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Who made me to be happy.'
‘Did that God,'
Cried Conrade, “form thy heart for happiness,
When Desolation royally careers
Over thy wretched country? did that God
Form thee for Peace when Slaughter is abroad,
When her brooks run with blood, and Rape, and Murder,
Stalk through her flaming towns live thou in peace,
Young man! my heart is human : I do feel
For what my brethren suffer.’ while he spake
Such mingled passions character'd his face
Of fierce and terrible benevolence,
That I did tremble as I listen’d to him:
And in my heart tumultuous thoughts arose
Of high achievements, indistinct, and wild,
And vast, yet such they were as made me pant .
As though by some divinity possess'd,
“But is there not some duty due to those
‘We love?" said Theodore; ‘Is there an employ
More righteous than to cheer declining age,
Aud thus with filial tenderness repay
Parental care " '
‘Hard is it, Conrade cried,
“Aye, hard indeed, to part from those we love;
And I have suffer'd that severest pang.
I have left an aged mother; I have left
One, upon whom my heart has center'd all
Its dearest, best, affections. Should I live
Till France shall see the blessed hour of Peace,
I shall return: my heart will be content,
My highest duties will be well discharged
And I may then be happy. There are those
Who deem these thoughts the fancies of a mind
Strict beyond measure, and were well content,
If I should soften down my rigid nature
Even to inglorious ease, to honour me.
But pure of heart and high of self-esteem
I must be honour’d by myself: all else,
The breath of Fame, is as the unsteady wind
Worthless."
So saying from his belt he took
The encumbering sword. I held it, listening to him,
And wistless what I did, half from the sheath
Drew forth its glittering blade. I gazed upon it
And shuddering, as I touch'd its edge, cyclaim’d,
How horrible it is with the keen sword
To gore the finely-fibred human frame!
I could not strike a lamb.
. He answer'd ine,
‘Maiden, thou hast said well. I could not strike
A lamb, ... But when the invader's savage fury
Spares not grey age, and mocks the infant's shriek
As it doth writhe upon his cursed lance,
And forces to his foul embrace, the wife
Even on her murder'd husband's gasping corse!
Almighty God! I should not be a man
if I did let one weak and pitiful feeling
Make mine arm impotent to cleave him down,
Think well of this, young Man!” he cried, and seized
The hand of Theodore; think well of this,
As you are human, as you hope to live
In peace, amid the dearest joys of home;
Think well of this' you have a tender mother,
As you do wish that she may die in peace,
As you would even to madness agonize

To hear this maiden call on you in vain
For aid, and see her dragg'd, and hear her scream
In the blood-reeking soldier's lustful arms,
Think that there are such horrors;" that even now,
Some city flames, and haply as in Roan,
Some famish'd babe on his dead mother's breast
Yet hangs and pulls for food "* ... woe be to those
By whom the evil comes! and woe to him, ..
For little less his guilt, ... who dwells in peace,
When every arm is needed for the strife!'

« When we had all betaken us to rest, Sleepless I lay, and in my mind revolved The high-soul’d warrior's speech. Then Madelon Rose in remembrance; over her the grave Had closed ; her sorrows were not register'd In the rolls of Fame: but when the tears run down The widow's cheek, shall not her cry be heard In Heaven against the oppressor? will not God In sunder smite the unmerciful, and break The sceptre of the wicked?” ... thoughts like these Possess'd my soul, till at the break of day I slept; nor did my heated brain repose Even then, for visions, sent, as I believe, From the Most High, arose. A high-tower'd town Hemm'd in and girt with enemies, I saw, Where Famine on a heap of carcasses, Half envious of the unutterable feast, Mark'd the gorged raven clog his beak with gore. I turn'd me then to the besieger's camp. And there was revelry : the loud lewd laugh Burst on mine ear, and 1 beheld the chiefs Sit at their feast, and plan the work of death. My soul grew sick within me; I look'd up, Reproaching Heaven,... lo! from the clouds an arm As of the avenging Angel was put forth, And from his hand a sword, like lightning, fell.

a From that night I could feel my burthen’d soul Heaving beneath incumbent Deity. I sate in silence, musing on the days. , To come, unheeding and unseeing all Around me, in that dreaminess of thought When every bodily sense is as it slept, And the mind alone is wakeful. I have heard Strange voices in the evening wind; strange forms Dimly discover'd throng d the twilight air. The neighbours wonder'd at the sudden change, And call d me crazed; and my dear Uncle, too, Would sit and gaze upon me wistfully, A heaviness upon his aged brow, And in his eye such trouble, that my heart Sometimes misgave me. I had told him all, The mighty future labouring in my breast, But that the hour methought not yet was come.

