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FOAN of ARC.
THE FOURTH BOOK.
The feast was spread, the sparkling bowl went round,
Enough is given of the wearying day “ To the public weal.”
Obedient to the King The guard invites the traveller to his fare, “ Nay, I shall see the monarch,” he replied, “ And he shall hear my tidings; duty-urged, " For many a long league have I hasten'd on, “ Not now to be repelld.” Then with strong arm Removing him who barr'd his onward way,
The hall he enters.
"King of France! I come “ From Orleans, speedy and effe&ual aid “ Demanding for her gallant garrison, “ Faithful to thee, tho' thinn'd in many a fight, “And wither'd now by want. Thee it beseems “ For ever anxious for thy people's weal, “ To succour these brave men whose honest breasts “ Bulwark thy throne.”
He said, and from the hall With upright step departing, in amaze At his so bold deportment left the court. The King exclaim'd, “ but little need to send • Quick succour to this gallant garrison, “ If to the English half so firm a front “ They bear in battle!"
- In the field my liege,” Dunois replied, “ that man has serv'd thee well. “ Him have I seen the foremost of the fight, " Wielding so fearfully his deatb-red axe,
" His eye so fury-fired, that the pale foe “ Let fall their palsied arms with powerless stroke, “ Desperate of safety. I do marvel much “ That he is here : Orleans must be hard press'd “ When one, the bravest of her garrison, • Is thus commission'd."
Swift the Maid exclaim'd, « I tell thee, Chief, that there the English wolves “ Shall never pour their yells of victory! « The will of God defends those fated walls, " And resting in full faith on that high will, “ I mock their efforts. But the night draws on; “ Retire we to repose. To-morrow's sun,
Breaking the darkness of the sepulchre, “ Shall on that armour gleam, thro' many an age " Kept holy and inviolate by time.” She said, and rising from the board, retired.
Meantime the herald's brazen voice proclaim'd Coming solemnity, and far and wide
Spread the strange tidings. Every labour ceas'd;
On to St. Catharine's sacred fane they go ; The holy fathers with the imaged cross Leading the long procession. Next, as one Suppliant for mercy to the King of Kings, And grateful for the benefits of Heaven, The Monarch pass'd; and by his side the Maid, Her lovely limbs robed in a snow-white vest; Wistless that every eye on her was fix'd, With stately step she moved : her labouring soul To high thoughts elevate ; and gazing round With the wild eye, that of the circling throng And of the visible world unseeing, saw The shapes of holy phantasy. By her The warrior Son of Orleans strode along