We see a star detach itself from heaven
Precipitate, furrowing the sky with fire.
He on the forest, where the maiden sat
In meditation, fell. The darkness fled
His radiance ; not a tree or bough but beam'd
As tho' with gold ; the blackest depths of shade
Shone forth illuminate. This broke her prayer,
She trembled, overpowered with violence
Of light he* eyelids closed, and unknown thoughts
Troubled her heart. Then from the luminous globe,
That blazed around the Angel, came a voice,
Strange-toned and more than human, ravishing
Her ear, and penetrating to her soul.
" Shepherdess 1 just and holy maid \" it said,
" Calm thou thy trembling, dissipate thy fear.
" I come the eternal King's ambassador
M To announce thy future glory : by thine arm
" Will Providence to the habitants of France
f( Give life again ; that therefore they may know
" It is the hand of heaven that rescues them,
u I come to summons thee from these wild haunts.
" Thine arm shall be the arnrof the great God
i( Of hosts ; by thee shall England see her force
w Consum'd, shall Orleans be relieved, and Rheims
" Behold the anointment of her King. Prepare
" Thy courage for this marvellous enterprize.,
<* The glory of the highest one shall shine
" Upon thy countenance, he shall animate
Â« Thy valour, and shall make the English bite
"â– The dust in death.'*
The Maid to these high words
Opposed her feebleness, nor could nor would
To this so lofty promise yield belief.
Shrouding herself in her humility
She felt annihilate in the eye of God.
But the Angel saw her thoughts. " In vain," he cried,
" Thus hesitates thy soul. God by my voice
'* Commands thee, by my voice the God of battles
" Bids the go forth and conquer."
Thus he spake :
Then, shadowing her with celestial fire,
Breath'd in the Maid the spirit of the Lord.
He placed the bolts of fury in her hand,
He made her eye dart terror, and infus'd
Full waves of grace into the Virgin's breast :
Made her disdain base actions, filPd her soul
With thoughts of glorious enterprize, and gave
A foretaste of the blessed one's reward.
The day extinguish'd then, the desart place
Resum'd its wonted horrors. Silence dwelt
Over the wood again, and Quietness
And Peace resum'd their dwelling. She beheld
The desart even as usual, but she felt
Strange alteration inwards j in herself
Sought for herself, and found herself no more.
Her flock, her friends, her forest, and her springs,
Vain images henceforth ! God â€” England â€” France,
Sieges and battles now fit themes alone
To fill her mind.
Thus inspired, the Maid departs for Chinon with her
brother Rodolfe. They travel in safety, shadowed by a
But in the mean time the illustrious plan of perishing
with their town was not equally approved by all the men
of Orleans. Nine base citizens feared to be burnt in
such beautiful flames ; their fear renewed their hope,
and they resolved to seek protection from the Duke of
It was night. Burgundy was sitting sleepless in the
English camp reflecting on the insolence of Bedford.
An invisible Angel descends to him, and makes a speech
sound in the profundity of his heart, wounding his pride
and leading to repentance. In the morning a citizen
from Orleans comes to him, and intreats him to protect
the town from the arms of the English and the despair of
Dunois. Burgundy acquaints Bedford with this offer,
who insolently replies, that no one shall attempt with
impunity to protect Orleans from the English vengeance.
The Duke retires in discontent, and the citizen returns
despairingly to Orleans.
Fame now had spread abroad a report that Dunois
unable longer to defend Orleans had destroyed it by fire,
and perished with it. This report deprives the King of
his last hope. He assembles his chiefs, expresses his
despair, and declares that he will retreat to the wilds
Â©f Dauphine, preferring exile to captivity. His Coun-
sellors are silent ; and Charles rises to depart with this
Qwand il voit, vers la porte, un mobile niiage
S* avancer contre luy, traverser son passage,
Estinceler, se fendre, et descouvrir aux yeux
Un portrait anime des merveilles des Cieux.
Le niiage, en son sein, comme en une ample scene,
Luy monstre une Bergere, ou plutost une Reyne j
Tant d' eclat rejalit, tant de majeste sort
De son air venerable, et de son grave port.
Sa taille est plus qu* humaine, et dans sa haute mine
Keluit Pimpression de la Grace divine;
Elle a la front modeste, et son severe aspect
Des moins respectiieux attire le respect.
Son poil brun, qui se frise en boucles naturelles,
Acompagne le feu de ses noires prunelles,
Et Ton voit en son teint, d'eternelle fraischeur,
La rougeur se confondre avecque la blancheur.
