As you read, consider how the Cid relates to other epic heroes we have encountered. What makes him profound and worthy of such a grand poem? Why might he be a threat to the established power structures and yet be adorned with such praise? What does this say about the intended audience and the anonymous author? And lastly, in what ways can we see the type of valor and attitude at work in today’s society? Who (person or groups of persons) might we laud with praise?

The First Cantar

WITH tearful eyes he turned to gaze upon the wreck behind : His rifled coffers, bursten gates, all open to the wind : Nor mantle left, nor robe of fur ; stript bare his castle hall : Nor hawk nor falcon in the mew, the perches empty all. Then forth in sorrow went my Cid, and a deep sigh sighed he ;

Yet with a measured voice, and calm, my Cid spake loftily- ‘ I thank thee God our Father, thou that dwellest upon high, I suffer cruel wrong to-day, but of mine enemy.’ As they came riding from Bivar ‘ the crow was on the right, By Burgos gate, upon the left, the crow was there in sight. My Cid he shrugged his shoulders and he lifted up his head :

‘ Good tidings ! Alvar Fanez ; we are banished men ! ‘ he said.

With sixty lances in his train my Cid rode up the town, The burghers and their dames from all the windows looking down ;

And there were tears in every eye, and on each lip one word :

‘ A worthy vassal- would to God he served a worthy lord !

‘ Fain would they shelter him, but none durst yield to his desire.

Great was the fear through Burgos town of King Alfonso’s ire.

Sealed with his royal seal hath come his letter to forbid All men to offer harbourage or succour to my Cid. And he that dared to disobey, well did he know the cost His goods, his eyes, stood forfeited, his soul and body lost.

A hard and grievous word was that to men of Christian race;

And, since they might not greet my Cid, they hid them from his face.

He rode to his own mansion gates ; shut firm and fast they were,

Such the king’s rigour, save by force, he might not enter there ;

And loudly though his henchmen call, within no sound is heard,

No answer to their call; my Cid up to the threshold spurred,

His foot from out the stirrup raised and on the door smote hard :

It yielded not beneath the stroke, ’twas stout and strongly barred :

But from a chamber window high a damsel’s voice im plored :

‘ O thou that in a happy hour didst gird thee with the sword, It is the order of the king ; we dare not, O my lord ! Sealed with his royal seal hath come his letter to forbid The Burgos folk to open door, or shelter thee, my Cid. Our gocds, our homes, our very eyes, in this are all at stake;

And small the gain to thee, though we meet ruin for thy sake. Go, and God prosper thee in all that thou dost undertake.’

So spake the little damsel, and she hurried from the place. Then knew my Cid no hope was left of King Alfonso’s grace.

And turning away he spurred on through Burgos to Santa Maria, and passing through the gate he halted beside the Arlanzon, and my Cid Ruy Diaz, he who girt on the sword in a good hour, with a goodly company around him, pitched his tent there in the Glera, as if he were on a mountain-side, since there was no house open to him. Moreover, he was forbidden to buy food of any sort in Burgos, nor durst any man sell him a farthing’s-worth. But Martin Antolinez, the worthy Burgalese, brought them bread and wine of his own, and my Cid and his men were refreshed. And said Martin Antolinez, ‘ Campeador, born in a good hour, we must go forth this night, for I shall be held to account, and earn the wrath of King Alfonso, because I have served you. But if I escape safe with you, sooner or later the king will be glad to have me for a friend ; if not, I care not a fig for what I leave behind.’ Said my Cid, ‘ Marttin Antolinez, a stout lance art thou ; if I live I will repay thee double ; but my gold and silver are spent ; money have I none, and I need it for my troop, and have it I must ; for nothing is obtained for nothing. With your help I will make two chests, and we will fill them with sand, so that they be heavy, and they shall be covered with red leather and studded with gilt nails, and thou shalt go to Rachel and Vidas, and say that I cannot carry with me my treasure, for it is very weighty, and that I would pawn it for what may be reasonable. I call God and all his Saints to witness, that I cannot help this, and do it against my will.’ And Martin Antolinez without delay passed through Burgos and entered the castle and sought out Rachel and Vidas. And Rachel and Vidas were together, counting their wealth and profits. In friendly fashion Martin Antolinez came to them : ‘ Rachel and Vidas, my dear friends, give me your hands that ye will not discover me to Christian or to Moor. I am come to make you rich for ever with no risk of loss. The Campeador has levied much tribute, and has carried away great and rich treasure, on account of which he has been accused. He has two chests full of fine gold. These he cannot carry with him unseen, and he would leave them in your hands if ye will lend him what money may be reasonable, and put the chests in your place of safety, swearing and pledging yourselves both that ye will not look into them for this year to come.’ Rachel and Vidas consulted together. ‘We must seek profit by every means. We know well he has wealth : what rich treasure he took when he entered the lands of the Moors. He who has money sleeps not without care. We will take these chests and put them where they shall not be seen ; but tell us what will content the Cid, and what interest will he give us for the year?’ Said Martin Antolinez in friendly fashion, ‘ My Cid desires what is reasonable, and asks little for leaving his treasure in your hands. Needy men are gathering to him from all sides. He requires six hundred marks.’ Said Rachel and Vidas, ‘We will give them willingly.’ Said Martin, ‘ Night is coming on, and my Cid is pressed : we would that ye give us the marks.’ ‘ But,’ said Rachel and Vidas, ‘business is not done thus ; but by first taking and then giving.’ ‘Good,’ said Martin Antolinez, ‘ let us all three to the Campeador, and we will help you to carry the chests and put them in your place of safety, so that neither Moor nor Christian may know.’ With that they betook them selves to the tent of the Campeador, and they kissed his hands, and my Cid said smiling, ‘ Don Rachel and Vidas, ye have forgotten me. I am exiled now, and under the wrath of the king, but ye will have somewhat of my substance, and while ye live ye shall never suffer loss.’ Then Martin Antolinez set forth the agreement that they should give him six hundred marks on those chests, and keep them safely till the end of the year, and pledge themselves by oath not to look into them meanwhile ; else that they should be forsworn, and that my Cid should not give them a farthing of the interest. Then said Martin Anto linez, ‘ Take up the chests and carry them away, and I will go with you to bring back the marks, for my Cid has to march before the cock crows.’ You might see how glad they were when they came to move the chests. They were not able to hoist them on their shoulders, strong as they were. And in the palace they spread a carpet, and over it a sheet of white linen, whereon they paid down three hundred marks in silver and other three hundred in gold. And Don Martin counted them, taking them without weighing, and with them he loaded five squires he had with him. This done, he said, ‘ Now, Don Rachel and Vidas, that the chests are in your hands, I who have brought you this gain have fairly earned breeches.’ And Rachel and Vidas said between themselves, ‘ Let us give him a good gift, for it was he who sought us out.’ ‘You deserve something,’ they said, ‘and we will give you wherewithal you may get breeches and a fur robe and a fair mantle ; we will give you thirty marks ; you have earned them, and it is reasonable, and you will testify to what we have agreed.’ Don Martin received the marks with thanks and took his leave, glad to quit the house ; and passed through Burgos and across the Arlanzon, and came to the tent of the Cid, who received him with open arms. ‘ Campendor,’ he said, ‘ I bring good tidings. You have gained six hundred marks and I thirty. Now bid them strike the tents and let us go at once. At San Pedro de Cardena ere the cock crow we shall see your high-born lady, and we will take rest and then quit the kingdom, for the day of grace draws to a close.” With that the tents were struck, and my Cid and his band mounted and rode forth. When the good Campeador reached San Pedro, the Abbot Don Sancho was chanting matins at day break, and Dona Ximena and her five ladies were praying to St. Peter and the Creator to aid my Cid the Campeador. With great joy they received him of the good hour, and said the Cid, ‘ Sir Abbot, as I am going forth from the land, I give you fifty marks, and if I live they shall be doubled. I do not wish to cause expense to the monastery. And here for Dona Ximena I give you a hundred marks, that you maintain her and her daughters and ladies for this year ; and if this should not suffice, let them want for nothing, I charge you. For one mark that you spend I will give four to the monastery.’ Ximena sank on her knees, weeping, and kissing his hands. ‘ Campeador, born in a good hour, by wicked tale-bearers art thou driven from the land. For the love of the blessed Mary giveus counsel.’ And he took his daughters in his arms. ‘ Ximena,’ said he, ‘ wife whom I love as my soul, I have to go, and ye must remain behind ; but please God and the blessed Mary I shall yet bestow these my daughters in marriage, if fortune does not desert me, and some days of life are left to me.’ Meanwhile, through Castile it was noised abroad that my Cid the Campeador was quitting the land. And some left houses and others honours, and that day on the bridge of Arlanzon a hundred and fifteen cavaliers assembled, asking for my Cid. Martin Antolinez joined them, and they went to San Pedro. And when my Cid was aware of it, he rode forth to meet them, and said: ‘I pray God that to you, who have left houses and heritages for me, I may be able to restore doubled what you have lost. To-morrow, when the cocks crow, the good Abbot will ring to matins in San Pedro, and, mass said, we will mount ; for the day of grace is nearly at an end, and we have far to go.’ The night passed and morning came, and with the first cocks they prepared to mount, while the bells were ringing to matins. And my Cid and his wife entered the church, and Ximena threw herself on the steps before the altar, praying fervently to God to protect my Cid Campeador from evil.

The prayer was said, the mass was sung, they mounted to depart ;

My Cid a moment stayed to press Ximena to his heart :

Ximena kissed his hand, as one distraught with grief was she :

He looked upon his daughters :

‘ These to God I leave,’ said he ;

‘ Unto our Lady and to God, Father of all below ;

He knows if we shall meet again :- and now, sirs, let us go.’

As when the finger-nail from out the flesh is torn away,

Even so sharp to him and them the parting pang that day.

Then to his saddle sprang my Cid, and forth his vassals led ;

But ever as he rode, to those behind he turned his head.

Minaya with small favour this so tender yearning viewed.

‘Thou in the good hour born!’ he cried, ‘where is thy fortitude ?

Our thoughts should now be for our road, and thine are wandering ;

Out of this sorrow of to-day to-morrow joy will spring.

God who hath given souls to us will give us guidance too.

‘ To Abbot Sancho then they turn, and charge him to be true,

And serve Ximena loyally and her young daughters twain,

Themselves and all their following, the ladies of their train.

And well the Abbot knew the charge would bring his house much gain.

‘ Should any come to join our band, if to our trail they hold,

They’ll find us,’ said Minaya, ‘ in the waste or on the wold.

‘ With that they give their steeds the rein and on their way they ride ;

The day of grace is well-nigh sped ; no longer may they bide.

And thus an exile from the land the loyal Champion went :

Over against Spinar de Can that night he pitched his tent :

The good town San Este’ban ‘ next upon the left they sight :

The Moorish towers of Ahilon rise far upon their right :

Then quitting Alcobilla, of Castilian towns the last,

And the highway of Quinea, they on rafts the Duero passed.

