Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 77

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Page 77

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE DREAM REALIZED. 77
They were cheered at length with the sight of the shores of
Palestine,�the Promised Land, indeed, to him. But such an
enthusiasm as that which had possessed his soul could not have
been entertained by any mortal, except at vital hazard. His
joy became convulsion. Lifted from the vessel and placed with
his feet upon the earth, he sank down in a swoon, to all appear-
ance dead. But the faith which he had in the promise of his
dream, was sufficient to reanimate his strength. Borne on a lit-
ter to the nearest dwelling, the wonderful story of his passion,
and of his voyage in pursuit of its object, was soon borne through
Tripoli. It reached, among others, the ears of the noble lady
who had been so innocently the cause of his misfortunes. Then
it was that he realized the vision that blessed him while he slept
at Blaye. The princess of Tripoli was sensible to all his sor-
rows. She was touched by the devotion of the troubadour, and,
even as he lay in a state of swoon that looked the image of
death itself, his ears caught once more the endearing summons,
and the accents of that melodious voice, which had aroused him
from his despondency and dreams. Once more it whispered to
his exulting soul the happy invitation : Hither to me, Rudel,
hither to me ; and the love that thou seekest and the peace �
shall they not both be thine ?"
THESE dear words aroused him from his swoon. He opened
his eyes upon the light, but it was only to close them for ever.
But they had gained all that was precious in that one opening.
The single glance around him, by the dying troubadour, showed
him all that be had sought. Her holy and sweet face was the
first that he beheld. Her eyes smiled encouragement and love.
It was her precious embrace that succored his sinking frame.
These tender offices, let it not be forgotten, were not, in those
days, inconsistent with the purest virtue. The young maiden
was frequently nurse and physician to the stranger knight. Sho
brought him nourishment and medicine, dressed his wounds, and
scrupled at no act, however delicate, which was supposed neces-
sary to his recovery. Our countess had been taught to perform
these offices, not merely as acts of duty, but as acts of devotion.