Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 2 - Scene 6
Field of Battle
Thunder and Lightning


  War. Are earth and heaven again in fury met,
As late on Orleans' fields? The elements
Pour forth their wrath in such tremendous peals,
Such bolts of fiery death illume the sky,
That earthly weapons seem the lesser ill.
Our soldiers falter.—Ho! look to John Talbot!
Ardour like his will lead him into peril.


Enter   Soldiers, followed by   John Talbot.

  John T. Hold! cowards! when did England's sons e'er turn
Their backs to Frenchmen—seeking mean safety?
Have ye then quite forgot proud Cressy's field,
Poictiers or Agincourt?

  Soldiers. We will not fight with her.

  John T. Then back to England, quick, disgrace to men;
Tell there your sons ye fled a woman's arm,
And ask your wives to welcome back their slaves.
Give them your swords, and take instead their distaffs,
And let the colour which has fled your cheeks
Rest in hot blushes on the veteran brows
Of your more valiant fathers.
Away! ye are not worthy of your name;
But in your flight, if ye should meet John Talbot,
As like ye may, tell him, "We left your son
To wipe out our disgrace in his heart's blood!"

  Sol. Lead us back!—A Talbot!

  John T. Come on! and when they speak of this in England,
Bold ones and brave shall wish they had been with us.

Another part of the Field.

  Du Nois.   Joan.

  Du N. New vigour suddenly hath armed the foe,
While our brave troops, fatigued with their own valour,
Now sorely pressed, pause in their course, and deal
Uncertain blows. The fate of this day's battle
Hangs on a point.

  Joan. Is not His promise ours
Who leads the hosts of heaven? Who doubts then victory?
Onward, ye brave! yon lightnings be your guide!
The hand that wields them is the patriot's shield!

Another part of the Field.

  Suffolk and   Warwick.

  Suf. Our troops at length give way: four times th' attack
Has been renewed; bravely as oft repelled.
If Talbot tarry long the day is lost.

  War. Our bravest veterans are seized with dread,
Thinking they fight against a power unearthly.

Enter   Soldiers in flight.

  War. Back to your ranks, base cowards!

  Sol. We fight in vain!—John Talbot—

  War. What of him?

  Sol. Is either dead, or taken prisoner.

  War. I'll rescue him, or perish!—dead or living
His father shall again behold him.

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