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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 : 154
Short name: The Gambler who Fired an Arrow at the Heavens
Incipit: Tan grand’ amor á a Virgen
Refrain: Tan grand’ amor á a Virgen/ con Deus, seu Fill’, e juntança/ que porque y non dultemos/ a vezes faz demostrança.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Catalonia Protagonist(s): a gambler

A man was playing dice in front of a church dedicated to the Virgin in Catalonia.

Because he was losing the game, he grew so angry that he seized a cross bow, loaded it, and shot an arrow into the sky. He claimed he would hit either God or his mother.

When he had resumed the game, the arrow, covered in blood, landed in the middle of the board.

Seeing the blood, the people thought that someone had been injured by a sword or lance. But then they recalled the gambler’s words and realised that the blood was from heaven.

The gambler repented and joined a strict religious order.

When he died, he was saved and pardoned through the Virgin.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 8
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
T154, E154
Poncelet reference
arrow, blasphemy, blood, crossbow, devils, dice, gambling, monastery, pardon
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
’Alea jacta est’: at the gaming table with Alfonso the Learned
Carpenter, Dwayne E.
Sources of the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio [AC]
Dexter, Elise Forsythe
Un cantar que cantassen os jograres (CSM 172, 33): Las formas de la ’performance’ en las Cantigas de Santa Maria
Disalvo, Santiago and Germán Rossi
La saeta en el cielo. Leyendas místicas de la Edad Media
Garrido Merino, Edgardo
A sátira na literatura medieval portuguesa (séculos XIII e XIV)
Martins, Mário
Poetas gallegos. Las mejores poesías
Varela Jácome, Benito
’Virgo Antiludens’: Xogos de azar, blasfémia e castigo nas Cantigas de Santa María de Afonso X o Sabio
Ventura Ruiz, Joaquim