Les douceurs, les sousris, les attraits, ni les charmes,
De ce visage altier ne forment point les armes ;
II est beau de luy-mesme, il donte sans charmer,
Et fait qu' on le revere, et qu' on n'ose l'aymer.
Pour tous soins une fiere et sainte negligence,
De sa masle beaute rehausse 1' excellence.
Et, par ses ornemens, ouvrages du hazard,
Rend la nature, en luy, plus aymable que 1' art.
Une innocente flamme, ainsi qu'une couronne ;
Mais d'un divin brasier ses regards flamboyans
Percent et bruslent tout de leur traits foudroyans.
Son geste, bien que sage, est plein de hardiesse ;
Sa contenance est humble, et pourtant sans bassesse ;
Et sa condition ne paroist nullement,
Si non par sa houlette et par son vestemenr.
Lc Ciel, pour la former, fit un rare meslange
Des vertus d'une Fille, et d'un Homme et d'un Ange ;
D'on vint parcstre au jour cet astre des Erancois,
Qui ne fut pas un d'eux, et qui fut tous Ies trois.
That instant he beheld a moving cloud
Sail on and cross his way ; it flush'd awhile,
Then cleaving gave to his astonish'd view
A living portrait of the miracles
Of Heaven. A Shepherdess, or rather Queen
(Such majesty adorned iter serious port)
Embosomed there appeared. Statelier her height
Than human ; on her countenance there beam'd
The Grace divine; her look severe, her front
Of modesty even from the scoffer forced
Respect : the clustered auburn of her hair
Assorted with the dark glance of her eye ;
And purest red and white made on her cheek
Health's lovely intermixture. Gentleness
And smiles and dimpled sweetness did not form
Her loftier charms, she charmed not â€” but subdued.
They who beheld her yielded reverence,
But did not dare to love. No woman wiles
Had she ; a bold and holy negligence
Ennobled her strong beauties. Round her brow,
Cilding her tresses brown luxuriance,
Unharming play'd a coronet of fire,
But the arrowed lightning of her looks transpierced
All hearts } her mien was calm and confident
In dignified humility. The crook
And garb alone bespake the Shepherdess ;
Heaven had combined the virtues of a Maid
A Man and Angel in her, and she seem'd
Neither, but ail in one. ,
They beheld this prodigy with astonishment, but the
Divine Providence breathed itself into their bosoms, and
predisposed them to believe in the Maid. The King is
no ways distinguished from those around him, but she
singles him out, tells him Dunois still lives, that Orleans
still resists the English, and that Heaven has deputed her
to rescue France and crown him in Rheims. Gillori
alone, inspired with jealousy, warns Charles to beware of
this juggle. The Maid looks at him and he falls sense-
less. The King has instant faith ; he immediately gives
his own armour to her, but she demands the sword of
Martel, consecrated by him after the defeat of the Sara-
cens, and now concealed at Fierbois in the tomb of a
holy maid. They all believe in her and are comforted.
Night comes on, and the Maid betakes herself to prayer.
THE SECOND BOOK.
Charles rose before the sun ; the Warrior Maid meets
him. Prince, she cried, arm all that can be armed in
thy weak provinces. I shall subdue the English, hm
not without soldiers. Form a camp, and though it be
composed of boys and old men, God will impel their
darts. The King's commands are divulged every where,
and oh prodigious effect ! oh marvellous beyond what is
human ! in only six days, six thousand combatants arrived
under the walls of Chinon.
In the mean time the Maid willing to spare blood
writes to the English. She took the paper, an Angel
guided the pen. After dispatching this, she passes the
whole night on her knees in prayer. In this holy state,
among the saints, with devout sighings and pious tears
she intreated Heaven to bless her arms, nor did she abate
this fervour till the sixth morning when the troops were
Godefroy now arrives from Orleans to inform Charles
of the distress of the inhabitants, and their desperate
resolution. The Maid replies in a strain of prophecy,
and the astonished Godefroy dreads her like a divinity.
The convoy is prepared, and thirty vessels laden with
grain. The sword arrives from Fierbois ; the strong
arm of Chasteauroux is weak in presenting it to the
Virgin ; the flaming blade devours its prison and attempts
to release itself. I went to the dark Forest of Fierbois
said he, I found the ancient temple and the cavern, I
had the cavern opened, and descended in devout horror.
