Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

THE MAID OF ORLEANS PLAY
by Friedrich Schiller

ACT IV SCENE IX.

        JOHANNA, People. Afterwards her Sisters.

JOHANNA (she has freed herself from the crowd and comes forward).
Remain I cannot--spirits chase me forth!
The organ's pealing tones like thunder sound,
The dome's arched roof threatens to overwhelm me!
I must escape and seek heaven's wide expanse!
I left my banner in the sanctuary,
Never, oh, never, will I touch it more!
It seemed to me as if I had beheld
My sisters pass before me like a dream.
'Twas only a delusion!--they, alas!
Are far, far distant--inaccessible--
E'en as my childhood, as mine innocence!

MARGOT (stepping forward).
'Tis she! It is Johanna!

LOUISON (hastening toward her).
                Oh, my sister!

JOHANNA.
Then it was no delusion--you are here--
Thee I embrace, Louison! Thee, my Margot?
Here in this strange and crowded solitude,
I clasp once more my sisters' faithful breasts!

MARGOT.
She knows us still, she is our own kind sister.

JOHANNA.
Your love hath led you to me here so far!
So very far! You are not wroth with her
Who left her home without one parting word!

LOUISON.
God's unseen providence conducted thee.

MARGOT.
Thy great renown, which agitates the world,
Which makes thy name the theme of every tongue,
Hath in our quiet village wakened us,
And led us hither to this festival.
To witness all thy glory we are come;
And we are not alone!

JOHANNA (quickly).
Our father's here!
Where is he? Why doth he conceal himself?

MARGOT.
Our father is not with us.

JOHANNA.
                Not with you?
He will not see me, then! You do not bring
His blessing for his child?

LOUISON.
                He knoweth not
That we are here.

JOHANNA.
                Not know it! Wherefore not?
You are embarrassed, and you do not speak;
You look upon the ground! Where is our father?

MARGOT.
Since thou hast left----

LOUISON (making a sign to MARGOT).
                Margot!

MARGOT.
Our father hath
Become dejected.

JOHANNA.
                Ah!

LOUISON.
Console thyself!
Our sire's foreboding spirit well thou knowest!
He will collect himself, and be composed,
When he shall learn from us that thou art happy.

MARGOT.
And thou art happy? Yes, it must be so,
For thou art great and honored!

JOHANNA.
                I am so,
Now I again behold you, once again
Your voices hear, whose fond, familiar tones
Bring to my mind my dear paternal fields.
When on my native hills I drove my herd,
Then I was happy as in paradise--
I ne'er can be so more, no, never more!

        [She hides her face on LOUISON'S bosom. CLAUDE MARIE,
        ETIENNE, and BERTRAND appear, and remain timidly standing
        in the distance.]

MARGOT.
Come, Bertrand! Claude Marie! come, Etienne!
Our sister is not proud: she is so gentle,
And speaks so kindly,--more so than of yore,
When in our village she abode with us.

        [They draw near, and hold out their hands; JOHANNA
        gazes on them fixedly, and appears amazed.]

JOHANNA.
Where am I? Tell me! Was it all a dream,
A long, long dream? And am I now awake?
Am I away from Dom Remi? Is't so?
I fell asleep beneath the Druid tree,
And I am now awake; and round me stand
The kind, familiar forms? I only dreamed
Of all these battles, kings, and deeds of war,--
They were but shadows which before me passed;
For dreams are always vivid 'neath that tree.
How did you come to Rheims? How came I here?
No, I have never quitted Dom Remi!
Confess it to me, and rejoice my heart.

LOUISON.
We are at Rheims. Thou hast not merely dreamed
Of these great deeds--thou hast achieved them all.
Come to thyself, Johanna! Look around--
Thy splendid armor feel, of burnished gold!

        [JOHANNA lays her hand upon her breast, recollects herself,
        and shrinks back.

BERTRAND.
Out of my hand thou didst receive this helm.

CLAUDE MARIE.
No wonder thou shouldst think it all a dream;
For nothing in a dream could come to pass
More wonderful than what thou hast achieved.

JOHANNA (quickly).
Come, let us fly! I will return with you
Back to our village, to our father's bosom.

LOUISON.
Oh, come! Return with us!

JOHANNA.
                The people here
Exalt me far above what I deserve.
You have beheld me weak and like a child;
You love me, but you do not worship me.

MARGOT.
Thou wilt abandon this magnificence.

JOHANNA.
I will throw off the hated ornaments
Which were a barrier 'twixt my heart and yours,
And I will be a shepherdess again,
And like a humble maiden I will serve you,
And will with bitter penitence atone,
That I above you vainly raised myself.

        [Trumpets sound.]

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 4 SCENE 10 Maid of Orleans

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