Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 70

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 70 SOUTHWARD IiO
inspiration in the recital. Faint echoes of the story reached our
disconsolate poet, and fell with a renovating influence upon his
spirit. He heard, and hearkened with a greedy interest. The
recital touched the dormant chords of his nature. He grew
excited as be listened, suddenly flung off his lethargy, and soon
his lyre began to emulate and excel all others, in rehearsing the
charms of her person and the beauties of her soul. He all at
once realized his ideal. The countess of Tripoli was the creature
of all his imaginings. The image in his soul had found a living
likeness. It had long been the image in his dreams�it was
now the object of his waking passion. It filled the measure of
his hopes ; it heightened the glory of his dreams. He loved
he was no longer without a soul.
THE imagination of our troubadour thus powerfully excited,
it was not surprising that he should enjoy a glorious vision of
the lady of his thoughts. He lay sleeping, during a slumberous
summer evening, in a favorite bower of his garden : his lute,
resting beside him, was silent also ; but he still clasped between
his fingers the illuminated missal, in which the wandering monk,
scarcely less infatuated than himself, had sought to enshrine the
beauties of the Lady of Tripoli in the character of the Blessed
Virgin. In the deep draughts of delirious passion which the
picture had helped to enliven, the troubadour might well lapse
away from delicious fancies into as delicious dreams. The warm
sun of his region helped the influence. The birds of Provence
ministered also�singing overhead those sweet capriccios, half
play, half sentiment, which seem to have furnished the model
for many of the best specimens of Provencal poetry. The
flowers gave forth a soft, persuasive fragrance. The leaves
floated to and fro upon the slenderest green vines, under the
balmy influence of the southern breeze, ever and anon stooping
to his floating hair, and trembling over his somewhat pallid
cheek. A favorite greyhound slept at his feet, his long brown
nose resting upon the gayly-wrought slippers which enclosed them.
-Warm fancies, working with the season and the scene, proved
to our poet as deliciously narcotizing as those fabled breezes