Henry VI Part I

by William Shakespeare

Act I Scene ii: Joan la Pucelle

Read by Olivia MacFadden-Elliot

Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd’s daughter,
My wit untrain’d in any kind of art.
Heaven and our Lady gracious hath it pleas’d
To shine on my contemptible estate.
Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs
And to sun’s parching heat display’d my cheeks,
God’s Mother deigned to appear to me,
And in a vision full of majesty
Will’d me to leave my base vocation
And free my country from calamity
Her aid she promis’d and assur’d success.
In complete glory she reveal’d herself;
And whereas I was black and swart before,
With those clear rays which she infus’d on me
That beauty am I bless’d with which you may see.
Ask me what question thou canst possible,
And I will answer unpremeditated.
My courage try by combat if thou dar’st,
And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.
Resolve on this: thou shalt be fortunate
If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.