De augustissimo Iacobi VI Scotorum Regis, & Annae, Frederici 2, Danorum Regis filiae conjugio, 13 Kal. Septemb. 1589. in Dania celebrato, Georgio Scotiae Mareschallo sui Regis vicem obeunte, epithalamium.
This epithalamium ('wedding-poem') was originally published in Edinburgh in 1589 to celebrate the marriage of King James VI to Anna of Denmark, which was carried out in a civil ceremony at Kronborg Castle in Helsingør on 20 August 1589 with George Keith, 4th Earl Marischal serving as proxy for James. The story of Anna and James' marriage is complex and tempestuous, in more ways than one. Negotiations for the match had begun in earnest with Anna's father, King Frederick II, in 1585, but both sides were reluctant to bring these to completion. The Danes proved resistant to fully commit to the match, attempting to use the marriage discussions as leverage to secure the return of Orkney to the Danish crown. Meanwhile, the Scots considered an alternative union with Catherine de Bourbon, the sister of King Henry III of Navarre (ultimately dismissed in 1589 on account of Catherine's ripe age of thirty-one years to Anna's fourteen). James himself was also notoriously hesitant regarding marriage, though whether this was due to his being averse to female company as a result of his male-dominated childhood and his strained relationship with his mother Mary, or to the fact that he was more inclined towards same-sex relationships, is a matter of endless speculation. The Danish marriage was ultimately concluded with Frederick's successor, Anna's brother Christian IV, just days before the event, with James sending the final confirmation to accept the Danish terms on 3 August. James received news that he was a married man from Colonel William Stewart of Pittenweem (who had served as a soldier for Frederick II between 1572 and 1575, and who had used his contacts at the Danish court to cultivate the wedding negotiations) on 28 August, and it was anticipated that Anna would sail to Scotland immediately. However, several attempts to set out in September and early October were met with contrary winds and damaging storms, resulting in Anna's fleet having to take refuge for the winter on the Norwegian coast. James suddenly became very eager to see his new bride after his initial reluctance, partly out of what appears to have been a genuine (if idealised) passion for the queen he had not yet met, but also out of a desire to quash resurgent rumours that he was disinterested in completing the marriage. He took an extraordinary and irresponsible political risk in secretly setting sail himself for Norway to collect his bride, leaving Scotland to be governed by a council headed by Francis Stewart, fifth Earl Bothwell and Ludovic Stewart, second Duke of Lennox. He finally met Anna in Oslo on 19 November, and the marriage was completed in a religious ceremony held in the Old Bishop's Palace there four days later. The couple honeymooned in Norway and Denmark before setting sail for Scotland in late April 1590, arriving at Edinburgh on 1 May, where a formal coronation and entry was held for Anna between 17 and 19 May. For a full history of the wedding, see David Stevenson, Scotland's Last Royal Wedding: the Marriage of James VI and Anne of Denmark (Edinburgh, 1997), esp. pp. vii-x, 1-62; see also Maureen M. Meikle, 'Anna of Denmark's Coronation and Entry into Edinburgh, 1590: Cultural, Religious and Diplomatic Perspectives', in Alasdair A. MacDonald and Julian Goodare (eds), Sixteenth-Century Scotland: Essays in Honour of Michael Lynch (Leiden, 2008), pp. 277-94.
Rollock's epithalamium has the distinction of being the first and only poem to celebrate the marriage, though a musical piece, the Harmonia Gratulatoria Nuptis et Honori ... Iacobi VI, was commissioned from Abraham Praetorius, cantor in Copenhagen to mark the event. Several orations and poetic pieces were commissioned and published for the royal entry in the following year, including Adrian Damman's Schediasmata, Andrew Melville's ΣΤΕΦΑΝΙΣΚΙΟΝ ad Scotiae Regem habitum in coronatione Reginae, 17 Maii 1590, and John Russell's Verba ... ad ... Reginam Annam ... 19. Maii, all published in Edinburgh in 1590. Rollock penned a short oration for the entry celebrating the good fortune of the queen and foretelling the birth of her royal children, delivered by one of his schoolboys to the queen at the West Bow (see Stevenson, p. 110, for the text). The epithalamium references the fact that Anna is delayed by poor weather at several points, but makes no reference to James departing for Norway, suggesting that it was written and published in or around September 1589. Spanning 15 pages and over 500 lines with a further ten-line dedication to Queen Anna, the poem comprises a complex sequence of distinct episodes tied to the events of the civil marriage and Anna's attempts to travel to Scotland. The opening dedication to Queen Anna announces Rollock's intention to sing in Scotland of her love for James, the 'man not there' ('absentis', l. 5) in Denmark, and looks forward to welcoming her to Scotland. The opening section of the poem proper (l. 1-53) urges James to cease sending endless prayers to Jupiter (i.e., God) and instead put his faith in the Earl Marischal, James' 'bridesman, and the translator of your innermost heart' (paranymphus, et alti/ pectoris interpres, l. 14-15) to carry out the marriage successfully. It then launches into an erotically-charged account of the delights that await James in the body of his new bride when they finally meet. Further summaries of each key episode can be found in the commentary on the translation. Metre: hexameter.
De augustissimo Iacobi VI Scotorum regis, et Annae, Frederici 2, Danorum regis filiae conjugio, 13 Kal. Septemb. 1589. in Dania celebrato, Georgio Scotiae Mareschallo sui regis vicem obeunte, epithalamium
Ad Annam Scotorum reginam 1
1Segnius irritant animum si immissa per aures, 2
quam quae sunt fidis tradita luminibus;
nata deinde animo, quae rumpunt carmina vocem, 3
ex penita vatum pabula mente trahunt:
5me cecinisse tuos hic orsum absentis amores
(indice quos animus segniter aure bibit),
quem tibi posse putes praesenti assurgere vatem
ore, oculis, animo, quando videnda venis?
Ipsa mihi in numeros amnem dabis Anna perennem,
10et numeris vives Anna Perenna meis. 4
1Pone graves animi curas, nec voce marinam 5
et votis Venerem toties, aliosque Deorum 6
anxius implora, princeps Aquilonis, et Austro
mox Iacobe jugum victor positure, periclis
5defuncta ut pelagi, faelice per omnia cursu 7
sponsa Caledonia tua sidat sospes arena.
Desine tot votorum, inquam, quae nulla daturus,
non meritisque tuis recipit, gemituque tuorum
Iuppiter ille: animo tu tantum fige tenaci
10tanti auctoris opes, gratoque amplectere cultu,
qui tibi contulerit toties tot munera caelo.
Verum enim ad humanas cum a Dis discesseris artes,
auspice quid metuas magno, quidni omnia speres
mira Mareschallo? Tibi qui paranymphus, et alti
15pectoris interpres: vigili sudore, sagaci
ingenio, dubiisque animo praesente, ministrat
rem qua regis honos, regni qua commoda poscunt.
Ille etenim nulla par quamvis parte fatetur
laudibus esse tuis, tam te faeliciter oris 8
20majestate refert, et viva est regis imago.
Livore invito, peregrinae argutia gentis
discat ut a famulo dominum, quasi corpus ab umbra.
Interea memori absentem te pectore volvit 9
Nympha, novo primum jam tacta Cupidinis œstro: 10
25insuetasque faces, et caecae cuspidis ictus, 11
posse stupet casti penetrare in castra pudoris.
Ardentesque artus, atque ora rubentia, et aestum
testantes animi gemitus, rationis habena
dum cohibere parat, luctando lassa labori
30ponit amans finem, et tradit tibi scilicet uni
vinctas victa manus: simul hoc solamine mulcens 12
curam insultantem, herois quod cedat amori
illius, intactum Pallas cui solvere cestum 13
haud metuat: niveos seu pulchri corporis artus,
35sive animi insignes generoso in pectore dotes,
debita seu spectet gemini diademata regni.
Nec te, ardore pari cupidum, fax mitior urit,
undique quam circum tua tundens littora Nereus, 14
non potis est omni victam restinguere lympha:
40sola potest Nymphae, quae prima incenderat auctor,
Pelias ut domuit, quem fecerat hasta, dolorem. 15
Hoc longinqua tamen, solasque recepta per aures,
figere fama loquax potuit si vulnere mentem,
quis tibi pulchra fuat cernenti corpora sensus! 16
45Quis tibi longa morae assatu cum taedia solves.
Adde etiam, optatam detur si attingere sponsam
oscula purpureis dum figas blanda labellis, 17
denique te quinta cum parte beabit amoris,
componens manibusque manus, atque oribus ora.
50At me vatem, Iacobe, vide: tua vota videbis
quanta tibi spondes, et spe majora. Nec illi
apta deest teneri compages corporis, ori
nec roseo Cypris non pulchrum afflavit honorem. 18
At si fas penitas mentis reserare latebras,
55quas non virtutes, quos non haec atria laudum
indolis ingenuae thesauros conscia celant,
magnorum eductam testantes arte parentum,
et natam, et fotam, et factam ad fastigia rerum? 19
Quid patris ingenium memorem? Sic omnibus aequa
60didentis trutina leges, moremque probantis
vitae omnem populo: majorum a more recessum
illius esse velint meritorum ut nomine, natum
dum patre designant vivente, vidente, tyrannum,
ad patrium exemplar, patriae qui flectat habenas. 20
65Ecquid item matris praeconia prosequar? Uni
fœmineum secus omne omnes cui debet honores,
fœmineis uni cunctis virtutibus aptae.
Quid referam eximiis fratres, totidemque sorores
laudibus insignes? Qua fas puerilibus annis 21
70nempe omni septem velut errant sydera cœlo,
illustrantque polum flammis: palantia terris 22
visum est, egregia Cimbrorum e stirpe Tonanti
lumina in humanam totidem dispergere gentem.
Quatuor hinc proceres meditare, statumina regni,
75queis curae regina parens, et regia proles,
consilio lectis prudenti, ac pectore fido,
imperii dum nondum haeres maturus habenis.
Quam reginam illis tibi rere parentibus ortam,
his pupam assuetam pueris, monitoribus istis
80servatam assidue? Si quid solertia nobis 23
praesagit: quantis cumulatam heroida laudum
elogiis atavo ante tuo dedit illa maritam
patria, vivacem post fata superstite fama:
nunc eadem nuruum faelix nutricia tellus,
85stirps eadem regum, et probitas justissima gentis,
totque superque bonis te, Sexte, beabit amantem.
