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Short poem

Sir Walter Ralegh (ca. 1552-1618)

Prais'd be Diana's Fair and Harmless Light

              1Prais'd be Diana's fair and harmless light;
              2Prais'd be the dews wherewith she moists the ground;
              3Prais'd be her beams, the glory of the night;
              4Prais'd be her power by which all powers abound.

              5Prais'd be her nymphs with whom she decks the woods,
              6Prais'd be her knights in whom true honour lives;
              7Prais'd be that force by which she moves the floods;
              8Let that Diana shine which all these gives.

              9In heaven queen she is among the spheres;
            10In aye she mistress-like makes all things pure;
            11Eternity in her oft change she bears;
            12She beauty is; by her the fair endure.

            13Time wears her not: she doth his chariot guide;
            14Mortality below her orb is plac'd;
            15By her the virtue of the stars down slide;
            16In her is virtue's perfect image cast.

            17      A knowledge pure it is her worth to know:
            18      With Circes let them dwell that think not so.


1] Reprinted in England's Helicon, 1600, signed with Ralegh's initials. Queen Elizabeth was often addressed as Diana.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: R. S., The Phoenix Nest. London, 1593 (Menston: Scolar Press, 1973). PR 1207 P5 1593a ROBA.
First publication date: 1593
RPO poem editor: F. D. Hoeniger
RP edition: 3RP 1.149.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/10

Rhyme: abab cdcd efef ghgh ii

Other poems by Sir Walter Ralegh