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There were men from wilds where the death-wind
sweeps, There were spears from hills where the lion sleeps, There were bows from sands where the ostrich
runs, For the shrill horn of Afric had call'd her sons
To the battles of the West.
The midnight bell o'er the dim seas heard,
But the Christians woke that night.
deed. The Cid insisted that, before taking possession of the vacant throne, Alphonso should take an oath of his innocence of his brother's murder; and when the other nobles hung back, Rodrigo alo
the oath and made him repeat it three times. After such a step, he could expect little court favour; and he retired from Castile, and occupied himself in expeditions against the Moors. He defeated five Moorish kings, and imposed upon them a tribute in the name of the king of Castile. Recalled to court, he received, in the presence of Alphonso, the Moorish deputies, who saluted him with the title of Seid, by which he was afterwards designated. Again banished by the unforgiving Alphonso, he attacked the Moors in Aragon, and there fixed himself in a strong fortress in a rock, which is still called “ La Peña de el Cid,” (The Rock of the Cid.) After a long siege, he took Valencia, where he established himself, and held it till his death, 1099. Too modest to take the title of king, he never forgot that he was born a subject to the king of Castile, and never ceased to give homage to Alphonso, although he had exiled him. The love of military renown never made him insensible to the dictates of justice, and he must ever be considered as a model of a true knight and of a faithful subject. On the news of his death the Moors besieged Valencia, but were repulsed by his widow, and the troops sent by Alphonso to her assistance; but, according to the legend which forms the subject of this ballad, the Moors besieged the town while he lay on his death-bed, and he directed that his corpse should be led out, in the manner described, when the garrison should make a sally.
They rear'd the Cid on his barbed steed,
And the shield from his neck hung bright.
And the burial train mov'd out.
And they gave no battle shout.
With a sun-burst from the sea.
On the glad wind streaming free.
For he knew that the Cid was there. 2
1 A title of the Cid.
2 Bavieca, the favourite charger of the Cid, is scarcely less celebrated than Bucephalus. He is mentioned in almost every one of the hundred ballads concerning the Cid, and was buried near his master under the trees in front of the convent of San Pedro de Cardeña.
He was there, the Cid, with his own good sword,
Not a whisper on the air.
The halls in Valencia were still and lone,
So the burial train mov'd out.
With a measur'd pace, as the pace of one,
And they gave no battle shout.
But the hills peal’d with a cry ere long,
It was Alvar Fanez 3 came!
He that was wrapt with no funeral shroud,
For the Cid upheld his fame.
1 The Cid's wife. The Chimène of Corneille's celebrated tragedy of “ Le Cid.”
? The market-place.
3 One of the Cid's bravest warriors, and governor of Valencia after his death.
4 A Moorish princess, who accompanied King Bucar with a band of female archers.
Then a terror fell on the king Bucar',
For the dreadful things they saw !
For it seem'd where Minaya 4 his onset made,
'Twas a sight of fear and awe!
And the crested form of a warrior tall,
He rode in the battle's van.
There was fear in the path of his dim white horse, There was death in the giant-warrior's course! Where his banner stream'd with its ghastly light, Where his sword blaz’dout, there was hurrying flight,
For it seem'd not the sword of man!
The field and the river grew darkly red,
As reapers whose task is done !
| The Moorish king that had invaded Spain. 3 African.
3 A Moorish weapon. · Alvaro Fanez Minaya. 5 A lofty mountain in Spain.
The kings and the leaders of Afric fled !
INSTABILITY OF FRIENDSHIP.
ALAS! — how light a cause may move
A word unkind or wrongly taken
A breath, a touch like this hath shaken.
As though its waters ne'er could sever,