This final poem in the trio that Craig published to commemorate James' accession to the English throne in 1603 (see d1_CraT_002 and d1_CraT_003) is his longest known poetic work. It is notable for several reasons, firstly for the recitation (at lines 1-40) of the prophecy (in common circulation at the time of James' acession) that the tenth generation of kings from Robert the Bruce would ascend to a united throne of the British Isles. The earliest known account of this prophecy can be traced to Alexander Scott's 1562 'New Year's Gift' for Queen Mary (Alexander Scott, 'Ane new yeir gift to the Queen Mary', in The Poems of Alexander Scott, ed. Alexander Karley Donald (London, 1902), pp. 8, ll. 193-200; see also Theo van Heijnsbergen, 'Advice to a Princess: the literary articulation of a religious, political and cultural programme for Mary Queen of Scots, 1562', in Goodare and MacDonald, Sixteenth-Century Scotland, pp. 99-122), and Craig appears to be drawing on a version of this attributed to Thomas the Rhymer, which can be found in The Whole Prophesie of Scotland, England, & some part of France, and Denmark, Prophesied bee mervellous Merling, Beid, Bertlingtoun, Thomas Rymour, Waldhave, Eltraine, Banester, and Sibbilla, all according in one. Containing many strange and mervelous things (Edinburgh, 1603), sig. B5r (facsimile in David Laing (ed.), A Collection of Ancient Scottish Prophecies, in alliterate verse: reprinted from the Waldegrave edition, M.DC.III. (Edinburgh, 1833), p. 25; see also Alasdair A. MacDonald, 'Poetry, propaganda and political culture: The Whole Prophesie of Scotland (1603)', in David Parkinson (ed.), James VI and I, Literature and Scotland: Tides of Change, 1567-1625 (Leuven, 2013), pp. 209-232, and Michael Riordan, 'Mysticism and prophecy in Scotland in the long eighteenth century' (unpublished University of Cambridge PhD thesis, 2015), pp. 32-98. With thanks to Michael Riordan, Alasdair MacDonald, and Jamie Reid-Baxter for these references). The poem is also of interest for its account of the events surrounding James' travel to London for his coronation, and the festivities that took place there, as well as its description of the severe bout of plague which hit London in April 1603 (and killed a quarter of the population). It is likely that Craig was an eyewitness to this, as it appears he travelled to London with James, though in what capacity is unclear (see Tyler, An Account of the Life and Writings of Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton, pp. 277-283, which also includes a synopsis of the poem). Metre: hexameter.
Serenissimi et Invictissimi Principis Iacobi Britanniarum et Galliarum Regis Στεφανοφόρια (1603)
Serenissimi et Invictissimi Principis Iacobi Britanniarum et Galliarum Regis Στεφανοφόρια (1603)
1Sic erat in fatis, et vatum oracla canebant,
conjuge de Franca genitum, et de sanguine Brusi,
sed non ante gradum, nono qui proximus esset,
venturum, cui se formosa Britannia subdet,
5qua circumfuso Oceani compescitur aestu.
Multi haec, ceu dubii vatum praesagia casus
vana putant, sortesque omnes ambage maligna 1
deberi Æoliis tanquam ludibria ventis, 2
cum nulli fas sit fatorum evolvere leges:
10ast alii haud incerta ferunt documenta futuri
prodere posse pios arcano numine vates.
Scilicet, humanos postquam furor entheus omnes
[p252] expulerit sensus, vatum super aethera tollit
pectora, 3 et aeternae reddit patientia lucis.
15Hinc fati mens illa capax, solersque futuri: 4
nec pater umbrarum, mundique novissimus haeres, 5
creditur antiquis venturi nescius aevi. 6
Et vivunt hodie Cumaeae carmina vatis,
a priscis laudata fatis. Sic providus aether
20scire homines voluit, magnos nil fallere Divos,
et nescire tamen, supera quid agatur in acre,
sed ventura Deus multa caligine mersit,
et fatum voluit crassa sub nube latere.
Ipse incertus agor, quo me duce, quo lare tuter, 7
25et tamen, ut verum fatear, non vatibus omnem
posse fidem tolli, docuit saepe exitus ingens. 8
En, quae Cimmeriis latuit damnata tenebris,
oracli quaesita fides, nunc luce reclusa est,
eventu manifesta suo. Pulcherrima conjunx
30liligeri regis natum est enixa, potentis
imperii haeredem, decimumque ab origine Brusi,
quique hodie regni fines extendit in aequor,
quo ceu nativo munita Britannia vallo est.
Sic sese tandem longis anfractibus aevi
35evolvunt, panduntque suo se tempore fata:
non secus ac Phrygiis ludens Maeander in arvis,
itque reditque suos toties revolutus in ortus,
ambigiuusque viae, nunc huc, nunc flectitur illuc,
dum variis tandem fessas erroribus undas
40in mare provolvens, pelago decurrat aperto. 9
Proxime dis princeps, 10 cujus cum nomine virtus,
cum meritis pietas totum spectata per orbem:
cujus in aspectu probitas, in pectore candor
scribitur, et laetos diffundunt lumina honores: 11
45ingredere, et votis hominum, fatisque Deorum
laetus ini solium, tibi debita sceptra capescens.
Fortunae majoris honos non contigit ulli,
scilicet ut per te; nunc ferrea desinat aetas,
alternis odiis, furiisque immanibus acta,
50aurea succedat; 12 nullis obnoxia saeclis.
Sat super imperio certatum est hactenus armis,
[p253] nunc utriusque salus populi dum pendet ab uno.
Qui socias junxit, se foederis obside, dextras;
certandum officiis, meritis, pietate, fideque,
55iungat inabrupto nos ut concordia vinclo. 13
Quae studia et veri certa argumenta favoris
praebuerant, quanto flammati pectora motu
magnanimi Anglorum proceres (Rex optime) nulli
quam tibi cognitius. Dominae post fata prioris
60(quam fragili nuper Parcae solvere senecta,
postquam indignantes sub jura redegit Hibernos
et numerum faelix caelestum his mensibus auxit), 14
tu tanquam populi votis aptissimus unus,
cunctorum es studiis ad publica sceptra vocatus.
65Nempe salus per te populis inopina refulsit, 15
publica mox laetas caluerunt vota per urbes,
virgine mutatae Phoebaea ubicunque cupressi,
accensi proceres cura properante volabant,
quis sceptri primos tibi grataretur honores.
70Non equiti sonipes cunctas mutatus in horas
suffecit, nec equum rapidis calcaribus armi. 16
At tu festinus nimium, nimiumque tuorum,
securusque tui, pene incomitatus abibas.
Non lachrymae, tristesque preces, non vota morantur,
75non si quid charum est homini. Te flebile planxit
conscius ille tui quondam Bodotria partus:
Glottaque, et electro qui purior aequora lambit
Taus, et ille canum tibi tot latratibus actus
Levinus. 17 Vitreis et Spea argenteus undis,
80te fontes abeuntem omnes flevere, lacusque.
Signabat gemini limes divortia regni,
pene sui juris, famulaeque oblitus habenae
Tueda amnis, nuncquam qui ripae utriusque priorem
rectorem ante tulit, blandas tunc mitior undas
85extulit, ut Domino properanti occurrere possit:
et postquam ambrosiae est admissus ad oscula dextrae
(sed supplex genibusque minor), juravit in omne
obsequium, quacunque vagas post flecteret undas,
astreaeque suos jussus submittere fluctus
90paruit, et leges venturum accepit in aevum.
[p254] Mox sua nativo repetens sub pumice tecta 18
laetior, et vincta redimitus arundine crines, 19
excit amatrices vitreo de gurgite Nymphas:
et simul, 'o natae', (si quid mihi creditis) inquit,
95'ludereque, et festis licet indulgere choreis: 20
et nihil est nobis post haec hostile timendum,
nocturnique omnes Fauni, Satyrique salaces,
quique alii vestro insidias struxere pudori,
praecipiti ad Belgas fugere per aequora cursu.
100Nunc, licet ut tuta hic armenta utrinque pererrent:
securi, geminae pecudes ad pascua ripae
vicini invitent, genitrix Astraea quietis
hic senium et senii sanctam sibi destinat aulam:
ipse mihi hic celsas operosis molibus aedes
105molior, hic procerum turrita palatia surgent:
hic liquidi fontes, hic gramine roscida prata,
lanigerique gregis geminus bibit ubera foetus:
hic Cereris foecundus ager, nec amoenior usquam est,
aut ubi caelestis posthaec reverentia juris
110plus poterit, poteritve minus violentia tristis.'
