On the life and intellectual background of Adam King, see our May 2015 feature. This current poem, the Genethliacon, is part of a three-poem cycle on the life of Christ, dealing with his life, passion, and resurrection. King's keen interest in and mastery of astronomical didactic poetry is in evidence throughout the poem, but perhaps nowhere more intensely than in the first 50 lines. In these lines King attempts to delineate the nature of the material universe. His description is heavily influenced by Stoic natural philosophy concerning the composition of the universe through the logical ordering of the four generative elements of earth, fire, water, and air. The work of three authors provides King with the immediate and direct source of much of the form and content for this opening section: initially George Buchanan's de Sphaera I.5-15 and I.29-69; then Marcus Manilius' Astronomica I.138-170; and then finally Ovid's Metamorphoses I.26-35 and XV.239-251. Buchanan is the major influence throughout the passage. However, we can see from King's interchangable use of the passages from Buchanan, Manilius, and Ovid that he was aware that all three were firmly part of the same philosophical and literary tradition. Lucretius is also present in the text, though his presence is less direct and derives from Buchanan, Ovid, and Manilius' dialectical interaction with him. The influence of Jacopo Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis is felt at the outset, but develops more prominence in the latter half of the poem. The ring compositions and interlinked internal narratives strongly suggest that King intended all three poems to be read together. It is also reasonable to assume that, given King's reuse of material from this poem in his supplements to Buchanan's astronomical work (see note 24 below), King's three religious poems predate the composition of his Supplementa Sphaerae. All three poems are also contained in the hand-written MS in the University of Edinburgh (Dk.7.29). Metre: hexameter.
Genethliacon Iesu Christi (n.d.)
Genethliacon Iesu Christi
1Eia age, qui puros caeli revolubilis ignes 1
apsicis immenso diffundere lumina mundo, 2
partirique vices rerum: iam lucida certus
sidera moliri nutu, terrasque 3 jacentes
5munificum curare Deum: lux ista quotannis
dum recolit pura natum de virgine numen,
agnoscas quibus officiis, quantoque favore
humano indulsit generi Deus ille salutem,
quaque tuos largus dextra providit in usus
10omnia quae fecit: nitidi tibi flammea caeli
moenia et immensi radiatos aetheris orbes
immunes senii, cursusque tenore sub uno
aeternos, certis accendere legibus ignes 4
iussit, perque vices caeca ferrugine vultus
15induere, obductaque tegi telluris ab umbra. 5
Ille tibi propiis genitalia semina rerum
disposuit foecunda locis: 6 sine pondere flammis 7
ire sub astra dedit; niveo quas aurea Phoebe
ambiret complexa sinu, celerique per orbem
20raptaret gyro: 8 tenues his aeris auras
supposuit, mediique leves per inania mundi 9
explicuit vasto demum stagnata profundo
aequora, 10 quae solidam sinuato gurgite terram
alluerent, jam prona sua gravitate 11 deorsum
25impulerat, 12 terraeque parem glomerasset in orbem; 13
humanae nisi gentis amor jussisset in altum
tollere se clivos; summorumque ardua montum
praerupto late latera exhorrescere dorso,
submissasque premi valles, stagnare lacunis 14
30Nerea, praescriptis et plangere littora metis.
Tunc et iussa suo tellus proferre colono
munera, ut humanus quaequnque exposceret usus,
divite proventu et magno cum foenore rerum
[p202] sufficeret, sobolemque aeterna lege propaget.
35Nec minus ambitas circumamplectentia terras
aequora squammigeras per regna liquentia gentes
didere jussa, suas nunc se cumulante profundo 15
paulatim viduis undas subducere arenis, 16
nunc laxo diffusa sinu, 17 lateque refractis
40objicibus, vasto sua littora plangere fluctu,
dum nova pallentes sine lumine Delia vultus
induit, aut tenui fingit sibi cornua flamma,
atque iterum in plenum consumptis cornibus orbem, 18
candenti tacitas despectat imagine terras.
