|To the Queenes most Excellent Majestie.
Renowned Empresse, and great Britaines Queene,
For you have rifled Nature of her store,
From Juno you have State and Dignities,
The Muses doe attend upon your Throne,
From your bright spheare of greatnes where you sit,
Apollo's beames doe comfort every creature,
Looke in this Mirrour of a worthy Mind,
Here may your sacred Majestie behold
For he is Crowne and Crowner of all Kings,
And since my wealth within his Region stands,
In the meane time, accept most gratious Queene
And sith all royall virtues are in you,
Behold, great Queene, faire Eves Apologie
And this great Lady I have here attired,
For here I have prepar'd my Paschal Lambe,
And she that is the patterne of all Beautie,
Then shall I thinke my Glasse a glorious Skie,
Whose untun'd voyce the dolefull notes doth sing
So I that live clos'd up in Sorrowes Cell,
And this great Ladie whom I love and honour,
Which makes me thinke our heavy burden light,
Whose powre may raise my sad dejected Muse,
For even as they that doe behold the Starres,
My weake distempred braine and feeble spirits,
And pardon me (faire Queene) though I presume,
And since all Arts at first from Nature came,
So peerelesse Princesse humbly I desire,
Line 1. great Britaines Queene: Anne of Denmark (1574-1619), Queen to James I.
Line 11. golden Ball: The golden apple given by Eris (Strife) as the prize in a contest for the fairest woman to be judged by Paris. His choice of Aphrodite over Hera (Juno) and Athena precipitated the Trojan War.
Line 12. Paris: Son of Priam and Hecuba, King and Queen of Troy.
Line 13. Juno: Roman Name for the Greek goddess Hera, sister and wife to Jupiter (Zeus).
Line 14. Pallas: abbreviated form of Pallas Athena, identified by the Romans with Minerva.
Line 15. Venus: Roman goddess identified with Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.
Line 19. Muses: Daughters of Zeus, patron spirits of the arts.
Line 21. Sylvane Gods: Alternate spelling 'Silvan.' Rural deities akin to satyrs; the term derives from Silvanus, a god of the country who was half man and half goat.
Line 23. Cynthia: a Roman name for the Greek goddess Artemis(or Diana), associated with the moon.
Line 29. Phoebe: another alternative name for Artemis(Diana).
Line 31. Apollo's: God of youth, poetry, music, often depicted driving a chariot, identified with the sun.
Line 73. Eves Apologie: A section of Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum. See below.
Line 85. Paschal Lambe: Originally the lamb eaten on the Jewish Passover.
Line 89. Passeover: The most important festival of the Jewish year. Commemorates the night of the tenth plague of Egypt when the firstborn of Israelite slaves who followed divine instructions were 'passed over' and spared from being slain by the Angel of Death.
Line 153. Joves: Meaning the Classical Almighty, related to Yaweh, Iovis, Jupiter and Zeus.
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|To all vertuous Ladies in generall
Each blessed Lady that in Virtue spends
Put on your wedding garments every one,
Let all your roabes be purple scarlet white,
Adorne your temples with faire Daphnes crowne,
And let the Muses your companions be,
Annoynt your haire with Aarons pretious oyle,
Behold, bright Titans shining chariot staies,
Come swifter than the motions of the Sunne,
Gods holy Angels will direct your Doves,
Thus may you flie from dull and sensuall earth,
Where worthy Ladies I will leave you all,
Tis true, I must confesse (O noble Fame)
Onely by name I will bid some of those,
". . . worthy Ladies, I will
leave you all,
Desiring you to grace
this little Booke"
Line 4. Inroules: enrolls.
Line 19. Salomon: Solomon, third king of Israel and second son of David (2 Sam. 12:18,24).
Line 22. Daphne: A nymph with whom Apollo fell in love; as he pursued her she turned into laurel.
Line 25. Minerva: The daughter of Zeus, goddess of wisdom, chastity, the arts and justice.
Line 27. Esop: Aesop, Greek author of fables.
Line 35. nine Worthies: Nine great historical and mythical figures consisting of three pagans (Alexander, Hector, and Julius Caesar), three Jews (Joshua, David and accabeus), and three Christians (Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon). Occasionally a corresponding list of worthy women was given.
Line 36. Aarons pretious oyle: Aaron was Moses' brother in Hebrew tradition (Exod. 4:14) chosen for the
priesthood and anointed with holy oil (Lev.8:12).
