Le Cid

George Fourest

There is death at Count Gormaz the Governor’s hall:
beneath the cold capstone for ever is laid
the hidalgo whose blood has just reddened the blade
of Rodrigo the Cid, greatest champ of them all.
Black-draped on the mirador – evening must fall –
Chimène is entreating Saints Peter and Paul.
Her eyes are all fiery with tears as she prays:
she watches, unseeing, the last golden rays.
But suddenly lightning has flashed in her face!
In his cape in the plaza below her he stands,
impassive and haughty, with blood on his hands!
The hero goes strolling at moderate pace,
and Chimène turns aside to sigh wistfully, “La!
What a good-looking fellow has butchered papa!”

This spectacular castle was built in the 8th century by the emir Abdul-Rahman I of Cordoba.

Translated by Timothy Adès, rhyming translator-poet