Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 72

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 72 SOUTHWARD HO
at last ; for, until one loves, he can not be said to live. The
life of humanity is love. The new passion prompted new ener-
gies. Geoffrey Rudel was still at Blaye, but he might soon be
at Tripoli. He made his preparations for Tripoli accordingly.
Once more his good steed was put in exercise. His shield was
taken from the wall. His lance was cleansed of its rust, and
glittered gayly in the sunbeams, as if rejoicing in its resumed
employments. The proud spirit of knighthood was once more
rekindled in the bosom of our hero. He was again a living man,
with all the tenderness which inspires bravery to seek adven-
ture. It was easy now to feel all the enthusiasm at which it
was his wont to smile ; and he could now look with regret and
mortification at those days of apathy which kept him in repose
when St. Bernard went through the land, preaching his mission
of power. He could now understand the virtue of leaving home
and family, friends and fortune, to fight for the Holy Sepulchre.
The spirit of the crusade suddenly impregnated his soul. Sol-
emnly he took up the cross�literally, in the figure upon his
garments�and made his preparations for embarking for the
East. Never had a change so sudden been wrought in human
bosom. Nor did lie conceal the true occasion of the miracle.
When did troubadour ever `Withhold the secret of his passion ?
It was his pride to reveal. Geoffrey Rudel loved at last. He,
too, could be made to yield to the spells of beauty. His lyre
was not silent. He unfolded himself in the most exquisite im-
provvisations, which we should but coldly render in our harsh
language of the North. He who had been, all apathy before,
was now all excitement. His limbs trembled with the wild fever
in his veins. A deep spot of red grew suddenly apparent on
his faded cheek. A tone of nervous impatience now distin-
guished the utterance which had hitherto been gentle and for-
bearing always. His muse spoke more frequently, and with
a spasmodic energy, which had not been her usual characteris-
tic. We preserve another of his sonnets, feebly rendered into
our dialect, which he penned just before leaving Provence for
the East :
6, She I adore, whom, save in nightly dreams,
These eyes have ne'er beheld, yet am I sure
She is no other than the thing she seems,
A thing for love and worship evermore.