The Virgin

Katherine Philips

Edited by Jack Lynch

The text comes from Philips’s Poems by the Most Deservedly Admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, the Matchless Orinda (1667).

The things that make a Virgin please,
She that seeks, will find them these;
A Beauty, not to Art in debt,
Rather agreeable than great;
An Eye, wherein at once do meet, [5]
The beams of kindness, and of wit;
An undissembled Innocence,
Apt not to give, nor take offence:
A Conversation, at once, free
From Passion, and from Subtlety; [10]
A Face that’s modest, yet serene,
A sober, and yet lively Meen;
The vertue which does her adorn,
By honour guarded, not by scorn;
With such wise lowliness indu’d, [15]
As never can be mean, or rude;
That prudent negligence enrich,
And Time’s her silence and her speech;
Whose equal mind, does alwaies move,
Neither a foe, nor slave to Love; [20]
And whose Religion’s strong and plain,
Not superstitious, nor prophane.