A Soldier Armed by Mars


His headpiece was2 of prudence, where3 his eye
Of judgment4 dangers and5 mistakes did6 spy;
His breast-plate made of courage, to7 keep out
Bullets of fear, and8 blows of timorous doubt.
The gauntlets on his hands were9 active skill,                      5
Wherewith he held a poleaxe of good will.
His sword was strong, and a stiff metal10 blade,
For it was all of pure bright honor made.
A scarf, which Fortune gave, his waist did tie,
Embroidered thick with stars11 of purple dye.                     10
A plume of valor on his headpiece waved;12
A cloak of merit all his body saved.13
His spurs, rowelled with hope, did pierce14 the side
Of strong ambition, whereon he did ride.
Thus was he15 armed, and for great fame did fight.           15
She was his mistress, he her champion knight.

  1. A marginal note in Cavendish’s 1653 text reads, “2 Masquer.” This note does not appear in the 1664 or 1668 editions.
  2. His headpiece was] A Head-peece made 1653
  3. where] where’s 1653
  4. judgment] Judgements 1653
  5. and] or 1653
  6. did] to 1653
  7. to] did 1664, 1668
  8. and] or 1653
  9. The gauntlets on his hands were] And on his Hands Gauntlets of 1653
  10. strong, and a stiff metal] a strong, and stiff-mettell’d 1653
  11. stars] Scars 1664; Scarrs 1668
  12. valor on his headpiece waved;] valiant Thoughts did on his Head-peece tosse, 1653
  13. A cloak of merit all his body saved.] A Leaguer Cloake of Merit about him was. 1653
  14. did pierce] which peirc’d 1653
  15. was he] he was 1653