Non hic argenti in dotem memoramus acervos,
non quae matris amor patri parapherna superstes
accumulat natae, gravidas non virginis arcas
90pondere gemmarum, cultusve ardore superbos
staminis aureoli, et peregrinum vestis honorem.
En tibi dotales casta cum conjuge Cimbros
(seu Danaum de stirpe Danos fas dicere gentem),
simplice gaudentes, fraudum absque anfractibus, aequo:
95nec sibi censum astu, sed sedulitate parantes:
perfidiae exortes late grassantis in Austrum,
perdentisque solo populos, cœloque beatos.
Haec tibi se figet socio gens fœdere, nullis
quae vicibus mutet fortunae, aut solvere nodum
100non ullo inducat mentem discrimine, nullo
flectatur pretio: tibi quin praesentibus adsit
consiliis, atque addat opes, ubi tempora poscent.
Aemula nam id metuens laudis vicinia nostrae
injecit remoras, et technas texuit, omnem
105ut Proteus (solenne illi) mentita figuram: 24
nec tamen usque dolis donisve inflectere fidum
cauta genus potuit, majorum et more severum:
congressu ut primo tibi vis invicta, tenacis
spem fidei figat, certansque volubilis aevi
110invidiae, natis ventura in saecla supersit.
Dicta dies igitur, populoque imposta volenti
tempora laetitiae festivisque apta choraeis,
et Cereri, et Baccho, quibus et convivia curae; 25
praeterea Divis: thalamo, taedaque jugali
115dum genialis Hymen curas componit amantum,
quo rerum haud tenuis fulcitur nomine moles.
Conveniunt proceres: simulatum lecta juventus 26
Scotorum regem producit ad atria Divum.
Reginam veneranda parens, stipata frequenti
120pignore (visendi studio ruit undique vulgus), 27
magnatumque aliis, eadem ad delubra Deorum,
passibus incedens aequis comitatur euntem.
Ore favent omnes, redduntque silentia sacris
debita: verba praeit solenni carmine sanctus
125fœderis augusti praesul: quem voce sequuntur
ille tuus, tuaque ista magis. Bona verba maritis
quisquis adest dicunt, et amico murmure pacem,
ac veniam sacris venerantur Numina votis. 28
Excipit hinc reduces memorando regia luxu,
130magnificisque epulis: famulorum examina lautas
expediunt lances: nec quas conspexerit usquam,
arcano aut voveat sibi quisque in pectore, mensis
deliciae desunt: peregrino cuncta paratu,
cuncta exquisitis dapibus pretiosa renident.
135Instructa ipse pater spectans triclinia caelo
nectare et ambrosia humanos miratur in usus:
seque suosque Deos jam nunc mortalibus optet
convivas: dederit nisi fido numina regis
praesidio absentis, Venerem, Martemque, Minervamque,
140et, quot opus, reliquos: comitum quo tegmine nudus
aequare humanas Divum nequit agmine pompas.
Haec tanti heroum cœtus convivia stipant.
Absque tui desiderio, Rex, ergo fuisset
cernere nunc Superos telluris regna tenentes,
145et vacuo mistos mortalibus esset Olympo!
Sancta quasi veteris redeant connubia saecli,
cum data Nympha maris nuptum est tibi maxime Peleu!
Ut satis indultum est epulis, mensaeque remotae, 29
optima te socrus, tua te carissima conjunx,
150te proceres memori sponsum sermone requirunt,
vina tuae pateris libantes larga saluti. 30
Quoque nihil vidit mage gratum haec pompa, parentis
regni haeres monitu, et procerum plaudente corona
subnixus pedibus summis, perque atria vocem
155prorumpens, laevum et cubitum curvatus in ansam
plena mero valida tollit carchesia dextra: 31
'et laetum Cimbrisque diem, Scotisque precatus,
hoc Rex absentem te posco Iacobe culullo
insit, Mecuriumque tuum.' Simul impiger haurit, 32
160nullo inter repetens animum spiramine, florem
Lenaei, victorque cavo jam exultat in auro,
perque omnem crepitans auditur cottabus aulam.
Atque verecundo generosum heroa salutans
ore Mareschallus, fratri hac concedere fratrem,
165hac vinci a sociis nostros virtute fatetur
(sobrietas illa usque solens tibi Scotia prosit): 33
et summo cyathos abstemius ore pitissans
signifero fulvi, majorum a stirpe, Leonis
et virtute sua, Scrimgero haec munera mandat.
170Viribus hic pollens procerae molis, et artes,
quas prius imbiberat peragrans haec regna, bibendi
nondum adeo oblitus: 'o, si quot gutturis alti
gurgite', ait, 34 'guttas, nullo spiramine, mergam
spumantis vini, aut vivi quot sanguinis idem
175prodigere expediam domino pro sospite, ditent
fata viri vitam totidem faeliciter annis,
aut nostra illius commutent morte salutem!' 35
Nec mora, sublimi facie, et cervice supina,
ingentem excipiens Bacchum, quid possit, et ipsi
180quam cupiat regi, vertendo pocula prodit
siccata in vultus: et adhuc certamina vini
integer instaurat, sint huic si praemia laudi. 36
Sed lubet hunc procerum sanis cohibere furorem,
brachiaque alternis nectentes fœdera pangunt
185semper amicitiae. Quanquam hic neque terminus haeret 37
Bacchanti populo, patrum qui more, bibaci
indulget genio, vinumque in viscere condit:
ut vacuam toto credas latitare lagenam
corpore, vel caecas laticem diffundere flammas!
190Et pretium est operae siccis, obscœna madentum
corpora, seminecesque artus, atque ora tueri 38
fervida Lenaeo, 39 et redolentia guttura pastum,
ructantesque animam fauces, ac saepe saburram 40
omnibus excretam rimis, et caetera probra,
195se quibus ebrietas informi ulciscitur ira.
Talia maturique senes spectacula captant,
fœmineusque pudor, puerique haec monstra parentum
exosi monitu: fugitent immania fœdo 41
crimina ut exemplo, discantque incommoda vini!
200Praecipiti fessis post longos luce labores
iam noctu obrepit somnus: comitante suorum
agmine cognato, regalibus aurea conjux
succedit thalamis: et solo nuntius illic
regius attactu simulans genialia noctis
205gaudia, sollicitam absentis componere curam,
et memoris meminisse jubet: nec amoribus angi,
laetitiamque brevi solidam sperare morando.
Illa virum ingeminans votis, hac larga fatetur
fata tenus: quod mane thoro, sine conjuge virgo
210nata quidem regis, digressa, huc vespere virgo
nupta redit regi, mox et sine virgine mater
audiet (annuite hoc Superi) celeberrima regis:
filia, nupta, parens regis. Mortale quid ultra
mente animi voveat? Qua supplex voce fatiget,
215si sua jam teneat juratum in verba Tonantem?
Omnibus hinc thalamo egressis, unum illa mariti
(excipio Divos) sub pectore volvit amorem:
inque virum somnis, eundem insomnisque requirit.
Quis tibi nunc Iacobe modus? Quae flamma medullas 42
220interea exurit? Niveae si corpora taeda
conjugis admota cernas porrecta cubili,
non orbis contra imperio, non Nestoris annis,
unius hic mutes cum conjuge gaudia noctis.
Sed cupidis moderare animis, regalia pulchro
225instrue tecta thoro: veniet pars altera lecti,
pars (inquam) illa tui veniet, qua sospite laetam,
quaque putes laesa tibi lethi in limine vitam.
Luce nova caecas nam postquam Aurora tenebras 43
dispulit ignavae noctis, natae optima mater
230surgenti haud segnem princeps dedit ore salutem,
sed salibus tinctam, sed jurgia blanda cientem:
unam omni in vita quod noctem ex more venustam,
absque viri Venerisque usu virgo egerit uxor.
Illa nihil contra, neque ludos mente moratur:
235sed Scotorum animo, Scotorum voce volutat
regna, suae curae pacto desponsa jugali.
Iam nec amor patriae, pia nec genitricis imago,
gratia nec fratrum, neque nomina sancta sorores,
nec quae alia impediunt vulgo retinacula sponsas,
240prensanti obsistunt huic nostrae exotica regna.
Nunc maria, et ventos loquitur, curvasque carinas.
Et glacie praetentum iri navalia nolit:
nunc metuit saevas hybernis mensibus undas,
ni properent puppes: metuit, ne lenta mariti
245spem fallat, pelagi assidue speculantis ad undas:
purpureusque pudor quae multa intercipit ori, 44
pectore versat amans: sed curas fronte serenat, 45
publica mœrore unius ne gaudia turbent.
Iamque epulas inter, speciosaque ludicra, festi
250effluxere dies: cum, vastis classe palangis
deducta in pelagus, patriae regina pararet
et matri salve atque vale, tristique suorum
ipsa hilaris turbae: conclamant vasa, 46 laborique
accingunt comites, armantque, onerantque carinas.
255Ergo premens genitrix prensansque amplissima dextram
natae urgentis iter: 'quando augustissima nostrae
gloria prolis', ait, 'jam angusto limite claudi
non ferat antiquae patriae et natalibus arvis,
complexura omnem imperio (sic ominor) orbem:
260et tibi cessit honos thalami, quo insignior alter
haud potuit, si Diva regas rerum omnia nutu.
Ut primum optatas hospes deveneris urbes,
nec formam ostenta, nec opes: virtutibus auctam
autumet adpulsu, et porro laetissima speret
265Scotia terra tuo. Comitumque ante omnia mores
et studia 47 expende, infami ne labe laboret
gens tua vicinis, peccandique audiat auctor.
Grata quidem nostris, sed turpe trahentia probrum,
et fœcunda malis, certamina fœda Lyaei,
270ingluviemque gulae regalibus exige tectis:
quo parat obsequio jam nunc lasciva juventus
se tibi ut insinuet, venienti obtrudere palpum. 48
Hosque aliosque sagax nascentia crimina blando
effuge palpones 49 qui assensu et voce propagant,
275inque facem gaudent vitiorum animare favillas:
hac specie in dominos fidei larvaque latentes,
ut populi quavis clade, exitioque regentum,
rem faciant lautam, et larga potiantur opum vi. 50
Delicias luxumque cave, certissima regni
280pauperis excidia; et famulorum ergastula tergo
sit tibi vile tuo quasi pompam haerere sequacem.
