Friedrich Schiller.

The works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) online

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Talbot {tearing off his bandages).

Then freely flow, ye currents of my blood,
For Talbot now is weary of the sun !

Lionel. I may no longer tarry : Fastolfe, haste I

Convey our leader to a place of safety.
, No longer now can we maintain this post ;

Our flying troops disperse on eveiy side.
On, with resistless might, the Maiden comes.

Talbot. Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield !
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain. Exalted reason,
Piesplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who art thou then, if thou.
Bound to the tail of folly's uncurb "d steed.
Must, vainly shrieking, with the drunken crowd.
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
Accurs'd, who striveth after noble ends.
And with deliberate Avisdom forms his plans !
To the fool- king belongs the world —
Lionel. My Lord

But for a few brief moments can you live —
Think of your Maker ! Had we, like brave men,

Been vanquished by the brave, we might, indeed,
Console ourselves that 'twas the common lot ;
For fickle fortune ave revolves her wheel.


But to be baffled by such juggling arts !
Deserv'd our earnest and laborious life
Not a more eaniest issue ?

Lionel {extoids his hand to him). Fare you well !
The debt of honest tears I will discharge
After the battle — if I then survive.
Now Fate doth call me hence, where on the field
Her web she weaveth, and dispenseth doom.
We in another world shall meet again ;
For our long friendship, this a brief farewell. [Exii

Talbot. Soon is the struggle past, and to the earth.
To the eternal sun, I render back
These atoms, join'd in me for pain and pleasure
And of the mighty Talbot, who the world
Fill'd with his martial glory, there remains
Nought save a modicum of senseless dust.
— Such is the end of man ! — the only spoil
We carry -srith us from life's battle-field,
Is but an insight into nothingness.
And utter scorn of all which once appear "d
To us exalted and desirable. —

Scene VII
Charles, Burgundy, Dunois, Du Chatel, ajid Soldurs
Burg. . The trench is storm d !
DuNois. The victorj- is ours !

Charles (jperceiving Talbot).

Look I Who is he, who yonder of the sun
Taketh reluctant, sorrowful farewell ?
His armoui' indicates no common man ;
Go, succour him, if aid may yet avail.

[Soldiers of the King's retinue step forirard
Fastol. Rack ! Stand apart ! Respect the mighty dead.

Whom ye, in life, ne'er ventur'd to approach !
Bi'KG. . What do I see ? Lord Talbot in his blood !

[He approaches him. Talbot gazes fixedly ax
him, and dies.
Fastol. Traitor avaunt ! Let not the sight of thee

Poison the dying hero's parting glance.
Dunois. Piesistless hero! Dread-inspiring Talbot!
Does such a narrow space suffice thee now,


And this vast kingdom could not satisfy

The large ambition of thy giant soul !

—Now first I can salute you, Sire, as King:

The diadem but totter'd on your brow,

While yet a spirit tenanted this clay.
Charles [after contemplating the body in silence).

A higher power hath vanquish 'd him, not we !

He lies upon the soil of France, as lies

The hero on the shield he would not quit.

Well, peace be with his ashes ! Bear him hence I

[Soldiers take up the body and carry it an t^

Here, in the heart of France, where his career

Of conquest ended, let his reliques lie !

So far no hostile sword attain 'd before.

A fitting tomb shall memorize his name ;

His epitaph the spot whereon he fell.
Fastolfe {yielding his sword).

I am your prisoner. Sir.
Charles [returning his sword). Not so ! Ptude war

Respects each pious oflBce ; you are free

To render the last honours to the dead.

Go now, Du Chatel, — still my Agnes trembles —

Hasten to snatch her from anxiety —

Bi'ing her the tidings of our victory.

And usher her in triumph into FJieims !

[Exit Du Chatel

Scene VITI.

The same. La Hire.

DuNOis. La Hire, where is the Maiden ?

La Hire. - That I ask

Of you ; I left her fighting by your side.
DuNOis. I thought she was protected by your arm.

When I departed to assist the King.
Burg. . Not long ago I saw her banner wave

Amid the thickest of the hostile ranks,
DuNOis. Alas ! where is she ? Evil I forebode !

