Scévole (Gaucher) de Sainte-Marthe was born on 2 February 1536 at Loudun, and died on 29 March 1623 in the same town. A Latin and French poet who had close ties to the group of poets known as 'La Pléiade', his Premières Oeuvres appeared in 1569, followed by 'L'Hymne sur l'avant-mariage du roy' in 1570. Two years later Scévole, who had acquired the office of comptroller general of finances in Poitou, moved to Poitiers and in 1573 published a second volume of his Oeuvres and a Latin verse paraphrase of 10 psalms. In 1579, he was elected mayor of Poitiers and printed a collected edition of his French works, and one or both of these events probably prompted this verse by Rollock. In 1580 he published the first edition of his Paedotrophia, a manual in Latin verse on paediatrics, which became his most famous work. He continued to work in various financial and administrative capacities throughout his career, including the posts of treasurer of France in 1581, director of the royal army in Bretagne in the early 1590s, and a reappointment as mayor of Poitiers in 1602 (Jean Brunel, 'Saint-Marthe (Gaucher dit Scévole de), in Joël Dalançon (ed.), Dictionnaire de l'Université de Poitiers (Geste, 2012), pp. 393-5; P.M. Dunn, 'Scevole de Ste Marthe of France (1536-1623) and The Paedotrophia', in Archives of Disease in Childhood, vol. 67 (1992): pp: 468-469). Metre: elegiac couplets.
Ad Scevolam Samarthanum, consiliarum regium, & c. (c.1579)
Ad Scevolam Samarthanum, consiliarum regium, et c.
1Samarthane, tuas sidibus qui personat aures
oceani immensas fontibus auget aquas.
Samarthane, tuas cumulat qui carmine Musas
Iunoni incassum cogit egenus opes.
5Sed vorat Oceanus peregrinas vortice lymphas,
nec templis tenues Iuno repulsat opes.
Semper enim obsequio generosa potentia gaudet,
et sua in exili nomina sorte videt.
Ergo potens numeris, et Apollinis aemule vates,
10sint licet haec genio vix coitura tuo,
accipe: tu nostro quamvis nil munere gaudes,
12gaudebunt titulis munera nostra tuis.
To Scévole de Saint-Marthe, royal counsellor, etc
Saint-Marthe, the person who fills your ears up with the sound of their strings adds vast waters to the sources of Ocean. Saint-Marthe, the needy person who heaps up your Muses with song gathers the riches of Juno in vain. But Ocean devours the wandering waters with a whirlpool, nor does Juno reject the slender riches in her temples. For noble power always rejoices in obsequies, and sees its own name in the fate of an exile. a Therefore, you prophet rivalling Apollo, and powerful in rank, even if these things are scarcely about to unite together in your character, accept them: you rejoice although there is nothing in our reward, our rewards will rejoice in your titles.
a: Presumably Rollock.