1590
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Faerie Queene. Book III. Canto V.

The Faerie Queene. Disposed into Twelve Books, fashioning XII. Morall Vertues.

Edmund Spenser


George L. Craik: "Canto V. (55 stanzas). — The Prince rides long without finding a way out of the forest; but at last meets a dwarf, running along in affright, who, in reply to his inquiry what he flies from or after, intimates in a few hasty words, that he is in pursuit of his mistress, 'a lady of great sway and high account throughout all Elfin Land,' whom he had long served, and who had lately set out from Fairy Court, and taken this road. Further questioned, he describes her as 'royally clad in cloth of gold;' adding, 'Her fair locks in rich circlet be enrolled, | A fairer wight did never sun behold; | And on a palfrey rides more white than snow, | Yet she herself is whiter manifold'.... It is clear that she is the lady whom the Prince had himself been lately pursuing. The Dwarf informs him that she is a virgin renowned for her chastity and virtue; that she is named Florimel the Fair — 'Fair Florimel, beloved of many a knight, | Yet she loves none but one, that Marinel is hight.' Marinel, however, warned by his mother against ladies' love, 'sets nought at all by Florimel.' But it is now reported that he is slain; five days, they say, it is since this happened, and it is four since Florimel left the court of Fairy, vowing never to return till she should have found him alive or dead. On hearing this relation the Prince comforts the Dwarf by vowing never to forsake him till they should learn tidings of his lady.

"Meanwhile Timias, his faithful squire, the loss of whom he greatly laments, has fallen into evil plight. The foul foster after whom he went in pursuit had escaped him; and had then gone and got his two brothers — 'for they were three | Ungracious children of one graceless sire—' to undertake to revenge him on his assailant, who they swore should never leave the forest alive. They had all three accordingly attacked him at a ford over which they knew he must pass; while the foster stationed on the bank kept him from landing with his long boar-spear, one of the others lurking in a neighbouring thicket let fly at him a shaft 'feathered with an unlucky quill,' which struck him in the left thigh, and inflicted exquisite pain; yet he fought his way up the bank, and slew one brother with his spear; another (his first enemy, the foster) by cleaving him in twain from the pannicle, or brain-pan, to the chin; and the third by smiting off his head. He himself, however, came off only with his life; the blood continuing to pour from his wound, he fell from his steed in a swoon, and lay without sense or motion: — 'Now God thee keep, thou gentlest squire alive! | Else shall thy loving lord thee see no more.'

"But he is not in this state forgotten by heaven. Belphoebe, the beautiful huntress, by whose bright apparition Braggadoccio was thrown into such a fright in the third Canto of the preceding Book, chanced at this time to be pursuing in the forest some wild beast which she had wounded, and was thus led to the spot where the squire lay drenched in blood arid seemingly dead. At first when she saw him, 'All suddenly abashed she changed hue, | And with stern horror backward gan to start: | But, when she better him beheld, she grew | Full of soft passion and unwonted smart: | The point of pity pierced through her tender heart.' Finding that his pulse still beat, she rubbed his temples, undight his habergeon, or cuirass, and relieved his head of his burganet, or helmet; then, having great skill in herbs, which she had been taught by the nymph who had nursed her in her childhood, she went into the wood to gather such as might prove serviceable in the present case.... He was not long in opening his eyes, when, turning round and seeing 'the goodly maid, full of divinities and gifts of heavenly grace, sitting by him, with her bow and gilded quiver lying on the ground, 'Mercy! dear Lord, said he, what grace is this | That thou hast shewed to me, sinful wight, | To send thine angel from her bower of bliss | To comfort me in my distressed plight!' She had but time to tell him, blushing, that she was neither goddess nor angel, but a wood-nymph's daughter, when her damsels, who had been hunting along with her, came up; and now, the squire's horse being soon found, they set him upon it, and took him along with them....

"Timias soon recovered of his wound, but lost his heart. 'Ah God! what other could he do at least, | But love so fair a lady that his life releast!' He struggles long to subdue his passion. 'Fool!' he says to himself, 'what boots thy service base | To her, to whom the heavens do serve and sue? | Thou, a mean squire, of meek and lowly place; | She, heavenly born and of celestial hue.' But it is all in vain. Yet, while Belphoebe sees him pining away, he never allows her to suspect the true cause.... Timias is understood to stand for Sir Walter Raleigh" Spenser and his Poetry (1845; 1871) 2:34-38.