Line 43. Titans: The children of Uranus (Heaven) and Ge (Earth).
Line 56. Phoebus: The epithet 'bright' of Apollo, connected him with the sun.
Line 62. Elizium: Alternate spelling of 'Elysium,' the idyllic world where the souls of those honoured by the godsspend an afterlife of revelry, feasting or pleasant martial exercise.
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|From Salve Deus Rex Judæorum
Now Pontius Pilate is to judge the Cause
Let barb'rous crueltie farre depart from thee,
¶ Till now your indiscretion sets us free,
That undiscerning Ignorance perceav'd
But surely Adam can not be excus'd,
Who being fram'd by Gods eternall hand,
And then to lay the fault on Patience backe,
Not Eve, whose fault was onely too much love,
If any Evill did in her remaine,
Whom, if unjustly you condemne to die,
Then let us have our Libertie againe,
To which (poore soules) we never gave consent,
Line 744. Pontius Pilate: Fifth Roman governor of Judea, Sumeria and Idumaea 26-36 C.E. His involvement in the judgement of Jesus is recorded in Matt. 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 18:29-19:38; Acts 3:13,4:27,13:38 and Timothy 6:13.
Line 751. worthy wife: Pilate's wife pleaded with him to have nothing to do with Jesus (Matt 27:19). Apocryphal texts name Pilate's wife Claudia Procla or Procula, and there is a tradition that she may have been a secret follower of Jesus. Pilate and Claudia were killed under Tiberius, and are recognized as saints by some Christian churches.
Line 838. Saul: First king of Israel and principal figure in 1 Samuel. Anointed by the prophet Samuel, who laterdisowned him in favor of David. Wounded in battle, feeling God had turned against him, he took his own life.
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|The Description of Cooke-ham
Farewell (sweet Cooke-ham) where I first obtain'd
Title. Cooke-ham: Country home where Aemilia Lanyer spent time with dedicatees of poem, Lady Margaret Clifford, Dowager Countess of Cumberland, and her daughter Anne, later Countess of Dorset.
Line 2. perfit: perfect.
Line 5. indite: proclaim, archaic form of indict.
Line 11. Mistris of that Place: Margaret Clifford, Dowager Countess of Cumberland.
Line 31. Philomela: the nightingale. layes: strains or tunes.
Line 44. Phœnix: mythical bird of gorgeous plumage; by extension, a person of matchless beauty, a paragon.
Line 63. Defended: ie. fended off. Phebus: the sun; from the Greek sun god, Phœbus Apollo.
Line 70. sute: suit, a plea for favours or benefits.
Line 78. Held: maintained.
Line 85. Moyses: Moses; leader of Israel (Ex., Lev., Num., Deut.).
Line 87. David: King of Israel, singer, and psalmist; much of the book of Psalms is attributed to him (1 Sam., 2 Sam., 1 Kings).
Line 91. blessed Joseph: sold into slavery by his brothers; came into favour and was made a ruler in Egypt.Famine forced his brothers' purchase of grain from his country. Joseph had their money placed in their grain sacks rather than accepting it, and invited them to dine with him (Gen. 37, 39-50).
Line 93. Cliffords race: refers to the paternal lineage of Lady Anne Clifford; only surviving child of George, third earl of Cumberland.
Line 94. Bedfords blood: refers to Lady Anne's maternal ancestry; Margaret Clifford was born Lady MargaretRussell, third daughter of Francis, second earl of Bedford.
Line 95. Dorset: refers to Lady Anne's marriage to the Earl of Dorset.
Line 108. Parters: persons separated, taking leave of each other.
Line 112. conster: construe. Line 119. beauteous Dorsets: see notes to title and line 95.
Line 131. inkeling: inkling.
Line 145. riveld: dried up, shrunken, shrivelled, as by heat. ryne:obsolete form of rind.
Line 162. skand: scanned.
Line 186. spray: small or slender twigs of trees or shrubs.
Line 199. Eccho: Echo, a nymph in classical mythology. She was cursed to speak only when spoken to, in repetition of others. Echo's love, Narcissus, spurned her since she only repeated his words. In her grief, Echo wasted away to a shadow, leaving only her voice.
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E-mail Ron Cooley at firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Saskatchewan
Department of English
Revised September 3, 1998