45Iussaque Phoebaeis facibus glomerata sub auras
nubila nunc sylvis lapidosa grandine frondes 19
decutere, atque altos niveo sub vellere montes 20
sternere, nunc pluviis sitientes imbribus agros, 21
squallentesque situ tristi, siccumque fluentes
50in cinerem vincire 22 levique aspergere rore.
unde Ceres nostros sese genialis ad usus 23
induit in florem, et gravibus flavescat aristis, 24
unde tepescentes assurgat odora sub auras
herba, nemus viridi pubescat fronde, racemis
55luxuriet tumidis vitis foecunda: pecusque
tondeat auricomi pratis nova gramina foeni.
Nec tantum ille suo torquet qui sydera nutu, 25
sic pater in varios hominis se dididit usus, 26
dia cui purae caelo spiracula mentis
60deduxisse datum, atque almae primordia lucis,
quemque suae viva dignatus imagine formae est,
aemulus ut magnis peragat sua saecula Divis
qua licet aeterna sobole; 27 atque accedere tandem
aethereas possit sedes, caeloque potiri.
65Ergo dum terras oculis dimensus ab alto,
iam funesta videt scelerum contagia late
grassari, et quanquam meritae discrimine mortis
involvi genus humanum, miserescit, et ultro
pene fatiscenti tantae sub pondere molis
70promissam laturus opem; penitusque labentem
ut levet, et Stygiis salvum subducat ab undis,
unigenam natum terrae dimisit in orbem, 28
[p203] iussit et in fragiles nostri se corporis artus 29
induere, arcanoque viri sine semine partu 30
75virgineos complere sinus, aevique fugacis
incertas sentire vices, compage caduca
naturae arctari; miseris se credere terris, 31
ut posset monstrare Deum, mundumque ruinae
subtraheret, domitum victor vastaret Avernum
80morte sua, et patriis hominem componeret astris.
Nunc annos emensa suos advenerat aetas,
oraclis vatum tot designata priorum, 32
quam divina sibi fixit sapientia, quaque
promissam toties homini instaurare salutem
85constituit: seque humana vestire figura.
Nuntius empyreo cum missus ab aethere tandem
expectata diu fatorum arcana recludit,
in terras sancto conceptum e numine numen 33
demitti: impura matrem sine labe futuram
90admonet electam, dio cui viscera partu 34
sacrentur: nostraeque Deus spes una salutis
infusus, fluxae mortalia semina vitae
duceret: ergo animo, pariter concepit et alvo
virgo Deum, 35 faelix animo, faelicior alvo,
95sic per ter trinos menses hominemque Deumque 36
gestat, nec castam lassant fastidia matrem.
Orbem Romanum pax intemerata fovebat,
iamque aerata bifrons occlusit limina Ianus,
communi voto concordia paxque salusque
100sperantur reddi terris, statuisque coluntur,
pacis ut aeternae auctoremque vademque salutis
exciperet positis tellus faelicior armis.
Interea autumni, et gelidae divortia brumae
qui facit Ægoceros, longisque evolvitur umbris,
105dum reducem caelo Phoebum resupinat; et anni
praecipitis tranquilla quies, sua tecta struenti
Alcyone ventos, clementiaque aequora sternit; 37
Caesaris edicto in numerum censumque referri
dum genus Isacidum properat, quo quemque trahebat
110natalis de more tribus, generisque propago;
maturante utero partum castissima virgo
[p204] cum sponso patriam Bethles concedit in urbem,
magnorum illustrem foecundo stemmate Regum,
faelicem nascente Deo, cui gloria tanti
115inclyta natalis divinum indulsit honorem,
et super effulsit praesago sidere caelum.
Hic non magnatum hospitio, non divite coena
excipitur: non ulla domus suscepit egentem.
Extra urbem spelunca 38 tegit, cui scrupea rupes
120incubat, umbrosum medio solamen in aestu,
tectaque pauperibus praestans sub nocte colonis:
huc itur cedente die, hic gratissima caelo,
fortunata homini, laetis nox ducitur umbris.
