Ad Emericum Saburinum, de nata sibi filia (c.1576-79)

Four of Rollock's epigrams are addressed to Emery Sabourin, professor of arts and principal of the college of Puygarreau in Poitiers. Rollock's epigrams are the earliest known reference to him, the next being a dedication to Sabourin in his fellow Scot Thomas Bicarton's Discours given in the college on 2 November 1586. Sabourin is named in Prosper Boissonade's Histoire de L'Université de Poitiers (Poitiers, 1932, p. 254) as principal of the college of Montanaris in 1586, but other authors clearly identify him up to his death (at some point before 1612) as principal of Puygarreau (see Joseph Delfour, Les Jésuistes à Poitiers (1604-1672) (Paris, 1901), p. lxvii; Sébastian Jahan, Profession parenté, identité sociale: les notaires de Poitiers aux temps modernes (1515-1815), (Presses Univ. du Marail, 1999), p. 180 and n. 38). Sabourin was married to Marie Prieur, and together they had three sons and two daughters. In this poem and the subsequent one dedicated to Marie (d2_RolH_017), Rollock celebrates the arrival of their first-born, a daughter, and argues that the apparent difficulty of her birth is commensurate with the greatness she brings into the world.

During the fifth war of religion (November 1574-May 1576) Poitiers supplied the royal camp at Lusignan and was under constant fear of attack from the politique lieutenant general of the senechausée, Jean de la Haye. De la Haye repeatedly attempted to seize the town for himself, before being seized and killed by a group of Poitevins on the charge of lèse-majesté (Bernstein, pp. 12, 160-2). In his third epigram to Sabourin (d2_RolH_021), it appears to be to this state of terror that Rollock alludes when he praises the principal for his steadfastness during a siege of the town. Sabourin also apparently had a talent for Latin acrostics which Rollock attempts to emulate in this poem, and in his 'gift' ('Xenium') to Sabourin, the fourth and final epigram in the sequence (d2_RolH_027). Metre: elegiac couplets.

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Ad Emericum Saburinum, de nata sibi filia

Quae triplices homini indulgent tria numina dotes,
non voluere Deos fata, sed esse Deas.
Iuno, Venus, Pallas, locupletat, pingit, honestat
arcam, artus, animos, aere, decore, sale.
Iam tu ne dubites cur non te mascula proles,
sed faciat primum nata puella patrem.
scilicet illa suo gaudent tria numina sexu,
ut triplici insignis sit tua dote domus.

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To Emericus Saburinus, on the birth of his daughter

The fates did not wish the three divinities which grant to man the threefold gifts to be Gods, but Goddesses. Juno, Venus, Pallas, enriches, adorns, embellishes, the treasure-chest, the limbs, the mind, with coin, with elegance, with wit. Now you have no doubt as to why you did not have a male child, but a girl born makes you a first-time father. Namely those three divinities rejoice in their own sex, so that your distinguished house is with triple reward.