Prince Arthur hears of Florimell:
Three Fosters Timias wound;
Belphoebe finds him almost dead,
And reareth out of Swound.

Wonder it is to see in diverse Minds
How diversly Love doth his Pageants play,
And shews his Power in variable kinds:
The baser Wit, whose idle Thoughts alway
Are wont to cleave unto the lowly Clay,
It stirreth up to sensual Desire,
And in leud sloth to waste his careless day:
But in brave Sprite it kindles goodly Fire,
That to all high Desert and Honour doth aspire.

Ne suffereth it uncomely Idleness,
In his free Thought to build her sluggish Nest;
Ne suff'reth it Thought of Ungentleness,
Ever to creep into his noble Breast:
But to the highest and the worthiest
Lifteth it up, that else would lowly fall.
It lets not fall, it lets it not to rest;
It lets not scarce this Prince to breathe at all,
But to his first Pursuit him forward still doth call.

Who long time wandred through the Forest wide,
To find some Issue thence, till at the last
He met a Dwarf, that seemed terrify'd
With some late Peril, which he hardly past,
Or other Accident, which him agast;
Of whom he asked, whence he lately came,
And whither now he travelled so fast.
For, sore he swat, and running through that same
Thick Forest, was bescratch'd, and both his Feet nigh lame.

Panting for Breath, and almost out of heart,
The Dwarf him answer'd: Sir, ill mote I stay
To tell the same. I lately did depart
From Fairy-Court, where I have many a day
Served a gentle Lady of great Sway,
And high Account through-out all Elfin Land,
Who lately left the same, and took this way:
Her now I seek, and if ye understand
Which way she fared hath, good Sir, tell out of hand.

What mister Wight, said he, and how array'd?
Royally clad, quoth he, in Cloth of Gold,
As meetest may beseem a noble Maid;
Her fair Locks in rich Circlet be enroll'd,
And fairer Wight did never Sun behold,
And on a Palfry rides more white than Snow,
Yet she her self is whiter manifold:
The surest sign whereby ye may her know,
Is, that she is the fairest Wight alive, I trow.

Now certes, Swain, said he, such one I ween,
Fast flying through this Forest from her Foe,
A foul ill-favoured Foster, I have seen;
Her self (well as I might) I rescu'd tho,
But could not stay; so fast she did fore-go,
Carried away with Wings of speedy Fear.
Ah! dearest God, quoth he, that is great Woe,
And wondrous Ruth to all that shall it hear:
But can ye read, Sir, how I may her find, or where?

Perdy, me liefer were to weeten that,
Said he, than Ransom of the richest Knight,
Or all the Good that ever yet I gat:
But froward Fortune, and too forward Night
Such Happiness did (maulger) to me spight,
And from me reft both Life and Light attone.
But Dwarf aread, what is that Lady bright,
That through this Forest wandreth thus alone?
For, of her Error strange I have great Ruth and Moan.

That Lady is, quoth he, where-so she be,
The bountiest Virgin, and most debonair,
That ever-living Eye, I ween, did see;
Lives none this day, that may with her compare
In stedfast Chastity and Virtue rare,
The goodly Ornaments of Beauty bright:
And is ycleped Florimel the Fair,
Fair Florimel, belov'd of many a Knight;
Yet she loves none but one, that Marinel is hight.

A Sea-Nymph's Son, that Marinel is hight,
Of my dear Dame is loved dearly well;
In other none, but him, she sets delight:
All her Delight is set on Marinel;
But he sets nought at all by Florimel:
For, Ladies Love, his Mother long ygo
Did him (they say) forwarn through sacred Spell.
But Fame now flies, that of a foreign Foe
He is yslain, which is the ground of all our Woe.

Five days there be, since he (they say) was slain,
And four since Florimel the Court for-went,
And vowed never to return again,
Till him alive or dead she did invent.
Therefore, fair Sir, for love of Knighthood gent,
And honour of true Ladies, if ye may
By your good Counsel, or bold Hardiment:
Or succour her, or me direct the way;
Do one, or other good, I you most humbly pray.

So may you gain to you full great Renown,
Of all good Ladies through the World so wide,
And haply in her Heart find highest room,
Of whom ye seek to be most magnify'd:
At least, eternal Meed shall you abide.
To whom the Prince; Dwarf, comfort to thee take,
For, till thou Tidings learn what her betide,
I here avow thee never to forsake:
Ill wears he Arms, that nill them use for Lady's sake.

