Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 66

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 66 SOUTHWARD 110!
Our poet was one of those who could wield the sword as
well as the lyre. IIe was a knight of high reputation, and a
gentleman ; and, as such, wore the honors of chivalry with all
the grace of one " to the manner born." But, with all these
possessions, there was one deficiency, which was considered
fatal to the perfection of his character. His grace and courtesy
were acknowledged in court and chamber. He could make his
enemy tremble in the field. As a poet he had fire and senti-
ment, and was peculiarly sensible to the glories of the visible
world. He was the favorite of princes, and was ranked among
tL e friends of no less a personage than Richard Coeur de Lion.
But he had never once been troubled with the tender passion.
IIe had never been beguiled to love by beauty. He acknowl-
edged the charms of woman, but he remained unenslaved. He
could sing of the attractions which he did not feel. He had his
muse, perhaps his ideal perfection, and to her he sung. IIe
portrayed her charms, but he neither found nor seemed to seek
them. Tradition vaguely hints at efforts which he made, to
discern a likeness in the living world to the exquisite creation
embodied in his mind. But he seemed to search for her in vain.
His wanderings, seeking for this perfect creature, were wholly
without profit. It does not seem that he exulted in his insensi-
bility. An object of universal admiration himself, he himself
constantly strove to admire. He did admire, but he did not
love. 'I'lie object of pursuit eluded his grasp. In those days,
it was deemed no impropriety, on the part of the fairer sex, to
seek openly the conquest of the brave knight and the noble
poet. Beauty sought Geoffrey Rudel in his solitude. She
brought him rarest tribute. She spoke to him in songs, sweet as
his own, and with oriental flowers more precious than any which
his care had cultured. She did not conceal the passion which
his accomplishments had inspired ; but she declared her secret
in vain. His heart seemed invulnerable to every shaft. His
soul remained inaccessible to all the sweet solicitings of love.
It must not be thought that he found pride in this insensi-
bility. He felt it as a misfortune. For the troubadour not to
love, was to deprive his verses of that very charm which alone
could secure them immortality. For the knight to be untouched
by the charms of woman, was to wither the greenest chaplet