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Three Cantos (Ur-Cantos)

A Draft of XXX Cantos I-XXX

11 New Cantos XXXI-XLI

Fifth Decad of Cantos XLII-LI

China and Adams LII-LXXI

The Italian Cantos LXXII-LXXIII

The Pisan Cantos LXXIV-LXXXIV

Section: Rock Drill LXXXV-XCV

Thrones. Cantos XCVI-XCIX

Drafts & Fragments CX-CXVII

 

THE LAY OF THE CID

Trans. by R. Selden Rose and Leonard Bacon

 

CANTAR I

THE BANISHMENT OF THE CID

 

He turned and looked upon them, and he wept very sore
As he saw the yawning gateway and the hasps wrenched off the door,
And the pegs whereon no mantle nor coat of vair there hung.
There perched no moulting goshawk, and there no falcon swung.
My lord the Cid sighed deeply such grief was in his heart
And he spake well and wisely: "Oh Thou, in Heaven that art
Our Father and our Master, now I give thanks to Thee.
Of their wickedness my foemen have done this thing to me."

II Then they shook out the bridle rein further to ride afar.
They had the crow on their right hand as they issued from Bivar;
And as they entered Burgos upon their left it sped.
And the Cid shrugged his shoulders, and the Cid shook his head:
"Good tidings Alvar Fanez We are banished from our weal,
But on a day with honor shall we come unto Castile."

III Roy Diaz entered Burgos with sixty pennons strong,
And forth to look upon him did the men and women throng.
And with their wives the townsmen at the windows stood hard by,
And they wept in lamentation, their grief was risen so high.
As with one mouth, together they spake with one accord:
"God, what a noble vassal, an he had a worthy lord.

IV Fain had they made him welcome, but none dared do the thing
For fear of Don Alfonso, and the fury of the King.
His mandate unto Burgos came ere tile evening fell.
With utmost care they brought it, and it was sealed well
'That no man to Roy Diaz give shelter now, take heed
And if one give him shelter, let him know in very deed

He shall lose his whole possession, nay! the eyes within his head
Nor shall his soul and body be found in better stead.'

Great sorrow had the Christians, and from his face they hid.
Was none dared aught to utter unto my lord the Cid.

Then the Campeador departed unto his lodging straight.
But when he was come thither, they had locked and barred the gate.
In their fear of King Alfonso had they done even so.
An the Cid forced not his entrance, neither for weal nor woe
Durst they open it unto him. Loudly his men did call.
Nothing thereto in answer said the folk within the hall.
My lord the Cid spurred onward, to the doorway did he go.
He drew his foot from the stirrup, he smote the door one blow.
Yet the door would not open, for they lied barred it fast.
But a maiden of nine summers came unto him at last:
"Campeador in happy hour thou girdedst on the sword.
'This the King's will. Yestereven came tile mandate of our lord.
With utmost care they brought it, and it was sealed with care:
None to ope to you or greet you for any cause shall dare.
And if we do, we forfeit houses and lands instead.
Nay we shall lose, moreover, the eyes within the head
And, Cid, with our misfortune, naught whatever cost thou gain.
But may God with all his power support thee in thy pain."

So spake the child and turned away. Unto her home went she.
That he lacked the King's favor now well the Cid might see.
He left the door; forth onward he spurred through Burgos town.
When he had reached Saint Mary's, then he got swiftly down

He fell upon his knee and prayed with a true heart indeed:
and when the prayer was over, he mounted on the steed.
North from the gate and over the Arlanzon he went.
Here in the sand by Burgos, the Cid let pitch his tent.
Roy Diaz, who in happy hour had girded on the brand,
Since none at home would greet him, encamped there on the sand.
With a good squadron, camping as if within the wood.
They will not let him in Burgos buy any kind of food.
Provender for a single day they dared not to him sell.

V Good Martin Antolinez in Burgos that did dwell
To the Cid and to his henchmen much wine and bread gave o'er,
That he bought not, but brought with him -- of everything good store.

