The Desconhort (1295) is a poem of 69 mono-rhymed verses of 12 Alexandrine lines each, that should be recited to the tune of the Carolingian epic poem, Berart de Montdidier, now lost. The poem consists of a carefully elaborated debate, in verse form, between Ramon and a hermit, who is at first reticent and later enthusiastic, concerning Llull’s Artistic project; in form, it re-processes, for propaganda purposes, the literary techniques that Llull had renounced when he experienced his conversion and abandoned troubadour poetry.
The poem begins with a biographical account: Ramon is melancholic because he has devoted himself to the conversion of unbelievers (‘infidels’) and to the exaltation of the faith for thirty years without success. A hermit who is present invites Ramon to examine his conscience in order to see if his ‘General Art’ is, in fact, a good cause. The Art seems to Ramon to be free from sin because it is based upon love of God and upon a genuine charitable impulse towards one’s neighbour. The interlocutor’s reticence does not console Llull, but rather angers him: nothing can help him if he is unsuccessful. Finally, the hermit considers whether Ramon was speaking the truth, and finishes by recognising that the undertaking initiated by Llull was good and agreeable to God. For the first time, Ramon finds his suffering is alleviated, at the moment when the hermit shows himself to be prepared to collaborate with him, and he gives thanks to God.
Full text of the Desconhort.