So with the Dwarf he back return'd again,
To seek his Lady, where he mote her find;
But by the way, he greatly 'gan complain
The want of his good Squire late left behind,
For whom he wondrous pensive grew in Mind,
For doubt of Danger which mote him betide:
For, him he loved above all Mankind,
Having him true and faithful ever try'd,
And bold, as ever Squire that waited by Knight's side.

Who, all this while, full hardly was assay'd
Of deadly Danger, which to him betid;
For, whiles his Lord pursu'd that noble Maid,
After that Foster foul he fiercely rid,
To been avenged of the Shame he did
To that fair Damzel. Him he chased long
Through the thick Woods, wherein he would have hid
His shameful Head from his avengement strong:
And oft him threatned Death for his outrageous Wrong.

Nath'less, the Villain sped himself so well,
Whether through swiftness of his speedy Beast,
Or knowledg of those Woods where he did dwell,
That shortly he from Danger was releas'd,
And out of sight escaped at the least;
Yet not escaped from the due Reward
Of his bad Deeds, which daily he increas'd,
Ne ceased not, till him oppressed hard
The heavy Plague, that for such Leachours is prepar'd.

For, soon as he was vanish'd out of sight,
His coward Courage 'gan emboldned be,
And cast t' avenge him of that foul despight,
Which he had borne of his bold Enemy.
Tho to his Brethren came: for they were three
Ungracious Children of one graceless Sire,
And unto them complained, how that he
Had used been of that fool-hardy Squire;
So them with bitter words he stir'd to bloody Ire.

Forth-with, themselves with their sad Instruments
Of Spoil and Murder they 'gan arm bylive,
And with him forth into the Forest went,
To wreak the Wrath, which he did earst revive
In their stern Breasts, on him which late did drive
Their Brother to Reproach and shameful Flight:
For, they had vow'd, that never he alive
Out of that Forest should escape their Might;
Vile Rancour their rude Hearts had fill'd with such Despight.

Within that Wood there was a covert Glade,
Fore-by a narrow Ford (to them well known)
Through which it was uneath for Wight to wade;
And now by Fortune it was overflown:
By that same way, they knew that Squire unknown
Mote algates pass; for-thy themselves they set
There in await, with thick Woods over-grown,
And all the while their Malice they did whet
With cruel Threats, his Passage through the Ford to let.

It fortuned, as they devised had,
The gentle Squire came riding that same way,
Unweeting of their Wile and Treason bad,
And through the Ford to passen did assay;
But that fierce Foster which late fled-away,
Stoutly forth stepping on the further Shore,
Him boldly bad his Passage there to stay,
Till he had made amends, and full restore
For all the Damage which he had him doen afore.

With that, at him a quiv'ring Dart he threw,
With so fell Force and villanous Despight,
That through his Habergeon the Forkhead flew,
And through the linked Mayles empearced quite,
But had no power in his soft Flesh to bite:
That Stroke the hardy Squire did sore displease,
But more, that him he could not come to smite;
For, by no means the high Bank he could seize,
But labour'd long in that deep Ford with vain Disease.

And still the Foster, with his long Boar-Spear,
Him kept from landing at his wished Will;
Anon one sent out of the Thicket near
A cruel Shaft, headed with deadly ill,
And feathered with an unlucky Quill;
The wicked Steel stay'd not, till it did light
In his left Thigh, and deeply did it thrill:
Exceeding Grief that Wound in him empight;
But most, that with his Foes he could not come to fight.

At last (through Wrath and Vengeance making way)
He on the Bank arriv'd with mickle Pain,
Where the third Brother him did sore assay,
And drove at him with all his might and main
A Forest-bill, which both his Hands did strain;
But warily he did avoid the Blow,
And with his Spear requited him again,
That both his Sides were thrilled with the Throw,
And a large stream of Blood out of the Wound did flow.

He, tumbling down, with gnashing Teeth did bite
The bitter Earth, and bade to let him in
Into the baleful House of endless Night,
Where wicked Ghosts do wail their former Sin.
Tho, 'gan the Battle freshly to begin;
For, nathemore for that Spectacle bad,
Did th' other two their cruel Vengeance blin,
But both at once on both sides him belied,
And load upon him laid, his Life for to have had.

