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The foe up-rushing eager to their spoil ;
blood Through many a branching channel o'er the frame Meanders.
“Fool!” the exasperate knight exclaim'd, “Would she had slain thee! thou hast lived too long." Again he aim'd his arbalist: the string
431 Struck forceful: swift the erring arrow sped Guiltless of blood, for lightly o'er the court Bounded the warrior Virgin. Glacidas Levell’d his bow again; the fated shaft 435 Fled true, and difficultly through the mail Pierced to her neck, and tinged its point with blood. “ She bleeds ! she bleeds !” exulting cried the chief ; “ The sorceress bleeds ! nor all her hellish arts Can charm my arrows from their destin'd course." Ill-fated man! in vain with
4+1 Placing thy feather'd quarrel in its groove, Dream'st thou of Joan subdued! She from her neck Plucking the shaft unterrified, exclaim'd, “ This is a favour ! Frenchmen, let us on! 445 Escape they cannot from the hand of God!"
But Conrade, rolling round his angry eyes, Beheld the English chieftain as he arm’d Again the bow: with rapid step he strode; And Glacidas perceiving his approach,
450 At him the quarrel turn’d, which vainly sent, Fell blunted from his buckler. Conrade came And lifting high the deadly battle-axe, Through pouldron and through shoulder deeply driven Buried it in his bosom: prone he fell,
455 The cold air rush'd upon his heaving heart. One whose low lineage gave no second name Was Glacidas, a gallant man, and still His memory
in the records of the foe Survives.
And now dishearten'd at his fall 460
Then terror seized
Then the Maid of Arc 476 Took pity on the vanquish'd ; and she call'd Aloud, and cried unto the host of France, And bade them cease from slaughter. They obey'd The delegated Damsel. Some there were 480 Apart who communed murmuring, and of those Graville address'd her: “ Prophetess! our troops Are few in number; and to well secure These many prisoners such a force demands, As should we spare might shortly make us need The mercy we bestow; not mercy then, 386 Rather to these our soldiers, cruelty. Justice to them, to France, and to our king, And that regard wise nature hath in each Implanted of self-safety, all demand
490 Their deaths.”
“ Foul fall such evil policy !” The indignant Maid exclaim'd. 6 I tell thee, chief, God is with us! but God shall hide his face From them, short-sighted they, as hard of heart, Who disregarding all that mitigates,
495 All that ennobles dreadful war, shed blood Like water; who in the deceitful scales Of worldly wisdom, dare to counterpoise The right with the expedient, and resolve Without compunction, as the beam inclines 500 Held in a faultering or a faithless hand. These men shall live to see their homes again, Some to be welcomed there with tears of joy By those who to the latest hour of life Will in their grateful prayers remember us. 505 And when that hour shall come to us, that comes
To all, how gladly should we then exchange
which to others we have shown!”
Turning to Conrade, then she said, “ Do thou Appoint an escort for the prisoners. Thou need'st not be reminded they are men, Rather by fortune, or by fate, than choice, 515 Brought hither from their homes to work our bale, And for their own not less; but yielded thus Whom we must neither treat as enemies Nor trust as friends, but in safe keeping hold, Both for their own security and ours.”
She said: when Conrade cast his eyes around, And saw from man to man where Francis ran, Bidding them spare the vanquish'd ; him he haild. “ The Maid hath bade me chuse a leader forth To guard the prisoners ; thou shalt be the man; For thou wilt guard them with due diligence, 526 Yet not forgetful of humanity."
Meantime the garrison of that strong-hold, Who lest the French should enter, had exposed Their comrades to the sword, sustain'd the siege In desperate valour. Fast against the walls 531 The battering-ram was driven; the mangonels Plied at the ramparts fast; the catapults Drove there their dreadful darts; the war-wolfs there
Hurl'd theirhuge stones; and, through the kindled sky, The engines shower'd their sheets of liquid fire. 536
“ Feel ye not, comrades, how the ramparts shake?” Exclaim'd a daring Englishman. “Our foes In woman-like compassion, have dismiss'd A powerful escort, weakening thus themselves, 540 And giving us fair hope, in equal field, Of better fortune. Sorely here annoy'd, And slaughter'd by their engines from afar, We perish. Vainly may the soldier boast Undaunted courage and the arm of strength, 545 If thus pent up, like some wild beast he falls, Mark'd for the hunter's arrows. Let us out And meet them in the battle, man to man, Either to conquer, or at least to die
549 A soldier's death."
not so," replied One of less hopeful courage. “ Though they point Their engines here, our archers not in vain Discharge their quarrels. Let the walls and works Still be defended; it will then be time To meet them in the battle man to man, 555 When these shall fail us.”
Scarcely had he said, When a huge stone, thrown from some petrary Smote him upon the breast, and with dismay Fill'd all around; for as it shattered him, His blood besprinkled them, and they beheld 560 His mangled lungs lie quivering.
“ Such the fate Of those who trust them to their walls' defence !"