Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

THE MAID OF ORLEANS PLAY
by Friedrich Schiller

ACT II SCENE V.

        ENGLISH SOLDIERS hurry over the stage.
        Afterwards TALBOT.

1 SOLDIER.
The maiden in the camp!

2 SOLDIER.
                Impossible!
It cannot be! How came she in the camp?

3 SOLDIER.
Why, through the air! The devil aided her!

4 AND 5 SOLDIERS.
Fly! fly! We are dead men!

TALBOT (enters).
They heed me not! They stay not at my call!
The sacred bands of discipline are loosed!
As hell had poured her damned legions forth,
A wild, distracting impulse whirls along,
In one mad throng, the cowardly and brave.
I cannot rally e'en the smallest troop
To form a bulwark gainst the hostile flood,
Whose raging billows press into our camp!
Do I alone retain my sober senses,
While all around in wild delirium rave?
To fly before these weak, degenerate Frenchmen
Whom we in twenty battles have overthrown?
Who is she then--the irresistible--
The dread-inspiring goddess, who doth turn
At once the tide of battle, and transform
The lions bold a herd of timid deer?
A juggling minx, who plays the well-learned part
Of heroine, thus to appal the brave?
A woman snatch from me all martial fame?

SOLDIER (rushing in).
The maiden comes! Fly, general, fly! fly!

TALBOT (strikes him down).
Fly thou, thyself, to hell! This sword shall pierce
Who talks to me of fear, or coward flight!

        [He goes out.]

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 2 SCENE 6 Maid of Orleans

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