Tho, when that Villain he aviz'd, which late
Affrighted had the fairest Florimel,
Full of fierce Fury, and indignant Hate,
To him he turned; and with Rigour fell
Smote him so rudely on the Pannikell,
That to the Chin he cleft his Head in twain:
Down on the ground his Carcass groveling fell;
His sinful Soul, with desperate Disdain,
Out of her fleshly Ferm fled to the place of Pain.

That seeing now the only last of three,
Who with that wicked Shaft him wounded had,
Trembling with Horror, as that did fore-see
The fearful end of his Avengement sad,
Through which he follow should his Brethren bad,
His bootless Bow in feeble Hand up caught,
And there-with shot an Arrow at the Lad;
Which faintly fluttring, scarce his Helmet raught,
And glauncing, fell to ground, but him annoyed naught.

With that, he would have fled into the Wood;
But Timias him lightly overhent,
Right as he entring was into the Flood,
And strook at him with force so violent,
That headless him into the Ford he sent:
The Carcass with the Stream was carried down,
But th' Head fell backward on the Continent.
So Mischief fell upon the Meaner's Crown;
They three he dead with Shame, the Squire lives with Renown:

He lives, but takes small joy of his Renown;
For, of that cruel Wound he bled so sore,
That from his Steed he fell in deadly Swoon;
Yet still the Blood forth gush'd in so great store,
That he lay wallow'd all in his own Gore.
Now God thee keep, thou gentlest Squire alive;
Else shall thy loving Lord thee see no more
But both of Comfort him thou shalt deprive,
And eke thy self of Honour, which thou didst atchieve.

Providence heavenly passeth living Thought,
And doth for wretched Mens Relief make way;
For, lo! great Grace or Fortune thither brought
Comfort to him, that comfortless now lay.
In those same Woods, ye well remember may,
How that a noble Hunteress did wonne,
She, that base Braggadochio did affray,
And made him fast out of the Forest run;
Belphoebe was her Name, as fair as Phoebus' Sun.

She on a day, as she pursu'd the Chace
Of some wild Beast, which with her Arrows keen
She wounded had, the same along did trace
By track of Blood, which she had freshly seen,
To have besprinkled all the grassy Green;
By the great Pursue which she there perceiv'd,
Well hoped she the Beast engor'd had been,
And made more haste, the Life to have bereav'd:
But ah! her Expectation greatly was deceiv'd.

Shortly she came, whereas that woful Squire
With Blood deformed lay in deadly Swound:
In whose fair Eyes, like Lamps of quenched Fire,
The crystal Humour stood congealed round;
His Locks, like faded Leaves, fallen to ground,
Knotted with Blood, in Bunches rudely ran,
And his sweet Lips, on which before that Stound
The Bud of Youth to blossom fair began,
Spoil'd of their rosy Red, were woxen pale and wan.

Saw never living Eye more heavy Sight,
That could have made a stock of Stone to rue,
Or rive in twain: which when that Lady bright
(Besides all hope) with melting Eyes did view,
All suddenly abash'd, she changed hue,
And with stern Horrour backward 'gan to start;
But when she better him beheld, she grew
Full of soft Passion and unwonted Smart:
The Point of Pity pierced thro her tender Heart.

Meekly she bowed down, to weet if Life
Yet in his frozen Members did retrain;
And feeling by his Pulses beating rife,
That the weak Soul her Seat did yet retain,
She cast to comfort him with busy Pain:
His double-folded Neck she rear'd upright,
And rub'd his Temples, and each trembling Vein;
His mailed Habergeon she did undight,
And from his Head his heavy Burganet did light.

Into the Woods thenceforth in haste she went,
To seek for Herbs, that mote him remedy;
For she of Herbs had great Intendiment,
Taught of the Nymph, which from her Infancy
Her nursed had in true Nobility:
There, whether it divine Tobacco were,
Or Panachaea, or Poligony,
She found, and brought it to her Patient dear,
Who all this while lay bleeding out his Heart-blood near.

The sovereign Weed betwixt two Marbles plain
She pounded small, and did in pieces bruise,
And then atween her lilly Handez twain,
Into his Wound the Juice thereof did scruze,
And round about (as she could well it use)
The Flesh therewith she suppled and did steep,
T' abate all Spasm, and soak the swelling Bruise;
And after, having search'd the Intuse deep,
She with her Scarf did bind the Wound, from Cold to keep.