Communi hospitio specus arcta Deumque, pecusque
125claudit, et arcanis exultant astra tenebris.
Nulla hic luxuriae vestigia, culcitra mollem
nulla thorum sternit, nulloque toreumate fulcit
sponda latus: vili foeno decumbitur: ignem
dant culmi: illimes saxum sibi sufficit undas.
130Intempesta suas jam nox discriminat umbras,
altaque sublustres pressere silentia terras:
conjugio dignata Dei virgoque parensque
depositum cum sacrum uteri, maturaque partus
pondera, vitales, sine vi, sine labe pudoris, 39
135immotis alvi claustris, in luminis oras
edidit, 40 et caeli tempestatumque potentem 41
casta parens enixa Deum, sua reddidit astris
numina; tum primum nasci se senserat orbis
ille opifex 42 opus ispe sui: mortalibus aegris
140iampridem sperata salus: qui sanguine poenas
crimine pro nostro lueret; qui foeta triumphis
Eumenidum scelera extirpet: mundoque nocenti
labe repurgata patrias averteret iras.
Dia parens matrum nullos experta dolores, 43
145lucinae nullius egens, sibi conscia partus
divini 44 natum pannis involvit, 45 iniquis
conclusum spatiis: 46 Quem non vastissimus aether,
non quicquid gremio cohibet Natura capaci,
continet; immensa qui quae virtute creavit
150extimus invicta regit intimus omnia dextra,
[p205] praesepi angusto capitur, foenoque recumbit.
Non segmentatae constrato murice cunae
sollicitant somnos: non pulvinaria molli
sternuntur pluma: sunt haec ludibria luxus
155humani, sibi quae congessit prava libido
ambitione levis, vel inanis gloria census. 47
Major honos nascente Deo: nitet aureus antro
fulgor, et insolita clarescunt luce tenebrae.
Caelituum laeta matrem cum gente corona
160vagitus teneros lamentaque prima 48 stupescunt.
attonitae pecudes Dominumque, Deumque reclives
agnoscunt, flammis majoribus astra renident.
Iamque parans reditum in terras Astraea sorores
evocat, et veteres ponit pacacior iras.
165Aethereus festo Superum chorus accinit hymno,
exultans caelo terris gratatur; et almam
pacem homini edicit, curvae cui nescia fraudis
mens, nullaque nocens sordescit labe voluntas.
non haec pupureos ciet ad spectacula reges,
170aut populos alta stertentes nocte, nec ipsos
cura quibus sacri fuerat concredita templi:
pastores vigiles Deus hoc dignatur honore,
qui moniti invenere Deum, venerantur in antro,
inter adorantes divos et gaudia miscent. 49
175Faelices nox illa quibus fulgentior astris
luce nova illuxit, lumenque e lumine vero 50
exortum, stabulo exceptum, pannisque volutum
caelorum Dominum, jam, non sua, crimina flentem,
implementemque cavum teneris vagitibus antrum, 51
180inspectare datum: faelix quae numine plena
visceribus gestare Deum, mundique parentem,
atque suum meruit, nullos enixa dolores,
nulla pudicitiae sensit dispendia, partu
tuta suo, blandis complexum mollius ulnis
185reptantemque sinu fovit, cui dulcia libat
oscula, maternoque lubens indulget amori.
O fortunatos Reges! quos aethere ab alto
insolitum fulgore novo deduxit in antrum
sidus: ut aeternos regi, mystaeque, Deoque
[p206] 190muneribus, votis, et pura mente litarent.
Faelices animae, quibus haec, quae cernere coram
non licuit, sincera fides persuasit, in illo
promissae et residet spes intemerata salutis.
Ergo statis date thura sacris, memoresque salutis
195acceptae meritos aris adolemus honores
luce sacra: quae prima dedit mortalibus aegris
cognato sperare diem post funera coelo.