At Higeruela my Cid halted, while men came to him from all sides. And as he laid him down after supper a sweet vision visited him in his sleep. The angel Gabriel came to him in a dream, saying, ‘ Mount, Cid, brave Campeador. Never mounted knight in so good a case : whilst thou livest thou shalt prosper.’

The next day- it was the last of the day of grace- they halted at the Sierra de Miedes, and there the Campeador mustered his men, and besides men on foot he counted three hundred pennoned lances. By night they crossed the Sierra and went down the Loma and descended upon Castejon on the Henares. And my Cid, by the advice of Alvar Fanez, placed himself in ambush with a hundred of his company, while he despatched Alvar Fanez, and Alvar Alvarez, and Alvar Salvadores, and Galin Garcia, with two hundred, on a foray towards Hita and Guadalajara as far as Alcala. Dawn broke and the sun rose- God ! how splendid he showved !-And the men of Castejon arose and opened their gates, and sallied forth to their labours and their fields, leaving the gates open and but few people in Castejon. Then the Campeador issued from the ambush and rushed upon Castejon. And those that held the gate were panic-stricken and left it un defended, and Ruy Diaz entered by the gate with naked sword in hand, and slew eleven of those he encountered, and won Castejon with its gold and silver. The fifth part of the spoil fell to my Cid, but it could not be sold here, nor did he care to have captive men or women in his company. So he spoke with those of Castejon, and he sent to Hita and Guadalajara to know for how much this fifth part would be bought. And the Moors appraised it at three thousand marks of silver. And my Cid was pleased with the offer, and on the third day the money was paid. And my Cid agreed with his company not to remain in the castle, as King Alfonso was near ; and they departed rich from the castle they had taken, the Moorish men and women blessing them ; and with the utmost speed they went up the Henares and across the Alcarias by the caves of Anquita and the plain of Torancio and Fariza and Cetina. Great was the spoil my Cid took as he went : little did the Moors know what daring they had. Next my Cid passed by Alhama down the valley to Bubierca and Ateca and planted himself over against Alcocer upon a round hill, lofty and strong, near to the Salon, so that they could not cut him off from the water, for it was hs purpose to take Alcocer. And he levied tribute upon the people of Alcocer and Ateca and Terrel. There my Cid abode fifteen weeks, but when he saw that Alcocer would not surrende : he devised a stratagem. He left one tent pitched, and took the others and marched his men down the Salon in their armour, with their swords at their sides. When they of Alcocer saw it, God! how they exulted. ‘Bread and barley have failed my Cid, and he retreats like one defeated, leaving a tent behind him. Let us haste and seize the spoil before they of Terrel take it.’ So they sallied out of Alcocer, great and small, so eager to seize the prey, that they thought of nothing else, leaving the gates open and no one to guard them. When the good Campeador saw a wide space between them and the Castle, he ordered the standard to be turned and gave his horse the spur, crying,’Strike home, gentlemen, without falter ing: by God’s grace, the spoil is ours!’and wheeled upon them in the middle of the plain. God! how great was the joy of that morning! My Cid and Alvar Fanez on their good steeds charged forwards, and got between them and the Castle, and my Cid’s vassals fell upon them without mercy, and in a small space slew three hundred Moors. Those who were in advance made for the Castle, and sword in hand seized the gate, and soon the remainder came up, for the rout was complete; and in this manner, look you, my Cid won Alcocer. Pero Bermuez, who bore the standard, planted it on the highest part; and said my Cid: ‘Thanks be to the God of Heaven and all his Saints, now shall we have better lodgings for both man and horse. As for the Moors, we cannot sell them, and we shall gain nothing by cutting off their heads. Let us drive them in, for we have the mastery, and take possession of their houses and make them serve us.’ A heavy blow it was to them of Ateca ; nor did it please them of Terrel or of Calatayud. They sent word to the king of Valencia, how one whom they call my Cid Ruy Diaz of Bivar, banished in anger by King Alfonso, had posted himself over against Alcocer, and taken the Castle. ‘ Give help,’ they said, ‘ or thou wilt lose Ateca and Terrel and Calatayud, which can not escape ; and it will go hard with all the Salon-side, and along the Siloca too.’ And when King Tamin heard it,he despatchedthree thousand Moors, saying,’Take him alive and bring him to me, for he must render account for entering my lands.’ And they marched by Segorbe and Celfa, and came to Calatayud, great numbers joining them as they went, and under the two kings, named Fariz and Galve, they came and surrounded the good Cid in Alcocer, and took up positions and pitched tents. And day and night the Moorish scouts patrolled around, and mighty was their host. And my Cid’s men were cut off from the water. And they wished to go forth to battle, but he strictly forbade them; so for three weeks complete they were besieged, and at the beginning of the fourth, my Cid turned to take counsel with his men.

‘From water they have cut us off, our bread is running low;

If we would steal away by night, they will not let us go;

Against us there are fearful odds if we make choice to fight;

What would ye do now, gentlemen, in this our present plight?’

Minaya was the first to speak: said the stout cavalier,

‘Forth from Castile the Gentle thrust, we are but exiles here;

Unless we grapple with the Moor bread he will never yield;

A good six hundred men or more we have to take the field;

In God’s name let us falter not, nor countenance delay,

But sally forth and strike a blow upon to-morrow’s day.’

Like thee the counsel,’ said my Cid ; ‘ thou speakest to my mind ;

And ready to support thy word thy hand we ever find.

‘ Then all the Moors that bide within the walls he bids to go Forth from the gates, lest they, perchance, his purpose come to know.

In making their defences good they spend the day and night, And at the rising of the sun they arm them for the fight.

Then said my Cid : ‘ Let all go forth, all that are in our band ;

Save only two of those on foot, beside the gate to stand.

Here they will bury us if death we meet on yonder plain,

But if we win our battle there, rich booty shall we gain.

And thou Pero Bermuez, this my standard thou shalt hold ;

It is a trust that fits thee well, for thou art stout and bold ;

But see that thou advance it not unless I give command.

‘ Bermuez took the standard and he kissed the Champion’s hand.

Then bursting through the Castle gates upon the plain they show ;

Back on their lines in panic fall the watchmen of the foe.

And hurrying to and fro the Moors are arming all around,

While Moorish drums go rolling like to split the very ground ;

And in hot haste they mass their troops behind their standards twain,

Two mighty bands of men-at-arms – to count them it were vain.

And now their line comes sweeping on, advancing to the fray,

Sure of my Cid and all his band to make an easy prey.

‘ Now steady, comrades,’ said my Cid ; ‘ our ground we have to stand ;

Let no man stir beyond the ranks until I give command.’

Bermuez fretted at the word, delay he could not brook ;

He spurred his charger to the front, aloft the banner shook :

‘ O loyal Cid Campeador, God give thee aid !

I go To plant thy ensign in among the thickest of the foe ;

And ye who serve it, be it yours our standard to restore.’

‘Not so-as thou dost love me, stay!’ called the Campeador.

Came Pero’s answer: ‘Their attackIcannot, will not stay.’

He gave his horse the spur and dashed against the Moors’ array.

To win the standard eager all the Moors await the shock :

Amid a rain of blows he stands unshaken as a rock.

Then cried my Cid-‘In charity, on to the rescue -ho !

‘ With bucklers braced before their breasts, with lances pointing low,

With stooping crsts and heads bent down above the saddle bow,

All firm of hand and high of heart they roll upon the foe.

And he that in a good hour was born, his clarion voice rings out,

And clear above the clang of arms is heard his battle shout,

‘ Among them, gentlemen ! Strike home, for the love of charity !

The Champion of Bivar is here- Ruy Diaz- I am he !

‘ Then bearing where Bermuez still maintains unequal fight,

Three hundred lances down they come, their pennons flickering white;

Down go three hundred Moors to earth, a man to everyt blow;

And when they wheel, three hundred more, as charging back they go.

It was a sight to see the lances rise and fall that day;

The shivered shields and riven mail, to see how thick they lay;

The pennons that went in snow-white come out a gory red;

The horses running riderless, the riders lying dead;

While Moors call on Mohammed, and ‘St. James !’ the Christians cry,

And sixty score of Moors and more in narrow compass lie.

Above his gilded saddle-bow there played the Champion’s sword;

And Minaya Alvar Fanez, Zurita’s gallant lord ;’

And Martin Antolinez the worthy Burgalege;

And Muno Gustioz his squire—all to the front were these.

And there was Martin Munoz, he who ruled in Mont Mayor;

And there was Alvar Alvarez, and Alvar Salvador;

And the good Galin Garcia, stout lance of Aragon;

And Feliz Munoz, nephew of my Cid the Champion:

Well did they quit themselves that day, all these and many more. In rescue of the standard for my Cid Campeador.

But Minaya Alvar Fanez—the Moors have slain his steed;

And crowding on the Christians come to aid him in his need;

His lance lies shivered, sword in hand he showers blows around,

As, giving back, he, inch by inch, on foot contests the ground.

He saw it, the Campeador, Ruy Diaz of Castile:

Athwart him on a goodly steed there came an Alguacil;

With one strong stroke of his right hand he cleft the Moor in twain;

And plucked him from the saddle, and flung him on the plain.

‘Now mount, Minaya, mount,’ quoth he, ‘for thou art my right arm;

I have much need of thee to-day, thou must not come to harm;

The Moors maintain a front as yet; unbroken still they stand.’

Mounted again Minaya goes against them sword in hand.

With strength renewed he wields his blade as he his way doth wend,

Cleaving a path like one who means to make a speedy end.

And he that in a good hour was born at Fariz deals three blows;

Two glance aside, but full and fair the third one home it goes;

Forth spurting flies the blood; the streams down the king’s hauberk run;

He turns the rein to quit the plain—that stroke the field hath won.

And Martin Antolinez, he at Galve dealt a stroke;

Through the carbuncles of the casque the sword descending broke,

And cleaving down right to the crown, in twain the helmet shore;

Well wot ye, sirs, that Galve had no lust to stay for more.

And now are both king Galve and Fariz in retreat;

Great is the day for Christendom, great is the Moors’ defeat!

King Fariz found refuge in Terrel, but Galve fled onward, and the pursuit continued up to Calatayud. Bravely went the’ steed of Alvar Fanez: thirty and four Moors he slew, and he came back with his trenchant sword and his arm from the elbow downwards dripping blood. ‘Now am I content,’ said Minaya, ‘for the good tidings will reach Castile that Ruy Diaz has won a pitched battle.’ Back came my Cid on his good steed, his coif twisted, his scarf round his loins, his sword in hand. God! what a beard he bore !’ Thanks be to God,’ he said, ‘for the great victory we have won.’ And in the camp his men took great spoil of shields and arms and other goods; and they found five hundred and ten horses. Great was the joy of the Christians; but of their own men fifteen were missing. And my Cid made distribution of the money and other treasure to his vassals, and even to the Moors he gave somewhat. To my Cid in his fifth share there fell a hundred horses. ‘Hear me, Minaya,’ said he, ‘ I would send you to Castile with tidings of the battle we have won ; and of this wealth that God has given us, to offer a gift to King Alfonso of thirty horses saddled and bridled, with as many swords slung upon the saddle bows : and here is a wallet full of gold and silver, that in Santa Maria at Burgos you pay for a thousand masses. What is left, give to my wife and daughters, that they may pray for me night and day: if I live they shall be rich ladies. And to our friends you can say that God gives us aid and we conquer. On yourreturn, if you find us not here, follow us. By lance and sword we must maintain ourselves, else in this narrow land we cannot live.’

