Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 78

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Page 78

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 78 SOUTHWARD 110!
It is probable that a deeper interest in the sufferer before her
gave a warmer solicitude to her ministrations. She had heard
the whole story of our troubadour, and of the influence which
she had possessed in rousing him from his apathy into life, even
though that awakening had been, finally, fatal to life itself.
Of his graces and virtues she knew before, and many were the
admirers who had already taught her how sweet and passionate,
and how purely due to herself, were the songs and sonnets of
Rudel. It was even whispered that their offices were by no
means necessary to her knowledge. There were those who
insisted that there had been some strange spiritual commerce
between the parties, though so many leagues asunder. The
story ran that Geoffrey Rudel had been as much the object of
her dreaming fancies as she had been of his. They said that
while he beheld her in the inspiring vision of the noonday, in
his garden at Blaye, she herself, in a state of prolonged trance
at Tripoli, was conscious of his presence, and of her own inter-
est in his fate, elsewhere. It is certain that she betrayed no
surprise when she heard his story from mortal lips. She be-
trayed no surprise at his coming, and she was among the first
to attend the bedside of the dying man. He felt her presence,
as one, even in sleep, feels the sudden sunshine. He breathed
freely at her approach, as if the flitting soul were entreated back
for a moment, by her charms, to its prison-house of mortality.
She embraced him as he lapsed away, while her eyes, dropping
the biggest tears, were lifted up to heaven in resignation, but
with grief. He, in that mysterious moment, gazed only upon
her. His fading glance was filled with exultation. His hope
was realized. He expired, thrice happy, since he expired in
her arms. The prophetic vision had deceived him in no single
particular. She was one of the first to receive and welcome
him. His reception had been one of state and sympathizing
ceremonial. He beheld, even as he died, the very groups which
his dream had shown him. There were the severe and stately
aspects of the Knights of the Temple there again were the
humbler Brothers of the Hospital. Princes and barons drew
nigh in armor and resting upon their shields, as at a solemn ser-
vice ; and he was in the midst, the figure to whom all eyes were
addressed, and she, the nearest to his heart, was also the near-