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Who came the saviour of the realm of France, When vanquish'd in the frequent field of shame, Her bravest warriors trembled.
JOAN the while Foodless and silent to the Convent passid: Conrade with her, and Isabel; both mute, Yet gazing on her oft with eloquent eye, Looking the consolation that they fear'd To give a voice to. Now they reach'd the dome : The glaring torches o'er the house of death Stream'd a sad splendour. Flowers and funeral herbs Bedeck'd the bier of Theodore : the rue, The dark green rosemary, and the violet, That pluck'd like him withered in its first bloom. Dissolved in sorrow, Isabel her grief Pour'd copious; Conrade wept: the Maid alone Was tearless, for she stood unheedingly, Gazing the vision'd scene of her last hoar, Absorb'd in contemplation; from her eye Intelligence was absent ; nor she seemd
To hear, tho' listening to the dirge of death.
Then in the Priest arose the earnest hope, That weary of the world and sick with woe, The Maid might dwell with them a vestal vowed.. “ Ah Damisel !" slow he spake and cross’d his breast, « Ah Damsel ! favoured as thou art of Heaven, * Let not thy soul beneath its sorrow sink “ Despondent; Heaven by sorrow disciplines “ The froward heart, and chastens whom it loves ; “ Therefore, companion of thy way of life, “ Ami&tion thee shall wean from this vain world, “ Where happiness provokes the traveller's chase,
" And like the midnight meteor of the marsh, “ Allures his long and perilous pursuit, “ Then leaves him dark and comfortless. O Maid ! “ Fix thou thine eyes upon that heavenly dawa “ Beyond the night of life! thy race is run, « Thou hast delivered Orleans : now perfect “ Thyself ; accomplish all, and be the child “ Of God. Amid these sacred haunts the groan
Of Woe is never heard ; these hallowed roofs " Re-echo only to the pealing quire, “ The chaunted mass, and Virgin's holy hymn, “ Celestial sounds ! secluded here, the soul “ Receives a foretaste of her joys to come! “ This is the abode of Piety and Peace : “ Oh! be their inmate Maiden ! come to rest, “ Die to the world, and live espous'd to Heaven !"
Then Conrade answered, “ Father! Heaven has doom'd “ This Maid to active virtue.”
i “ Active !" cried
The astonish'd Priest ; " thou dost not know the toile “ This holy warfare asks; thou dost not know “ How powerful the attacks that Satan makes " By sinful Nature aided ! dost thou deem “ It is an easy task from the fond breast “ To root affection out? to burst the cords " That grapple to society the heart « Of social man? to rouse the unwilling spirit, " That, rebel to Devotion, faintly pours “ The cold lip-worship of the wearying prayer ? “ To fear and tremble at him, yet to love “ A God of Terrors ? Maid, beloved of Heaven! “ Come to this sacred trial! share with us “ The day of penance and the night of prayer ! - Humble thyself I feel thine own worthlessness, “ A reptile worm ! before thy birth condemn'd “ To all the horrors of thy Maker's wrath, “ The lot of fallen mankind! oh hither come! “ Humble thyself in ashes, so thy name * Shall live amid the blessed host of saints,
“ And unborn pilgrims at thy hallowed shrine “ Pour forth their pious offerings."
“Hear me Priest !" Exclaim'd the awakened Maid ; " amid these tombs, “ Cold as their clayey tenants, know, my heart . “ Must never grow to stone / chill thou thyself, “ And break thy midnight rest, and tell thy beads, “ And labour thro’ thy still repeated prayer ; “ Fear thou thy God of Terrors; spurn the gifts “ He gave, and sepulchre thyself alive! “ But far more valued is the vine that bends “ Beneath its swelling clusters, than the dark “ And joyless ivy, round the cloister's wall “ Wreathing its barren arms. For me I know “ Mine own worth, Priest! that I have well performid “ My duty, and untrembling shall appear “ Before the just tribunal of that God, “ Whom grateful Love has taught me to adore !"
Severe she spake, for sorrow in her heart