Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

by Friedrich Schiller


        knights of the DUKE'S train. The DUKE remains standing at the
        door; the KING inclines towards him; BURGUNDY immediately advances,
        and in the moment when he is about to throw himself upon his knees,
        the KING receives him in his arms.

You have surprised us; it was our intent
To fetch you hither, but your steeds are fleet.

They bore me to my duty.
        [He embraces SOREL, and kisses her brow.
                With your leave!
At Arras, niece, it is our privilege,
And no fair damsel may exemption claim.

Rumor doth speak your court the seat of love,
The mart where all that's beautiful must tarry.

We are a traffic-loving people, sire;
Whate'er of costly earth's wide realms produce,
For show and for enjoyment, is displayed
Upon our mart at Bruges; but above all
There woman's beauty is pre-eminent.

More precious far is woman's truth; but it
Appeareth not upon the public mart.

Kinsman, 'tis rumored to your prejudice
That woman's fairest virtue you despise.

The heresy inflicteth on itself
The heaviest penalty. 'Tis well for you,
From your own heart, my king, you learned betimes
What a wild life hath late revealed to me.

        [He perceives the ARCHBISHOP, and extends his hand.]

Most reverend minister of God! your blessing!
You still are to be found on duty's path,
Where those must walk who would encounter you.

Now let my Master call me when he will;
My heart is full, I can with joy depart,
Since that mine eyes have seen this day!

                'Tis said
That of your precious stones you robbed yourself,
Therefrom to forge 'gainst me the tools of war!
Bear you a soul so martial? Were you then
So resolute to work my overthrow?
Well, now our strife is over; what was lost
Will in due season all be found again.
Even your jewels have returned to you.
Against me to make war they were designed;
Receive them from me as a pledge of peace.

        [He receives a casket from one of the attendants,
        and presents it to her to open. SOREL, embarrassed,
        looks at the KING.

Receive this present; 'tis a twofold pledge
Of reconcilement and of fairest love.

BURGUNDY (placing a diamond rose in her hair).
Why, is it not the diadem of France?
With full as glad a spirit I would place
The golden circle on this lovely brow.

        [Taking her hand significantly.

And count on me if, at some future time
You should require a friend.

        [AGNES SOREL bursts into tears, and steps aside.
        THE KING struggles with his feelings. The bystanders
        contemplate the two princes with emotion.]

BURGUNDY (after gazing round the circle, throws himself into
        the KING'S arms).
                Oh, my king!

[At the same moment the three Burgundian knights hasten to DUNOIS,
LA HIRE, and the ARCHBISHOP. They embrace each other. The two
PRINCES remain for a time speechless in each other's arms.

I could renounce you! I could bear your hate!

Hush! hush! No further!

                I this English king
Could crown! Swear fealty to this foreigner!
And you, my sovereign, into ruin plunge!

Forget it! Everything's forgiven now!
This single moment doth obliterate all.
'Twas a malignant star! A destiny!

BURGUNDY (grasps his hand).
Believe me, sire, I'll make amends for all.
Your bitter sorrow I will compensate;
You shall receive your kingdom back entire,
A solitary village shall not fail!

We are united. Now I fear no foe.

Trust me, it was not with a joyous spirit
That I bore arms against you. Did you know?
Oh, wherefore sent you not this messenger?

        [Pointing to SOREL.]

I must have yielded to her gentle tears.
Henceforth, since breast to breast we have embraced,
No power of hell again shall sever us!
My erring course ends here. His sovereign's heart
Is the true resting-place for Burgundy.

ARCHBISHOP (steps between them).
Ye are united, princes! France doth rise
A renovated phoenix from its ashes.
The auspicious future greets us with a smile.
The country's bleeding wounds will heal again,
The villages, the desolated towns,
Rise in new splendor from their ruined heaps,
The fields array themselves in beauteous green;
But those who, victims of your quarrel, fell,
The dead, rise not again; the bitter tears,
Caused by your strife, remain forever wept!
One generation hath been doomed to woe;
On their descendants dawns a brighter day;
The gladness of the son wakes not the sire.
This the dire fruitage of your brother-strife!
Oh, princes, learn from hence to pause with dread,
Ere from its scabbard ye unsheath the sword.
The man of power lets loose the god of war,
But not, obedient, as from fields of air
Returns the falcon to the sportsman's hand,
Doth the wild deity obey the call
Of mortal voice; nor will the Saviour's hand
A second time forth issue from the clouds.

Oh, sire! an angel walketh by your side.
Where is she? Why do I behold her not?

Where is Johanna? Wherefore faileth she
To grace the festival we owe to her?

She loves not, sire, the idleness of the court,
And when the heavenly mandate calls her not
Forth to the world's observance, she retires,
And doth avoid the notice of the crowd.
Doubtless, unless the welfare of the realm
Claims her regard, she communes with her God,
For still a blessing on her steps attends.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 3 SCENE 4 Maid of Orleans

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