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For the purposes of the new edition, every poem has been assigned a unique short title. The original short titles, taken eclectically from a number of sources, are retained as alternative short titles.
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CSM Number : 201
Short name: The Woman who Swallowed a Spider Alternative: Woman Saved from Suicide [swallows spider]
Incipit: Muit’ é mais a piadade de Santa Maria
Refrain: Muit’ é mais a piadade de Santa Maria/ que quantos pecados ome fazer poderia
Summary of narrative
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Setting: unspecified Protagonist(s): a young woman

A beautiful noble woman promised to guard her virginity.

The devil tempted her to take a lover, and she lived with her godfather and became pregnant by him.

When the baby was born she killed it. She became pregnant a second time and killed her newborn baby yet again. Then she did this a third time.

Overcome with despair, and hating herself, she tried to commit suicide. She stabbed herself in the breast, but the knife missed its mark.

Then she swallowed a spider, but it was not big or poisonous enough to kill her. She ate another bigger spider and her body swelled so much she was near death. As she lay dying, she repented and asked the Virgin to forgive her sins.

The Virgin appeared to her and stroked her body, making her more beautiful and fit than she had ever been. The woman entered an order and lived virtuously from that time forth.

Metrical data
Stanza: 13' 13' 13' 13' Refrain: 13' 13'
No. of Stanzas: 13
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
F2, E201
Poncelet reference
None
Keywords
apparition, chastity, devils, fornication, infanticide, spider, stabbing, suicide, virginity, vow
Discography
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
BITAGAP ID
3954
Bibliography
Cantigas de Santa Maria — El Cantar de los cantares — Sonetos — Coplas que hizo por la muerte de su padre D. Rodrigo
Alfonso X el Sabio and others
La pecadora penitente en el teatro español: Sus fuentes y evolución
Sánchez Castañer y Mena, Francisco
A Psalmic Theme in the ’Cantigas de Santa Maria’: ’Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis’ as ’Non cates aos meus pecados’
Schaffer, Martha