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For now I see the true old times are dead,
And slowly answered Arthur from the barge : “The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world. Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me? I have lived my life, and that which I have done May He within himself make pure but thou, If thou shouldst never see my face again, Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice Rise like a fountain for me night and day. For what are men better than sheep or goats That nourish a blind life within the brain, If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer Both for themselves and those who call them friend ? For so the whole round earth is every way Bound by gold chains about the feet of God. But now farewell. I am going a long way With these thou seest, — if indeed I go (For all my mind is clouded with a doubt) — To the island-valley of Avilion; Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow, Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard-lawns And bowery hollows crowned with summer sea, Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.”
The fourth week was beginning, the third already past, The Cid and his companions they are now agreed at last. “The water is cut off, the bread is wellnigh spent, To allow us to depart by night the Moors will not consent ; To combat with them in the field our numbers are but few ; Gentlemen, tell me your minds; what do you think to do " Minaya Alvar Fañez answered him again : “We are come here from fair Castile to live like banished men; There are here six hundred of us, beside some nine or ten. It is by fighting with the Moors that we have earned our bread ; In the name of God that made us, let nothing more be said, Let us sally forth upon them by the dawn of day." The Cid replied, “Minaya, I approve of what you say, You have spoken for the best, and had done so without doubt.” The Moors that were within the town they took and turned them out, That none should know their secret; they labored all that night; They were ready for the combat with the morning light. The Cid was in his armor mounted at their head; He spoke aloud amongst them ; you shall hear the words he said : “We must all sally forth ! There cannot a man be spared, Two footmen only at the gates to close them and keep guard; If we are slain in battle, they will bury us here in peace, If we survive and conquer, our riches will increase. And you, Pero Bermuez, the standard you must bear ; Advance it like a valiant man, evenly and fair, But do not venture forward before I give command.” Bermuez took the standard, he went and kist his hand. The gates were then thrown open, and forth at once they rushed. The outposts of the Moorish host back to the camp were pushed ; The camp was all in tumult, and there was such a thunder Of cymbals and of drums, as if earth would cleave in sunder.
POEMS OF PEACE AND WAR. 411
There you might see the Moors arming themselves in haste, And the two main battles how they were forming fast; Horsemen and footmen mixt, a countless troop and vast. The Moors are moving forward, the battle soon must join. “My men, stand here in order, ranged upon a line ! Let not a man move from his rank before I give the sign.” Pero Bermuez heard the word, but he could not refrain. He held the banner in his hand, he gave his horse the rein ; “You see yon foremost squadron there, the thickest of the foes, Noble Cid, God be your aid, for there your banner goes Let him that serves and honors it show the duty that he owes.” Earnestly the Cid called out, “For Heaven's sake, be still ” Bermuez cried, “I cannot hold,” so eager was his will. He spurred his horse and drove him on amid the Moorish rout ; They strove to win the banner, and compast him about ; Had not his armor been so true, he had lost either life or limb. The Cid called out again, “For Heaven's sake, succor him ' " Their shields before their breasts, forth at once they go, Their lances in the rest levelled fair and low, Their banners and their crests waving in a row, Their heads all stooping down toward the saddlebow. The Cid was in the midst, his shout was heard afar, “I am Rui Diaz, the Champion of Bivar; Strike amongst them, gentlemen, for sweet mercy's sake '" There where Bermuez fought amidst the foe they brake, Three hundred bannered knights, – it was a gallant show: Three hundred Moors they killed, a man with every blow; When they wheeled and turned, as many more lay slain, You might see them raise their lances and level them again ; There you might see the breastplates, how they were cleft in twain,
And many a Moorish shield lie shattered on the plain, The pennons that were white marked with a crimson stain, The horses running wild whose riders had been slain. The Christians call upon St. James, the Moors upon Mahound, There were thirteen hundred of them slain on a little spot of ground. Minaya Alvar Failez smote with all his might, He went as he was wont, and was foremost in the fight ; There was Galin Garcia, of courage firm and clear; Felez Munioz, the Cid's own cousin dear; Antolinez of Burgos, a hardy knight and keen, Munio Gustioz, his pupil that had been ; The Cid on his gilded saddle above them all was seen ; There was Martin Munioz that ruled in Montmayor ; There were Alvar Fahez and Alvar Salvador; – These were the followers of the Cid, with many others more, In rescue of Bermuez and the standard that he bore. Minaya is dismounted, his courser has been slain, He fights upon his feet, and smites with might and main. The Cid came all in haste to help him to horse again. He saw a Moor well mounted, thereof he was full fain ; Through the girdle at a stroke he cast him to the plain ; He called to Minaya Famezand reached him out the reln, “Mountand ride, Minaya, you are myright hand; We shall have need of you to-day, these Moors will not disband ' " Minaya leapt upon the horse, his sword was in his hand, Nothing that came near him could resist him or withstand ; All that fall within his reach he despatches as he goes. The Cid rode to King Fariz, and struck at him three blows ; The third was far the best, it forced the blood to flow : The stream ran from his side, and stained his arms below ; The King caught round the rein, and turned his back to go. The Cid has won the battle with that single blow.
By an anonymous translator in the appendix to SouTHEY's translation of “The Chronicle of the Cid."