Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Act IV - ACT V


        A hall adorned as for a festival; the columns are hung
        with garlands; behind the scene flutes and hautboys.



Hushed is the din of arms, war's storms subside,
Glad songs and dance succeed the bloody fray,
Through all the streets joy echoes far and wide,
Altar and church are decked in rich array,
Triumphal arches rise in vernal pride,
Wreathes round the columns wind their flowery way,
Wide Rheims cannot contain the mighty throng,
Which to joyous pageant rolls along.

One thought alone doth every heart possess,
One rapt'rous feeling o'er each breast preside.
And those to-day are linked in happiness
Whom bloody hatred did erewhile divide.
All who themselves of Gallic race confess
The name of Frenchman own with conscious pride,
France sees the splendor of her ancient crown,
And to her monarch's son bows humbly down.

Yet I, the author of this wide delight,
The joy, myself created, cannot share;
My heart is changed, in sad and dreary plight
It flies the festive pageant in despair;
Still to the British camp it taketh flight,
Against my will my gaze still wanders there,
And from the throng I steal, with grief oppressed,
To hide the guilt which weighs upon my breast!

What! I permit a human form
To haunt my bosom's sacred cell?
And there, where heavenly radiance shone,
Doth earthly love presume to dwell?
The savior of my country, I,
The warrior of God most high,
Burn for my country's foeman? Dare I name
Heaven's holy light, nor feel o'erwhelmed with shame?

[The music behind the scene passes into a soft and moving melody.]

        Woe is me! Those melting tones!
        They distract my 'wildered brain!
        Every note, his voice recalling,
        Conjures up his form again

        Would that spears were whizzing round!
        Would that battle's thunder roared!
        'Midst the wild tumultuous sound
        My former strength were then restored.

        These sweet tones, these melting voices,
        With seductive power are fraught!
        They dissolve, in gentle longing,
        Every feeling, every thought,
        Waking tears of plaintive sadness.

        [After a pause, with more energy.]

Should I have killed him? Could I, when I gazed
Upon his face? Killed him? Oh, rather far
Would I have turned my weapon 'gainst myself!
And am I culpable because humane?
Is pity sinful? Pity! Didst then hear
The voice of pity and humanity
When others fell the victims of thy sword?
Why was she silent when the gentle youth
From Wales entreated thee to spare his life?
Oh, cunning heart! Thou liest before high heaven!
It is not pity's voice impels thee now!
Why was I doomed to look into his eyes!
To mark his noble features! With that glance, Thy crime, thy woe commenced. Unhappy one!
A sightless instrument thy God demands,
Blindly thou must accomplish his behest!
When thou didst see, God's shield abandoned thee,
And the dire snares of hell around thee pressed!

[Flutes are again heard, and she subsides into a quiet melancholy.]

        Harmless staff! Oh, that I ne'er
        Had for the sword abandoned thee!
        Had voices never reached mine ear,
        From thy branches, sacred tree!
        High queen of heaven! Oh, would that thou
        Hadst ne'er revealed thyself to me!
        Take back--I dare not claim it now--
        Take back thy crown, 'tis not for me!

        I saw the heavens open wide,
        I gazed upon that face of love!
        Yet here on earth my hopes abide,
        They do not dwell in heaven above!
        Why, Holy One, on me impose
        This dread vocation? Could I steel,
        And to each soft emotion close
        This heart, by nature formed to feel?

        Wouldst thou proclaim thy high command,
        Make choice of those who, free from sin,
        In thy eternal mansions stand;
        Send forth thy flaming cherubim!
        Immortal ones, thy law they keep,
        They do not feel, they do not weep!
        Choose not a tender woman's aid,
        Not the frail soul of shepherd maid!

        Was I concerned with warlike things,
        With battles or the strife of kings?
        In innocence I led my sheep
        Adown the mountain's silent steep,
        But thou didst send me into life,
        Midst princely halls and scenes of strife,
        To lose my spirit's tender bloom
        Alas, I did not seek my doom!



SOREL (advances joyfully. When she perceives JOHANNA she hastens to
her and falls upon her neck; then suddenly recollecting herself; she
relinquishes her hold, and falls down before her).
No! no! not so! Before thee in the dust----

JOHANNA (trying to raise her).
Arise! Thou dost forget thyself and me.

Forbid me not! 'tis the excess of joy
Which throws me at thy feet--I must pour forth
My o'ercharged heart in gratitude to God;
I worship the Invisible in thee.
Thou art the angel who has led my lord
To Rheims, to crown him with the royal crown.
What I ne'er dreamed to see is realized!
The coronation march will soon set forth;
Arrayed in festal pomp the monarch stands;
Assembled are the nobles of the realm,
The mighty peers to bear the insignia;
To the cathedral rolls the billowy crowd;
Glad songs resound, the bells unite their peal:
Oh, this excess of joy I cannot bear!

        [JOHANNA gently raises her. AGNES SOREL pauses a moment,
        and surveys the MAIDEN more narrowly.]

Yet thou remainest ever grave and stern;
Thou canst create delight, yet share it not.
Thy heart is cold, thou feelest not our joy,
Thou hast beheld the glories of the skies;
No earthly interest moveth thy pure breast.

        [JOHANNA seizes her hand passionately, but soon lets it fall again.]

Oh, couldst thou own a woman's feeling heart!
Put off this armor, war is over now,
Confess thy union with the softer sex!
My loving heart shrinks timidly from thee,
While thus thou wearest Pallas' brow severe.

What wouldst thou have me do?

                Unarm thyself!
Put off this coat of mail! The God of Love
Fears to approach a bosom clad in steel.
Oh, be a woman, thou wilt feel his power!

What, now unarm myself? Midst battle's roar
I'll bare my bosom to the stroke of death!
Not now! Would that a sevenfold wall of brass
Could hide me from your revels, from myself!

Thou'rt loved by Count Dunois. His noble heart,
Which virtue and renown alone inspire,
With pure and holy passion glows for thee.
Oh, it is sweet to know oneself beloved
By such a hero--sweeter still to love him!

        [JOHANNA turns away with aversion.]