So on the morrow Minaya departed. But the land was narrow and full of evil, and the Moors of the frontier and the people beyond kept watch against my Cid and plotted with King Fariz ; so he bargained with them of Ateca and Terrel .and Calatayud, and sold them Alcocer for three thousand marks. When my Cid left Alcocer the Moors, men and women, raised lamentations. ‘Our prayers go before thee,’ they said, ‘we are left prosperous by thy means.’ And raising his standard the Campeador passed down the Salon, and on quitting the Salon he had many good omens. And he pushed forward and planted himself on a hill which is above Montreal Marvellous and high was the hill, and safe from attack on every side; and thence he laid under tribute Daroca, which is behind, and Molina, which is on the other side, and Teruel, which is farther on, and in his hand he held Celfa de Canal Alvar Fanez went to Castile and presented the thirty horses to the king. Said the king, ‘ It is too soon at the end of three weeks to take into favour a man who has earned the wrath of his lord, but since it comes from the Moors I accept this gift, and I am even glad my Cid has won such spoil. For you, Minaya, I release your lands and honours, and give you my pardon ; but as to my Cid, I say nothing save this, that throughout my kingdom any stout and valiant men who may wish to join my Cid, I leave free both as to their persons and estates.’

Meanwhile he who was born and girt on the sword in a good hour took up his abode on this hill, and, whether the people be Moorish or Christian, it will be called ‘ The hill of my Cid ‘ in all writings. There he remained fifteen full weeks, levying tribute over a wide country. But when he saw that Minaya delayed, he made a night march, and passing by Teruel, he fixed himself in the pine-wood of Tebar, and all the lands that side he laid under tribute, up to Saragossa. Thence he moved to the pass of Alucant, and on every side the tale was spread that the outlaw of Castile was doing much harm.

The Count of Barcelona, when the tidings met his ear

How that my Cid Ruy Diaz made forays far and near,

And laid the country waste, with wrath his inmost soul was stirred,

And in his anger hastily he spake a braggart word- ‘

He cometh to insult me, doth my Cid, he of Bivar.

Up to my very court, methinks, he means to carry war.

My nephew he hath wronged ; the wrong remaineth unre paired :

And now the lands that I protect to harry hath he dared.

No challenge have I sent to him, nor sought him for my foe ;

But now I call him to account, since he will have it so.’

Great mustering there is of Moors and Christians through the land,

A mighty host of men-at-arms he hath at his command.

Two days, three nights, they march to seek the Good One of Bivar,

To snare him where he harbours in the Pine-wood of Tebar ;

And such the speed of their advance, that, cumbered with his spoils,

And unaware, my Cid well nigh was taken in the toils.

The tidings reached my Cid as down the sierra side he went,

Then straightway to Count Raymond he a friendly message sent :

‘ Say to the Count that he, meseems, to me no grudge doth owe :

Of him I take no spoil, with him in peace I fain would go. ‘

‘ Nay,’ said the Count, ‘ for all his deeds he hath to make amends :

This outlaw must be made to know whose honour he offends.’

With utmost speed the messenger Count Raymond’s answer brought;

Then of a surety knew my Cid a battle must be fought.

‘Now, cavaliers,’ quoth he, ‘make safe the booty we have won.

Look to your weapons, gentlemen; with speed your armour don.

On battle bent Count Raymond comes; a mighty host hath he

Of Moors and Christians; fight we must if hence we would go free.

Here let us fight the battle out, since fight we must perforce.

On with your harness, cavaliers, quick! saddle, and to horse!

Yonder they come, the linen breaks, all down the mountain side,

For saddles they have Moorish pads, with slackened girths they ride:

Our saddles are Galician make, our leggings tough and stout:

A hundred of us gentlemen should scatter such a rout.

Before they gain the level plain, home with the lance charge we,

And then, for every blow we strike, we empty saddles three.

Count Raymond Berenger shall know with whom he has to do;

And dearly in Tebar to-day his raid on me shall rue.’

In serried squadron while he speaks they form around my Cid. ‘

Each grasps his lance, and firm and square each sits upon his steed.

Over against them down the hill they watch the Franks descend,

On to the level ground below, where plain and mountain blend.

Then gives my Cid the word to charge—with a good will they go:

Fast ply the lances; some they pierce, and some they over- throw.

And he that in a good hour was born soon hath he won the field;

And the Count Raymond Berenger he hath compelled to yield;

And reaping honour for his beard a noble prize hath made;

A thousand marks of silver worth, the great Colada blade.

Unto his quarters under guard the captive Count he sent,

While his men haste to gather in their spoils in high con- tent.

Then for my Cid Don Roderick a banquet they prepare;

But little doth Count Raymond now for feast or banquet care.

They bring him meat and drink, but he repels them with disdain.

‘No morsel will I touch,’ said he, ‘for all the wealth of Spain.

Let soul and body perish now; life why should I prolong, Conquered and captive at the hands of such an ill-breeched throng?’

‘Nay,’ said my Cid; ‘take bread and wine; eat, and thou goest free;

If not, thy realms in Christendom thou never more shalt see.’

‘Go thou, Don Roderick,’ said the Count, ‘eat if thou wilt, but I

Have no more lust for meat or drink:

I only crave to die.’ Three days, while they the booty share, for all that they entreat,

The Count his purpose holds unchanged, refusing still to eat.

Then said my Cid, ‘I pray thee, Count, take food and trust to me;

Thyself and two knights of thy train I promise to set free.’

Glad was Count Raymond in his heart when he the promise heard—

‘A marvel that will be, my Cid, if thou dost keep thy word.’

‘Then, Count, take food, and when I see thy hunger satisfied,

My word is pledged to let thee go, thyself and two beside.

But understand, one farthing’s worth I render not again

Of what has been in battle lost and won on yonder plain.

I give not back the lawful spoils I fairly win in fight;

But for mine own and vassals’ wants I hold them as my right.

My followers are needy men; I cannot if I would;

For spoil from thee and others won is all our livelihood.

And such, while God’s good will it is, must be our daily life,

As outcasts forced to wander, with an angry king at strife.’

With lighter heart Count Raymond called for water for his hands,

And then with his two gentlemen, sent by the Cid’s commands,

He blithely sat him down to meat: God! with what gust ate he!

And glad was the Campeador such heartiness to see.

Quoth he, ‘Until thou eat thy fill we part not, Count, to-day.’

‘Nor loth am I,’ Count Raymond said, ‘such bidding to obey.’

So he and his two cavaliers a hearty meal they made:

It pleased my Cid to watch his hands, how lustily they played.

‘Now, if thou wilt,’ Count Raymond said, ‘that we are satisfied,

Bid them to lead the horses forth, that we may mount and ride.

Never since I have been a Count have I yet broken fast

With such a relish; long shall I remember this repast.’

Three palfreys with caparisons of costly sort they bring,

And on the saddles robes of fur and mantles rich they fling.

Thus, with a knight on either hand, away Count Raymond rides;

While to the outposts of the camp his guests the Champion guides,

‘Now speed thee, Count; ride on,’ quoth he, ‘a free Frank as thou art.

For the brave spoil thou leavest me I thank thee from my heart;

And if to win it back again perchance thou hast a mind,

Come thou and seek me when thou wilt;

I am not far to find. But if it be not to thy taste to try another day,

Still, somewhat, be it mine or thine, thou carriest away.’

—’ Nay! go in peace for me, my Cid: no more I seek of thee;

And thou, I think, for one year’s space hast won enough of me.’

He spurred his steed, but, as he rode, a backward glance he bent,

Still fearing to the last my Cid his promise would repent:

A thing, the world itself to win, my Cid would not have done:

No perfidy was ever found in him, the Perfect One.