(O numerum, o ventres, geminum o Phaeacibus agmen 51
Penelopes pubem, et resides torporis alumnos,
Harpyiasque habiles alienum haurire laborem!) 52
285Nec tibi prae reliquis lauto convivia sumptu 53
quaerere, et induvias bombyce auroque superbas
sit gestare decus: nec in aulae effundere fiscum
desidis asseclas. Qua postquam exhausta Charybdi
deficiant, (miserum) securi aeraria regis:
290unde illi in pacis mores, aut militis usum,
vicini quatiant si quando, nomismata, Martem?
Fas nec enim, miseram nullo discrimine plebem
compilare Duci, barathrique voragine mersit
cum sua diffusus, populum torquere tributo.
295Nunquam adeo ereptos nummos, et pectus amicum,
cui rapimus nummos, loculis componimus unis,
laesa licet plebes nocituras disserat iras.
Adde, quod exemplo lasciviat aemula regum
colluvies semper minitantis in ardua vulgi:
300nec pede se moduloque suo dimensa, 54 profuso
luxu evadat iners et inops: ut pendere jussum
vectigal nequeat, vel obire pericula belli.
Crimina quid memorem, quorum velut agmine facto 55
turba procax dociles pravi circumsilit aulas,
305fontis et hoc vitio populum dimanat in omnem?
Ista piare putes, atque e re plectere nata
gnata tuum: et populi quo se proclivius urget
pectus, eo atroces scelerum contendere pœnas.
Verum auctore tamen atque auspice cuncta marito,
310fas tibi moliri: reliquos, sine cujus, in annos
nulla salute salus nuptae; sine cujus honore,
nullus honos; cujus laesa tibi vivere vita
mortis habe numero, totamque illius ad usum
et mores (nisi quid peccet), compone sequendo.
315Olim si majora tamen spe regna paternis
praecipiens, fiscum, neque te cogente, profundat
munificus. Dein plebis opes ratus esse regentum
arbitrio expostas, populum gravet aere, laborum
assiduis parto vicibus. Si crimine sontes
320plus nimio mansues solvat, novus unde nocendi
succrescat furor, et late contagio serpat, 56
exempli immanes aditum sternentis ad ausus.
Idque genus maculas, tua quae solertia, sceptri
si vitiare vides splendorem. Exordia fandi
325et molles aditus, et amoris tempora serva, 57
amplexuque fove cunctantem, atque oscula fige. 58
Caetera si quid avet, pugna, nisi compote voti
non te posse frui: pondus modo questibus adsit,
usurum dictis facili, factisque secunda.
330Cumque tenes dextrae vinctum fideique catenis,
vota cave et questus alio quam in commoda vertas
principis et populi: tantum praetendat honesti
ipse faces prior, ad legum limatus amussim
grex Ducis exemplo virtutum signa sequetur:
335nempe labante aula, plebem passim 59 ire sequacem;
stante aula, recto plebem consistere talo. 60
Sed, tibi quod primum, mihi verba novissima promunt,
summa tenax memori mandata ut pectore figas:
ante omnes aulae pestes, procul usque profanum
340pelle inimica genus, et ritu quotquot adorant
mendaci Superos. Cultu qui Numina fallax
frustratur merito, nunquam ille in principe fidus.
Sacrilegoque aris populata pecunia raptu
Vindice te sanctos asserta remigret in usus.
345Exemploque laris pietas regalis in omnes
regni oras manet: pudor et formido feroces
ut premat injectis proceres vulgumque lupatis.'
Hos inter monitus, meditantem et pluria matrem
Euri interpellat stridor, similisque vocanti
350oram urget pelagus: praetentae littore puppes
ingenti excipiunt utero, umbrosisque cavernis, 61
agmina vectorum: circum celeresque faseli
et lembi apparent agiles, ut jussa capessant
excelsae classis, sternant ad littora pontem,
355fluctibus expediant funes, imoque revellant
impactos fundo cœnosi gurgitis uncos.
Inde recepturi assuetam se matris in alvum.
Horum unus, dedit ut signum praetoria puppis,
remorum accelerans pedibus, quos tollit in auras,
360et pelago premit ad numerum, tenet ocyus oram
ferventem populis. Ubi cincta herois amico
agmine, nunc illos, nunc hos, aut voce salutat,
aut molli gemitu, aut oculis rorantibus imbrem,
aut manuum attactu: sed fratribus oscula libat,
365oscula dat matri, turbae oscula blanda sororum,
extremis patriae dat finibus oscula. Caelumque
adspiciens sibi multa Deos, et multa precatur
fausta suis: ut si nunquam visura recedat
iam patriam antiquam, et memores abeuntis amicos,
370saltem ultro citroque means faeliciter illis
nuncius esse ferat: rumore utrinque secundo,
et missis crebo tabulis, et munere multo
hinc illinc, stet amor, qui in saecula sera perennet.
His dictis, strata excipitur pontonis in alvo,
375molliculis subter plumis, textoque superne
purpureo, et digna regali corpore sponda.
Distrahit hic animi ancipitem sententia turbam,
rumoresque ciet varios: 62 dum littore planctus
mœrentum auditur, formosaque virginis ora
380voce requirentum, tumulos quasi fata rogosque
iam propius quam regna illi thalamosque pararent.
At classe exoritur diversus in aethera clamor,
ante alios sibi faelices, dum pignore tanto
depositique fide apparent: navisque superbae
385in solium accipiunt scalis pendentibus altum
reginam ingentem: mortali corpore majus
sentit onus tremula, et nutat sub pondere puppis.
Littore jam toto Lenaei munera libat,
spem vultu simulans, 63 et faustis omnia 64 votis
390concipiens vulgus. Neque vinum in classe vicissim
rorantesque scyphi cessant, it clamor in auras
ingeminantum Euan: generosum nectar in undas
porricitur, pateraeque natant in gurgite summo.
Inde mari et terra ingentem dat multa sonorem
395machina, sulphureos visendae molis aheno
eructans procul ore globos, fumumque fragori
et flammam admiscens: vasto stridentia ponto
pondera dispergunt undas: caelum omne remugit,
et concussa tremit tellus, et littora rauco
400transmissos pelago ingeminant reboantia bombos. 65
Ac patitur pater ispe animo vix Iuppiter aequo
aemula tela suis: simulatum fulminis ignem,
mendacisque metum tonitrus. Salmonea 66 quondam
qualia molitum tenebrosas torsit ad umbras.
405Sed neque mortales strepitum, neque numina Divum
sancta lacessentem ut vidit, nihil ergo moratus,
rem fratri esse jubet curae, qui immania ponti
stagna tenet, ne quis scopulis, ne qua obsit arena,
ne tumidi noceant fluctus, ne littus iniquum,
410nausea ne stomachum irritet, ne nautea nares
cum Dis quae pelago se credidit Heroines.
Neptunus placidum strato caput aequore tollens,
inter aquam sylvae qui nantis robora nuper
extimuit, quem vis Vulcania murmure multo
415perculit attonitum (Terrae rediviva gigantes
pignora ne injiciant, quia spes male provida lusit
in caelum armatos, captivo brachia ponto)
auctoris magni monitu, procul ire procellas,
infestasque hyemes, liquidisque excedere regnis
420ventorum rabiem, 67 et nimbosos imperat imbres:
ut teneat cursu optatos regina secundo
per pelagum portus. Famulo Nereidas usu
accingi jubet, et quotquot se Numina in altum
abdiderant, 68 gelida aeternum rorantia lympha.
425Circum adigit pandas certatim errare carinas
squammigerum genus omne pecus, 69 quos pendula tollat
linea mordentes ferrum fallace sub esca.
Haec simul edixit vastum cava concha per aequor 70
Tritonis, citius dicto mandata capessunt
430Di maris, et Nymphae, et vitreo sub gurgite pisces.
Miranturque novos non una heroas in Argo,
et Venerem ponto reducem, sed turribus altis
pro concha evectam, nec solo crine decoram,
sed gemmis, aurique aura, vultuque venusto
435conspicuam: in lymphae speculo, vel imagine sola
quae genus oblectet nantum cujusque sepultos
non melius morituri alias, se viscere vellent.
Illa vicissim agiles Protei pastoris alumnos 71
despiciens tremulis crispantes marmora pinnis,
440laeta dapes sibi designat, quas efferat hamis,
et face subjecta ferventi mandet aheno:
digna legens mulier magnis spectacula Divis. 72
Labitur admissis confertim classis habenis
interea, aequatosque pedes pater Aeolus implet
445flamine faelici. Puppes per caerula certant
ludentes cursu, fugiuntque, fugantque vicissim,
velorumque addunt remorum cruribus alas.
Perque salum simulant navalis praelia belli,
quo metuenda urgent sclopporum incendia glandes:
450et tormenta hosti majora molaribus instant,
donec adhuc absunt. Mox dente harpago tenaci
componens propius costas vicina lacessit
vulnera, cum pubes rutilantibus emicat armis,
haeret pesque pedi, et pugnat per transtra viro vir.
455Sic lusu ostentant, ecquid certamine possint
serio, et infestum quo ardore ferantur in hostem.
Fallentem has inter pelagi fastidia pugnas
prodi, et submissis jam Scotia fascibus, omni
cernua prosequere officio, et complectere Divam,
460quae tibi cum pulchro pulcherrima principe regnet,
instauretque genus trepide nitentis in uno
nutantisque domus: proles ut postera surgat
gestura, et patriam ad natos missura tiaram. 73
Sed quamvis late fines properabitis ambo
465imperii, generose puer, generosaque virgo,
porrigere, exiguo Scotorum fine frementes
pectora tanta premi: voto differte capacis
indulgere animi, neque vi, neque fraude parantes
sceptra urgere: suo vobis quae tempora 74 cedent.
470Discite regnare, et paulatim crescite in annos,
inque animos artusque ambo. Si in limine rerum
fortunaque datis tenui, dum missis in herba est 75
grande rudimentum, et solidae praeludia laudis,
iura ut conjurent meritis, et sublica legum
475suppeditet virtus: sine pugna et pulvere, supplex
sponte sua in vestras veniet vicinia leges,
regnarique volet vobis late exertus orbis.
