Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

by Friedrich Schiller


        The French Camp.
        DUNOIS, between the ARCHBISHOP and DUCHATEL.

Conquer your sullen indignation, prince!
Return with us! Come back unto your king!
In this emergency abandon not
The general cause, when we are sorely pressed,
And stand in need of your heroic arm.

Why are ye sorely pressed? Why doth the foe
Again exalt himself? all was achieved;--
France was triumphant--war was at an end;--
The savior you have banished; you henceforth
May save yourselves; I'll not again behold
The camp wherein the maid abideth not.

Think better of it, prince! Dismiss us not
With such an answer!

        Silence, Duchatel!
You're hateful to me; I'll hear naught from you;
You were the first who doubted of her truth.

Who had not wavered on that fatal day,
And been bewildered, when so many signs
Bore evidence against her! We were stunned,
Our hearts were crushed beneath the sudden blow.
--Who in that hour of dread could weigh the proofs?
Our calmer judgment now returns to us,
We see the maid as when she walked with us,
Nor have we any fault to charge her with.
We are perplexed--we fear that we have done
A grievous wrong. The king is penitent,
The duke remorseful, comfortless La Hire,
And every heart doth shroud itself in woe.

She a deluder? If celestial truth
Would clothe herself in a corporeal form,
She needs must choose the features of the maiden.
If purity of heart, faith, innocence,
Dwell anywhere on earth, upon her lips
And in her eyes' clear depths they find their home.

May the Almighty, through a miracle,
Shed light upon this awful mystery,
Which baffles human insight. Howsoe'er
This sad perplexity may be resolved,
One of two grievous sins we have committed!
Either in fight we have availed ourselves
Of hellish arms, or banished hence a saint!
And both call down upon this wretched land
The vengeance and the punishment of heaven.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 5 SCENE 8 Maid of Orleans

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