The Second Cantar

When the Count had departed, he of Bivar turned to his men and set them to collect together the spoils they had won. Here beginneth the achievement of my Cid of Bivar ;’ leaving Saragossa and the lands on that side, and Huesca,” and the lands of Montalvan, he began to make war towards the salt sea. The sun rises in the east, and he turned in that direction, and took Xerica and Onda and Almenar, and conquered all the lands of Burriana, and moreover Murviedro. Then did my Cid see that God was aiding him. Within Valencia there was no little fear, and they of Valencia took counsel together, and marching by night, they came and encamped against Murviedro. When my Cid saw them he said, ‘We are in their lands and we do them much evil : we drink their wine and eat their bread: if they come to besiege us, they have a right to do it. Let a summons be sent to Xerica and Alucant and Onda and Almenar and Burriana, to all who are bound to aid us.’ And on the third day all were brought together, and said my Cid, ‘To-morrow will we go forth to meet this host, like exiles from a far country: then it will be seen who deserves his pay.’ With the dawn my Cid attacked them, in the name of God, and of the Apostle Santiago, crying, ‘Strike home, gentlemen, with heart and good will! I am Ruy Diaz, my Cid, he of Bivar!’ And then you might see tent-ropes broken, and poles plucked up and tents overturned. On the other side, Alvar Fanez fell upon them, and despite of themselves they had to give back and flee. Two Moorish kings were slain in the pursuit and it continued up to Valencia. Great were the spoils which my Cid made, and he took Cebolla and all that lies beyond; and my Cid and all his company were glad, and his horsemen began to make forays by night, reaching to Cullera and Xativa, and even as far as Denia. All the land of the Moors they harried as far as the sea-shore, and they took Pena Cadiella with the outlets and entrances. In winning these cities my Cid spent three years. They of Valencia were disheartened, nor durst they go forth to meet him. He reaped their fields and in each of these years he took away their bread from them. Bitter were the lamenta- tions in Valencia, for they knew not what to do, nor was there any side from which food might come to them; nor could father help son nor son father, nor friend give comfort to friend. When the bread runs low, to see the women and children die of hunger,—sirs, it is a piteous tale. Those outside saw their misery, but could not help them. They sent word to the King of Morocco, for they were in great friendship with him of the Bright Mountains, but he gave them no help nor came to aid them, and my Cid knew it and was glad of heart. And he caused it to be proclaimed through Navarre and Aragon and Castile :’ Whoso would rid himself of care and be rich, let him come to my Cid, who purposes to beleaguer Valencia, to give it to the Christians.’ Great numbers flocked to him out of fair Christendom, and when my Cid saw them collected he marched against Valencia and beleaguered it closely, suffering none to go in or out : but he granted a day of grace in case any should come to relieve it. Nine months complete he sat before it, and when the tenth came they had to surrender. Great was the rejoicing when my Cid entered Valencia. Those who were on foot became cavaliers, and the gold and the silver—who could count it? All were rich, as many as were there. Thirty thousand marks in money fell to my Cid in his fifth part, and the other wealth, who could count it? And joyful was my Cid and all his men when his standard rested on the summit of the Alcazar. Word was brought to the king of Seville how Valencia was taken, and he came with thirty thousand men-at- arms, and gave battle on the Huerta, and he of the long beard routed them. Up to Xativa the rout continued, and you might have seen a struggle at the passage of the Jucar, and the Moors drinking their fill of water in spite of themselves. Rich was the spoil when they took Valencia, but much more gainful, look you, was this victory: even to the least of them, there fell a hundred marks of silver. Now was the beard of my Cid growing great and increasing in length, and said he,’ For the love of King Alfonso who hath banished me neither shall scissors come near it, nor a hair of it be plucked, and it shall be famous among Moors and Christians.’ And to Minaya he said: ‘I desire to send you to Castile, to King Alfonso, my natural lord, with a hundred horses of this spoil, that you kiss his hand for me and pray that of his grace he allow me to bring my wife and daughters to this distant land that we have won.’ Meanwhile there had come from the east a holy man, the (Bishop Don Jerome by name, one of learning and repute, and valiant both on foot and on horseback, who came to my Cid’s gates in the hope of seeing Moors in the field and having his fill of fighting. My Cid was pleased, and he said to Alvar Fanez: ‘Since God is willing to aid us, we should show our gratitude. In these lands of Valencia will I make a bishopric and give it to this good Christian : it will be good news to bring when you go to Castile.’ Minaya departed for Castile : I will not enu- merate his halting-places, but he came to the king and kissed his hand, and showed how my Cid was prospering in a far country, and had won Xerica and Murviedro and Castellon, and the strong fortress Pena Cadiella, and withal was Lord of Valencia, and had made a bishop with his hands, and fought and won five pitched battles, and gained much booty, in token whereof he sent these hundred horses to the king. And the king was pleased, but Count Garcia Ordonez’ was vexed. ‘Methinks,’ he said, ‘there cannot be a man in the land of the Moors, for my Cid does as he pleases.’ But the king said, ‘Be silent; for in every way he serves me better than you.’ And he gave leave for Dona Ximena and her daughters to depart from the monastery, and ordered an escort to attend them while they should be in his dominions. At this the Infantes of Carrion said between themselves : ‘ My Cid is growing in importance. It would be well for us to marry his daughters, but we dare not think of it, for he is of Bivar and we are Counts of Carrion.’ They said nothing of this to any one, but they bade Minaya to give their salutations to my Cid of Bivar. And Rachel and Vidas came to Minaya and fell at his feet saying, ‘The Cid has undone us, look you, if he does not help us.’ ‘I will see to it with my Cid,’ said Minaya : ‘what you have done he will take into consideration.’ ‘God grant it,’ said Rachel and Vidas : ‘if not, we shall leave Burgos and go to seek him.’ And Minaya and the ladies departed, and passed by Medina and came to Molina, where the Moor Abengalvon ruled, and well did he serve them; they had no lack of anything they desired. And when they were within three leagues of Valencia, the news was brought to my Cid, and he was joyful more than ever he had been, having tidings of what he loved best. And they led forth Babieca, then lately won, and as yet my Cid knew not whether he was swift or well managed. And he leaped upon him and ran a course so marvellous that all wondered, and from that day Babieca was held to be worth all Spain. Then he dismounted and went to meet his wife and daughters, and fondly embraced them, while their eyes were filled with tears through the joy they felt. Then said he who was born in a good hour, ‘My heart and soul come with me into Valencia, this heritage I have won for you.’ And my Cid went with them to the Alcazar, and led them up to the highest part, and with their bright eyes they looked around. They beheld Valencia, how the city lay, and on the other side the sea, and the great broad Huerta ; and they lifted up their hands, thanking God for a prize so fair.

Now winter was past and March was coming in, and King Yucef of Morocco, being wroth with my Cid Don Roderick, collected his forces, and with fifty thousand men-at-arms put to sea-and came to Valencia and pitched his tents. Said my Cid: ‘I thank God and the blessed Mary mother, that I have my wife and daughters here: they shall see me fight, and how we sojourn and win our bread in the land of the stranger.’ And he took them up to the Alcazar, and when they saw the pitched tents, they said, ‘ Cid, God be with you, what is this?’ ‘Fear not, honoured wife,’ he said: ‘it is marvellous great wealth that comes to us. Scarcely have you arrived but they bring a gift to you—a dowry against the marriage of your daughters. Fear not to see me fight ; my heart swells within me, because ye are by, and with God’s help I shall win this battle.’ And my Cid sprang upon Babieca, and taking the standard, they sallied forth from Valencia. Four thousand less thirty followed my Cid, and they went forth joyfully to attack fifty thousand. My Cid plied his lance and sword ; and, from the elbow downwards dripping blood, he slew so many Moors they could not be counted, and he dealt three blows at King Yucef, who escaped by the speed of his horse and took refuge in Cullera. All the spoil remained in his hands ; the fifty thousand were reckoned by counting, and not more than a hundred and four had escaped. Between gold and silver, they found three thousand marks, and of other spoils there was no count. Back upon Babieca came my Cid, sword in hand, and before the ladies, who were waiting for him, he drew rein. ‘My homage to you, ladies,” he said; ‘great booty have I won for you. While ye held Valencia, I have won on the plain. It was the will of God and all his Saints; since at your coming they have granted us such spoil. Behold my gory sword and sweating steed; thus are Moors vanquished on the field.’ He gave orders to preserve the tent of the king of Morocco : ‘this,’ said he, ‘ will I send to Alfonso of Castile, that he may believe the tales of my Cid’s booty.’ And he said to Minaya: ‘To-morrow shall you go with these two hundred horses of my fifth share as a present, that King Alfonso may not speak ill of the ruler of Valencia.’ He bade Pero Bermuez to accompany him, and travelling day and night across sierras and forests and rivers, they came to Valladolid, where the king was. And the king was pleased. ‘Willingly,’ said he, ‘I receive the gift my Cid has sent me, and may the day come when he shall be reconciled with me.’ But the Count Don Garcia was wroth, and withdrawing apart, with ten of his kins- men,he said : ‘It is a marvel, how the honour of the Cid increases: by it are we humiliated—by this insolent conquering of kings in battle, and sending horses as if he had found them dead.” But said the Infantes of Carrion, taking counsel together privily, ‘The fame of my Cid is growing great : let us ask his daughters in marriage; so shall we increase in honour and advance ourselves.’ So they came to King Alfonso with this design, saying, ‘We seek a favour of you as our king and natural lord, that you demand for us the Campeador’s daughters, that we marry them, to their honour and to our advantage.’ For a good hour the king thought and considered. ‘I have banished the good Campeador, and while I have done him evil, he has rendered me good service. I know not whether this marriage will be to his taste ; but since ye desire it, let us enter into nego- tiation.’ And he sent for Minaya Alvar Fanez and Pero Bermuez, and took them aside into a chamber. ‘My Cid the Campeador,’ said he, ‘serves me, and he shall have pardon of me. Diego and Ferrando the Infantes of Carrion have a mind to wed with his two daughters. Be true messengers I bid ye, and tell the good Campeador that he will grow in honour by an intermarriage with the Infantes of Carrion.’ And Minaya and Pero said: ‘We will make the demand as you bid us ; let the Cid do as pleases him.’ So they took leave of the king, and departed for Valencia with their company. And the good Campeador went forth to meet them, and he embraced them, saying, ‘Welcome, Minaya, and thou, Pero Bermuez. In few lands are there two such barons. How is the health of my Lord Alfonso? is he content, and doth hereceive my gifti” Said Minaya,’ Heart and soul he is content, and he gives you his love.’ ‘Thanks be to God,” said my Cid ; and with that they opened the proposal of Alfonso of Leon, that he should give his daughters to the Infantes of Carrion. When my Cid heard it, he thought and considered a good hour. ‘For this,’ said he, ‘ I give thanks to Christ my Lord; I was banished and stripped of honour, and with great toil have I won what I possess. Thanks be to God for the king’s grace, and that he asks my daughters for the Infantes of Carrion. They are haughty, and have a faction in the Court. I would have no taste for the match, but since he, who is mightier than we, advises, let us consent and be silent; and may God in Heaven direct us for the best.’ Then they wrote a letter to the king, that what he desired, that would the Campeador do. And the king was glad, and said : ‘ Let the meeting be three weeks hence. If I am alive, I will go without fail.’ And my Cid made preparation for the meeting, and they set forth from Valencia. And when King Alfonso knew the good Campeador was coming, he went forth to receive him with honour. And when he who was born in a good hour beheld him, he ordered all his men to halt, and placed himself hands and knees upon the earth, and took the grass of the field in his teeth, shedding tears from his eyes, so great was the joy he felt, and thus did he do homage to Alfonso his lord. But it grieved the king. ‘Rise,’ he said, ‘Cid Campeador, kiss my hands, not my feet. If you do so, you shall not have my love.’ Still on his bended knees, said the Campeador,’I ask grace of you, my natural lord, that you will here grant me your love, so that all present may hear it. Said the king: ‘That will I with heart and soul. Here do I pardon you, and grant you my love throughout my kingdom from this day forth.’ Said my Cid : ‘I thank God of Heaven, and next to him, you, Alfonso, my lord, and this present com- pany.’ And on bended knees he kissed his hand, and rising to his feet saluted him on the mouth. That day my Cid Ruy Diaz was the guest of the king, who could not satisfy himself in showing him affection, ever gazing on his beard, which had grown so mighty ; and all that were there marvelled at my Cid. And the next day my Cid ordered his men to prepare a banquet for as many as were present, and in such fashion did he entertain them, that all agreed they had not feasted better for three years back. On the morrow, when they came forth from mass, the king opened the negotiation. ‘Give ear, all ye in attendance, counts and gentlemen. I make a request of my Cid the Campeador. Christ grant that it be for his advantage. I ask your daughters Dona Elvira and Dona Sol for wives for the Infantes of Carrion—an honourable and fitting marriage, as it seems to me.’ Said the Campeador in answer: ‘I have no marriageable daughters, for they are of tender age; but I and they are in your hands. Give them as it pleases you; I am content.’ Then the Infantes of Carrion rose and kissed his hand, and said the king: ‘I thank you, Cid, that you give me your daughters for the Infantes of Carrion.’ But said my Cid: ‘It is you who give my daughters in marriage, not I. I will not give them from my hand, nor shall they vaunt themselves of it.” The king made answer: ‘Here is Alvar Fanez; let him take them from your hands and give them to the Infantes.’ With that my Cid took his leave of King Alfonso, and set forth for Valencia, giving the Infantes in charge to Don Pero and Muno Gustioz. Dona Ximena and his daughters met him, and he said: ‘By this marriage of yours we shall increase in honour; but, look you, it was not I that brought it about. My lord Alfonso demanded you so earnestly, that I knew not how to say no, and in his hands have I placed you, my daughters. Believe me, it is he who bestows you in marriage, not I.’ Then they set about preparing the palace. From top to bottom it was adorned with hangings of purple and samite and choice cloth. You would have relished living and eating in that palace. Then they sent for the Infantes, who rode forth to the palace arrayed in rich raiment. God ! how meekly they entered. My Cid and his vassals received them, and they did homage to him and to his wife, and seated themselves upon a costly couch. Then said the Campeador, rising to his feet: ‘As we have somewhat to do, why do we delay.? Come hither, Alvar Fanez, whom I love and esteem: here are my two daughters, I place them in your hands. You know what the king hath commanded. I would not fail in aught that has been agreed. Give them to the Infantes of Carrion, with your blessing, and let us proceed.’ Then said Minayatothe Infantes: ‘By the hand of King Alfonso, who has laid the charge upon me, I give you these ladies of high degree, that ye take them for wives in honour and respect.’ This done, they went forth from the palace to Santa Maria, and the bishop, Don Jerome, received them at the door of the church and gave them his benediction and chanted the mass. And from the church they rode out to the Glera of Valencia. God! how gallantly my Cid and his vassals bore their arms. He that was born in a good hour changed three horses, and with what he saw he was well content, for the Infantes of Carrion rode well; and the next day my Cid set up seven shields, and before they returned to dine, they broke them all. Rich was the wedding festival in the honoured Alcazar, and it lasted for fifteen days. And then those who had arrived for the marriage returned to Castile, taking their leave of Ruy Diaz and the ladies and gentle- men. And my Cid and his sons-in-law remained in Valencia, and there the Infantes abode well nigh two years. Great was the affection shown to them, and the Cid was glad, and all his vassals. The blessed Mary and our Father grant that my Cid may have joy of this marriage.

