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Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as the 'Little Flower of Jesus'
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PRAYER OF JEANNE D’ARC IN PRISON.

My voices this foretold: I am a prisoner here,

No aid can I expect, except, my God, from Thee;

For love of Thee alone, I left my father dear;

My flower-decked fields, blue skies, my flocks, no more I see.

For Thee I left my home and her who gave me birth;

Then, lifting in my hand the standard of Thy choice,

Lord, in Thy holy Name, I led an army forth,

And far-famed generals then gave credence to my voice.

Behold my recompense — this gloomy prison-place,

The price of all my toils, my prayers, my blood, my tears!

No more my flowery fields my longing eyes shall face,

Nor shall I see the home of all my childhood years.

No more shall I behold the mountains far away,

Whose distant summits seemed to pierce the azure sky;

And I shall hear no more the church-bells sweetly play.

How soft upon the air those holy notes swept by!

Here, in this gloomy cell, the star I seek in vain,

That used, at vesper hour, to shine so clear and fair;

In vain I seek the leaves, that when upon the plain

Beside my flock I slept, gave cooling shelter there.

Here, when at last I sleep after long bitter weeping,

Of morning’s flowers I dream, and perfumes of the dawn;

But then my clanking chains disturb that happy sleeping, —

I wake — my dream is past — the verdant fields are gone.

Lord, for Thy love I go, martyrdom to embrace;

For Thee I dare to meet the lingering death of fire.

Now but one wish is mine, — to see Thee face to face,

No more to part from Thee: — behold my heart’s desire!

To die for love of Thee, — what happier lot than this?

I will take up my cross, and walk where Thou hast trod.

Ah! how I long to die, and enter into bliss!

Ah! how I long to die, and thus to see my God!

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