Tanti est vi solidae niti ad sublimia laudis.
Sin tyrocinio, turpique in limine lapsu,
480officitis famae, tenebrasque offunditis igni,
iam nova Cimmerio spondenti lumina mundo
(quod Superi avertant vobis procul omen in hostes):
majore in regno rerum par esse potiri
quis putet aurigas aulae mediocris inertes?
485Ius regni, meritis nisi nixum, aut robore, nutat.
Sed quid ego haec vestris nequicquam indigna revolvo 76
ingeniis anceps augur? Quibus omine firmo
Di terrae ac pelagi rerum haec primordia pangunt.
Quo nimirum anno tot Christi, aut aequoris ira
490disperiere hostes, aut proditione suorum,
exultatque novis ecclesia clara trophaeis,
Anna thori optatos et sceptri orditur honores.
Mense autem, Erigone quo plenos hospita Solem
excipit urgentem autumnos, et frugibus hornis
495horrea stipantem, faelix a virgine virgo
Anna thori optatos et sceptri orditur honores.
Dumque favens pelagi adspirat sic navibus aequor,
sic faciles aurae, et facies mitissima cœli,
naturam rerum unius mortalis ut ergo
500miremur solennem orbem 77 migrasse tenorem,
Anna thori optatos et sceptri orditur honores.
Et cum flava Ceres gravidas tot frugis aristas
demetit, ac pleno plebi se copia cornu
omnibus, ostentans ita late exuberat arvis,
505ut longa huic similem Scotis vix saecula messem
protulerint, saecla huic similem vix postera sperent,
Anna thori optatos et sceptri orditur honores.
Sed procul ostentant jam optatam carbasa classem
littoribus, procul et produnt se littora classi.
510Iam tormenta parant horrendum utrinque fragorem,
ereptura orbi flamma et caligine caelum.
Urbs, convulsa sui nido tanquam undique saxi,
regia spectantum portis vomit omnibus undam. 78
Et pueri erumpunt, multa et cum virgine matres,
515caniciesque verenda senum, lascivaque pubes:
ad pensum ancillas cohibent neque claustra, nec acri
imperio matrona minax: sed et ipsa fugaces,
tarda licet senio, sequitur, visisque renidet
Cimbrorum, et nostris tot vasto in gurgite velis. 79
520Praetentis hominum late quot millibus, omnis
ora tuos avido vultus exspectet hiatu,
hic Regina vides: populi neque pectora nescis
quanta voluptatum te principe gaudia sperent.
Tuque oculis adeo e puppi vigilantibus hauris
525littore laetitiam, quam regni opulentia spondet,
quam tibi votus Hymen, pietas quam obnoxia gentis.
Da, Deus alme, hilari constantem a carcere campum,
et calcem insigni quae cœpta coronide claudat.
Vos modo materiam vati, virtutibus auctis,
530sufficite in luces lituoque merentia laudum
edite gesta cani, et crescentibus addite fastis:
nosque augur vana nisi Phœbus imagine ludit,
nomina vestra olim, lethaeo evicta veterno
534canicies memoris, me vate fatebitur aevi.
A wedding-poem on the most venerable marriage of James VI, king of Scots, and Anna, daughter of Frederick II king of Danes, held in Denmark on the 20th of August 1589, with George, earl Marischal of Scotland standing in place of his majesty
To Anna, queen of Scots
1If poems received through the ears stir the soul more sluggishly than those which are perceived by the trustworthy eyes; and if poems produced by the soul, which break forth into song, derive their nourishments from deep within the hearts of the poets: do you think that I, who have already begun here to sing of your love for the man not there, a (which one's soul drinks in sluggishly with ears as witness), could be the poet who will rise to meet you with my words, my eyes and my soul, when you arrive into view? You yourself, Anna, will give to me an everlasting stream for my verses, and you will live as Everlasting Anna in my verses. b
1Place aside the burdensome worries of your soul, and do not so anxiously entreat sea-borne Venus, and the other Gods, with so many prayers and shouts, O James prince of the North, and victor who will soon place a yoke on the South, c so that your wife, having cast off the dangers of the sea and on a well-fated course overcoming all, may safely alight on your Caledonian shores. Put a stop to your many prayers, I say, which Jupiter d does not intend to grant: [p324] he will not entertain them despite your gifts and the groan of your prayers: bind fast the riches of the great creator to your steadfast soul, and embrace him with grateful veneration, then again and again he will bear so many gifts in heaven to you. For truly, when you have thus given up on the Gods and placed your trust in human ingenuity, what should you fear when the great Earl Marischal conducts the affair, why should you not expect all manners of wonders from him? e He is your bridesman, and the translator of your innermost heart: with restless toil, with his wise nature, and with his mind ever-alert in delicate situations, he manages the affair as the honour of the king, and the service of the state demands. Yet even though he freely admits that he is in no way equal to your merits, very successfully does he reproduce you in the majesty of his face; and he is the living image of a king. With envy not welcome, let the refinement of a foreign nation know the master from his servant, as the body from the shadow.
23Meanwhile in your absence your bride constantly thinks of you in her ever-mindful heart, as she has now been touched for the first time by Cupid's unfamiliar passion: and she is amazed that his strange fires, and the blows of his unseen dart, are able to enter into the fortress of her chaste modesty. While the reins of her reason resolve to check her burning limbs, and her blushing face, and the groans which reveal the burning passion of her soul, wearied by her struggles she lovingly puts an end to her toil, and conquered she clearly presents her bound hands to you alone. At the same time she soothes her overbearing thoughts with the solace that she, the heroine, would yield to his love; for him this Pallas should not f fear to loosen her untouched belt: whether she beholds the snow-white limbs of his beautiful body, or the distinguished wedding gift of a soul in a noble heart, or the destined crowns of two kingdoms.
37Nor does a gentler torch inflame you, who loves with a matching passion. Nereus, striking all around your shores in every direction, g is unable to extinguish or overcome it with all his water: only the spear, which had first created her passion, can extinguish the pain of the Nymph that the spear itself created - just like Pelias' spear. h If gossiping rumour, although far away, received by your ears alone, was able to drive this wound into your mind, what emotions you will have upon discerning her beautiful body! And with her you shall dissolve the prolonged weariness of delay in talk. i And moreover besides, should you be allowed to touch your longed-for wife, [p325] as you plant caressing kisses on her rosy lips, then at last she will bless you with the quintessence of love, placing her hands on yours, and her mouth on yours. Trust me, James, as your poet: for you will obtain your prayers, as many as you vow for yourself, and greater than your hopes. And there is a well-portioned frame to her tender body, and Venus bestows a beautiful charm upon her rosy lips. However, if it is permitted to unlock the innermost recesses of her mind, what virtues, what hoards of innate talent does this court, which is familiar with merit, not hide, all bearing witness to a girl raised with skill by great parents, and born, nurtured, and made for the pinnacle of affairs? Why should I bring to mind the character of her father? j He used to issue laws on such a balanced scale to all, and determine every aspect of the people's life, that, after the fashion of their ancestors, while the father was till alive, because of the renown of his deeds, at the time they were appointing him ruler, they wanted his son, who now holds the reins of the fatherland, to follow his father's example. k Should I go over the praises of her mother? l To her alone the whole of female kind owe every honour, as she alone has attained every female virtue. Why should I recount the brothers and just as many sisters distinguished by their uncommon merits? m As befits their youthful years they wander just like the seven planets over all the heavens, and they light up the firmament with their fires: so Jupiter decided to distribute these lights wandering on earth from the outstanding race of the Cimbri n into as many a human tribe. Consider here the four nobles, the pillars of the kingdom: o noted for their wise counsel, and faithful heart, they take care of their mother the queen, and the royal offspring, while he, the heir to the reins of power, is not yet old enough. What type of queen, do you think, has risen from these parents for you, has grown up with these boys, has been watched over zealously by these tutors? If our wits anticipate anything for us, that country gave your ancestor a heroine as wife before who has been raised high by so many accounts of her virtues, and she lived on after death in her enduring fame: p now that same land, the fertile nurse of new brides, the same stock of kings, and the carefully-measured probity of its race, [p326]will bless you in your love, James the Sixth, with more than enough bounty.
87 We do not call to mind here the heaps of silver for her dowry, q nor the possessions which the enduring love of a mother or father heap upon a daughter, nor the maiden's trove heavy with the weight of jewels, or the garments distinguished by the glint of golden thread, and the exotic beauty of her attire. Behold the doweried Cimbrians accompanying your chaste wife (or rather, since they are sprung from the Danai, it is right to call the tribe Danes) r rejoicing in guileless justice, free from the coils of deceit: not accumulating their fortune by cunningly, but by industry: having no part in the treachery raging everywhere throughout the South, s nor destroying the people on earth and the blessed in heaven. This nation joins itself to you in an alliance between neighbours, and which will not be changed by any of the vicissitudes of fortune, or resolve its mind to undo the bond through any division, or be corrupted by any money: no indeed, rather may it help you with ready counsel, and add to your military prowess, when the time demands. For a neighbour jealous of our merit t and fearing this has placed an obstacle on the road, and has woven a wile, and just like Proteus (as it was his custom) has slyly adopted every type of form: u the wily one has not however been able to corrupt that faithful race with its constant tricks and allurements, stern as they are in the fashion of their ancestors: v and may your power, unconquered by this initial encounter, bind fast the promise of your steadfast pledge, and striving against the ill-will of passing time, continue to assist your children in the coming ages.
