Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

THE MAID OF ORLEANS PLAY
by Friedrich Schiller

ACT III SCENE IX.

        A KNIGHT in black armor, with closed visor. JOHANNA follows
        him to the front of the stage, where he stops and awaits her.

JOHANNA.
Deluder! now I see thy stratagem!
Thou hast deceitfully, through seeming flight,
Allured me from the battle, doom and death
Averting thus from many a British head.
Destruction now doth overtake thyself.

BLACK KNIGHT.
Why dost thou follow after me and track
My steps with quenchless rage? I am not doomed
To perish by thy hand.

JOHANNA.
                Deep in my soul
I hate thee as the night, which is thy color;
To blot thee out from the fair light of day
An irresistible desire impels me.
Who art thou? Raise thy visor. I had said
That thou wert Talbot had I not myself
Seen warlike Talbot in the battle fall.

BLACK KNIGHT.
Is the divining-spirit mute in thee?

JOHANNA.
His voice speaks loudly in my spirit's depth
The near approach of woe.

BLACK KNIGHT.
                Johanna D'Arc!
Borne on the wings of conquest, thou hast reached
The gates of Rheims. Let thy achieved renown
Content thee. Fortune, like thy slave, till now
Hath followed thee; dismiss her, ere in wrath
She free herself; fidelity she hates;
She serveth none with constancy till death.

JOHANNA.
Why check me in the midst of my career?
Why bid me falter and forsake my work?
I will complete it and fulfil my vow!

BLACK KNIGHT.
Nothing can thee, thou mighty one, withstand,
In battle thou art aye invincible.
But henceforth shun the fight; attend my warning.

JOHANNA.
Not from my hand will I resign this sword
Till haughty England's prostrate in the dust.

BLACK KNIGHT.
Behold! there Rheims ariseth with its towers,
The goal and end of thy career. Thou seest
The lofty minster's sun-illumined dome;
Thou in triumphal pomp wouldst enter there,
Thy monarch crown, and ratify thy vow.
Enter not there! Return! Attend my warning!

JOHANNA.
What art thou, double-tongued, deceitful being,
Who wouldst bewilder and appal me? Speak!
By what authority dost thou presume
To greet me with fallacious oracles?

        [The BLACK KNIGHT is about to depart, she steps in his way.]

No, thou shalt speak, or perish by my hand!

        [She endeavors to strike him.]

BLACK KNIGHT (touches her with his hand, she remains motionless).
Slay what is mortal!

        [Darkness, thunder and lightning. The KNIGHT sinks into the earth.]

JOHANNA (stands at first in amazement, but soon recovers herself).
'Twas nothing living. 'Twas a base delusion,
An instrument of hell, a juggling fiend,
Uprisen hither from the fiery pool
To shake and terrify my steadfast heart.
Wielding the sword of God, whom should I fear!
I will triumphantly achieve my work.
My courage should not waver, should not fail
Were hell itself to champion me to fight!

        [She is about to depart.]

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 3 SCENE 10 Maid of Orleans

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