El Cid is banished from the kingdom of Castile

January 26, 2012

El Cid saying goodbye to Doña Jimena and his two daughters, before his exile.

My Cid sighed for his heart was heavy.

My Cid spoke, well and measuredly: “Blessed be the Lord Our God, Our Father who art on high! See now what my wicked enemies have wrought!”…

“Rejoice with me, O Alvar Fañez!” he cried. “We are cast out of our land! But we shall return, with honor, to Castile!”

Into Burgos rode My Cid, sixty lances in his company, and men and women ran out to see him. The citizens of Burgos, sorely weeping, stood at their windows, and each one made the same lament:

“God, what a worthy vassal, had he but a worthy lord!”

Gladly would they have sheltered him, but none dared, so fearful they of the great wrath of Don Alfonso the King, for his edict had come that day to Burgos, well guarded and strongly sealed with the royal seal, commanding that none give shelter to My Cid Ruy Díaz, and that he who did so would surely lose his goods, his eyes besides, his body even, and his soul! All Christian people with grief were stricken; all fled the presence of My Cid and no one dared bespeak him….

Now did my Cid perceive he might expect no mercy from the King. So he left the door and spurred through Burgos to St. Mary’s Church and there alighted and fell upon his knees and prayed from his heart. His prayer finished, he mounted again and rode out St. Mary’s Gate across the Arlanzón…

The Poem of The Cid, Lesley Byrd Simpson, trans. (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1957), pp. 7-9

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 146


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