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“ But that the great and honourable men
Have seized the earth, and of the heritage 170
Which God, the Sire of all, to all had given,
Disherited their brethren! Happy those
Who in the after-days shall live when Time
Hath spoken, and the multitude of years

174
Taught wisdom to mankind ... Unhappy France!
Fiercer than evening wolves thy bitter foes
Rush o'er the land, and desolate, and kill;
Long has the widow's and the orphan's groan
Accused Heaven's justice;- but the hour is come!
God hath inclined his ear, hath heard the voice
Of mourning, and his anger is

gone

forth.” 181

Then said the Son of Orleans, “ Holy Maid !
Fain would I know, if blameless I may

seek
Such knowledge, how the heavenly call was heard
First in thy waken'd soul; nor deem in me 185
Aught idly curious, if of thy past life
I ask the story. In the hour of age,
If haply I survive to see this realm
Deliver'd, precious then will be the thought
That I have known the delegated Maid, 190
And heard from her the wondrous ways of Heaven.”

A simple tale," the mission'd Maid replied ; “ Yet may it well employ the journeying hour, And pleasant is the memory of the past

194

“See'st thou, Sir Chief, where yonder forest skirts The Meuse, that in its winding mazes shows, As on the farther bank, the distant towers

mother was,

Of Vaucouleur ? there in the hamlet Arc
My father's dwelling stands; a lowly hut,
Yet nought of needful comfort did it lack, 200
For in Lorraine there lived no kinder Lord
Than old Sir Robert, and my father Jaques
In flocks and herds was rich ; a toiling man,
Intent on worldly gains, one in whose heart
Affection had no root. I never knew

205 A parent's love; for harsh

my
And deem'd the care which infancy demands
Irksome, and ill-repaid. Severe they were,
And would have made me fear them; but

my

soul Possess'd the germ of inborn fortitude, 210 And stubbornly I bore unkind rebuke And angry

chastisement. Yet was the voice That spake in tones of tenderness most sweet To my young heart; how have I felt it leap With transport, when my

Uncle Claude approach'd ! For he would take me on his knee, and tell 216 Such wondrous tales as childhood loves to hear, Listening with eager eyes and open lips Devoutly in attention. Good old man ! Oh if I ever pour'd a prayer to Heaven 220 Unhallow'd by the grateful thought of him, Methinks the righteous winds would scatter it! He was a parent to me, and his home Was mine, when in advancing years I found No peace, no comfort in my father's house. 225 With him I pass'd the pleasant evening hours, By day I drove my father's flock afield, And this was happiness.

" Amid these wilds
Often to summer pasture have I driven 229
The flock; and well I know these woodland wilds,
And every bosom’d vale, and valley stream
Is dear to memory. I have laid me down
Beside yon valley stream, that up the ascent
Scarce sends the sound of waters now, and watch'd
The beck roll glittering to the noon-tide sun, 235
And listened to its ceaseless murmuring,
Till all was hush'd and tranquil in my soul,
Fill’d with a strange and undefined delight
That pass'd across the mind like summer clouds
Over the vale at eve; their fleeting hues 240
The traveller cannot trace with memory's eye,
Yet he remembers well how fair they were,
How beautiful.

« In solitude and peace
Here I grew up, amid the loveliest scenes
Of unpolluted nature.
Sweet it was,

245
As the white mists of morning roll'd away,
To see the upland's wooded heights appear
Dark in the early dawn, and mark the slope
With gorse-flowers glowing, as the sun illumed
Their golden glory with his deepening light; 250
Pleasant at noon beside the vocal brook
To lay me down, and watch the floating clouds,
And shape to fancy's wild similitudes
Their ever-varying forms; and oh how sweet !
To drive my flock at evening to the fold, 255
And hasten to our little hut, and hear
The voice of kindness bid me welcome home.

“ Amid the village playmates of my youth
Was one whom riper years approved a friend.
A gentle maid was my poor Madelon ; 260
I loved her as a sister, and long time
Her undivided tenderness possess'd,
Until a better and a holier tie
Gave her one nearer friend; and then my heart
Partook her happiness, for never lived

265 A happier pair than Arnaud and his wife.

“Lorraine was call’d to arms, and with her youth
Went Arnaud to the war. The morn was fair,
Bright shone the sun, the birds sung cheerfully,
And all the fields seem'd joyous in the spring; 270
But to Domremi wretched was that day,
For there was lamentation, and the voice
Of anguish, and the deeper agony
That spake not. Never can my heart forget 274
The feelings that shot through me, when the horn
Gave its last call, and through the castle-gate
The banner moved, and from the clinging arms
Which hung on them, as for a last embrace,
Sons, brethren, husbands, went.

“ More frequent now
Sought I the converse of poor Madelon, 280
For now she needed friendship’s soothing voice.
All the long summer did she live in hope
Of tidings from the war; and as at eve
She with her mother by the cottage door
Sat in the sunshine, if a traveller

285 Appear'd at distance coming o'er the brow, Her eye was on him, and it might be seen

By the flush'd cheek what thoughts were in her heart,
And by the deadly paleness which ensued,
How her heart died within her. So the days 290
And weeks and months pass'don; and when the leaves
Fell in the autumn, a most painful hope
That reason own'd not, that with expectation
Did never cheer her as she rose at morn,
Still linger'd in her heart, and still at night

295
Made disappointment dreadful. Winter came,
But Arnaud never from the war return'd,
He far

away had perish’d; and when late The tidings of his certain death arrived, Sore with long anguish underneath that blow 300 She sunk. Then would she sit and think all day Upon the past, and talk of happiness That never could return, as though she found Best solace in the thoughts which minister'd To sorrow: and she loved to see the sun 305 Go down, because another day was gone, And then she might retire to solitude And wakeful recollections, or perchance To sleep more wearying far than wakefulness, Dreams of his safety and return, and starts 310 Of agony; so neither night nor day Could she find rest, but pined and pined away.

315

“ DEATH! to the happy thou art terrible ;
But how the wretched love to think of thee
Oh thou true comforter, the friend of all
Who have no friend beside! By the sick bed
Of Madelon I sat, when sure she felt
The hour of her deliverance drawing near;

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