111 The day was announced then, w and the time given to the willing populace was one appropriate for festival songs of joy, and for both Ceres and Bacchus, whose duty it is to manage the feast; and for other Gods too: while with wedding bed and torches nuptial Hymen brings together the lovers' desires, and in whose name the not inconsiderable size of the affair is supported. The nobles assemble: the pick of the youth of Scots lead their counterfeit king towards the dwellings of the Gods. x The queen's venerable mother, encircled by her close-knit guardians (for the people in their zeal to see rush forward on all sides), and by others from the nobility, strides forth at a matching pace and follows the queen as she goes into the aforementioned temples of the Gods. All abstain from speech and return the the silence owed to sacred things: the sacred bishop conducts the words of the venerable marriage [p327] with solemn recitation: and that man and that woman of yours follow his lead with a booming voice. Everyone present says kind words to the couple, and with a friendly murmur and sacred prayers they solemnly ask the divinities for peace and favour. The royal palace welcomes the couple returning from the temple with memorable splendour, and sumptuous banquets: crowds of servants make ready rich platters: and delights were present on the table that anyone would admire, or would wish for themselves in their secret desires: all kinds of exotic preparations, all kinds of delights, shine forth on choice dishes. The father y himself beholding from heaven the dining tables furnished with nectar and ambrosia for human consumption is astonished: even now he would wish that he himself and his Gods were dinner guests with the mortals: had not he provided the divinities Venus, and Mars, and Minerva, and (how much help!) the rest for the faithful protection of the absent king: stripped of the protection of his comrades, he is not able to match the human pomp with his own party of divinities. So great are the groups of heroes that gather at this dinner. Without their desire to see you, O King, it would thus have been possible now to see the Gods above ruling over the kingdoms of the earth, and with Olympus empty see them mingling with the mortals! It is as if the holy wedlocks of olden times were back, since a Nymph of the sea has been given to you in marriage, great Peleus! z
148After enough time was allowed for the banquet, and the tables were cleared, the best mother-in-law, your most dear wife, and the nobility invoke you, the spouse, in commemorative song, as they pour the wine high in the cups to your health. aa And this procession saw nothing more pleasing than the heir of the kingdom ab - encouraged by the advice of his parent, and the crowd of nobles striking the ground with their feet raised high, and through the halls breaking into shout - who having bent his left elbow into the handle, raises up the beaker full of wine in his strong right hand and said: 'King James, having prayed for this happy day for both Danes and Scots, I ask you, although absent, to be here in this cup, and your Mercury too.' Straightaway he quickly drinks the fruits of Bacchus, as he toasts you with no pause for breath, and then the victor rejoices in his empty golden goblet, and throughout the whole hall the murmuring sound of wine hitting the mark was heard. Then Marischal, saluting the noble hero with his modest mouth, [p328] concedes that brother yields to brother in this virtue and that our men are bested by their neighbours (may that constantly-practised Scottish moderation serve you well): and temperately spitting out the wine from his noble mouth into his cup he entrusts these duties to Scrymgeour, ac standard bearer of the tawny Lion, a man of the highest rank due to his lineage and his own virtue. Possessing great strength and of a lofty frame, and having not yet forgotten the habits of drinking, which he had previously drank in while wandering these lands, he said: 'O, if I were to drink as many drops of foaming wine down the abyss of my long throat, without taking breath, or prepare to consume the same amount of the living red stuff to toast his master's health, the fates would enrich his life with so many years in abundance, or rather they would exchange his health for my death!' With no delay, in lofty countenance, and with neck thrown back, drawing out a huge amount of wine (as much as he could, and as much as he wished for the king himself), turning the cup into his mouth he drinks it dry: and still unexhausted he renews the wine contest, to see if there are rewards for this type of virtue. But a sober contingent of the nobles wished to moderate this frenzy, and embracing each other in turn they set up a treaty of lasting alliance. However, this cessation does not hold firm for the merrymaking people, ad who, in the fashion of their fathers, give license to their bibulous nature, and bury the wine in their stomachs: so that you would think that an empty flask is concealed within their whole body, or that the liquid put out some hidden fire! It is a worthwhile task for sober men to examine the repulsive bodies of the wine-sodden men, and their half-dead limbs, and their faces fiery red with the mark of Bacchus, their gullets reeking of food, and their mouths belching out their soul, their ballast often seeping from every crack, and other infamies through which drunkenness wreaks revenge upons itself with unregulated fury. Mature old men long for such wonders, but female propriety, and children under their parents' stern direction detest these monstrosities: through this vile example may they flee from these monstrous faults, and learn wine's troubles!
200With daylight departing, tired after their long toil, sleep now creeps upon them at nighttime: with the attendant kindred troop of her own men, the golden wife [p329] retreats to the royal bedchamber: and there the royal messenger, feigning the nuptial joys of the night with a solitary touch, bids her conserve her restless desire for he who is absent, and keep in her mind the man who keeps her in his: nor to be tormented by her passions, and to expect a substantial delight in a brief period of time. Recalling the man in prayers, she confesses that, to this point, the fates have been generous: since in the morning the maiden, also the daughter of a king, left the marital bed without her husband, and hither where the evening star shines the maiden ae returns as wife to a king, and soon not a maiden she will be called, but a most celebrated mother of a king (grant this, you Gods above): daughter, wife, parent of a king. What mortal soul would wish more in their heart? Why humbly beg in prayer, if one knows that the Thunderer has already granted it in his utterances? With everyone thus departed from the bedroom, she ponders her one love (I exclude here the Gods) for her husband, in her heart: and in her sleep she longs for her man, and for him also while awake. What is the limit now for you, James? What flame consumes your marrow in the meantime? Were you to see by nuptial torchlight the body of your snow-white bride spread out across the bed, not in return for dominion over the world, nor for the life-span of Nestor, af would you exchange the joys of this one night here with your wife. But temper your eager spirits, and furnish your royal dwellings with a beautiful marital bed: the other part of the bed will come, that part (I say) of you will come, for you would think that, with her safe, life was joyous - as much as with her hurt, your life was on the threshold of death.
228But now after Aurora has dispersed the dull shadows of sluggish night from the new morning, the great and noble mother with a word gave her rising daughter a quick greeting, but it was imbued with wit, and caused a charming altercation: since the maiden wife spent the one night in her whole life by tradition agreeable without the enjoyment of a man and Love. She says nothing back, nor does she mull over the jousting in her mind: but she ponders in her soul and with her voice the kingdom of the Scots, betrothed to her care by a conjugal pact. Not now does a love of her fatherland, nor the pious image of her mother, nor the favour of her brothers, nor the holy bonds of her sisters, nor the other ties which commonly shackle women, block this woman of ours from taking hold of her foreign kingdom. Now she talks of the seas and the winds, and curved keels. ag
[p330] And she does not want the fleet to be prepared to set out on ice: she now fears the fierce seas in the winter months, in case the ships would make no progress: she fears that her tardy progress will dash the hopes of her husband, as he constantly looks out at the waves of the sea: and a reddening blush captures these many things upon his countenance, and the lover is vexed in his heart: but he clears his vexations from his brow, lest public joys are disturbed by the grief of one man.
249And now amid the lavish dishes, and the splendid public shows, the feast days have run their course: while the queen herself, with the fleet drawn down into the sea on large wooden rollers, was preparing her farewells and goodbyes to her fatherland and her mother in good cheer, and to the sad throng of her own people: her attendants give the signal for packing up, and they get ready for the task, and fit out and load the ships. Then the most noble mother, clutching and holding fast the hand of her daughter who was pressing on her way, said, 'since the most reverend glory of our race does not now suffer to be enclosed by the narrow boundary of its ancient fatherland and native fields, it will embrace the whole world under its dominion (as I predict). And the delights of the marriage bed have fallen to you, which no other thing has been able to surpass in distinction, if you, Goddess, direct every thing by your will. As soon as you reach your hoped-for city and foreign peoples, do not flaunt your beauty, nor your wealth: let Scotland think that you are rich in virtues and let it then await your arrival with the greatest joy. Before everything consider the manners and customs of your court, lest your race be vexed by shameful infamy in the eyes of our neighbours, and be thought a promoter of sinning. Cast out from the royal palace appetite's gluttony, and the shameful games of Bacchus, which although pleasing to our people, nevertheless bring shameful dishonour, and abound in evils: even now as you come the roguish youth prepare with such compliance to stroke you with caresses, in order to ingratiate themselves to you. Be wise and shun these and other flatterers who encourage fresh crimes with pleasing words and sycophancy, and delight in blowing burning embers onto the torch of vices: so that, hiding behind the appearance and mask of trust, and with all sorts of calamities befalling the people, and destruction the rulers, they present the thing to their masters as splendid, and take possession of such great power. Beware excess and pleasures, the most unwavering destroyers of a poor kingdom; and let it be a base thing for you [p331] to join a troop of servants to your back, as if in a festival procession. (O the number of them, o the gaping mouths, o a second army for the Phaeacians, Penelope's men, ah both idleness' listless nurslings, and Harpies excelling in consuming the labour of others!) Nor let it be a virtue for you to desire banquets at luxurious expense before the rest, and to wear garments splendid with gold and silk: nor to squander the royal treasury on your idle followers. For as soon as the treasury of a negligent ruler has been exhausted by their Charybdis ai they depart (o misery!): whence then the money for him for employment in peace and use in war, if ever any neighbours should incite Mars? Nor indeed is it right for a leader, after he has sunk and been undone by his own hellish bottomless pit, to rob the poor plebs indiscriminately, and to torture the people with taxation. aj Never do we unite in one purse money thus stolen and the friendly soul whose money we steal, for the aggrieved commoners can then justly spread abroad an anger that will wound. In addition, the rabble of commoners always threatening the heights would run riot, following the example of their rulers: and not measuring itself by its own foot and rule, with excess spread out everywhere it becomes useless and weak, so that it cannot pay the tax demanded, nor confront the dangers of war. Should I bring to mind the crimes, which the mob, as if made into a legion, wantonly embrace as they dance around courts receptive to depravity, and through this vice flows down from its source to all the people? You, daughter, should think fit to purge those things, and to punish as the occasion arises: and when the people's mind propels itself more basely, to demand appropriately harsh punishments for crimes. Yet still, it is right for you to do everything with your husband as advisor and as inspiration: without his health, there is no health for the bride in future years; without his dignity, there is no dignity; and with his life brought to harm, consider yourself to be enrolled among the dead, and adjust yourself completely to his service and wonts (unless he should sin), and follow him. If, however, he should command a greater kingdom than your previous hopes and ancestral lands, let him generously spend the royal treasury, though not at your instigation. Then after he has determined that the wealth of the people have been sufficiently expended by the prudence of the nobles, let him burden the people with money, procured as the customary repayment for their efforts. If he should [p332] too often absolve lesser criminals of their crime, then would a new frenzy for crime rise, and far and wide the contagion of its example would spread, paving the way for horrible misadventures. You spoil that sort of thing - this is your cunning - if you see that it stains the brilliance of the sceptre. Here deploy when necessary the introduction of a speech and a winning approach, and the right time for a bit of love, and as he hesitates caress him with a hug, and fix sweet kisses on him. Even if he wants other things, contend that it cannot delight you unless you share in his wish: add your support to his complaints and yield to his words easily, and favour his actions. And when you hold him, bound by the chains of friendship and good faith, be wary of entreaties and complaints other than those you may direct towards the aid of the prince and the people: and let him very much be the first to hold forth the torch of virtue, and, to the letter of the law, the flock will follow the standards of virtues from the example of their Leader: it is clear that, with the court in disorder, the people will everywhere follow its lead; and with the court upright, the people will stand firm on their feet. However, my final words give you what is most important, and may you fix firmly these last orders in your ever-mindful heart: before all banes of the court, as an enemy continually cast out far away profane types, for they worship all Gods with false rites. He who falsely deceives the Gods with due reverence, will never be trustworthy for the prince. May money pillaged from the altars by sacreligious theft return to sacred employment, reclaimed by you the liberator. And through the example of the royal household may piety extend into all the lands of the kingdom: and let propriety and reverence bear down upon the wild nobility and people with brandished club.'