At tu Parthorum missa post terga sagitta
Ocyor, 21 ut Tuedam, et campos, ubi saeva jugales
flectere sanguineo solita est Bellona flagello, 22
liquisti, optatis tandem consistis in arvis.
115Ut patuit manifesta fides, liquere penates
quisque suos, rapienda volant ad gaudia cuncti
praecipites. Credas Hyblaea examina fundi
in cellas abitura novas, sic undique nimbos
pulveris attollunt, studio properante videndi.
120Non anni tenuere senes (dant gaudia vires)
et spreto accurrunt matresque nurusque pudore, 23
dilecto ut Domini satiarent lumina vultu.
Ut videre, novo saliebant viscera motu,
inque tua omnigenas aptant praeconia voces,
125et celsa arcanis penetrantes sydera votis,
pars faustum faelixque novum diadema precantur,
pars tibi, pars natis, Pylii ter Nestoris annos, 24
doctaque Phryxeo de vellere tempora regni.
Omnis veris honos, et odori gloria prati
[p255] 130texit iter, violisque viae, fertisque virebant:
et ne luminibus venientem forte noceret,
plurimus effusis pulvis compescitur undis,
tanta tibi ut placeant populos tum cura tenebat.
Ventum ad turritas operosis moenibus urbes,
135claustraque portarum foribus solidata superbis.
Hic poteras vitae fructus senisse prioris:
inscriptus portis urbis, quamcunque subibas,
dulcis amor populi, faustumque adjungitur omen,
implicito ex hedera 25 radians Victoria serto.
140Effusi occurrunt passim per compita cives:
pars patulis ineunt sublimia tecta fenestris, 26
inde ut inexplecto venientem lumine spectent, 27
eque tuo dulci delibent gaudia vultu.
Inter odoratas lauros, violasque recentes,
145tantum iter est, cum tu medias vehere per urbes.
Nec minor hospitiis luxus, quocunque receptus,
attalico late splendebant omnia cultu,
et comites inter Bacchus geminatur in auro.
Plurima Erythraeis fulgebant pocula baccis. 28
150Inde superstrato quoties discumbitur ostro,
et dederant mensae alloquio tempusque locumque,
hic gravia attonitus stupet ore cadentia verba, 29
et juvenem Pyliae superantem mella senectae, 30
compositos alius mores, formamque decoram,
155aethereeque omnes caelestia pondera mentis.
Nec non dona ferunt, quae cuique est copia rerum,
hic solido crassos auro crateras, et ille
Alipedes ducebat equos, ostroque decoros:
tertius Eoo collectas aequore gemmas.
160Talis erat populi facies, his laeta fremebat
quaeque aetas studiis, et tantae in munere laudis
publica cum vero manifestant gaudia amore.
Macte animi, populique tui, procerumque favore,
di superi faciant, in saecula cuncta fruaris,
165sic tamen ut cunctis etiam videare mereri,
utque pater patriae longo memoreris in aevo.
Non, vigil et pernox si te custodia cingat,
aut centum aerati vectes, et ahenea claudant
[p256] robora, secuors sine sollicitudine somnos
170praestiterint, quam si populi valleris amore
perpetuo. Invitis nemo unquam extorsit amari,
sed meritis favor, et sola virtute paratur. 31
Apparent jam celsa procul venientibus urbis
moenia, Dardaniae quae nunc subit aemula Romae:
175ipsa etiam primis nova Troja est dicta sub annis:
sed quia displicuit fatumque omenque prioris;
maluit a magno deducere nomina Luddo. 32
Iamque aderant tantae lecti de civibus urbis
quingenti, Tyrio fulgentes murice et ostro,
180sublimes in equis, phalerisque nitentibus omnes,
omnibus obtorti per collum circulus auri,
gratanturque novi Domino primordia regni:
utque sui ingressus non dedignetur honore,
quos longo sciret praecordia tendere voto,
185supplice voce rogant, neque enim jucundius unquam
Tyndaridum sidus 33 puppi illuxisse ferebant,
quam ferus hyberno bacchatus in aequore turbo
oppugnat, ventique simul transversa ferentes,
vicinam exitio jam Dis votisque relinquunt: 34
190nec tam dulce jubar Phoebi surgentis Eoo
cardine, cum tenebras radiis dissolvit inertes,
et rosea obscuras illustrat lampade terras: 35
quam Domini (ajebant) vultus jucundus amati est.
Ille graves in amore moras 36 quascunque sciebat,
195nec majore premi mortales posse labore,
quam cum spes lenta est, et voto serior omni.
Sic facilis priscos urbi largitur honores,
indicitque diem, capitis quo insigne superbum,
imperiique simul caperet diadema Britanni. 37
200Ilicet accensi studiis properantibus omnes,
anxia in assiduas extendunt pectora curas.
Dividitur vulgus studiis, operumque labore.
Ante fores urbis pompae instrumenta futurae
multa parabantur, variisque instructa columnis
205compita, porticibusque novis laqueata nitebant
Moenia, et innumeris surgebant tecta theatris.
Iamque triumphales, per quos incederet, arcus
[p257] erecti, et variis fulgentia pegmata formis,
quaeque homini tanta sperare licebat in urbe.
210Arsacidum nunquam tam magno regia fastu
intumuit, non sic Pharii regina Canopi 38
Ausonios in tecta Duces Cleopatra recepit.
Sed nulla in terris solida et sincera voluptas,
inque vices misto turbantur gaudia luctu. 39
215Exierat furvis Alecto infausta tenebris,
bella sinu, pestemque ferens. Dum circinat orbem,
Hectoreae 40 tandem ad sedem pervenerat urbis,
aspicit egregias operosis molibus aedes,
quaeque Semiramiis certabant tecta theatris,
220nec cohibet luctus, quia nil lugubre videbat:
mox ubi cuncta novis vidit fervere triumphis,
obliqua invidia, et stimulis flammata doloris, 41
erigit infernos capitis pro crinibus angues, 42
et quassans caput obscura ferrugine tectum: 43
225'hos ego mox tristi mutabo dolore triumphos,
et nostri (ajebat) faciam monumenta trophaei.'
Tum saevae e gremio diffudit semina pestis.
principio sensim, nec quam cognoscere possis,
irrepens cives. depascitur arida febris,
230igneaque in venis agitur sitis, 44 atraque tabes
membra minutatim morbo collapsa trahebat: 45
ingressusque oculos condit stupor altus inertes,
et cadit in terram devexo pondere cervix. 46
Et jam letiferas vires cumularat eundo, 47
235atque una involvens vulgus grassante ruina,
lurida per cunctos serpit contagio cives:
funus ubique frequens, et plurima mortis imago. 48
Sed metuens Domini nunquam improvida virtus,
ne populi attractu crudesceret arida tabes,
240imperat, ut coepti sileant ubicunque triumphi.
Ac veluti cautus sublimi in puppe magister
surgentes longe spectans in nubibus Euros,
humida venturae subducit vel procellae.
Tantorum immensi sumptus periere laborum,
245sed voluisse sat est, pro facto est saepe voluntas.
Nec minus (o urbes inter clarissima cunctas)
[p258] grata tuae Domino fuerat pietatis imago,
quam si, purpurea procerum stipante corona,
aureus, et fulgens stellantibus undique gemmis,
250quadrijugo curru et lectis candore nivali
vectus equis, populoque vias plaudente per omnes,
intrasset vacuam nondum tot civibus urbem,
Romanos quo more Duces ad templa Deorum
confecto soliti bello vexisse triumphi.
255Haec tibi pro tanta interea pietate precamur,
molliat hanc subito caeli clementia 49 tabem,
nec te, neve tuas unquam reditura lacessat,
nec muros pulset violenti machina belli,
non te tortilibus vibrata phalarica nervis, 50
260Martia non dulces rumpant tibi classica somnos,
sed pax te niveis semper complexa lacertis,
accumulet cunctas multa tibi merce tabernas,
plena tibi salvae referant compendia puppes,
messe sua te Arabes, te gemmis India ditet,
265vellere te molli quod tondent stipite Seres, 51
et nullum fulces quod non tibi serviat aequor.
Sed quae communi rerum conjuncta saluti
vota hominum, frustrata diu, populumque patresque
non longas valuere moras, non taedia ferre.
