This poem does not appear with the two eclogues and 'Pons Perthanus' in The Muses Welcome (see introductions to d1_AndH_001 and d1_AndH_003), and its date is unknown. It features a much more sustained vitriolic attack upon the 'antichristian' Catholic Church than Anderson's other poems, and a reference at lines 335-336 to the Kingdom of Bohemia, which James VI and I's daughter Elizabeth and her husband Frederick V briefly ruled in 1619-20, may give a possible dating for this piece. Metre: hexameter.
Musarum Querimonia (n.d.)
Daphnida Pierides merito venerantur honore,
pauperieque dolent se cruciante premi:
hortantur penna qui sustinet alite dextram,
leniat ut, laevam quod grave mergit, onus. 1
1Grampiades, celsi nemorosa cacumina montis
quae colitis, quae faelices uligine valles,
quaeque Tai, Forthaeque sitim restinguitis undis:
glottiadesque sacris perfusae pectora lymphis,
5quaeque Caledonios late diffusa per agros
flumina, perpetuo bibitis salientia cursu,
eia agite, ingentem memori decorate triumpho
Daphnin, et audaces ad sacra redite sorores
Castaliae, 2 si jam se Castalis inclyta vulgo 3
10unda Caledoniam late diffudit in oram.
Daphnin inexhausto laetae celebremus honore:
cui pietas, cui casta fides, cui pectora fulgent
Enthea, nec decoris, nec laudis egentia nostrae: 4
quem decor, et late faelicibus aurea pennis
15gloria conspicuum toto diffundit in orbe:
qui licet immensi fastigia tangat honoris,
et legum placide justas moderatur habenas,
rebus in humanis sublimia vertice pulsans
sidera, 5 non tamen exiguas evolvere nugas
20erubuit, quas nostra pias Pimpleis ad aures.
[p25] (Quantumvis indigna) novo praemiserat ausu.
Quid? Quod et in justum voluit revocanda sacellum
(ne tinea blattaque forent rodenda voraci)
nuntia, et ardoris certissima pignora nostri
25auspicio sancire suo, neu longa vetustas
obrueret squalente situ, quae dignior ipse
ingenio dignanda suo monumenta probavit.
Haud secus indigenis aedem sacrasse Camoenis
pompilium videre Numam 6 tot saecla, priusquam
30ornatu Latiae frueretur inertia linguae.
En Numa, quem patrias, Latiasque beare sorores
non piget, et placido super astra ciere volatu!
Quid non a magno dabitur sperare Camoenis
Daphnide? Qui postliminio nova gloria nobis
35auspice jam redit, et superas ascendit in auras;
quem sacrae a primo Nymphae Buchananides ortu
imbuerant, imisque, pio cum lacte, medullis
aeternos haurire sacrae virtutis amores
ingenio docuere suo; quos maximus ultro
40imbibit, et penitus praecordia ad intima fixit.
An non et placida nostras dignabitur aure
accepisse preces? An adhuc sua pectora Musis
deficiunt, tenerisque pudor premit ora Camoenis?
Scilicet indigne quae nunc mortalia passim
45in ferrum flammasque rapit 7 lethalis egestas
agmina, nos ultra studio prohibebit inani 8
expertae toties vitae spem credere dextrae!
In flammas et in arma ruunt, 9 quos indiga versat
pauperies; nullis exterrita pectora monstris,
50nos pavidae Daphnin, vultusque horremus amicos
numine suppliciter tristes orare secundo,
qui levat aligeram cursu super aethera dextram,
quod laevam grave mergit onus, dignetur amoris
auspicio lenire sui: nec iniqua rogamus,
55ne nimio tumeamus opum pauperrima luxu
turba, nec in nihilum Musae redigamur egenae.
Quid miserandum aeque? Jam candida Pallas alumnos
in diversa suos vivaria tristior urget.
Heu quo fata ferunt incerta! sed anxia rerum
[p26] 60tot juvenum miseris non suffectura querelis:
qui pulchris animos coguntur ab artibus, imas
in curas transferre, vocat quo tristis egestas;
et metus, et ferae vis aerumnosa senectae.
Quid? Quod et externas penuria trudit in oras
65doctorum tot iniqua choros, tot dedita Musis
pectora, non unquam patriam visura relictam!
Ast alio sub Sole novas exquirere sedes
sollicitam terrore manum: proh triste Minervae
vulnus, et indomiti non aequa potentia fati!
70Quis nescit nostrae quot splendida corpora pubis
colluvies Papana suis deliria miscens
fascinat illecebris, generosaque pectora mergit
innumeris seducta modis? Sors omnium egenos
cogit in hanc misere foedam migrare Mephitim:
75turpis ubi tetrae spirat sentina cloacae,
nauseaque indigne tremulum quatit horrida corpus
obductura nigra miseram fuligine mentem.
Sic fera Cecropia cum Pallade certat egestas
exitio mersura gravi (ni fata resistant)
80pectus, et ingenuas generoso in pectore dotes!