I enquired for the Sword, and all were ignoront respecting
it. My sad heart could not believe the holy Maid had
been deluded. I addressed myself to heaven and vainly
and unceasingly consumed three days in prayer. Heaven
seemed to be of brass and deaf to my cries. At last a
sound of trumpets was heard, the earth opened, and amidst
a thousand flames I beheld the Sword. The Maid wields
its prodigious weight with ease. She calls on Heaven
to favour her. A gentle tempest murmurs round her
head and the harmless lightning falls on her.
The messenger returns, and relates with what insolence
the English had received her letter. She gives' the
signal to march. Charles would have accompanied her,
but she bids him remain till his presence is necessary.
On the seventh morning they arrive in sight of Orleans.
They attack the English ; the Maid fights at their head ;
she is surrounded, and calls for the aid of Heaven.
Towards the celestial house of the Virgin, a sparkling
star rises in the form of a pyramid ; in this, the most
intense of fires, is the Arsenal of God. Here are his
thunderbolts ; here his three scourges, war, pestilence,
and famine ; here too is the shield which protects France
and a thousand similar to it, like so many suns. God
sends a thousand Angels to take these and defend the
Maid. Bedford rallies the English. An Angel whis-
pers to Burgundy that this is the moment to revenge
himself, and he with his troops abandons the field.
Bedford blasphemes. Dunois sallies out, overthrows
Glacidas and completes the victory. Wondering what
Hero has performed such exploits, Dunois hastens to
meet the Maid. As the moon after an eclipse comes
forth in her brightness and makes the Sun ashamed, the
Maid appeared. She had raised her beaver. Her luminous
front shot forth more splendour, a vermil flame shone
upon her cheeks, the sweat ran down in pearls. Her
vagabond tresses formed a thousand waves on the wind,
illustriously sullied with dust. Dunois deems her an
God beheld her from his azure throne. With a
speaking glance which they who see hear, he explained
his will to the chief of the Seraphim, that all the French
warriors, but especially Dunois, should centre all their
loves in the Maid. The Angel makes her dart a pure
and holy fire which chases away every other flame, and
all the French warriors, but especially Dunois, fall in love
with the Maid.
They proceed towards the city, and behold their
vessels with the provisions repelled by a contrary wind
and attacked by the English vessels. The Maid prays,
the wind changes, the convoy sails up in safety. She
enters Orleans in triumph, and goes immediately to the
Church in military pomp. Here she intreats God to
destroy the English. A subterranean thunder shakes the
temple, the altar scatters round a glory, a voice is heard
pronouncing the English shall be destroyed,
and the Angel of the Lord blows his trumpet thrice.
Impatient for action, the Maid ascends a tower from
whence Dunois shows her the English forts and tells her
who commands them. Here he would declare his
passion, but his voice fails him. She prophecies that on
the second day the plain below them shall be delivered
from the enemy, and retires to a Convent of Nuns for
the night. Dunois prepares all things for the attack.
He feels his love for Maria gone, soliloquizes upon his
fickleness, and lies awake all night. '
THE THIRD BOOK.
The Warrior Maid arose with Aurora, and the splen-
dour which diffused itself from their countenances made
it doubtful which of them brought back the day. Dunois
came to present to her the truncheon of command.
I, said he, will march under your amiable orders as
your soldier, your lover he would have said, but the
sight of the Holy one froze up his speech. She takes
the military sceptre, arranges the troops in twenty bat-
talions and leads them to attack the forts. The English
repulse v them in the escalade, but retreat from the Maid
and Dunois, as the Rhinoceros, who with his horn
imprisons elephants and dragons in their dens, hides
himself from the Lion. After capturing two forts, the
French sleep on the field of battle, and in the morning
attack the Tournelles. Bedford here makes a vigorous
resistance, Dunois is wounded, her comrades fall around
the Maid, her brother bleeding in every limb still fights,
and she still urges the assault unterrified and unharmed.
But the Devil saw all this. He hated France because
she had conquered the Huns and the Saracens and the
Lombards and the Saxons, and brought back the Albigen-
ses to the church ; and he had a very great regard for
the English, foreseeing the heresy of that real monster
Henry VIII, At the moment when the Maid had gained
the summit of the wall, came a reinforcement from the
Devil ; Bedford felt their arrival, he hurled his javelin,
they strengthened his arm, and the weapon wounds the
Maid in the neck. She encourages her soldiers, and
retires to the Surgeon, he finds the bone is broken and
entreats her to retire to rest. She refuses. Dunois hears
of her wound ; love conquers duty and he quits his post
to visit her, but as he is on the way duty conquers love
and he returns back again.
