Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The traveller sometimes lingered on his way,
Marking the playful tenants of the stream,
Seen in its shadow, stem the sea-ward tide.
This had the invaders won in hard assault
Ere she, the Delegate of Heaven, came forth
And made them fear who never fear'd before.
Hither the English troops with basty steps
Retir'd, yet not forgetful of defence,
But waging still the war : the garrison
Them thus retreating saw, and open threw
Their guarded gates, and on the Gallic host,
Covering their vanquish'd fellows, pour'd their shafts.
Check'd in pursuit they stopt. Then Graville cried,
“ Ill Maiden hast thou done! those valiant troops
“ Thy womanish pity has dismissed, with us

Conjoin'd might press upon the vanquish'd foes,
“ Tho' aided thus, and plant the lillied flag
« Victorious on yon tower.”

“ Dark-minded man !" The Maid of Orleans answered, “ to act well

“ Brings with itself an ample recompence.
“ I have not rear'd the Oriflamme * of death,

The Oriflamme was a standard erected to denote that no quarter would be given. is said to have been of red silk, adorned and beaten with very broad and fair lilies of gold, and bordered about with gold and vermillion. Le Moyne has given it a suitable escort :

Ensuite l'Oriflamme ardent et lumineuse, Marche sur un grand char, dont la forme est affreuse. Quatre enormes Dragons d'un or ombre ecaillez, Et de pourpre, d'azur, et de vert emaillez, Dans quelque occasion que le besoin le porte, Luy font une pompeuse et formidable escorte. Dans leur terribles yeux des grenas arrondis, De leur feu, de leur sang, font peur aux plus hardis, Et si ce feu paroist allumer leur audace, Aussi paroist ce sang animer leur menace. Le char roulant sous eux, il semble au'roulement, Qu'il les fasse voler avecque sifflement: Et de la poudre, en l'air, il se fait des fumées A leur bouches du vent et du bruit animées. Philip is said by some historians to have erected the Oriflamme at Crecy, where Edward in return raised up his Burning Dragon, the English signal for massacre. The Oriflamme was originally used only in wars against the Infidels, for it was a sacred banner, and believed to have been sent from Heaven.

“ The butcher flag! the banner of the Lord
“ Is this, and come what will, me it behoves,
“ Mindful of that Good Power who delegates,
To spare the fallen foe : that gracious God
“ Sends me the minister of mercy forth,
“ Sends me to save this ravaged realm of France,
“ To England friendly as to all the world,
“ Foe only to the great blood-guilty ones,
" The masters and the murderers of mankind."

She said, and suddenly threw off her helm; Her breast heaved high-her cheek grew red- her eyes Flash'd forth a wilder lustre. " Thou dost deem “ That I have illy spar'd so large a band,

Disabling from pursuit our weakened troops« God is with us !" she cried God is with us!

Our Champion manifest !"

Even as she spaken The tower, the bridge, and all its multitudes, Sank with a mighty crash.

Astonishment

Seized on the * French-an universal cry

* At this woman's voice amidst the sound of war, the combat grows very hot. Our men, greatly encouraged by the Virgin, run headlong to the Bastion and force a point thereof; then fire and stones rain so violently, as the English being amazed, forsake their defences: some are slain upon the place, some throw themselves down headlong, and fly to the tower upon the bridge. In the end this brave Glacidas abandons this quarter, and retires into the base court upon the bridge, and after him a great number of his soldiers. The bridge greatly shaken with Artillery, tryed by fire, and overcharged with the weight of this multitude, sinks into the water with a fearful cry, carrying all this multitude with it.

De Serres. This circumstance has been magnified into a miracle. “ The French, for the most part, draw the institution of the order of St. Michael principally from a purpose that Charles had to make it, after the apparition of the Archangel upon Orleans bridge, as the tutelary angell of France assisting against the English in 1428." Selden's Titles of Honour.

The expressions are somewhat curious in the patent of this, L'ordre de Monsieur St. Michael Archange. Louis XI. instituted it “à la gloire et louange de Dieu nostre createur tout puissant, et reverence de la glorieuse vierge Marie, à l' honneur et reverence de St. Michael, premier Chevalier, qui par la querelle de Dieu, battaile contre l'ancien enemy de l' humain liggage, et le fit tresbucher de Ciel."

Of terror burst from them. Crush'd in the fall,
Or by their armour whelm'd beneath the tide,
The sufferers sunk, or vainly plied their arms,
Caught by some sinking wretch, who grasp'd them fast
And dragg'd them down to death : shrieking they sunk;
Huge fragınents frequent dash'd with thundering roar,
Amid the foaming current. From the fort
Talbot beheld, and gnash'd his teeth, and curs'd
The more than mortal Virgin ; whilst the towers
Of Orleans echoed to the loud uproar,
And all who heard, trembled, and cross'd their breasts,
And as they hastened to the city walls,
Told fearfully their beads.

'Twas now the hour

When o'er the plain the pensive hues of eve
Shed their meek radiance; when the lowing herd,
Slow as they stalk to shelter, draw behind
The lengthening shades; and seeking his high nest,
As heavily he flaps the dewy air,
The hoarse rook pours his not unpleasing note.

« AnteriorContinuar »