Eyes not down-dropt nor over-bright, but fed1
With the clear-pointed flame of chastity,2
Clear, without heat, undying, tended by3
Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane4
Of her still spirit : locks not wide dispread,5
Madonna-wise, on either side her head,6
Sweet lips whereon perpetually did reign7
The summer calm of golden charity,8
Were fixed shadows of thy fixed mood,9
Revered Isabel, the crown and head,10
The stately flower of female fortitude,11
Of perfect wifehood and pure lowlihead.12
The intuitive decision of a bright13
And thorough-edged intellect to part14
Error from crime—a prudence to withhold15
The laws of wifehood character’d in gold16
Upon the blenched tablets of her heart17
A love still burning upward, giving light18
To read those laws—an accent very low19
In blandishment, but a most silver flow20
Of subtle-paced counsel in distress,21
Right to the heart and brain, though undescried22
Winning its way with extreme gentleness23
Through all the outworks of suspicious pride24
A courage to endure and to obey25
A hate of gossip parlance, and of sway,26
Crown’d Isabel, through all her placid life27
The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.28
The mellowed reflex of a winter moon29
A clear stream flowing with a muddy one,30
Till in its onward current it absorbs31
With swifter movement and in purer light32
The vexed eddies of its wayward brother33
A leaning and upbearing parasite,34
Clothing the stem, which else had fallen quite,35
With cluster’d flowerbells and ambrosial orbs36
Of rich fruit-bunches leaning on each other37
Shadow forth thee :— the world hath not another38
(Though all her fairest forms are types of thee,39
And thou of God in thy great charity)40
Of such a finish’d chasten’d purity.41