Geoffry Rùdel and Melisanda of Tripoli
In the Chateau Blay still see we
Tapestry the walls adorning,
Work’d by Tripoli’s fair countess’
Own fair hands, no labor scorning.
Her whole soul was woven in it,
And with loving tears and tender
Hallow’d is the silken picture,
Which the following scene doth render:
How the Countess saw Rùdel
Dying on the strand of ocean,
And the ideal in his features
Traced of all her heart’s emotion.
For the first and last time also
Living saw Rùdel and breathing
Her who in his every vision
Intertwining was and wreathing.
Over him the Countess bends her,
Lovingly his form she raises,
And his deadly pale mouth kisses,
That so sweetly sung her praises.
Ah, the kiss of welcome likewise
Was the kiss of separation,
And they drain’d the cup of wildest
Joy, and deepest desolation.
In the Chateau Blay at night-time
Comes a rushing, crackling, shaking;
On the tapestry the figures
Suddenly to life are waking.
Troubadour and lady stretch their
Drowsy ghostlike members yonder,
And from out the wall advancing
Up and down the hall they wander.
Whispers fond and gentle toying,
Sad-sweet secrets, heart-enthralling,
Posthumous gallant soft speeches,
Minnesingers’ times recalling:
“Geoffry! At thy voice’s music
Warmth is in my dead heart glowing,
And I feel once more a glimmer
In the long-quench’d embers growing!”
“Melisanda! I awaken
Unto happiness and gladness,
When I see thine eyes; dead only
Is my earthly pain and sadness.”
“Geoffry! Once we loved each other
In our dreams; now, cut asunder
By the hand of death, still love we, -
“Amor ‘tis that wrought this wonder!”
“Melisanda! What are dreams?
What is death? Mere words to scare one!
Truth in love alone e’er find we,
And I love thee, ever fair one!”
“Geoffry! Oh love sweet our meetings
In this moonlit chamber night,
Now that in the day’s bright sunbeams
I no more shall wander lightly.”
“Melisanda! Foolish dear one!
Thou art light and sun, thou knowest!
Love and joys of May are building,
Spring is blooming, where thou goest!” –
Thus those tender spectres wander
Up and down, and sweet caresses
Interchange, while peeps the moonlight
Through the window’s arch’d recesses.
But at length the rays of morning
Scare away the fond illusion;
To the tapestry retreat they
On the wall, in shy confusion.