But God beheld the Maid. He bids an Angel gather
a plant of healing virtue in the gardens of the Stars, the
Angel presses its juice into her wound, instantly she is.
healed, and flies to the assault. The Angel returns to
God and tells him that the fallen Spirits are assisting the
English. God sees the danger, and sends a band of
Angels to chace them away. A dreadful combat ensues.
The guardian spirit of the Maid purges her eyes, and she
beholds St. Agnan and St. Euvert, the tutelary Saints of
Orleans assisting in the attack.
Between Heaven and Earth where thunder reigns,
dwells Terror, who with her hundred cold hands freezes
the hearts of men. Her body and her wings are covered
with mouths incessantly open and clamorous. She comes
to aid the French, and the defeat of the English becomes
inevitable ; in vain Talbot and Glacidas attempt to
encourage them, they crowd over the bridge to escape,
the bridge breaks under them, a thousand Englishmen
perish in the fall, Glacidas himself is drowned, Talbot
alone escapes by swimming.
The French pursue their enemies, and the Maid presses
upon Bedford, when the Devils cause a sudden darkness
to save him ; she penetrates through this, but then the
true Night succeeds to the false one, and she orders
retreat. An hundred fires of joy are kindled ; they pile
up a trophy, and she harangues the troops. They bury
the dead. The Mayor of Orleans in the name of the
people, speaks an address of thanks to the Maid. She
quarters the troops in the forts, and retires at length to rest.
THE FOURTH BOOK.
The delivery of Orleans was soon known throughout
France and excited a general joy among the people
oppressed under a foreign yoke. Maria alone was afflicted,
and deemed the Maid born for her misfortune as for the
misfortune of the English.
Agnes alone could dispute the palm of beauty with
Maria : the tresses divided in two equal torrents on her
mild forehead, her curling locks floated loosely, and in the
open prison of her eye-lids two Suns centered their
radiance. None without loving her could behold Maria,
but Dunois alone had inspired her with mutual affection.
The orphaned niece of Burgundy she dwelt in Paris under
his protection, and knew no joy but in secretly cherishing
the love which he opposed.
Not far from Paris is a thick forest ; it derives its
name of Fontainebleau, from a fountain that rises there j
the waters of that fountain do not seem waters, but liquid
pearls mingled with dissolved diamonds and distilled
sapphires ; the Eye of the world never beholds itself
so beautiful as in this sweet mirror. To a palace in
this forest Burgundy had retired in disgust, and here
Maria is contemplating herself in the fountain, and study-
ing looks of love, when her confidant Yolante brings the
tidings that Orleans is delivered and Dunois safe.
But the joy of Maria soon ceases when she hears from
Yolante that Dunois loves the Shepherdess who has
preserved him. Instantly she faints ; a faithful messenger
confirms all her fears ; and after much sickness and many
soliquies, she assents to a proposal of Yolante : this
faithful servant disguises herself as a man, and sets out
The Maid has left that city. She reaches Chinon and
urges Charles to prepare new levies that he may speedily
be crowned in Rheims. Alencon begs permission to
combat under her banners, and departs with her.
In the mean time Yolante arrives at Orleans and
meets Dunois. She tells him that Maria will not credit
the report of his inconstancy : Dunois confesses it ; She
upbraids him and shows him the miniature which he had
given Maria, in which he was painted bearing chains
with the name of Maria on them. Suddenly transported
he kisses the name â€” but at that instant the Maid returns ;
Dunois sees her, confesses that he is very criminal but
that he cannot help it, and Yolante returns in despair.
The Maid now excites her army to prosecute their
success. Dunois is jealous of Alencon, and at the
attack of Gergeau they emulously entreat her to permit
them to scale the walls. She bids them wait till the
ensuing morning. Suffolk and his brother Alexander
make a vigorous defence. The Devils come again, and
roll down a huge fragment of the wall upon the Maid,
but her guardian Angel interposed and it shivered like
glass upon her helmet. She enters the breach and routs
the Devils and the English. Alencon is still opposed by
Alexander, he kills him at length, but falls by his side
and retains nothing of life except his lively grief for the
death of Clerembauld his friend, who had died in a
singular manner : an arrow was aimed at Alencon, the
Maid suddenly called him away, and then told him it was
because God had chosen that Clerembauld, not he,
should perish by that arrow. The victory is complete,
Suffolk knights young Renaud and then yields himself
his prisoner; Dunois captures his brother De la Pole.
They enter Gergeau in triumph, and send the prisoners
and the wounded by water to Orleans.
THE FIFTH BOOK.
