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Another crusader and Minne-singer of those days, Sir Reinmar of Hagenau, gives us a glimpse of the struggle that must have gone on in many minds between the love of pleasure and the self-control that befitted a soldier of the Cross, a struggle of which we 44 may still use his own words, "full many another feels it too:--"


Des tages do ich daz kriuze nam

E'er since the day this Cross was mine,

I set a guard upon my thought,

As well beseems the Holy Sign,

And as a faithful pilgrim ought;

To God I raise my thoughts by night and day,

That from His service ne'er my foot may stray

But they would have their will, and roam

Unchecked as they were wont to do;

Nor is this trouble mine alone,

Full many another feels it too.

All other things were lightly borne,

If but my thoughts would keep true ways;

The God whom I to serve have sworn

They help me not enough to praise,--

Not as I ought, and for my soul were well.

On the old stories they are fain to dwell,

And lure me back to pleasures past

That I was eager once to seek;

Christ, Thou forbid them, turn them thence;

For my own strength is all too weak.

But I would not forbid them quite

To seek by times their native land;

Awhile I let them take their flight,

Then want them swiftly here at hand;

So there to greet our friends they oft are sent,

Then back they come to help me to repent,

To win forgiveness for us both,

For sins that all my past beset

Yet fear I their deceitfulness,

Fear they may oft mislead me yet.


Farewell then, Pleasure! well for him

To whom thou comest harmlessly;

Thou haunt'st me still in visions dim,

Though of thy bondage I am free:

The days, the nights, when once I shunned thee not,

By many an effort have I now forgot,

Closed are the paths that toward thee lead;

Let no man point the way to thee

Afresh,--I count him else a foe

To my sworn service and to me.

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