Thou hatest him?--No, no, thou only canst
Not love him:--how could hatred stir thy breast!
Those who would tear us from the one we love,
We hate alone; but none can claim thy love.
Thy heart is tranquil--if it could but feel----

Oh, pity me! Lament my hapless fate!

What can be wanting to complete thy joy?
Thou hast fulfilled thy promise, France is free,
To Rheims, in triumph, thou hast led the king,
Thy mighty deeds have gained thee high renown,
A happy people praise and worship thee;
Thy name, the honored theme of every tongue;
Thou art the goddess of this festival;
The monarch, with his crown and regal state,
Shines not with greater majesty than thou!

Oh, could I hide me in the depths of earth!

Why this emotion? Whence this strange distress?
Who may to-day look up without a fear
If thou dost cast thine eyes upon the ground!
It is for me to blush, me, who near thee
Feel all my littleness; I cannot reach
The lofty virtue, thy heroic strength!
For--all my weakness shall I own to thee?
Not the renown of France, my Fatherland,
Not the new splendor of the monarch's crow,
Not the triumphant gladness of the crowds,
Engage this woman's heart. One only form
Is in its depths enshrined; it hath no room
For any feeling save for one alone:
He is the idol, him the people bless,
Him they extol, for him they strew these flowers,
And he is mine, he is my own true love!

Oh, thou art happy! thou art blessed indeed!
Thou lovest, where all love. Thou may'st, unblamed
Pour forth thy rapture, and thine inmost heart,
Fearless discover to the gaze of man!
Thy country's triumph is thy lover's too.
The vast, innumerable multitudes,
Who, rolling onward, crowd within these walls,
Participate thy joy, they hallow it;
Thee they salute, for thee they twine the wreath,
Thou art a portion of the general joy;
Thou lovest the all-inspiring soul, the sun,
And what thou seest is thy lover's glory!

SOREL (falling on her neck).
Thou dost delight me, thou canst read my heart!
I did thee wrong, thou knowest what love is,
Thou tell'st my feelings with a voice of power.
My heart forgets its fear and its reserve,
And seeks confidingly to blend with thine----

JOHANNA (tearing herself from her with violence).
Forsake me! Turn away! Do not pollute
Thyself by longer intercourse with me!
Be happy! go--and in the deepest night
Leave me to hide my infamy, my woe!

Thou frighten'st me, I understand thee not,
I ne'er have understood thee--for from me
Thy dark mysterious being still was veiled.
Who may divine what thus disturbs thy heart,
Thus terrifies thy pure and sacred soul!

Thou art the pure, the holy one! Couldst thou
Behold mine inmost heart, thou, shuddering,
Wouldst fly the traitoress, the enemy!


        DUNOIS, DUCHATEL, and LA HIRE, with the banner of JOHANNA.

Johanna, thee we seek. All is prepared;
The king hath sent us, 'tis his royal will
That thou before him shouldst thy banner bear,
The company of princes thou shalt join;
And march immediately before the king:
For he doth not deny it, and the world
Shall witness, maiden, that to thee alone
He doth ascribe the honor of this day.

Here is the banner. Take it, noble maiden
Thou'rt stayed for by the princes and the people.

I march before him? I the banner bear?

Whom else would it become? What other hand
Is pure enough to bear the sacred ensign!
Amid the battle thou hast waved it oft;
To grace our glad procession bear it now.

        [LA HIRE presents the banner to her, she draws back, shuddering.]

Away! away!

                Art thou terrified
At thine own banner, maiden? Look at it!

        [He displays the banner.]

It is the same thou didst in conquest wave.
Imaged upon it is the queen of heaven,
Floating in glory o'er this earthly ball;
For so the Holy Mother showed it thee.

        [JOHANNA gazing upon it with horror.]

'Tis she herself! so she appeared to me.
See, how she looks at me and knits her brow,
And anger flashes from her threatening eye!

Alas, she raveth! Maiden, be composed!
Collect thyself! Thou seest nothing real!
That is her pictured image; she herself
Wanders above, amid the angelic choir!

Thou comest, fearful one, to punish me?
Destroy, o'erwhelm, thy lightnings hurl,
And let them fall upon my guilty head.
Alas, my vow I've broken. I've profaned
And desecrated thy most holy name!

Woe's us! What may this mean? What unblest words?

LA HIRE (in astonishment, to DUCHATEL).
This strange emotion canst thou comprehend?

That which I see, I see--I long have feared it.

What sayest thou?

                I dare not speak my thoughts.
I would to heaven that the king were crowned!

How! hath the awe this banner doth inspire
Turned back upon thyself? before this sign
Let Britons tremble; to the foes of France
'Tis fearful, but to all true citizens
It is auspicious.

                Yes, thou sayest truly!
To friends 'tis gracious! but to enemies
It causeth horror!

        [The Coronation march is heard.]

                Take thy banner, then!
The march begins--no time is to be lost!

        [They press the banner upon her; she seizes it with
        evident emotion, and retires; the others follow.]

        [The scene changes to an open place before the Cathedral.]


        Spectators occupy the background; BERTRAND, CLAUDE MARIE, and
        ETIENNE come forward; then MARGOT and LOUISON. The Coronation
        march is heard in the distance.

Hark to the music! They approach already!
What had we better do? Shall we mount up
Upon the platform, or press through the crowd,
That we may nothing lose of the procession?

It is not to be thought of. All the streets
Are thronged with horsemen and with carriages.
Beside these houses let us take our stand,
Here we without annoyance may behold
The train as it goes by.

                Almost it seems
As were the half of France assembled here,
So mighty is the flood that it hath reached
Even our distant Lotharingian land
And borne us thither!

                Who would sit at home
When great events are stirring in the land!
It hath cost plenty, both of sweat and blood,
Ere the crown rested on its rightful head!
Nor shall our lawful king, to whom we give
The crown, be worse accompanied than he
Whom the Parisians in St. Denis crowned!
He is no loyal, honest-minded man
Who doth absent him from this festival,
And joins not in the cry: "God save the King!"


        MARGOT and LOUISON join them.

We shall again behold our sister, Margot!
How my heart beats!

                In majesty and pomp
We shall behold her, saying to ourselves:
It is our sister, it is our Johanna!

