For full discussions of Craig's career, see Patrick F. Tyler, An Account of the Life and Writings of Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton (Edinburgh, 1823); John W. Cairns, 'Craig, Thomas (1538?-1608)', ODNB; and our October 2014 and November 2014 features. Craig was one of three poets to write genethliaca celebrating the birth of the future James VI, the other two being Patrick Adamson (see d1_AdaP_001) and George Buchanan (for an edition and translation of this text, see McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan: the Political Poetry). This is Craig's second known poetic work; his first, an epithalamium celebrating the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, was not reprinted in the DPS (for an account of the poem, see Tyler, pp. 125-131; for the genethliacon, see pp. 137-138). However, its central themes - the indomitability of the Scottish people in the face of all adversaries from the Romans onwards, the condemnation of the actions of Henry VIII in attempting to seize control of the kingdom during the 'Rough Wooings' of the 1540s, the appropriate pastimes and training required for a good and wise monarch, and the strength and longevity of the line of Scottish kings - are all present in this poem, and the editors may have felt that they were too similar in content to include both. Equally, given Scotstarvit's focus on celebrating James VI in the royal poetry included in the DPS, he may have felt that the epithalamium, which lauded Mary's ascension to the throne, detracted from this aim. As noted in our November 2014 feature, this poem is also notable for its evidence of Craig's engagement with the works of Claudian, Manilius and Justin, among others. Metre: hexameter.
Iacobi Serenissimi Scotorum Principis Ducis Rothesaia Genethliacum, 1566 (1567)
Iacobi Serenissimi Scotorum Principis Ducis Rothesaia Genethliacum, 1566
1Ignea qui rerum Dominus stellantis Olympi 1
templa 2 colis, nutuque orbis moderaris habenas, 3
haec nobis aeterna sinas, haec gaudia serva,
quae sceptro adnascens Scotorum regia proles
5tanta Caledoniis nuper diffudit in oris.
Quo renovent animos solatia mutua fessos,
et meritus tibi surgat honos, qui plurimus omnes
occupat ecce animos tanto pro munere gratos.
Sed si perpetua fatorum lege, secundos
10tristior alterna Nemesis vice temperat actus; 4
si rerum sic ordo petit, caecisque catenis
implicita adnectunt redituros gaudia luctus:
non tamen ulla malis clades devota ferendis
pectora mole sua vincet. Quascunque libentes
15laetitiae huic poenas luctu pendemus amaro.
Crudeli tantum Parcarum a stamine 5 tutus,
crescentes Princeps Scotorum surgat in annos,
dum, quod (purpureas cum primum exiret in auras)
humani audebat constans fiducia voti
20fraenandum puero promittere, postea victor
fatale imperium florentibus ambiat armis. 6
Ecquid erat tandem quod summo a numine majus
posceret his nostris solertia provida rebus? 7
Libera cujusvis vel si optio muneris esset,
25si nostra aeternae jurent in vota sorores,
an quicquam fatis quaeso praesentius istis
ausa erat humanae sperare licentia mentis
(seu res privatas seu publica commoda spectet)?
Scilicet aetatis nostrae quae plurima sensit
30praeterita acceptis alios exempla docebunt
cladibus, 8 adversis quam stet Respublica Divis
infaelix nimium, nisi magni Principis adsit
imperium semper praesens, nisi sanguinis ordo
regius imperium generoso robore firmet.
35Quid memorem iratis exhausta pericula cunctis
[p222] coelorum ordinibus, quid tot discrimina nostris
nobilitata malis, miseras dum impune per urbes
perque agros vastis furerent incendia flammis, 9
victor et effusis hostis volitaret habenis?
40Nimirum praeceps animos occasio fecit,
armavitque hostes, quisquis fuit ille Deorum, 10
invidia pulchros regni populatus honores,
qui regis piceas Iacobi in funere taedas
tinxerat, in vidua dum filia sola tyara
45magnanimis superest de tot modo Regibus unum
aeterna imperii mansuri in saecula pignus.
Interea quas non deflevit Scotia clades?
Dum male certa domi studia in contraria caecos
consilia hinc raperent animos, dum fulminat illinc
50Anglus, et irarum plenis bacchatur habenis.
Tanta utrinque ferunt rebus momenta gerendis
regia praecipitem prope desolata ruinam
sanguinis, adversis fatis cum sceptra minantur.
Ergo Caledoniis caeli indulgentia terris 11
55quid potuit tenero hoc largiri Principe cunctis
gratius, aeterni sceptri faelicia tandem
numina perpetua spondens regalia prole?
Quaeque suos aliis regnandos cessit honores,
et Franco rerum miserando foedere habenas
60Scotia transcripsit, Dominis addicta profanis;
quam sua nequicquam voluit sub jura Quirinus,
tunc cum victrices aquilas 12 inferret in ipsos
Argadas, et signis horreret Grampius ingens
Ausoniis, nullo labefacta hic pectora bello
65insolitos Domini potuere agnoscere nutus.
Ergo tot annorum generosi gloria Martis
cum sua Liligeris inscripsit nomina fastis.
Qualia non sensit precibus pulsatus Olympus
vota, coronatis quae tunc non fecimus aris
70munera, si reduces rerum in fastigia 13 Scotos
praeterita Deus imponat placatus ab ira?
En spe plura dedit, Dominis sua numina priscis
gratatus, fatis caderent ne rursus iniquis,
regia faelici stabilivit stemmata prole.