Dum licet, et coecis jam mens erepta tenebris
compos facta sui est; memorem nec justa nocentum
200sollicitat vindicta Deum: pia vota precesque
libemus Superis, nec sit sine nomine terris
acta dies, partu divae dignata superbo,
dum terram pontus, pontum diffusior aer
ambiet, et certo volventur sidera cursu. 52
A poem on the day of Jesus Christ's birth
1Come now, you who see that the pure fires of the turning heavens spread out their light through the vast universe and that they mark the universe's changing order: now you see clearly that a generous God controls the bright stars by his will, and that he manages the fields below. And when that annual constellation brings again to our mind the god born of a pure virgin, may you know with what duty and how much good-will that God granted salvation to the human race, and with what a hand of friendship he generously gave for your employment all that he made. He ordered that fires light up in fixed laws the fiery walls of glittering heaven for you, and the gleaming globes of the vast firmament which are immune to decay, and their eternal courses under his control alone; and by turns that they cover their faces with the dark dusk from the dark shadow of the covered earth. For you he has distributed the fertile life-giving seeds of the universe in their proper places: he makes the flames without weight travel beneath the stars, for golden Phoebe to envelop them after clasping them to her snowy bosom, and to seize them in a swift orbit around her globe. And he set thin breezes of air under these, and he spread out the light air through the empty space of the upper atmosphere, and then the seas were poured out in its vast depths to spread over the solid earth in a billowed torrent, after he had already struck it downwards with his own force, and he would have rounded it into a sphere covering the earth, except his love for the human race demanded that the mountains rise up towards the heights, and the steep sides of the highest mountains menace far and wide with their overhanging ridge, that the low-lying valleys sink down, that the sea be checked by chasms, and that it strike the shores in predetermined boundaries.
31 Then the earth was ordered to furnish gifts for its own inhabitants, so that human employment may seek out each possible thing, and supply them with the rich crop and the great profit of the universe, [p202] and by eternal law produce offspring. No less were the waters, which embrace the surrounded land, ordered to distribute the scaly race throughout the watery kingdoms, and now, with its deep piled up upon itself, to withdraw its waves little by little from the empty sands, and now, spread out along the wide bay, and with sea walls smashed far and wide, to strike its own shores with mighty wave, while the new Moon dons a waning front without light, or fixes her crown with a slender flame, and with her crescent again having given way to a full globe, she looks down upon the silent earth with her shining face. And the clouds, gathered together in the atmosphere by Phoebus' flames, were now ordered to strike down upon the forests' foliage with hailstones, and to cover the high mountains with a snowy fleece, then also to shower with their light moisture the fields thirsting for a rainy downpour, and to overwhelm those fields which are hardened with harsh soil, and flowing into dry ashes. From this source does fertile Ceres cover herself in flower for our enjoyment, and may she turn yellow with plump ears of corn, from this source may her fragrant stalk rise up under the warming atmosphere, may the forest be covered with her green leaves, may fruitful vine abound in swollen grapes, and may the cattle graze upon new pastures in fields of golden hay.
57 But moreover the father, who turns the stars by his divine will, has divided himself for the many uses of man, for whom it has been granted to draw down the divine breath of his pure mind from heaven, and the origin of nourishing light, whom God dignified with the living image of his own form, so that he may pass his time in emulation of the great Gods, in the manner of an eternal child; and also so that he can in the end reach his home in the sky, and occupy heaven. Therefore, after he has surveyed the earth from heaven with his eyes, he now sees that the grief-bringing plague of wickedness rages far and wide, and though the human race is surrounded by the danger of a well-earned death, he pities them, and moreover he is about to bear to those almost overwhelmed by the weight of predicted troubles his promised help. So that he may lift up the utterly fallen, and lead them safe from the Stygian waves, he has sent into the world his only begotten son, [p203] and has decreed that he himself adopt the mortal limbs of our bodies, and fill up a virgin bosom with his mysterious load not from the seed of man, to come to know the changing fortunes of passing age, and be held in nature's fleeting embrace; and to entrust himself to the wretched earth, so that he can make God known to all, hold off the universe from ruin, and can, as victor, destroy Avernus and subjugate it by his death, and compose man in his home amid the stars.
