Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

by Friedrich Schiller



JOHANNA (calmly and gently)
Thou seest, I am followed by the curse,
And all fly from me. Do thou leave me, too;
Seek safety for thyself.

                I leave thee! now
Alas, who then would bear thee company?

I am not unaccompanied. Thou hast
Heard the loud thunder rolling o'er my head--
My destiny conducts me. Do not fear;
Without my seeking I shall reach the goal.

And whither wouldst thou go? Here stand our foes,
Who have against thee bloody vengeance sworn--
There stand our people who have banished thee.

Naught will befall me but what heaven ordains.

Who will provide thee food? and who protect thee
From savage beasts, and still more savage men?
Who cherish thee in sickness and in grief?

I know all roots and healing herbs; my sheep
Taught me to know the poisonous from the wholesome.
I understand the movements of the stars,
And the clouds' flight; I also hear the sound
Of hidden springs. Man hath not many wants,
And nature richly ministers to life.

RAIMOND (seizing her hand).
Wilt thou not look within? Oh, wilt thou not
Repent thy sin, be reconciled to God,
And to the bosom of the church return?

Thou hold'st me guilty of this heavy sin?

Needs must I--thou didst silently confess----

Thou, who hast followed me in misery,
The only being who continued true,
Who slave to me when all the world forsook,
Thou also hold'st me for a reprobate
Who hath renounced her God----
        [RAIMOND is silent.]
                Oh, this is hard!

RAIMOND (in astonishment).
And thou wert really then no sorceress?

A sorceress!

                And all these miracles
Thou hast accomplished through the power of God
And of his holy saints?

                Through whom besides?

And thou wert silent to that fearful charge?
Thou speakest now, and yet before the king,
When words would have availed thee, thou wert dumb!

I silently submitted to the doom
Which God, my lord and master, o'er me hung.

Thou couldst not to thy father aught reply?

Coming from him, methought it came from God;
And fatherly the chastisement will prove.

The heavens themselves bore witness to thy guilt!

The heavens spoke, and therefore I was silent.

Thou with one word couldst clear thyself, and hast
In this unhappy error left the world?

It was no error--'twas the will of heaven.

Thou innocently sufferedst this shame,
And no complaint proceeded from thy lips!
--I am amazed at thee, I stand o'erwhelmed.
My heart is troubled in its inmost depths.
Most gladly I receive the word as truth,
For to believe thy guilt was hard indeed.
But could I ever dream a human heart
Would meet in silence such a fearful doom!

Should I deserve to be heaven's messenger
Unless the Master's will I blindly honored?
And I am not so wretched as thou thinkest.
I feel privation--this in humble life
Is no misfortune; I'm a fugitive,--
But in the waste I learned to know myself.
When honor's dazzling radiance round me shone,
There was a painful struggle in my breast;
I was most wretched, when to all I seemed
Most worthy to be envied. Now my mind
Is healed once more, and this fierce storm in nature,
Which threatened your destruction, was my friend;
It purified alike the world and me!
I feel an inward peace--and come, what may,
Of no more weakness am I conscious now!

Oh, let us hasten! come, let us proclaim
Thine innocence aloud to all the world!

He who sent this delusion will dispel it!
The fruit of fate falls only when 'tis ripe!
A day is coming that will clear my name,
When those who now condemn and banish me,
Will see their error and will weep my doom.

And shall I wait in silence, until chance----

JOHANNA (gently taking her hand).
Thy sense is shrouded by an earthly veil,
And dwelleth only on external things,
Mine eye hath gazed on the invisible!
--Without permission from our God no hair
Falls from the head of man. Seest thou the sun
Declining to the west? So certainly
As morn returneth in her radiant light,
Infallibly the day of truth shall come!

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 5 SCENE 5 Maid of Orleans

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