75Denique, praeteritis quoniam venit usus ab annis, 14
si veterum quisquam monumenta resignet avorum,
quae bis dena hujus numerant ab origine sceptri
saecula, 15 si eventus varios, secumque volutet 16
tam multas rerum facies, hisque omnibus idem
80inscribat proprios Reges, quo Principe saevas
Mars ferus in miseros cives exercuit iras, 17
et blandam rerum turbabant bella quietem,
quoque iterum laetis revolans victoria pennis 18
principe, magnificis inscripsit signa triumphis,
85laetaque secura florebant omnia pace:
fallor ego, aut fatis nuncquam melioribus usa est
Scotia, 19 seu cum se a saevo defenderet hoste,
seu valida inferret vicinis gentibus arma,
otia seu posito caperet secura tumultu,
90quam Di purpureum postquam cessere Leonem
Steuartae aeterno mansurum in foedere stirpis.
Scilicet an mirum est, quemquam hos sibi poscere Reges,
quorum in pace fides, quorum spectatur in armis
omnipotens virtus, quorumque in nomine semper
95non ementito resplendet gloria 20 fuco? 21
Plenior egregiae nulla est virtutis imago,
quam Steuarta domus, si belli jura togaeve
excutias solers, et quicquid foedere sancto
possit ab aeterno famam defendere busto. 22
100Ergo age chare puer, Steuarti nominis haeres,
magna patris, major matris, sed maxima regni
gloria spesque tui, veniet cum fortior aetas,
nescio quid magnum tibi jam praesagia spondent.
Si quid habent veri, 23 tibi se fraenanda reservat
105qua patet armipotens, tanti sibi conscia partus, 24
qua latera extendit sinuante Britannia ponto.
Interea teneris his accrescentibus annis,
ille sua tanquam clypeo te protegat umbra. 25
Ignea qui vasti stabilivit moenia mundi: 26
110fulciat et vivo te robore, membra sopore
seu blando laxas, vigilans seu pondere dulci
pensilis innectis materno brachia collo,
incipiens tremulae blandiri murmure linguae,
[p224] pensabisque pia longos mercede labores.
115Ut tener irriguo cum surculus insitus horto est,
paulatim stupidis in se sua robora membris
colligit, et pleno vix se audet credere caelo: 27
mox sensim incipiet teneras dispergere fibras,
et crudescenti sese armat cortice stipes,
120brachiaque in volucres interritus ejicit auras. 28
At sua cum plenis veniet maturior aetas
viribus, humani fugiens fastidia tactus,
aereas procul in nubes sua robora spargens
emicat, et caelos jam sese audacior ipso
125sperat, et infestis Phoebi caput objicit armis.
Multus ibi cantu caelestia membra coronat,
dum cupit exiguos ales stabilire penates.
Lanigerae pecudes hujus genialibus umbris
defessas aestate novant in pabula vires. 29
130Sic tibi qui dulci vagitu numina supplex
auxilio invitas, omnis nunc roboris expers, 30
cum solidas major lustris venientibus aetas
firmabit vires vivaci in pectore, servant
se tot florentes metuendo ex hoste triumphi.
135Tunc vires vanis necquicquam 31 expertus in armis 32
ad tua procumbet supplex vestigia Cimber.
Et quae perpetuo damnatur frigore Ierne,
mutabit Dominos a te regnanda profanos:
nilque tuo discent omnes fore tutius aevo,
140quam duce te si pax, duce te si bella gerantur.
Non mihi quae canerem subjecit futilis augur, 33
non dubii tripodes, non vana oracula, non qui
fallaci ludit Morpheus temerarius umbra.
Tu mihi, qui fidei es et veri plurimus index
145praeteritis usus semper firmatus ab annis,
tu mihi testis eris, veterum dum exempla revolvo,
haec quo praesentes fidei mereantur honores.
Faelici invictus princeps Iacobus ab ortu
omnia solus habet, quae priscis singula magni
150imperii fecere fidem praesagia, quo quis
sponte sua Parcis properantes currere fusos, 34
per tam praesentes poterit cognoscere Divos.
Haec Dea Numinibus magnis gratissima consors,
faelicis partus forutnatissima mater,
155arcanos ignara Deos in pectore claudit.
Quippe ubi justa sibi pariturae tempora vidit
crescere et haerentem praesens Lucina 35 moneret,
non sibi magnificis laqueata palatia legit
murorum titulis, non qua modo gratior aura
160sollicitos poterat partus lenire dolores.
Arx in Edinburgi praeruptis undique saxis
in caelum minitans scandit clarissima, 36 non quae
regali instrueret convivia splendida luxu, 37
non intertexto quae lumina pasceret auro:
165sed multa aeratis splendent in postibus arma, 38
multa globos tormenta vomunt rabiosa furentes,
signorumque ordo Phoebi radiantis honores
provocat. Hac sese dulci cum pondere mole
non sine praesenti Divorum numine clausit
170diva Caledoniis faelix quae praesidet oris.
Usque adeo arcano cunctos trahit ordine fatum
praecipites, atque occulta virtute fatigat.
Hac siquidem imperii fatalia numina sola
arce sedent, arcis custos Victoria tantae
175nullius in leges unquam descenderat hostis,
aut turpi invictam maculavit crimine famam,
quo pura invictum possit producere Regem,
qui sacra armata protendens Scotica dextra,
imperii subdat populos ditione superbos, 39
180qua refluo Oceanus radit vaga littora plausu.
Hos primo fortuna loci despondet honores,
hoc etiam pueri cingunt quae plurima cunas
arma monent, nuper nati sibi conscia regis,
quo sibi laurigeros sperant victore triumphos.
185Stat vetus et plena turris dominatur in arce,
et picea assurgens longe inter nubila condit
fastigatum apicem circa hunc examine justo,
fulminat a medio cum Sol calidissimus axe, 40
florilegae densantur apes, 41 et murmure rauco
190certa monent magnis quae stet sententia Divis.
