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“ And whatso is his will, that I must do,
At the first With pity or with scorn Dunois had heard The Maid inspired; but now he in his heart Felt that misgiving which precedes belief In what was disbelieved and scoff’dat late As folly. “ Damsel!” said the Chief, “methinks “ It would be wisely done to doubt this call, “Haply of some ill spirit prompting thee “ To self-destruction.”
“ Doubt!" the Maid exclaim'd, “ It were as easy when I gaze around “On all this fair variety of things, “ Green fields and tufted woods, and the blue depth “Of heaven, and yonder glorious sun, to doubt “ Creating wisdom! when in the evening gale “ I breathe the mingled odours of the spring, “ And hear the wild wood melody, and hear...
“ The populous air vocal with insect life, .. “ To doubt God's goodness! there are feelings, Chief, “ That may not lie; and I have oftentimes “ Felt in the midnight silence of my soul “ The call of God.”
They listen’d to the Maid, And they almost believed. Then spake Dunois, “ Wilt thou go with me, Maiden, to the King “ And there announce thy mission?”. Thus he said, For thoughts of politic craftiness arose Within him, and his unconfirmed faith Determined to prompt action. She replied, “ Therefore I sought the Lord of Vaucouleur, “ That with such credence as prevents delay, “ He to the King might send me. Now beseech you “ Speed our departure.”
a. Then Dunois address'd Sir Robert, “ Fare thee well, my friend and host! “ It were ill done to linger here when Heaven : “ Hath sent such strange assistance. Let what force
“ Lorraine can yield to Chinon follow us ;
“ God's blessing go with thee!" exclaim'd old Claude, “ Good Angels guard my girl!" and as he spake The tears stream’d fast adown his aged cheeks. “ And if I do not live to see thee more, “ As sure I think I shall not, yet sometimes “ Remember thine old Uncle. I have loved thee “ Even from thy childhood, JOAN! and I shall lose “ The comfort of mine age in losing thee. “But God be with thee, Child !”
Nor was the Maid, Tho' all subdued of soul, untroubled now In that sad parting;.. but she calm’d herself, Painfully keeping down her heart, and said, “ Comfort thyself, my Uncle, with the thought
“ Of what I am, and for what enterprize. “ Chosen from among the people. Oh be sure “ I shall remember thee, in whom I found “ A parent's love, when parents were unkind ! “ And when the ominous broodings of my soul “ Were scoff’d and made a mock of by all else, “ Thou for thy love didst hear me and believe. “ Shall I forget these things?” ... By this Dunois Had arm'd, the steeds stood ready at the gate; But then she fell upon the old man's neck And cried, “Pray for me!.. I shall need thy prayers! “ Pray for me that I fail not in my hour!" Thereat awhile, as if some awful thought Had overpower'd her, on his neck she hung ; Then rising with flush'd cheek and kindling eye, “ Farewell !" quoth she, “and live in hope ! anon “ Thou shalt hear tidings to rejoice thy heart, . “ Tidings of joy for all, but most for thee ! “ Be this thy comfort!" The old man received Her last embrace, and weeping like a child
Scarcely thro' tears could see them on their steeds Spring up and go their way.
So on they went,
That in the evening traveller's weary mind