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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.


Joan of Arc’s Farewell to Her Home

By Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805)

Translated by Charles Timothy Brooks

FAREWELL, ye mountains, ye beloved pastures,

And peaceful, friendly valleys; fare ye well.

Joan no more along your paths may wander;

She bids you now a fond, a last farewell;

Meadows that I have watered, trees I planted,

Long may your smiling green my kindness tell;

Farewell, ye cooling grottos, murmuring fountains,

And thou, soft Echo, voice of the lone dell,

That oft mad’st answer to my jocund strain;—

Joan may never visit you again!

Ye scenes where all my quiet joys were found,

I leave you here behind forevermore;

Ye lambkins sporting on the flowery ground,

Soon, a lost flock, ye ’ll roam the mountains o’er;

I go to lead another flock, mid sound

Of drum and trumpet, on a field of gore.

A spirit’s voice hath summoned me,—I yield,—

No earth-born passion spurs me to the field.

He who of old on Horeb’s height came down,

And from the burning bush to Moses spake;

Who bade him stand and brave stern Pharaoh’s frown;

Who bade the shepherd-son of Jesse take

A warrior’s spear and wear a kingly crown;

Who still loves shepherds for his mercy’s sake,—

To me hath spoken from yon whispering tree,—

“Go forth; thou shalt on earth my witness be!

“Go, and henceforth the brazen armor prove;

Bind the steel breastplate to thy tender breast;

Let not man’s love have power thy heart to move,

Nor wild, unholy fires thy soul molest;

No bridal wreath shall bloom thy brow above,

No smiling infant on thy bosom rest;—

Yet shall the hero’s lasting fame be thine;

Above earth’s noblest daughters thou shalt shine.

“When in the shock of fight the mightiest reel,

When the last hour of France is drawing nigh,

Then shalt thou wave my oriflamb on high,

Like corn before the reaping maiden’s steel,

Low in the dust shalt see the tyrant lie,

Roll back his proud, triumphant chariot wheel,

To the brave sons of France salvation bring,

Deliver Rheims, and crown thy rightful king.”

The Lord of Hosts hath promised me a sign,

And now he sends this helmet,—’t is from him!

Its iron touch nerves me with power divine;

I feel the glory of the cherubim;

I must away to join the bristling line,—

A tempest whirls me onward; earth grows dim;

The din of battle summons me away;

The war-steed prances, and the trumpets bray.