270Iam, quas Romanae struxit Pater impius aulae.
Insidiae et fraudes, quibus hunc avertere terris
instituit Solem, manifesta luce retectae.
Ipse dies aderat Parcarum conditus asbo,
vellereque 52 et niveo signandus marmore semper, 53
275quo capitis decus et regni diadema Britanni
acciperet communis amor coelique solique:
Ocyor exsurgens quam caeli posceret ordo
Phoebus, ab Eoo patefecit cardine portas,
et prae se noctem solito properantior urgens,
280cuncta repurgato detersit nubila caelo, 54
atque invita novae cesserunt sidera luci. 55
Ipse pater, 56 quo jam custode Britannia tuta est,
oceanus curru bipedum sublimis equorum 57
in tua, sed primus, juravit verba, tuumque
285obsequium, famulasque suas devoverat undas.
[p259] Necnon et volucri vectus per inania curru
Iuppiter, 58 ut rabiem canis, aestiferique Leonis
molliret, grato descendit plurimus imbre.
At Thamesis blando testatus gaudia fluctu, 59
290mitis et in morem stagni se stravit opaci,
et tumidas placidus per noctem leniit undas,
ut remis omne, et ratibus luctamen abesset. 60
Ipse humeros latos innato murice tectus, 61
implicuit vinctis pellucida cornua sertis
295laetus, et attonito similis super hospite tanto.
Accepit Dominum juxta pulcherrima conjux,
numinibus votisque vacans, 62 et dulce mariti
tormentum, 63 pulchri proscindit fluminis undas,
innumerae circum, supraque infraque carinae
300caerula findebant, latuit sub puppibus aequor.
Interea insigni comitum cingente corona
puppibus expositus, vultuque immotus eodem, 64
fortuna crescente licet, trahere omnia secum
lumina spectantum vultus est visus honore,
305et tendit gressus operosi ad limina templi,
hic ubi magnanimi solium conscendere Reges
Saxonidum soliti, capitisque insigne superbum
induere, et regni primos attollere fasces. 65
Dum graditur toto manifestus in agmine supra est, 66
310et populi tacitum pertentant gaudia pectus, 67
et vivae in Domino speciem virtutis adorant.
Quid primum mediumve feram? 68 Quaeve ultima fessum
accipiet me meta? Sequi si singula pergam
deterere ingenii vitio 69 tunc cuncta videbor.
315Non mihi Maeonii calami si gloria detur,
innumeras valeam species, cultusque locorum
pieriis aequare modis, 70 nec carmine quovis
expediam, cui major honos, aut gloria vestis, 71
tot proceres auro effulgent, gemmisque decori: 72
320summa tamen breviter repetam fastigia rerum. 73
Qua graditur vestibat honos, iter omne tapetes
spectantum variis fallebant lumina formis.
At postquam summi ventum ad penetralia templi.
Ceu reliqua tum nulla forent miracula, in urbe
[p260] 325arfacio late fulgebant omnia luxu.
Ipsa manu visa est templum instruxisse Voluptas.
Robora Dalmatico stabant satiata metallo,
diversis Numidum fastigia nixa columnis, 74
et crasso late laquearia fulta metallo: 75
330arte laboratae vestes auroque decorae,
Lydia Sydonio quas ars intexerat ostro, 76
undique pendebant, prohibet me plura referre,
qui mihi tum attonitos fulgor perstrinxit ocellos.
Singula distinxit rerum pulcherrimus ordo.
335At Rex, ut primum fatali marmore sedit,
ceu populis caelo dimissum lumen ab alto;
illius ecce humeros, pectusque, manusque, pedesque
unxit odorato praesul Dorobernus olivo,
praesul honoratio virtutum nomine notus
340a Calpe late spatiantis ad ostia Gangis:
nempe omnes Sophiae, et fandi doctissimus artes,
induit et trabeam, magni velamen honoris:
pontifices reliqui, et proceres longo ordine ducunt,
sistentes sacris (ut mos) solenniter aris.
345Rex primum hic summum solita prece Numen amicat, 77
posthaec conceptis juravit foedera verbis,
et populi aeternae se (caelo teste) saluti
despondit. vultu ingenuum prodente pudorem.
Verba praeit, velut ante, idem Dorobernus, et ore
350facundo sceptri leges, sacraeque coronae
explicat, et quid Rex populo, populusque vicissim
quid Regi, et soboli, in venientes debeat annos,
quid jurata fides Domino, poscebat utrumque.
Tum capiti gravidam baccis, gemmisque coronam, 78
355et dextrae secptrum populis fatale regendis 79
imponit, faustumque illi faelixque precatur
imperium, et longi gratissima tempora regni.
Purpurea proceres fulgentes veste, corollis
insignes, tangunt dextra diadema, fidemque
360iurantes, sacrae delibant oscula dextrae.
Quisquis adest bona verba refert, studiisque precantum
accensus, variis resonat clamoribus aether. 80
Inde pares sociae thalami repetuntur honores.
[p261] Laetitiae indicibus, lucebant compita flammis, 81
365fulminibus crebis Stygii Iovis aula tonabat,
laeta coronati celebrant convivia cives.
Et quanquam infesti urgerent contagia morbi
undique, tristities tota tamen exulat urbe.
Iam sceptro insignis, capitis jam celsus honore es,
370spemque facis, nulli haec concredita dignius unquam.
Non aliud Regis sceptro conjuncta corona est,
summa nisi summae virtuti innixa potestas,
imperium sceptro, virtus signata corona est.
Aurea nunc, olim de sylvis sceptra cadebant,
375et manibus Regum a priscis gestanda dabantur,
ut sceptro erigerent humiles, premerentque superbos, 82
ut pretii et poenae certo moderamine Princeps
in populo regnet, ceu jure armata potestas:
vindice justitiam quo nemo impune lacessat. 83
380Quaeque hodie fulget stellantibus obsita gemmis,
praebuit hanc priscis gramen, quercusque coronam:
laurea mox Ducibus bello concessa peracto, 84
velatique suos Phoebaea virgine 85 crines,
scandebunt merito Capitolia celsa triumpho.
385Ut crevit virtus, sic creverat illa priorum
materies, quae nunc gemmis insignis et auro est,
non alios prisci norant virtutis honores,
virtutisque fuit tantum censura, corona.
Sic sceptrum Imperii in signum regale dabatur
390non alii, quam qui summa virtutis in arce
constiterat meritis princeps, qui foedere certo
et premere, et laxas sciret permittere habenas. 86
Scilicet his veteres voluerunt prodere signis,
quid populo Reges debeant, quo foedere vincti
395primi homines coiere uno sub Principe, et omne
regibus in sese imperium tribuere volentes.
Nempe ut justitiae Princeps examine certo
cuncta regat, ne vis quicquam, aut furiosa potestas
audeat in miseros, aut jus sibi vindicet ensis.
400Quid fas atque nefas, ut solo examine pendat
iustitiae, cujus ratio solius habenda est
ante oculos, quam nullius violentia vincat.
[p262] At tibi prae cunctis fortunatissime Regum
perpetua Astraee semper sit cura tuendae,
405quae tibi tam lati peperit diademata regni,
inque tuos eadem hec transmittet sceptra nepotes.
Ni facias, rerum aeterna compage soluta,
in chaos antiquum 87 redeant ut cuncta, necesse est.
Et quam debueras cohibere, licentia vinclis
410libera, perque aedes bacchata impune minores,
altius attollet caput, arreptisque superba
fascibus audebit forsan majora, nec ipsos
iam metuet rerum Dominos, nec forsitan illis
effera jam parcet, sumptis audacior alis,
415qui potuere prius poena cohibere magistra.
Creditur ille sacer (nec vana ea fabula vatum est)
bruta, ferasque simul numeris vocalibus Orpheus
induxisse lyrae, sociae ad consortia vitae.
Nil aliud mollire feras, numerisve lyrave,
420quam brutos homines, sanae rationis egentes,
et quibus in solo vivendi causa palato est, 88
consensu unanimi cultas diffundere in urbes,
ut possint socias vitae componere curas.
Nempe illo violenti homines sub Principe nulli,
425illius imperio feritas infesta repressa est,
nec miseros tunc oppressit truculenta tyrannis,
et nullae horrendos pecudes metuere leones,
set tuti latuere lupis custodibus agni,
et canibus misti repetebant pabula damae,
430tigribus Armeniis vicina armenta cubabant.
