Laus monarchiae (c.1597)

This poem, a staunch defence of the semi-divine and absolute nature of kingship, was probably written as a defence of James VI following the Tolbooth Riot of 1596; see introduction to d2_RolH_002 for full details. Metre: elegiac couplets.

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Laus Monarchiae

Molitur rerum aeternas Deus unus habenas, 1
quem regem mundus quicquid adorat habet.
Exerit aetherios inter se amplissimus ignes
Phœbus, et impositis legibus astra domat.
Agmen apum regi totum se mancipat uni,
cum stipant liquidis dulcia mella favis.
Quos mundus, quos astra probant, quos bruta Monarchas,
hos, homines inter, quis neget esse Deos?

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In praise of monarchy

God alone wields the eternal reins of the universe, any nation who knows the king worships him. Greatest Phoebus extends the heavenly fires out from himself, and tames the stars with the rules he has laid down. The troop of bees subjects itself wholly to a single king, when sweet honey flows in liquid honeycombs. Who can deny that these monarchs, who judge the nations, the stars, and the beasts, are Gods among men?



1: Buchanan, Psalms 104.1-3