Maria White Lowell

(1821-1853 / USA)

Rouen: Place De La Pucelle - Poem by Maria White Lowell

Here blooms the legend fed with time and chance,
Fresh as the morning, though in centuries old;
The whitest lily in the shield of France,
With heart of virgin gold.

Along this square she moved, sweet Joan of Arc,
With face more pallid than a day-lit star,
Half seen, half doubted, while before her dark
Stretched the array of war.

Swift furled the battle-smoke of lying breath
From off her path, as if a wind had blown,
And showed no faithless king, but righteous death
On the low, wooden throne.

He would reward her; she who meekly wore
Alike her gilded mail and peasant gown,
Meekily recieved once earthly honor more, -
The formless, fiery crown.

A white dove trembled up the heated air,
And in the opening zenith found its goal;
Soft as a downward feather fell a prayer
For each repentant soul.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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