By this, he had sweet Life recur'd again;
And groaning inly deep, at last his Eyes,
His watry Eyes, drizling like dewy Rain,
He up 'gan lift toward the azure Skies,
From whence descend all hopeless Remedies:
Therewith he sigh'd, and turning him aside,
The goodly Maid (full of Divinities,
And Gifts of heavenly Grace) he by him spy'd,
Her Bow and gilden Quiver lying him beside.

Mercy, dear Lord, said he, what Grace is this,
That thou hast shewed to me sinful Wight,
To send thine Angel from her Bower of Bliss,
To comfort me in my distressed Plight?
Angel or Goddess, do I call thee right?
What Service may I do unto thee meet,
That hast from Darkness me return'd to Light,
And with thy heavenly Salves and Med'cines sweet,
Hast dress'd my sinful Wounds? I kiss thy blessed Feet.

Thereat she blushing, said, Ah! gentle Squire,
Nor Goddess I, nor Angel, but the Maid,
And Daughter of a woody Nymph, desire
No Service, but thy Safety and Aid;
Which if thou gain, I shall be well apay'd.
We mortal Wights, whole Lives and Fortunes be
To common Accidents still open laid,
Are bound with common Bond of Frailty,
To succour wretched Wights, whom we captived see.

By this, her Damsels, which the former Chace
Had undertaken, after her arriv'd,
As did Belphoebe, in the bloody Place,
And thereby deem'd the Beast had been depriv'd
Of Life, whom late their Lady's Arrow riv'd:
For-thy, the bloody Track they follow fast,
And every one to run the swiftest striv'd;
But two of them the rest far overpast,
And where their Lady was, arrived at the last.

Where, when they saw that goodly Boy, with Blood
Defouled, and their Lady dress his Wound,
They wondred much, and shortly understood,
How him in deadly Case their Lady found,
And rescued out of the heavy Stound.
Eftsoons his warlike Courser, which was stray'd
Far in the Woods, whiles that he lay in Swound,
She made those Damsels search, which being stay'd,
They did him set thereon, and forth with them convey'd.

Into that Forest far they thence him led,
Where was their Dwelling, in a pleasant Glade
With Mountains round about environed,
And mighty Woods, which did the Valley shade
And like a stately Theatre it made,
Spreading it self into a spacious Plain;
And in the midst a little River play'd
Emongst the pumy Stones, which seem'd to 'plain
With gentle Murmur, that his Course they did restrain.

Beside the same, a dainty Place there lay,
Planted with myrtle Trees, and Laurels green,
In which the Birds sung many a lovely Lay
Of God's high Praise, and of their Love's sweet teen,
As it an Earthly Paradise had been:
In whose enclosed Shadow there was pight
A fair Pavilion, scarcely to be seen,
The which was all within most richly dight,
That greatest Princes living it mote well delight.

Thither they brought that wounded Squire, and laid
In easy Couch his feeble Limbs to rest.
He rested him awhile, and then the Maid
His ready Wound with better Salves new dress'd;
Daily she dressed him, and did the best
His grievous Hurt to garish, that she might,
That shortly she his Dolour hath redress'd,
And his foul Sore reduced to fair plight:
It she reduced, but himself destroyed quite.

O foolish Physick, and unfruitful Pain,
That heals up one, and makes another Wound:
She his hurt Thigh to him recur'd again,
But hurt his Heart, the which before was sound,
Thro an unwary Dart, which did rebound
From her fair Eyes and gracious Countenance.
What boots it him from Death to be unbound,
To be captived in endless Durrance
Of Sorrow and Despair without Aleggeance?

Still as his Wound did gather and grow whole,
So still his Heart wox sore, and Health decay'd:
Madness to save a part, and lose the whole.
Still when-as he beheld the heavenly Maid,
Whiles daily Plaisters to his Wound she lay'd,
So still his Malady the more increas'd,
The whiles her matchless Beauty him dismay'd.
Ah God! what other could he do at least,
But love so fair a Lady, that his Life releas'd?

Long while he strove in his courageous Breast,
With Reason due the Passion to subdue,
And Love for to dislodge out of his Nest:
Still when her Excellencies he did view,
Her sovereign Bounty and celestial Hue,
The same to Love he strongly was constrain'd;
But when his mean Estate he did renew,
He from such hardy Boldness was restrain'd,
And of his luckless Lot and cruel Love thus 'plain'd.

