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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 Death-bed

By Felicia Hemans (1793–1835)

IT was an hour of grief and fear

Within Valencia’s walls,

When the blue spring heaven lay still and clear

Above her marble halls.

There were pale cheeks and troubled eyes,

And steps of hurrying feet,

Where the Zambra’s notes were wont to rise,

Along the sunny street.

It was an hour of fear and grief

On bright Valencia’s shore,

For Death was busy with her chief,

The noble Campeador.

The Moor king’s barks were on the deep,

With sounds and signs of war;

But the Cid was passing to his sleep,

In the silent Alcazar.

No moan was heard through the towers of state,

No weeper’s aspect seen,

But by the couch Ximena sate,

With pale yet steadfast mien.

Stillness was round the leader’s bed,

Warriors stood mournful nigh,

And banners o’er his glorious head

Were drooping heavily.

And feeble grew the conquering hand,

And cold the valiant breast;

He had fought the battles of the land,

And his hour was come to rest.

What said the ruler of the field?

His voice is faint and low;

The breeze that creeps o’er his lance and shield

Hath louder accents now.

“Raise ye no cry, and let no moan

Be made when I depart;

The Moor must hear no dirge’s tone;

Be ye of mighty heart!

“Let the cymbal clash and the trumpet strain

From your walls ring far and shrill;

And fear ye not, for the saints of Spain

Shall grant you victory still.

“And gird my form with mail array,

And set me on my steed;

So go ye forth on your funeral way,

And God shall give you speed.

“Go with the dead in the front of war,

All armed with sword and helm,

And march by the camp of King Bucar,

For the good Castilian realm.

“And let me slumber in the soil

Which gave my fathers birth;

I have closed my day of battle-toil,

And my course is done on earth.”

Now wave, ye glorious banners! wave!

Through the lattice a wind sweeps by,

And the arms, o’er the death-bed of the brave,

Send forth a hollow sigh.

Now ware, ye banners of many a fight!

As the fresh wind o’er you sweeps;

The wind and the banners fall hushed as night:

The Campeador,—he sleeps!

Sound the battle-horn on the breeze of morn,

And swell out the trumpet’s blast,

Till the notes prevail o’er the voice of wail,

For the noble Cid hath passed!