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“ Maiden ! and such the evening of my days “ Fondly I hoped; and * would that I had lived “ In those old times, or till some better years “ Slumber'd unborn; for this is a hard race, “ An evil generation ! nor by day “ Nor in the night have respite from their cares “ And wretchedness. But I shall be at rest “Soon, in that better world of Peace and Love " Where evil is not : in that better world “ JOAN! we shall meet, and he too will be there, « Thy Theodore.”
Sooth'd by his words, the Maid Had listened sadly, till at that loved name She wept. « Nay, Maid !” he cried, «I did not think
"To wake a tear ; but pleasant is thy grief ! “ Thou knowest not what it is, round thy warm heart "To have a false one wreath in viper folds. "But to the battle ! in the clang of arms, “We win forgetfulness.
Then from the bank He sprung, and helm'd his head. The Maid arosc, Bidding awhile adieu to milder thoughts. On to the fort they speed, whose name recall'd England's proud capital to the English host, . Now half subdued, anticipating death, And vainly wishing they from her white clifts Had never spread the sail. Cold terror creeps Thro' every vein : already they turn back . Their eager eyes to meditate the flight, Tho' Talbot there presided, with their Chief, The gallant Salisbury.
“ Soldiers fam'd in arms !" Thus, in vain hope to renovate the strength Of England, spake the Chief, “ Victorious friends,
“So oft vi&orious in the hard-fought fight, “What-shrink ye now dismay'd have ye forgot “ The plains of Azincour, when vanquish'd France “ Fled with her thousands from your father's arms, “ Tho' worn with sickness? or your own exploits, “ When on Verneuil, the flower of chivalry “ Fell by your daring prowess ? when the Scot “ Bit the red earth in death, and Narbonne died, “ And the young boaster this Alencon felt “ The weight of English fetters? then we broke “ The plated shield, and cleft the warrior's helm, “ For ever victors. On Baugenci's wall “ Ye placed the English flag; beneath your force “ Fell Jenville and Gergeau, the neighbouring towns “Of well-nigh captur’d Orleans. I omit “ To speak of Caen subdued, and vanquish'd Roan, “ And that late day when Clermont fled the fight, “ And the young Bastard of that prison'd Duke. " Shame! shame! that beaten Boy is here in arms, “ And ye will fly before the fugitives; .
“Fly from a woman! from a frenzied girl! “That with her empty mummeries, would blast "Your courage; or if miracles she brings, “ Aid of the Devil! who is there among you “False to his country-to his former fame“To me--your leader in the frequent field, “The field of glory?"
From the heartless host A timid shout arose; then Talbot's cheek Grew red with indignation. “ Earl !" he cried, Addressing him the Chief: “ there is no hope “From these white-liver'd dastards; and this fort “ Will fall an easy conquest : it were well “To reach the Tournelles, better fortified, " Fit to endure long siege: the hope in view “To reach a safer fortress, these our troops “Shall better dare the battle.”
So he spake, Wisely advising. Him the Chief replied: “Well hast thou said : and, Talbot, if our swords « Could thro' the thickest ranks this Sorceress reach, “ The hopes of France were blasted. I have strove • In many a field, yet never to a foe “ Stoop'd my proud crest : nor difficult to meet “ This wizard girl, for from the battlements, “Her have I mark'd the foremost in attack, “ Playing right valiantly the soldier's part ; “ Yet shall not all her witcheries avail “ To blunt my good sword's edge.”
Thus communed they,
Them issuing forth,