Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 2 - Scene 4

  Joan,   Du Nois,   Xaintrailles,   Valancour, &c.

  Joan. Warriors and chiefs of France! from such a presence
I should have shrunk, had I not felt within me
A mighty impulse not to be controlled.
Impute not then to arrogance, or worse,
Unfeminine delight, that here I stand
Prepared to lead to deeds of ghastly carnage.
Let my sex and weakness sleep in my mission,
And view me only as the choice of Heaven.
Look at this banner! mark its waving folds!
The breath of liberty doth swell it wide,
And liberty shall make its ample shade
A freeman's shroud to cover him that falls;
A freeman's home for him who shall survive.
This day we must inflict a blow so fatal
That our proud foe may stagger in her strength.

  Du N. And time it were that such a blow were struck.
Look on our desolated fields, our vines,
Our groves destroyed. The sword hath mown the corn,
And felled the arm that should have reaped the harvest.

  Xaint. And heavy made the foot of many a maid
Whose heart was only lighter than her steps.

  Joan. Oh, hapless country! loved, insulted soil!
Birth-place of heroes, martyrs, and of saints!
Land of my sires, by kindred blood embued!
Grave of my mother! altar of my God!
To thee I pledge the life which first thou gavest,
Nor ask a higher, happier boon than this—
To die for thee!

  Du N. Here also do I swear
To pluck my country from a foreign yoke,
Or perish in her cause!

  Omnes. So swear we all!

  Val. (aside.) Ah! 'tis not glory's flame, nor love of France,
But love of her that flashes in his eye.

  Joan. What wait we?

  Du N. But the signal.

  Joan. Give the word:—
Advance!

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 2 SCENE 5 Joan of Arc Play

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