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- Maiden of Arc,” So as he spake approaching, cried the chief, “ Well hast thou proved thy mission, as by words And miracles attested when dismay'd The grave theologists dismiss'd their doubts,
55 So in the field of battle now confirm’d. Yon well-fenced forts protect the fugitives, And seem as in their strength they mock'd our force. Yet must they fall."
“And fall they shall!" replied The Maid of Orleans. 6 Ere the sun be set 60 The lily on that shattered wall shall wave Triumphant.— Men of France! ye have fought well On yon blood-reeking plain. Your humbled foes Lurk trembling now behind their massy
walls. Wolves that have ravaged the neglected flock! 65 The Shepherd — the Great Shepherd is arisen! Ye fly! yet shall not ye by flight escape His vengeance. Men of Orleans ! it were vain By words to waken wrath within your
breasts. 69 Look round ! Your holy buildings and your homes Ruins that choke the way! your populous town One open sepulchre! who is there here That does not mourn a friend, a brother slain, A parent famished, .. or his dear loved wife Torn from his bosom .. outcast .. broken-hearted.. Cast on the mercy of mankind ? ”
She ceased ; 76 A cry of indignation from the host Burst forth, and all impatient for the war Demand the signal. These Dunois arrays In four battalions. Xaintrailles, tried in war, 80
Commands the first; Xaintrailles, who oftentimes
Gaucour the second battle led, true friend And faithful servant of the imprison'd Duke; 90 In counsel provident, in action prompt, Collected always, always self-controul'd, He from the soldiers' confidence and love Prompter obedience gain'd, than ever fear Forced from the heart reluctant.
The third band Alençon leads. On Verneuil's fatal field
96 The day when Buchan and the Douglas died, Wounded and senseless with the loss of blood, He fell, and there being found, was borne away A prisoner, in the ills of that defeat
100 Participant, partaking not the shame: But for his rank and high desert, the King Had ransom'd him, doom'd now to meet the foe With better fortune.
O'er the last presides The bastard son of Orleans, great in arms. 105 His prowess knew the foes, and his fair fame Acknowledged, since before his stripling arm Fled Warwick; Warwick, he whose wide renown Greece knew and Antioch and the holy soil
Of Palestine, since there in arms he went 110
Loup's was the nearest fort. Here Gladdisdale Commands the English, who as the enemy Moved to the assault, from bow and arbalist Their shafts and quarrels shower'd. Nor did they use Hand-weapons only and hand-engines here, Nor by the arm alone, or bow-string sped 125 The missile flew, but driven by the strain'd force Of the balista, in one body spent Stay'd not; through arms and men it made its way, And leaving death behind, still held its course 129 By many a death unclogg'd. With rapid march Onward the assailants came, and now they reach'd Where by the bayle's embattled wall in arms The knights of England stood. There Poynings shook His lance, and Gladdisdale his heavy mace For the death-blow prepared. Alençon here, 135 And here the Bastard came, and by the Maid, That daring man who to the English host Then insolent of many a conquest gain'd, Had borne her bidding. A rude coat of mail Unhosed, unhooded, as of lowly line
He wore, though here amid the high-born chiefs
As Alençon moved,
But there the war Raged fiercest where the martial Maiden moved A minister of wrath ; for thither throng'd The bravest champions of the adverse host.
And on her either side two warriors stood 170