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JOAN OF ARC.
THE FIRST BOOK.
THERE was high feasting held at Vaucouleur,
On what might profit France, and knew no hope,
“ Good my Lord, I come, 6 With a strange tale; I pray you pardon me “ If it should seem impertinent, and like « An old man's weakness. But, in truth, this Maid “ Hath with such boding thoughts impress’dmy heart, “ I think I could not longer sleep in peace “ Denying what she sought. She saith that God “ Bids her go drive the Englishmen from France! “ Her parents mock at her and call her crazed, “ And father Regnier says she is possess’d;.. “ But I, who know that never thought of ill “ Found entrance in her heart,.. for good my Lord, “ From her first birth-day she hath been to me
“ As mine own child, .. and I am an old man,
While he spake
“ I have heard
“ The loneliest haunts and deepest solitude, “ Estranged from human kind and human cares “ With loathing like to madness. It were best “ To place her with some pious sisterhood, “ Who, duly morn and eve for her soul's health “ Soliciting Heaven, may likeliest remedy “ The stricken mind, or frenzied or possess'd.”
So as Sir Robert ceased, the Maiden cried, “ I am not mad. Possess’d indeed I am! “ The hand of God is strong upon my soul, " And I have wrestled vainly with the LORD, “ And stubbornly I fear me, I can save “ This country, Sir! I can deliver France ! “ Yea..I must save the country! God is in me.. “ I speak not, think not, feel not of myself. “ He knew and sanctified me ere my birth, “ He to the nations hath ordained me, “ And whither he shall send me, I must go, “ And whatso he commands, that I must speak,