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CSM Number : 63
Short name: The Knight who Missed the Battle Alternative: Virgin Acts as a Knight
Incipit: Quen ben serv’ a Madre do que quis morrer
Refrain: Quen ben serv’ a Madre do que quis morrer/ por nos, nunca pod’ en vergonna caer
Summary of narrative
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Setting: San Esteban de Gormaz, Soria Protagonist(s): a knight

A valiant and skilful knight always displayed his prowess in battle against the Moors and in tournaments.

King Almanzor was attacking San Esteban de Gormaz, held by Count don Garcia, lord of Castile. The knight offered to help Count don Garcia defend the place from the Moors.

Before going into the battle, the knight stopped at a church to hear three masses said in honour of the Virgin. It was his custom to attend mass every day.

His squire reproached him and said that he would incur great shamed if he did not do battle. The knight prayed to the Virgin to relieve him of humiliation.

After mass he rode away and met Count don García returning from the battle. The Count congratulated him on his skill at arms and advised him to have his wounds tended by his own physician from Montpellier.

The knight was very embarrassed, but when he looked at his weapons, he saw that they had been battered. He recognised that the Virgin had saved him from disgrace and he offered her gifts.

Metrical data
Stanza: 11 11 11 11 Refrain: 11 11
No. of Stanzas: 18
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
T63, E63, To51
Poncelet reference
Igitur Walterus de Birbech villa oriundus exstitit, vir dives (727)
count , doctor (medical), knight, mass, Muslims/Moors, squire, warfare
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Miracle Collection
Virgin Acts as a Knight Gil de Zamora
(Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 9503)
Virgin Acts as a Knight Legenda Aurea (Voragine)
Virgin Acts as a Knight Bartholomew of Trent
(University of Bologna, Codice 1794)
Virgin Acts as a Knight Caesarius of Heisterbach
Cantigas de D. Alfonso X
Anon [Morayta de Sagrario, Miguel]
Heretics and Infidels: the Cantigas de Santa María as Ideological Instrument of Cultural Codfication
Bollo Panadero, María Dolores
’Textos de persecución’: formación ideológica y hegemonía en la literatura castellana de los siglos XII-XV
Bollo Panadero, María Dolores
The Cantigas, or ’Songs of Praise of St. Mary’
Burns, Robert I.
A propos du miracle de Cascajares
Chalon, Louis
Una cantiga célebre del Rey Sabio. Fuentes y desarrollo de la leyenda de Sor Beatriz, principalmente en la literatura española
Cotarelo y Valledor, Armando
Another Aspect of the Virgin Mary in the Cantigas de Santa Maria
Davis, Jr, William Richard
Sources of the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio [AC]
Dexter, Elise Forsythe
Da épica na Galicia medieval: Discurso de ingreso na Real Academia Gallega e resposta de Ramón Otero Pedrayo
Filgueira Valverde, José and Ramón Otero Pedrayo
Nueva ilustración a la cantiga LXIII de Alfonso el Sabio
Fita, Fidel
Cincuenta leyendas por Gil de Zamora, combinadas con las Cantigas de Alfonso el Sabio
Fita, Fidel
Los poetas del Guadiana a Alfonso el Sabio
Gonzalez Lara, José, director de publicación
Cantigas de Santa Maria de Alfonso X el Sabio, rey de Castilla
López Serrano, Matilde
Itinéraire espagnol du conte médiéval (VIIIs-XVs)
Marsan, Rameline E.
La literatura caballeresca en la obra de Alfonso X
Montoya Martínez, Jesús
La caballería blanca o caballería ’celeste’ en la literatura hispánica
Montoya Martínez, Jesús
Versiones latinas y romances del Milagro del caballero devoto
Moreno Bernal, Jesús
Cantigas de Alfonso X, el Sabio
Moreno Galván, José M.
Una excursión bibliográfica: El Angel de Cascajar (leyenda soriana)
Sáenz García, Clemente
Alfonso X y dos versiones del mismo suceso: su cantiga 63 y capítulo 729 de la ’Primera Crónica General (Estoria d’Espanna)’
Snow, Joseph T.