Nec tamen ingenium, nec inertia pectora languent
pauperie male pressa gravi. Quod candida Pallas
abnuit, assiduis industria pervigil addit.
At quam nostratem decoraverit inclyta gentem
85gloria Palladiae non interitura coronae,
maxima felici rerum Germania fama
explicat, et late qua Rhenus et Albis et Ister
immensis in utranque Thetin volvuntur aquarum
vorticibus. Quid? Quod formosa Lutetia pridem
90Scotigenis fundata piis auctoribus, isthaec
creverit in rerum fastigia! Gloria terrae
sequanicae vulgo nostris ascribitur oris;
non tantum quod Marte feros gens pelleret hostes,
cum sociam premerent gentem: sed inertia rerum
95pectora Cecropiis perfunderet artibus, ipso
tempore, barbaries totum quo mergeret orbem;
claraque priscorum caecis obducta tenebris
invida subrueret misere monumenta laborum,
[p27] gloria quos Latii, quos docta reliquerat Hellas.
100Hic testamur inaccessos penetrantia mentis
lumina in anfractus, bifidique 10 cacumina montis
tot nostris superata viris, quos nulla vetustas
obruet, aeterna dignissima nomina fama.
Quis venam Buchanane tuam, aut subtilia Dunsi
105pectora adaequavit, postquam minus aequa Minervae
effera barbaries caligine merserat atra
vulgus, et obducta suffuderat omnia nube?
Nec minor ingeniis vigor est, quae nostra tulerunt
tempora, temporibus non inferiora vetustis;
110scintillam molli si somite nutriat altrix
aura, nec in tenuem redigat violenta favillam.
Vivite faelices animae, celeberrima quondam
pectora, quae sanctis exercuit enthea curis
relligio, quae Palladiis tot amoena Camoenis
115coenobia, et sacros memoranda dicastis in usus
praedia, et ingenti patrimonia splendida censu,
templaque et adjectis donaria plurima villis,
magnificasque domos: quarum si quaerimus usum,
divini sors prima fuit dignissima cultus;
120altera Templorum fabricae sacrata, fideles
ut coeant coetus in honore, nec ultima Musis
pauperibusque, sacris quorum pia pectora curis
invigilant, summumque vocant in vota parentem.
At nunc, o mores! O perdita tempora! Pingues
125coenobii reditus, et debita praemia Musis
cum domino suus illa cliens, sua prodigit uxor
ancillis comitata suis, acresque molossi 11
cum nitidis pascuntur equis, et verior index
sacrilegi ferus accipiter: qui semper in armis
130innocuas praedatur aves, rostroque cruento
fervidus, et pedibus miseras eviscerat uncis! 12
Atqui Caelicolum Domino quota portio Christo
servit, honorandis verbi pensanda ministris
vel patriae decori cedit, vel Regis honori,
135audacemve suis detrudere finibus hostem
cum patriae desposcit amor? Nam saepe superbo
militis obtegitur titulo. At quibus utitur armis
[p28] militiae nullis decorandus honoribus, expers
Martis et indigno tituli correptus amore?
140Quem non plaga ferit, quem non notat ulla cicatrix,
non acies videt armatas, non hostica contra
agmina; sed molles ignavius exigit annos
dives opum, luxuque vorax marcescit inerti.
Nec minus in foveam recidit Melitensis eandem,
145cui jus effraenes intra sua limina Turcas
militia cohibere sacra et compescere Gentis
barbaricae procul a nostris fera finibus arma.
Non ita cum picea miseram caligine plebem
obrueret Papana lues: sed egenus et exspes
150sedibus his suetus portum reperire; sorores
Pierias invitarat congesta patenti
bibliotheca sinu, veterum decora alta Parentum.
Barbara cum fluerent, et nullis inclyta Musis
tempora, magnifico decertavere paratu,
155si quas fata darent, castas decorare sorores
muneribus, sors dura vicem mutata novavit,
deficiunt alimenta, vigent pia turba Camoenae:
aut oppressa fame, aut sine nomine nomina, Vates,
nec spes pectora alit, nisi qua nos maximus ima
160tollere Daphnis humo solito dignatur amore,
pauperiem (nisi fata vetant) domiturus inertem.
nunc domus erigitur, nunc porticus alta, nec usu
apta, sed aspectu quae lumina pascat inani.
At Domino domus ampla suo (Sic Tullius inquit) 13
165dedecori est, si sola vacet: communiter olim
hospitii vulgaris erat: quae publica quondam,
nunc privata domus miseros inservit in usus.
Nec jam coenobii spatiosa palatia tanti
sufficiunt in tecta modum: sed et ossa sepulcris
170eruta 14 magnifici reserant penetralia templi.
Quoque sacro loca fundantur contermina templo,
qua tenuis confusa jacent monumenta popelli,
vix putrefacta suis effossa cadavera bustis
(heu fera barbaries) superas panduntur ad auras:
175quaeque recondiderant multos data fata per annos,
excita jam coelo, jam sole videntur aperto!