Unthankful Wretch, said he, is this the Meed,
With which her sovereign Mercy thou dost quite?
Thy Life she saved by her gracious Deed,
But thou dost ween with villanous Despight
To blot her Honour, and her heavenly Light.
Die rather, die, than so disloyally
Deem of her high Desert, or seem so light:
Fair Death it is, to shun more Shame, to die;
Die rather: die, than ever love disloyally.

But if to love, Disloyalty it be,
Shall I then hate her, that from Death's door
Me brought? Ah! far be such Reproach from me.
What can I less do, than her love therefore:
Sith I her due Reward cannot restore?
Die rather, die, and dying do her serve,
Dying her serve, and living her adore;
Thy Life she gave, thy Life she doth deserve:
Die rather, die, than ever from her Service swerve.

But, foolish Boy, what boots thy Service base
To her, to whom the Heavens do serve and sue?
Thou a mean Squire, of meek and lowly Place,
She heavenly born, and of celestial hue.
How then? of all, Love taketh equal view:
And doth not highest God vouchsafe to take
The Love and Service of the basest Crew?
If she will not, die meekly for her sake;
Die rather, die, than ever so fair Love forsake.

Thus warry'd he long time against his will,
Till that (thro Weakness) he was forc'd at last
To yield himself unto the mighty Ill:
Which, as a Victor proud, 'gan ransack fast
His inward Parts, and all his Entrails waste,
That neither Blood in Face, nor Life in Heart
It left, but both did quite dry up, and blast;
As piercing Leven, which the inner part
Of every thing consumes, and calcineth by Art.

Which seeing, fair Belphoebe 'gan to fear,
Lest that his Wound were inly well not heal'd,
Or that the wicked Steel enspoison'd were;
Little she ween'd, that Love he close conceal'd:
Yet still he wasted, as the Snow congeal'd,
When the bright Sun his Beams thereon doth beat;
Yet never he his Heart to her reveal'd,
But rather chose to die for Sorrow great,
Than with dishonourable Terms her to intreat.

She (gracious Lady) yet no pains did spare
To do him ease, or do him remedy:
Many Restoratives of Vertues rare,
And costly cordials she did apply,
To mitigate his stubborn Malady:
But that sweet Cordial, which can restore
A Love-sick Heart, she did to him envy;
To him and all th' unworthy World forlore,
She did envy that sovereign Salve, in secret Store.

That dainty Rose, the Daughter of her Morn,
More dear than Life she tendered, whose Flower
The Girlond of her Honour did adorn:
Ne suffred she the Mid-day's scorching Power,
Ne the sharp Northern Wind thereon to shower,
But lapped up her silken Leaves most chair,
When-so the froward Sky began to lour:
But soon as calmed was the crystal Air,
She did it fair disspred, and let to flourish fair.

Eternal God, in his Almighty Power,
To make Ensample of his heavenly Grace,
In Paradise whylom did plant this Flower;
Whence he it fetch'd out of her native Place,
And did in Stock of earthly Flesh enrace,
That mortal Men her Glory should admire:
In gentle Lady's Breast, and bounteous Race
Of Womankind it fairest Flower doth spire,
And beareth Fruit of Honour and all chaste Desire.

Fair Imps of Beauty, whose bright shining Beams
Adorn the World with like to heavenly Light,
And to your Wills both Royaltys and Realms
Subdue, thro Conquest of your wondrous Might,
With this fair Flower your goodly Girlonds dight
Of Chastity and Vertue Virginal,
That shall embellish more your Beauty bright,
And crown your Heads with heavenly Coronal
Such as the Angels wear before God's Tribunal.

To your fair selves a fair Ensample frame,
Of this fair Virgin, this Belphoebe fair;
To whom, in perfect Love and spotless Fame
Of Chastity, none living may compare:
Ne poisnous Envy justly can empair
The Praise of her fresh flowring Maidenhead;
For-thy she standeth on the highest Stair
Of th' honourable Stage of Womanhead,
That Ladies all may follow her Ensample dead.

In so great Praise of stedfast Chastity,
Nath'less, she was so courteous and kind,
Tempred with Grace, and goodly Modesty,
That seemed those two Vertues strove to find
The higher Place in her heroick Mind;
So striving, each did other more augment,
And both encreas'd the Praise of Womankind,
And both encreas'd her Beauty excellent;
So all did make in her a perfect Compliment.

[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 2:430-43]

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