• At length I heard of Orleans, by the foe Wall'd in from human succour; there all thoughts, All hopes were turn'd; that bulwark once beat down, All was the invaders'. Now my troubled soul Grew more disturb'd, and, shunning every eye, I loved to wander where the forest shade Frown'd deepest; there on mightiest deeds to brood Of shadowy vastness, such as made my heart Throb loud: anon I paused, and in a state Of half expectance, listend to the wind.

* There is a fountain in the forest call’d The Fountain of the Fairies: "4 when a child With a delightful wonder I have heard Tales of the Elfin tribe who on its banks Hold midnight revelry. An ancient oak, The goodliest of the forest, grows beside; Alone it stands, upon a green grass plat, By the woods bounded hike some little isle. It ever hath been deem'd their favourite tree; They love to lie and rock upon its leaves,” And bask in moonshine. Here the Woodman leads His boy, and, showing him the green-sward mark'd With darker circlets, says their midnight dance Hath trac'd the ring, and bids him spare the tree. Fancy had cast a spell upon the place, And made it holy; and the villagers would say that never evil thing approach'd Unpunish'd there. The strange and fearful pleasure Which filid me by that solitary spring, Ceased not in riper years; and now it woke

| Deeper delight and more mysterious awe.

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On a spring eve I had betaken me,
And there I sate, and mark'd the decp red clouds

Gather before the wind... the rising wind,
Whose sudden gusts, each wilder than the last,
Appeard to rock my senses. Soon the night
Darken'd around, and the large rain drops fell
Heavy; anon tempestuously the gale
Howra o'er the wood. Methought the heavy rain
Fell with a grateful coolness on my head,
And the hoarse dash of waters, and the rush
of winds that mingled with the forest roar,
Made a wild music. On a rock I sat;
The glory of the tempest sill'd my soul;
And when the thunders peal’d, and the long flash
Hung durable in heaven, and on my sight

Spread the grey forest, memory, thought, were gone, 16

All sense of self annihilate, I seem'd
Diffus'd into the scene.

At length a light Approach'd the spring; I saw my Uncle Claude: His grey locks dripping with the midnight storm. He came, and caught me in his arms, and cried, ‘My God! my child is safe!'

I felt his words

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I fell upon his neck and told him all; God was within me; as I felt, I spake, And he believed.

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Aye, Chieftain, and the world Shall soon believe my mission; for the Lord Will raise up indignation, and pour out - - - -His wrath, and they shall perish who oppress.”

BOOK II.

And now beneath the horizon westering slow
Ilad sunk the orb of day: o'er all the vale
A purple softness spread, save where the tree

Its giant shadow stretch'd, or winding stream
Mirror'd the light of Heaven, still traced distinct
When twilight dimly shrouded all beside.
A grateful coolness freshend the calm air,
And the hoarse grasshoppers their evening song
Sung shrill and ceaseless,” as the dews of night
Descended. On their way the travellers wend,
Cheering the road with converse, till at length
They marka cottage lamp, whose steady light
Shone through the lattice: thitherward they turn.
There came an old man forth : his thin grey locks
Waved on the night breeze, and on his shrunk face
The characters of age were written deep.
Them, louting low with rustic courtesy,
He welcomed in; on the white-ember'd hearth
Heapt up fresh fuel, then with friendly care
Spread out the homely board, and filld the bowl
With the red produce of the vine that arch'd
His evening seat; they of the plain repast
Partook, and quaff d the pure and pleasant draught.

• Strangers, your fare is homely,” said their Host; But such it is as we poor countrymen o' Earn with hard toil: in faith ye are welcome to it! I too have borne a lance in younger days; And would that I were young again to meet These haughty English in the field of fight! Such as I was when on the fatal plain Of Agincourt I met them.” a Wert thou, then, A sharer in that dreadful day's defeat?” Exclaim'd the Bastard : « Didst thou know the Lord Of Orleans?» * Know him!” cried the veteran, * I saw him ere the bloody sight began Riding from rank to rank, his beaver up, The long lance quivering in his mighty grasp. His eye was wrathful to an enemy, But for his countrymen it had a smile Would win all hearts. Looking at thee, Sir Knight, Methinks I see him now; such was his eye, Gentle in peace, and such his manly brow.”