Come, let us haste to rescue her. — I fear

Her daring soul hath led her on too far ;

Alone, she combats in the midst of foes.

And without succour yieideth to the crowd.


Chas . Haste to her rescue !
La Hire. Come 1

Burgundy. We follow all ! [Earit.

[They retire in haste.

A deserted part of the hattle-Jield. In the distance are
seen the towers of Hheinis illumined by the sun.

Scene IX.

A Knight in black armour, ivith closed visor. Johanna
follows him to the front of the stage, ichere he stops and
awaits her.
JoHAN. Deluder ! now I see thy stratagem !

Thou hast deceitfully, through seeming flight,
AUur'd me from the battle, doom and death
Averting thus from many a British head.
Destruction now doth overtake thyself.
Knight. Why dost thou follow after me and track

My steps with quenchless rage ? I am not doom'd
To perish by thy hand.
Johanna. Deep in my soul

I hate thee as the night, which is thy colour
To blot thee out from the fair light of day
An irresistible desire impels me.
Who art thou ? Raise thy visor. — I had said
That thou wert Talbot, had I not myself
Seen warlike Talbot in the battle fall.
Knight Is the divining Spirit mute in thee ?
Johan. His voice speaks loudly in my spirit's depths

The near approach of wo
Black Knight. Johanna D Arc!

Borne on the wings of conquest, thou hast reach'd
The gates of Rheims. Let thy achiev'd renown
Content thee Fortune, like thy slave, till now
Hath follow'd thee ; dismiss her, ere in wrath
She free herself; fidelity she hates ;
She seiweth none with constancy till death
Johan Why check me in the midst of my career ?
Why bid me falter and forsake my work ?
I will complete it, and fulfil my vow !
Knight. Nothing can thee, thou miglity one, withstand,


In battle thou art aye invincible.
— But lienceforth sliun the fight ; attend my warning .
JoicAN. Not from my hand will I resign this sword

Till haughty England's prostrate in the dust.
Knight. Behold ! there Rheims ariseth with its towers,
The goal and end of thy career.- Thou seest
The lofty minster's sun-illumin'd dome ;
Thou in triumphal pomp wouldst enter there,
Thy Monarch crown, and ratify thy vow.
— Enter not there ! Return ! Attend my warning !
JoHAN. What art thou, double-tongue'd, deceitful being,
Who wouldst bewilder and appal me ? Speak I
By what authority dost thou presume
To greet me with fallacious oracles ?

[The Black Kjjight is about to depart, she steps in
his way.
No, thou shalt speak, or perish by my hand !

[She endeavours to strike him.
Black Knight [touches her with his hand, she remains mo-
Slay, what is mortal !

[Darkness, thtinder and lightning. The Knight
sinks into the earth.
Johanna [stands at first in amazement, hut soon recovers
'Twas nothing living. 'Twas a base delusion.
An instrument of Hell, a juggling fiend.
Uprisen hither from the fiery pool
To shake and terrify my stedfast heart.
Wielding the sword of God, whom should I fear '
I will triumphantly achieve my work.
My courage should not waver, should not fail
Were Hell itself to champion me to fight !

[She is about to depart

Scene X
Lionel, Johanna.

Lionel. Accursed one, prepare thee for the fight !
— Not both of us shall quit this field alive.
Thou hast destroy'd the bravest of our host :


Th3 noble Talbot hath his mighty soul

Breathed forth upon my bosom. — I'll avenge

The hei'o, or participate his doom.

And wouldst thou know who brings thee glorj now,

Wliether he live or die,— I'm Lionel,

The sole survivor of the English chiefs.

And still unconquer'd is this valiant arm.

[He rushes upon her; after a short combat slu
strikes the sword out of his hand.
Perfidious fortune !

[He wrestles ivith her. Johanna seizes him by the
crest and tears open his helmet ; his face is thns
exposed ; at the same time she draws her sword
with her right hand.
Johanna. Suffer what thou soughtest !

The Virgin sacrifices thee through me !

