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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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For epigraphs and layout information click on the appropriate manuscript location.
For information on Latin and vernacular sources of miracle stories follow the links to Miracles and collections. Follow the links to the appropriate pages of Todd McComb and Pierre Roberge's online discography, to the BITAGAP archive, and to linked entries in the Bibliography.
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CSM Number : 18
Short name: The Silkworms that Wove Veils Alternative: Silkworms weave veils
Incipit: Por nos de dulta tirar
Refrain: Por nos de dulta tirar/ praz a Santa Maria/ de seus miragres mostrar/ fremosos cada dia.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Segovia Protagonist(s): Alfonso X and a female silk maker

A woman in Segovia kept silkworms.

Some of them died. She vowed to give a length of silk for a veil to adorn the statue of the Virgin on the altar.

The silkworms thrived, but the woman forgot her promise.

On the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin, while she was praying before the statue, she remembered her vow.

She rushed home and discovered that the silkworms had woven two veils.

King Alfonso took the most beautiful veil to his chapel to be displayed on holy days.

Metrical data
Stanza: 7 4\' 7 4\' 7 6\' 7 6\' Refrain: 7 6\' 7 6\'
No. of Stanzas: 9
Rhyme scheme: ABAB | cdcdabab Zejel:
MS locations:
T18, E18, To16
Poncelet reference
chapel (in castle), feast day, king, silk, silkworms, veil, heresy
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
A Paleographic Edition of the Alfonsine Collection of Prose Miracles of the Virgin
Chatham, James R.
Entre Ave y Eva: las mujeres de las Cantigas de Santa María. II. Las trabajadoras. III. Las Evas
Fidalgo, Elvira
Saint and Simulacra: Images of the Virgin in the Cantigas de Santa María of Alfonso X of Castile (1252-1284)
Jackson, Deirdre Elizabeth
A Note on King Alfonso’s Use of Popular Themes in his Cantigas
Keller, John Esten
Folklore in the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio
Keller, John Esten
A Feasible Source of the Denouements of the Exemplos in El Conde Lucanor
Keller, John Esten
On the Morality of Berceo, Don Juan Manuel, and Juan Ruiz
Keller, John Esten
The Miracle of the Divinely-Inspired Silkworms: Cantiga 18 of the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Keller, John Esten
A Preliminary Bibliography of Medieval Galician-Portuguese Poetry in English Translation
Longland, Jean R.
Literatura galega medieval. I. A história. II. Antoloxia de textos comentados (lírica e prosa)
Pena, Xosé Ramón
Manual e Antoloxía da Literatura Galega Medieval
Pena, Xosé Ramón
Tres ensayos sobre el arte en las Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso el Sabio
Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier
A Selected and Annotated Discography of Recordings of Music from the Middle Ages in Spain
Tinnell, Roger D.
Cantigas de Santa Maria de Afonso X, O Sábio: aspectos culturais e literários
Vaz Leão, Angela