Till I have seen her, I can scarce believe
That she, whom men the Maid of Orleans name,
The mighty warrior, is indeed Johanna,
Our sister whom we lost!

        [The music draws nearer.]

                Thou doubtest still!
Thou wilt thyself behold her!


                See, they come!


        Musicians, with flutes and hautboys, open the procession. Children
        follow, dressed in white, with branches in their hands; behind them
        two heralds. Then a procession of halberdiers, followed by
        magistrates in their robes. Then two marshals with their staves;
        the DUKE of BURGUNDY, bearing the sword; DUNOIS with the sceptre,
        other nobles with the regalia; others with sacrificial offerings.
        Behind these, KNIGHTS with the ornaments of their order; choristers
        with incense; two BISHOPS with the ampulla; the ARCHBISHOP with the
        crucifix. JOHANNA follows, with her banner, she walks with downcast
        head and wavering steps; her sisters, on beholding her, express
        their astonishment and joy. Behind her comes the KING under a
        canopy, supported by four barons; courtiers follow, soldiers
        conclude the procession; as soon as it has entered the church the
        music ceases.



Saw you our sister?

                She in golden armor,
Who with the banner walked before the king?

It was Johanna. It was she, our sister!

She recognized us not! She did not feel
That we, her sisters, were so near to her.
She looked upon the ground, and seemed so pale,
And trembled so beneath her banner's weight
When I beheld her, I could not rejoice.

So now, arrayed in splendor and in pomp,
I have beheld our sister--who in dreams
Would ever have imagined or conceived,
When on our native hills she drove the flock,
That we should see her in such majesty?

Our father's dream is realized, that we
In Rheims before our sister should bow down.
That is the church, which in his dream he saw
And each particular is now fulfilled.
But images of woe he also saw!
Alas! I'm grieved to see her raised so high!

Why stand we idly here? Let's to the church
To view the coronation!

                Yes! perchance
We there may meet our sister; let us go!

We have beheld her. Let us now return
Back to our village.

                How? Ere we with her
Have interchanged a word?

                She doth belong
To us no longer; she with princes stands
And monarchs. Who are we, that we should seek
With foolish vanity to near her state?
She was a stranger while she dwelt with us!

Will she despise, and treat us with contempt?

The king himself is not ashamed of us,
He kindly greets the meanest of the crowd.
How high soever she may be exalted,
The king is raised still higher!

        [Trumpets and kettle-drums are heard from the church.]

Let's to the church!

        [They hasten to the background, where they are lost among the crowd.]


        THIBAUT enters, clad in black. RAIMOND follows him, and tries
        to hold him back.

Stay, father Thibaut! Do not join the crowds!
Here, at this joyous festival you meet
None but the happy, whom your grief offends.
Come! Let us quit the town with hasty steps.

Hast thou beheld my child? My wretched child?
Didst thou observe her?

                I entreat you, fly!

Didst mark her tottering and uncertain steps,
Her countenance, so pallid and disturbed?
She feels her dreadful state; the hour is come
To save my child, and I will not neglect it.

        [He is about to retire.]

What would you do?

                Surprise her, hurl her down
From her vain happiness, and forcibly
Restore her to the God whom she denies.

Oh, do not work the ruin of your child!

If her soul lives, her mortal part may die.

        [JOHANNA rushes out of the church, without her banner.
        The people press around her, worship her, and kiss her
        garments. She is detained in the background by the crowd.

She comes! 'tis she! She rushes from the church.
Her troubled conscience drives her from the fane!
'Tis visibly the judgment of her God!

Farewell! Require not my attendance further!
Hopeful I came, and sorrowful depart.
Your daughter once again I have beheld,
And feel again that she is lost to me!

        [He goes out. THIBAUT retires on the opposite side.]


        JOHANNA, People. Afterwards her Sisters.

JOHANNA (she has freed herself from the crowd and comes forward).
Remain I cannot--spirits chase me forth!
The organ's pealing tones like thunder sound,
The dome's arched roof threatens to overwhelm me!
I must escape and seek heaven's wide expanse!
I left my banner in the sanctuary,
Never, oh, never, will I touch it more!
It seemed to me as if I had beheld
My sisters pass before me like a dream.
'Twas only a delusion!--they, alas!
Are far, far distant--inaccessible--
E'en as my childhood, as mine innocence!

MARGOT (stepping forward).
'Tis she! It is Johanna!

LOUISON (hastening toward her).
                Oh, my sister!

Then it was no delusion--you are here--
Thee I embrace, Louison! Thee, my Margot?
Here in this strange and crowded solitude,
I clasp once more my sisters' faithful breasts!

She knows us still, she is our own kind sister.

Your love hath led you to me here so far!
So very far! You are not wroth with her
Who left her home without one parting word!

God's unseen providence conducted thee.

Thy great renown, which agitates the world,
Which makes thy name the theme of every tongue,
Hath in our quiet village wakened us,
And led us hither to this festival.
To witness all thy glory we are come;
And we are not alone!

JOHANNA (quickly).
Our father's here!
Where is he? Why doth he conceal himself?

Our father is not with us.

                Not with you?
He will not see me, then! You do not bring
His blessing for his child?

                He knoweth not
That we are here.

                Not know it! Wherefore not?
You are embarrassed, and you do not speak;
You look upon the ground! Where is our father?

Since thou hast left----

LOUISON (making a sign to MARGOT).

Our father hath
Become dejected.


Console thyself!
Our sire's foreboding spirit well thou knowest!
He will collect himself, and be composed,
When he shall learn from us that thou art happy.

And thou art happy? Yes, it must be so,
For thou art great and honored!

                I am so,
Now I again behold you, once again
Your voices hear, whose fond, familiar tones
Bring to my mind my dear paternal fields.
When on my native hills I drove my herd,
Then I was happy as in paradise--
I ne'er can be so more, no, never more!

        [She hides her face on LOUISON'S bosom. CLAUDE MARIE,
        ETIENNE, and BERTRAND appear, and remain timidly standing
        in the distance.]

Come, Bertrand! Claude Marie! come, Etienne!
Our sister is not proud: she is so gentle,
And speaks so kindly,--more so than of yore,
When in our village she abode with us.