* No tongue but speaketh honour of that name!»
“Strangers and countrymen
Alike revered the good and gallant Chicf.
His vassals like a father loved their Lord;
His gates stood open to the traveller;
The pilgrim when he saw his towers rejoiced,
For he had heard in other lands the fame
Of Orleans...And he lives a prisoner still!
Losing all hope because my arm so long
Hath fail'd to win his liberty!”

He turn'd

His head away to hide the burning shame
Which flush'd his face. “But he shall live, Dunois,”
Exclaim'd the mission'd Maid; a but he shall live
To hear good tidings; hear of liberty,
Of his own liberty, by his brother's arm
Achieved in hard-fought battle. He shall live
Happy: the memory of his prison'd years '9
Shall heighten all his joys, and his grey hairs
Go to the grave in peace.”
« I would fain live
To see that day,” replied their aged host:
• How would my heart leap to behold again
The gallant gencrous chieftain! I fought by him
When all the hopes of victory were lost,
And down his batter'd arms the blood stream'd fast
From many a wound. Like wolves they hemm'd usin,
Fierce in unhoped-for conquest: all around
Our dead and dying countrymen lay heap'd;
Yet still he strove;—I wonder'd at his valour!
There was not one who on that fatal day
Fought bravelier.”
• Fatal was that day to France,”
Exclaim'd the Bastard; a there Alençon fell,
Valiant in vain; there D'Albert, whose mad pride
Brought the whole ruin on. There fell Brabant,
Vaudemont, and Marle, and Bar, and Faquenberg,
Our noblest warriors; the determin'd foe
Fought for revenge, not hoping victory,
Desperately brave; ranks fell on ranks before them;
The prisoners of that shameful day out-summ'd
Their conquerors!» "
* Yet believe not,” Bertram cried,
• That cowardice disgraced thy countrymen:
They by their leader's arrogance led on
With heedless fury, found all numbers vain,
All efforts fruitless there; and hadst thou seen,
Skilful as brave, how Henry's ready eye
Lost not a thicket, not a hillock's aid;
From his hersed bowmen how the arrows flew "
Thick as the snow flakes and with lightning force,
Thou wouldst have known such soldiers, such a chief,
Could never be subdued.
But when the field
was won, and they who had escaped the fight
had yielded up their arms, it was foul work
To glut on the defenceless prisoners”
The blunted sword of conquest. Girt around
I to their mercy had surrender'd me,
When lo! I heard the dreadful cry of death.
Not as amid the fray, when man met man
And in fair combat gave the mortal blow;
Here the poor captives, weaponless and bound,
Saw their stern victors draw again the sword,
And groan d and strove in vain to free their hands,
And bade them think upon their plighted faith,
And pray'd for mercy in the name of God,
In vain: the lúing had bade them massacre,
And in their helpless prisoners naked breasts
They drove the blade. Then I expected death,
And at that moment death was terrible—
For the heat of fight was over; of my home
I thought, and of my wife and little ones
In bitterness of heart. The gallant man,
To whom the chance of war had made me thrall,
iiad pity, loosed my hands, and bade me fly.
It was the will of Heaven that I should live

Childless and old to think upon the past,
And wish that I had perish'd to

The old man
Wept as he spake, a Ye may perhaps have heard
Of the hard siege so long by Roan endured.
I dwelt there, strangers; I had then a wife,
And I had children tenderly beloved,
Who I did hope should cheer me in old age
And close mine eyes. The tale of misery
May-hap were tedious, or I could relate
Much of that dreadful time.”

The Maid replied,
Anxious of that devoted town to learn.
Thus then the veteran: —

• So by Heaven preserved,

From the disastrous plain of Agincourt”
I speeded homewards and abode in peace.
Henry as wise as brave had back to England **
Led his victorious army; well aware
That France was mighty, that her warlike sons,
Impatient of a foreign victor's sway,
Might rise impetuous and with multitudes
Tread down the invaders. Wisely he return'd,
For the proud barons in their private broils
Wasted the strength of France. I dwelt at home,
And, with the little I possessed content,
Lived happily. A pleasant sight it was
To see my children, as at eve I sate
Beneath the vine, come clustering round my knee,
That they might hear again the oft-told tale
Of the daugers I had past: their little eyes
Did with such anxious eagerness attend
The tale of life preserved, as made me feel
Life's value. My poor children! a hard fate
Had they ! but oft and bitterly I wish
That God had to his mercy taken me
In childhood, for it is a heavy lot
To linger out old age in loneliness!

