We heard about some saintly maid
upon a time in Beirut,
Who had been burnt alive for madness
and malady acute,
Upon the streets – she roamed naked
and ruddy to her core,
Without a stitch of cotton, silk
nor of wool she wore.
When in her hand a pile of water,
In the other she held a torch,
T’was not long before they caught her
and present her to a court.
Before she went,
They took her to a dungeon to confess,
The secrets of her heresy
and the reason for this regress.
They left not a hair ungrey
before they forced her to give in,
When she could not take more of this,
She professed of most her sins;
She spoke of how she had waited for a moment or just a glimpse,
That hell was not a myth of man and heaven did exist.
Though she had seen the tears fall from every crocodiles eyes,
T’was just before each one had tried to swallow her alive.
For all in awe of every year
– the questions accumulate,
There came of not loves whisper,
Nor an incline of a mate,
And whenever an answer finally came,
The question became of late,
Nor could she pass being human,
Nor except this as her ‘fate’.
But who can comprehend those,
Who encompass all these pains?
Who speak the truth we lie about,
When most we be afraid?
(For surely t’is those we love to persecute and hate…?)
And so these gentlemen insisted
How she’d have to explain,
“Why did you bear this bucket
and this torch you held in vain?”
“Yes, confess your mess,
Your love of sex and lewdity you whore.”
For every crime we have a law.”
“Confess you Witch
or be confined
to our volatile resort.”
At this she spat,
“I would prefer these laws
go unto the stray and wild dogs,
For your rules and regulations
gave me no reason to believe in God.”
Here they laughed and all agreed,
“She is a hopeless case,
We waste our time upon this wench,
Who be aught but – a public disgrace.
Let’s hope for her salvation lest the devil takes her away.”
This caused her to cry out much louder,
“Hope is dead, long live my faith,
For your hope is like a cloud
– you try –
but cannot penetrate,
When all I want is freedom before you burn me at the stake,
My faith will flourish long after
your hope rots to despair and decays.”
But no sooner they grew tired of her,
They bid her an ‘unfair thee well’,
For the price of her redemption
Well, she had refused to kiss and tell,
But how they had come to learn of this
(when they had known it all too well…)
as her ashes rose up to the sky,
Upon them – emancipation fell…
(…for her torch had been
to set ablaze the heavens…
…and pile of water…
to extinguish the flames of hell).
(References for further reading:
Saint Joan of Arc: http://archive.joan-of-arc.org/joanofarc_short_biography.html)
The Salem Witch Trails: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/salem.htm)