Visa fides, pleno tumefactus pondere venter
[p226] sedula Lucinam 42 cum primum in vota vocaret.
Respice quas rerum moles portenderat illud
ostentum, et dubias firmet Lavinia 43 mentes,
195cum terrae imperio sponderent fata Quirites:
et qui Tinacrias Hiero clarissimus oras
aeterna extendit ventura in saecula fama. 44
Ille triumphata victor Babylone Seleucus, 45
qui Macedum, fractis Pellaei funere regis
200viribus, Assyrias magna ditione tyaras
rexit, et attonitas stupefecit nomine terras:
huic cum nascenti venturi conscius index
anchora curva femur tyrio rubefecerat ostro:
Continuo Vates: 'nimirum haec purpura Regem,
205imperii stabiles haec destinat anchora sedes.'
Purpura si Reges; si Martem destinat ensis;
cor sibi si sedem virtus interrita legit;
dic age quid puero huic promittat corde sub imo
murice purpureo accendens latus igneus ensis?
210Praeterea has dubiae mater spes maxima menti
excitat, humanis si sit fiducia rebus. 46
Quam (licet in sexu hoc animos Natura negavit)
laetus honos, virtus, et laeto gloria vultu,
et decus, et niveis victoria concolor alis, 47
215delegere sibi sedem, qua dignior ulla
hospita numinibus tantis, a Memnone nigro
non fuit, extremos ubi Ganges lambit Eoos, 48
Herculeis donec cohibetur terra columnis.
Ergo animis matris fortunam adjunge paternam,
220non sua quae caeco velamine lumina claudit,
sed cui cuncta comes juncto vestigia passu
inclyta compressis virtus moderatur habenis.
Cum genus authores sapiat, nec sanguinis haeres
quam morum potius sit filius, inque parentum
225paulatim assurgunt nati vestigia, quid non
principe, cum major fuerit, sperabimus isto,
vivida cui Mariae virtus, cui maxima patris
fortuna Henrici, coalescent pectore in uno?
Maximus ille opifex rerum, 49 si caetera desunt,
230aspice quam puero laetos afflavit amores:
[p227] quantus honos fronti est, quali radiantia flamma
lumina, virgineo qualis pudor oscula rore
inficit, et facie qualis decor infidet omni.
Sicut verna novis erumpens purpura pratis, 50
235vel quales volucres, si tantum spicula ponant,
artificis manus in tabula depingit amores.
Nempe haec tam faelix per se distinguet imago
pulchrior, humanae quam sit reverentia formae,
quanta pater Superum puero huic facienda reservet.
240Lanificae stabili fatorum lege sorores: 51
victrices lauros, parvis munuscula 52 cunis
cum dederant, trino cecinerunt omine cuncta,
ter sacra pueri cinxerunt tempora quercu.
Et properanda suos hortarae in stamina fusos;
245'currite perpetuo dixerunt tempora silo,
tempora, 53 quae tanti efficient aliquando potentem
imperii puerum hunc, quo sospite gloria claris
Martia Scotorum sub se premet aethera factis.'
Mentior? Haec aetas haec spero laeta videbit,
250et mirata sacros agitent quae numina vates,
'nimirum (dicet) longe haec praedixerat iste,
quae bona pars hominum nuncquam ventura putasset.'
Hic tamen audaces si quis sinat esse Camoenas, 54
nec mea dicta ferant Zephyri per inane volucres; 55
255pauca velim monuisse prius. Tibi maxime Princeps
spes et vota hominum, tibi provida numina credo
imperii Oceano 56 fines statuisse refuso.
Ante tamen meruisse velim, securus in omnem
dormiet eventum, meritis quem maxima virtus
260evehit, et dignos pensat mercede labores.
Scin' regnanda Iovi cur celsa palatia coeli,
a Gange ad Gades, totus transcripserit orbis,
quem tamen exiguo clausit Minoia Crete
imperio, et parva morientem condidit urna? 57
265Caelica quae primum nascenti conscia mundo
effulsit virtus, cum nondum caeca cupido
iudicio obstaret veri, dignissima visa est,
quae sola aeternas rerum moderetur habenas.
Et sua devotae sacrantes tempora vitae
[p228] 270magnanimi Heroes solos virtutis in usus,
usque adeo prima hos annis melioribus aetas
credidit imperio dignos, 58 ut decolor Indus
damnatusque Afer Lybiae sitientis arena, 59
quique omni Herculeis removetur ab orbe columnis:
275hos saltem fato functos, moderamina rerum
et tenuisse velint et credant; invida reges
quos sibi, dum vitam traherent, Fortuna negavit.
Divitiis externa omnis felicior ora
est prope, sitque precor, dum semper torpor inertes
280et luxus comitetur opes, dum splendida fortes
mollities frangat cives, dum crescat avaro
hosti animus, praedaeque omnis spes provocet arma.
Et quis opes his invideat, qui nil melius quo
nobilitentur habent? Sed te pulcherrime Princeps
285gloria tantorum titulis insignis 60 avorum
haeredem agnoscet: veraque in laude reponet
Martia vis animi, et constans fiducia in armis,
quae Fergusiadas saevo fervavit ab hoste,
et nuncquam Dominis passa est servire profanis:
290cum tamen in praedam fulvi vis futilis auri
ipsaque cum plenis caderent Pangaea metallis.
Scimus ut in summa dominetur plurimus aula,
ut miseranda vorat perituri viscera regni
luxus, adumbraei faciem mercatus honoris. 61
295At 62 tibi si in patrias surges non degener hastas, 63
tempora sollicitos spondent ventura labores,
unde tibi verae precium stat gloria famae.
