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We heard no voice of comfort. From the walls
“ Thou wouldst have deem'd
215 Gave God the glory, even while the blood That he had shed was reeking up to Heaven. He bade us think what mercy they had found Who yielded on the plain of Agincourt, And what the gallant sons of Caen, by him, 220 In cold blood slaughter'd : then his scanty food Sharing with the most wretched, he would bid us Bear with our miseries manfully.
“ Thus press'd, Lest all should perish thus, our chiefs decreed Women and children, the infirm and old, 225
All who were useless in the work of war,
" What is man That he can hear the groan of wretchedness
241 And feel no fleshly pang! Why did the All-Good Create these warrior scourges of mankind, These who delight in slaughter? I did think There was not on this earth a heart so hard 245 Could hear a farish'd woman ask for food, And feel no pity. As the outcast train Drew near, relentless Henry bade his troops Drive back the miserable multitude. They drove them to the walls ;... it was the depth Of winter, ... we had no relief to grant. 251 The aged ones groan'd to our foe in vain, The mother pleaded for her dying child, And they felt no remorse!”
The mission'd Maid Rose from her seat, ..“The old and the rm, 255
The mother and her babes ! .. and yet no lightning Blasted this man !"
“Aye, Lady," Bertram cried, “ And when we sent the herald to implore His mercy on the helpless, his stern face Assum'd a sterner smile of callous scorn, 260 And he replied in mockery. On the wall I stood and watch'd the miserable outcasts, And every moment thought that Henry's heart, Hard as it was, would melt. All night I stood, .. Their deep groans came upon the midnight gale ; Fainter they grew, for the cold wintry wind 266 Blew bleak; fainter they grew, and at the last All was still, save that ever and anon Some mother raised o'er her expiring child A cry of frenzying anguish.
“ From that hour On all the busy turmoil of the world
271 I look'd with strange indifference; bearing want With the sick patience of a mind worn out. Nor when the traitor yielded up our town Aught heeded I as through our ruin'd streets, 275 Through putrid.heaps of famish'd carcases, The pomp of triumph pass'd. One pang alone I felt, when by that cruel King's command The gallant Blanchard died : calmly he died, And as he bow'd beneath the axe, thank'd God 280 That he had done his duty.
“ I survive, A solitary, friendless, wretched one, Knowing no joy save in the certain hope That I shall soon be gather'd to my sires,
And soon repose, there where the wicked cease From troubling, and the weary are at rest.” 286
“And happy," cried the delegated Maid, And happy they who in that holy faith Bow meekly to the rod l A little while Shall they endure the proud man's contumely, 290 The injustice of the great: a little while Though shelterless they feel the wintry wind, The wind shall whistle o'er their turf-grown grave, And all be peace below. But woe to those, Woe to the Mighty Ones who send abroad 295 Their ministers of death, and give to Fury The flaming firebrand ; these indeed shall live The heroes of the wandering minstrel's song; But they have their reward; the innocent blood Steams up to Heaven against them : God shall hear The widow's groan."
“ I saw him," Bertram cried, Henry of Agincourt, this mighty King, 302 Go to his grave. The long procession pass'd Slowly from town to town, and when I heard The deep-toned dirge, and saw the banners wave A pompous shade, and the tall torches cast 306 In the mid-day sun a dim and gloomy light, I thought what he had been on earth who now Was gone to his account, and blest my God I was not such as he!”
So spake the old man, 310 And then his guests betook them to repose.
JOAN OF ARC.
THE THIRD BOOK.
Fair dawn'd the morning, and the early sun
grew and reptiles crawl'd. Or if they found
So journeying on, Fast by a spring, which welling at his feet 21