Vincta manus post terga, ferox violentia tetro
carcere, terga dabat duris urenda flagellis,
aeternis chalybum nodis constricta lacertos. 89
Huic Divae germana soror, vitamque per omnem
435indivisa comes, 90 rerum prudentia solers
venturae in cunctos vitae tibi serviat usus.
Sic aderat magno Tritonia semper Achilli.
haeserat illa eadem Tydidae, Ithacumque per undas
erroresque omnes comes indefessa sequuta est.
440Namque viros magnos prudentia sola periclis
eripit, et clypeo minitantia fata 91 retundit.
[p263] Sola omnis rectrix vigil est prudentia honoris,
sceptrorumque eadem semper fidissima custos. 92
Si populi in studia et mores descendere possis,
445omne feres punctum. 93 Populus fastidit, et odit, 94
aegrotatque, aliquando furit, sed saepe gravatur
fascibus injustis, sub iniquo pondere lugens.
His sua quaeque malis semper medicina paranda est.
Sit prima in morbi causas inquirere cura.
450Crescenti ut medica possis occurrere dextra,
et facile expedies, neque erit te fallere quicquam, 95
alloquio si mitis eris, populique precantis
aure bibas facili, nec iniqua mente querelas,
neve manus humiles unquam aversere precantum,
455et si forte neges, saltem legisse placebis.
Et frontis sine nube, et cum ratione negasse.
Aonias cinxisse ferunt testudine Thebas
Moenibus, 96 et duras animasse Amphiona cautes, 97
Saxaque non ullis traxisse sequentia plaustris,
460machina supposita est oneri non ulla serendo,
sponte sua in muros lapides coiere sequentes.
Non testudo aliud, quam quae violentior armis,
sola reluctantes animos clementia frangit. 98
Vir bonus et prudens verborum pondere dulci
465alliciet populum, quoscunque vocarit in usus,
quem prius imperio assuevit tractare sereno,
et quocunque velit, sine vi, sine verbere ducet.
Nec minus in quovis animus discrimine fortis
laudis habet, sed justitiae fac serviat ille,
470nec tibi Mars placeat, nisi cum capere arma necesse est,
aut tibi quod justum, quod fas, vis sola recuset.
Et nuncquam in quemquam nisi justas sumpseris iras.
Alterius quae parta malis, tristissima virtus,
luctus, et accensis surgit qui ex urbibus ignis,
475et miseranda fames, et mors armata sequuntur.
Aurea temperies et grata modestia morum,
et luxum et nimium laxas compescat habenas.
Lene fluunt omnes, ut quisque est maximus, amnes:
torrentes immane fremunt, et multa minati, 99
480necquicquam in sese sine damno saepe residunt.
Vivite faelices, et vincite vota precantum,
tu proceresque tui, memorique recondite mente,
quae sacras (si quid sanctum est) jurastis ad aras.
Tuque prior, cujus justa ditione tenetur
485insula dives agris, opibusque, armisque, virisque, 100
et cui cum incumbat rerum nunc publica moles,
dividis ingentes de te, pulcherrime, curas; 101
quid populo debes, quid dudum testibus aris,
pollicitus sancte es, tibi nulla obliteret aetas,
490irrita nec subitae rapiant jurata procellae.
Nec pete, quas homini divini pagina verbi
praescripsit, leges transcendere. maxima rerum
et merito, pietas homini est tutissima virtus.
Quippe timor Domini, populi conjunctus amori
495imperium fundat, gemino velut anchora morsu
in dubia firmat puppes statione relictas.
Nec vos o lecti proceres, summique potentes
consilii, immemores ventura redarguat aetas.
Stat jurata fides, aeterno adamante notata
500in caelo, haud tutum est divino Numine abuti:
nulla diu stabunt decepto gaudia caelo.
Sic bonus ille Deum genitor decrevit, ab alto
sollicitat vindicta illum, memorem usque malorum. 102
Et neque quid secum laesi ferat ira Tonantis,
505de vobis ullo posthac memoretur in aevo.
Lenta quidem, gravis ira tamen Rectoris Olympi est.
At tu summe Deum, qui foedas sanguine gentes
alterno, toties caelo miseratus ab alto es, 103
Saxonidis, Scotisque diem hanc in saecula laetam
510esse velis, nostrosque hujus meminisse nepotes:
quae potuit gentis finire utriusque furores,
immortale odium, et nunquam sanabile vulnus:
quaque prius quae sparsa, ut rerum dissona moles,
in vultus corpusque novum 104 coiisse feretur,
515sitque novo populus rerum sub praeside faelix,
sed populi obsequio longe felicior ille,
Euboicique omnes transcendat pulveris annos. 105
Quod quoniam immiti fatorum lege negatum,
sed redit in cinerem quicquid de pulvere venit;
[p265] 520accipiat patris, sed sero filius haeres
Henricus diadema senex, tribuatque nepoti
serior, et coeptis non desit fascibus haeres. 106
Et vixdum certo signans vestigia gressu
Carolus, in patriam surgat non degener hastam, 107
525et sibi sceptra manu pariat, modo regnet in ora,
electos ubi sola ferunt suffragia Reges,
ornaturque suis meritorum industria donis.
Candida spe thalami surgat regalis Elisa.
Sic Stuarta domus, Reges Regumque parentes
530praebeat, in Solem diffundens germina utrumque,
dum ferat astra polus, ferient dum littora fluctus.
A poem on the coronation of James, the most serene and unconquerable prince of the British and Gallic realms
1So it was fated, and the songs of the poets prophesized that a man, born from a French wife, would come from the bloodline of the Bruce, but not before his turn, which would be after the ninth; a and for him beautiful Britannia will subject herself, all along where she is hemmed in by the surrounding swell of the Ocean.
6Many thought that these prophesies, just like the poets' empty predictions of ill-defined disaster, and all forewarnings with their menacing ambiguity, ought to be (as it were) sport for the Aeolian winds, b since it was sacrilege for anyone to disclose the laws of the fates. Yet others say that pious poets are able to produce unambiguous predictions of the future by mysterious divine power. Clearly, after a heavenly frenzy has purged the poets of every human sense, [p252]it lifts their hearts into the ether, and returns them bearing the eternal light. Thus is that mind aware of fate, and adept in apprehending the future: not even the father of the underworld, c and last to inherit his domain, was believed by antiquity to be unaware of time to come. The songs of the Cumaean prophet d still live for us today, having been long praised by the ancients. In this way heaven in its providence allowed men to know that the great gods do not deceive, and did not allow them to know what happened in high heaven. So God obscured things to come behind a great fog, and determined that fate would be hidden under a dense cloud.
24I myself blindly attempt to know under which leader and in which house I shall shelter myself, and nevertheless, as I shall confess, momentous events often teach us that every promise cannot be borne by prophetic poets. Behold, the hoped-for promise of the prophesy, which lay lost in the hellish darkness, has now disclosed itself in the light, made manifest by its own realization. The most beautiful wife of a lily-bearing king e gave birth to a son, the heir to a powerful empire, and tenth descendant of the Bruce, and who today extends the boundaries of the realm over the sea, with which Britannia has been secured, as if with a natural rampart. So the fates have finally unfolded themselves along time's winding path, and revealed themselves in their own time. And just like the Meander that frolicks through the Phrygian fields, f it ebbs and flows so often back to its point of origin, and on an unfixed path it turns this way and that, until, surrendering its travel-wearied waves to the sea, it flows into the open water.
41O prince, almost an equal to the Gods, with whose name virtue, and whose merits piety are compared throughout the whole world, on whose face honesty, and in whose heart sincerity are imprinted, and whose eyes emit a joyous brilliance: advance, and, blessed by the prayers of men and the decrees of the gods, ascend your throne and take the sceptres owed to you. The glory of a greater fortune falls to no one; it is clear that the age of iron is now at an end, which was driven by mutual hatred and monstrous madness, and through you the golden age follows, bearing no danger to anyone. There have been enough battles to this point over power; [p253]now, while the health of each people depends upon one, who has joined hands in friendship with himself as guarantor of the pact, battle must be joined in duty and reward, in piety and trust, as harmony joins us in an unbroken chain.
