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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 : 399
Short name: The Mother who Tried to Kill her Baby Alternative: Mother attempts to kill infant
Incipit: Quen usar na de Deus Madre
Refrain: Quen usar na de Deus Madre/ falar e amiga/ non lle falirán razões/ mui bõas que diga.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Elvas Protagonist(s): a poor woman [almost certainly a prostitute]

A poor woman gave birth to a lovely son.

Because she was vain and wanted to keep leading an immoral life, she decided to get rid of the child. She thought no more of killing him than she would an ant.

She placed the baby on her lap and looked for a stone. Instead, she found a long needle and was about to plunge it through his head. She said didn’t gain anything by wasting her time on him.

But the Virgin suddenly appeared to her and begged her not to kill the child. She told her to make her confession to a monk and promised to help her in her misfortune.

The woman did what the Virgin had instructed and entered a religious order.

Everyone gave thanks for the miracle and they had that little boy raised properly.

Metrical data
Stanza: 13' 13' 13' 13' Refrain: 13' 13'
No. of Stanzas: 11
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
Poncelet reference
apparition, children, confession (see also repentance), infanticide, murder, needle, church (construction of) , dice, fig, habit (monastic), hanging, holy orders
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
Milagres e romarias portuguesas nas Cantigas de Santa Maria
Martins, Mário
Lendas portuguesas de apariçoes de Nossa Senhora nas Cantigas de Santa Maria
Martins, Mário
Aberturas e finais: rubricas, refrães, estrofes iniciais e estrofes terminais nas Cantigas de Santa Maria
Parkinson, Stephen
La pecadora penitente en el teatro español: Sus fuentes y evolución
Sánchez Castañer y Mena, Francisco