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Conrade on bis way to Orleans releases a French soldier. Council of the leaders. Summons of the Maid to the English Generals. The Maid attacks, defeats them, and enters Orleans in triumph at midnight, amid thunder and lightning.

JOAN of ARC.

THE SIXTH BOOK.

The night was calm, and many a moving cloud
Shadowed the moon. Along the forest glade
With swift foot Conrade past, and now had reach'd
The plain, were whilome by the pleasant Loire,
Cheer'd with the song, the rustics had beheld
The day go down upon their merriment:
No song of Peace now echoed on its banks.
There tents were pitched, and there the centinel,
Slow pacing on his sullen rounds, beheld
The frequent corse roll down the tainted stream.
Conrade with wider sweep pursued his way,
Shunning the camp, now hush'd in sleep and still..
And now no sound was heard save of the Loire,

Murmuring along. The noise of coming feet
Alarm’d him ; nearer drew the fearful sound
As of pursuit ; 'anon—the clash of arms !
That instant rising o'er a broken cloud'.
The moon beams shone, where two with combined force
Prest on a single foe; he, warding still
Their swords, retreated in the unequal fight,
As he would make the city. Comrade shook
His long lance for the war, and strode along.
Full in the breast of one with forceful arm
Plunged he the spear of death; and as, dismayed
The other filed, “now haste we to the gates,
“ Frenchman!” he cried. On to the stream they speed,
And plunging stemm'd with sinewy, stroke the tide,
Soon on the opposite shore arrived and safe. .

« Whence art thou?" cried the Warrior; “ on what charge e Commission'd?"

: “Is it not the voice of Conrade ?" Francis exclaim'd; " and dost thou bring to us

"Tidings of speedy aid ? oh I had it come "A few hours earlier ! Isabel is gone !"

“Nay she is safe:" cried Conrade,“ her I found
"When wilder'd in the forest, and consign'd
“To the protection of that holy Maid,
“ The delegate of Heaven. One evening more
" And thou shalt have thine Isabel. Now say,
"Wherefore alone? A fugitive from Orleans,
" Or sent on dangerous service from the town ?"

" There is no food in Orleans," he replied, "Scarce a meal more! the assembled chiefs resolved, “ If thou shouldst bring no tidings of near aid, " To cut their way to safety, or by death “ Prevent the pang of * famine. One they sought “Who venturous in the English camp should spy

* Fuller calls this “ resolving rather to lose their lives by wholesale on the point of the sword, than to retail them out. by famine."

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