Ergo statim cruda teneras velut indole vires,
nec te secura frangant pigra ocia in aula,
300frigora Ripheae brumae tolerare docebis,
et Iove sub gelido 64 vigiles perducere noctes,
et capere in clypeo somnos, et robore vivo
frangere nando citos violenti vorticis amnes. 65
Exigere aestivos calido sub pulvere soles, 66
305solvere seposita in campis jejunia mensa,
spargere sulphureo plumbatas turbine glandes.
Artibus his tibi surget honos, haec munera Scotos
praecipiti mundi tunc subduxere ruinae,
cum Dominos rerum statuissent fata Quirites.
310Liliger ille leo patriae virtutis imago,
quem sibi perpetuo sacravit foedere Scotus.
Disce quid ille velit, sibi cur tam nobile signum
vendicet, imperii qui plenas tractat habenas,
hujus surgendum est tibi per vestigia, tandem
315quae memores acuant generoso in pectore curas.
Ut trahit arcano ferrum magnesia cautes
imperio, et caecis longa pendente catena
nexibus implicitum violentior impete vincit: 67
non te mentitos virtuti obtendere fucos,
320aut pigra resides sponda deponere curas,
semina materni patientur sanguinis, atque
gloria nativos mentiri nescia mores.
Interea primi crescant tibi molliter anni,
et laeta assurgens puerili in flore juventa 68
325dulcia Scotorum sperando gaudia pascat.
Quocunque incertis blanditur sedula nutrix
numinibus, magnis dum provocat aethera votis,
haec collecta statim properantibus omnia fusis,
mansuroque trahant nentes in stamine Parcae. 69
330Et qui tam grato reparavit munere Scotis
praeteriti tandem miserandas temporis iras,
ille idem castis precibus sua numina victus
commodet, et pleno sinat haec sua munera voto.
Sic tua jucundis beet incunabula somnis,
335cum latus in blandam solvis puerile quietem.
Sic juvenile decus vivaci inscribat honesto,
sic tibi fortunet quodcunque instabit agendum,
et Pyliae in senio duplicet tibi tempora vitae. 70
Ut te dum spectant, discant in saecla nepotes
340quid possit justi sperare licentia voti:
quae sit fortunae per te mensura faventis,
exemploque legant in eo, quos maxima fines
343crescendi humanis posuerunt Numina rebus. 71
On the birth of James, most serene Prince of Scots, Duke of Rothesay, 1566
1Lord of the universe, you who dwells in the fiery regions of starry Olympus, and who controls the reins of the world with a nod, permit us these eternal joys, these servile joys, which the royal children of the Scots, who are born to rule, have so greatly dispersed upon Caledonian shores recently. So that your reciprocated consolations may restore our worn-out souls, and your warranted honour may grow for you who so greatly invest yourself in all, behold our souls grateful for such a great gift. Yet if, through the everlasting law of the fates, a sterner Nemesis arranges favourable events to come in alternating turns; if the order of the universe demands it so, and joys are bound in an unseen chain and link to returning woes: even still no loss destined to bring us evils will overcome our hearts with its weight. We will pay the price for this joy with bitter grief, and happily pay it. Protected so from the cruel thread of the Fates, may the prince of Scots grow in coming years, while after that may he, as victor, through his flourishing arms seek to gain his fated dominion, whose governance the unwavering trust of the people's wish had dared to entrust to him as a child (when first he departed into the royal-purple air).
22Was there in the end anything greater that the highest deity's far-seeing knowledge sought for this world of ours? Even if the choice of whatever reward we wished were a free one, or if the eternal sisters affirm it through our prayers, had the freedom of the human mind dared to hope for something more effective, I pray, than those fates (whether looking to private affairs or to the public good)? Clearly the historical lessons of our age, with their disasters understood (and which he knows only too well, will teach others how a state is all too unhappy when the gods are displeased, unless the ever-present authority of a great prince is at hand, unless the royal line of blood reinforces its authority with its noble strength). Why should I recount the dangers ended by heavens' whole enraged [p222]ranks, why should I recount the many crises made infamous by our wickedness, as flames raged through our miserable cities and fields without check, and while the victorious enemy wandered unrestrained? a Without doubt a dangerous pretext excited their spirits, and armed the enemy, and whichever God despoiled the beautiful honours of the kingdom, also coloured the marriage torch of King James black with his death, b while under the abandoned crown a single daughter now stands, c survivor from so many great-hearted kings, the single hope for the empire's endurance through the ages. Meanwhile what disasters has Scotland not lamented? While ill-conceived zeal drags ignorant minds here at home to hostile plots, while elsewhere the English rage, and let loose their fury with free rein. Both sides bear a very great responsibility for doing these things: the royal court was robbed to the point of the total destruction of the bloodline, while the sceptres were threatened with an unwelcome end. So why was the kindness of heaven able to provide all Caledonia with this young prince so willingly, while finally ensuring a never-ending sceptre's blessed royal authority through an everlasting offspring?