Here end the verses of this lay. The Creator and all his Saints be with you.

The Third Cantar

My Cid was in Valencia, with his vassals and his sons-in-law the Infantes of Carrion. Stretched upon a couch, the Campeador was sleeping, when, wot ye, a mishap befel them. The lion broke loose and escaped from the cage, and in sore fear were they in the midst of the court. They of the Campeador wrapped their mantles upon their arms, and gathered round the couch, and stood over their lord. But Ferran Gonzalez seeing no place of safety, neither open chamber nor tower, crept be- neath the couch, so great was his fear, and Diego Gonzalez fled through the door, crying : ‘ I shall never see Carrion more,’ and in his terror threw himself across a wine-press beam, with his mantle and robe all besmeared. Thereupon he who was born in a good hour awoke, and seeing the couch surrounded by his good barons, he said : ‘What means this, comrades ? what would ye?’ ‘Honoured lord,’ said they,’it is the lion gives us dread.’ Then my Cid rose to his feet, and drew his mantle on his neck, and advanced on the lion. And the lion, when he saw him, was abashed and bent his head before my Cid, and Don Roderick grasped him by the mane, and dragging him put him in the cage: a marvel to all that were by. And returning to the palace through the court, he asked for his sons-in-law, but found them not. Despite of calling, there came no answer. And when they were found, they came back so pale, that laughter,—you never saw the like—ran round the court. My Cid the Campeador bade it cease, but the Infantes of Carrion held themselves grievously insulted.

While matters stood so, a thing befel, which gave them sore trouble. The army of Morocco, and King Bucar, if you have heard tell of him, came and beleaguered Valencia with fifty thousand pitched tents. My Cid and all his barons were glad. Thanks to God, it was more spoil for them. But, look you, the Infantes of Carrion were troubled at heart to see so many tents of the Moors, for which they had no relish. ‘We look for booty,’ said they, ‘and not loss. Now we shall have to go forth to battle, and it is certain we shall never see Carrion again, and the Campeador’s daughters will be left widows.’ Muno Gustioz heard their discourse, and carried the news to my Cid. ‘See how your sons-in-law are afeared; how courageous they are: at the prospect of battle they are longing for Carrion. Go give them heart, and God speed you.’ And my Cid Don Roderick went out smiling. ‘God be with you, sons-in-law,’ said he. ‘Battle is my desire, Carrion is yours. In your arms ye have my daughters, bright as the sun. Rest in Valencia at your will. I know how to deal with the Moors, and with God’s grace I will endeavour to overthrow them.’

[The break, owing to the abstraction of a leaf from the Bivar Codex, occurs at this point. The defect in the narrative is partially supplied further on by the speech of Pero Bermuez at the Cortes of Toledo. We may assume that the brothers, or at least Ferrando, stung by the im- putation of cowardice, make some demonstration of zeal, which leads to the encounter described by Pero.]

‘May the time come when I may deserve as much of both of you.’ They went back together, and as Don Pero agreed, the honour was bestowed upon Ferrando. My Cid and his vassals rejoiced. ‘Please God,’ said he, ‘both my sons-in-law will yet bear themselves stoutly in battle,’ and so say his followers all.

Loud from among the Moorish tents the call to battle comes,

And some there are, unused to war, awed by the rolling drums.

Ferrando and Diego most: of troubled mind are they;

Not of their will they find themselves before the Moors that day.

‘Pero Bermuez,’ said the Cid, ‘my nephew stanch and true, Ferrando and Diego do I give in charge to you;

Be yours the task in this day’s fight my sons-in-law to shield,

For, by God’s grace, to-day we sweep the Moors from off the field.

‘ ‘Nay,’ said Bermuez, ‘Cid, for all the love I bear to thee,

The safety of thy sons-in-law no charge of mine shall be.

Let him who will the office fill; my place is at the front,

Among the comrades of my choice to bear the battle’s brant;

As it is thine upon the rear, against surprise to guard,

And ready stand to give support where’er the fight goes hard.

‘ Came Alvar Fanez: ‘Loyal Cid Campeador,’ he cried,

‘This battle surely God ordains—He will be on our side;

Now give the order of attack as seems to thee the best,

And, rust me, every man of us will do his chief’s behest.’

But lo all armed from head to heel the Bishop Jerome shows;

He ever brings good fortune to my Cid where’er he goes.

‘Mass have I said, and now I come to join you in the fray;

To strike a blow against the Moor in battle if I may,

And in the field win honour for my order and my hand.

It is for this that I am here, far from my native land.

Unto Valencia did I come to cast my lot with you,

All for the longing that I had to slay a Moor or two.

And so, in warlike guise I come, with blazoned shield, and lance,

That I may flesh my blade to-day, if God but give the chance.

Then send me to the front to do the bidding of my heart:

Grant me this favour that I ask, or else, my Cid, we part,’

‘Good!’ said my Cid. ‘Go, flesh thy blade; there stand thy Moorish foes.

Now shall we see how gallantly our fighting Abbot goes.’

He said; and straight the Bishop’s spurs are in his charger’s flanks,

And with a will he flings himself against the Moorish ranks.

By his good fortune, and the aid of God, that loved him well,

Two of the foe before his point at the first onset fell.

His lance he broke, he drew his sword—God ! how the good steel played!

Two with the lance he slew, now five go down beneath his blade.

But many are the Moors, and round about him fast they close,

And on his hauberk, and his shield, they rain a shower of blows.

He in the good hour born beheld Don Jerome sorely pressed;

He braced his buckler on his arm, he laid his lance in rest,

And aiming where beset by Moors the Bishop stood at bay,

Touched Babieca with the spur and plunged into the fray;

And flung to earth unhorsed were seven, and lying dead were four,

Where breaking through the Moorish ranks came the Campeador.

God, it so pleased, that this should be the finish of the fight; Before the lances of my Cid the fray became a flight;

And then to see the tent-ropes burst, the tent-poles pros- trate flung!

As the Cid’s horsemen crashing came the Moorish tents among.

Forth from the camp King Bucar’s Moors they drove upon the plain,

And charging on the rout, they rode and cut them down amain;

Here severed fell the mail-clad arm, there lay the steel capped head,

And here the charger, riderless, ran trampling on the dead.

Behind King Bucar, as he fled, my Cid came spurring on;

‘Now, turn thee, Bucar, turn!’ he cried; ‘here is the Bearded One;

Here is that Cid you came to seek, King from beyond the main,

Let there be peace and amity to-day between us twain.’

Said Bucar, ‘Nay; thy naked sword, thy rushing steed, I see;

If these mean amity, then God confound such amity.

Thy hand and mine shall never join unless in yonder deep,

If the good steed that I bestride his footing can but keep.’

Swift was the steed, but swifter borne on Babieca’s stride,

Three fathoms from the sea my Cid rode at King Bucar’s side;

Aloft his blade a moment played, then on the helmet’s crown,

Shearing the steel-cap dight with gems, Colada he brought down.

Down to the belt, through helm and mail, he cleft the Moor in twain.

And so he slew King Bucar, who came from beyond the main.

This was the battle, this the day, when he the great sword won,

Worth a full thousand marks of gold—the famous Brand, Tizon.