        [They draw near, and hold out their hands; JOHANNA
        gazes on them fixedly, and appears amazed.]

Where am I? Tell me! Was it all a dream,
A long, long dream? And am I now awake?
Am I away from Dom Remi? Is't so?
I fell asleep beneath the Druid tree,
And I am now awake; and round me stand
The kind, familiar forms? I only dreamed
Of all these battles, kings, and deeds of war,--
They were but shadows which before me passed;
For dreams are always vivid 'neath that tree.
How did you come to Rheims? How came I here?
No, I have never quitted Dom Remi!
Confess it to me, and rejoice my heart.

We are at Rheims. Thou hast not merely dreamed
Of these great deeds--thou hast achieved them all.
Come to thyself, Johanna! Look around--
Thy splendid armor feel, of burnished gold!

        [JOHANNA lays her hand upon her breast, recollects herself,
        and shrinks back.

Out of my hand thou didst receive this helm.

No wonder thou shouldst think it all a dream;
For nothing in a dream could come to pass
More wonderful than what thou hast achieved.

JOHANNA (quickly).
Come, let us fly! I will return with you
Back to our village, to our father's bosom.

Oh, come! Return with us!

                The people here
Exalt me far above what I deserve.
You have beheld me weak and like a child;
You love me, but you do not worship me.

Thou wilt abandon this magnificence.

I will throw off the hated ornaments
Which were a barrier 'twixt my heart and yours,
And I will be a shepherdess again,
And like a humble maiden I will serve you,
And will with bitter penitence atone,
That I above you vainly raised myself.

        [Trumpets sound.]


        The KING comes forth from the church. He is in the coronation

        Many voices shout repeatedly, while the KING advances,--
        Long live the king! Long live King Charles the Seventh!

        [The trumpets sound. Upon a signal from the KING, the HERALDS
        with their staves command silence.]

Thanks, my good people! Thank you for your love!
The crown which God hath placed upon our brow
Hath with our valiant swords been hardly won:
With noble blood 'tis wetted; but henceforth
The peaceful olive branch shall round it twine.
Let those who fought for us receive our thanks;
Our pardon, those who joined the hostile ranks,
For God hath shown us mercy in our need,
And our first royal word shall now be, mercy!

Long live the king! Long live King Charles the good!

From God alone, the highest potentate,
The monarchs of the French receive the crown;
But visibly from his Almighty hand
Have we received it.
        [Turning to the MAIDEN.]
Here stands the holy delegate of heaven,
Who hath restored to you your rightful king,
And rent the yoke of foreign tyranny.
Her name shall equal that of holy Denis,
The guardian and protector of this realm,
And to her fame an altar shall be reared.

Hail to the maiden, the deliverer!


If thou art born of woman, like ourselves,
Name aught that can augment thy happiness.
But if thy fatherland is there above,
If in this virgin form thou dost conceal
The radiant glory of a heavenly nature,
From our deluded sense remove the veil,
And let us see thee in thy form of light
As thou art seen in heaven, that in the dust
We may bow down before thee.

        [A general silence; every eye is fixed upon the MAIDEN.]

JOHANNA (with a sudden cry).
God! my father!


        THIBAUT comes forth from the crowd, and stands opposite to her.
        Many voices exclaim,--

Her father!

        Yes, her miserable father,
Who did beget her, and whom God impels
Now to accuse his daughter.

                Ha! What's this?

Now will the fearful truth appear!

THIBAUT (to the KING).
                Thou think'st
That thou art rescued through the power of God?
Deluded prince! Deluded multitude!
Ye have been rescued through the arts of hell!

        [All step back with horror.]

Is this man mad?

                Not I, but thou art mad.
And this wise bishop, and these noble lords,
Who think that through a weak and sinful maid
The God of heaven would reveal himself.
Come, let us see if to her father's face
She will maintain the specious, juggling arts
Wherewith she hath deluded king and people.
Now, in the name of the blest Trinity,
Belongst thou to the pure and holy ones?

        [A general silence; all eyes are fixed upon her;
        she remains motionless.]

God! she is dumb!

                Before that awful name,
Which even in the depths of hell is feared,
She must be silent! She a holy one,
By God commissioned? On a cursed spot
It was conceived; beneath the Druid tree
Where evil spirits have from olden time
Their Sabbath held. There her immortal soul
She bartered with the enemy of man
For transient, worldly glory. Let her bare
Her arm, and ye will see impressed thereon
The fatal marks of hell!

                Most horrible!
Yet we must needs believe a father's words
Who 'gainst his daughter gives his evidence.

The madman cannot be believed
Who in his child brings shame upon himself.

Oh, maiden, speak! this fatal silence break!
We firmly trust thee! we believe in thee!
One syllable from thee, one single word
Shall be sufficient. Speak! annihilate
This horrid accusation. But declare
Thine innocence, and we will all believe thee.

        [JOHANNA remains motionless; AGNES steps back with horror.]

She's frightened. Horror and astonishment
Impede her utterance. Before a charge
So horrible e'en innocence must tremble.

        [He approaches her.]

Collect thyself, Johanna! innocence
Hath a triumphant look, whose lightning flash
Strikes slander to the earth! In noble wrath
Arise! look up, and punish this base doubt,
An insult to thy holy innocence.

        [JOHANNA remains motionless; LA HIRE steps back;
        the excitement increases.]
Why do the people fear, the princes tremble?
I'll stake my honor on her innocence!
Here on the ground I throw my knightly gage;
Who now will venture to maintain her guilt?

        [A loud clap of thunder; all are horror-struck.]

Answer, by Him whose thunders roll above!
Give me the lie! Proclaim thine innocence;
Say that the enemy hath not thy heart!

        [Another clap of thunder, louder than the first;
        the people fly on all sides.]

God guard and save us! What appalling signs!

Come, come, my king! Forsake this fearful place!

I ask thee in God's name. Art thou thus silent
From consciousness of innocence or guilt?
If in thy favor the dread thunder speaks,
Touch with thy hand this cross, and give a sign!

        [JOHANNA remains motionless. More violent peals of thunder.
        DUCHATEL retire.]