58And Scotland handed over the honour of governance to others, it surrendered the charge of its affairs to France in a wretched treaty, d and was sold to impious rulers: a country which the Romans wished in vain to live under their rule, at the time when they were bearing their victorious eagles against the Argadians themselves, and the huge Grampians were bristling with Roman standards, e now its hearts unconquered by any war have been able to acknowledge the unaccustomed dominion of a lord. So the glory of so many years of honourable martial skill then ascribed its reputation to the lily-bearing fasti. What type of entreaties did Olympus, which was bombarded by prayers, not hear, what donations did we not make upon garlanded altars, to see if God, turned from his former anger, would restore and return the Scots to the head of their government? He rejoiced that his divine authority held sway over their ancient masters, and look he has given them much through a token of hope: he has strengthened their royal line with a blessed offspring, so that they do not fall back again into bad fortune. [p223]So, since advantage comes in learning from past years, if anyone unlocks the records of our ancient forefathers, which number twenty generations from the foundation of the kingdom, if they should think on fortune's ups and downs, on the so many incarnations of the state, and also attribute particular kings to them all: under which prince savage Mars vented his fierce anger upon the wretched citizenry, and wars used to disturb the sweet quiet of the state; and under which prince Victory in turn, while flying back on happy wings, emblazoned glorious triumphs upon our standards, and when peace was secured everything flourished in abundance: am I mistaken, or has Scotland never enjoyed happy outcomes, either when she defended herself from a fierce enemy, or bore her strong arms against neighbouring nations, or won peace after disorder was settled, until after the Gods allowed the Red lion of the Stewart line to always endure in an eternal pact? Indeed without doubt is it any wonder that people wanted these kings, whose constancy in peace, whose all-powerful courage in war was looked upon with admiration, and in whose name glory shines out without painted conceit? If you should assiduously check the laws of war or peace, and if every one, in a sacred pact, could protect their reputation from their ancestral grave, there is no ancestral apparition more replete with outstanding virtue than the house of Stewart.
100Therefore, come dear boy, heir to the Stewart name, great in father, f greater in mother, and greatest glory and hope for your kingdom, when you fully come of age, I don't know what great things the prophesies promise now for you. If the prophesies have any truth, someone saves herself to be governed by you, she both stands ready and armed (aware of such a great delivery for her), and extends her coast along the billowing sea: Britannia. Meanwhile as these youthful years of yours progress, he who established the fiery walls of the vast universe covers you with his shadow as if with a shield: and may he support you with his living strength, whether you stretch out in sweet sleep, or while awake and dangling your sweet chubby body you wrap your arms around your mother's neck, and beginning to charm her with the mumble of your babbling tongue, [p224]and you repay her long labour with your tender reward.
115As when the young sapling is planted in a well-watered garden, little by little it gathers its strength in its senseless branches, and with difficulty it dares to entrust itself to the wide open sky: soon it will begin slowly to shed its youth's skin, and its trunk arms itself with increasingly rough bark, and fearlessly throws out its arms into the swift breezes of the air. Yet its maturer time of life will bring about its full powers, as it flees past the limits of human touch, spreading out its strength it projects far into the lofty clouds, and getting ahead of itself it aims for the heavens, and it thrusts its head towards the harmful arms of Phoebus. There, in song, it richly wreathes its heavenly branches, while in flight it longs to establish its slender home. Under its regenerative shade, the wooly flock restore their strength, worn out by summer, through its nourishment. So it will be for you, who call upon the gods in supplication with your sweet bleating, now wholly without strength: when your time of life, increased by the coming years, establishes your full powers in your vigorous breast, then so many flourishing triumphs will preserve you from the terrible enemy. Then the Cimbrian will fall at your feet, after failing to measure up to your strength with his feeble arms. Also, Ireland, which is condemned to never-ending frost, will change its profane Lords to be ruled by you; and all will learn that no age will be safer than yours, should the peace be kept under your leadership, and should wars be conducted under your leadership.
141A useless augur has not provided material for me to sing about, nor doubtful oracles, nor worthless predictions, nor audacious Morpheus, who tricks us with his deceiving dreams. You, who are the chief discloser of faith and truth, confirmed by previous years of experience, you will be my witness, as I look back to the examples of the ancients to obtain the attendant reward of the readers' trust.
148From his happy birth, James alone, an unconquerable prince, has each and every portent of a great dominion that inspired confidence in the ancients; through him any one can come to know how to spin the Fates' hastening spindles at will through the gods in close attendance. [p225]
153This goddess, g most pleasing consort to the great gods, most fortunate mother of a blessed baby, encloses, unaware, hidden helping gods in her breast. Indeed, when she saw that the right time for giving birth was approaching, and Lucina was at hand, advising her as she held on, she did not choose a palace decorated with noble insignia, nor merely a place where the cleaner air could lighten the intense pains of the birth. The most outstanding citadel of Edinburgh rises on encircling precipitous rocks and menaces the heavens, but it was not the type of place that would usually hold spendid dinners with royal pomp, nor that would provide light from inlaid gold. h However, many arms gleam upon its bronze doors, and many raging canons discharge their furious balls, and the regular succession of their signals rivals the glory of Phoebus' sunshine. The happy goddess who protects Caledonia's shores encloses herself with her sweet burden in this fortress. Fate continually draws all downwards on its mysterious course, and wearies with a hidden virtue. Since indeed the fated divine authority of rule rests in this citadel alone, Victory, the guardian of so great a citadel, had never descended to accept the laws of any enemy, i or stained its unconquerable reputation with a shameful charge, so that it could, untainted, produce an unconquerable king, who, while extending Scotland's divinely-sanctioned armed right hand, would subject proud peoples under the authority of his rule, wherever the Ocean sweeps across shores far and wide with its eddying crash. To him first the blessed place promises these glories, and also the many arms, which surround the boy's cradle, point this out, mindful of the recent birth of a king through whose victory they hope for laurel-bearing triumphs.
185An old and stout tower stands upon, and dominates, the citadel, and, rising far amid the black clouds, it hides its pointed crown all around with equal poise, as the Sun at its warmest shines from the meridian, the flower-plucking bees crowd together, and with a resounding hum they announce the settled will of the great gods. The pledge was seen, when first the stomach swollen with its ample burden [p226]summoned Lucina through diligent prayers. Examine the vast mountain of things which that omen had heralded, and may Lavinia assure your wavering minds, j since the fates promised the Romans rule over the earth: and examine how the most illustrious Hiero extended Sicily's borders with a fame that endured through all ages.
