Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MAID OF ARC; FOR M. S. M., by GORDON BOTTOMLEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE MAID OF ARC; FOR M. S. M., by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In domremy a maid
Last Line: Who sleep in fields of france.
Subject(s): Joan Of Arc (1412-1431)

IN Domremy a maid
Was born of peasant seed;
Not sly, cowed or afraid
As girls of famished breed
And servant blood can be,
Not proud, uncurbed and free
As maidens of degree,
She grew; a lily blade

Before the first buds come
Stands unnoticed and still,
Pale with unfingered bloom,
As she stood straight to thrill
To the young life she drew
From hills, bird-glances, dew,
All new as she was new,
While she watched sheep at home.

Even her lack of shoes
Let closelier to her press
The power she did not choose,
Her land's live tenderness.
When France was gashed by war
Her flesh felt each quick scar
Though she was safe and far:
English men were her foes.

As a bud unfurls in fire
She opened, a lily of France.
Her faith and her desire
Took voice; whether by trance
Those Voices spoke in her,
Or in the natural air,
Vivid and hushed they were
To waft her high thoughts higher.

They gave her spirit a sword,
They taught her to lead men;
Tall cities she restored
To France's breast again.
At her word great captains sped.
Great English captains fled
At her will. In fight she bled.
She was revered, adored.

She bade her King be crowned.
Yet he, a weak vain King,
When his court-captains frowned
Hated her fostering,
Ashamed of a woman's aid.
By succour denied and stayed
And a King's man's trick the Maid
Was seized by foes and bound.

Let it be quickly told
A lord of Burgundy
Sold her to us for gold;
More than Judas had he.
And Nicholas Loyseleur,
Who lined his coat with our fur,
Heard confession from her
And her poor secrets sold.

Pierre Cauchon as well,
Of Beauvais bishop, decreed
Her Voices were of Hell,
Her witch's body must bleed.
But English men were they
Who took her clothes away
And swore her foul, all say.
An English man shames to tell

English men blind and true
Burnt that marvellous one;
She bore the things men do,
As women have always done;
But our hold on France was lost:
That a peasant's life was the cost,
Though live flames over her tossed,
Was sweet to her if she knew.

O Maid, strong heart, clear soul,
Say now it is well done
In keeping your France whole
That son and daughter and son
Of your dead enemies
Stand next your legionaries
No more ashamed, with these,
Of women's aid and toll.

In your inheritance,
O Maid, of Paradise
When your young, morning glance
Beholds heroes arise
To you, for France being slain,
As your own race bless then
The pardoned English men
Who sleep in fields of France.

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