And as my Cid came back from the slaughter, he lifted up his eyes and saw Diego and Ferrando coming, and he rejoiced, smiling brightly. ‘Welcome, sons-in-law,’ said he : ‘my sons are ye both. I know now that ye delight in battle. Good news of you will go to Carrion, how we have vanquished King Bucar.’ Then came Minaya Alvar Fanez, from the elbow down dripping with blood, for twenty Moors and more had he slain; his shield upon his neck all dinted; little recked he of the lance- thrusts; those who had given them had not profited by them. ‘To God be thanks,’ said he, ‘and to you, Cid, born in a good hour. You have slain Bucar, we have won the field, and your sons-in-law have fleshed their swords in battle with the Moors.’ Said my Cid: ‘I too am glad. Now that they are brave, hence- forth will they be esteemed.’ With good intent he said it, but they took it ill . They withdrew apart: verily they were brothers. ‘Let us,’ said they,’ have no regard for what they say. Let us depart for Carrion ; we delay too long here. Great and rich is the wealth we have gained. While we live we cannot spend it. Let us demand our wives of the Cid, that we take them to the lands of Carrion, to show them our heritage. Let us remove them from Valencia and from the power of the Campeador, and afterwards on the road we will do our will, so that they reproach us no more with the affair of the lion. We will flout the daughters of the Campeador. With this wealth we shall be rich for ever; we shall be able to wed the daughters of kings or emperors, for by birth we are Counts of Carrion.’ With this design they returned, and said Ferran Gonzalez: ‘God be with you, Cid Campeador. May it please Dona Ximena, and you, and Minaya Alvar Fanez, and all present : give us our wives, that we take them to our lands of Carrion and establish them in the towns we give them for portions and honours, so that your daughters may see what we possess and what will be the possessions of the sons we beget.’ Said the Campeador,’ I will give you my daughters and some- what of my wealth ;’ for the Cid cared not to be thus slighted. ‘Ye give them towns and lands for portions in the lands of Carrion, and I as a marriage portion give them three thousand marks of silver, and to you I give mules and palfreys and horses strong and swift, and raiment of cloth and robes, and two swords, Colada and Tizon : well you know I won them in knightly fashion. My sons are ye, since I give you my daughters, and in them ye take from me the core of my heart. Let them of Galicia, and Castile, and Leon know how I have sent my sons-in-law home with wealth.’ Thus did they go forth from Valencia the Bright, and held their way across the Huerta. Cheerful went my Cid and all his company; but he who girt the sword in a good hour saw in the omens that these marriages would not be without some mishap, but it was vain to repent of having made them. And he said : ‘Feliz Mufioz, thou art my nephew and the cousin of my daughters. I charge thee go with them even unto Carrion, and see the heritage given to them, and return with the tidings. Take ye your way by Molina, and salute my friend Abengalvon the Moor, that he receive my sons-in-law with honour, and for love of me escort them as far as Medina.’ The parting was as that of the nail from the flesh, and then he of the good hour returned to Valencia. And the Infantes of Carrion took their way by Santa Maria de Albarracin and came to Molina, to the Moor Abengalvon, who received them with great joy, and on the morrow rode forth with them with two hundred cavaliers, to escort them through the forest of Luzon and Arbuxuelo, till they reached the Salon. But the brothers, seeing the wealth the Moor carried, plotted treachery together: ‘If we could slay the Moor Abengalvon, we might possess ourselves of his wealth, and hold it as surely as our possessions of Carrion; and the Cid Campeador could never have satisfaction of us.’ But a Moor versed in Latin overheard the plot, and said to Abengalvon: ‘Have a care, my lord. The Infantes of Carrion plot thy death.’ And Abengalvon was very wroth, and with his two hundred men he presented himself, arms in hand, before the Infantes. ‘Say, Infantes of Carrion, what have I done to you? Without guile am I serving you, and ye plot my death. Were it not for my Cid of Bivar, I would serve you so that the world should ring with it. I would restore his daughters to the loyal Campeador, and ye should never set foot in carrion. Here I leave you as villains and traitors. Under your favour, Ladies Elvira and Sol, I will depart. God the Lord of the earth give the Campeador joy of this marriage.’ So saying the Moor returned across the Salon towards Molina, and the Infantes moved forward and crossed the Sierra of Miedes, and leaving Griza on the left and San Es tehan on the right, but far beyond, they entered the oak wood of Corpes,—a tall forest, where branches lifted themselves to the clouds, and fierce beasts roamed around. They found a glade with a clear fountain, and they caused the tents to be pitched, and there they passed the night with their wives in their arms, making a show of love, which they ill proved at sunrise. Then they ordered the mules to be loaded and their servants to go forward, and when they four were left alone, then did the Infantes do a cruel wrong. ‘Here,’ said they, ‘ in this wild forest, do we cast you off, and the Cid Campeador shall know that this is our vengeance for the affair of the lion. Then plucking off mantles and pelisses, the cruel traitors strip them to their smocks and undercoats, and seize the hard strong saddle-girths. Seeing this, said Dona Sol, ‘ For God’s sake we entreat you, as ye have trenchant swords in your hands, rather cut off our heads, and let us be martyrs. If we are beaten, ye will be reviled of Moors and Christians, and called to answer it in Council or in Cortes.’ But all their entreaties availed them nothing, for straightway the Infantes began to lash them with the saddle- girths and sharp spurs, tearing their linen and their flesh till the bright blood ran down their clothing. ‘Ah!’ thought the ladies in their hearts, ‘if it were God’s will, what fortune it would be if the Campeador should now appear.’ Then, weary of striking and striving which could give the hardest blows, the Infantes left Elvira and Sol for dead, a prey to the beasts and birds of the forest. O for the Cid Campeador to come upon them that hour! Then the Infantes went on their way rejoicing through the wood. ‘Now are we avenged of our marriages,’ said they. ‘Thus is the dishonour of the lion avenged.’ Rut I must tell you of Feliz Munoz, the nephew of the Cid. They bade him go forward, and against his will he went. His heart smote him as he followed the road, and he drew aside from the others, and hid himself in a thicket to watch whether his cousins came, and what the Infantes did. He saw them pass and heard their talk: had they seen him, look you, he had not escaped death. But they spurred onwards, and he turned back and found his cousins in a swoon, and sprang from his horse, crying,’ Cousins ! cousins! for the love of God, waken while it is yet day, that the savage beasts of the forest devour us not.’ Coming to themselves, Dona Elvira and Dona Sol opened their eyes and saw Feliz Munoz, and in sore pain said Dona Sol : ‘If our father the Campeador deserve aught of you, for God’s sake give us water.’ And with his hat (new and fresh was it when he brought it out of Valencia) he fetched water and gave it to his cousins, and urging them and encouraging them, he set them upon his horse, and they took their way through the oak wood of Corpes, and by nightfall they issued forth from the wood and reached the waters of Duero. He left them at the Tower of Dona Urraca, and came to San Esteban, where he found Diego Tellez, kinsman of Alvar Fanez. He, when he heard it, was grieved to the heart; and he took beasts and proper raiment, and fetched Dona Elvira and Dona Sol and lodged them in San Esteban, showing them all the honour he could. They of San Este”ban are ever courteous, and it grieved them to the heart when they knew of the matter, and they comforted the daughters of the Cid and tended them till they were restored. These tidings came to Valencia, and when they were told to my Cid, he thought and pondered a full hour: and he raised his hand and grasped his beard, saying, ‘ Christ be thanked, since the Infantes of Carrion have done me such honour. By this beard that none hath reaped, the Infantes of Carrion shall not profit by this, and well shall I marry my daughters.’ And he ordered Minaya and Pero Bermuez and Martin Antolinez to go with two hundred cavaliers to bring back his daughters to Valencia. When Dona Elvira and Dona Sol saw Minaya,’ We are as thankful to see you, said they, ‘as if we had seen the Creator; and give ye thanks unto him that we are alive. When we are on our journey, we will tell you all our grievance.’ And said Pero Bermuez,’ Be of good cheer, since ye are alive and well and without other hurt. We have lost a good marriage, but ye can win a better, and may we see the day when we shall be able to avenge you.’ And the next day they set forth, they of San Esteban attending them with loving kindness as far as the river-side. And Minaya and the ladies passed through Alcoceba to the right of San Es- te^ban de Gormaz and halted at the King’s ford at the Casa de Berlanga, and the next day they reached Medina, and the next Molina. The Moor Abengalvon was glad, and went forth to to receive them, and made them a rich supper for the love of the Cid. Thence they went to Valencia, and he in the good hour born went forth to meet them, and he embraced them and kissed them. ‘Welcome, my daughters,’ said he. ‘God keep you from evil. I accepted this marriage, for I dared not gainsay it. God grant that I see you better married hereafter, and that I have my revenge of my sons-in-law of Carrion.’ Then he took counsel with his followers, and he said to Muno Gustioz, ‘Carry the tidings to Castile, to King Alfonso, of this dishonour the Infantes have done me. It will cut the good king to the heart, for he and not I gave my daughters in marriage, and if any dishonour falls on us, great or small it falls on my lord. Let him summon me the Infantes of Carrion to council, as- sembly, or cortes, that I have justice of them, for heavy is the grievance on my heart.’ And Muno Gustioz set forth, travelling day and night, and found the king at Sahagun. And the king was silent and meditated a good hour. ‘Sooth to tell,’ said he, ‘it grieves me to the heart, for it was I married his daughters to the Infantes of Carrion. I did it for his advantage, but to-day I wish the match had not been made. It is his right that I should aid him: so my heralds shall go through all my kingdom to summon my court to Toledo. And I shall summon the Infantes of Carrion, that they do justice to my Cid the Cam- peador, so that he have no grievance if I can prevent it. Tell the Campeador to come to me to Toledo at the end of seven weeks. For the love of him do I summon this court.’ Then without delay Alfonso of Castile sent letters to Leon and Santiago, to the Portuguese and Galicians, and to them of Carrion, and to the barons of Castile, that the honoured king would hold a court in Toledo at the end of seven weeks, and that he who came not to the court should not be esteemed his vassal. It weighed heavily upon the Infantes of Carrion, for they feared my Cid the Campeador would come; and they entreated the king to excuse them this court. ‘That will I not do,’ said the king, ‘ so help me God: my Cid the Campeador will come, and you have to render him justice, for he has a grievance against you. He who will not come to my court, let him quit my kingdom, for I relish him not.’ Then the Infantes saw there was no help for it, and they took counsel with their kinsmen ; and the Count Don Garcia, the enemy of my Cid, who always sought to do him harm, was among them.

