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Came we to desolate this goodly land,
20 Making the drench'd earth rank with human blood, Scatter pollution on the winds of Heaven? Oh! that the sepulchre had closed its jaws On the proud prelate, that blood-guilty man, Who, trembling for the church's ill-got wealth, 25 Bade our Fifth Henry claim the crown of France ! Oh! that the grave had swallow'd him, ere he Stirr'd up the sleeping claim, and sent him forth To slaughter! Sure that holy hermit spake The Almighty's bidding, who in his career 30 Of conquest met the King, and bade him cease The work of death, before the wrath'divine Fell heavy on his head... Full soon it fell And sunk him to the grave; .. and soon that wrath On us, alike in guilt, alike shall fall;
35 For thousands and ten thousands, by the sword Cut off, and sent before the Eternal Judge, With all their unrepented crimes upon them, Cry out for vengeance; for the widow's groan, Though here she groan unpitied or unheard, 40 Is heard in heaven against us; o'er this land For hills of human slain, unsepulchred, Steam pestilence, and cloud the blessed sun! The wrath of God is on us,.. God hath raised This Prophetess, and goes before her path ;. 45 Our brethren, vainly valiant, fall beneath them, Clogging with gore their weapons, or in the flood Whelm'd like the Egyptian tyrant's impious host, Mangled and swoln, their blacken'd carcasses Float on the tainted current!
We remain, For yet our rulers will pursue the war,
We still remain to perish by the sword,
Then terror seized
Nor the English chiefs Heard these loud murmurs heedless; counselling They met despondent. Suffolk, now their chief, 65 Since Salisbury fell, began.
« It now were vain Lightly of this our more than mortal foe To speak contemptuous. She hath vanquish'd us, Aided by Hell's leagued powers, nor aught avails Man unassisted 'gainst Infernal powers
70 To dare the conflict. Were it best remain Waiting the doubtful aid of Burgundy, Doubtful and still delay'd ? or from this place, Scene of our shame, retreating as we may, Yet struggle to preserve the guarded towns 75 Of the Orleannois ?”
He ceased, and with a sigh, Struggling with pride that heaved his gloomy breast, Talbot replied, “ Our council little boots ; For by their numbers now made bold in fear
The soldiers will not fight, they will not heed 80
Soon will come
yon witch, Regain its ancient glory. Near the coast Best is it to retreat, and there expect
90 The coming succour."
Thus the warrior spake. Joy ran through all the troops, as though retreat Were safety. Silently in order'd ranks They issue forth, favour'd by the thick clouds Which mantled o'er the moon. With throbbing hearts Fearful they speeded on; some in sad thoughts 96 Of distant England, and now wise too late, Cursing in bitterness the evil hour That led them from her shores; some in faint hope Thinking to see their native land again; 100 Talbot went musing on his former fame, Sullen and stern, and feeding on dark thoughts, And meditating vengeance.
In the walls Of Orleans, though her habitants with joy Humbly acknowledged the high aid of Heaven, 105 Of many a heavy ill and bitter loss Mindful, such mingled sentiments they felt As one from shipwreck saved, the first warm glow Of transport past, who contemplates himself
Preserved alone, a solitary wretch,
110 Possess'd of life indeed, but reft of all That makes man love to live. The chieftains shared The social bowl, glad of the town relieved, And communing of that miraculous Maid, Who came the saviour of the realm of France, 115 When vanquish'd in the frequent field of shame Her bravest warriors trembled.
Joan the while Fasting and silent to the convent pass'd, Conrade with her, and Isabel; both mute, Yet gazing on her oft with anxious eyes, 120 Looking the consolation that they fear'd To give a voice to. Now they reach'd the dome: The glaring torches o'er the house of death Stream'd a sad splendour. Flowers and funeral herbs Bedeck'd the bier of Theodore, .. the rue, 125 The dark green rosemary, and the violet, That pluck'd like him wither'd in its first bloom. Dissolved in sorrow, Isabel her grief Pour'd copiously, and Conrade also wept: Joan only shed no tears, from her fix'd eye 130 Intelligence was absent, and she seem'd, Though listening to the dirge of death, to hear And comprehend it not, till in the grave, .. In his last home, .. now Theodore was laid, And earth to earth upon the coffin thrown; 135 Then the Maid started at that mortal sound, And her lip quiver'd, and on Isabel, Trembling and faint, she leant, and pale as death.
Then in the priest arose an earnest hope,
That weary of the world and sick with woe, 140
Then Conrade answered, “Father! heaven has callid This Maid to active duties."
6 Active !” cried The astonish'd Monk; “thou dost not know the toils This holy warfare asks; thou dost not know