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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 : 254
Short name: The Monks who Abandoned their Monastery Alternative: Monks on Riverbank
Incipit: O nome da Virgen santa
Refrain: O nome da Virgen santa/ atan muit’ é temoroso/ que quand’ o oe o demo/ perde seu poder astroso.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: France Protagonist(s): two monks

Two monks, tired of living under the strict rules of their order, left their monastery for a day.

They passed the time, walking along the banks of a river, chatting, laughing and larking about.

While they were walking along, they saw a little boat full of men coming down the river. The monks were curious and asked the men who they were.

One of them explained that he and his companions were devils in the guise of men, bearing away the soul of an official (“un alguazil”) from Ebron.

The monks asked the Virgin to protect them from the devils. The devils said that if the monks had not done so, they would have taken them with them to hell because they had abandoned their monastery.

When the monks heard this, they hurried back to the monastery, confessed, and were pardoned.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 7
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
F6, E254
Poncelet reference
Legitur in gestis Francorum quod monachi quidam tempore (960)
canonical hours, confession (see also repentance), devils, frivolity, hell, monastery, monks, name (of Virgin Mary), pardon, river, soul
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Miracle Collection
Monks on Riverbank Gil de Zamora
(Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 9503)
Monks on Riverbank Legenda Aurea (Voragine)
Monks on Riverbank Jean Mielot, Miracles de Nostre Dame
(Oxford, Bodleian, Douce MS 374)
La música de las Cantigas de Santa María del rey Alfonso el Sabio. Facsímil, transcripción y estudio crítico vol. III
Anglés, Higinio
Contributo allo studio della letteratura miracolistica
Bertolucci Pizzorusso, Valeria
Los clérigos, las ’cantigas’ y las ’Siete Partidas’
Cash, Annette Grant
Sources of the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio [AC]
Dexter, Elise Forsythe
Cincuenta leyendas por Gil de Zamora, combinadas con las Cantigas de Alfonso el Sabio
Fita, Fidel