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THE VISION

OF

THE MAID OF ORLEANS.

In the first edition of Joan of Arc this Vision formed the ninth book, allegorical machinery having been introduced throughout the poem as originally written. All that remained of such machinery was expunged in the second edition, and the Vision was then struck out, as no longer according with the general design.

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THE VISION

OF

THE MAID OF ORLEANS.

THE FIRST BOOK.

ORLEANS was hush'd in sleep. Stretch'd on her couch
The delegated Maiden lay; with toil
Exhausted, and sore anguish, soon she closed
Her heavy eyelids ; not reposing then,
For busy phantasy in other scenes

5
Awaken'd: whether that superior powers,
By wise permission, prompt the midnight dream,
Instructing best the passive faculty ;
Or that the soul, escaped its fleshly clog,
Flies free, and soars amid the invisible world, 10
And all things are that seem.

Along a moor, Barren, and wide, and drear, and desolate, She roam'd, a wanderer through the cheerless night. Far through the silence of the unbroken plain 14 The bittern's boom was heard; hoarse, heavy, deep, It made accordant music to the scene. Black clouds, driven fast before the stormy wind,

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Sweptshadowing;through their broken folds the moon
Struggled at times with transitory ray,
And made the moving darkness visible.

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And now arrived beside a fenny lake
She stands, amid whose stagnate waters, hoarse
The long reeds rustled to the gale of night.
A time-worn bark receives the Maid, impellid
By powers, unseen ; then did the moon display 25
Where through the crazy vessel's yawning side
The muddy waters oozed. A Woman guides,
And spreads the sail before the wind, which moan'd
As melancholy mournful to her ear,
As ever by a dungeon'd wretch was heard

30 Howling at evening round his prison towers. Wan was the pilot's countenance, her eyes Hollow, and her sụnk cheeks were furrow'd deep, Channell’d by tears; a few grey locks hung down Beneath her hood : and through the Maiden's veins Chill crept the blood, when, as the night breeze pass'd, Lifting her tatter'd mantle, coild around 37 She saw a serpent gnawing at her heart.

The plumeless bats with short shrill note ilit by, And the night-raven’s, scream came fitfully, 40 Borne on the hollow blast. Eager the Maid Look’d to the shore, and now upon the bank Leapt, joyful to escape, yet trembling still In recollection.

There, a mouldering pile Stretch'd its wide ruins, o'er the plain below 45 Casting a gloomy shade, save where the moon Shone through its fretted windows: the dark yew,

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