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.

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