jehanne d'arc

10 january 2012
Smoke rising in the distance
Transforms into ghostly shapes
History's bastard children
Inconvenient mysteries.

Wheat-sprayed fields of gold,
Idylls of a childhood spent
In occupation's shadow.
The conqueror ever at hand.

Hard enough to be a peasant:
Without the moods of kings who
Pass without a by-your-leave
Devastation in their wake.

Why not marry a shepherd
Happiness is meat on the table
Oh no, your calling is to
Bear the torch of liberation.

What is a girl to do, when
Her times call for measures dire ?
Take up sword, shield and ride, it's
Better than churning butter.

No need for visitations,
Nor angels, saints imploring.
They can't compare to the itch
To quit a sleepy village.

O country lousy with foes
And their accents dissonant
God bids me to drive them out
With the fire of purity.

The prince wrung his hands, princely.
There's reason in her madness.
And some tale about a maid?
Anyways, it's just a girl.

How they would rob us, and then
Install some slob on our throne.
This fille could be the trick to
Touch a flame to the kindling.

Before a keep forbidding
Lunging at the foe she cries:
Advance, and the men outdo
One another to impress.

Strife's hazards and rewards, trump
The extremes of the spinning wheel.
Preordained, that she must fall
As all by gods forgotten.

Now that won't do, virgin girl.
You've shorn your locks and traded
Dolls for the business of men
And made a muss of our war.

For the king you crowned, even
Success makes of you a threat
None but witch or whore go where
Kings, lords and horsemen daren't.

Wood readied before judgment,
Auto-da-fé, ink still wet.
An unjust yet tidy end
For she who inflamed the land.

©2011 - C Ewen Mac Millan