Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 67

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE INDOLENT KNIGHT. G7
which valor had ever fixed upon his brow. He declared ' his
griefs at the insusceptibility of his heart. His prayer embodied
a petition that he might be made to love. But lie prayed for
heavenly succor, and he looked for earthly loveliness, in vain.
His mind was greatly saddened by his condition. His isolation
impaired his energies. He ceased to sing, to seek the tourney
and the court, and delivered himself up to a musing and medi-
tative life, which was only not utter vacancy. At a season of
general bustle among the nations, he sank into apathy. He
had served in arms with Richard, but the entreaties of that
impetuous and powerful monarch no longer succeeded in be-
guiling him from his solitude. The world was again arrayed in
armor�the whole wide world of Christendom�moving under
the impulses of religious fanaticism, at the wild instance of St.
Bernard. Preparations were in progress for the second crusade,
but the stir of the multitude aroused no answering chord in his
affections. He put on no armor; his shield hung upon his
walls ; his spear rusted beneath it, and no trumpet was sounded
at his gates. Like one overcome with sloth, Geoffrey Rudel
lay couched within the quiet retreats of his castle near Bour-
deaux, and gave no heed to the cries and clamors of the world
without. But his soul had not lapsed away in luxuries. He
was immersed in no pleasures more exciting than those of song.
His soul was full of sadness rather than delight. His lyre sent
forth the tenderest pleading, and the most touching lamentation.
His heart was filled with sorrow, as he entreated vainly that it
should be filled with love. Very sweet were his ballads ; plain-
tive always, and teeming with fancies, which fainly sought to
ally themselves to affections. With a soul given up to contem-
plations, which, if not loving, were not warlike, be gave no heed
to the movements, or even the reproaches of his brethren
knights and troubadours. The preaching of St. Bernard touch-
ed not him. We do not know that he ever listened once to that
great apostle of the crusades ; nor, indeed, can we pretend to
assert that his conversion ever formed a special object with the
preacher. But the entreaties of others were urged upon him,
and without success. He answered them with a melancholy
denial, which declared his regrets more than his indifference.
Some of his ditties, written at this period, have been preserved