56No one knows more than you, great king, what love and unwavering displays of their genuine favour the great-hearted nobles of the English offered, and with what a great passion they were fired in their hearts. After the death of their former mistress g (whom the Fates recently let pass in fragile old age, after she had subdued the untameable Irish under law, and she increased the number of the immortals in these months), you, as if alone most fitting to the wishes of the people, you are summoned to public duties with the desire of all. Without doubt through you an unforseen salvation shone upon the people, then public prayers roared through the joyous cities, Hades' wreathes were exchanged for Apollo's laurels, as the nobles, fired with eager concern were arranging who would be first to congratulate you on assuming the offices of the state. A different horse every hour does not provide sufficent speed for the rider, nor the horses' fresh flanks for your hastening spurs. h But you departed too quickly, i and too heedless of your safety and your peoples, almost unaccompanied. Neither tears, nor our sadness, nor entreaties, nor prayers held you - nothing dear to man. The Forth, mindful of her former child, tearfully mourns you; and the Clyde, and the Tay, which flows to the sea brighter than amber, and the Leven, once traversed by you accompanied with so many howling dogs. The silvery Spey wept with glassy streams that you were leaving all of its springs and ponds.
81A boundary designated the divergence of the twin kingdoms: the Tweed, which, almost forgetting its master's pull, and its own laws, never before conveyed a captain of both its banks, then very gently offered its smooth currents in order to be able to come to meet its approaching lord. And after it was allowed to kiss your sweet hand (as a supplicant on bended knee), it pledged allegiance to you, wherever it ever after turned its wandering streams, and, having been ordered to submit, it yielded its waves to Astraea, and accepted her laws for all time. [p254]Then, happily returning to its own bank under its native rock, having bound up its hair with a binding of reeds, it roused the amorous nymphs from the glassy depths, and straight away said (if, that is, you believe me): 'o daughters, you may sport and take pleasure in a festive dance; and we must now fear nothing hostile after this, for the night-time wood-dwellers, and the lecherous satyrs, and all others who laid traps to shame you, have all fled to the Low Countries across the sea. So that cattle can roam safely here on both sides, and neighbours herd their flocks without peril to pasture on each bank, the mother of peace, Astraea, has established a sacred council of the wise and aged for you. I am myself now constructing lofty temples at great effort, and the nobles' turreted palaces rise here. Here also are flowing springs, and meadows have dew upon the grass, and the twin offspring of the wool-bearing flock drink from the udder. Here the field is abundant with Ceres' bounty, and there is nowhere more delightful, nor anywhere after this does more reverence for celestial law hold sway, nowhere is grim brutality less prevalent.' Yet you, more swiftly than the arrow despatched behind the Parthians' backs, j after you left behind the Tweed, and its fields, where savage Bellona used to drive her chariot with her bloody whip, you finally end your journey in your promised land. After word had arrived, each and every person left their homes and rushed headlong to take part in the festivities. You would believe that the Hyblaean swarm had poured out, k about to depart into their new cells; everywhere they raised clouds of dust in their headlong desire to see. The years do not hold back the aged (the joys give them strength), and with their modesty forgotten, mothers and their son's wives run out, so that they can feast upon the sight of the face of their lord. After they saw you, their hearts were leaping with a new emotion, and they give out all kinds of shouts in your praise; and they pierce the stars above with their private prayers, some begging that your new crown is blessed and fortunate, some that both you and your children have three times the time of life as Pylian Nestor, l and that the season of your rule will take its lead from the rise of Aries. m Spring's every decoration, and the glory of the scented meadow [p255]cover your path, and the streets bloomed with violets and garlands. And lest they should perhaps harm your eyes as you approached, the great clouds of dust were dampened by gushes of water, such was the great concern that moved the people to please you.
134After you went to the cities fortified by impressive walls, and entries defended by mighty doors, you were able to then see the rewards of your exemplary former life. The dear love of the people was inscribed upon the gates of every city you would enter, and a fortune-giving sign is joined to it: Victory shining with a garland entwined with ivy. Spread out everywhere across the streets, the citizens come to meet you. Some went into the upper floors of their homes with their windows open, in order to look out from them at you upon your arrival with their insatiable eyes, and pluck their delights from your sweet face. It was such a great journey amid the perfumed laurels and fresh violets, as you were borne through the middles of the cities. No less was the abundance of their hospitality wherever you were received, far and wide everything was decked in Attalican splendour, n and another Bacchus appeared in gold among his attendants. Very many goblets gleamed with Eastern sheen. o Afterwards many reclined upon the purple couches, and the feast gave the time and the place for your speech. One was astonished and amazed at the weighty words falling from your mouth, and that a youth surpassed the honeyed words of the Pylian old man; p another at your good manners and your delightful form; and all in heaven were amazed at the celestial gravity of your mind. They also brought some gifts, all an abundance of riches: one gave a wine jug made of solid gold; another led forth winged-feet horses, decked in purple; a third gave gems collected from the Eastern Sea. Such was the disposition of the people: every age group howled for joy with such zeal, and the public rejoicing showed itself with genuine affection in the spectacle of their great praise.
162Blessed in spirit, may the gods above see to it that you enjoy the favour of your people and nobles for ever more, and also that you be seen to deserve it all; and may you be spoken of as father of the fatherland for a long time after. Even should a watchful and sleepless guard protect you, or a hundred bronze bolts, and their bronze strength seal you in, [p256]they will not provide more sleep free from worry than should you be enveloped by the perpetual love of the people. No one has ever forced the unwilling to love them, but rather good-will can through rewards - and it is provided by virtue alone.
172Now the high walls of the city appear in the distance to those approaching it. Its walls now rise up and rival those of Dardanian Rome. The city itself was once called New Troy in its early years, but since the fate and portent of the precedent displeased, it preferred to take its name from great Ludd. q And now hundreds of citizens of the great city are chosen to be present, resplendent in Tyrian purple, r high on their horses, all with shining breastplates, all having bands of plaited gold upon their necks, and they celebrated the start of their new kingdom with their lord; they begged him in deferential tones not to think the welcome unworthy of him, as he saw that they were displaying their love in their extended prayers, and they said that St Elmo's fire had never shone forth more agreeably to the ship that a fierce hurricane oppressed as it raged upon the ocean at winter, which the winds hurtle sideways and leave close to destruction in the hands of the gods and prayers. Not so sweet, they said, is the light of rising Phoebus on the eastern horizon, as he dissolves the lifeless dark with his rays, and illuminates the gloomy earth with his rosy torch, than is the agreeable face of their beloved lord.
194He knew that any delay in love was serious, and that mortals cannot be troubled by a greater suffering than when their desire is held back, and comes later than they want. So he quickly grants their ancient honours, and he names the day when he will take both the lofty badge of captaincy and the crown of the British empire. Instantly roused to hurried action, all stretch their anxious hearts to constant endeavour. The people were each apportioned tasks and work to do. Before the gates of the city the mass of equipment for the future party was being arranged, and the streets were lined with columns, and the walls resplendent and decorated with new colonnades; and roofs were being erected on the innumerable new theatres. And then the triumphal arches were erected to be marched through, [p257]and structures glistening with many different shapes, and everything that one may hope for in such a great city. Never did the royal city of the Parthians rise so very proudly, s nor did Cleopatra, the queen of Alexandrian Egypt, receive the Italian lords into her palace in such a way. But there is no pure or unspoiled joy on earth, and in turn the joys were disturbed by intermingled grief.
215Ill-omened Alecto had emerged from the gloomy darkness, bearing war and plague in her bosom. As she circled the globe, when finally she came to the seat of the city of the sons of Hector, she saw buildings distinguished with well-crafted edifices, each building vying with the Babylonian theatres. And she could not contain her own grief when she saw that there was no sorrow. Then, when she beheld that all was aglow with fresh triumphs, inflamed by hostile envy and the sting of grief, she erected the infernal snakes that stood in place of her head's hair, and after striking her face, which was covered by an obscuring veil, she said this: 'I soon will change these triumphs to bitter grief, and I shall make them the memorial to my victory.' Then she scattered the seeds of the savage plague from her lap. t At first gradually, and not so much that you could sense it, the dry fever slipped inside the people and fed upon them, and a fiery thirst was driven through their veins, and black pus destroyed their limbs, as they decomposed little by little with the disease. And as it advanced, a heavy stupor sealed their tottering eyes, and their necks slumped to the ground under their own weight. And then she increased her death-bearing powers as she went, and the ghastly contagion, as it enveloped the people in its raging destruction, slowly infected the entire citizenry. Everywhere there were regular funerals, and many an image of death. But the never-dull virtue of their lord, fearing that the black poison would only increase by the people's contact with each other, ordered that all of the now-started triumphs cease. And just like the mindful master on the upper stern, looking for the rise of the south-west wind in the clouds, he pulled in the damp sails from the coming storm.
