That gallant lady, gloriously bright,
The stately pillar once of worthiness,
And now a little dust, a naked sprite,
Turn'd from her wars a joyful conqueress,
Her wars, where she had foil'd the mighty foe
Whose wily stratagems the world distress,
And foil'd him not with sword, with spear, or bow,
But with chaste heart, fair visage, upright thought,
Wise speech, which did with honour linked go.
And, Love's new plight to see, strange wonders wrought,
With shiver'd bow, chaste arrows, quenched flame,
While here some slain, and there lay others caught.
She, and the rest, who in the glorious fame
Of the exploit, her chosen mates, did share,
All in one squadronet close ranged came;
A few, for nature makes true glory rare,
But each alone (so each alone did shine)
Claim'd whole historian's, whole poet's care.
Borne in green field, a snowy Ermiline,
Colour'd with topazes, set in fine gold,
Was this fair company's unfoiled sign;
No earthly march, but heav'nly, did they hold;
Their speeches holy were, and happy those
Who so are born, to be with them enroll'd.
Clear stars they seem'd, which did a sun unclose
(Who, hiding none, yet all did beautify),
With coronets deck'd, with violet and rose.
And, as gain'd honour fill'd with jollity
Each gentle heart, so made they merry cheer,
When, lo, an ensign sad I might descry,