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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 : 392
Short name: The Thief who Swore Falsely Alternative: Thief swears falsely and is hanged
Incipit: Macar é Santa Maria/ Sennor de mui gran mesura
Refrain: Macar é Santa Maria/ Sennor de mui gran mesura/ muit’ estranna quen por ela/ mente ou faz falsa jura.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Santa Maria do Porto Protagonist(s): a young thief

There was a young man in Santa Maria do Porto who stole obsessively from his neighbours and friends. Even though they punished him, he would not desist.

One day, he stole a red woolen cloak from a poor woman and went to sell it at the Church of Santa Maria do Porto.

He was caught and taken before the castellan who asked him if the poor woman’s accusation was true.

He denied it and she could not prove it, so the castellan asked the thief to swear an oath, as is the custom in Extremadura. He swore in the name of God and Holy Mary that he had not committed the theft. He said that, if he were lying, the castellan could hang him before three days had passed.

He was released from prison, committed another robbery, and was caught with the goods and taken back to the castellan.

The young man admitted that he had sworn falsely and asked to be judged. The guards seized the man and hung him on the gallows.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 10
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
E392
Poncelet reference
None
Keywords
castellan, gallows, hanging, imprisonment, oath, thief/ thieves, cloth, beard, blasphemy, devils
Discography
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
BITAGAP ID
4055
Bibliography
Los orígenes del culto de Santa María del Puerto, 1255-1500
Hisan, Pedro (pseud.) [ = Sancho de Sopranís, Hipólito]
Alfonso X y las Cantigas a Santa Maria
Martínez Alfonso, Manuel
Birds of Prey and the Dry Textbook: King Alfonso’s Laws, Science, and Cantigas of the Hunt
Seniff, Dennis P.