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Alfonso X El Sabio

(1221 - 1284 / Toledo)

Cantiga de Santa Maria No. 194


Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,
so against evil doers it is mighty and fearful.
Concerning this, a miracle happened in the land of Catalonia to a minstrel who sang well, with grace and ease, earning a good living, he came to lodge in the house of a greedy knight
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

who gave him all that he needed that night. However, that base and avaricious knight began to covet so greatly the donkey and clothes belonging to that minstrel that he ordered one of his men, evil and cruel,
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

to go with another of his group and waylay him in a hidden place in the mountains. The man did so gladly, for it was a favorite pastime of his, and I assure you, he was always eager to do dastardly deeds.
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

He took a companion of the same ilk with him. The next morning the minstrel took leave of the knight, and, as soon as he was on his way and they saw him travelling all alone, those two caught him in a steep and rocky place.
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

They dragged him far off the road and did not leave him anything of what he was carrying. Then they decided between them to cut off his head, but neither the Virgin nor Her glorious Son would permit it.
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

While the two were arguing over which one would kill him, they cast lots to see who would go first, but Holy Mary would not allow such a deed to be carried out, for the minstrel cried out loudly: "Mother of the merciful King
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

do not let them kill me, defend me without delay." They, when they heard this, began to run away and lost all feeling in their bodies at that moment so that they could not speak. The minstrel who had been robbed
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,


of all he had possessed when he saw that they were in that state, staring at each other and not speaking between themselves, took all his belongings and went away and they remained in great fear of death
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

No one had ever heard tell of such a marvelous miracle that uttering the name of the Virgin might cause a man to feel nothing in his body. However, the prophet said long ago that Her name was as terrible as a mighty army.
Just as the name of the Virgin / is beautiful to the virtuous,

The minstrel went on his way, giving joyful praise to the glorious Virgin, salvation of sinners. All who heard of this, both great and small, considered it a noble and merciful miracle.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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