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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 : 345
Short name: The Moors who Attacked the Castle in Jerez Alternative: Moors burn chapel in Castle at Jerez
Incipit: Sempr’ a Virgen groriosa/ faz aos seus entender
Refrain: Sempr’ a Virgen groriosa/ faz aos seus entender/ quando en algũa cousa/ filla pesar ou prazer.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Seville, Jerez, Alcalá de Guadaira Protagonist(s): King don Alfonso [Alfonso X], his wife [Queen Violante], don Nuño [Nuño González de Lara], the Moors of Jerez

This miracle ocurred in the reign of King don Alfonso, son of King don Fernando. He fought the Moors and evil Christians, for the Virgin’s sake, and composed songs in her honour. He had won the city of Jerez two or three years earlier and had populated it with Christians. However, he let the Moors remain there.\r\nThe Moors bided their time, won the King’s trust and then began to build a new strong, wide wall between castle and the city. Afterwards, they mounted an attack on the castle.

The Christian knights defending it were led by a man named don Nuño who grew alarmed, and sent word to the King that the castle was under attack. He asked him to send reinforcements immediately. The King summoned his troops and instructed them to collect his banner, and camp supplies from Seville, for he intended to spend the night at Alcalá de Guadaira.

While they were doing this, another message came from don Nuño. He said he was surrounded and asked the King to rescue him. Don Nuño intended to hand the castle to the King as soon as he was able, although, by law, he should have stayed there.\r\nThe King, realising don Nuño’s ploy, sent mounted troops to see him.

Don Nuño was pleased to see them, but begged them to hold the castle. Because they did not defend the castle properly, but left it in the hands of a few poorly-equipped and inexperienced men, they lost it before noon.\r\nThe Moors took the castle, destroyed the Virgin’s chapel and seized her statue, intending to burn it.

Meanwhile, King don Alfonso and his wife were taking a siesta in Seville. In his dreams, the King saw the Virgin fleeing from the burning chapel with the Child in her arms. She begged the King to hurry and to rescue the Child. The King ran to snatch the Child and his mother from the flames.\r\nHe reported the dream to the Queen who was lying beside him. She confided that she had had one exactly like it. They realised from the dreams, that the castle of Jerez had been captured, and the Virgin’s statue burned, and they were very distressed.

Nevertheless, a few days later, God caused Jerez to be recaptured by the Christians.\r\nThe King repopulated the city with Christians and had the statue returned to the chapel in a great procession. The King, queen and all their children went there and gave thanks.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15 Refrain: 15 15
No. of Stanzas: 22
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
E345
Poncelet reference
None
Keywords
banner (of Alfonso X), burning, castle, chapel (in castle), dream, fire, image (of Virgin Mary), king, knights (celestial), Muslims/Moors, procession, queen, rebellion (of Muslims), treason, vision, wall , warfare
Discography
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
BITAGAP ID
4098
Bibliography
El planto en la historia y en la literatura gallega
Filgueira Valverde, José
Las Cantigas de Santa Maria: Fuente para la historia gaditana
Montoya Martínez, Jesús
Alfonso X of Castile: Patron of Literature and Learning
Procter, Evelyn S.
Historia de Jerez de la Frontera desde su incorporación a los dominios cristianos, I: 1255-1492
Sancho de Sopranís, Hipólito
Santa María del Alcázar, un episodio de la historia de las relaciones entre cristianos y musulmanes durante el decenio 1250 a 60, contado por Alfonso X en las Cantigas
Sancho, Hipólito
Randglossen zum altportugiesischen Liederbuch
Vasconcelos, Carolina Michaëlis de