[p29] Sic requie manes post tempora longa sepultos
immeritos spoliare juvat! Ceu dira cruentum
bellorum rabies furiis accenderet orbem.
180Heu necdum superis, nec vitae lumine cassis,
cunctorumque bonis animus satiatur avarus!
Hic tamen in procerum ascribi sibi vedicat album
nec genio bonus, aut virtute notabilis ulla!
Si templum, aut uni sedes habitanda Ministro
185quaeritur, et templum, et mystes excluditur exul
coenobii procul a septis, ubi pauper, et exspes
cespitio tenuem degat sub culmine vitam,
et terram miserandus aret, 15 qua sicca misellum
vestit erica solum: quamvis ingentia miles
190regifico teneat decorata palatia luxu,
ima suo plebs aere domum struit, aere Ministrum
plebs alit ima suo, tenuemque resuscitat aedem.
Ipsa vices miseranda suas Eccelsia luget,
magnificam tenui quod mutet ineptius aedem
195aedicula, quae tot foribus secludat iniquis,
ut populo nimis arcta suo, juvenesque senesque
et gregis omne decus. Sic cum domus inclyta quondam
Isacidum patrias Babylone rediret in oras,
angustata sui flevit molimina Templi.
200At Lex est (nam Lege nefas utcunque tuentur)
quae tandem? Quibus auspiciis emersit in orbem?
Non Regi, non illa gregi Lex aequa, laborat
sacrilegos quaestu nimium ditare nefando.
At qua fronte fuit Lex haec obtrusa prophanis
205utilis ingeniis? Populum mersura fidelem?
Omniparens natura suo testata perenni
prodidit ingenio, quod nulla redarguet aetas: 16
quae sacrata profanari, miscere profanis
sacra vetat; sed utrisque suos justissima fines,
210quos ultra, citraque nefas consistere, monstrat.
Quid? Quod et ipse Pater Patriae minus aestimat aequam,
nec genio fluxisse suo, damnatque nefandos,
qui juveni hanc primis caute extorsere sub annis?
Quis non obstupeat technas? Annectere Regi
215innocuo, scelerisque nihil, fraudisque timenti
[p30] omnia, et hoc blando praestringere lumina fuco,
nexaque mox populo dare dissolvenda profano.
Sic Regi, sic nulla gregi numeroque fideli
utilitas redit: at barathro submersa profundo
220iusque piumque jacent, dolus et scelus omnia vastant.
Quis furor incauto sic palpum obtrudere Regi?
Nec minus horrendis crebro successibus atrox
proditur eventus, quoties funesta per omnem
haec rerum facies misere diffunditur oram.
225Heu stolidos quoties in aperta pericula cives
templorum bona projiciunt! Quot mutua vulgo
funera, quam rapidas peperit fax ista procellas?
Adde, quod aeterni manifestam Numinis iram
in terras horrenda vocans excetra, colonos
230sacrilegos blatta, tineaque peruit edaci.
scilicet aetherii cum vindicis ira Parentis
dura fremit: nullo rerum discrimine justa
injustis permista Deus patrimonia tollit.
Si Deus hanc, ductuque Parens natura potenti,
235si Patriae Legum lator justissimus odit,
si rerum inventrix misera experientia damnat:
quid non a populo damnosa exploditur, omni
antiquanda modo? Nisi quod metuendus iniquae
gurges avaritiae mentes exhaurit avaras?
240Ergo age tam longo misere sopita veterno
pectora, 17 quisquis ades, bonus erige, et omine dextro
sacrilega sacrata manu miser excute: furti
supremo desiste gradu committere, ut ingens
exitii mereare tui discrimen: iniquas,
245dum te fata sinunt, faeliciter ablue sordes.
Sejani possessor equi damnosa refunde
et sua redde suis: jubet hoc Natura, Deusque
imperat, atque tibi duras obtundit in aures.
Aut, si sacra movet divini pagina verbi,
250tu fatum, simul atque avidi fuge crimen Achanis, 18
quem male perdiderat Babylonia vestis, et auri
pondus iners, sobolemque domumque aboleverat omnem
funditus: eheu sacrilegus miserumque lucellum
exitio luit ipse gravi, prolemque laremque
[p31] 255saevior ad mortem rogus ignibus abstulit atris.
Haud secus alituum fertur Regina voraci
ingluvie stimulata aram spoliasse calentem,
cumque sua prunam praeda retulisse repostam:
quae totam cum prole domum succensa perussit
260acrius, et flamma penitus consumpsit edaci
et genus et stolidam truculento funere matrem.
Heu fuge turpe nefas, animi fuge crimen avari,
nec pigeat sacri sacram dare foederis arcam
tot mystis in pace suis: ne forte rebellem
265dira Palestinae perimant contagia gentis.