244The vast outlay of such great labours was spent in vain, but it was enough to have wanted it, and often the wish takes the role of the deed. No less pleasing, o brightest of all cities, [p258]had been the display of your devotion to your Lord, than if he had entered a city not yet emptied of its many citizens, surrounded by a purple band of nobles, golden, and shining all over with sparkling jewels, borne on a chariot with select horses of snowy white, and with the people applauding in every street, in which fashion the triumphs were accustomed to convey Roman generals to the temples of the gods at the successful completion of a war. Meanwhile in place of such great devotion we pray for these things for you: may the kindness of heaven immediately restrain this plague, and may it never return to harm you or your citizens; may the machines of violent war not strike your walls, nor either the missiles launched from coiled springs break you, nor martial ships interrupt your sweet sleep; but rather let peace ever embracing you in her snowy arms heap up every shop with produce for you, let ships safely return full of profit for you, let the Arabs with their crops and India with its gems enrich you, and the Chinese with their soft thread that they strip from their plants; and may you sail upon no sea that does not serve you.
267But the wishes of the people, which had been focused upon the common health of the state, and which were frustrated for such a long time, were not able to endure the tedium and the long delays. Then the plots and wiles, which the impious father of the Roman court had woven, with which he designed to keep this sun away from his lands, they were uncovered by your manifest light!
273The fated day itself arrived, hidden in the white wool of the Fates, and ever to be marked by snow-white marble: the day in which the beloved of both heaven and earth would receive his head's delight, the crown of the British kingdom. Phoebus, rising more quickly than the design of the universe demands, opened wide his doors from their eastern pivot, and driving out night before him more speedily than usual, he wiped all the clouds from the now freshly-cleansed sky, and the stars reluctantly yielded to the new light. Father Oceanus himself, under whose guardianship Britannia is now made safe, high on his chariot of two-footed horses, pledged himself to your command, and to obey you, and he devoted his waves to your service. [p259]And Jupiter, borne across the emptiness on his swift chariot, falls in pleasing torrential rain to soften the fury of the Dog Star and heat-bearing Leo.
289Yet the Thames showed its happiness with a pleasant wave, and softly calmed its waters just like a clear pool, and gently moderated its swollen waters through the night, so that there would be no struggle for both rowers and boats. Its broad shoulders covered in its native royal purple shell, it joyfully bound its translucent horns with laurels, and was almost thunderstruck at so great a guest. It received its lord as if a most beautiful bride, spending its time in worship and prayers, and a sweet torment to its husband, it opened the waves of its beautiful river, and all around and below and above innumerable boats cleaved its blue stream, and it hid its waters under their prows.
301Meanwhile standing upon the prow surrounded by his noble band, motionless with fixed expression, although his fortune was on the rise, he seemed to draw all the eyes of those watching with the glory of his face, and he directed his steps toward the threshold of the great temple, where the great-hearted kings of the Saxons were accustomed to ascend the throne, and assume the lofty honour of the crown, and first lift up the fasces u of the kingdom. As he progressed he stood out high above his entire retinue, and the people's joys moved his silent heart, and they worshipped the sight of living virtue in their Lord. What shall I say to begin with, or in the middle? And what conclusion will come after I am worn out? If I hasten to trace out each single thing, then I will appear to destroy the whole by the shortcomings of my ability. If the glory of Homer's pen were given to me, I could not match the innumerable sights and wonders of the place to Pierian metre, v nor could I set forth in any song, who had the greater nobility, who the greater beauty of garment - so many nobles shone forth in golden glory and jewels! Nevertheless I shall briefly revisit the upper peaks of the affair. Beauty graced every step along the entire route: tapestries beguiled the eyes of the spectators with their many figures. But after he had come inside the greatest temple in the city, as if there would now be no remaining marvels, everything [p260]shone forth far and wide in Parthian splendour. Voluptas herself appeared to have constructed the temple. The oak beams stood covered in Dalmatian gold, the gables were supported by many columns of Numidian marble, and the ceiling was supported by solid metal; coverings inlaid with skill, and decorated with gold, and which Lydian art had interwoven with Sidonian purple, hung everywhere; w the gleam which pierced my thunderstruck eyes prohibits me from saying more. A most beautiful order marked out everything.
335But the king, when first he sat upon the destined marble, was just like a light sent from high heaven for his people; see how the Archbishop of Canterbury x anointed his shoulders, and breast, and hands, and feet with perfumed oil, the archbishop known far and wide by the honoured reputation of his virtues from the Pillars of Hercules to the mouth of the spreading Ganges. y Without doubt most learned in speaking about all the disciplines of philosophy, he assumed the robes of state and the garment of his high office. The remaining bishops and nobles, arranged in a long procession, conducted themselves solemnly (as was the custom) to the sacred altars. The king then first sought the favour of the highest deity with the accustomed prayer, afterwards he swore the oath with the formal declaration, and he promised himself to the eternal health of the people, as his face betrayed his innate modesty. Canterbury dictated the words, just as before, and from his eloquent lips he set forth the laws of the sceptre, and of the sacred crown, and what the king owes to his people, and in turn the people to the king, and his offspring, in the coming years, and he asked both what their faith pledged to the Lord. Then he placed the crown heavy with pearls and gems upon his head, and the sceptre destined for directing the people in his right hand, and with good omen he prayed for a fortunate rule for him, and most pleasing times for his long reign. The nobles shining in their purple robes, illustrious in their coronets, touched his crown with their right hands, and pledging their faith they showered kisses upon his sacred right hand. Each one present repeated the good words, and the sky, aflame with impassioned prayers, resounded with so many shouts. Then matching honours are sought for those who share the marriage bed. [p261]The cross-roads light up with flames, z the indicators of joy, the court of Stygian Jupiter thunders with repeated lightning strikes, its citizens in laurels enjoy happy feasts. And although the infection of the dangerous sickness was oppressing in all directions, nevertheless grief was banished from the whole city. Now you are ennobled by your sceptre, now you are elevated by the majesty of your crown, and you offer hope: these things were never more worthily entrusted to anyone. In no other way has a crown united with the sceptre for a king unless when his highest power was supported by his utmost virtue: right to rule is signified by the sceptre, and virtue is signified by the crown. The sceptres, which are now golden, once used to fall from trees, and were given over for use by the ancient hands of kings, to encourage the lowly, and check the proud, so that the prince may rule over his people through the unwavering direction of punishment and reward, just as if his power were armed with justice - under its protection no one harms with impunity! And grass and wood made up this crown for the ancients, which today shines forth, studded with sparkling jewels. Then laurel was granted to the generals after successful completion of a war, and their hair encircled by Phoebus' flower, and they ascended the high Capitol in just triumph. As virtue rose, so did that stick of the ancients, which now is distinguished by gold and jewels; the ancients knew no other honour for virtue, and the crown was but the verdict of virtue. So the sceptre of rule was imparted to the royal seal of no other than the prince who by right inhabited the highest citadel of virtue, and who would, by fixed covenant, know how to tighten the reins, or loosen and relax them. Without doubt the ancients wanted to make known through these symbols what kings owed to their people, and to this covenant men were first bound and united under one prince, and willingly gave kings the right to rule over them. Indeed, may the prince set all upon justice's fixed scale, lest in any way force, or crazed power venture against the wretched, or the sword appropriate justice unto itself. May what is right and what is not right be weighted upon justice's scales alone, whose reasoning alone must be brought before the eyes: the savagery of no-one may overcome justice. [p262]
403But may it always be an ever-enduring concern for Astraea aa to watch over you before all others, o most fortunate of kings; she produced the diadem of so large a dominion for you, and she will pass down these same sceptres to your descendants. You must see to it that everything does not return to ancient chaos, with the eternal structure of the universe undone. For the license that you had to check, which broke free of its chains, and raged without punishment through the poorer neighbourhoods, will raise its head so high, and will perhaps assail the mighty palaces and seize the fasces. And it will not then fear the lords of the world themselves, nor, so bold on its assumed wings, perhaps spare in its savagery those who were able to check it first beforehand with corrective punishment.
