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CSM Number : 312
Short name: The Impotent Knight Alternative: Lustful knight is made impotent
Incipit: Non conven que seja feita/ nihũa desapostura
Refrain: Non conven que seja feita/ nihũa desapostura/ eno logar en que seve/ da Virgen a sa fegura.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Catalonia Protagonist(s): a knight

A knight commissioned a master to carve an image of the Virgin. He gave him a room in his house in which to work, and when the sculpture was complete, he paid him and sent him off. The knight took the sculpture to a monastery and placed it on the altar. He had promised to that place where he was to be buried.

On his way home, he saw a beautiful young woman and fell in love with her. He was obsessed with her that he could not eat, drink or sleep. He was mad with love.

Wanting to seduce the woman, he sent some old go-betweens to talk with her and win her over. They brought her to his house and he lay down with her in a dark room.

But although he desired her ardently, and she was also eager, he could not make love to her there since it was the room in which the Virgin’ s statue had been carved. They moved from that place and were able to take their pleasure in another room. But because the room was small and narrow, the knight suggested that they return to the other one.

Once again, the knight was impotent. He realised that the Virgin did not want him to make love to the woman in the room where her statue had been carved. He told the young woman about the matter.

They became engaged to appease the Virgin. The knight also had a silver lamp made to place in front of the Virgin’s statue.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 17
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
F45, E312
Poncelet reference
appetite (loss of) , fornication, go-between, image (of Virgin Mary), impotence, insomnia, knight, lamp, lovesickness, madness, marriage, sculptor
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
The Jew in the Cántigas of Alfonso X, el Sabio
Bagby, Albert
Courtly Love as Ritual in Early Medieval Spanish Poetry
Burt, John R.
Viejos, viejas y alcahuetas. Consideraciones acerca de la vejez en las Cantigas de Santa María
Fidalgo, Elvira
Lujuria,tentación e impotencia: Desde San Hugo de Avalón a las 'Cantigas de Santa Maria'
Lappin, Anthony
Tres ensayos sobre el arte en las Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso el Sabio
Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier
La pecadora penitente en el teatro español: Sus fuentes y evolución
Sánchez Castañer y Mena, Francisco
Antecedentes celestinescos en las Cantigas de Santa María
Sánchez Castañer y Mena, Francisco
Os judeus na Espanha do século XIII, segundo as Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso X o Sábio
Teensma, B. N.
Las Cantigas del Rey Sabio
Valera, Juan