En sacra privatos quid forte redegit in usus
pocula, tot pridem Solymaei splendida templi
ornamenta, truci gentis sublata ruina,
territus ipse suae vidit praesagia cladis
270ignotam scripisse manum, dirumque cruentae
noctis opus, rabidi non eluctabile fati.
Quis nescit, modico qui vendidit aere Tonantem
(cum Deus humana coleret sub imagine terras)
quam gemuit Christoque suos invidit honores! 19
275Ne male spem turpis mens perderet anxia lucri:
humani columen generis, 20 nostraeque salutis
praesidium, letho cum proderet impius atro,
ut furibundus, inops animi, 21 truculenta perosus
consilia, et pretio jam proditionis iniquo
280projectis templi media in penetralia nummis,
quam sibi non fausto consciverit omine mortem!
Sic ultus miseri spem perditus ipse lucelli:
quid toties moneamus, et ulteriora sequamur
exitia, aut misere clades infanda sequutas
285agmina, sacrilegae justissima praemia turbae?
Quae luctu meminisse novo lachrymosa fatigat
pectoraque, attonitasque quatit tinnitibus aures!
Iam fera barbaries, simul et Papana facessunt
nubila, discussis lux splendet amoena tenebris.
290Tu tenebras (miseranda) fuge, atque amplectere lucem,
quae sua Caesaribus, magno sua jure Tonanti
prae cunctis praebere jubet: non approbat unquam
sacrilegas adhibere manus in sacra profanum.
[p32] Sin monitis ingrata virum manus obstruit aures,
295nec placidis volet ingenuas advertere mentes
consiliis animae, sanctaeque improvida vitae
turba parum prudens, miseraeque obnoxia morti;
tu saltem nos (Daphni) tuas tua moesta sub alas
pignora, ut Aoniae revirescat gloria Lauri,
300suscipe, Te Phoebum tua pignora chara salutant,
inque clientelam, patrociniumque recurrunt:
quae fortuna licet caligine celet opaca 22
tristior et tumidis quatiat metuenda procellis:
at tacita eximio sophiae rapiuntur amore
305pectora, et in mediis ardescit flamma medullis, 23
flamma salutari stimulans praecordia motu. 24
Tu potes immersos caecis (Venerande) tenebris
exerere, et placido validae munimine dextrae
ambrosio laetos perfundere lumine vultus;
310ne revocare pedem 25 sedeat, ne langueat alto
Musa sepulta situ: dum casibus urget acerbis
sors nimiis foecunda malis, 26 nox humida donec
obscuram mediis faciem circumvolat umbris. 27
Quod te per superos, per latis didita terris
315nomina, 28 per meritos famae testamur 29 honores:
Castalidum si tangit honos: si gratia Christi,
si veneranda movet divini gloria cultus,
Daphni salutiferam perituris porrige dextram,
subsidioque leva nutantia pectora certo,
320(Pierii tutela chori) 30 jam lumine vultus
praesentes dignare tui radiante beare:
quasque peregrinas penuria adegit in oras,
tot sine re certa, sine spe, migrare sorores,
quas nondum Papana suis excetra fefellit
325blanditiis, animo sedeat revocare sereno,
et valida munire manu. Nos opprimit ima
sors inimica rota metuendaque laedit egestas,
versaque quaesitae cogit dare terga Minervae:
ni tua nos pietas vultu sincera benigno
330prospiciens, stabili dubias tueatur asylo.
Sic tibi Nestoreos feliciter impleat annos
suavior, et nullis obnoxia vita procellis.
[p33] Sic Carolo placidae vernantiflore juventae
tanti digna viri conjunx accedat amore,
335sic solida victrix in pace Bohemia Regi
serviat indefessa suo, genioque secundo
clarorum soboles vigeat numerosa Nepotum.
Interea tenues spes nutriat alma sorores,
et tanto duce nixa fides, positoque timore
340Pierides justo Daphnin celebremus honore,
341Daphnis inexhausto dignetur amore Camoenas.
The Muses' Complaint
An Epigram on the Theme
The Muses revere Daphnis with due honour, and they lament that they are oppressed by tormenting poverty: they urge he who supports his right hand with a feathery quill to lessen their burden, which has oppressively overwhelmed their left hand.
1O Muses of the Grampians, you who inhabit the wooded peaks of the lofty mountain, and the valleys blessed with rivers, you who slake your thirst in the waters of the Tay and Forth, and you, Clyde dwellers, whose hearts are bathed in sacred waters, and who drink from the sharp waters of river, which courses far and wide through Caledonian fields on its never-ending journey: come now and adorn great Daphnis with a commemorative triumph, and return, bold sisters, to the sacred places of Castalia, if indeed the Castalian waters, well-known to the people, have now spread out far and wide across Caledonia's shores. May we happily praise Daphnis in boundless glory; piety shines through him, and chaste fidelity, and an inspired heart, a heart that neither lacks our honour, nor our praise - praises which honour and golden glory on its blessed wings spread out far and wide across the whole globe for all to see. Although he may touch the heights of immeasurable glory, and calmly direct the just reins of law while striking the stars above with his head, nevertheless he was not too prudish to roll out a few jokes, which our own Muse (however unworthy) had initiated and sent to his gracious ears [p25]with fresh boldness. And what of it that he wished his pronouncements to be taken back into the just sanctuary (lest they should be eaten by the voracious moth and worm), and that he wished to ratify them under his direction, lest old age bury the monuments that should be thought a product of his genius, and that he himself approved very worthily.