« Ah me! when war the masters of mankind,
Woe to the poor man! if he sow the field,
He shall not reap the harvest; if he see
His offspring rise around, his boding heart
Aches at the thought that they are multiplied
To the sword ' Again from England the fierce foe
Rush'd on our ravaged coasts. In battle bold,
Merciless in conquest, their victorious King
Swept like the desolating tempest round.
Dambieres submits; on Caen's subjected wall
The flag of England waved. Roan still remain'd,
Embattled Roan, bulwark of Normandy;
Nor unresisted round her massy walls
Pitch'd they their camp. I need not tell Sir Knight
How oft and boldly on the invading host
We burst with fierce assault impetuous forth,
For many were the warrior Sons of Roan.”
One gallant Citizen was famed o'er all
For daring hardihood pre-eminent,
Blanchard. He, gathering round his countrymen,
With his own courage kindling every breast,
Had bade them vow before Almighty God”
Never to yield them to the usurping foe.
Before the God of Hosts we made the vow:
And we had baffled the besieging power,
Had not the patient enemy drawn round
His strong entrenchments. From the watch-tower's top

In vain with fearful hearts along the Seine We strain'd the eye, and every distant wave Which in the sun-beam glitter'd fondly thought | The white sail of supply. Alas! no more | The white sail rose upon our aching sight; For guarded was the Seine, and that stern foe Had made a league with Famine.” Ilow my heart | Sunk in me when at night I carried home The scanty pittance of to-morrow's meal! You know uot, strangers! what it is to see | The asking eye of hunger!

Still we strove, Expecting aid; nor longer force to force, Walour to valour in the light opposed, But to the exasperate patience of the foe Desperate endurance.” Though with Christian zeal Ursino would have pour'd the balm of peace Into our wounds, Ambition's ear, best pleased With the war's clamour and the groan of Death, was deaf to prayer. Day after day fled on; We heard no voice of comfort. From the walls Could we behold the savage Irish Kernes’9 Ruffians half-clothed, haif-human, half-baptized,” Come with their spoil, minglint; their hideous shouts With moan of weary flocks, and piteous low 0f kine sore-laden, in the mirthful camp Scattering abundance; while the loathliest food We prized above all price; while in our streets The dying groan of hunger, and the scream o of famishing infants echoed,—and we heard, With the strange selfishness of misery, We heard and heeded not.

Thou would'st have deem'd Roan must have fallen an easy sacrifice, Young warrior, hadst thou seen our meagre limbs And pale and shrunken cheeks, and hollow eyes; Yet still we struggled nobly! Blanchard still Spake of the savage fury of the foe, of Harfleur's wretched race cast on the world" Houseless and destitute, while that fierce King Knelt at the altar,” and with impious prayer Gave God the glory, even while the blood That he had shed was reeking up to Heaven. He bade us think what mercy they had found Who yielded on the plain of Agincourt, And what the gallant sons of Caen, by him in cold blood murder'd.* Then his scanty food Sharing with the most wretched, he would bid us i.ear with our miseries bravely. - Thus distress'd, Lest all should perish thus, our chiefs decreed Women and children, the infirm and old, All who were useless in the work of war, | Should forth and take their fortune. Age, that makes The joys and sorrows of the distant years Like a half-remember'd dream, yet on my heart Leaves deep impress'd the horrors of that hour. Then as our widow wives clung round our necks, And the deep sob of anguish interrupted The prayer of parting, even the pious Priest As he implored his God to strengthen us, And told us we should meet again in Heaven, | He groan d and cursed in bitterness of heart 34 That merciless man. The wretched crowd pass'd on: My wife—my children—through the gates they pass'd,

Then the gates closed—Would I were in my grave,

T-------—

That I might lose remembrance!
What is man,
That he can hear the groan of wretchedness
And feel no fleshy pang? Why did the All-Good
Create these warrior scourges of mankind,
These who delight in slaughter? I did think
There was not on this earth a heart so hard
Could hear a famish'd woman cry for bread,
And know no pity. As the outcast train
Drew near, relentless Henry bade his troops
Force back the miserable multitude.33
They drove them to the walls, —it was the depth
Of winter, we had no relief to grant.
The aged ones groan'd to our foe in vain,
The mother pleaded for her dying child,
And they felt no remorse!”

