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INTRODUCTION.

You have all of you heard of St. James for Spain

As one of the Champions Seven,
Who, having been good Knights on Earth,
Became Hermits, and Saints in Heaven.

Their history once was in good repute,

And so it ought to be still;
Little friends, I dare say you have read it:

And if not, why I hope you will.

Of this St. James that book proclaims

Great actions manifold,
But more amazing are the things
Which of him in Spain are told.

How once a ship of marble made,

Came sailing o'er the sea,
Wherein his headless corpse was laid,

Perfumed with sanctity.

And how, though then he had no head,

He afterwards had two;
Which both work'd miracles so well,

That it was not possible to tell
The false one from the true. *

And how he used to fight the Moors

Upon a milk-white charger :
Large tales of him the Spaniards tell,

Munchausen tells no larger.

But in their cause of latter years

He has not been so hearty; For that he never struck a stroke is plain, When our Duke, in many a hard campaign, Beat the French armies out of Spain,

And conquer'd Buonaparte.

* Whereby, my little friends, we see
That an original may sometimes be
No better than its fac-simile;

A useful truth I trow,
Which picture-buyers won't believe,

But which picture-dealers know.

Young Connoisseurs who will be !

Remember I say this, . .
For
your

benefit hereafter,. .
In a parenthesis.
And not to interrupt

The order of narration,
This warning shall be printed

By way of annotation.

Yet still they worship him in Spain, And believe in him with might and main:

Santiago there they call him ; And if any one there should doubt these tales,

They've an Inquisition to maul him.

At Compostella in his Church

His body and one head
Have been for some eight hundred years

By Pilgrims visited.

Old scores might there be clean rubb’d off,

And tickets there were given
To clear all toll gates on the way
Between the Churchyard and Heaven.

Some went for payment of a vow

In time of trouble made;
And some who found that pilgrimage

Was a pleasant sort of trade.

And some, I trow, because it was

Believed, as well as said,
That all, who in their mortal stage

Did not perform this pilgrimage,
Must make it when they were dead.

Some upon penance for their sins,

In person, or by attorney ; And some who were, or had been sick; And some who thought to cheat Old Nick;

And some who liked the journey :

Which well they might when ways were safe;

And therefore rich and poor
Went in that age on pilgrimage,

As folks now make a tour.

The

poor with scrip, the rich with purse, They took their chance for better for worse,

From many a foreign land,
With a scallop-shell in the hat for badge,

And a Pilgrim's staff in hand.

Something there is, the which to leave

Untold would not be well,
Relating to the Pilgrim's staff,

And to the scallop-shell.

For the scallop shows in a coat of arms,

That of the bearer's line
Some one, in former days, hath been

To Santiago's shrine.

And the staff was bored and drilled for those

Who on a flute could play,
And thus the merry Pilgrim had

His music on the way.

THE LEGEND.

PART I.

Once on a time three Pilgrims true,
Being Father and Mother and Son,
For pure devotion to the Saint,

This pilgrimage begun.

Their names, little friends, I am sorry to say, In none of

my

books can I find;
But the son, if you please, we'll call Pierre,
What the parents were call’d, never mind.

From France they came, in which fair land

They were people of good renown; And they took up their lodging one night on the way

In La Calzada town.

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