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THE DEATH OF GEOFFREY RUDEL, THE TROUBADOUR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Her wandering pilgrims, from the syrian shore
Last Line: Bore his chaste spirit to the realms above.
Alternate Author Name(s): Egerton-warburton, R. E.
Subject(s): Death; Love; Man-woman Relationships; Troubadours; Dead, The; Male-female Relations; Minnesingers

HER wandering pilgrims, from the Syrian shore,
Provence has welcomed to their home once more;
And gathering crowds, with eager voice, demand
What tidings bring they from the Holy Land?
They tell of battles by the Christian won,
And deeds of daring by Crusaders done;
They tell of perils and of toils past through,
Till tears of pity every eye bedew;
But worthier still of praise and wonder deem
One gentle name, their still unceasing theme.
In Tripoli dwells, endow'd with beauty rare,
A virgin princess, Melinsende the fair;
They tell how never on this earth as yet
Such various gifts in one fair mortal met;
How gentleness and dignity combine,
How wit and wisdom in her converse shine;
Romance ne'er pictured to the dreamer's sight
A form so graceful or an eye so bright!

As though enchain'd by some strange magic spell,
Still lingering, listens to the tale they tell,
With beating heart, the Troubadour Rudel.
Fly! ere too late, unhappy Troubadour;
Fly! ere those words to thy destruction lure.
Alas! already that encrimson'd cheek
And throbbing pulse love's influence bespeak!
That name by day his song's untiring theme,
That form by night the phantom of his dream.
Amid the armèd chivalry of France,
Rudel no more shall to the lists advance,
Nor urge the steed, nor wield the knightly lance;
Bright eyes, the glory of his native clime,
Shall win no more the homage of his rhyme.
Let other minstrels now their charms recite,
He views them only as the stars of night;
A fancied sun, in regions far away,
O'erpowers their light and lures him to its ray.
O'er fame and glory conquering love prevails,
His parting speeds, and still with favouring gales
Wafts on the vessel as it eastward sails;
Yet oft the deck with restless step he paced,
The winds outstripp'd by his impatient haste;
Now silent, would he gaze with longing eye,
Intent the haven of his hope to spy;
Now when the winds were hush'd, and, in their stead,
By stroke of oar the lab'ring galley sped,
Beneath the shrouds reclining, would he string
His plaintive lyre, and thus in sadness sing:


How bright with bliss, love-favouring night,
When eyes, which I adore, with light
Of seraph-sweetness beam;
Sad day, how dark! when envious morn,
From my fond sight that image torn,
Dispels the dream!

O blissful night, when whisper'd near
Those accents charm my listening ear,
And all my senses thrill!
Linger, night, linger yet awhile,
And bid that harmony beguile
My slumber still!

The morning sun disturbs a dream
More beauteous than his midday beam—
Strains which from Heaven fall!
Strains which by day my ceaseless lyre,
Still baffled in the vain desire,
Would fain recall!

To catch the echo of the words he sung,
On their poised oars the listening sailors hung;
The vessel's track, in glistening scales array'd,
The dolphins follow'd as the minstrel play'd.
Alas! already flush'd with fever's dye,
The sunken cheek and the enfeebled sigh
Tell how that flame, devouring night and day,
With pain unceasing, wastes his heart away,
Ah! fond delusion, she, unseen, unknown,
That voice inspiring may not hear its tone,
Save in the utterance of life's parting moan.
In sight at length the wish'd-for shore appears,
And now the port the straining vessel nears;
Ere from the mast the fluttering sails they lower,
The pitying sailors bear Rudel to shore.
Swift speeds his page, the wondering Princess seeks,
Kneels at her feet, and thus love's errand speaks:
"Fair Melinsenda! from his distant home
Fame of thy beauty lured Rudel to roam.
From far my master, those bright charms to see,
Has cross'd the waves that sever'd him from thee.
Alas! that love which led him o'er the wave,
In mockery guided only to his grave!
E'en now, his pallet stretch'd upon the beach,
Thy whifper'd name employs his feeble speech.
Haste, gentle Princess! though the charms which gave
Th' unconscious wound have now no power to save,
In pity, haste! though Heaven his life deny,
Bless with one look thy victim ere he die!"
Urg'd by a secret sympathy, she flies,
With eager steps, to where her votary lies;
Though death now 'gan his closing sight to dim,
He saw those eyes, and saw them fix'd on him.
How far the bright reality excell'd
Whate'er fond fancy had in dreams beheld!
" 'Tis thou! 'tis thou!" with struggling voice he cried,
Press'd on her hand one fervent kiss and died.
Faintly his falling lyre was heard to fling
One plaintive echo from its broken string;
The gale that swept it through the eastern grove
Bore his chaste spirit to the realms above.

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