When the appointed day came, among the first went the good King Don Alfonso, and the Count Don Anrrich, and the Count Don Remond, the father of the good Emperor, and the Count Don Vella, and the Count Don Beltran, and many other prudent men of the kingdom. With the Infantes were the Count Don Garcia, and Asur Gonzalez, and Gonzalo Asurez, and a great band, which they brought to the court, thinking to overawe my Cid. On the fifth day came my Cid (he had sent Alvar Fanez before him), and when he saw the good King Alfonso, he lighted down to humble himself and honour his lord. Said the king,’ By San Esidro, I will have none of that. Mount, Cid! With heart and soul I salute you. What grieves you, pains me to the heart.’ That night my Cid did not cross the Tagus, but lodged in San Servan, for he wished to watch and pray in that sanctuary and commune with Minaya and his trusty men. When morning came he said to Minaya, ‘Let a hundred of my good men get ready, with vests under the hauberks bright as the sun, and over the hauberks ermines and furs, the girdles bound tight, so that the arms show not, and sweet trenchant swords under the mantles. In this wise will I go to the court to demand my rights and plead my plea, and, if the Infantes of Carrion try treachery, with a hundred such I shall have no fear.’ He himself put on breeches of fine cloth, and bravely wrought shoes, and a linen shirt white as the sun, with loops of gold and silver at the wrists, for so he would have it. And over that, and under the surcoat, a tunic embroidered with gold, and next a robe of red fur with border of gold, which the Campeador* always wore ; and over his hair a coif of rich scarlet worked with gold, for the hair of the good Campeador was not cut. Long was the beard he bore, and he bound it with a cord, so doing because he would fain preserve it; and over all he threw a mantle of great price. Then mounting quickly, he issued forth from San Servan, and thus arrayed did my Cid go to the court. When they saw him enter, the good King Don Alfonso and the Count Don Anrrich and the Count Don Remond, and all the others, rose to their feet. But the Crespo de Grafion would not rise, nor they of the party of the Infantes of Carrion. My Cid seated himself upon a couch, and the hundred who guarded him placed themselves around him; and all that were in the court were gazing at my Cid and at the long beard he bore bound in a cord. In his port he looked a true baron, but for shame the Infantes of Carrion could not look upon him. Then the king rose to his feet. ‘But two Cortes have I held since I have been king, one in Burgos, the other in Carrion. This third have I summoned to Toledo this day for the love of my Cid, him that was born in a good hour, that he have justice of the Infantes, who, as we all know, have done him a wrong. Let the Count Don Anrrich and the Count Don Remond and the other counts that are not of the party be judges in this matter; and give ye your minds to it, to search out the right, for wrong I will not have. Let us have peace on each side. I swear by San Esidro, he who disturbs my court shall quit my kingdom and forfeit my love, and he who shall prove his right, on his side am I. Now let the Cid make his demand, and we will hear what answer the Infantes mere My Cid kissed the king’s hand and rose to his feet. ‘Much do I thank you, my lord and king, that in love of me you have summoned this court. This do I demand of the Infantes of Carrion. It is not I that am dis- honoured because they deserted my daughters, for it was you, O king, who married them, and you will know what to do to-day. But when they carried away my daughters from Valencia the Great, I, of the love I bore them, gave them two swords that I won in knightly fashion, Colada and Tizon, that with them they might do honour to themselves and service to you. When they deserted my daughters in the oak-wood of Corpes, they meant to have nought of mine. Let them restore my swords, since they are no longer my sons-in-law.’ And the judges agreed it was just . Then said the Count Don Garcia, ‘We must speak about this ;’ and going aside with their kinsmen, the Infantes said, ‘Still does the Cid bear love to us, since he urges not against us the dishonour of his daughters. Easily shall we reconcile ourselves with the king. Let us give him his swords, since this is the end of the dispute. When he has them, he will quit the court.’ And returning to the court they said,’ So please ye, King Alfonso, we cannot deny that he gave us two swords, and as he desires them, we give them up in your presence.’ And they drew forth the swords Colada and Tizon and placed them in the hands of the king. And he drew the swords and dazzled all the court ; of gold were the pummels and guards. And all that were in the court marvelled.’ The Cid, receiving the swords, held them in his hands, gazing on them. They could not change them, for he knew them well. And his whole body was glad, and from his heart he smiled, and grasping his beard, the beard that none had reaped, ‘Thus,’ said he, ‘are Dona Elvira and Dona Sol being avenged.’ Then he called his nephew, and stretching forth his arm, gave him the sword Tizon. ‘Take it,’ he said,’ and it will have a better master.’ And to Martin Antolinez, the worthy Burgalese, he gave the sword Colada. ‘Take Colada,’ he said: ‘I won it from a brave master, the Count Don Remont Berengel of Barcelona ; therefore do I give it to you, that you take good care of it. I know if you have the chance with it, you will win honour and glory.’ Then he rose to his feet. ‘Thanks be to God and you, my lord the king, I am satisfied in my swords, but I have another grievance against the Infantes of Carrion. When they carried away my daughters from’Valencia, I gave them three thousand marks in gold and

HO silver. Let them restore my treasure, since they are no longer my sons-in-law.’ Then made answer the Infantes, ‘ We gave him back his swords, that he should make no further demand, and that the dispute should end here. This, if it please the king, is our answer.’ But said the king, ‘Ye must satisfy the Cid in his demand.’ With that the Infantes retired apart, per- plexed in mind, for the sum was great and they had spent all ‘The conqueror of Valencia bears hard on us,’said they,’in this eagerness to seize our possessions. We must pay out of our heritage in the lands of Carrion.’ Said the judges, ‘If this please the Cid we will not refuse it, but our judgment is that ye make restitution here in the court.’ Said Ferran Gonzalez, ‘We have no money.’ The Count Don Remond made answer, ‘Ye have spent the gold and silver; then our award before King Alfonso is that ye pay him in kind, and that the Campeador accept it.’ Then the Infantes saw there was no help, and you might see them bring many a swift steed and stout mule and trained palfrey, and good sword with its furniture. My Cid received them on the appraising of the court, and the Infantes paid him, borrowing of others, for their own means sufficed not. Ill did they come, and scoffed at, look you, out of this debate. My Cid received the appraisements, and his men took charge of them; but when this was done, they turned to another matter.

‘So please your Grace! once more upon your clemency I call;

A grievance yet remains untold, the greatest grief of all.

And let the court give ear, and weigh the wrong that hath been done.

I hold myself dishonoured by the Lords of Carrion.

Redress by combat they must yield; none other will I take.

How now, Infantes! what excuse, what answer do ye make?

Why have ye laid my heartstrings bare? In jest or earnest, say,

Have I offended you? and I will make amends to-day.

My daughters in your hands I placed the day that forth ye went,

And rich in wealth and honours from Valencia were ye sent.

Why did ye carry with you brides ye loved not, treacherous curs?

Why tear their flesh in Corpes wood with saddle-girths and spurs,

And leave them to the beasts of prey? Villains throughout were ye!

What answer ye can make to this ’tis for the court to see.’

The Count Garcia was the first that rose to make reply.

‘So please ye, gracious king, of all the Kings of Spain most high;

Strange is the guise in which my Cid before you hath appeared;

To grace your summoned court he comes, with that long straggling beard;

With awe struck dumb, methinks, are some; some look as though they feared.

The noble Lords of Carrion of princely race are born;

To take the daughters of my Cid for lemans they should scorn;

Much more for brides of equal birth: in casting them aside—

We care not for his blustering talk—we hold them justified.’

Upstood the Champion, stroked his beard, and grasped it in his hands.

‘Thanks be to God above,’ he cried, ‘who heaven and earth commands,

A long and lordly growth it is, my pleasure and my pride;

In this my beard, Garcia, say, what find you to deride?

Its nurture since it graced my chin hath ever been my care;

No son of woman born hath dared to lay a finger there;

No son of Christian or of Moor hath ever plucked a hair.

Remember Cabra, Count! of thine the same thou canst not say:

On both thy castle and thy beard I laid my hand that day:

Nay! not a groom was there but he his handful plucked away.

Look, where my hand hath been, my lords, all ragged yet it grows!’

With noisy protest breaking in Ferran Gonzalez rose : —

‘Cid, let there be an end of this; your gifts you have again,

And now no pretext for dispute between us doth remain.

Princes of Carrion are we, with fitting brides we mate;

Daughters of emperors or kings, not squires of low estate:

We brook not such alliances, and yours we rightly spurned.’

My Cid, Ruy Diaz, at the word, quick to Bermuez turned.

‘Now is the time, Dumb Peter, speak, O man that sittest mute!

My daughters’ and thy cousins’ name and fame are in dispute:

To me they speak, to thee they look to answer every word.

If I am left to answer now, thou canst not draw thy sword.’

Tongue-tied Bermuez stood, awhile he strove for words in vain,

But, look you, when he once began he made his meaning plain.

‘Cid, first I have a word for you: you always are the same,

In Cortes ever jibing me, ” Dumb Peter” is the name:

It never was a gift of mine, and that long since you knew;

But have you found me fail in aught that fell to me to do?

You lie, Ferrando; lie in all you say upon that score.

The honour was to you, not him, the Cid Campeador;

For I know something of your worth, and somewhat I can tell.

That day beneath Valencia wall—you recollect it well—

You prayed the Cid to place you in the forefront of the fray;

You spied a Moor, and valiantly you went that Moor to slay;

And then you turned and fled—for his approach you would not stay.

Right soon he would have taught you ’twas a sorry game to play,

Had I not been in battle there to take your place that day. I slew him at the first onfall;

I gave his steed to you; To no man have I told the tale from that hour hitherto.

Before my Cid and all his men you got yourself a name,

How you in single combat slew a Moor—a deed of fame;

And all believed in your exploit: they wist not of your shame.

You are a craven at the core; tall, handsome, as you stand:

How dare you talk as now you talk, you tongue without a hand?

Again, Ferrando, call to mind—another tale for you—

That matter of the lion; it was at Valencia too. ‘Lengua sin manos, cuemo osas fablar?’

My Cid lay sleeping when you saw the unchained lion near;

What did you do, Ferrando, then, in your agony of fear?

Low did you crouch behind the couch whereon the Champion lay:

You did, Ferrando, and by that we rate your worth today.

We gathered round to guard our lord, Valencia’s conqueror.

He rose, and to the lion went, the brave Campeador;

The lion fawned before his feet and let him grasp its mane;

He thrust it back into the cage; he turned to us again:

His trusty vassals to a man he saw around him there:

Where were his sons-in-law? he asked, and none could tell him where.

Now take thou my defiance as a traitor, trothless knight:

Upon this plea before our King Alfonso will I fight;

The daughters of my lord are wronged, their wrong is mine to right.

That ye those ladies did desert, the baser are ye then;

For what are they ?—weak women; and what are ye ?— strong men.

On every count I deem their cause to be the holier,

And I will make thee own it when we meet in battle here.

Traitor thou shalt confess thyself, so help me God on high,

And all that I have said to-day my sword shall verify.’

Thus far these two. Diego rose, and spoke as ye shall hear:

‘Counts by our birth are we, of stain our lineage is clear.

In this alliance with my Cid there was no parity.

If we his daughters cast aside, no cause for shame we see.

And little need we care if they in mourning pass their lives,

Enduring the reproach that clings to scorned rejected wives.

In leaving them we but upheld our honour and our right,

And ready to the death am I, maintaining this, to fight.’

Here Martin Antolinez sprang upon his feet: ‘False hound! –

“Will you not silent keep that mouth where truth was never found?

For you to boast ! the lion scare have you forgotten too?

How through the open door you rushed, across the courtyard flew;

How sprawling in your terror on the wine-press beam you lay?

Ay! never more, I trow, you wore the mantle of that day.

There is no choice; the issue now the sword alone can try;

The daughters of my Cid ye spurned; that must ye justify.

On every count I here declare their cause the cause of right,

And thou shalt own thy treachery the day we join in fight.’

He ceased, and striding up the hall Assur Gonzalez passed;.

His cheek was flushed with wine, for he had stayed to break his fast;

Ungirt his robe, and trailing low his ermine mantle hung;

Rude was his bearing to the Court, and reckless was his tongue.

What a to-do is here, my lords! was the like ever seen?

What talk is this about my Cid—him of Bivar I mean?

To Riodouirna let him go to take his millers’ rent,

And keep his mills agoing there, as once he was content.

He, forsooth, mate his daughters with the Counts of Carrion!’

Upstarted Muno Gustioz: ‘False, foul-mouthed knave, have done!

Thou glutton, wont to break thy fast without a thought ot prayer,

Whose heart is plotting mischief when thy lips are speaking fair;

Whose plighted word to friend or lord hath ever proved a lie;

False always to thy fellow-man, falser to God on high.

No share in thy good will I seek; one only boon I pray,

The chance to make thee own thyself the villain that I say.’

Then spoke the king: ‘Enough of words: ye have my leave to fight,

The challenged and the challengers; and God defend the right.’