81 Now, having counted out its own years, the time had arrived which was foretold by the oracles of so many old prophets, time which divine wisdom determined for itself, and in which it resolved itself many times to restore promised salvation to man, and to clothe itself in a human shape. Thereupon a messenger, sent from the empyrean ether, reveals the long hoped-for secret of the fates, that a divinity, born of a sacred divinity, is to be delivered to earth, he announces to a woman that she has been chosen and will be a mother free from tainted sin, so that her womb would be blessed with a divine load: and that God, the only hope of our salvation, having been poured in, would direct the mortal seeds of his own transient life. Therefore, in equal measure the virgin received God in her mind and in her womb: blessed in her mind, very blessed in her womb. So through three trimesters she bears God and man - and no sickness wearies the chaste mother.
97 Undefiled peace was nourishing the Roman world, and now two-faced Janus has closed his bronze doors, a and in universal prayer the return to earth of harmony, peace, and salvation is sought, and they are cultivated and worshipped with images, so that more happily would the earth receive the founder of eternal peace, and the guarantor of salvation in its outstretched arms. Meanwhile, as Capricorn, who marks the separation of autumn and cold midwinter, and is rolled out amid long shadows, stretches out Phoebus in his return across the sky, and the calm quiet of the falling year levels the winds, as the kingfisher makes its home, and a tranquillity levels the sea; while the tribe of Isaac's offspring prepare to be counted and valued in accordance with Caesar's decree (through which custom the native stock of tribe and race would appropriate each person), the most chaste virgin, with her womb nourishing her load, [p204] withdrew with her husband to their native city of Bethlehem, which is distinguished by the noble stock of Great Kings, blessed with a nascent God, and upon which the celebrated glory of such a great birth bestowed divine honour, and above heaven shone forth with a prophetic star.
117 She is not received here by the hospitality of the nobles, nor with a sumptuous dinner; no house has welcomed the poor woman. In the hinterland a cavern looms over the city, rough crags hang upon it, a shady comfort in midsummer, and offering a roof for poor farmers in the night. To this place she goes as day falls, here is the night, most pleasing to heaven, and most fortunate for man, passed under its happy shadows. The narrow cave surrounded both God and cattle with a common hospitality, and the stars beam in the deep darkness. Here are no traces of luxury, no downy quilt covers a soft bed; and the bed is not wrought in any decorative art. Here one lies down upon cheap hay: straw provides fire; and the rock provides fresh water.
130 Now dark night marks out its own shadows, and a deep silence has pressed upon the glimmering earth: after the virgin and parent, who was worthy of a union with God, delivered into the breathing regions of light her sacred deposit and the developed burden of her load (with neither exertion nor shame's blows, and with the entrance to her womb unmolested), and the chaste parent, having given birth to God, who is master of both heaven and the seasons, gave over her own divinity to the stars, thereupon the creator of the universe understood that he was born - the labour all his own - that he is the long-hoped-for salvation for mortal ills, who would pay the price with his own blood for our crimes, who would eradicate the crimes filled with the triumphs of the Eumenides, and who would divert His father's anger from the guilty world and once again wash away our sin. The divine parent, having experienced no mothers' pains (but not spared childbirth) solicitous of her divine son, wraps him in swaddling clothes and he is constrained within the unfair limits of space - he whom neither the greatest expanse of the firmament contains, nor whatever Nature confines in her ample bosom; he who governs all above and below, which he created with his vast, unconquered, and propitious virtue, [p205] is now held in a narrow manger, and lies down on straw. A cradle decorated with purple covers does not induce his sleep; nor is there a mattress stuffed with soft feathers. These things are the worldly accompaniments of human excess, which debased lust stores up for itself through the vanity of the petty, as does the glorious hunt for unprofitable wealth.