198That conqueror who defeated Babylon, Seleucus, k he who controlled the Assyrian crown under the great authority of Macedonia, and stunned an earth thunderstruck by his name (after Macedonian strength had been shattered by the death of King Alexander), upon his birth, when a portentous sign of something to come, a curved anchor, had reddened his leg in Tyrian purple, straightaway a soothsayer said: 'clearly this purple patch marks out a king, this anchor marks out a safe haven for rule!' If purple marks out kings, if a sword marks out Mars, if fearless courage chooses the heart as its home, pray tell what does a fiery sword with a heart at the bottom, illuminating his side in royal purple, promise for this boy? l
210Moreover, should anyone have faith in human examples, his mother greatly kindles these hopes among the uncertain: for, although Nature decreed that her sex has no animus, how blessed is her honour, her virtue, and how happy is Honour, and Virtue, and Glory with its happy face, and Beauty, and Victory, sharing with her the snow-white colour on its wings, to choose a home for themselves where there was no more worthy host for such great divine authority from black Memnon, m where the Ganges flows by far Eastern shores, up to where the land ends at the Pillars of Hercules. Therefore, join the mother's spirit to father's fortune, which does not hide its light under an obscuring veil, but for whom, with matching stride, an attendant illustrious virtue governs their steps in tight regulation. When a descendant knows their ancestors, when he is a son of their character not just an heir to their stock, and the children rise up little by little into the footsteps of their parents, why, when he comes of age, will we not put our hope in that prince, for whom the living virtue of Mary and the greatest fortune of the father will grow in one heart?
229That greatest one, the creator of the universe, if you need more evidence, behold how he has imparted his blessed love upon the boy: [p227]how great is the glory on the boy's face, with what a fire his eyes glow, what modesty colours his little lips with chaste moisture, and what charm resides in his every look. He is just like purple spring blooming in fresh meadows, or just like the flying cupids - if ever they lay down their darts - which the hand of a painter brushes onto a panel. Clearly this very beautiful image stands out by itself for this boy as happily as any veneration due to a human form, and as much as the father of the Gods allows. The thread-weaving sisters, through the unalterable law of the fates, after they had delivered their little gifts to the infant's cot, in unison predicted victorious laurels in a triple prophesy, and bound the boy's sacred temples with oak. And having urged on their spindles to make their threads, said 'hasten on these times in a never-ending line, times which will at some point make this boy the ruler of a such a great empire; and under his happy guidance the martial glory of the Scots will raise itself up above the ether with its starry deeds.'
249Do I speak the truth? Our age, I hope, will see these joys, even after having wondered at what divine authority drove the ancient prophets; it will say: 'without doubt that man predicted these things long ago; these things which the best part of humanity had not thought would ever come.'
253Should, however, anyone now grant that my Muses are rash, and should the flying Zephyrs not bear my words through the air, I would say a few words of caution first. For you, greatest prince, the hope and answer to people's prayers, for you I believe that divine providence has established the boundaries of an empire where the ocean ends. Before that, however, I pray it happens through merit: he will sleep serenely through all danger, whom the greatest virtue raises up according to merit, and pays out reward fitting to effort. How did it come to pass that the high palaces of heaven should be governed by Jupiter, why did the whole world, from the Ganges to Cadiz, yield to someone, whom, for all that, Minos' Crete enclosed in its tiny kingdom, and interred upon his death in a little urn? n Heaven's virtue, which first shone forth at the universe's birth, when blind lust was not yet hindering the authority of the truth, was thought most worthy to guide the eternal reins of the universe. And great-hearted heroes were dedicating their temples to the devoted life [p228]for the sole practice of virtue, and the first age so trusted that these men were worthy to rule in favourable times, that the discoloured Indian, and the African condemned on the sands of parched Lybia, and indeed every person far away from the whole world beyond the Pillars of Hercules both desire and believe that these men, although now dead, should hold the reins of power; these men whom Fortune, without jealousy, called her kings, while they were alive.
278Every nearby foreign land is very blessed with riches, and thus, I pray, may they remain, so long as listlessness and excess always accompany indolent wealth, so long as alluring softness weakens their strong citizens, so long as the greedy enemy's pride swells, and its every thirst for booty incites it to arms. And who would envy riches for these people, who have nothing better to enoble them? You, however, most beautiful prince, the glory that is raised high by the titles of your magnificent ancestors will acknowledge you as its heir; and the martial force of its spirit will again be found in genuine praise, and unyielding assurance in arms, which saved the sons of Fergus o from the savage enemy, and which never suffered to serve profane lords - even when the worthless force of tawny gold pours forth as a reward, and Pangaea itself with its rich seams of precious metals. p
292We know the ways in which very many exercise their power in the highest court, as excess devours the pitiable insides of a kingdom on the edge of doom, having bought the facade of honour's empty shape. But for you, if you assume your ancestral spears in the time-honoured way, your coming life will promise constant duties, from whence for you the glory of a genuine reputation derives its reward. Therefore, so that the indolent inactivity at an untroubled court does not tame you, as though a tender power with unrefined talent, you will learn how to endure the cold of the Riphean winter, q and pass a restless night under a cold sky; you will learn how to sleep upon your shield, and to tame the swift currents of a raging torrent while swimming, to endure the summer's sun under the dusty heat, to eat on a battlefield with no tables, and to shoot lead balls with an explosion of gunpowder. Through these skills your glory will rise; these gifts will protect your Scots from the world's dizzying calamities, [p229]even though the fates have decreed that the Romans are the lords of the world. r
310That lion rampant is the icon of our country's virtue, and the Scot has declared it sacred in an ever-enduring oath. Learn what he demands, learn why he who wields the full reins of power (and into whose footsteps you must step) adopts such a noble standard. Finally, learn what things sharpen conscientious concerns in its noble heart.
