Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc (photo - Jo Wilson)How many heavens, high and cold and grey
Summoned you onto your way?
How many angels of light
In the rainwashed and friendless night
Taught you the words you should pray?

Saint of the voices, shepherd of the poor
Knight of the humble obscure
Riding for God and for France
With a rosary and a lance
Crazy and childlike and pure

Something in your eyes
Haunts these northern skies
Something of your pain
Rolls like God’s hand across the abandoned green plains of Lorraine

Cold was your armour, heavy was your sword
Sudden and sharp your reward
Shot by an Englishman’s bow
And then burnt as a public show
Fêted, despised and adored

Short was your lifespan, endless is your grave
You were so young and so brave
Carried up into the skies
Watched by hundreds mocking eyes
Knowing no angel would wave

Something in your death
Breathes a different breath
Something of your soul
Drifts like prayer across the still land as it gently unfolds

There’s a crack in the heavens, there’s a crack in my guitar
Everything sings its own scar
All of the world is a wound
And the angels themselves are doomed
Crying to us from afar

I never knew you, martyred, sainted Joan
These visions are all my own
And if my words are all wrong
And there’s no truth in this poor song
May these lines never be known
May these lines never be known
May these lines never be known


Joan of Arc is from my 2006 CD The Road in Our Feet, recorded together with classical guitarist Roland Gallery. It is available for download from the Shop section of this site or on iTunes.

Photo of statue of Joan of Arc © Jo Wilson