Henry VI, pt. 1 – Joan la Pucelle
Shakespeare – Women
Act 1, sc. 2, lines 72-92
Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd’s daughter
My wit untrained in any kind of art.
Heaven and our Lady gracious hath it pleased
To shine on my contemptible estate.
Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs
And to sun’s parching heat desplayed my cheeks,
God’s Mother deign`ed to appear to me,
And in a vision full of majesty
Willed me to leave my base vocation
And free my country from calamity.
Her aid she promised and assured success.
In complete glory she revealed herself;
And, whereas I was black and swart before,
With those clear rays which she infused on me
That beauty am I blessed with which you see.
Ask me what question thou canst possible,
And I will answer unpremeditated.
My courage try by combat if thou darest,
And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.
Resolve on this, thou shalt be fortunate
If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.