316Just as the magnetic stone attracts metal with its hidden power, and quite tenaciously holds it bound by its force in a long chain linked by invisible bonds, so the seeds of your maternal bloodline will not permit you to put on a mask to affect virtue, nor lay down your responsibilities and disregard them on an indolent couch, nor will its glory permit it, which did not gain it reputation through affecting its native character. Meanwhile may your early years rise favourably for you, and may your happy youth, as it rises into boyhood, through its promise supply the Scots with sweet joys. Wherever the studious nurse appeals to the deliberating gods, as she rouses the sky with her mighty prayers, then may the Fates start weaving and draw all their hopes together into a thread that will endure. And whoever has, through a most welcome present for the Scots, healed the miserable animosities of our thankfully past history, then may that same one, won over by chaste prayers, bestow his own divine authority upon them, and grant these gifts in answer to all their prayers. So may he mark out your times with a happy fate, so may he bless your cot with sweet slumbers, as you relax your little body into its pleasing rest. So may he impart a youthful grace to a lively nobility for you, and so may he make fortunate for you everything that he decrees must be done, and in old age may he increase your lifespan to twice that of Nestor's. s May your descendants through the ages learn, as they watch you, what the boldness of just desire can hope for, what will be the extent of fortune's good intentions for you, and in that example may they see the boundaries of growth that the greatest divine authority has placed upon human affairs.
1: Claudian, Epistula ad Serenam 21; and De Consulatu Honorii Augusti III.33 - a section of Claudian that Craig uses extensively below, lines 295-307.
2: Cf. Lucretius, De Rerum Natura V.1204-5: '...magni caelestia mundi/ templa...'
3: See also the start of Buchanan, Psalms 104.1-3.
4: Poliziano, Manto 12
5: Lucan, Bellum Civile VI.777
6: This line provides further evidence of the impact of Scottish Latin poetry beyond Scotland. The current line is reproduced in its entirety in Vitus Pederson Bering, Serenissimo Christiano 15. This poem, published in 1655, and addressed to Christian IV, prince-elect of Denmark, also includes (lines 94-97) much of the introductory passage (lines 1-4) from Adam King's poem to King James in 1603: see d2_KinA_006.
7: 'Ecquid erat...solertia provida rebus': reused in its entirety by Pedersen-Bering, Serenissimo Christiano 101-2. In Pedersen-Bering's poem these lines, along with lines 97-100 below, are joined to the verses of Adam King mentioned above, to form a 9-line paragraph (lines 94-102).
8: Cf. Horace, Epistles II.1.130-1
9: Cf. Statius, Sylvae IV.4.80
10: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.32
11: Virgil, Georgics II.345
12: Lucan, Bellum Civile IV.238
13: Although both Virgil, Aeneid I.342, and Manilius, Astronomica I.42 employ 'fastigia rerum' to refer to heights in general, Juvenal, Satires III.39, with the 'fastigia rerum' representing the zenith of Fortune's cycle, presents the most appropriate semantic precedent for Craig's use of this phrase.
14: Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.29
15: Buchanan, Epithalamium Mariae Stuartae 156-7
16: Virgil, Aeneid X.159-160
17: Virgil, Georgics III.152
18: Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.13
19: Virgil, Aeneid VI.546
20: Cf. Claudian, De Consulatu Stilichonis I.16: 'Narrem Justitiam? Resplendet gloria amet: sanguine et viribus niteat.'
21: Cf. Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria VIII.3.6: 'Sed hic ornatus (repetam enim) virilis et fortis et sanctus sit nec effeminatam levitatem et fuco ementitum colorem amet: sanguine et viribus niteat.'
22: 'si bella jura...defendere busto': reused in its entirety by Pedersen-Bering, Serenissimo Christiano 97-100. See note 6 above.
23: Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.879. The 'praesagia' of the previous line also under the influence of this passage from Ovid.
24: Cf. Mantuanus, Parthenice Mariana III.114
25: Virgil, Georgics II.489
26: Cf. the 'flammantia moenia mundi' of Lucretius, De Rerum Natura I.73. However, the 'ignea moenia mundi' of Buchanan, Psalms 97.29, beyond which God holds the reins of the universe, is surely the primary influence. Buchanan is undoubtedly following Lucretius, and replaces Lucretius' hero, Epicurus, with the Christian god.
27: Virgil, Aeneid VI.15. There is more evidence here, however, of the impact this poem had upon subsequent poets. This entire passage and analogy, and in particular this line and the previous, suggest that Andrew Melville had read, enjoyed, and reused much of the imagery and language found here and included it in his paraphrase of Deuteronomy 32. See d2_MelA_005 lines 69-85.
28: Virgil, Aeneid V.427. See also Aeneid XI.795 for the phrase 'in volucres...auras'.
29: Buchanan, Psalms 104.32-8
30: Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.202
31: For this specific phrase see Catullus, Carmina 64.111. Craig's employment of the simile of the tree is perhaps also under the influence of this passage from Catullus.
