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Brooded the field of death.
Nor in the camp Deem themselves safe the trembling fugitives. On to the forts they haste. Bewilder'd there Amid the moats by fear, and the dead gloom Of more than midnight darkness, plunge the troops, Crush'd by fast following numbers who partake The death they give. As rushing from the snows Of winter liquified, the torrent tide Resistless down the mountain rolls along, Till at the brink of giddy precipice Arrived, with deafening clamour down it falls : Thus borne along, the affrighted English troops Driven by the force behind them, plunge amid The liquid death. Then rose the dreadful cries More dreadful, and the dash of breaking waves That to the passing lightning as they broke Gleam'd horrible.
Nor of the host so late Triumphing in the pride of victory,
And swoln with confidence, had now escaped
Then wild with joy speeds on to taste tho wave So long bewaila.
Swift as the affrighted herd Scud o'er the plain, when frequent thro' the sky Flash the fierce lightnings, speed the routed host Of England. To the sheltering forts they haste, Tho' safe, of safety doubtful, still appallid And trembling, as the pilgrim who by night On his way wilder'd, to the wolf's deep howl Hears the wood echo, when from the fell beast Escaped, of some tall tree the topmost branch He gråsps close clinging, still of that keen fang Fearful, his teeth jár, and the big drops stand On his cold quivering limbs.
Nor now the Maid Greedy of vengeance urges the pursuit. She bids the trumpet of retreat resound; A pleasant music to the routed ranks Blows the loud blast. Obedient to its voice The French, tho' eager on the invaders' beads
To wreak their wrath, stay the victorious sword.
Loud is the cry of conquest as they turn
To Orleans. There what few to guard the town
* The circumstance of the Maids entering Orleans at midnight in a storm of thunder and lightning is historically true.
“ The Englishmen perceiving that thei within could not . long continue for faute of vitaile and pouder, kepte not their watche so diligently as thei wer accustomed, nor scoured not the countrey environed as thei before had ordained. Whiche negligence the Citezens shut in perceiving, sent worde therof to the French capitaines, which with Pucelle in the dedde tyme of the nighte, and in a greate rayne and thundre, with all their vitaile and artilery entered into the citie.
Hall fol. 127. Edmond Howes. Rapin. Shakespear also notices this storm. Striking as the circumstance is Chapelain has omitted it.
Innocuous lightnings round the hallowed banner
Thro' the open'd gate
Clamours of joy Echo along the streets of Orleans, wont Long time to hear the infant's feeble cry,