348 Amid these warnings, the screech of the south east wind interrupted the mother as she mused upon more besides, and the sea presses upon the coast as if beckoning: the ships spread across the shore have in their vast belly, and in their dark holds, an army of travellers: and everywhere swift vessels and quick clippers are seen, ready to take the orders of the exalted fleet, to make a bridge to the coast, to make ready the mooring-ropes for the waves, and to pull up the anchors fastened to the deepest depths of the silty abyss. Hence will they betake themselves into the accustomed womb of their mother. One of these, after the flagship gave the signal, [p333] quickening through the foot of the oars, which it raises up into the air, and strikes down upon the sea in time, and quickly holds to the coast which is swarming with people. Surrounded by a friendly band of lords, she salutes first these people then the others with either a shout or a gentle sigh, or eyes shedding a shower of tears, or with a clasping of hands: but she kisses the gentle lips of her brothers, and gives a kiss to her mother, and her caressing kisses to her band of sisters, and fastens her kisses upon the outermost boundaries of her fatherland. And gazing up at heaven she prays to the Gods for fortunate things for herself and for her own people: so that if she should depart her ancient fatherland, never again to see it, and the friends ever-thinking of their absent one, at least a messenger travelling to and fro would convey to those people that she is well: and so, with favourable report from both sides, through both constantly exchanged letters, and many a gift here and there, let their love continue, so that it may endure through long ages.
These words said, she is received into the prepared bosom of the ferry,
with soft feathers on the floor, and with purple fabric on the ceiling,
and with a bed befitting a royal body. ak
At this point an opinion divides the divided people,
and excites various murmurs: while the lamentation
of mourners is heard on the shore, and the cry of those
missing the beautiful countenance of the maiden, as if the fates
were now more ready to make burial mounds and graves
than kingdoms and marriage beds for her.
But an opposing shout comes from the fleet into the air,
as some thought themselves fortunate above the others with such a token of love
and the protection of this ward: and the splendid ships
receive the mighty queen onto her high throne via its dangling ladders,
and trembling the ship bears a load greater than her mortal body,
and it lists one way and the other under its burden.
388 Now over the entire shore she pours forth Lenaeus' tribute, al while she affects hope upon her face, and the people deliver all their words in favourable invocations. Nor on the fleet's part do the goblets stop overflowing with wine, and they repeat the invocations and their Bacchic roar makes its way into the heavens: and the noble nectar is am poured forth into the waves as sacrifice, and their cups swim upon the sea's surface. Thereupon many a cannon gives out a very mighty boom, an spitting out sulphurous balls from their bronzen mass which should only be viewed from far off, and join both smoke and flames to their din: and the fizzing weight of the balls upon the vast sea [p334] scatters the waves: and all of heaven resounds, and the shaken earth trembles and the resounding shore re-echoes the boom sent from the screeching sea. But father Jupiter himself scarce tolerates with equanimity weapons rivalling his own: the counterfeited fire of lightning, or false thunder's holy terror. For previously he hurled Salmoneus ao down to the dark shades after he made such things. But when he saw that the noise was harming neither mortals nor the holy divinities of the Gods, thereupon he tarried not and commanded that the affair be looked after by his brother, ap who holds the vast expanse of the sea, so that no rock, or any shore hinder, and so that the billowing waves would do no harm, nor the hostile coast, and neither sickness vex the stomach, nor putrid bilge the nose of the Heroine who has entrusted herself to the sea with the Gods. Neptune, raising his calm head above the smooth sea, who not long ago feared the strength of the floating forest on the water, whom Vulcan's fire aq struck with many a roar, and was thunderstruck (lest the restored offspring of Earth, the giants, put their arms upon a captive sea, which blind optimism had deceived those armed against heaven) by the admonition of the greater creator, and commands that the storms go far away, and the hostile tempests, and the anger of the winds depart from the watery kingdoms, and so too the stormy rain-clouds: so that the queen may take possession of her hoped-for port across the sea on a favourable course. He orders the Nereids to be made ready for attendant service, and all the Divinities who had withdrawn into the deep, forever wet in the cold sea. He compels the scaly race, its every herd, to weave in competition around the curved keels, so that its hanging lines may carry off those which bite the metal hiding under the counterfeit food. At the same time as Triton's hollow seahorn decreed these things across the vast ocean, even before he had finished, the Nymphs, and the fishes under the glassy sea execute the Sea God's commands. And they do not mavel at new heroes on the Argo ar alone, and a Venus brought back to the sea, but rather one brought out from her high towers by the seahorn, not becoming in her hair alone, but in jewels, and striking in her golden light, and lovely face: and in the reflection of the sea, in her very image (which delights the race of swimmers), in her bosom where they to wish [p335] to be buried, they would die in no better way. She in turn, gazing down upon the swift wards of the shepherd Proteus, as as they cut up the marbled sea with their flapping fins, happily points out her dinner, which she lifts out on fishooks, and consigns to the bronze pot boiling with a fire burning underneath: and the woman picks out wonders worthy of the great Gods. Meanwhile the fleet as a body glides along at full speed, and father Aeolus fills up their levelled sails with a favourable breeze. Their ships ply through the blue sea frolicking as they go, and they chase, and flee from each other in turn, and they augment the sails' wings with the oars' legs. And across the open sea they feign the battles of a naval war, in which the fearful flames of pistols fire out their bullets, and larger devices menace the enemy with shots, until they are withdrawn. Soon the grappling hook with its tenacious teeth yoking the nearest timbers causes collateral damage, as the men stand forth with ruddy arms, lock foot to foot, and man fights man across the planks. In this way, through a game, they demonstrate what they could do in a real contest, and with what ardour they would be taken against a hostile enemy.
457 Go forth, Scotland, and, bowed low, and with your fasces lowered, with all duty honour her who feigns squeamishness amid these battles on the sea, and embrace this Goddess who, most beautiful, with her beautiful prince would govern for you, and would renew as one the stock of a fabled yet failing house: so that hereafter it may rise up, creating offspring and producing a national crown for its children. But although you will prepare together to extend the borders of your rule far and wide, at noble boy, and noble maiden (complaining that such great minds are contained within the scanty borders of the Scots!), refrain from yielding to the desire of an ambitious mind, making sure that you pursue power without force, or guile: it will falls to you in its own time. Learn how to govern, and grow little by little in years, and in mind and body together. If at the beginning of your rule, you provide a great beginning with a slender fortune, and the first stirrings of a significant repute while your harvest is in the meadow, au so that laws are joined to the deserving, and public virtue, the basis of the law, abounds; then without struggle and toil, [p336] of its own free will, and humbly shall those neighbouring you submit to your laws, and the outside world far abroad will desire to be governed by you. To strive for the heights through the force of one's good name is of great importance. Without an apprenticeship, and unsightly error at the beginning, you limit your fame, and you pour down darkness upon your fire, which now promises a new dawn for the Cimmerian world av (since the Gods above redirect their ill omen from you towards the enemy): who would think that the sluggish commanders of a middling court would be ready to take control of the reins of power in a greater kingdom? The authority of a government, unless supported by duty, or vigour, is unstable.
Yet why do I, a wavering interpreter, pointlessly go over these things unworthy
of your talents? You to whom the Gods of land and sea
promise the commencement of your rule through a steadfast omen.
Truly in which year of our Lord, either by the fury of the sea
or the treachery of their own people, the numerous enemy have been destroyed, aw
and the illustrious church rejoices with new spoils,
and Anna gives rise to the longed-for glories of her sceptre and bed. ax
493 In the month, moreover, in which welcome Erigone draws out the Sun ay which drives on the abundant harvests, and crams the stores full with this year's grain, the fruitful maiden sprung from a maiden, az Anna gives rise to the longed-for glories of her sceptre and bed.
And while the favourable smooth surface of the sea helps the ships so much,
and so much too do the favourable waves and the kindly appearance of the sky,
so that naturally we are amazed that one mortal's course
has changed the accustomed rhythm of the world,
Anna gives rise to the longed-for glories of her sceptre and bed.
502 And when golden Ceres gathers so many harvests heavy with corn, and presenting herself plentiful with overflowing horn to the people and all, she springs forth in abundance so far and wide over the fields, so that scarcely have the long ages produced a harvest for the Scots similar to this, and scarcely will coming gnerations hope for such a harvest, Anna gives rise to the longed-for glories of her sceptre and bed.
508 But far off now the sails indicate the hoped-for fleet to the shores, and far off the shores reveal themselves to the fleet. Now cannons make ready their terrifying dins on both sides, and will cover the sky in fire and smoke with their cannonballs. The royal city, as though shaken on all sides from its own foundations, spews out a wave of watchers from every gate. And boys surge forth, and mothers with many a maiden, [p337] and the venerable grey heads of old men, and sporting youths: neither do locked doors keep the handmaidens at work, nor does the threatening matron with her stern orders: but even she herself, although slow with old age, follows the fugitives, and she smiles at the sight of the Danes, and at so many of our sails upon the vast sea.
