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CSM Number : 213
Short name: The Innocent Man who was Exonerated Alternative: Innocent man is exonerated (Terena)
Incipit: Quen serve Santa Maria
Refrain: Quen serve Santa Maria/ a Sennor mui verdadeira/ de toda cousa o guarda/ que lle ponnan mentireira.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Terena and Elvas Protagonist(s): don Tomé

A man named don Tomé from Elvas made his living carrying things to market on his beasts. He thought his wife was faithful to him, but he was mistaken. Whenever he was away on business, she slept with other men.

One day they found her stabbed to death. Her relatives suspected that her husband had murdered her and gone away. When he returned to Elvas, they tried to arrest him, but he fled to the border.

He settled in Badajoz, and decided to go to Terena on pilgrimage. He was sure that the Virgin would protect him from arrest, since the charge was unjust. He prayed to the Virgin to have mercy on him and to defend him.

On his return to Badajoz, he encountered his enemies, but the Virgin prevented them from seeing him. Still hoping to find him, they went to Terena. On a riverbank, they saw the devil in the man’s guise.

They gave chase, and one of the men tried to strike the devil with a lance. He hit an oak instead, and fell with his mount into a gully where he lay badly bruised.

When the men returned to Elvas, the devil’s trick was revealed. They understood that the man they had held guilty was innocent, and they begged his pardon.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 20
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
F89, E213
Poncelet reference
adultery, castellan, devils, enemy (confrontation with), fall (from cliff), false accusation, impersonation, lance, marriage, murder, pilgrimage, stabbing
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Entre Ave y Eva: las mujeres de las Cantigas de Santa María. II. Las trabajadoras. III. Las Evas
Fidalgo, Elvira
El planto en la historia y en la literatura gallega
Filgueira Valverde, José
Revalorización de los conceptos de pecado y delito en las Siete Partidas y en las Cantigas de Santa Maria : estrategias jurídicas y literarias de Alfonso X
Iglesias, Yolanda, and David Navarro
Os Riba de Vizela, Senhores de Terena (1259-1312)
Rei, António
La pecadora penitente en el teatro español: Sus fuentes y evolución
Sánchez Castañer y Mena, Francisco
Santa Maria de Terena nas Cantigas de Affonso, o Sabio no século XIII -Breve nota
Vasconcelos, José Leite de