Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 75

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE DYING TROUBADOUR. 75

Should she prove ruthless´┐Żno, it can not be My god-sire gave such evil fate to me."
The last allusion in this poem may not be so readily under-
stood in our times. It is still a subject of some discussion. It
is thought by some to have reference to the old tradition of gifts
bestowed by fairies upon persons in their infancy. Our own no-
tion is, that it is taken from one of the institutions of chivalry.
A knight was said to be born only when he had received the
honors of knighthood. At this ceremony he had a god-father or
sponsor. This person was usually chosen by the novice in con-
sideration of his high renown, his bravery and good fortune. A
certain portion of these good qualities were naturally supposed
capable of transmission. The sponsor answered for the good
qualities of the youthful squire, and bestowed on him his bles-
sing with his counsel. The allusion in the verses quoted is not
obscure, if we remember the relationship between the parties. I v.

BuT we must not linger. The excitement of' our troubadour
increased with the voyage. It was hardly restrainable within
the bounds of sanity as the ship approached her port of destina-
tion. Rudel was beloved by all on board. His grace, talent,
gallantry, and enthusiasm, had touched all hearts. The curious
history of his passion had lifted him in their admiration and
wonder. They saw, with many misgivings, that it was growing
momently at the peril of his life and reason. But it was vain to
expostulate with one so completely lifted by his fervor beyond
the reach of ordinary argument. IIe ate but little and had no
appetite. His ailments, derived wholly from the strange flame
by which he was possessed, were yet stimulating influences
which gave him strength in the absence of mortal nutriment.
Very thin, indeed, were the cheeks which yet brightened with
the liveliest intelligence. The skin of his face had become so
delicately white and transparent, that the blue veins stood out
prominent upon his forehead, and you might trace everywhere
the progress of the fiery blood through his face and hands. His
eye wore a wild, unnatural intensity that seemed to dart through
the beholder. And yet it was apparent, even then, that the