But lo ! two cavaliers came into court ; one, Oiarra by name, the other Yenego Simenez; the one the Infante of Navarre, the other the Infante of Aragon.’ They kiss King Alfonso’s hand, and ask the daughters of my Cid the Campeador for Queens of Navarre and Aragon ; whereat the Court was silent and gave ear. My Cid rose to his feet. ‘So please your grace, King Alfonso, for this do I thank the Creator, that from Navarre and Aragon they ask them of me. You gave them in marriage before, not I. My daughters are in your hands. Without your command, I will do nothing.’ The king rose and bade the Court keep silence. ‘Of you, Cid, noble Campeador, I ask consent that this marriage be ratified to-day in this court, for it brings to you honour and territory.’ Said my Cid : ‘Since it is pleasing to you, I agree to it.’ Then said the king,’ I ratify this marriage of the daughters of my Cid, Dona Elvira and Dona Sol, with the Infantes of Navarre and Aragon. Let this debate end ; and to-morrow, at the rising of the sun, shall be the combat, three against three, of those engaged by challenge in the court. But said the Infantes of Carrion hastily : ‘Grant us time, O king, for to-morrow it cannot be : they of the Cam- peador have arms and horses, but we must first go to our domains of Carrion.’ Said the king to the Campeador,’ This combat shall be when you command.’ But said my Cid, ‘ I will take no part in it, I love Valencia more than the lands of Carrion.’ Then said the king: ‘Campeador, leave your cavaliers and arms with me, fearing nothing. I will take care, as vassal would for his lord, that neither of count nor squire they suffer violence, and at the end of three weeks they shall engage in this combat in the vega of Carrion in my presence. He who appears not at the expiration of the time, shall lose his cause, be held vanquished, and pass for a traitor.’ My Cid kissed the , king’s hand and said,’ I am content, my lord: my three gentle- men are in your hands : they are ready to do their duty. Send them to me to Valencia with honour, for the love of the Creator.’ Then the Campeador took off his coif, and removed the cord and released his beard ; nor could all they that were in the court refrain from gazing on him. And he approached the Counts Don Anrrich and Don Remond, and embraced them, entreating them to take what they pleased of his wealth—them and the others that were well disposed. And some there were who took and some not. Then my Cid kissed the king’s hand, and moved towards his horse. Said he, ‘You bid me mount the courser Babieca. Among Moors or Christians there is not such another to-day. As a gift I give him to you; deign to accept him, my lord.’ ‘That will I not,’ said the king. ‘If I took him from you, the horse would not have so good a lord. A horse like that is for the like of you, to beat the Moors off the field and press them in pursuit. God speed not the man who would take him from you, for by you and your steed do we gain honour.’ And the Campeador laid charge on them who were to fight. ‘Martin Antolinez, and you, Pero Bermuez, and Muno Gustioz, bear yourselves stoutly on the field like men, that good news of you come to me in Valencia.’ Said Martin Antolinez,’Why say that, my lord? We have accepted the duty, and it is for us to go through with it. You may hear of us dead, but not conquered.’ Glad at this was he in the good hour born; and so my Cid departed for Valencia and the king for Carrion.

And now the three weeks of truce were passed, and the champions of the Campeador were ready to do their lord’s behest. Two days they waited for the Infantes of Carrion ; who came well provided with horses and arms, and with them all their kinsmen, so that, if haply they could separate the Cid’s champions, they might slay them to the dishonour of their lord. Evil was the design, but it was not attempted, for they were in great fear of Alfonso of Leon. Through the night they watched their arms and prayed. When the night was passed and the dawn broke, there came a multitude of men of substance, eager to see the fight.

They of the Campeador donned their armour all together, being all of one lord. And, on the other side, the Infantes armed themselves, the Count Garcia Ordonez giving them counsel. And they pleaded with King Alfonso that the trenchant swords Colada and Tizon should not be used in battle, and that the Campeador’s champions should not fight with them. Sorely did the Infantes repent that they had restored them. So said they to the king, but he gave them no comfort. ‘Had ye not swords with you when we held the Court? Wield them well, and they will serve your needs, and suffice against those of Cam- peador. Arise, and go to the field, Infantes of Carrion. Ye have need to fight like men, for there will be no shortcoming on the side of the Campeador. If ye come well out of the field, ye will have great honour : if ye are vanquished, ye cannot charge it to us, for all know it was your own seeking.’ Then did the Infantes of Carrion repent of what they had done: for all Carrion they would not have done it. They of the Campeador all three were armed, and King Alfonso went to see them. ‘We kiss your hands as our king and lord,’ they said. ‘Be jusfto them and to us to-day, and aid us in the right, not in the wrong. The Infantes have their faction here ; we know not what they will do, but our lord put us in your hand. Then hold to the right, for the love of the Creator.’ Then they led them forth their horses, strongg and swift; they signed the cross upon their saddles, and mounted stoutly, their well-bossed shields about their necks, and their pennoned lances with trenchant blades in their hands. So they went forth to the plain where the bounds were set, all three agreed to strike well home each at his man. On the other side came the Infantes of Carrion, well attended, for their kinsmen were many. The king assigned them marshals to decide the right and wrong, so that there should be no dispute, and from his seat upon the field said King Alfonso : ‘Hear what I say, Infantes of Carrion. This combat ye should have fought at Toledo; but ye would not: so I have brought these three cavaliers of my Cid in safety to the lands of Carrion. Take your right, seek no wrong: who attempts it, ill betide him.’ Then the marshals and the king mark out the bounds, and to all the six they point out that he who should pass the bound should be held vanquished: and all the people withdraw six lance-lengths, and they portion out the field and the sun for them by lot.

The marshals leave them face to face and from the lists are gone ;

Here stand the champions of my Cid, there those of Carrion;

Each with his gaze intent and fixed upon his chosen foe,

Their bucklers braced before their breasts, their lances pointing low,

Their heads bent down, as each man leans above his saddle. bow.

Then with one impulse every spur is in the charger’s side,

And earth itself is felt to shake beneath their furious stride;

Till, midway meeting, three with three, in struggle fierce they lock,

While all account them dead who hear the echo of the shock.

Ferrando and his challenger, Pero Bermuez, close;

Firm are the lances held, and fair the shields receive the blows.

Through Pero’s shield Ferrando drove his lance, a bloodless stroke;

The point stopped short in empty space, the shaft in splinters broke.

But on Bermuez, firm of seat, the shock fell all in vain;

And while he took Ferrando’s thrust he paid it back again.

The armoured buckler shattering, right home his lance he pressed,

Driving the point through boss and plate against his foe- man’s breast.

Three folds of mail Ferrando wore, they stood him in good stead;

Two yielded to the lance’s point, the third held fast the head.

But forced into the flesh it sank a hand’s-breadth deep or more,

Till bursting from the gasping lips in torrents gushed the gore.

Then, the girths breaking, o’er the croup borne rudely to the ground,

He lay, a dying man it seemed to all who stood around.

Bermuez cast his lance aside, and sword in hand came on;

Ferrando saw the blade he bore, he knew it was Tizon:

Quick ere the dreaded brand could fall, ‘I yield me,’ came the cry.

Vanquished the marshals granted him, and Pero let him lie.

And Martin Antolinez and Diego—fair and true

Each struck upon the other’s shield, and wide the splinters flew.

Then Antolinez seized his sword, and as he drew the blade,

A dazzling gleam of burnished steel across the meadow played;

And at Diego striking full, athwart the helmet’s crown,

Sheer through the steel plates of the casque he drove the falchion down,

Through coif and scarf, till from the scalp the locks it razed away,

And half shorn off and half upheld the shattered head-piece lay.

Reeling beneath the blow that proved Colada’s cruel might,

Diego saw no chance but one, no safety save in flight:

He wheeled and fled, but close behind him Antolinez drew;

With the flat blade a hasty blow he dealt him as he flew;

But idle was Diego’s sword ; he shrieked to Heaven for aid:

‘O God of glory, give me help! save me from yonder blade!’

Unreined, his good steed bore him safe and swept him past the bound,

And Martin Antolinez stood alone upon the ground.

‘Come hither,’ said the king; ‘thus far the conquerors are ye.’

And fairly fought and won the field the marshals both agree.

So much for these, and how they fought: remains to tell you yet

How meanwhile Muno Gustioz Assur Gonzalez met.

With a strong arm and steady aim each struck the other’s shield,

And under Assur”s sturdy thrust the plates of Amino’s yield;

But harmless passed the lance’s point, and spent its force in air.

Not so Don Munro’s ; on the shield of Assur striking fair,

Through plate and boss and foeman’s breast his pennoned lance he sent,

Till out between the shoulder blades a fathom’s length it went.

Then, as the lance he plucked away, clear from the saddle swung,

With one strong wrench of Muno’s wrist to earth was Assur flung;

And back it came, shaft, pennon, blade, all stained a gory red;

Nor was there one of all the crowd but counted Assur sped,

While o’er him Muno Gustioz stood with uplifted brand.

Then cried Gonzalo Assurez: ‘In God’s name hold thy hand!

Already have ye won the field; no more is needed now.’

And said the marshals, ‘It is just, and we the claim allow.’

And then the King Alfonso gave command to clear the ground,

And gather in the relics of the battle strewed around.

And from the field in honour went Don Roderick’s champions three.

Thanks be to God, the Lord of all, that gave the victory.

But fearing treachery, that night upon their way they went,

As King Alfonso’s honoured guests in safety homeward sent,

And to Valencia city day and night they journeyed on,

To tell my Cid Campeador that his behest was done.

But in the lands of Carrion it was a day of woe,

And on the lords of Carrion it fell a heavy blow.

He who a noble lady wrongs and casts aside—may he

Meet like requital for his deeds, or worse, if worse there be.

But let us leave them where they lie—their meed is all men’s scorn.

Turn we to speak of him that in a happy hour was born.

Valencia the Great was glad, rejoiced at heart to see

The honoured champions of her lord return in victory:

And Ruy Diaz grasped his beard: ‘Thanks be to God,’ said he,

‘Of part or lot in Carrion now are my daughters free;

Now may I give them without shame whoe’er the suitors be.’

And favoured by the king himself, Alfonso of Leon,

Prosperous was the wooing of Navarre and Aragon.

The bridals of Elvira and of Sol in splendour passed;

Stately the former nuptials were, but statelier far the last.

And he that in a good hour was bom, behold how he hath sped!

His daughters now to higher rank and greater honour wed:

Sought by Navarre and Aragon for queens his daughters twain;

And monarchs of his blood to-day upon the thrones of Spain.

And so his honour in the land grows greater day by day.

Upon the feast of Pentecost from life he passed away.

For him and all of us the Grace of Christ let us implore.

And here ye have the story of my Cid Campeador.


The poem of the Cid, a translation from the Spanish by John Ormsby.1879 London, England. ßHathiTrust. <>


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Introduction to World Literature Anthology Copyright © 2021 by Christian Beck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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