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Cantar I, no. 14 from El Cantar del Mio Cid (translated version) is poignant because it shows the most salient feature of a knight in the Middle Ages and Middle Ages literature, which is the supernatural tied to the Catholic belief reigning in Spain. On this stanza, El Cid Campeador sees a vision in his sleep of El Arcangel Gabriel who blesses his journey, and the whole stanza goes:
When it was night the Cid lay down. In a deep sleep he fell,
And to him in a vision came the angel Gabriel:
"Ride, Cid, most noble Campeador, for never yet did knight
Ride forth upon an hour whose aspect was so bright.
While thou shalt live good fortune shall be with thee and shine. "
When he awoke, upon his face he made the holy sign.
The persignacion, or the very truly traditional Spanish habit of making the sign of the cross from our head to our chest is the most Middle Ages sign of Campeador's behavior and one demanded upon all Spanish knights. So powerful is this tradition that, 600 years later my own entire family still does it.
Another admirable quote from Canto 1, stanza no. 25, verse xxxv is when, during the banishment and posterior attacks on his avengers, he declares his might by saying:
"For the love of the Creator, smite them, my gallants ah.
I am Roy Diaz of Bivar, the Cid, the Campeador."
And, of course, comes the last verses when we farewell El Cid saying:
From him came all that honor who in good hour had birth.
The Cid who ruled Valencia has departed from the earth
At Pentecost. His mercy may Christ to him extend.
To us all, just men or sinners, may He yet stand our friend.
Lo! the deeds of the Cid Campeador! Here takes the book an end.
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