[At this moment she gazes in his face. His aspect
softens her, she remains motionless and slowly lets
her arm sink.
liiONEL. Why linger, why withhold the stroke of death ?
My glory thou hast taken — take my life !
I want no mercy, I am in thy power.

[She makes him a sign with her hand to fly
How ! shall I fly, and owe my life to thee ?
No, I would rather die !
Johanna {with averted face). I will not know

That ever thou didst owe thy life to me.
Lionel. I hate alike thee and thy proffer'd gift.
I want no mercy — kill thine enemy,
Who loathes and would have slain thee.
Johanna. Slay me then,

And fly !
Lionel. Ha ! What is this ?

Johanna (hiding her face). Wo 's me !

Lionel [approaching her). 'Tis said

Thou killest all the English, whom thy sword
Subdues in battle — why spare me alone ?
Johanna (raises her sword with a rapid movement, as if to
strike him, but lets it fall quickly when she gaze*
on his face).
O Holy Virgin 1

o o


Lionel. Wherefore namest thou

The Holy Virgin ? she knows nought of thee ;

Heaven hath no part in thee.
Johanna [in the greatest anxiety). What have I done !

Alas! I've broke my vow!

[She wrings her hands in despai
Lionel {looks at her with sympathy and approaches her)

Unhappy Maid !

I pity thee ! Thy sorrow touches me ;

Thou liast shown mercy mito me alone,

My hatred yielded unto sympathy !

— Who art thou, and whence comest thou
Johanna. Away !

Lionel. Thy youth, thy beauty, move my soul to pity !

Thy look sinks in my heart. I fain would save thee - -

How may I do so ? tell me. Come ! oh come !

Renounce this fearful league — throw down these arms !
JoHAN. I am unworthy now to caiTy them !
Lionel. Then throw them from thee — quick! come follow me!
JuHANNA (with horror).

How ! follow thee !
Lionel. Thou mayst be saved Oh come!

I will deliver thee, but linger not.

Strange sorrow for thy sake doth seize my heart,

Unspeakable desire to rescue thee —

[He seiz33 her arm
JoHAN. The Bastard comes ! 'Tis they ! They seek for me

If they should find thee —
Lionel. I'll defend thee, Maid I

JoHAN. I die if thou shouldst perish by their hands I
Lionel. Am I then dear to thee?

Johanna. Ye heavenly Powers !

Lionel. Shall I again behold thee — hear from thee ?
J OH an . No ! never !
Lionel. Thus this sword I seize, in pledge

That I again behold thee !

[He snatches her sivord
Johanna. Madman, hold !

Thou darest?
Lionel. Now I yield to force — again

I'll see thee ! [He retir^.a


Scene XI

Johanna, Dunois, La Hire.

La Hire. It is she ! The Maiden lives !

Dunois. Fear not, Johanna ! friends are at thy side.
Hire. . Is not that Lionel who yonder flies ?
Dunois. Let him escape ! Maiden, the righteous cause

Hath triumph 'd now. PJieims opens wide its gates ;

The joyous crowds pour forth to meet their King. —
Hire. What ails the Maiden ? She grows pale— she sinks !
[Johanna groivs dizzy, and is about to fall
Dunois. She's wounded — rend her breastplate — 'tis her arm I

The wound is not severe.
La Hire. Her blood doth flow.

Johan. Oh that my life would stream forth with my blood !

[She lies senseless in La Hire's arms


A hull adorned as for a festival; the columns are hung wii\
garlands ; behind the scene flutes and hautboys.

Scene I.

Johan. Hushed is the din of arms, war's storms subside,
Glad song and dance succeed the bloody fray,
Through all the streets joy echoes far and wide.
Altar and church are deck'd in rich array,
Triumphal arches rise in vernal pride,
Wreaths round the columns wind their flowery way,
Wide Rheims cannot contain the mighty throng,
Which to the joyous pageant rolls along.

One thought alone doth every heart possess,
One rapt'rous feeling o'er each breast preside.
Aud those to-day are linkd in happiness

it n a


Whom bloody hatred did erewhile divide.