157 There is a greater glory in the birth of God: his golden splendour lights up the cave, and the darkness grows bright with an unfamiliar light. The assembly and the happy race of the heaven, wonder at the mother and the baby's gentle shouts and first cries. The animals, thunderstruck and taken aback, recognise their lord and God, and the stars shine back with brighter flames. Now Astraea, making ready her return to earth, summons her sisters, and very gently lays aside her ancient anger. The heavenly chorus above sing in joyful hymn, and it celebrates for earth as it exults in heaven. Also it heralds a nourishing peace for the man whose mind knows no crooked deceit, and for whom a wicked disposition does not grow base with any sin. God does not summon forth kings clothed in purple to this event, nor the people snoring in the deep night, nor those to whom the guardianship of the sacred temple had been entrusted: God deems the shepherds on their watch worthy of this honour, and, forewarned, they find God, and worship him in the cave, and amid the divine supplications they also enjoin their praises.
175 Blessed are they for whom that night dawned more brightly than the stars with its new light, and for whom it was permitted to behold the light risen from true light, and the Lord of the heavens received in a stable, and wrapped in swaddling clothes, now weeping for sins, not his own, and filling up the hollow cave with his tender cries. Blessed also is she who, filled with a divinity, was deemed worthy to bear in her womb her God, the father of the universe. She bore no pain and she experienced no loss of her virtue, protected by her own load, whom, embraced very gently in her caressing arms, and crawling on her lap, she now nourishes; and upon him she pours out sweet kisses, and willingly she bestows them with a mother's love.
187 O fortunate kings whom the star from the high ether led into the extraordinary cave with its strange light: as immortals may they gain good graces with their pure mind [p206] in their offerings and prayers to the king, mystery, and God. Happy the souls who were not allowed to witness it in person and whom pure faith has won over, in them the unadulterated hope of promised salvation resides.
194 Therefore, provide incense for the appointed temples, and mindful of our received salvation we burn worthy sacrifices at the altars with a sacred light: the light that first allowed mortal suffering to expect a day after death in a shared heavenly home. While it is allowed, and our mind has been extracted from the blind darkness and is in control of itself, and just punishment does not stir a God who recalls our guilt, let us pour forth prayers and pious entreaties to those in heaven, and let the day not pass unmarked on earth which was worthy of a divine woman's distinguished labour, as long as the sea shall wander over the earth, and the sky likewise spread widely over the sea, and the stars turn in their fixed course.
1: The present line highlights the fusion of poetic content in King's work. Both the 'immensum mundi revolubilis orbem' of Manilius (Astronomica I.330), and Buchanan's 'et puros radiati luminis orbes' (De Sphaera I.33) reflect the poetic form and image of King's line.
2: Manilius, Astronomica II.18
3: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis II.326-7. This is the first of several appearances in the text of Jacopo Sannazaro's work.
4: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.37-42. At first glance Lucretius' 'flammantia moenia mundi' (de Rerum Natura) would seem to be the influence for King's 'flammea caeli / moenia'. However, King combines two passages from Buchanan to facilitate his picture: firstly, Buchanan's full appropriation of Lucretius at de Sphaera I.11/I.74, and secondly lines I.40-1 (which, along with lines I.37-8, provide much of the content here). Importantly, however, Manilius also articulates the image from Lucretius at Astronomica I.150-1. It is Manilius' image of fire in the starry heights making flaming walls that chimes most closely with King's picture of the starry regions.
5: Buchanan, de Sphaera I.113-4
6: The 'semina' here are the four elements described above, not the Lucretian 'atoms' which the reader would first imagine upon seeing this phrase. Buchanan, de Sphaera I.49, would seem to be the immediate source, though Ovid, Manilius, Lucretius, and one of Buchanan's other poems also influence the idea. The composition of King's phrase 'foecunda genitalia semina rerum' comes from a fusion of Buchanan, Psalms 104.30-1 (a passage that King re-uses later in this poem), and Buchanan, De Sphaera I.49. Undoubtedly both Ovid (Metamorphoses I.419) and Lucretius (De Rerum Natura I.58-9) are the original sources of Buchanan's passages in both of his poems. The content, form, and structure of this whole passage is replicated in Ovid, Manilius, and Buchanan. Manilius, Astronomica I.138-144, introduces the idea of a divine aspect to union of the four elements, which he states produces 'generabile opus' and 'omnis partus elementa capacia'. He then proceeds immediately to delineate the structure of the universe. Ovid, too, (Metamorphoses I.26-35 and XV.239-251) follows this structure, and Buchanan is clearly following him (De Sphaera I.48-51) - though Buchanan I.51 and Manilius I.149 suggests that Buchanan was also aware of Manilius' replication of the idea.