Thou art my wife; I have believed in thee
From the first glance, and I am still unchanged.
In thee I have more faith than in these signs,
Than in the thunder's voice, which speaks above.
In noble anger thou art silent thus;
Enveloped in thy holy innocence,
Thou scornest to refute so base a charge.
Still scorn it, maiden, but confide in me;
I never doubted of thine innocence.
Speak not one word; only extend thy hand
In pledge and token that thou wilt confide
In my protection and thine own good cause.

        [He extends his hand to her; she turns from him with
        a convulsive motion; he remains transfixed with horror.]



DUCHATEL (returning).
Johanna d'Arc! uninjured from the town
The king permits you to depart. The gates
Stand open to you. Fear no injury,--
You are protected by the royal word.
Come follow me, Dunois! You cannot here
Longer abide with honor. What an issue!

        [He retires. DUNOIS recovers from his stupor, casts
        one look upon JOHANNA, and retires. She remains standing
        for a moment quite alone. At length RAIMOND appears;
        he regards her for a time with silent sorrow, and then
        approaching takes her hand.]

Embrace this opportunity. The streets
Are empty now. Your hand! I will conduct you.

        [On perceiving him, she gives the first sign of consciousness.
        She gazes on him fixedly, and looks up to heaven; then taking
        his hand she retires.]


        A wild wood: charcoal-burners' huts in the distance.
        It is quite dark; violent thunder and lightning;
        firing heard at intervals.


        CHARCOAL-BURNER and his WIFE.

This is a fearful storm, the heavens seem
As if they would vent themselves in streams of fire;
So thick the darkness which usurps the day,
That one might see the stars. The angry winds
Bluster and howl like spirits loosed from hell.
The firm earth trembles, and the aged elms
Groaning, bow down their venerable tops.
Yet this terrific tumult, o'er our heads,
Which teacheth gentleness to savage beasts,
So that they seek the shelter of their caves,
Appeaseth not the bloody strife of men--
Amidst the raging of the wind and storm
At intervals is heard the cannon's roar;
So near the hostile armaments approach,
The wood alone doth part them; any hour
May see them mingle in the shock of battle.

May God protect us then! Our enemies,
Not long ago, were vanquished and dispersed.
How comes it that they trouble us again?

Because they now no longer fear the king,
Since that the maid turned out to be a witch
At Rheims, the devil aideth us no longer,
And things have gone against us.

        Who comes here?


        RAIMOND and JOHANNA enter.

See! here are cottages; in them at least
We may find shelter from the raging storm.
You are not able longer to endure it.
Three days already you have wandered on,
Shunning the eye of man--wild herbs and root
Your only nourishment. Come, enter in.
These are kind-hearted cottagers.

        [The storm subsides; the air grows bright and clear.]
                You seem
To need refreshment and repose--you're welcome
To what our humble roof can offer you!

What has a tender maid to do with arms?
Yet truly! these are rude and troublous times
When even women don the coat of mail!
The queen herself, proud Isabel, 'tis said,
Appears in armor in the hostile camp;
And a young maid, a shepherd's lowly daughter,
Has led the armies of our lord the king.

What sayest thou? Enter the hut, and bring
A goblet of refreshment for the damsel.

        [She enters the hut.]

All men, you see, are not so cruel; here
E'en in the wilderness are gentle hearts.
Cheer up! the pelting storm hath spent its rage,
And, beaming peacefully, the sun declines.

I fancy, as you travel thus in arms,
You seek the army of the king. Take heed!
Not far remote the English are encamped,
Their troops are roaming idly through the wood.

Alas for us! how then can we escape?

Stay here till from the town my boy returns.
He shall conduct you safe by secret paths.
You need not fear-we know each hidden way.

Put off your helmet and your coat-of-mail,
They will not now protect you, but betray.

        [JOHANNA shakes her head.]

The maid seems very sad--hush! who comes here?


        CHARCOAL-BURNER'S WIFE comes out of the hut
        with a bowl. A Boy.

It is our boy whom we expected back.
        [To JOHANNA.]
Drink, noble maiden! may God bless it to you!

CHARCOAL-BURNER (to his son).
Art come, Anet? What news?

        [The boy looks at JOHANNA, who is just raising the
        bowl to her lips; he recognizes her, steps forward,
        and snatches it from her.]

                Oh, mother! mother!
Whom do you entertain? This is the witch
Of Orleans!

                God be gracious to our souls!

[They cross themselves and fly.]



JOHANNA (calmly and gently)
Thou seest, I am followed by the curse,
And all fly from me. Do thou leave me, too;
Seek safety for thyself.

                I leave thee! now
Alas, who then would bear thee company?

I am not unaccompanied. Thou hast
Heard the loud thunder rolling o'er my head--
My destiny conducts me. Do not fear;
Without my seeking I shall reach the goal.

And whither wouldst thou go? Here stand our foes,
Who have against thee bloody vengeance sworn--
There stand our people who have banished thee.

Naught will befall me but what heaven ordains.

Who will provide thee food? and who protect thee
From savage beasts, and still more savage men?
Who cherish thee in sickness and in grief?

I know all roots and healing herbs; my sheep
Taught me to know the poisonous from the wholesome.
I understand the movements of the stars,
And the clouds' flight; I also hear the sound
Of hidden springs. Man hath not many wants,
And nature richly ministers to life.

RAIMOND (seizing her hand).
Wilt thou not look within? Oh, wilt thou not
Repent thy sin, be reconciled to God,
And to the bosom of the church return?

Thou hold'st me guilty of this heavy sin?

Needs must I--thou didst silently confess----

Thou, who hast followed me in misery,
The only being who continued true,
Who slave to me when all the world forsook,
Thou also hold'st me for a reprobate
Who hath renounced her God----
        [RAIMOND is silent.]
                Oh, this is hard!

RAIMOND (in astonishment).
And thou wert really then no sorceress?

A sorceress!

                And all these miracles
Thou hast accomplished through the power of God
And of his holy saints?

                Through whom besides?

And thou wert silent to that fearful charge?
Thou speakest now, and yet before the king,
When words would have availed thee, thou wert dumb!

I silently submitted to the doom
Which God, my lord and master, o'er me hung.

Thou couldst not to thy father aught reply?

Coming from him, methought it came from God;
And fatherly the chastisement will prove.