All who themselves of Gallic race confess

The name of Frenchman own with conscious pride,

France sees the splendour of her ancient crown,

And to her Monarch's son bows humbly down.

Yet I, the author of this wide delight,
The joy, myself created, cannot share;
My heart is cliang'd, in sad and dreary plight
It flies the festive pageant in despair ;
Still to the British camp it taketh flight,
Against my will my gaze still wanders there,
And from the throng I steal, with grief oppress 'd,
To hide the guilt which weighs upon my breast.

What ! I permit a human form
To haunt my bosom's sacred cell ?
And there, where heavenly radiance shone,
Doth earthly love presume to dwell ?
The saviour of my countiy, T,
The warrior of God most high,
Bum for my country's foeman ? Dare I name
Heaven's holy light, nor feel o'erwhelm'd with sharae"?
[The music hehind the scene j^asses into a soft and
moving melody.

Wo is me ! Those melting tones !
They distract my 'wilder'd brain !
Every note, his voice recalling.
Conjures up his form again !

Would that spears were whizzing round !
Would that battle's thunder roar'd !
'Midst the wild tumultuous sound
My former strength were then restored.

These sweet tones, these melting voices.
With seductive power are fraught !
They dissolve, in gentle longing.
Every feeling, every thought,
Waking tears of plaintive sadness .


[After a pause, with more energy.
Should I have kill'd liim ? Could T, when I gazed
Upon his face ? Kill'd him ? Oh, rather far
Would I have turn'd my weapon 'gainst myself !
And am I culpahle because humane ?
Is pity sinful ? — Pity ! Didst thou hear
The voice of pity and humanity,
When others fell the victims of thy swoid?
W^hy was she silent when the gentle youth
From Wales, entreated thee to spare his life ?
0, cunning heart ! Thou liest before high Heaven ;
It is not pity's voice impels thee now!
— Why was I doom'd to look into his eyes !
To mark his noble features ! With that glance,
Thy crime, thy wo commenc'd. Unhappy one !
A sightless instrument thy God demands.
Blindly thou must accomplish his behest !
When thou didst see, Gods shield abandon'd thee,
And the dire snares of Hell around thee press 'd !
[Flutes are mjain heard, and she subsides into
a qukt melancholy.

Hardiless staff! Oh, that I ne'er

Had for the sword abandon 'd thee !

Had voices never reached mine ear,

From thy branches, sacred tree !

High Queen of Heaven! Oh would that tlutu

Hadst ne'er reveal'd thyself to me !

Take back — I dare not claim it now —

Take back thy crown, 'tis not for me !

I saw the heavens open wide,

I gazed upon that face of love !

Yet here on earth my hopes abide.

They do not dwell in heaven above ! '

Why, Holy One, on me impose

This dread vocation? Could I steel,

And to each soft emotion close

This heart, by nature form'd to feel ?

Wouldst thou proclaim thy high command.
Make choice of those who, free from siu


Jn thy eternal mansions stand ;
Send forth thy flaming cheiiibim !
Immortal ones, thy law they keep,
They do not feel, they do not weep'
Choose not a tender woman's aid,
Not the frail soul of sliepherd maid !

Was I concem'd ^vith warlike things,
Witli battles or the strife of kings.?
In innocence I led my sheep
Adown the mountain's silent steep
But thou didst send me into life,
'Midst princely halls and scenes of strife,
To lose my spirit "s tender bloom :
Alas, I did not seek my doom I

Scene II.
Agnes Sorel, Johanna.
SoBEL {advances joi/fuUy. When she perceives Johanna.
she hastens to her and falls upon her neck ; then
suddenly recollecting herself, she relinquishes her
hold, and falls down before her).
No ! no ! not so ! Before thee in the dust —
Johanna [trying to raise her).

Arise ! Thou dost forget thvself and me.
Sorel. Forbid me not ! 'tis the excess of joy

Which throws me at thy feet — I must pour forth
My o'ercharged heart in gratitude to God ;
I worship the Invisible in thee.
Thou art the angel, who hast led my Lord
To Eheims, to crown him with the royal crown.
What I ne'er dream'd to see, is realized !
The coronation-march will soon set forth ;
AiTay'd in festal pomp, the Monarch stands ;
Assembled are the nobles of the realm.
The mighty peers, to bear the insignia ;
To the cathedral rolls the blllo^\y crowd ;
Glad songs resound, the bells unite theii' peal ;
Oh, this excess of joy I cannot bear !