The mission'd Maid Starts from her seat—“The old and the infirm, The mother and her babes'—and yet no lightning Blasted this man!” “Ay, Lady,” Bertram cried; • And when we sent the herald to implore His mercy 36 on the helpless, his stern face Assumed a sterner smile of callous scorn, And he replied in mockery. On the wall I stood and mark'd the miserable outcasts, And every moment thought that Henry's heart, Hard as it was, would melt. All night I stood, Their deep groans came upon the midnight gale, Fainter they grew, for the cold wintry wind Glew bleak; fainter they brew, and at the last All was still, save that ever and anon Some mother shriek'd o'er her expiring child The shriek of frenzying anguish.37 From that hour On all the busy turmoil of the world I gazed with strange indifference; bearing want With the sick patience of a mind worn out. Nor when the traitor yielded up our town 38 Ought heeded I as through our ruin'd streets, Through putrid heaps of famish'd carcasses, Pass'd the long pomp of triumph. One keen pang I felt, when by that bloody King's command The gallant Blanchard died.”9 Calmly he died ; And as he bow'd beneath the axe, thank'd God That he had done his duty. I survive, A solitary, friendless, wretched one, Knowing no joy save in the faith I feel That I shall soon be gather'd to my sires, And soon repose, there where the wicked cease 4” From troubling, and the weary are at rest.”

• And happy,” cricd the delegated Maid, • And happy they who in that holy faith Bow meekly to the rod A little while Shall they endure the proud man's contumely, The injustice of the great. A little while Though shelterless they feel the wintry wind, The wind shall whistie o'er their turf-grown grave, And all be peace below. But woe to those, woe to the Mighty Ones who send abroad Their train’d assassins, and who give to Fury The slaming firebrand; these indeed shall live The heroes of the wandering minstrel's song; But they have their reward; the innocent blood

Steams up to Heaven against then. God shall hear The widow's groan.”

« I saw him,” Bertram cried, « Henry of Agincourt, this conqueror King, Go to his grave. The long procession past Slowly from town to town, and when I heard The deep-toned dirge, aud saw the banners wave A pompous shade,41 and the high torches glare In the mid-day sun a dim and gloomy light, ‘’ I thought what he had been on earth who now Was gone to his account, and blest my God I was not such as he'o

So spake the old man,

And then his guests betook them to repose.

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I deem'd thee far away, coop'd in the walls
Of Orleans; a hard siege her valiant sons
Right loyally endure on

w I left the town,”
Dunois replied, a thinking that my prompt speed
Might seize the hostile stores, and with fresh force
Re-enter. Fastolfe's better fate prevail'd,{5
And from the field of shame my maddening horse
Bore me, for the barb’d arrow gored his flank.
Fatigued and faint with that day's dangerous toil,
My deep wounds bleeding, vainly with weak hand
I check'd the powerless rein. Nor aught avail'd
When heal’d at length, defeated and alone
Again to enter Orleans. In Lorraine
I sought to raise new powers, and cow return'd

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Thou art for the Court; Son of the Chief I loved He who seeks Court favour, ventures like the boy who leans Over the brink of some high precipice

A banish'd man, Dunois' 48 so to appease
Richemont, 49 who, jealous of the royal ear,
With midnight murder leagues, and down the Loire
Rolls the black carcase of his strangled foe.
Now confident of strength, at the King's feet
He stabs the King's best friends, and then demands,
As with a conqueror's imperious tone,
The post of honour. Son of that loved Chief
Whose death my arm avenged, so may all thy days
He happy! serve thy country in the field,
And in the hour of peace amid thy friends
Dwell thou without ambition.”

So he spake.
But when the Bastard told the wonderous tale,
How interposing Heaven had its high aid
Vouchsafed to France, the old man's eyes slash'd fire,
And rising from the bank, the stately steed
That grazed beside he mounts. “ Farewell, Dunois,
Thou too the Delegate of Heaven, farewell!
I go to raise the standard ' we shall meet
At Orleans.” O'er the plain he spurr'd his steed.

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Shall pitch their tents in peace.

And one day doom'd to know the damning guilt
Of Baissor murder'd, and the heroic wife
Of Roland! Martyrd patriots, spirits pure,
Wept by the good ye fell! Yet still survives,
Sown by your toil and by your blood manured,
The imperishable seed; and still its roots
Spread, and strike deep, and yet shall it become
That Tree beneath whose shade the Sons of Men

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