416It is believed that that holy man (and the stories of the poets are never untrue!) Orpheus enchanted the beasts and wild animals to live in fellowship together with the singing verses of his lyre. ab It is no different to soften wild animals with verse or lyre, than to let loose beastly men, who lack a clear head, and for whom the reason for living exists in their palate alone, into cities refined by a common culture, so that they can manage the cares of their life together. Undoubtedly there are no violent men under such a prince: hostile wildness has been checked by his rule; then no fierce tyrant oppresses the wretched, and no animal is afraid of fearful lions, but rather all the sheep lie hidden protected by their guardian wolves, and the deer revisit their pastures in the company of dogs, and the cattle lie asleep beside the Armenian tigers. ac Her hand bound behind her back, savage Violence in her filthy prison offered her back to be stung by bitter lashes, and her arms to be bound by the everlasting bonds of steel. May the true sister of this goddess, her inseparable partner throughout her entire life, Prudence, learned in history, be at your service for all occasions in your life to come - just as Minerva was at hand for mighty Achilles. Indeed that same goddess, Minerva, attached herself to Diomedes, and as an unwearied companion she accompanied the Ithacan ad across the seas, on all of his travels. But in truth only Prudence removes great men from dangers, and restrains the menacing fates with her shield. [p263]Prudence alone is the ever-watchful guardian of all honour, and also an ever most faithful custodian of sceptres. If you can engage in the loves and habits of the people, you will completely win their support. The people are disdainful and hateful, they have an ill temper whenever they are enraged, but often they suffer the punishing rod without warrant, and wail under an unjust burden. Each remedy must be bespoke for these ills. May your first concern be to look into the causes of their sickness. May you be able to meet it on the rise with your healing hand, and you will cure it quickly, and be in no way deceived, if you will be gentle in speech; and may you receive the complaints of the people in their requests not with a hostile mind, but with a welcoming ear, nor may you ever turn away from humble supplications - and if you should perhaps say no, you will satisfy them by having looked at it at least, and having said no with reason, and not with an angry countenance.
457They say that Amphion enricled Aonian Thebes with walls by his tortoise-shell lyre, ae and that he brought to life insentient rocks, and that he did not transport the moving stones on any wagon (no device was supplied to undertake the task), and that the moving blocks assembled together into the walls by their own will. No different to the tortoise shell is clemency, more forceful than weapons, which alone breaks unwilling spirits. The good and wise man will draw the people to him with the gravity of his words, and will call upon them for whatever occasion, whom he has already been accustomed to lead by the brilliance of his rule, and he will direct them wherever he wishes without force or whip.
467The spirit of the brave man - in whatever peril - is not less worthy of praise, but make sure he serves justice. May Mars not delight you, unless it is unavoidable to take up arms - or rather may you think that force on its own runs counter to what is right and what is just. Never direct your anger towards anyone unless it is justified. The unhappiest virtue, that produced by the ills of others, grief, and fire, which rises from burning cities, and wretched hunger, and death all follow war. May a golden temperance, and a pleasing moderation in character keep in check both excess and too loose a rein. Every river flows gently when each man is at his greatest: raging rivers roar terribly, and after threatening much, they rarely settle back down without destruction. [p264]
480See that you and your nobles live happily, and surpass the prayers of your supplicants, and remain ever mindful of what you swore at the sacred (if anything is sacred!) altars. You before all, under whose control the island rich in land, and wealth, and arms, and men is held (and upon whom the weighty affairs of the state now depend), you divide up your mighty tasks by yourself most excellently; may no age forget what you owe the people, and what you lately promised in reverence with the altars as witness, and may sudden tumult not bear off your oaths and make them void. Do not try to transgress the laws which the Divine Word's page prescribed for mankind. Piety, by right the greatest of things, is the most sensible virtue. Indeed may a reverence for the Lord, joined to a love for the people extend your rule, like an anchor with a twin hook that stabilises ships drifting on an unfixed course.
496O you chosen nobles, and eminent leaders of the council, may the coming age not show you unforgetful. Your pledged faith stands, noted by the everlasting matter in the sky - it is not sensible to trick the divinity. For no joys will stand long with heaven deceived. That kindly father of the gods so decreed - punishment stirs him down from on high, always mindful of wicked deeds. And may the anger of the outraged Thunderer not bear anything for you that will be remembered in every following age. Slow indeed is the anger of the ruler of Olympus, but oppressive nevertheless.
506Yet you, highest of the gods, who defile the nations with bloody exchanges, you who so often have taken pity from high heaven, grant that this day be a happy one for Saxons and Scots through the ages, and that our descendants remember this: that day was able to end the rage of each nation, the undying hatred, and the never-healing wounds; and what before was scattered, like a confused mass of matter, will appear to have come together into a new body and face. And may the people be happy under the new guardian of their affairs, and may he be far happier with the devotion of his people, and may he surpass all the years of the Sybil's sands. af But since that has been denied by the harsh law of the fates, and rather whatever comes from dust returns to ashes, [p265]may Henry, his son and heir, later as an old man assume his father's crown, and later still pass it on to his descendant - and may the first rods of office ag not lack an heir. And may Charles, ah marking out his footprints with an unsteady step, rise up in prominence like his father, and may he procure for his own hand sceptres, and then rule in a land where approval alone provides kings that have been selected, and the diligence of the deserving is decorated by its own rewards. Bright Elizabeth grows in the hope of a royal union. So may the house of Stewart provide kings and the parents of kings, spreading its offspring East and West, as long as the pole carries the stars, and the waves strike the shores.
1: Claudian, De Bello Gothico 552
3: This and the previous two lines, cf., Poliziano, Nutricia 21-2.
4: Poliziano, Nutricia 4
5: Statius, Thebaid XI.445
6: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid VIII.627
7: Horace, Epistles I.1.13
8: Virgil, Aeneid V.523
9: This entire passage (36-40) reworks Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.162-166
10: Claudian, De Consulatu Stilichonis III.130
11: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid I.591.
12: This line and the previous two: Virgil, Eclogues IV.8-9.
13: Statius, Silvae V.1.43-4
14: A reference to the departure of Astraea to the heavens: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.149.
15: Claudian, De Consulatu Stilichonis III.64-5
16: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid VI.881
17: Cf. Silius Italicus, Punica I.421
18: Virgil, Georgics IV.474
19: Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.3
20: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid IX.615
21: Lucan, Bellum Civile I.230
22: Virgil, Aeneid VIII.703
23: This and the previous line, cf. Maffeus Veggius, Aeneid 448-9.
24: Another favourite saying of Craig's, which he uses first in the 1566 poem on the birth of James VI: d1_CraT_001, line 338, where he follows Poliziano, Nutricia 715. He also uses it in poem d1_CraT_003, line 407, and again below, line 153.
25: 'haedra' is symbolically linked to the golden age; see: Virgil, Eclogues IV.19.
26: Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.752.
27: Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses III.439.
28: It is unclear whether Craig is primarily refering to Erythraean berries or shell/pearl. The former is a strong possibility given the reference to Bacchus (who is 'eastern') in the previous sentence, but the fact that the 'ostrum' of the next sentence comes from 'eastern' shells, must mean that both are playfully being suggested here. Therefore, the purple is either the result of wine splashing upon the covers, or the use of dye which comes from inside (see 'inde' of the next line) the shells of the 'eastern' murex sea snail.
29: Maffeo Vegio, Supplementum Aeneidos Vergilii 503
30: Silius Italicus, Punica XV.456
31: Lines 167-172 are a reworking of Claudian, De Consulatu Honorii IV.281-3.
32: An allusion to the founding of London as 'Nova Troia' through the false etymology of the Celtic tribe known as the Tronovantes: Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae XII.XVII-XVIII.
33: St Elmo's fire: see Horace, Odes I.3.2; and IV.8.31.
34: Ovid, Metamorphoses II.186
35: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid IV.6-7
36: Propertius, Elegies I.3.44
37: Lucretius, De Rerum Natura V.1136-8
38: Cf. Propertius, Elegies III.11.39
39: This and the previous line: Ovid, Metamorphoses VII.453-5.
40: See note to line 177 above.
41: Virgil, Aeneid IX.337
42: Said of Alecto at Virgil, Aeneid VII.450.
43: Virgil, Georgics I.467
44: Unsurprisingly, given the subject matter here, Craig turns to Virgil's famous account of the plague from the end of book 3 of the Georgics in the next few lines. The present line is taken from: Virgil, Georgics III.482.
