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.
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.
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 prevail.
- by Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910), as Mark Twain, appears in Recollections of Joan of Arc [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Note: this is a prose text, and line-breaks have been added to keep the text from getting too wide in the browser.
Researcher for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]