1613
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Nuptial Hymne.

A Marriage Triumphe. Solemnized in an Epithalamium, in Memorie of the happie Nuptials betwixt the high and mightie Prince Count Palatine. And the most excellent Princesse the Lady Elizabeth. Written by Thomas Heywood.

Thomas Heywood


Thomas Heywood's Nuptial Hymne is published following his Epithalamion: "All the Nymphs straw sundry poses | Made of Red, and of white Roses: | On her Bed wait all the Graces: | Maides to them resigne yourselves | Oh may their Nuptiall love | In time a blest heire prove | To make famous after death | Frederick and Elizabeth." Heywood admired Spenser and quotes from The Shepheardes Calender as an instance of the disrespect shown to poets in The Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels (1635); see Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972) 194. A character in his Loves Maistress (1636) bewails an obnoxious poet who "will been in his Amorets, and his Canzonets, his Pastoralls, and his Madrigalls, to his Phillis, and his Amorilles" Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972) 197.

Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn: "Heywood's Hierarchie is a most lamentable poem, but the notes are very amusing. I fancy it is in most old libraries" 15 August 1798; Life and Correspondence (1849-50) 1:345.

See also the "T. H." who in 1637 celebrates the "famous Mr. Edmund Spencer, magnified in his Gloriana" Wells, Spenser Allusions (1972) 199.



Now's the glad and cheerefull day,
Phoebus doth his beames display,
And the faire Bride forth to lead
Makes his torch their Nuptial Tead,
O thou Apollo bright
Lend us thy cherefull light,
That thy glorious Orb of fire
We more freely may admire.

But when seated in thy pride
Thou behold'st the lovely Bride,
Envie not when thou dost find
Thy one eye by her two stroke blind:
Thou art eclipst this day
By a new Cynthia.
Who though on earth shee keepe her Sphere
Yet shines as faire, as bright, as cleere.

If in clouds thou maske thy face
Blushing at thy owne disgrace:
Or cast aside thy glistering Rayes
When she once her eyes displayes;
We shall neglect thee quite,
Thy powre, thy heat, thy light.
Nor shall we misse thee being gone
Having two Sunnes for thy one.

T' seemes when I this couple see,
Thy Sister I behold and thee,
When you both were nurst long while
By Luton' in Delos' Isle.
But the faire Sunne and Moone
Were there delivered soone,
Iust as I see these two grac't
On Earth: So you in Heaven were plac't.

Equally shine in the Spheares
In like beautie, and like yeares:
No sinister fate betide
The faire Bridgroome, and the Bride
O, never may blacke cloud
Two such bright lusters shroud
From the Worlds Eye, but still shine
Till fate make you both divine.

He a Prince is, gravely yong,
Catoes head, and Tullies tongue,
Nereus shape, Ulisses braine;
Had he with these Nestors raine.
Injoying all the rest
Of heaven (that we request)
That they likewise would afford,
To manage these a Hectors sword.

Had great Jove beheld this Queene,
When Europa first was seene,
O're the Seas he had not brought her,
Nor Aegenor left his daughter.
Europe that spatious ground
Through the World so renown'd
Had lost her stile, and ere her death
It had beene cal'd Elizabeth.

Had she then liv'd, Danae should
Have di'd an Ancresse; showers of gold
Had not rain'd downe her to Intrap,
All had beene powred in your lap.
Io had never beene
The great Aegyptian Queene,
But for a Godesse after death
They had ador'd Elizabeth.

Could a fairer Saint be shrin'd
Worthier to bee devin'd?
You equall her, in vertues fame,
From whom you receiv'd your name:
Englands once shining star
Whose bright beames spread so far,
Who but did lament the death
Of that good Queene Elizabeth?

To none I better may compare
Your sweet selfe then one so rare:
Like grac't you are from above,
You succeed her in her love.
As you enjoy her name:
Likewise possesse her fame.
For that alone lives after death;
So shall the name Elizabeth.

Whil'st the Flower de Luyce we see
With our Lions quartered be,
The white Lion keepe his place.
Davids Harpe retaine his grace;
Whil'st these united are,
Despight all forraine warre,
Foure great Kingdomes after death
Shall memorise Elizabeth.

May that name be raised hie,
Nor in the femall issue die:
A joyfull and glad mother prove,
Protected by the Powers above,
That from the Royall line
Which this day doth combine
With a brave Prince; no fate, no death,
Extinguish may Elizabeth.

May the Branches spread so far,
Famous both in peace and war,
That the Roman Eagle may
Be Instated some blest day,
Despight of Romes proud brags,
Within our English flags,
To revive you after death,
That we may praise Elizabeth.

That when your hie Crest is borne
By the faire white Unicorne,
The Wild-man, the Greyhound, and
Fierce Dragon, that supporters stand,
With Lions red and white,
Which with the Harpe unite:
Then the Faulcon joyn'd with these
May the Roman Eagle seize.

All the Nymphs straw sundry poses
Made of Red, and of white Roses:
On her Bed wait all the Graces:
Maides to them resigne yourselves
Oh may their Nuptiall love
In time a blest heire prove
To make famous after death
Frederick and Elizabeth.

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