Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V / The Pilgrim of Love >> Page 79

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 79

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE BRIDAL OF DEATH. 79
est to his person. The love and the peace which she had prom-
ised him completed the full consciousness of his exulting spirit.
All these things had really come to pass. But the stately
ceremonial, which his flattering fancies had persuaded him was
his bridal, was in truth his funeral. Dying, thus surrounded,
he felt that it was a bridal also. In the brief communion which
his eyes enjoyed with those of her he loved, he felt that their
souls were united. She said to him, as plainly as eyes could
speak�" The love and the peace thou seekest, shall they not
be thine ?" and in this happy faith he yielded up his spirit on
her bosom.- He was magnificently buried among the Knights
Templars at Tripoli. Scarcely had this last ceremonial taken
place,-when the woman he had so worshipped made a sign,
which seemed to confirm the previous rumors of their strange
spiritual sympathies. Her heart was certainly more deeply
interested in his fate than might well have been the case, had
their mutual souls not communed before. The very day of his
death, she who had lived a princess, in the very eye of pleased
and wondering nations, suddenly retired from the world. She
buried her head, if not her secret, beneath the hood of the
cloister. They were placed to sleep apart," says the ancient
chronicle, but, by the Virgin's grace, they wake together !"
An old Provencal author, whose name is unknown, writes :
The Viscount Geoffrey Rudel, in passing the seas to visit his
lady, voluntarily died for her sake." His passion has been
deemed worthy of the recording muse of Petrarch, who says :
" By the aid of sails and oars, Geoffroi Rudel obtained the boon
of death which he desired." We have furnished the ample
history of this event. In one of the ancient metaphysical dis-
cussions so common in the Courts of Love, during the prevalence
of chivalry, one of the questions proposed for discussion was as
follows :
" Which contributes most powerfully to inspire love�senti-
ment or sight ? the heart or the eyes ?"
The case was at once decided in favor of sentiment when the
story of our troubadour was told. Once more, this narrative is
no fiction, though of the purest school of fiction. Its facts are
all to be found in the sober records of a period, when, however,
society was not quite sober.