THE HEROINE OF FRANCE
They love you and will never forget you,
You have saved France,
O shepherd’s daughter!
But—who else could have done such glorious things?
You vanquished the English barbarians;
You have the admiration of all of France.
Your blond hair hangs about your knees;
It is so beautiful.
You are so well-loved
That even the Archangel Michael came to see you.
The famous think only on you,
And the wicked forget themselves.
Translation of a French-language poem written by Tchaikovsky, age seven, after reading about Joan of Arc in Masson’s Les Enfants célèbres. Thirty years later he would compose the opera The Maid of Orleans based on Schiller’s account of her victories.