The heavens themselves bore witness to thy guilt!

The heavens spoke, and therefore I was silent.

Thou with one word couldst clear thyself, and hast
In this unhappy error left the world?

It was no error--'twas the will of heaven.

Thou innocently sufferedst this shame,
And no complaint proceeded from thy lips!
--I am amazed at thee, I stand o'erwhelmed.
My heart is troubled in its inmost depths.
Most gladly I receive the word as truth,
For to believe thy guilt was hard indeed.
But could I ever dream a human heart
Would meet in silence such a fearful doom!

Should I deserve to be heaven's messenger
Unless the Master's will I blindly honored?
And I am not so wretched as thou thinkest.
I feel privation--this in humble life
Is no misfortune; I'm a fugitive,--
But in the waste I learned to know myself.
When honor's dazzling radiance round me shone,
There was a painful struggle in my breast;
I was most wretched, when to all I seemed
Most worthy to be envied. Now my mind
Is healed once more, and this fierce storm in nature,
Which threatened your destruction, was my friend;
It purified alike the world and me!
I feel an inward peace--and come, what may,
Of no more weakness am I conscious now!

Oh, let us hasten! come, let us proclaim
Thine innocence aloud to all the world!

He who sent this delusion will dispel it!
The fruit of fate falls only when 'tis ripe!
A day is coming that will clear my name,
When those who now condemn and banish me,
Will see their error and will weep my doom.

And shall I wait in silence, until chance----

JOHANNA (gently taking her hand).
Thy sense is shrouded by an earthly veil,
And dwelleth only on external things,
Mine eye hath gazed on the invisible!
--Without permission from our God no hair
Falls from the head of man. Seest thou the sun
Declining to the west? So certainly
As morn returneth in her radiant light,
Infallibly the day of truth shall come!


        QUEEN ISABEL, with soldiers, appears in the background.

ISABEL (behind the scene).
This is the way toward the English camp!

Alas! the foe!

        [The soldiers advance, and perceiving JOBANNA fall back in terror.]

What now obstructs the march?

May God protect us!

                Do ye see a spirit?
How! Are ye soldiers! Ye are cowards all!
        [She presses forward, but starts back on beholding the MAIDEN.
What do I see!
        [She collects herself quickly and approaches her.
                Submit thyself! Thou art
My prisoner!

                I am.

        [RAIMOND flies in despair.]

ISABEL (to the soldiers).
                Lay her in chains!

        [The soldiers timidly approach the MAIDEN;
        she extends her arms and is chained.]

Is this the mighty, the terrific one,
Who chased your warriors like a flock of lambs,
Who, powerless now, cannot protect herself?
Doth she work miracles with credulous fools,
And lose her influence when she meets a man?

        [To the MAIDEN.]

Why didst thou leave the army? Where's Dunois,
Thy knight and thy protector.

                I am banished.

        [ISABEL, stepping back astonished.]

What say'st thou? Thou art banished? By the Dauphin?

Inquire no further! I am in thy power,
Decide my fate.

                Banished, because thou hast
Snatched him from ruin, placed upon his brow
The crown at Rheims, and made him King of France?
Banished! Therein I recognize my son!
--Conduct her to the camp, and let the host
Behold the phantom before whom they trembled!
She a magician? Her sole magic lies
In your delusion and your cowardice!
She is a fool who sacrificed herself
To save her king, and reapeth for her pains
A king's reward. Bear her to Lionel.
The fortune of the French! send him bound;
I'll follow anon.

                To Lionel?
Slay me at once, ere send me unto him.

ISABEL (to the soldiers).
Obey your orders, soldiers! Bear her hence.




JOHANNA (to the soldiers).
Ye English, suffer not that I escape
Alive out of your hands! Revenge yourselves!
Unsheath your weapons, plunge them in my heart,
And drag me lifeless to your general's feet!
Remember it was I who slew your heroes,
Who never showed compassion, who poured forth
Torrents of English blood, who from your sons
Snatched the sweet pleasure of returning home!
Take now a bloody vengeance! Murder me!
I now am in your power; I may perchance
Not always be so weak.

                Obey the queen!

Must I be yet more wretched than I was!
Unpitying Virgin! Heavy is thy hand
Hast thou completely thrust me from thy favor?
No God appears, no angel shows himself;
Closed are heaven's portals, miracles have ceased.

        [She follows the SOLDIERS.]


        The French Camp.
        DUNOIS, between the ARCHBISHOP and DUCHATEL.

Conquer your sullen indignation, prince!
Return with us! Come back unto your king!
In this emergency abandon not
The general cause, when we are sorely pressed,
And stand in need of your heroic arm.

Why are ye sorely pressed? Why doth the foe
Again exalt himself? all was achieved;--
France was triumphant--war was at an end;--
The savior you have banished; you henceforth
May save yourselves; I'll not again behold
The camp wherein the maid abideth not.

Think better of it, prince! Dismiss us not
With such an answer!

        Silence, Duchatel!
You're hateful to me; I'll hear naught from you;
You were the first who doubted of her truth.

Who had not wavered on that fatal day,
And been bewildered, when so many signs
Bore evidence against her! We were stunned,
Our hearts were crushed beneath the sudden blow.
--Who in that hour of dread could weigh the proofs?
Our calmer judgment now returns to us,
We see the maid as when she walked with us,
Nor have we any fault to charge her with.
We are perplexed--we fear that we have done
A grievous wrong. The king is penitent,
The duke remorseful, comfortless La Hire,
And every heart doth shroud itself in woe.

She a deluder? If celestial truth
Would clothe herself in a corporeal form,
She needs must choose the features of the maiden.
If purity of heart, faith, innocence,
Dwell anywhere on earth, upon her lips
And in her eyes' clear depths they find their home.

May the Almighty, through a miracle,
Shed light upon this awful mystery,
Which baffles human insight. Howsoe'er
This sad perplexity may be resolved,
One of two grievous sins we have committed!
Either in fight we have availed ourselves
Of hellish arms, or banished hence a saint!
And both call down upon this wretched land
The vengeance and the punishment of heaven.


        The same, a NOBLEMAN, afterwards RAIMOND.

