Gentle little Dauphin -- Come, come from behind

Set by Elizabeth Walton Vercoe (b. 1941), "Gentle little Dauphin -- Come, come from behind", 1986 [ mezzo-soprano or soprano and piano ], from stage composition Herstory III: Jehanne de Lorraine, no. 7, confirmed with composer's website  [sung text checked 1 time]

Note: this setting is made up of several separate texts.

Gentle little Dauphin -- Come, come from behind: 
I know thee well, though never seen before. 
I have a message to thee from God. 
And thou must listen to it, though thy heart break with the terror of it.

I am sent to drive the English away from Orléans and from France 
and to crown thee king in the cathedral of Reims. 
One thousand like me can stop the English; 
Ten like me can stop them with God on our side.

Ask me what questions thou canst 
And I will answer unpremeditated. 
My courage try by combat if thou dar'st 
And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.

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Researcher for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

Now lift up thy head, give me men-at-arms, 
and let me get about my work.
You wish to have me examined first by 
theologians at Poitiers? 
I, who am come to be the English scourge?

Oh very well.  (to audience) 
They would know if my voices are God's or Satan's.

I willingly tell them anything, not all, that I 
know. But it is most tiresome. One Brother Séguin 
asked many nagging questions such as, "Did my 
voices speak good French?" Mon Dieu! I answered 
the sour little man speaking in his bastard Limousin 
tongue, "As to that, I believe I cannot say.  Still it 
was an improvement on yours."

Then they asked how St. Michael looked when he 
appeared to me.  I said I saw no crown and remember 
nothing of his clothes.  Pressed to say if he was naked, 
I retorted, "Do you think God cannot afford to 
clothe him?"

These wearisome questions!  And while the 
clerics ponder, Orléans starves and the English 


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Researcher for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]