The Eternal Ingénue

Convince the Dauphin now, dear Joan, convince
Him now; forget the peasant business. Wage
Charm on him: boy-cut hair and virgin grace.
Assert his strength to raise the English siege.

The scene is mandatory, so the spell
Only awaits your touching. They are real
Your voices: stop to listen, Joan. They call
To battle Christ and lily shod in steel.

No, do not throw your arms about: your face
Is your chief weapon. See, he starts to waver—
Seduced somewhat. Press your advantage now,
Make him proclaim you France's spur and savior.

No hesitation now; depart in joy.
There will be space for sorrow at the stake
In Rouen, when the black Inquisitor
Finds your bright maidenhead too bright to break.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

Often, we have a tendency to privilege emotional moments over the more intellectual ones in our spiritual life.
James Martin, S.J.August 20, 2018
Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash
Most people just don’t know that their pondering about life, about what really matters, is called theology.
Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up and demanding accountability.
Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.