The Maid sends to inform the King of the capture of
Gergeau, and requests speedy reinforcements. Charles
overwhelmed with joy makes all possible dispatch, and
employed prayer as well as power. Soon he beheld the
banks covered and the ways thronged with soldiers ; a
thousand standards waved on the shores of the Vienne.
At this amiable sight the King gave such signs of his
ravishment as the young lover, who after long despairing
and delay sees the preparations for his marriage, whilst
his heart swims and drowns itself in a sea of inexpres-
All the soldiers were eager as their Monarch for
the war; all but Amaury, his low-born, ambitious,
worthless favourite. He had banished Agnes, the mis-
tress of Charles from the court because her influence
lessened his ; but now Gillon his father advises him to
recall her, that she may counteract the power of the
Maid. Roger, brother of Agnes, is dispatched to her
with the tidings ; he sails down the Loire, reaches the
palace where she dwells in melancholy solitude, finds her
sitting under a dark rock, and tells her that Amaury has
recalled her to court. What Roger ! she replied, will
he serve me against his own interests ? It is his own
interest makes him, answered Roger. Heaven to finish
your misfortunes has raised up a beautiful Monster, an
illustrious Rustic ; her influence has crushed Amaury ;
your beauty will destroy her power, and none will he $p
great as you. Rise then, o brilliant Sun, from this
profound night, and with thy flames again illuminate the
world ! She ascends the bark, and the amorous Zephyr
wafts on her way. In the interim, Dunois and the
holy Maid depart from Gergeau with their troops.
Meun makes but little resistance ; but the citadel of
Baugency stood upon a high and inaccessible rock, and
the garrison thought themselves secure. She bids the
army raise a cavalier : in five days it was high enough
to overtop the towers, aud the English trembled. A
band of warriors approach, led by Richemont, who to
serve his country forgets the injuries he has received
from his King, and requests the Maid to mediate between
them. Baugency now capitulates. The Devils them-
selves yield to this torrent of miracles.
The danger of Gergeau had alarmed the English, and
Talbot, mustering all the force he could, marched
to relieve it. On the way he learns its capture, and
turns towards Baugency. A body of nine hundred sol-
diers meet him, he prepares to attack them, and discovers
the garrison of Baugency. We must yield to the fortune
of Dunois. said Talbot, we must suffer his glory to immo-
late our honour ; and he marched to shelter himself in
At Patay the Maid discovers them, but they strike into
a forest ; and Richemont and Dunois regret that their
enemies have thus escaped them. Onward! cried the
Maid ; Talbot shall be my prey ; Heaven will discover his
traces. They cross the Loire, and see an immense stag,
who wears a collar of silver, spotted with fleur de lys of
gold. The wife of the first Valois had taken this stag
when a fawn ; she had preserved and fed him ; and whe-
ther by instinct, or some knowledge, by a hundred dif-
ferent and evident signs, he used to foretel the events
of her life. Restored to freedom, he had now lived in
the forests for an age, and never appeared, but to omen
something important to the house of Valois.
Heaven has sent him, cried the Maid, follow ! and he
will lead us to the enemy.
The stag ran on through the forest. Richemont,
Dunois, and the Maid follow with ardor, but unequal
pace, and they soon loose him in the intricacies of the
wood. Suddenly they hear a thousand clamours ; they
hasten towards the sound, and discover the stag routing
the English army. Heaven demands its victims, exclaimed
the Maid. Frenchmen ! let us destroy the rebels, and
let a Stag to-day lead on Lions.
Talbot forms his men into a phalanx and desperately
resists. Many of the French fall ; among others Kara-
dreux, who to his lightning attack joined a voice of
thunder, with one blow lost both his life and voice.
But the Maid grapples with Talbot and takes him pri-
soner. The French now exercise upon their enemies
all that unbridled fury could inspire ; their fate was
inhuman, but fit for tyrants. Fastolffe escapes to Cor-
beil. The Maid rests in Jenville. To this place Talbot
is following slowly, indignant at his fate. It is night.
Lyonel, brave son of this brave father, who has just
returned from England, falls upon the guard and delivers
him, and they hasten together to Paris.
THE SIXTH BOOK.
During these transactions the King with a new raised army
begins his march. On the seventh day they reach Meun.
The Holy Maid goes to meet Charles at the news of his
approach. It was evening when they met, but the Maid
came forth from a forest and like the rising sun with
radiant fire dazzled their eyes. I fear, said Charles, that
you have left no victories for us ; the greatness of your
benefits has injured us, and we can gain no glory from