28No differently so many ages witnessed that Numa Pompilius a had sacrificed at his temple to the native Muses, before the roughness of his Latin language would enjoy refinement. Behold Numa, who was not ashamed to bless the native, Latin sisters, and to rouse the stars above on his pleasing flight!
33What will the Muses not now be allowed to expect from great Daphnis? He who now restores the status quo to us in his new glory, and who rises up into the upper air. He whom the sacred Nymphs of Buchanan trained from birth, b and whom they taught to draw into his innermost marrow, with his pious milk, an eternal love for sacred virtue. And he greedily and abundantly drank it in, and fixed it completely into his innermost heart. Will he think it beneath him to receive our prayers with a welcoming ear? Or does his heart now forsake the Muses, and shame turn his face from gentle poems? It is clear that deathly poverty now undeservedly drags mankind to the sword and flame in all directions, and it will stop us from believing that there is a possibility for a blessed life that has tasted the leisurely pursuits! They whom needy poverty vex rush headlong to arms and flames. Hearts terrified by no monsters, fearfully we hesitate to beseech Daphnis, and gloomily to bessech in supplication his friendly face with its favouring divinity (he who lightens his winged right hand in his course above the ether) to see fit to alleviate, under the guidance of his love, the burden that oppressively overwhelms our left hand. We ask for nothing unjust - just that our poor band neither be glorified by excessive extravagance of riches, nor that, as impoverished Muses, we be reduced to nothing.
57What could be more worthy of pity? Now bright Athena grimly herds her own offspring into separate enclosures. Alas the places to which the fickle fates take us! Yet a troublesome state of affairs [p26]will not support the needs of the wretched complaints of so many youths, who are complelled to turn their minds from the beautiful arts towards the meanest worries, to where grim poverty, and fear, and the wretched strength of a long old age all lead.
64What of it that unjust hardship forces so many troops of learned men, so many hearts dedicated to the Muses towards foreign lands, never again to see the fatherland they left behind? Yet their band has been moved by fear to seek out a new home under a foreign sun. Ah, Minerva's grim wound! The unjust power of unconquerable fate!
70Who does not know how many noble individuals from our youth the papal poison bewitches, at it stirs madness in its charms, and how many noble hearts it overcomes and seduces in innumerable ways? Fortune drives those without anything wretchedly to depart into this foul putrid water, where the shameful dregs of the filthy sewer exhale, and a horrendous sickness unfairly strikes the quivering body and will cover the wretched mind with black soot.
78So when savage destitution vies with Athenian Minerva, it will engulf the heart with overwhelming destruction (unless the fates should stop it), even well-born talents in a noble heart. However, neither natural talent nor unskilled minds yet grow faint, after having been badly oppressed by the weight of poverty. That which Athena denies, constant activity gives to the industrious.
84Yet as much as the undying and illustrious glory of Athena's crown will honour our race, Germany, so great in its happy reputation for wealth, opens its arms, even in all directions wherever the Rhine and Elbe and Danube are dragged by their waters' massive eddying tides into two different seas. What of it that beautiful Paris had its foundations laid by pious Scots-born authors long ago? c This same place will afterwards rise to the summit of greatness! The glory of the land of the Seine-dwellers will be ascribed to our country by all the world - not only because our race drove back their enemy who was fierce in war, when the enemy was oppressing our allied nation; but also our nation inspired their hearts (which were untutored in these affairs) with the Athenian arts at a time when barbarism oppressed the whole world; and when, unfortunately, their hateful stupidity demolished the glittering momuments of the ancients' workmanship and covered it in the obscuring darkness [p27]- workmanship that the glory of Latium and learned Greece had left to us! Here we bear witness to the bright minds glaring into inaccessible complexities, and the peaks of the twin-peaked mountain that was scaled by so many of our men, whom no passage of time will consign to obscurity; their names most deserving of eternal fame! Who has equalled your genius, Buchanan, or your fine mind, Duns Scotus, d after the fierce barbarism that is so unfriendly to Minerva had submerged all in pitch black?
108Those geniuses have no less strength who have produced our age - and age which is no longer inferior to ancient times, if their breeze as nourisher kindles a spark with thin tinder, and does not violently reduce them to fine ashes.
112Live on, you fortunate souls, you minds so celebrated previously, whom heavenly religion has charged with sacred concerns, you who have dedicated so many cloisters pleasing to Athena's muses, and estates devoted to sacred employment, and patrimonies glittering with their vast wealth, and so many treasure troves and temples with adjoining settlements, and grand houses. If we desire their use, the first part is most fit for divine worship, the second is dedicated to the building of temples for the faithful to congregate in honour, and last but not least is for the Muses and the poor, whose dutiful minds pay attention to sacred concerns, and call upon the highest parent in prayer.