520Here amid the thousands of men spread out far and wide, you see how, o Queen, every face awaits your countenance, their eager mouths agape: and perceive to what extent the hearts of the people await the joys of festivities with you as their leader. And now from your ship you lap up with attentive eyes the joy on the shore, which the riches of the kingdom, and the longed-for marriage, and the faithful duty of the nation bequeaths to you. From a good start, nourishing God, provide a firm track, and round off their beginnings with an outstanding end. Now, with your virtues extolled to the heavens, provide the subject matter for the poet, and with your augur's staff bring to light the deeds worthy of praise to be sung, and add to the increasing achievements: and unless divining Apollo deceives us with an empty form, with me as poet ever-mindful time's old age will proclaim your name, even when one day overcome by deathly decline.
1: This is laid out as a separate dedicatory epigram in the 1589 edition, followed by 'M[ajestatis]. T[uae]. supplex famulus, H. Rollocus'. All other divergences from the 1589 text will be noted next to the passage where it occurs.
2: Horace, Ars Poetica 180-1
3: 'rumpunt...vocem': Virgil, Aeneid II.129
4: Rollock identifies Anna with 'Anna Perenna' the deified personification of time's progression. See Ovid, Fasti III.523 and following
5: Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.697
6: 'marinam / Et votis Venerem...': see Horace, Odes III.26.5 for the use of this adjective with Venus
7: '...pelagi defuncte periclis...': Virgil, Aeneid VI.83
8: cf. Virgil, Aeneid IV.329
9: 'memori...pectore': cf. Ovid, Heroides XIII.66
10: cf. Propertius, Elegies I.1-2
11: 'cuspidis ictus': cf. Virgil, Aeneid IV.329; and Ovid, Metamorphoses XII.74
12: 'et dabo vinctas tempore victa manus' Ovid, Heroides XVII.262. 'cunctatas' for 'vinctas' in several Ovidian manuscript traditions. '[curam] hoc solamine mulcens': Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica IV.443: 'hoc animam solamine mulcens'
13: A clever play on Virgil, Aeneid X.504: Pallas Athene for Pallas (Virgil himself relies on a similar conflation of the two for effect)
14: Ovid, Amores II.11.39
15: An allusion to the myth of Telephus, who was injured by Achilles' spear, and who could also only be cured by the spear: Ovid, Remedia Amoris 47-8. The allusive phallic conceit here also benefits from another aspect of the mythology surrounding the spear: it was also too big for anyone but Achilles to lift: Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.109
16: 1589: This line and the five following rendered with question marks. Full stop at 'sponsam'
17: 'purpureis...labellis': Ovid, Amores III.14.23. Rollock interacts with this passage from Ovid more generally in the lines immediately preceding and following the present line
18: Virgil, Aeneid I.591
19: Virgil, Aeneid I.342; and Juvenal, Satires III.39
20: Ovid, Metamorphoses II.169
21: Ovid, Metamorphoses II.55
22: This and the previous line cf. Virgil, Aeneid IX.25
23: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.391
24: Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.253
25: cf. Virgil, Aeneid IV.58. 1589: no semi-colon here
26: Virgil, Aeneid VIII.606
27: Virgil, Aeneid II.63
28: 'Pacem / ac veniam': formal ancient prayer. See Livy, Ab Urbe Condita VIII.9.7
29: This and the next two lines: Virgil, Aeneid I.216-7; also I.723
30: cf. Ovid, Fasti II.633 and following
31: Virgil, Aeneid V.77
32: Virgil, Aeneid I.738. See 'epulis mensaeque remotae' 12 lines above
33: cf. Ovid, Amores II.3.11
34: 1589: bracketed
35: 1589: no exclamation mark
36: Virgil, Aeneid I.461
37: Virgil, Aeneid IV.614
38: Virgil, Aeneid IX.455
39: 1589: 'temeto'
40: 'saburra': rare usage. cf. Virgil, Georgics IV.195
41: cf. Claudian, De Raptu Proserpinae I.80
42: The end of this line and start of next: Virgil, Aeneid IV.66-8. Also, for begining of this line see: 'Quis tibi, Naso, modus...': Ovid, Tristia V.1.35
43: cf. 'depulerat caelo gelidas Aurora tenebras': Statius, Thebaid II.135
44: cf. Ovid, Amores I.3.14; II.5.34
45: Virgil, Aeneid IV.477
46: For the expression see Caesar, Bellum Civile I.66, and III.37
47: Virgil, Georgics IV.5
48: See Erasmus, Adages III.VI.27; and Plautus, Pseudolus 945
49: Found in the same passage of Erasmus as above: Adages III.VI.27. This word is only found in classical Latin at Persius, Satires V.176
50: Virgil, Aeneid XII.552
51: Rollock is familiar with the story that a portion of Penelope's suitors were from King Alcinous' court. See Horace, Epistles I.II.27-31; and I.XV.24
52: 1589: no exclamation mark here
53: Catullus, Carmina XLVII.5
54: For the saying see: Horace, Epistles I.7.98
55: Virgil, Aeneid I.82
56: Virgil, Georgics III.469
57: Virgil, Aeneid IV.423
58: Virgil, Aeneid I.687; and VIII.388
59: 1589: 'pessum'
60: For the saying see: Horace, Epistles II.1.176
61: Virgil, Aeneid II.258
62: Virgil, Aeneid XII.228
63: Virgil, Aeneid I.209
64: 1589: 'omina'
65: Lucretius, De Rerum Naturae IV.545-546
66: See Virgil, Aeneid VI.585
67: Ovid, Metamorphoses V.7
68: 1589: 'abdiderunt'
69: Lucretius, De Rerum Natura I.162
70: Virgil, Aeneid VI.171
71: For Proteus as shepherd see: Virgil, Georgics IV.388-395; and Horace, Odes I.2.7-9
72: 1589: end of line group
73: 1589: end of line group
74: Book misprint for 'tempore'.
75: Ovid, Heroides XVII.263
76: Virgil, Aeneid II.101
77: 'orbem' possible mistake for 'orbi'
78: Virgil, Georgics II.462
79: Virgil, Aeneid I.118
a: King James, since Rollock is writing this in Edinburgh while thinking of Anna in Denmark.
b: Rollock identifies Anna with 'Anna Perenna', the deified personification of time's progression. See Ovid, Fasti III.523 and following.
c: Rollock leaves 'Austrum' deliberately vague here as to whether he means the southern half of the British Isles (England and Wales) or the Catholic kingdoms of southern Europe. Given the favour and support he had received from Elizabeth and the English Privy Council when he was attacked by pirates in 1579-80 (see d2_RolH_007 and d2_RolH_008), and given the ongoing delicacy of the succession negotiations, Rollock was probably very reluctant to state boldly that James would accede to the English throne.
d: Rollock is identifying Jupiter with the Judaeo-Christian God here, but in a later section on the feast following the wedding ceremony (l. 135-147) he suggests that the 'father' watching over the wedding feast is actually Jupiter, who has sent Venus, Mars and Minerva as 'divinities for the faithful protection of the king' ('fido numina regis/praesidio', l. 138-139). There is thus a clear intermingling in Rollock's mind between the two in their deployment in a poetic context, which is perhaps natural and expected given his Classical humanist education.
e: George Keith, fourth Earl Marischal (1549/50-1623), was the head of the embassy that completed the marriage negotiations in June and August 1589. Marischal was well qualified to lead the expedition. In addition to probably being the richest man in Scotland (the estate passed to him on his father's death in 1581 stood at £180,000 Scots) and thus able to finance the mission in a style that would reflect well on James, Marischal had received a full humanist education in Paris and Geneva (he would go on to found his own protestant arts college, the eponymous Marischal College, in Aberdeen in 1592) and spoke several languages. He was also a trusted familiar of the king's, affectionately referred to by James as 'my little fat pork'. See Stevenson, p. 17; John Simmons, 'Keith, George, fourth Earl Marischal (1549/50-1623)', ODNB.
f: An allusion to Pallas Athena and her virginity. See Latin note for more detail.
g: Nereus was a Greek Titan, son of Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth), and has been identified with the 'Old Man of the Sea' in the Odyssey (XXIV.58). Rollock is playing on the idea that James' 'boundaries' are being assaulted by passion, even though (as noted in l. 42-3) he has never seen Anna, at the same time as the two lovers are being kept apart by the rough waters of the North Sea.
h: An allusion to the myth of Telephus, who was injured by Achilles' spear, and who could also only be cured by the spear: Ovid, Remedia Amoris 47-8. The allusive phallic conceit here also benefits from another aspect of the mythology surrounding the spear: it was also too big for anyone but Achilles to lift: Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.109
i: Given this passage's reliance on Ovid (see note in Latin text above: Ovid, Amores III.14.20-24), Rollock is perhaps suggesting a more intimate verbal interaction.
j: King Frederick II (r. 1558-1588), traditionally viewed as a drunken, irrational monarch more interested in hunting than governance and whose early death was hastened by alcoholism. However, Frede P. Jansen has suggested that, despite an inability to cope with reading and writing stemming from dyslexia, Frederick was a personable ruler whose informal court style and close personal bonds with his nobility strengthened the spirit of co-operation between crown and aristocracy that had developed under his father, Christian III (r. 1536-1558). Paul Douglas Lockhart, Denmark 1513-1660: The Rise and Decline of a Renaissance Monarchy (Oxford, 2007), pp. 35-36; Frede P. Jansen, Bidrag til Frederik II's og Erik XIV's historie (Copenhagen, 1978).
k: Early modern Denmark, like Norway and Sweden, had a constitutional model best described as 'council-' or 'aristocratic constutionalism', where the king ruled jointly with an aristocratic council of state, comprising no more than thirty members at any one time. The council did not sit permanently and the addition of new members was controlled by the king. However, the council had the right to elect kings, and used this power to draft 'coronation charters' for every monarch before they were allowed to accede, thus limiting royal power and ensuring their accountability. This process took place for every Danish king from Christian I in 1448 through to Christian V in 1670. Rollock also references the fact that Christian IV was named as prince-elect by his father's council in 1580. Lockhart, pp. 6, 42.
l: Queen Sofie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow (1557-1631), with whom Frederick had seven children. Lockhart, p. 42.
m: Anna had three brothers - Christian IV; Ulrich II, Prince-bishop of Schwerin; and John, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein - and three sisters - Elizabeth, Duchess of Brunswick; Augusta, Duchess Holstein-Gottorp; and Hedwig, Electress of Saxony.
