Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

THE MAID OF ORLEANS PLAY
by Friedrich Schiller

ACT III.

        Residence of the KING at Chalons on the Marne.

SCENE I.

        DUNOIS, LA HIRE.

DUNOIS.
We have been true heart-friends, brothers in arms,
Still have we battled in a common cause,
And held together amid toil and death.
Let not the love of woman rend the bond
Which hath resisted every stroke of fate.

LA HIRE.
Hear me, my prince!

DUNOIS.
                You love the wondrous maid,
And well I know the purpose of your heart.
You think without delay to seek the king,
And to entreat him to bestow on you
Her hand in marriage. Of your bravery
The well-earned guerdon he cannot refuse
But know,--ere I behold her in the arms
Of any other----

LA HIRE.
                Listen to me, prince!

DUNOIS.
'Tis not the fleeting passion of the eye
Attracts me to her. My unconquered sense
Had set at naught the fiery shafts of love
Till I beheld this wondrous maiden, sent
By a divine appointment to become
The savior of this kingdom, and my wife;
And on the instant in my heart I vowed
A sacred oath, to bear her home, my bride.
For she alone who is endowed with strength
Can be the strong man's friend. This glowing heart
Longs to repose upon a kindred breast,
Which can sustain and comprehend its strength.

LA HIRE.
How dare I venture, prince, my poor deserts
To measure with your name's heroic fame!
When Count Dunois appeareth in the lists,
Each humbler suitor must forsake the field;
Still it doth ill become a shepherd maid
To stand as consort by your princely side.
The royal current in your veins would scorn
To mix with blood of baser quality.

DUNOIS.
She, like myself, is holy Nature's child,
A child divine--hence we by birth are equal.
She bring dishonor on a prince's hand,
Who is the holy angel's bride, whose head
Is by a heavenly glory circled round,
Whose radiance far outshineth earthly crowns,
Who seeth lying far beneath her feet
All that is greatest, highest of this earth!
For thrones on thrones, ascending to the stars,
Would fail to reach the height where she abides
In angel majesty!

LA HIRE.
Our monarch must decide.

DUNOIS.
                Not so! she must
Decide! Free hath she made this realm of France,
And she herself must freely give her heart.

LA HIRE.
Here comes the king!

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 3 SCENE 2 Maid of Orleans

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