Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Death of Queen Blanche

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Spain: Medina del Campo

The Death of Queen Blanche

By Spanish Ballad

Translated by J. G. Lockhart

“MARIA DE PADILLA, be not thus of dismal mood,

For if I twice have wedded me, it all was for thy good;

“But if upon Queen Blanche ye will that I some scorn should show,

For a banner to Medina my messenger shall go;

“The work shall be of Blanche’s tears, of Blanche’s blood the ground;

Such pennon shall they weave for thee, such sacrifice be found.”

Then to the Lord of Ortis, that excellent baron,

He said, “Now hear me, Ynigo, forthwith for this begone.”

Then answer made Don Ynigo, “Such gift I ne’er will bring,

For he that harmeth Lady Blanche doth harm my lord the King.”

Then Pedro to his chamber went, his cheek was burning red,

And to a bowman of his guard the dark command he said.

The bowman to Medina passed; when the Queen beheld him near,

“Alas!” she said, “my maidens, he brings my death, I fear.”

Then said the archer, bending low, “The King’s commandment take,

And see thy soul be ordered well with God that did it make,

“For lo! thine hour is come, therefrom no refuge may there be.”

Then gently spake the Lady Blanche, “My friend, I pardon thee;

“Do what thou wilt, so be the King hath his commandment given,

Deny me not confession,—if so, forgive ye Heaven.”

Much grieved the bowman for her tears, and for her beauty’s sake,

While thus Queen Blanche of Bourbon her last complaint did make:—

“O France! my noble country,—O blood of high Bourbon,

Not eighteen years have I seen out before my life is gone.

“The King hath never known me. A virgin true I die.

Whate’er I ’ve done, to proud Castile no treason e’er did I.

“The crown they put upon my head was a crown of blood and sighs,

God grant me soon another crown more precious in the skies.”

These words she spake, then down she knelt, and took the bowman’s blow,—

Her tender neck was cut in twain, and out her blood did flow.