Content was the great Campeador, and his men were of good cheer
Spake Martin Antolinez. His counsel you shall hear.
"In happy hour, Cid Campeador, most surely west thou born.
Tonight here let us tarry, but let us flee at morn,
For someone will denounce me, that thy service I have done.
In the danger of Alfonso I certainly shall run.
Late or soon, if I 'scape with thee the King must seek me forth
For friendship's sake; if not, my wealth, a fig it is not worth.

VI Then said the Cid, who in good hour had girded on the steel: "
Oh Martin Antolinez, thou art a good lance and leal.
And if I live, hereafter I shall pay thee double rent,
But gone is all my silver, and all my gold is spent.
And well enough thou seest that I bring naught with me
And many things are needful for my good company.
Since by favor I win nothing by might then must I gain.
I desire by thy counsel to get ready coffers twain.

With the sand let us fill them, to lift a burden sore,
And cover them with stamped leather with nails well studded

VII Ruddy shall be the leather, well gilded every nail.
In my behalf do thou hasten to Vidas and Raquel.
Since in Burgos they forbade me aught to purchase, and the King
Withdraws his favor, unto them my goods I cannot bring.
They are heavy, and I must pawn them for whatso'er is right.
That Christians may not see it, let them come for them by night.
May the Creator judge it and of all the Saints the choir.
I can no more, and I do it against my own desire."

VIII Martin stayed not. Through Burgos he hastened forth, and came
To the Castle. Vidas and Raquel, he demanded them by name.

IX Raquel and Vidas sate to count their goods and profits through,
When up came Antolinez the prudent man and true.
"How now Raquel and Vidas, am I dear unto your heart,
I would speak close." They tarried not. All three they went apart.
"Give me, Raquel and Vidas, your hands for promise sure
That you will not betray me to Christian or to Moor.
I shall make you rich forever. You shall ne'er be needy more.
When to gather in the taxes went forth the Campeador,
Many rich goods he garnered, but he only kept the best.
Therefore this accusation against him was addressed.
And now two mighty coffers full of pure gold hath he.
Why he lost the King's favor a man may lightly see.
He has left his halls and houses, his meadow and his field,
And the chests he cannot bring you lest he should stand revealed.
The Campeador those coffers will deliver to your trust.

And do you lend unto him whatsoever may be just.
Do you take the chests and keep them, but swear a great oath here
That you will not look within them for the space of all this year."

The two took counsel: "Something to our profit must inure
In all barter. He gained something in the country of the Moor
When he marched there, for many goods he brought with him away.
But he sleeps not unsuspected, who brings coined gold to pay.
Let the two of us together take now the coffers twain.
In some place let us put them where unseen they shall remain.
"What the lord Cid demandeth, we prithee let us hear,
And what will be our usury for the space of all this year?"
Said Martin Antolinez like a prudent man and true:
"Whatever you deem right and just the Cid desires of you.
He will ask little since his goods are left in a safe place.
But needy men on all sides beseech the Cid for grace.
For six hundred marks of money, the Cid is sore bested."
"We shall give them to him gladly," Raquel and Vidas said.
"'Tis night. The Cid is sorely pressed. So give the marks to us.
Answered Raquel and Vidas: "Men do not traffic thus.
But first they take their surety and thereafter give the fee."
Said Martin Antolinez: "So be it as for me.
Come ye to the great Campeador for 'tis but just and fair
That we should help you with the chests, and put them in your care,
So that neither Moor nor Christian thereof shall hear the tale."
"Therewith are we right well content, " said Vidas and Raquel,
"You shall have marks six hundred when we bring the chests again. "
And Martin Antolinez rode forth swiftly with the twain.