45: Virgil, Georgics III.485
46: This and the previous line: Virgil, Georgics III.523-4.
47: Virgil, Aeneid IV.475
48: Virgil, Aeneid II.369
49: Cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile VII.366
50: Lucan, Bellum Civile VI.198
51: Claudian, Olybrio 179
52: Statius, Silvae I.2.24-5
54: Horace, Odes I.7.15; and Ovid, Metamorphoses V.286
55: Martial, Epigrams VIII.21.9
56: See Virgil, Georgics IV.482, for the presentation of Oceanus as the 'first' element.
57: Virgil, Georgics IV.389
58: Tibullus, Carmina IV.1.130
59: Claudian, Olybrio 191
60: 'At Thamesis...abesset.' follows Virgil, Aeneid VIII.86-9: 'Thybris...abesset.'
61: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.332
62: Claudian, Laus Serenae 223
63: Cf. Martial, Epigrams VII.29.1
64: Ovid, Metamorphoses III.418
65: Using Virgil, Aeneid VII.173, Craig looks back to his own lines 197-199 above.
66: Statius, Thebaid V.400
67: Virgil, Aeneid I.502
68: Statius, Silvae I.3.34
69: Horace, Odes I.6.12
70: Statius, Silvae II.2.41-2
71: Statius, Thebaid II.241
72: Virgil, Aeneid V.132-3
73: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid I.342
74: This and the previous line: Statius, Silvae I.2.152-3.
75: Statius, Thebaid I.144
76: Claudian, De Raptu Proserpinae I.273
77: Statius, Thebaid III.470
78: Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.704
79: Tibullus, Carmina II.5.57
80: Ovid, Ars Amatoria III.375
81: Statius, Silvae I.2.229
82: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid VI.853
83: 'Nemo me impune lacessit' is the royal motto of the house of Stewart. Craig also incorporates the motto of the Order of the Golden Fleece, membership of which the Stewart kings prominently advertised, into his poetry: d1_CraT_002, line 316
84: See lines 253-4 above.
85: Cf. Ovid, Tristia II.2.79-80
86: Virgil, Aeneid I.62-3
87: This and the previous line: Walter of Chatillon, Alaxandreis IX.34.
88: Juvenal, Satires XI.11
89: This and the previous two lines: Statius, Bellum Civile VI.797-8.
90: Here and the previous line: Claudian, De Consulatu Stilichonis II.30.
91: Cf. Silius Italicus, Punica XIII.170
92: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.562
93: Horace, Ars Poetica 343
94: Horace, Epistles II.1.22
95: Virgil, Georgics IV.447
96: Horace, Odes III.11
97: Statius, Thebaid VIII.233
99: Claudian, De Consulatu Manlii Theodori 237
100: Statius, Thebaid V.305
101: Claudian, De Consulatu Stilichonis I.300
102: Maffeo Vegio, Supplementum Aeneidos Vergilii 29-30
103: Virgil, Aeneid V.727
104: Statius, Achilleid I.457-8. Statius' original context (union of Greeks) is a particularly happy literary allusion that allows Craig to place the proposed union of the Scots and English within the confines of a broader historical paradigm of a natural progression towards mutually advantageous multi-state unions.
105: Statius, Thebaid I.4.126. The reference is to Apollo's gift to the Sybil of Cumae, that she may have as many years as the grains in a pile of sand that she pointed to. The story is found at Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.135-9.
106: This line and the previous two: Claudian, De Consulatu Manlii Theodori 336-7.
107: More evidence of the strong convergence of Thomas Craig and George Buchanan's poetic style and diction. Craig uses a version of this phrase in his 1566 poem on the birth of James: d1_CraT_001, line 295. Buchanan uses an almost identical phrase at: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.24. Buchanan also uses a similar phrase in his own poem on James' birth in 1566. The ultimate inspiration for both authors is surely Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.314. This supposition is also supported by Adam King's reworking of the final two lines of Buchanan's Genethliacon in d2_KinA_006, at line 118. King's poetic borrowings from Buchanan (and indeed Latin poetry in general) are often accompanied by a knowing poetic allusion to what King believes to be his intertext's own inspiration. See d2_KinA_001, lines 9-20 especially, but passim. King also uses the phrase in relation to Henry.
a: See introduction.
b: Aeolus: keeper of the winds, who releases them from their cave at Juno's behest against Aeneas' fleet in Aeneid I.50-141.
c: Pluto, or Hades.
d: The oracle at Cumae, a Greek colony near Naples, produced the earliest and most important prophecies held sacred by the Roman people. These 'Sibylline Books' were kept in the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill until they were lost in the early fifth century AD, and were only consulted in times of great peril.
e: Mary Stewart's first husband was Francis II of France (b.1544, r.1559-60), and the French royal crest is the fleur de lys.
f: Ancient south-west Phrygia was supplied with water from the Meander and the Lycus tributary.
g: Elizabeth I.
h: Sir Robert Carey, who had brought James the news of his mother's execution in 1587, was also the first to bring him the news of his accession. He arrived in Edinburgh less than three days after Elizabeth's death, having prepared a relay of fresh horses in advance and barely stopping for rest on the way. See Caroline Bingham, James VI of Scotland (London, 1979), pp. 171-172.
i: James left Scotland on 4 April 1603.
j: The Parthians and their empire spanned the Euphrates to the Indus for several centuries after their initial occupation of the region around 247BC, and were proverbially famous for their mailed cavalry and horse archers.
k: Hybla: town in Sicily famous for its honey, which was produced on the hills nearby; see Virgil, Eclogues, I.55, VII.142.
l: See note to Latin text.
m: James inherited the kingdoms of England and Ireland on 24th March 1603, three days after the traditional point at which the constellation Aries (called the Golden Fleece here by Craig) crosses the vernal point, marking Spring's return. See notes 107 and 108 at d1_CraT_002, where Craig more fully develops the astrological significance of this temporal confluence.
n: ie, typical of the kings of Pergamum known as Attalus, particularly Attalus III (d.133BC), who was said to have invented the art of weaving gold into cloth.
o: See note to Latin text.
p: See notes on Nestor above.
q: See note to Latin text.
r: Tyre, a major city in Southern Phoenicia, was famous for the production of imperial purple dye from the shells of the murex, a local mollusc, which grew brighter and stronger with exposure to sunlight, rather than fading like most ancient dyes.
s: The seat of Parthian power was Ctesiphon.
t: See introduction above. The plague caused the postponement of James' state entry into London and also reduced the numbers of those in attendance at the coronation ceremony for James and Anna at Westminster Abbey on 25 July. See Jenny Wormald, 'James VI and I (1566-1625)', ODNB.
u: Fasces: bundles of rods, often with an embedded axe blade, carried by the lictors of ancient Rome to denote the legal power of their magistrate.
v: Pierides: the Muses.
w: Dalmatia: region in modern-day north-west Croatia; Numidian marble: a form of yellow marble quarried in the Roman era from Chemtou; Lydia: small kingdom in western Turkey that flourished in the first millenium BC that exploited the gold deposits found in the river Pactolus to great effect, and excelled in art and architecture; Sidonia: another name for Tyre - see the note on 'Tyrian purple' above.
x: John Whitgift, archbishop from 1583 to 1604.
y: This phrase is used in all four of Craig's longer poems in the DPS.
z: Celebrations in early modern Scotland, particularly royal ones, were marked across the country with bells and bonfires, usually at the market cross.
aa: Astraea: here both the 'virgin' queen, Elizabeth, because Astraea was catasterised as the constellation Virgo; and also the personification of Justice, with whom Astraea is intimately associated: see Aratus, Phaenomena 96-114.
ab: Orpheus, son of Apollo and the muse Calliope, whose skill as a musician was proverbial.
ac: Along with the Siberian and Bengal tigers, the Armenian (or Caspian) tiger was the largest cat sub-species ever recorded. They became extinct in the 1970s.
ae: Reference to the legend of Amphion and Zethus, cited in Horace, Ars Poetica 394-6. Both were responsible for the construction of the walls of Thebes. The stones which Zethus could not lift onto the wall (too large) were literally charmed onto the wall by the alluring power of the music coming from Amphion's lyre.
af: See note to Latin text.
ag: See note on 'fasces' above.
ah: Surprisingly, this expression of hope that Charles would rule kingdoms of his own was not (as one might expect) a post-1625 addition to the text, but was part of the original 1603 printing.