Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 3 - Scene 5
Interior of the Cathedral of Rheims - The Coronation

  Archbishop.   Charles.   Joan.

  Arch. Faithful the promise.
'Twas spoke, 'tis done. France now demands her king;
Scion of ancient root, hope of her line:
And here in sight of her assembled chiefs,
'Tis mine to set this crown upon thy head,
And with this oil, from Heaven first brought, anoint thee.

  Joan. Stand I indeed on earth? Is this no dream?

  Arch. Mark well the circle which must bind thy brow!
Emblem of ceaseless duty and reward.
Look on these gems—so be thy virtues bright.
Tears from thy people drawn, by ill-stretched power,
Will dim their lustre; while the grateful smiles,
By kindness waked, will brilliancy impart,
And show that Heaven approves and dwells with thee—
A curse or blessing shall this circlet prove,
Fetters in hell, a fadeless crown in heaven.
[The crown is placed on the head of Charles.
Sound the loud trumpet! Let the organ's swell
Re-echo through these walls! Long life to Charles!
Joy to the rightful, to the usurper shame!

  Joan. I cannot pray: bliss hath engrossed my soul,
And wrapt each sense in agony of joy.

  Arch. Approach, and pay your just allegiance.

[The nobles involuntarily draw back and make way
for Joan, who throws herself at the king's feet.

  Joan. My sovereign liege—my king—accept—these tears.

  Cha. Here to my heart I clasp thee, friend, preserver.
This chain shall bind thee to thy king, thy country—
[Takes the chain from his neck and places it on Joan's.
Wear it in token of this hour—

  Joan. My liege!
When it shall be restored, 'twill tell that life
And I are parted. (To the Archbishop.) Now complete my mission.
Here at thy feet, sword, banner, I depose,
And consecrate his own to Him who armed
At first my hand.

  Arch. The lofty strains repeat!
And with the monarch's name, beloved, now join
The holy maiden's.

[Joan sinks on her knee.

END OF THE THIRD ACT.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 4 SCENE 1 Joan of Arc Play

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