Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VI / Love's Last Supper; A True Story of the Troubadours >> Page 83

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription cl ~3
FIRST SI'E-.:CII OF LOVE.
troubadour. They felt, and they resented it the more readily,
as they were not insensible to his personal superiority. Guil-
laume himself, was exceeding slow in arriving at a similar con-
sciousness. Touched with a fonder sentiment for his mistress
than was compatible with his security, his modesty had never
suffered him to suppose that he had been so fortunate as to in-
spire her with a feeling such as he now knew within himself.
It was at a moment when he least looked for it, that he made
the perilous discovery. It was in the course of a discussion upon
the various signs of love�such a discussion as occupied the idle
hours, and the wandering fancies of chivalry that she said to
him, somewhat abruptly
" Surely thou, Guillaume, thou, who canst sing of love so ten-
derly, and with so much sweetness, thou, of all persons, should
be the one to distinguish between a feigned passion and a real
one. Methinks the eye of him who loves truly, could most cer-
tainly discover, from the eye of the beloved one, whether the
real flame were yet burning in her heart."
And even as she spoke, the glance of her dark and lustrous
eye settled upon his own with such a dewy and quivering fire,
that his soul at once became enlightened with her secret. The
troubadour was necessarily an improvvisatore. Guillaume de
Cabestaign was admitted to be one of the most spontaneous in
his utterance, of all his order. His lyre took for him the voice
which he could not well have used at that overpowering moment.
He sung wildly and triumphantly, inspired by his new and rap-
turous consciousness, even while her eyes were yet fixed upon
him, full still of the involuntary declaration which made the in-
spiration of his song. These verses, which embodied the first
impulsive sentiment which he had ever dared to breathe from
his heart of the passion which had long been lurking within it,
have been preserved for us by the damsels of Provence. We
translate them, necessarily to the great detriment of their
melody, from the sweet South, where they had birth, to our
harsher Runic region. The song of Guillaume was an apos-
trophe.
Touch the weeping string !
Thou whose beauty fires me ; Oh ! how vainly would I sing
The passion that inspires inc.