[JoHAif'SA gently raises her. Agnes Sorei. pauss
a moment, and surveys the Maiden more nar-

SC. II.]



Yet thou remainest ever grave and stem ;
Thou canst create delight, yet share it not.
Thy heart is cold, thou feelest not our joy,
Thou hast beheld the glories of the skies ;
No earthly interest moveth thy pure breast.

[JoHAXNA seizes her hand passionately, hut sami
lets it fall again.'
Oh, couldst thou o\va a woman's feeling heart !
Put off this armour, war is over now,
Confess thy union with the softer sex !
My loving heai't shrinks timidly from thee.
While thus thou wearest Pallas' bi'ow severe
JoHAN. What wouldst thou have me do ?
SoKEL. Unarm thyself!

Put off this coat of mail ! The God of Love
Fears to approach a bosom clad in steel.
Oh, be a woman, thou \^'ilt feel his power I
JoHAN. What, now unarm myself? 'Midst battle's roar
I '11 bare my bosom to the stroke of death !
Not now ! —Would that a sevenfold wall of brass
Could hide me from your revels, from myself !
SoEEL. Thou 'rt loved by Count Dunois. His noble heart,
Which virtue and renown alone inspire.
With pure and holy passion glows for thee
Oh, it is sweet to know oneself belov'd
By such a hero — sweeter still to love him !

[Johanna turns an ay with aversion
Thou hatest him ? — no, no, thou only canst
Not love him : — how could hatred stir thy breast !
Those who would tear us from the one we love,
We hate alone ; but none can claim thy love.
Thy heart is tranquil — if it could but feel —
JoHAN. Oh, pity me ! Lament my hapless fate !
SoBEL. What can be wanting to complete thy joy?

Thou hast fulfill'd thy promise, France is free.
To Piheims, in triumph, thou hast led the King,
Thy mighty deeds have gain'd thee high renown,
A happy people praise and worship thee ;
Thy name, the iionour'd theme of every tongue ;
Thou art the goddess of this festival ;



Fact iv

Tb«^ ^lonarch, \\"ith his croAvn and regal state,
Shines not ^\iLh greater majesty than thou !

JoHAN. Oh. could I hide me in the depths of earth !

SoREL. Why this emotion ? Whence this strange distress '
Who may to-day look up without a fear,
If thou dost cast thine eyes upon the grouud !
It is for me to blush, me, who near thee
Feel all my littleness ; I cannot reach
Thy loft}- virtue, thy heroic strength !
For — all my weakness shall I own to thee?
Not the renown of France, my Fatherland,
Not the new splendour of the Monarch's crowu,
Not the triumphant gladness of the crowds.
Engage this woman's heart. One only form
Is in its depths enshrin'd ; it hath not room
For any feeling save for one alone :
He is the idol, him the people bless,
Him they extol, for him they strew these flowers,
And he is mine, he is my own true love!

JoHAN. Oh, thou art happy ! thou art bless 'd indeed !

Thou lovest, where all love. Thou mayst, unblamed
Pour forth thy rapture, and thine inmost heart
Fearless discover to the gaze of man !
Thy country's triumph is thy lover's too.
The vast, innumerable multitudes.
Who, rolling onward, crowd -within these walls.
Participate thy joy, they hallow it ;
Thee they salute, for thee they twine the wi'eath,
Thou art a portion of the general joy ;
Thou lovest the all-inspiring soul, the sun,
And what thou seest is thy lover's glory!
SoKEL {falling on her neck).

Thou dost delight me, thou canst read my heart !
I did thee wrong, thou knowest what love is,
Thou tell'st my feelings with a voice of power.
My heart forgets its fear and its resen-e.
And seeks confidingly to blend with thine—
/oKANNA {tearing herself from her ivith violence).