n: One of three Germanic tribes who fought Rome in the Cimbrian War (110-103BC). Their homeland was Cimbria or Jutland, the northern part of modern Denmark. The seven stars are the 'planets' (i.e., 'wandering' stellar phenomona) recognised by Ptolemy: Mercury, Venus, the moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the sun, because in the geocentric theories of Ptolemy the Sun 'wandered' round the earth.
o: Until he came of age in 1596, Christian was served by a four-man regency council consisting of Chanceller Niels Kaas, Admiral Peder Munk, Jørgen Rosenkrantz, and Christoffer Valkendorf. These men also negotiated the terms of the marriage with the Scottish embassy. Lockhart, p. 42; Stevenson, pp. 9-10, 24, 82-3, 123, 126, 135.
p: Margaret of Denmark (1456/7?-1486), consort of James III, who was credited as being better suited to rule than her inept husband by her biographer Giovanni Sabadino. Her death on 14 July 1486 was said at the time to have been caused by James having her poisoned, a rumour that he attempted to counter by pursuing her canonisation. Norman Macdougall, 'Margaret (1456/7?-1486)', ODNB.
q: James was awarded a dowry of £150,000 Scots in February 1590 (haggled down from James' initial request for £500,000 Scots), along with an additional gift of £20,000 from his mother-in-law, probably to cover his expenses while travelling to Denmark from Norway. James had spent a staggering £62,000 of this before he returned to Scotland. Stevenson, pp. 20, 53-54.
r: Rollock is either suggesting here that the Danes are sprung from the tribe of Dan, one of the original twelve tribes of Israel; or from the Danaoi, one of several names used for the Greeks in the Iliad and Odyssey.
s: Christian III's 'Recess' of 1536 abolished the Danish branch of the Catholic Church and replaced it with a national Lutheran one. In the passage that follows (down to l. 110), Rollock celebrates the fact that Scotland is now being bound to a fellow Protestant nation with whom it can stand against the Catholic nations of southern Europe. Lockhart, pp. 31-32.
t: Rome, although Rollock may also obliquely mean England here, as Elizabeth and the English Privy Council became hesitant about the Danish match after initially showing favour to it. They tried instead to push James towards a match with Catherine de Bourbon, sister of King Henry III of Navarre. Stevenson, pp. 11-16.
u: Another aspect of the 'Old Man of the Sea' (see note on Nereus, above), Proteus could foretell the future but would only do so when captured, and would continually change his shape to avoid this. He is being used here and in the following line to represent the pope.
v: See note to 'Danai' above.
w: Lines 111-207, the core of the poem, recount the key events of the proxy marriage ceremony, including the wedding service which took place at 3PM; the celebratory dinner held afterwards in the presence of Christian IV; and the 'marriage bed' ceremony performed by Marischal and Anna with their respective retinues as a symbol of the marriage's consummation. Rollock's description of events fits very closely with the only known account of the civil ceremony, produced by an anonymous Danish courtier (see Stevenson, pp. 85-86). He does not mention the oath that the Scots ambassadors had to swear prior to the service to uphold the terms of the marriage treaty on return to Scotland, or the fact that the Scots had a private lunch in their chamber before the ceremony. These omissions aside, it seems very likely that Rollock had access to an account of the proxy wedding while writing his poem, presumably from one of the embassy who had been in attendance.
x: The proxy service was actually a civil wedding, which took place in Kronborg Castle in Helsingør. Stevenson, pp. vii, 22.
y: See note to Jupiter above.
z: See note above.
aa: Rollock adds a colourful, but in all likelihood true, addition to the known narrative in the following sequence (l. 148-185). James Scrymgeour of Dudhope had been exiled to Denmark during the Arran hegemony (1582-85; see also d2_RolH_009) and subsequently served as an advocate and diplomat for James in a number of missions around Europe. As Rollock makes clear, he was used to the prodigious drinking abilities of the Danes, being described by Sir James Melville as 'a gud trew stout man, lyk a Dutche [Deusch] man' (Melville, Memoirs, p. 366; Stevenson, p. 19).
ab: Christian IV.
ac: See note above.
ad: Rollock savages the 'common people' at several points in his poetry, attacking them in his diatribe against Andrew Melville for unfairly criticising his teaching at Edinburgh High School (see d2_RolH_002). Here he uses the account of the drinking toast as a means to condemn the unbridled drunkenness which he believes inevitably results when lower social classes get access to alcohol.
ae: 'evening star shines': Rollock is punning on the Latin 'vesper', which here can mean both 'in the evening' and 'in the west'. So the west (Scotland) is the 'evening' where she will find her king; it is in juxtaposition with 'mane', the morning, in Denmark where her bed is empty. The next line, which looks to the future, is introduced by 'mox, 'soon', which is punning on 'nox', 'night'. So we have 'morning', 'evening', and 'night'.
af: King of Pylos in the Greek Peloponessus, famed for his wisdom and for living to a great age.
ag: The second half of the poem (l. 242-534) turns to an account of the preparations for Anna's journey to Scotland. Rollock draws a pleasant if unremarkable sketch of Anna setting out on her journey (l. 241-248, 348-456), particularly in the playful image of shoals of fish crowding around her ship that are caught for the new queen's dinner. The poem ends with an equally generic image of the people of Scotland expectantly awaiting their new Queen on the shores of the Edinburgh coast (l. 486-534), interspersed with a repeated refrain celebrating the honour and glory Anna will bring to Scotland. The second half is notable, though, for its opening monologue delivered by Anna's mother, Queen Sofie (l. 249-347), who gives advice to her daughter on how to behave as a queen and how to best assist her husband. Rollock daringly uses the persona of Sofie to deliver some advice particularly apt to James. First, Anna should avoid sycophantic servants and flatterers who drain the court of finance (James was notoriously attached to his favourite, Esmé Stewart, who accrued considerable wealth and titles between 1578 and 1582, and had provided Captain James Stewart with the earldom of Arran). She should also encourage the king to avoid exacting taxation and money from his people wherever possible (James had been approved for a taxation of £100,000 from the parliament in 1588 but had also requested 7,000 merks from Edinburgh to fund John Skene's travel to Denmark as part of the wedding embassy and to pay for Anna's entertainment on her arrival in Scotland. He would rely heavily on the city to shoulder the costs of the wedding celebrations generally. See Amy. L. Juhala, 'An Advantageous Alliance: Edinburgh and the Court of James VI', in Sixteenth-Century Scotland, pp. 337-363, esp. pp. 348-9.).
ah: The people of Scheria, the island of King Alcinous, on which Odysseus was cast ashore in Homer's Odyssey (book 5). Rollock is familiar with the story that a portion of Penelope's suitors were from King Alcinous' court. See Horace, Epistles I.II.27-31; and I.XV.24
ai: The mythical whirlpool in the Straits of Messina opposite the great rock Scylla, which Odysseus and his crew passed with the loss of six men (Odyssey, XII.234-60).
aj: See note above.
ak: When the Scottish embassy arrived for the wedding negotiations at Copenhagen on 29 June, they found that sixteen ships had been fitted out for Anna's journey, with more than 300 tailors and embroiderers involved in the preparation of the clothing for her marriage. The considerable outlay by the Danes was as much an incitement as anything else to the Scots to agree the marriage, in case James should lose face by backing out. Stevenson, pp. 20-21.
al: Lenaeus = Bacchus. So she pours forth wine for toasting.
am: 'Bacchic roar', literally 'the shout which cries Euhan!' Euhan is the cry made by followers of Bacchus. See Catullus, LXIV.391, and Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.15, for its use.
an: The Danish fleet had indeed been sent off with a cannon salute, but two cannons had burst in the process, killing and injuring a number of bystanders. This was taken as a bad omen for the marriage, particularly when the winter storms also impeded Anna's progress. Stevenson, p. 25.
ao: King of Elis, who built a bridge of brass over which he repeatedly drove a specially adapted chariot to simulate Zeus' lightning. For this act of pride, Zeus struck him down with a thunderbolt.
aq: The cannonballs.
ar: The ship which Jason and his men (the 'Argonauts') sailed in from Iolcos in their quest for the Golden Fleece.
as: See note above.
at: In addition to his deliberate ambiguity over the use of the term 'Austrum' (see l. 3-4), Rollock also suggests here that James and Anna should not pay excessive attention to the English kingdom they may or may not be about to inherit. Instead, they should use their rule of Scotland as a form of apprenticeship in which they can hone their royal craft, and fate and time will grant to them a greater destiny and larger empire without any necessity on their part to speed this process up.
au: A favourite saying of Rollock taken from Ovid. See note to Latin text above.
av: The Cimmerians were an ancient nomadic people who (according to Herodotus, IV.11-13) inhabited what is now Ukraine and Russia in the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Rollock may also mean 'Sumerian' here, denoting the civilisation that had existed in Sumer in southern Mesopotamia as early as 4500BC. From either of these, the implication can be drawn that Rollock sees his new king and queen bringing light to a world shrouded in primordial darkness.
aw: Rollock is referring to the defeat of the Spanish Armada in the previous year (1588), which would still have been extremely vivid in his mind as a terror narrowly escaped thanks to God's providence in sending winds against the Spaniards.
ax: This phrase also completes the following three stanzas. The English word 'glories' here replicates the Latin 'honores'. The semantic range of 'honores' is wide, and so it is difficult to convey the various metaphorical allusions Rollock is making in each stanza. One must simply bear in mind that notions of 'honours', 'offices', 'dignities' and 'rewards' are implied when the word is deployed. Sceptre and bed should also be read as 'rule' and 'marriage'.
ay: Erigone is the daughter of Icarius of Athens. She commited suicide at her father's grave and in death was placed in the heavens as the constellation Virgo by Bacchus.
az: 'felix a virgine virgo': 'fruitful/happy the maiden from a maiden'. Rollock continues his interaction with the Erigone tale. Anna, the maiden (virgo), is made fruitful by her interaction with Erigone, the maiden (virgo): just as Virgo (Erigone), the season, has made the earth fruitful. Anna's relationship with Virgo is unclear, but it could be reference to the date of Anna's institution as Queen (late August - the solar transit of Virgo).