Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

THE MAID OF ORLEANS PLAY
by Friedrich Schiller

ACT IV SCENE III.

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

DUNOIS.
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.

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

JOHANNA.
I march before him? I the banner bear?

DUNOIS.
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.]

JOHANNA.
Away! away!

LA HIRE.
                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!

SOREL.
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!

JOHANNA.
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!

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

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

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

DUNOIS.
What sayest thou?

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

LA HIRE.
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.

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

        [The Coronation march is heard.]

DUNOIS.
                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.]

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

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