Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Spain, &c.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV.  1876–79.
Spain: Valencia
The Cid’s Funeral Procession
Felicia Hemans (1793–1835)
THE MOOR had beleaguered Valencia’s towers,
And lances gleamed up through her citron bowers,
And the tents of the desert had girt her plain,
And camels were trampling the vines of Spain;
    For the Cid was gone to rest.        5
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 called her sons
    To the battles of the West.        10
The midnight bell, o’er the dim seas heard,
Like the roar of waters, the air had stirred;
The stars were shining o’er tower and wave,
And the camp lay hushed as a wizard’s cave;
    But the Christians woke that night.        15
They reared the Cid on his barbed steed,
Like a warrior mailed for the hour of need,
And they fixed the sword in the cold right hand
Which had fought so well for his father’s land,
    And the shield from his neck hung bright.        20
There was arming heard in Valencia’s halls,
There was vigil kept on the rampart walls;
Stars had not faded nor clouds turned red,
When the knights had girded the noble dead,
    And the burial train moved out.        25
With a measured pace, as the pace of one,
Was the still death-march of the host begun;
With a silent step went the cuirassed bands,
Like a lion’s tread on the burning sands;
    And they gave no battle-shout.        30
When the first went forth, it was midnight deep,
In heaven was the moon, in the camp was sleep;
When the last through the city’s gates had gone,
O’er tent and rampart the bright day shone,
    With a sunburst from the sea.        35
There were knights five hundred went armed before,
And Bermudez the Cid’s green standard bore;
To its last fair field, with the break of morn,
Was the glorious banner in silence borne,
    On the glad wind streaming free.        40
And the Campeador came stately then,
Like a leader circled with steel-clad men!
The helmet was down o’er the face of the dead,
But his steed went proud, by a warrior led,
    For he knew that the Cid was there.        45
He was there, the Cid, with his own good sword,
And Ximena following her noble lord;
Her eye was solemn, her step was slow,
But there rose not a sound of war or woe,
    Not a whisper on the air.        50
The halls in Valencia were still and lone,
The churches were empty, the masses done;
There was not a voice through the wide streets far,
Nor a footfall heard in the Alcazar.
    —So the burial train moved out.        55
With a measured pace, as the pace of one,
Was the still death-march of the host begun;
With a silent step went the cuirassed bands,
Like a lion’s tread on the burning sands;
    And they gave no battle-shout.        60
But the deep hills pealed with a cry erelong,
When the Christians burst on the Paynim throng!
With a sudden flash of the lance and spear,
And a charge of the war-steed in full career,
    It was Alvar Fañez came!        65
He that was wrapped with no funeral shroud
Had passed before like a threatening cloud!
And the storm rushed down on the tented plain,
And the Archer Queen, with her bands, lay slain;
    For the Cid upheld his fame.        70
Then a terror fell on the King Bucar,
And the Libyan kings who had joined his war;
And their hearts grew heavy, and died away,
And their hands could not wield an assagay,
    For the dreadful things they saw!        75
For it seemed where Minaya his onset made,
There were seventy thousand knights arrayed,
All white as the snow on Nevada’s steep,
And they came like the foam of a roaring deep,
    —’T was a sight of fear and awe!        80
And the crested form of a warrior tall,
With a sword of fire, went before them all;
With a sword of fire and a banner pale,
And a blood-red cross on his shadowy mail;
    He rode in the battle’s van!        85
There was fear in the path of his dim white horse,
There was death in the giant warrior’s course!
Where his banner streamed with its ghostly light,
Where his sword blazed out, there was hurrying flight,—
    For it seemed not the sword of man!        90
The field and the river grew darkly red,
As the kings and leaders of Afric fled;
There was work for the men of the Cid that day!
They were weary at eve, when they ceased to slay,
    As reapers whose task is done!        95
The kings and the leaders of Afric fled!
The sails of their galleys in haste were spread,
But the sea had its share of the Paynim slain,
And the bow of the desert was broke in Spain.
    —So the Cid to his grave passed on!        100

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