7: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.30
8: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.284
9: Manilius, Astronomica I.153
10: Manilius, Astronomica I.155-6
11: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.30
12: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.54-5
13: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.55. Despite the closeness to Buchanan's original, King is not slavishly following Buchanan - as can be seen from the previous line (Ovid's 'sua gravitate' replacing Buchanan's 'suoque...pondere'). Various forms of the present line are found in Manilius, Astronomica I.159 (a passage King follows closely above) and I.844; and Ovid, Metamorphoses I.53 and XV.251
14: King now makes an intellectual break with Manilius, whom he has followed quite closely over the preceeding 10 lines. King replaces Manilius' philosophical explanation for the rise of the mountains with Buchanan's arguments that divine design is responsible for the providential rise of the mountains: 'Humanae nisi...lacunis': Buchanan, De Sphaera I.65-8.
15: '...se cumulante profundo': Buchanan, Psalms 78.28
16: For 'viduis...arenis' see: Buchanan, Psalms 78.78
17: 'Nec minus...sinu': Buchanan, Psalms 104.58-61
18: Cf. Ovid's description of the waxing and waning of the moon at: Metamorphoses VII.530-2.
19: The continued influence (see lines 37-8 above) of Buchanan, Psalms 78, this time line 94.
20: 'Nubilia...montes': Buchanan, de Sphaera I.297-9
21: 'sitientes...agros': Buchanan, de Sphaera III.147
22: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.57-8
23: Buchanan, Psalms 104.33-4
24: Buchanan, De Sphaera III.518. The influence of Virgil, Eclogues IV.28, is clear in both Buchanan and King. Although King is closer to Buchanan than Virgil here, at King, Libri quarti Sphaerae a Georgio Buchanano non absoluti Supplementum 566, King is obviously following Virgil.
25: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis II.326-7. Used above, see line 4-5.
26: Buchanan, Psalms 104.55
27: "Dia cui...sobole": Buchanan, De Sphaera II.295.298
28: Vulgate, Secundum Johannem 3.16
29: Buchanan, Psalms 78.77
30: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis I.76
31: Virgil, Aeneid VI.15
32: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis II.81
33: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis I.75. See 73 above.
34: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis I.165
35: Cf. '...numen in alvo / conciperet...' Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis I.75-6. See 73 above.
36: "...hominemque deumque": an innovative reworking of a passage of Manilius (Astronomica I.146) that King has used extensively at the start of the present poem.
37: "Interea autumni...sternit": Buchanan, De Sphaera III.238-245
38: For the 'cave' as the location of the nativity: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis III.156
39: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis I.189
40: Virgil, Aeneid VII.660
41: Virgil, Georgics I.27
43: Mantuanus, Parthenice Mariana III.101
44: Mantuanus, Parthenice Mariana III.114
45: Vulgate, Secundum Lucam 2.7
46: Virgil, Georgics IV.147
47: Ovid, Fasti I.303
48: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis II.368. Line 178, below, is much closer to Sannazaro.
49: "Pastores vigiles...miscent.": Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis I.194-7
50: Cf. Nicene Creed: "lumen de lumine deum verum de deo vero..."
51: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis II.368. See note to line 159 above.
52: Manilius, Astronomica I.454
a: In ancient Rome, the temple of Janus stood in the Roman Forum, and had two sets of bronze doors at either end. These were closed in times of peace, and open in times of war.