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66 Canst thou remember Maid! what vision first
“ Seem'd more than Fancy's shaping ? from such tale, “Minutely told with accurate circumstance, “ Best judgement might be formed.”
The Maid replied,
" Amid the mountain vallies I had driven
“My father's flock. The eve was drawing on,
* Hanc virginem contigit pascendo pecora in sacello quodam vilissimo, ad declinandam pluviam obdormire; quo in tempore visa est se in somnis a Deo, qui se illi ostenderat, admoneri.
Jacobus Philippus Bergomensis de claris mulieribus. Joanna Gallica Puella, dum oves pascit, tempestate coacta in proximum sacellum confugit, ibi obdormiens liberandæ Galliæ mandatum divinitus accepit.
Bonfinius. Heroinæ nobilissimæ Joanna Darc Lotheringæ vulgo Aurelianensis Puellæ historia. Authore Joanne Hordal ser: ducis Lotharina gæ consiliario. Ponti-Mussi. 1612.
“ Was heard among the hills, a pleasant sound, “ That made me pause upon my homeward road, “Awaking in me comfortable thoughts “ Of holiness. The unsparing soldiery “ Had sack'd the hamlet near, and none was left “ Duly at sacred seasons to attend "St. Agnes' chapel. In the desolate pile “I drove my flock, with no irreverent thoughts, “ Nor mindless that the place on which I trod “ Was holy ground. It was a fearful night! " Devoutly to the virgin Saint I pray'd, “ Then heap'd the wither'd leaves that the autumn wind “ Had drifted in, and laid me down upon them, “ And sure I think I slept. But so it was "That, in the dead of night, Saint * Agnes stood “ Before mine eyes, such and so beautiful
* Insanus judex eam nudam ad lupanar pertrahi jussit. At ubi beata virgo vestibus exuta est, statim crine soluto, tantam capillis densitatem ejus divina gratia concessit, ut melius illorumfimbriis, quam vestibus tecta videratur. Introgressa quidem
“ As when, amid the house of wickedness, « The Power whom with such fervent love she served “ Veiled her with glory. And she seem'd to point “ To the moss-grown altar, and the crucifix.
Agnes turpitudinis locum, Angelum Domini præparatum invenit : eam mox tanto lumine perfudit, ut præ magnitudine splendoris, a nemine conspici posset.
The exclamation of St. Agnes at the stake ought to be preserved. “ Then Agnes in the midst of the flames, stretching out her hands prayed unto the Lord, saying, “ I bless thee o allmighty father! who permittest me to come unto thee fearless even in the flames. For behold! what I have believed, I see; what I have hoped, I
possess; what I have desired, I embrace with my hands. Therefore I confess thee with my lips, I desire thee with my heart, with my inmost entrails ; I come to thee, the living and the true God! “ Benedico te pater omnipotens, qui etiam per flammas, intrepidam me ad te venire permittis. Ecce quod credidi jam video, quod speravi jam teneo, quod concupivi manibus jam complector. Te igitur labüs confiteor, te corde, te totis visceribus concupisco. Ecce ad te venio vivum et verum deum.
Jacobus Phillipus Bergomensis. St. Agnes, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, were the Saints more particularly reverenced by the Maid of Orleans.
“ Half hid by the long grass ;—and then I thought * I could have withered armies with a look, “For from the present Saint such divine power “ I felt infused.--'twas but a dream perhaps. “And yet methought that when a louder peal “ Burst o'er the roof, and all was left again
Utterly dark, each bodily sense was clear “ And sensible to every circumstance « Of time and place."
Attentive to her words
Thus the Priest answered.
Brethren ye have heard
• The woman's tale. Beseems us now to ask “ Whether of holy Church a duteous child “ Before our court appears, so not unlike “ Heaven might vouchsafe its gracious miracle ; “Or silly heretic whose erring thoughts, « Monstrous and vain, perchance might stray beyond “ All reason, and conceit strange dreams and signg
Impossible. Say, woman, from thy youth
“ Hast thou, as rightly mother church demands, “ Confess'd to the Holy Priest each secret sin, “ That by the grace vouchsafed to him from Heaven, “ He might absolve thee?
“ Father," she replied " The forms of worship in mine earlier years “ Waked my young mind to artificial awe, “And made me fear my God. Warm with the glow “ Of health and exercise, whene'er I pass'd “ The threshold of the house of prayer, I felt “ A cold damp chill me, I beheld the flame « That with a pale and feeble glimmering “ Dimm'd the noon light, I heard the solemn mass, “And with strange feelings and mysterious dread “Telling my beads, gave to the mystic prayers “ Devoutest meaning. Often when I saw “ The pictur'd Aames writhe round a penanced soul, “ Have I retired, and knelt before the cross “ And wept for grace, and trembled and believed " A God of Terrors. But in riper years,