124Yet o what habits, o what desperate times! When the wife of the lord, accompanied by her maids, the subordinate to the lord, ravages the rich revenue of the cloisters, and the rewards owed to the Muses, and their fierce dogs hunt with white steeds, accompanied by the savage hawk, the very accurate indicator of sacrilege - who always snatches innocent birds in its arms, and ferociously tears the wretched thing to peices with its claws upon the blood-stained rostrum!
132Yet how many of them, who must be judged by the honorable ministers of the word, whether they prefer the honour of the fatherland or the glory of the King, or when their love of the fatherland demands that they repel an audacious enemy from their borders, serve Christ, Lord of the heaven-dwellers? For they often hide behind the lofty title of a soldier. Yet what arms does he use [p28]who is not to be decorated by any honours of war, and, unexperienced in war, who has fallen into a shameful love of title? He whom injury does not strike, whom not one scar marks, he does not behold armed battlelines, nor a hostile array before him. Rather, rich in material wealth, he passes his gentle years so listlessly, and ruinously decays in idle luxury.
144No less do the Maltese e fall into the same predicament: it is their duty to hem the savage Turks within their own borders with their sacred army, and to hold off the fierce arms of the barbarian horde far from our border. But although the papal plague has not covered our wretched people with in black gloom, nevetheless the poor and hopeless have become accustomed to find an entrance to these seats; with an open bosom, our collected libraries have welcomed the Pierian Muses, the lofty honours of our ancient forefathers.
153Although a barbarous age was in full flow, and celebrated by no Muses, the pious troop of the Muses battled in splendid attire to beautify the chaste sisters with gifts (if the fates allowed); harsh fortune in turn noted their fate - their nourishment absent, they flourish. No hope, poets, nourished bodies oppressed by hunger, or names without reputation - except when greatest Daphnis, with accustomed love, thought it fitting to to lift us up from ground level and to subdue our crippling poverty (if the fates do not prohibit it).
162Now our house rises, f now our columns rise high, which was not gained by profit, but that which nourishes the eyes with an intangible image. Yet a large house is a source of shame to its own Lord, if it is empty (as Cicero says): g once it was a house of common hospitality: now the private house, which once was public, is devoted to wretched profits.
168But now the vast buildings of the cloisters do not even provide cover, and even the inner sanctum of the complex exhibits bones despoiled from tombs. Also, the places next to the sacred complex, where the ramshackle structures of the poor masses lie, scarcely decomposed bodies, which have been ransacked from their graves, lie exposed to the air above. And the bodies that the fates had buried so many years ago, having been roused from heaven, are now exposed to the sun's full glare! [p29]Is it alright to rip spirits enclosed in their graves for such a long time without warrant! As if the bitter fury of war fires the blood-soaked world with its rage! Alas the greedy mind is not yet appeased by those in heaven, nor by those bereft of the light of life, and by all their possessions! Nevertheless, this man, bereft of ability and with no discernable signs of virtue, attempts to enlist himself in the register of nobles!
184If there is a religious building, or a seat (and building) that is required to be inhabited by one minster, and the practitioner, in exile, is removed far from the walls of the cloisters, where the poor and hopeless pass their poor lives under an earthen roof, and the poor man tills the ground on which dry vegetation clothes the wretched soil, then, even though a soldier possesses the massive palace decorated with royal splendour, the lowest class build the house with their own money, the lowest class nourish the minister with their own money, and restore the meagre building.
193The miserable church itself bewails its own fortune, since it has so foolishly exchanged its magnificent building for a poor little chapel, which, as it is too narrow for its flock, blocks the young and old, and the every glory of the congregation with so many unsuitable doors. After the famous House of the sons of Isaac returned to their native land, they lamented at the reduced fabric of their temple in the same fashion.
200However, what in the end is its law (however religious wrongdoing is kept in check by law)? Under whose direction was it brought forth into the world? Its law is fair to neither King nor the congregation, it strives to enrich excessively the sacrilegious with impious profit. Yet with what shame was this money-making law forced through by wicked characters? Will it overwhelm the faithful? Nature, parent of all, attested through her ever-lasting genius, has proclaimed what no age will refute: Sacred law prohibits what is sacred from being dedicated by, and prepared by the profane; but the most just law delineates to each their boundaries, beyond which and within which they are allowed to be.
211What of it that even the Father of the Fatherland himself think it a less just law, and that it had not flowed from his mind, and he condemned the wicked ones who with impunity forced it upon him when young and in his early years? Who would not marvel at their cunning? How they bound it to a harmless king, who did not fear any crime, nor the whole deception, [p30]and blinded his eyes with their agreeable masquerade, and how after thus binding his eyes they permitted his eyes to be released by profane people. No benefit was thus given back to either the king or the congregation and the faithful; but rather justice and equity lie submerged in the deepest pit, and deceit and crime lay waste to all. What madness is it to thus cajole an unwitting king?