Forsake me ! Turn away ! Do not pollute
Tliyself by longer intercourse with me I


Be happy ! go — au'i in the deepest night
Leave me to hide my infamy, my wo '

SoREL. Thou frighten St me, I understand thee not,
I ne'er have understood thee — for from me
Thy dark mysterious heing still was veil'd.
Who may divine what thus disturbs thy heart.
Thus terrifies thy pure and sacred soul !

ToHAN. Thou art the pure, the holy one ! Couldst thou
Behold mine inmost heart, thou, shuddering,
Wouldst fly the traitoress, the enemy !

Scene III.

DuNOis, DucHATEL, and La Hiee, ivitli the Banner of


DuNois. Johanna, thee we seek. All is prepared ;
The King hath sent us, 'tis his royal will
That thou before him shouldst thy banner bear •
The company of princes thou shalt join,
And march immediately before the King :
For he doth not deny it, and the world
Shall witness, Maiden, that to thee alone
He doth ascribe the honour of this day.

Hire. Here is the banner. Take it, noble Maiden !

Thou 'rt stayed for by the princes and the people.

JoHAX. I march before him? I the banner bear ?

DuNois. Whom else would it become ! What other hand
Is pure enough to bear the sacred ensign I
Amid the battle thou hast waved it oft ;
To grace our glad procession bear it now.

[La Hire presents the banner to her, she draws back,

Johan. Away ! away !

La Hike. How ! Art thou terrified

At thine own banner, Maiden ?— Look at it !

[He displays the hannet
It is the same, thou didst in conquest wave.
Imaged ujwn it is the Queen of Heaven,
Floating in gloiy o'er this earthly ball ;
For so the Huly Mother show'd it thee.

/~J^»iH4^XA, aazbuj upon it with horror


Tis she herself ! so she appear'd to me.

See, how she looks at me and knits her brow,

And anger flashes from her threatening eye !
SoEEL. Alas, she raveth ! Maiden, be composed !

Collect thyself! Thou seest nothing real !

That is her pictured image ; she herself

Wanders above, amid the angelic quire !
JoHAN. Thou comest, fearful one, to punish me ?

Destroy, o'erwhelm, thine arrowj^ lightnings hurl

And let them fall upon my guilty head.

Alas, my vow I've broken ! I've profaned

And desecrated thy most holy name !
DuNOis Wo 's us ! What may this mean ? What unblest words ?
La Hire (in astonislmient, to Duchatel).

This strange emotion canst thou comprehend ?
DucHAT.That which I see, I see — I long have fear'd it.
DuNOis. ^^^lat sayest thou?
Duchatel. I dare not speak my thoughts.

I would to Heaven that the King were cro\\-n'd !
Hire. How! hath the awe this banner doth inspire

Tum'd back upon thyself? before this sign

Let Britons tremble ; to the foes of France

'Tis fearful, but to all tnae citizens

It is auspicious.
Johanna. Yes, thou sayest truly!

To friends 'tis gracious ! but to enemies

It causeth horror !

{The Coronation march is heard.
Ddnois. Take thy banner, then !

The mai'ch begins — no time is to be lost !

[They press the banner upon her ; she seizes it with
evident emotion, and retires; the others foUoic.
[The scene changes to an open place before the Cathedral.

Scene IV.

Spectators occupy the background ; Bertrand. Ci^ude JMarib
and Etienne come foruard; then Margot and LocisoN
The Coronation march is heard in the distance.

Bebt. . Hark to the music ! They approach already !
What had we better do ? Shall we mount up


Upon the platform, or press through the crowd,
That we may nothing lose of the procession ?

Rt'En. It is not to be thought of. All the streets

Are throng'd \vith horsemen and with carriages.
Beside these houses let us take our stand
Here we without annoyance may behold
The train as it goes by.

Claude Marie. Almost it seems

As were the half of France assembled here ;
So mighty is the flood that it hath reached
Even our distant Lotharingian land
And borne us hither !

Bertrand. Who would sit at homo

When great events are stirring in the land !
It hath cost plenty, both of sweat and blood,

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) → online text (page 26 of 37)