Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV >> Page 35

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Page 35

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE PILGRIMS COMMUNE. 35

"'All ! could you heaven but speak as well, As starry eyes can see,
Ah ! think what tales 'twould have to tell, Of wandering youth like me.'" By the way, why should we not have some tales of wandering youth to-night�and why not some songs too. Miss Burroughs, it has not escaped my very curious eye that there is a guitar among your luggage. May I Lope that you will suffer me to bring it you ?"
The lady hesitated. I interposed :
Ole ! surely ; we must not suffer such a night of beauty, such a sea of calm, such a mild delicious evening, to pass unemployed, and iii the only appropriate fashion. We are a little world to ourselves�pilgrims to one Canterbury, and we may well borrow a leaf from Boccacio and a lesson from Chaucer. You will sing for us, and we shall strive to requite you, each after his own fashion. Here are several whom I know to be capable of pleasant contribution in the way of song and story, and my friend I>uyckman can hardly refuse to follow your example, as he suggests it. In your ear, I may whisper that he is full of romances, and has a whole budget of legends wrought out of Provencal and Troubadour history.
Fie ! Fie ! Honor bright."
The lady now gracefully consented.
The temptation is too great to be resisted. My scruples yield to your persuasions. Will you order the guitar ?"
It was brought. We had the music, but not alone. To the great delight of all parties, the fair charmer gave us her lyrics woven in with an historical narrative � a romance in itself, which, in a brief and pleasant introduction, she mentioned that she had gathered herself from the lips of the celebrated General
of Venezuela, who was only last year in the country. I
must deliver the story, as nearly as possible as it came from the lady's lips, not forgetting to mention that, in the lyrical portions, the guitar contributed the accompaniment, and the effect of the pieces, thus delivered, was singularly dramatic and effective.
Our circle contracted about the fair raconteur, silence followed, and raised attention, and she began.