A shepherd youth inquires after your highness,
He urgently entreats an interview,
He says he cometh from the maiden----

Conduct him hither! He doth come from her!

        [The NOBLEMAN opens the door to RAIMOND, DUNOIS hastens to meet him.]

Where is she? Where is the maid?

                Hail! noble prince!
And blessed am I that I find with you
This holy man, the shield of the oppressed,
The father of the poor and destitute!

Where is the maiden?

                Speak, my son, inform us!

She is not, sir, a wicked sorceress!
To God and all his saints I make appeal.
An error blinds the people. You've cast forth
God's messenger, you've banished innocence!

Where is she?

                I accompanied her flight
Towards the woods of Ardennes; there she hath
Revealed to me her spirit's inmost depths.
In torture I'll expire, and will resign
My hopes of everlasting happiness,
If she's not guiltless, sir, of every sin!

The sun in heaven is not more pure than she!
Where is she? Speak!

                If God hath turned your hearts,
Oh hasten, I entreat you--rescue her
She is a prisoner in the English camp.

A prisoner say you?

                Poor unfortunate!

There in the forest as we sought for shelter,
We were encountered by Queen Isabel,
Who seized and sent her to the English host.
Oh, from a cruel death deliver her
Who hath full many a time delivered you!

Sound an alarm! to arms! up! beat the drums.
Forth to the field! Let France appear in arms!
The crown and the palladium are at stake!
Our honor is in pledge! risk blood and life!
She must be rescued ere the day is done!



        A watch-tower--an opening above. JOHANNA and LIONEL.

FASTOLFE (entering hastily).
The people can no longer be restrained.
With fury they demand the maiden's death.
In vain your opposition. Let her die
And throw her head down from the battlements!
Her blood alone will satisfy the host.

ISABEL (coming in).
With ladders they begin to scale the walls.
Appease the angry people! Will you wait
Till in blind fury they o'erthrow the tower,
And we beneath its towers are destroyed?
Protect her here you cannot. Give her up!

Let them storm on. In fury let them rage!
Firm is this castle, and beneath its ruins
I will be buried ere I yield to them.
--Johanna, answer me! only be mine,
And I will shield thee 'gainst a world in arms.

Are you a man?

        Thy friends have cast thee off.
To thy ungrateful country then dost owe
Duty and faith no longer. The false cowards
Who sought thy hand, forsake thee in thy need.
They for thy honor venture not the fight,
But I, against my people and 'gainst thine,
Will be thy champion. Once thou didst confess
My life was dear to thee; in combat then
I stood before thee as thine enemy--
Thou hast not now a single friend but me.

Thou art my people's enemy and mine.
Between us there can be no fellowship.
Thee I can never love, but if thy heart
Cherish affection for me, let it bring
A blessing on my people. Lead thy troops
Far from the borders of my fatherland;
Give up the keys of all the captured towns,
Restore the booty, set the captives free,
Send hostages the compact to confirm,
And peace I offer thee in my king's name.

Wilt thou, a captive, dictate laws to us?

It must be done; 'tis useless to delay.
Never, oh never, will this land endure
The English yoke; sooner will France become
A mighty sepulchre for England's hosts.
Fallen in battle are your bravest chiefs.
Think how you may achieve a safe retreat;
Your fame is forfeited, your power is lost.

Can you endure her raving insolence?


        A CAPTAIN enters hastily.

Haste, general! Prepare the host for battle.
The French with flying banners come this way,
Their shining weapons glitter in the vale.

JOHANNA (with enthusiasm).
My people come this way! Proud England now
Forth in the field! now boldly must you fight!

Deluded woman, moderate your joy!
You will not see the issue of this day.

My friends will win the fight and I shall die!
The gallant heroes need my arm no more.

These dastard enemies I scorn. They have
In twenty battles fled before our arms,
Ere this heroic maiden fought for them.
All the whole nation I despise, save one,
And this one they have banished. Come, Fastolfe,
We soon will give them such another day
As that of Poictiers and of Agincourt.
Do you remain with the fortress, queen,
And guard the maiden till the fight is o'er.
I leave for your protection fifty knights.

How! general, shall we march against the foe
And leave this raging fury in our rear?

What! can a fettered woman frighten thee?

Promise, Johanna, not to free thyself.

To free myself is now my only wish.

Bind her with triple chains. I pledged my life
That she shall not escape.

        [She is bound with heavy chains.]

                Thou will'st it so!
Thou dost compel us! still it rests with thee!
Renounce the French--the English banner bear,
And thou art free, and these rude, savage men
Who now desire thy blood shall do thy will.

FASTOLFE (urgently).
Away, away, my general!

                Spare thy words,
The French are drawing near. Defend thyself!

        [Trumpets sound, LIONEL hastens forth.]

You know your duty, queen! if fate declares
Against us, should you see our people fly.

ISABEL (showing a dagger).
Fear not. She shall not live to see our fall.

Thou knowest what awaits thee, now implore
A blessing on the weapons of thy people.




Ay! that I will! no power can hinder me.
Hark to that sound, the war-march of my people!
How its triumphant notes inspire my heart!
Ruin to England! victory to France!
Up, valiant countrymen! The maid is near;
She cannot, as of yore, before you bear
Her banner--she is bound with heavy chains;
But freely from her prison soars her soul,
Upon the pinions of your battle-song.

Ascend the watch-tower which commands the field,
And thence report the progress of the fight.

        [SOLDIER ascends.]

Courage, my people! 'Tis the final struggle--
Another victory, and the foe lies low!

What see'st thou?

                They're already in close fight.
A furious warrior on a Barbary steed,
In tiger's skin, leads forward the gens d'armes.

That's Count Dunois! on, gallant warrior!
Conquest goes with thee.

                The Burgundian duke
Attacks the bridge.

                Would that ten hostile spears
Might his perfidious heart transfix, the traitor!

Lord Fastolfe gallantly opposes him.
Now they dismount--they combat man to man
Our people and the troops of Burgundy.

Behold'st thou not the Dauphin? See'st thou not
The royal wave?

                A cloud of dust
Shrouds everything. I can distinguish naught.

Had he my eyes, or stood I there aloft,
The smallest speck would not elude my gaze!
The wild fowl I can number on the wing,
And mark the falcon in his towering flight.