32: Virgil, Aeneid VII.434
33: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid XI.339
34: Virgil, Eclogues IV.46-7
35: Another reference to Virgil's 'messianic' Eclogue, following on from line 151 above: Virgil, Eclogues IV.46-7
36: Virgil, Aeneid VIII.233-4
37: Virgil, Aeneid I.637-8
38: Virgil, Aeneid VII.184
39: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid VI.853
41: Ovid, Metamorphoses III.366
42: Another allusion to Virgil and the 4th Eclogue. See Eclogues IV.10
43: An allusion to the prophetic dream of King Latinus. During this dream Faunus tells the king not to give his daughter's (Lavinia) hand in marriage to a Latin, but to hold out for an 'externus' (a stranger); through this union their descendants (the Romans) will rule the world. The prophecy is found at: Virgil, Aeneid VII.96-101
44: Craig is following the story of Hiero, King of Sicily, as found in Justin's epitome of Pompeius Trogus' work. According to the epitome, Hiero's future political greatness (both political and personal: a king, and a handsome, wise, and courageous one) was predicted at his birth. See Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus in 44 Books XXIII.4
45: Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander's successors. The story which follows is taken, again, from Justin's epitome. Indeed, Justin's account of Seleucus' prophecy is the only account we have of this curious story attached to Seleucus in Latin literature. See Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus in 44 Books XV.4
46: Virgil, Aeneid X.152
47: This and the previous line: Silius Italicus, Punica XV.98-9
48: This line and the previous present a geographically incongruous picture. The 'black Memnon' of the previous line implies Ethiopia (where Memnon, who was the son of Aurora, Goddess of dawn, was leader), but the Ganges are here also subsumed into a generic 'eastern' landscape. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid I.489
49: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.79. Craig takes this epithet of God from the passage in which God creates man from divine substance. Adam King, like Craig a keen astronomer, and a member of Craig's circle of friends, also uses this epithet in his own work. The beginning of Metamorphoses book I provides King with much material for his stoic presentation of a divinely arranged universe, as it also did for Buchanan in his Sphaera. See d2_KinA_001 lines 10-30 for King and Buchanan's use of this section from Ovid.
50: Statius, Silvae III.3.130
51: Virgil, Eclogues IV.47
52: Although this whole passage is under the influence of the 4th Eclogue, and Craig's use of the rare word munuscula would seem to confirm this, in fact this line, and the next two are taken from Poliziano, Manto 50-2
53: Virgil, Eclogues IV.46-7
54: Buchanan, Elegies V.1
55: Cf. Statius, Thebaid XII.249
56: '...oceano...refuso', used by Virgil, Aeneid VII.225-6, to describe the lands on the other side of the world.
57: This passage refers to the traditions associated with Jupiter's death in Crete, and made famous by Epimenides' paradox. See Pomponius Mela, De Chorographia II.98; and Cicero De Natura Deorum III.53.
58: Virgil, Aeneid VI.649
59: Cf. Buchanan, Silvae II.87; and Lucan, Bellum Civile I.368
60: Lucan, Bellum Civile III.73
61: Calpurnius Siculus, Eclogues I.69. Given Craig's familiarity with Silius Italicus, it is possible that he owned one of the editions of his work published in Rome in 1471 that included Calpurnius Siculus' work.
62: The next twelve lines are a reworking, at times close, at times a paraphase, and at times augmented by passages from Lucan, of Claudian, De Consulatu Honorii Augusti III.39-50.
63: Cf. Buchanan, De Sphaera I.24.
64: For this metonymic use of Jupiter as the heavens: Horace, Odes I.1.25; and Claudian, Olybrio 36.
65: Lucan, Bellum Civile VIII.374
66: Lucan, Bellum Civile VIII.376
67: This and the previous three lines: Poliziano, Nutricia 193-6
69: Again this sentence is under the influence of Virgil's 4th Eclogue (see above). For this line, however, see: Tibullus, Carmina I.7.1-2.
70: Craig takes this line with little change from: Poliziano, Nutricia 715.
71: Lucan, Bellum Civile I.81-2
a: This could be a reference to any of the Anglo-Scottish conflicts that took place in the first half of the sixteenth century, but the ensuing discussion suggests this is a particular reference to the 'Rough Wooing', Henry VIII's attempt to seize the infant Queen Mary so as to forcibly marry her to his son, Edward. The war was formally concluded with the Treaty of Norham in June 1551, though military engagements had all but ceased several years earlier.
b: James V (r. 1513-1542).
c: Mary, Queen of Scots (r. 1543-1567, d. 1587).
d: Under the terms of the Treaty of Haddington, Henri II of France agreed to provide military aid and protection to Scotland against the English, providing that Queen Mary was betrothed to the Dauphin François and sent to France for her education. The treaty was concluded on 7 July 1548, and Mary sailed for France the following month.
e: The Roman empire attempted to conquer Scotland between c.71AD and c.211AD, most notably with an invasion force led by Gnaeus Julius Agricola in 78AD, but only succeeded in conquering territories in the southern half of present-day Scotland.
f: James' father was Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley (1545-1567).
h: While Falkland, Linlithgow, and Stirling Castle all benefitted from extensive Renaissance makeovers during the reigns of James IV and V, Edinburgh received comparatively little decorative work, save for improvements made to the roof of the great hall by James IV.
i: Edinburgh Castle remained undefeated by any attacking force until the end of the Marian Civil War, where it was besieged for two years before its surrender to the English by Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange on 28 June 1573.
j: See note to Latin text.
k: See note to Latin text.
l: Craig appears to be suggesting that James had a very distinct birthmark.
m: See note to Latin text.
n: See note to Latin text.
p: Pangaea: in Greek Mythology, a mountain that was the setting for some of the earliest conflicts between the Titans and the Gods.
q: The Riphean mountains were mentioned by a range of writers in antiquity, and famed for their extreme cold. Their exact location is unknown.
r: It is unclear if Craig is referring to the Roman Empire in antiquity, or suggesting that the Roman Catholic church holds dominion over the contemporary world.
s: King of Pylos, whose advice is sought in the Iliad by the Achaeans on account of his venerable age and wisdom.