222And no less frequently is harsh fate brought forth in horrendous succession, as often as this deathly state of affairs wretchedly spreads out across the country. Also, alas, as often as the possessions of the temples expose the sensless citizens to open dangers! How many reciprocated murders did that stimulus produce for the people, and what fierce battles too?
228Moreover, as the fearful snake summons the manifest anger of the eternal deity against our lands, she consumes the sacrilegious inhabitants with maggots and cockroaches. Clearly when the stern anger of our avenging Father rages, God, with no concern for ally or enemy, removes the patrimony due to the deserving and throws it into confusion.
234If God, the most just bearer of Laws, and in his powerful form as Mother Nature, hates this, if the creator of the universe condemns its wretched application, why is the damned law, which should be rejected in every way, not despised by the people? Save that the fearful abyss of hateful greed draws down their greedy minds?
240Come now, therefore, each one present, whose hearts have been stilled by such a long hibernation, direct us well, and with a propitious sign cast out what has been consecrated by a profane hand. Stop competing for the highest office of robbery to earn the great reward of your own destruction. While the fates permit you, wash away your wicked filth. Owner of a bad-luck charm, cast off your loss-making possessions, and return your own possessions to your own people: Nature demands this, and God orders it - and even beats it into your reluctant ears.
249Or rather, if the sacred page of the divine word moves you, escape both your fate, and the judgement of greedy Achan, h whom a Babylonian garment ruinously destroyed, and the indolent weight of gold completely crushed both his family and his whole house. Alas, he himself sacrilegiously repaid his own wretched little profit with his own destruction, and the very harsh funeral pyre took his children, and his house [p31]to their death amid the dismal flames.
256Just so was the queen of the birds i said to have robbed a burning altar at the instigation of her greedy mouth, and when she returned a hot coal stored along with her plunder, which inflamed her house along with her chicks and destroyed them so violently, with its voracious flame it completely devoured the stupid mother and her brood in cruel death.
262Oh, depart shameful wickedness, depart blemish of the greedy soul, and may He not be ashamed to deliver the sacred ark of the sacred covenant to His own many practitioners in peace, so that the bitter sickness of the Tribe of Palestine does not happen to destroy those in rebellion.
266Behold he who restored to private use the sacred vessels (the very many formerly glorious ornaments of the Temple of Jerusalem), as the grim destruction of the tribe was endured, he himself in terror saw that his own ignorant hand had written the prophecy of his own downfall, and that the dire deed of that bloody night could not escape ferocious fate.
272Who does not know that he, j who sold the Thunderer for a little money (when God was living on the land in human form), wept and begrudged Christ his own glories! That his troubled mind lost its hope for shameful profit: that, after he impiously betrayed to a grim death the chief support of the human race, and defender of our salvation, in fury, out of his mind, he hated the cruel plans, and with the money from the wicked price of his treachery thrown by him into the inner sanctum of the temple, that he took his own life at a portentous moment! In this way after avenging his desire for wretched profit he himself died.
283Why should we so often admonish, and follow the distant catastrophes, or disasters wretchedly attendent to abominable movements, the most just rewards for profane mobs? Why weary weeping hearts to think back with fresh pain, and strike ears already thunderstruck and ringing?
288Now both the raging barbarism and the glowering papal storm have gone, and a pleasant light shines after the clouds have dispersed. Escape the shadows, miserable times, and embrace the light, which demands that its goods present themselves by right to the great thunderer before all the Caesars: for it never thinks it good that sacrilegious hands admit impiety into the temples. [p32]
294But if the ungrateful band of men close their ears to this advice, and shall not wish to turn their noble minds to the pleasing counsel of the mind, and the ignorant mob do not look to the sacred life, and are condemned to a wretched death: may you at least, Daphnis, take us, your wilting offspring, under your wing, so that the glory of the Aonian laurel may revive, and may your bright offspring hail you as their Phoebus, and they run again to your protection, and to your patronage. What fortune may very gloomily conceal under an obscuring cloud she may also fearfully strike with billowing storms. But our silent hearts are gripped by an uncommon love of wisdom, and its flame burns in our inner marrow, as the flame rouses our hearts with wholesome emotion. Venerable one, you can lift up those submerged in the obscuring darkness, and with the pleasing fortification of your strong right hand cover the happy faces of your people with your Ambrosian glare, so that the Muse does not resolve to retreat, or languish buried in a remote region, as fortune, who is filled with too many hardships, drives us on with bitter misfortunes, while humid death circles around the middle of our face with its shadows.
