The Ballad of Joan of Arc


It was six hundred years ago, we find
A village most remote, war-tried
In France and bordering upon Lorraine
Awakened by a newborn’s cry
The sixth of January, fourteen twelve
Ordained by heaven, so we tell!
A child of God through our enraptured eyes
A friend to Goodness, foe to Hell!
This is the second greatest story told
I tell it so that you may hold
Yourself this daughter of our God above
That she will make your faith so bold
At age thirteen, or maybe twelve, they say
Saint Michael stopped her one warm day
Relationships began that afternoon
From which this child would never sway
Her name? Is Joan of Arc, we always write
Yet, Jeanne, might really be more right
She never knew herself as “Joan of Arc”
T’was “Joan the Maid,” her battle cry
Battles, oh yes, she had to be steadfast
For Michael brought companions blessed
Saints Catherine and Margaret asking much from her
Heroic deeds, so France could rest
Our earthly angel, called to slay and rend
The Hundred Years War with England, to end
The misery this devil brought on man
It fell to Joan, so she they sent
Joan was sent to free Orléans and bring
The rightful King of France to Reims
No easy task, as this required, you see
Moving through enemy territory
She did succeed in all I’ve said, it’s true!
Defeating armies rash and rude
While never losing saintliness of soul
With love for God and neighbor, too
How sad the news I must relate from here
In hearing this, you’ll shed a tear
Joan was betrayed, imprisoned, shackled, and chained
And burned at the stake by ruthless men
Dragged by mean hands toward the flaming pyre
Forgiving, asking theirs in kind
She cried out “Jesus” once, again twice more
Then bowed her head, consumed by fire
I’ll halt right here, that you might wipe your eyes
From tears that every person cries
At this, the awful ending, Joan of Arc
But wait! to hear this part sublime
From here, you must decide the story’s worth
You may, or not, believe my words
It matters not to me this way or that
I will defend them with the sword
One day, pondering all I’ve told you here
A saintly child like Joan appeared
Thérèse, her name, a sister soul with Joan
Whispering glories in my ear…
Thérèse looked up, so radiant in face
There was Joan, with crown in place
This crown was won, her victory secured
By never, ever losing faith
My heart at once renewed, at peace, and strong
Thérèse’s joy I shared so long
By then, I understood her words in all
Joan’s story ends in glorious song!
So now I run about to tell this part
Therésè’s words that split the dark
To everyone I see, I stop and ask
“Do you know the story of Joan of Arc?”
At times, it’s like a corner preacher’s fair
Some pass and laugh while others stare
Still, from my spot, I call with all my heart,
“Do you know the story of Joan of Arc?”