Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 73

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 73

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854

Oh ! not your dark-eyed beauties of the East, Jewish or Saracen�nor yet the fair,
Your bright-checked maids of Christendom, the best, For saintly virtues and endowments rare�May rank with her whom yet I do not see,
To whom I may not speak�who does not know My homage, yet who nightly comes to me,
And bids my hopes revive, my passion glow. With day she disappears, and then alone,
I know that she is distant : �I will fly ;
Pierce the deep space between that foreign sky, And bare to her the heart so much her own.
The seas will not betray me, when they know Love is my guide and bids me death defy."
His preparations were not long delayed. His soul was too
eager in its new passion to permit of any unnecessary waste of
time. His flame had become a frenzy�the leading idea of his
mind, which reason had ceased to resist, and which friends no
longer ventured to combat. His preparations completed, and
the bark ready, his pen records one of the usual vows of knight-
errantry. In the following sonnet, lie professes that humility
which was commonly set forth quite too ostentatiously to be sin-
cere always ; but which, in his case, the sequal of our story will
show to, have been deeply seated in his soul. We shall not find
it necessary to call the attention particularly to the delicacy of
the sentiments contained in these selections �a delicacy, we
may add, which speaks more certainly for the particular instance
before us, than it ordinarily did, at that period, for the general
character of chivalry : �

"'Tis sworn that I depart�and clad in wool
With pilgrim staff before her eyes I go
Glad, if with pity for my love and wo,
She suffers me within her palace rule.
But this were too much joy. Enough to be
Near the blest city which she keeps, though there, The triumph of the Saracen I see,
And fall a captive to his bow and spear.
Heaven grant me the sweet blessing in the prayer!�Transport me thither�let me, in her sight,
The rapture, born of her sweet presence, share, And live so long within her happy light,
The love that fills my soul, to pour into her ear."