314But we call upon you, through the Gods, through your name that is known across the world, through the derserved glories of your fame: if the honour of the Castalian Muses touches you, if the grace of Christ does likewise, if venerable glory of divine worship moves you, extend your health-giving right hand to those about to die, Daphnis, and refresh flattering hearts with your steadfast protection, see fit (o guardian of the Pierian chorus) to bless those Muses still here with the radiant glare of your face. Those sisters whom poverty has driven to migrate to foreign lands, so many without anything, without hope, whom the papal serpent has not yet deceived with its temptations, may he determine to recall them with serene mind, and to protect them with his strong hand. The meanest fortune oppresses us with its unfriendly wheel and fearful poverty afflicts us, and forces us to turn our back on our beloved Minerva - unless your genuine devotion, as it looks down upon us with your well-disposed countenance, would keep us safe from danger in your unshakable refuge. So in good fortune may he so agreeably pass the years of Nestor, and his life be not exposed to any storms. [p33]Thus may a wife worthy of the love of such a great man fall to Charles, k as he flourishes in the bloom of youth; thus may stout conquering Bohemia be unwearied and serve her own King, l and may the innumerable descendants of famous ancestors grow strong under a favouring spirit.
338Meantime, may nourishing hope foster we gentle sisters, and our trust be placed in such a great leader, and with our fear now forgotten, may we Pierian Muses glorify Daphnis with the honour due him, and may Daphnis deem the Muses worthy of his inexhaustable love.
1: This passage, and lines 52-6 in the main poem, are a learned and witty reworking of Alciati, Emblemata CXX. James, whom we should identify with Daphnis throughout the poem, is presented as a patron of literature with a pen in hand, but also as the founder of poetry in the guise of Daphnis. The image of James' hand supported by a winged device also suggests Jupiter and his eagle. The 'left hand' of the muses is the hand that we should imagine is used for poetic composition, as it is in Alciati's text.
2: 'Castaliae...' either in agreement with 'sorores' in the previous line, or as a substantive gentitive conditioning 'sacra'. I have followed the latter in the English translation.
3: Cf. Buchanan, Elegies I.2
4: Cf. Buchanan, Franciscanus 785
5: Horace, Odes I.1.36
6: Buchanan, Silvae VII.65. The story, however, of Numa's consecrated shrine to the Muses comes from Livy, ab Urbe Condita I.21.3.
7: Cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria II.379
8: 'studio...inani': Virgil, Eclogues II.5. The original homoerotic context of Virgil's poem provides an interesting allusive backdrop.
9: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid II.226
10: 'Parnassus' is the proverbial mountain with two peaks; see Ovid, Metamorphoses I.316-7.
11: Virgil, Georgics III.405
12: This and the previous two lines: Virgil, Aeneid XI.721-3
13: Cicero, De Officiis I.39
14: Cf. Virgil, Georgics I.497
15: 'aret' for arat?
16: Buchanan, Psalms 111.20
17: Cf. Buchanan, Psalms 73.74-5
18: The story of Achan and greed which follows here is taken from the Old Testament: Joshua 7.19-26.
19: Cf. Claudian De Consulatu Stilichonis II.232
20: Cf. Bembo Carminum Libellus XIX.3
21: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid IV.300
22: Cf. Laus Pisonis, 255. See note to line 322 below for evidence of Anderon's familiarity with this poem
23: Cf. Virgil, Georgics III.271
24: Cf. Buchanan, Psalms 85.22
25: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid IX.125
26: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid I.240-1
27: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid VI.866
28: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid VIII.132
29: The series of clauses that end here: Virgil, Aeneid II.141-3.
30: A far clearer and more obvious reference to the Laus Pisonis, this time line 244 (see note to line 302 for other evidence of Anderon's familiarity with this poem).
a: Numa Pompilius: legendary successor of Romulus as second king of Rome, supposedly from 715-673 BC. His reign was regarded as a golden age and he was believed to have personally founded many of the religious institutions of Rome, including the temple of Janus.
b: The poet and humanist George Buchanan (1506-1582) was James VI's tutor from 1570.
c: A reference to the Franciscan philsopher and theologian John Duns Scotus (c.1265-1308; he is named below) who was resident at the University of Paris from c.1293 to c.1297.
d: See notes above.
e: The Knights of Malta, or the Order of St John, were one of the most famous crusading orders of the middle ages. In the 16th and 17th centuries, faced with dwindling support from European nations and the end of crusading, the knights focussed their attentions on policing the Mediterranean against the Ottomans.
f: A metaphor for the Protestant church in Scotland.
g: See note to Latin text.
h: Son of Carmi (1 Chron. 2: 7). After the destruction of Jericho (Josh. 6: 24) some of the booty reserved for the Lord was stolen by Achan; and when the Israelites then failed to capture Ai, it was suspected that someone had flouted the ban. A primitive process of investigation turned up Achan, and he and his family were stoned to death (Josh. 7: 25).
i: Unknwown, but the implication of the metaphor is clear.
j: Judas Iscariot.
k: Prince Charles (1600-1649), later Charles I (r.1625-1649).
l: James' daughter Elizabeth (1596-1662) married Frederick V, Elector Palatine (1596-1632) in 1613; the two briefly became king and queen consort of Bohemia between November 1619 and November 1620.