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Before I left Domremi; eve had closed, 311
I sate beside the brook, my soul was full,
As if inebriate with Divinity.
Then Conrade! I beheld a ruffian herd
Circle a flaming pile, where at the stake 315
A woman stood ; the iron bruised her breast,
And round her limbs half-garmented, the fire
Curl'd its fierce flakes. I saw her countenance,
I knew MYSELF." Then, in a tone subdued 319
Of calmness, “ There are moments when the soul
From her own impulse with strange dread recoils,
Suspicious of herself; but with a full
And perfect faith I know this vision sent
From Heaven, and feel of its unerring truth,
As that God liveth, that I live myself,

325 The feeling that deceives not.”

By the hand Her Conrade held and cried, “ Ill-fated Maid, That I have torn thee from affection's breast, My soul will groan in anguish. Thou wilt serve Like me, the worthless Court, and having served, In the hour of ill abandon'd, thou wilt curse 331 The duty that deluded. Of the world Fatigued, and loathing at my fellow-men, I shall be seen no more. There is a path ... The eagle hath not mark'd it, the young wolf 335 Knows not its hidden windings : I have trod That path, and found a melancholy den, Fit place for penitence and hopeless woe, Where sepulchred, the ghost of what he was, Conrade may pass his few and evil days, 340

Waiting the wish’d-for summons to lay down
His
weary
load of life.”

But then the Maid
Fix'd on the warrior her reproving eye;
“ I pass'd the fertile Auxerrois,” she said,
“ The vines had spread their interwoven shoots
Over the unpruned vineyards, and the grape 346
Rotted beneath the leaves ; for there was none
To tread the vintage, and the birds of Heaven
Had had their fill. I saw the cattle start
As they did hear the loud alarum bell,

350 And with a piteous moaning vainly seek To fly the coming slaughterers. I look'd back Upon the cottage where I had partaken The peasant's meal,.. and saw it wrapt in flames. And then I thank'd my God that I had burst 355 The ties, strong as they are, which bind us down To selfish happiness, and on this earth Was as a pilgrim ... Conrade! rouse thyself ! Cast the weak nature off! A time like this Is not for gentler feelings, for the glow 360 Of love, the overflowings of the heart. There is oppression in thy country, Conrade ! There is a cause, a holy cause, that needs The brave man's aid. Live for it, and enjoy Earth’s noblest recompense, thine own esteem; Or die in that good cause, and thy reward 366 Shall sure be found in Heaven.

He answer'd not, But pressing to his heart the virgin's hand, Hasten’d across the plain. She with dim eyes, For gushing tears obscured them, follow'd him 370

Till lost in distance. With a weight of thought
Opprest, along the poplar-planted Vienne
Awhile she wander'd, then upon the bank
She laid her down, and watch'd the tranquil stream
Flow with a quiet murmuring, by the clouds 375
Of evening purpled. The perpetual flow,
The ceaseless murmuring, lulld her to such dreams
As memory in her melancholy mood
Loves best. The wonted scenes of Arc arose;
She saw the forest brook, the weed that waved 380
Its long green tresses in the stream, the crag
Which overbrow'd the spring, and that old yew
Which through the bare and rifted rock had forced
Its twisted trunk, the berries cheerful red 384
Starring its gloomy green. Her pleasant home
She saw, and those who made that home so dear,
Her lov'd lost friends. The mingled feelings fill'd
Her
eyes,

when from behind a voice was heard, “ O Lady! canst thou tell me where to find

389 The Maid whom Heaven hath sent to

France ?"
Thrill’d by the well-known tones, she started up,
And fell upon the neck of Theodore.

rescue

“ Have I then found thee.!' cried the impas

sioned youth ; “ Henceforth we part no more ; but where thou

goest Thither

go
I. Beloved ! in the front

395
Of battle thou shalt find me at thy side;
And in the breach this breast shall be thy shield
And rampart. Oh, ungenerous! Why from me

Conceal the inspiration ? why from me
Hide thy miraculous purpose? Am I then 400
So all-unworthy that thou shouldst set forth
Beneath another's guidance ?"

Thus he cried,
Mingling reproach with tenderness, yet still
Clasping in warm embrace the maid beloved.
She of her bidding and futurity

405 Awhile forgetful, patient of the embrace, With silent tears of joy bedew'd his neck. At length, “ I hope," she cried, “thou art not come With heavier fault and breach of nearer tie! How did thy mother spare thee, .. thou alone 410 The stay and comfort of her widowed age ? Did she upon thy parting steps bestow Her free-will blessing, or hast thou set forth, Which Heaven forbid, unlicensed, and unblest ?”

“Oh, surely not unblest !” the youth replied; 415
Yet conscious of his unrepented fault,
With countenance fush'd, and faltering in reply:
“She wept at my departure, she would fain
Have turn'd me from my purpose,

and
my

heart
Perhaps had fail'd me, if it had not glow'd 420
With ardour like thine own; the sacred fire
With which thy bosom burns had kindled me;
High in prophetic hope, I bade her place
Her trust in Heaven; I bade her look to hear
Good tidings soon of glorious victory;

425 I told her I should soon return, . . return With thee, and thou wouldst be to her old age What Madelon had been."

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As thus he spake, Warm with the imaginary bliss, he clasp'd The dear one closer to his yearning heart. 430 But the devoted Virgin in his arms Started and shudder'd, for the flaming pile Flash'd on remembrance now, and her soul The whole terrific vision rose again. A death-like paleness at the dreadful thought 435 Wither'd her cheek; cold damps suffused her brow, And falling on the neck of Theodore, Feeble and faint she hung. His eager eye Concentring all the anguish of the soul, And strain'd in anxious love, gazed fearfully

440 With wondering anguish; till ennobling thoughts Of her high mission roused her, and her soul Collected, and she spake.

My Theodore, Thou hast done ill to quit thy mother's home! Alone and aged she will weep for thee, 445 Wasting her little that is left of life In anguish. Now go back again to Are, And cheer her wintry hours of widowhood, And love my memory there.”

Swift he exclaim'd, “ Nay, Maid ! the pang of parting is o'erpast, 450 And my dear mother looks for the glad hour When we shall both return. Amid the war How many an arm will seek thy single life, How many a sword and spear... I will go with thee And spread the guardian shield !”

Nay,” she replied. “ I shall not need thy succour in the war. 456 Me, Heaven, if so seem good to its high will,

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