There is a fearful tumult near the trench;
The chiefs, it seems, the nobles, combat there.

Still doth our banner wave?

                It proudly floats.

Could I look through the loopholes of the wall,
I with my lance the battle would control.

Alas! What do I see? Our general's
Surrounded by the foe!

ISABEL (points the dagger at JOHANNA).
                Die, wretch!

SOLDIER (quickly).
                He's free!
The gallant Fastolfe in the rear attacks
The enemy--he breaks their serried ranks.

ISABEL (withdrawing the dagger).
There spoke thy angel!

                Victory! They fly.

Who fly?

                The French and the Burgundians fly;
The field is covered o'er with fugitives.

My God! Thou wilt not thus abandon me!

Yonder they lead a sorely wounded knight;
The people rush to aid him--he's a prince.

One of our country, or a son of France?

They loose his helmet--it is Count Dunois.

JOHANNA (seizes her fetters with convulsive violence).
And I am nothing but a fettered woman!

Look yonder! Who the azure mantle wears
Bordered with gold?

                That is my lord, the king.

His horse is restive, plunges, rears and falls--
He struggles hard to extricate himself.

        [JOHANNA accompanies these words with passionate movements.]

Our troops are pressing on in full career,
They near him, reach him--they surround him now.

Oh, have the heavens above no angels more!

ISABEL (laughing scornfully).
Now is the time, deliverer--now deliver!

JOHANNA (throws herself upon her knees, and prays with passionate
Hear me, O God, in my extremity!
In fervent supplication up to Thee,
Up to thy heaven above I send my soul.
The fragile texture of a spider's web,
As a ship's cable, thou canst render strong;
Easy it is to thine omnipotence
To change these fetters into spider's webs--
Command it, and these massy chains shall fall,
And these thick walls be rent, Thou, Lord of old,
Didst strengthen Samson, when enchained and blind
He bore the bitter scorn of his proud foes.
Trusting in thee, he seized with mighty power
The pillars of his prison, bowed himself,
And overthrew the structure.

The king is taken!

JOHANNA (springing up).
                Then God be gracious to me!

        [She seizes her chains violently with both hands, and
        breaks them asunder. At the same moment rushing upon the
        nearest soldier, she seizes his sword and hurries out.
        All gaze after her, transfixed with astonishment.


        The same, without JOHANNA.

ISABEL (after a long pause).
How was it? Did I dream? Where is she gone?
How did she break these ponderous iron chains?
A world could not have made me credit it,
If I had not beheld it with these eyes.

SOLDIER (from the tower).
How? Hath she wings? Hath the wind borne her down?

Is she below?

                She strides amidst the fight:
Her course outspeeds my sight--now she is here--
Now there--I see her everywhere at once!
--She separates the troops--all yield to her:
The scattered French collect--they form anew!
--Alas! what do I see! Our people cast
Their weapons to the ground, our banners sink----

What? Will she snatch from us the victory?

She presses forward, right towards the king.
She reaches him--she bears him from the fight--
Lord Fastolfe falls--the general is taken!

I'll hear no more! Come down!

Fly, queen! you will be taken by surprise.
Armed soldiers are advancing tow'rds the tower.

        [He comes down.]

ISABEL (drawing her sword).
Then fight, ye cowards!


        LA HIRE with soldiers. At his entrance the people
        of the QUEEN lay down their arms.

LA HIRE (approaching her respectfully).
                Queen, submit yourself--
Your knights have yielded--to resist is vain!
--Accept my proffered services. Command
Where you would be conducted.

                Every place
The same, where I encounter not the Dauphin.

        [She resigns her sword, and follows him with the soldiers.]

        The Scene changes to the battle-field.


        Soldiers with flying banners occupy the background. Before them the
        KING and the DUKE OF BURGUNDY appear, bearing JOHANNA in their arms;
        she is mortally wounded, and apparently lifeless. They advance
        slowly to the front of the stage. AGNES SOREL rushes in.

SOREL (throwing herself on the bosom of the KING).
You're free--you live--I have you back again!

Yes, I am free--I am so at this price!

        [Pointing to JOHANNA.]

Johanna! God! she's dying!

                She is gone
An angel passeth hence! See, how she lies,
Easy and tranquil, like a sleeping child!
The peace of heaven around her features plays,
The breath of life no longer heaves her breast,
But vital warmth still lingers in her hand.

She's gone! She never will awaken more,
Her eye will gaze no more on earthly things.
She soars on high, a spirit glorified,
She seeth not our grief, our penitence.

Her eyes unclose--she lives!

BURGUNDY (in astonishment).
                Can she return
Back from the grave, triumphant e'en o'er death?
She riseth up! She standeth!

JOHANNA (standing up, and looking round).
                Where am I?

With thine own people, maiden--with thy friends!

Supported by thy friend, and by thy king.

JOHANNA (after looking at him fixedly for some time).
No! I am not a sorceress! Indeed
I am not one.

                Thou'rt holy, as an angel;
A cloud of error dimmed our mental sight.

JOHANNA (gazing round her with a joyful smile).
And am I really, then, among my friends,
And am no more rejected and despised?
They curse me not--kindly they look on me!
--Yes, all around me now seems clear again!
That is my king!--the banners these of France!
My banner I behold not--where is it?
Without my banner I dare not appear;
To me it was confided by my Lord,
And I before his throne must lay it down;
I there may show it, for I bore it truly.

KING (averting his face).
Give her the banner!

        [It is given to her. She stands quite unsupported,
        the banner in her hand. The heaven is illumined
        by a rosy light.]

See you the rainbow yonder in the air?
Its golden portals heaven doth wide unfold,
Amid the angel choir she radiant stands,
The eternal Son she claspeth to her breast,
Her arms she stretcheth forth to me in love.
How is it with me? Light clouds bear me up--
My ponderous mail becomes a winged robe;
I mount--I fly--back rolls the dwindling earth--
Brief is the sorrow--endless is the joy!

        [Her banner falls and she sinks lifeless on the ground.
        All remain for some time in speechless sorrow. Upon a
        signal from the KING, all the banners are gently placed
        over her, so that she is entirely concealed by them.]


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