And they were glad exceeding. O'er the bridge he did not go,
But through the stream, that never a Burgalese should know
Through him thereof. And now behold the Campeador his tent.
When they therein had entered to kiss his hands they bent.
My lord the Cid smiled on them and unto them said he:
"Ha, don Raquel and Vidas, you have forgotten me!
And now must I get hence away who am banished in disgrace,
For the king from me in anger hath turned away his face.
I deem that from my chattels you shall gain somewhat of worth.
And you shall lack for nothing while you dwell upon the earth.'
A-kissing of his hands forthwith Raquel and Vidas fell.
Good Martin Antolinez had made the bargain well,
That to him on the coffers marks six hundred they should lend.
And keep them safe, moreover, till the year had made an end.
For so their word was given and sworn to him again,
If they looked ere that within them, forsworn should be the twain,
The Cid would never give them one groat of usury.
Said Martin, "Let the chests be ta'en as swiftly as may be,
Take them, Raquel and Vidas, and keep them in your care.
And we shall even go with you that the money we may bear,
For ere the first cock croweth must my lord the Cid depart. "
At the loading of the coffers you had seen great joy of heart.
For they could not heave the great chests up though they were stark and hale.
Dear was the minted metal to Vidas and Raquel;
And they would be rich forever till their two lives it were o'er
The hand of my good lord the Cid, Raquel had kissed once more:

"Ha! Campeador, in happy hour thou girdedst on the brand.
Forth from Castile thou goest to the men of a strange land.
Such is become thy fortune and great thy gain shall be

Ah Cid I kiss shine hands again -- but make a gift to me
Bring me a Moorish mantle splendidly wrought and red. "
"So be it. It is granted," the Cid in answer said,
"If from abroad I bring it, well doth the matter stand;
If not, take it from the coffers I leave here in your hand. "
And then Raquel and Vidas bore the two chests away.
With Martin Antolinez into Burgos entered they.
And with fitting care, and caution unto their dwelling sped.
And in the midmost of the hall a plaited quilt they spread.
And a milk-white cloth of linen thereon did they unfold.
Three hundred marks of silver before them Martin told.
And forthwith Martin took them, no whit the coins he weighed.
Then other marks three hundred in gold to him they paid.
Martin had five esquires. He loaded all and one.
You shall hear what said don Martin when all this gear was done:
"Ha! don Raquel and Vidas, ye have the coffers two.
Well I deserve a guerdon, who obtained this prize for you."

XI Together Vidas and Raquel stepped forth apart thereon:
"Let us give him a fair present for our profit he has won.
Good Martin Antolinez in Burgos that cost dwell,
We would give thee a fair present for thou deserves well.
Therewith get breeches and a cloak and mantle rich and fine.
Thou hast earned it. For a present these thirty marks are thine.
For it is but just and honest, and, moreover, thou wilt stand
Our warrant in this bargain whereto we set our hand "
Don Martin thanked them duly and took the marks again.
He yearned to leave the dwelling and well he wished the twain.
He is gone out from Burgos. O'er the Arlanzon he went.
And him who in good hour was born he found within his tent.
The Cid arose and welcomed him, with arms held wide apart:
"Thou art come Antolinez, good vassal that thou art!

May you live until the season when you reap some gain of me."
"Here have I come, my Campeador, with as good heed as might be.
Thou hast won marks six hundred, and thirty more have I.
Ho! order that they strike the tents and let us swiftly fly.
In San Pedro de Cardenas let us hear the cock ere day.
We shall see your prudent lady, but short shall be our stay.
And it is needful for us from the kingdom forth to wend,
For the season of our suffrance drawns onward to its end."

XII They spake these words and straight way the tent upgathered then,
lord the Cid rode swiftly with all his host of men.
And forth unto Saint Mary's the horse's head turned he,
And with his right hand crossed himself: "God, I give thanks to thee
Heaven and Earth that rulest. And thy favor be my weal
Holy Saint Mary, for forthright must I now quit Castile.
For I look on the King with anger, and I know not if once more
I shall dwell there in my life-days. But may thy grace watch o'er
My parting, Blessed Virgin, and guard me night and day.
If thou do so and good fortune come once more in my way,
I will offer rich oblations at thine altar, and I swear
Most solemnly that I will chant a thousand masses there."

 

Reference

The Lay of the Cid. Trans. by R. Selden Rose and Leonard Bacon. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1919. Project Gutenberg. Web. 22 April 2016.