1613
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Nuptial Hymns in Honour of the Marriage.

The Period of Mourning. Disposed into Sixe Visions. In Memorie of the Late Prince. Together with Nuptiall Hymnes, in Honour of this Happy Marriage betweene the Great Princes, Frederick Count Palatine of the Rhene, and the most Excellent, and Aboundant President of all Virtue and Goodnes Elizabeth Onely Daughter to our Soveraigne, his Majestie. Also the Manner of the Solemnization of the Marriage at White-Hall, on the 14. of February, Being Sunday, and St. Valentines Day. By Henry Peacham, Mr. Of Arts.

Henry Peacham


Four poems in mixed measures commemorate the marriage of Prince Frederick and Princess Elizabeth, which attracted celebratory verses from several Spenserian poets.

Robert Aris Willmott: "Henry Peacham, whom Warton calls an elegant and leaned writer, was born about 1576, and became a student of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he shared in the paternal generosity of Nevil, whom he panegynized in the Gentleman's Exercise. He appears to have been patronised by the amiable Princess Elizabeth, on whose marriage he wrote his Nuptial Hymns, which have been reprinted by Waldron in the Literary Museum. His life was one of sorrow and dependence — at one time, a travelling tutor, at another, the master of a Free School at Windham, in Norfolk, all employment to which he was exceedingly averse. Malone thinks that he took orders, and died in 1650" Lives of Sacred Poets (1834) 347.

Alan R. Young: Henry Peacham "echoes Faerie Queene 4.11.48-51" Spenser Encyclopedia (1990) 536.



1.
All Feares are fled, and from our Sphaere
The late Eclipse is vanish'd quite:
And now we entertaine the yeare
With Hymenaeus chaste delight:
Heaven, the first, hath throwne away
Her weary weede of mourning hew,
And waites Eliza's Wedding-day
In Starry-spangled Gowne of blew.

The Huntresse in her silver Carre,
The Woods againe survaieth now:
And that same bright Idalian Starre
Appeares on Vespers vailed brow:
Let Earth put on her best aray,
Late bath'd in eye-distilled showers;
And melt yee bitter Frosts away,
That kill'd the forward Hope of ours.

Yee highest Hils that harbour Snowes,
And arme your heads with Helmes of Ice,
Be Gardens for the Paphian Rose,
The Lilly, Violet, or De-lis:
Low Vallies let your Plaines be spread
With painted Carpets of the Spring,
(Whereon Eliza's foote must tread)
And every where your odours fling.

And tallest Trees, with tender'st Twigs,
Whom Winters-Storme hath stripped bare,
Leave off those rimy Periwigs,
And on with your more seemely haire.
Forget yee silver-paved Flouds,
Your wonted rage, and with your souud
Revive the Shores and shady Woods,
That lay in deepest sorrow drown'd.

Tell Amphitrite, when you meete,
Eliza, Princesse, is a Bride:
And bid her with the Newes goe greete
The farthest Shoares at every Tyde;
And as yee wash high towred wals,
With gentle murmure in each eare,
Command these Royall Nuptials
Be solemnized every where.

Let Thracian Boreas keepe within,
With Easterne Blasts that crops doe kill,
And Auster wetting to the skinne;
Be onely Zephyre breathing still,
Warme Zephyre to perfume the Ayre,
And scatter downe in silver Showers
A thousand Girlonds for her haire
Of Blossome, Branch, and sweetest flowers.

With Rosemarine, and verdant Bay,
Be wall and window clad in greene:
And sorrow on him who this day
In Court a Mourner shall be seene.
Let Musicke shew her best of skill,
Disports beguile the irkesome night.
But take my Muse thy ruder Quill,
To paint a while this royall sight:
Proclaiming first from Thames to Rhine
ELIZA Princesse Palatine.

2.
Nymphes of Sea and Land away,
This, ELIZA'S Wedding day,
Helpe to dresse our gallant Bride
With the treasures that yee hide:
Some bring flowry Coronets,
Roses white, and Violets:
Doris gather from thy Shore
Corall, Chrystall, Amber, store,
Which thy Queene in Bracelets twist
For her Alabaster wrist,
While yee Silver-footed Girles
Plat her Tresses with your Pearles.
Others from Pactolus streame,
Greete her with a Diademe:
Search in every Rockie Mount
For the lemmes of most account:
Bring yee Rubies for her Eare,
Diamonds to fill her Hayre,
Emrald greene and Chrisolite
Binde her Necke more white then white.
On her Breast depending be
The Onyx, friend to Chastitie;
Take the rest without their place,
In borders, Sleeves, her Shooes, or Lace.
Nymphes of Niger offer Plumes:
Some your Odors and Perfumes.
Dians Maids more white then milke,
Fit a Roabe of finest Silke:
Dians maids who wont to be
The Honor of Virginitie.
Heavens have bestow'd their grace,
Her chaste desires, and Angels face.

3.
URANIAS Sonne, who dwell'st upon
The fertile top of Helicon,
Chaste Marriage Soveraigne, and dost leade
The Virgin to her Bridall Bed.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

With Marjoram begirt thy brow,
And take the Veile of yealow: now
Yee Pinie Torches with your light,
To golden day convert the night.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

See how like the Cyprian Queene,
ELIZA comes, as when (I weene)
On Ida hill the prize she had
Allotted by the Phrygian Lad.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

As Asian Myrtle fresh and faire,
Which Hamadryads with their care,
And duely tending by the flouds,
Have taught to over-looke the Woods.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

Behold how Vesper from the skie
Consenteth by his twinckling eye;
And Cynthia stayes her Swans to see
The state of this Solemnitie.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

Wedlocke, were it not for thee,
Wee could nor Childe nor Parent see,
Armies Countries to defend,
Or Shepheards hilly Heards to tend.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

But Hymen call the Nymph away,
With Torches light the Children stay,
Whose sparkes (see how) ascend on hye,
As if there wanted Starres in Skye.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

As virgin Vine her Elme doth wed,
His Oake the Ivie over-spread:
So chaste desires thou joynst in one,
That disunited were undone.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

But see her golden foote hath past
The doubted Threshold, and at last
Shee doth approach her Bridall-bed,
Of none save Tyber envyed.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

Chast Mariage-bed, he sooner tels
The Starres, the Ocean Sand, or shels,
That thinkes to number those delights
Wherewith thou shortnest longest nights.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

With richest Tyrian Purple spred,
Where her deare Spouse is laid on bed,
Like yong Ascanius, or the Lad
Her Love the Queene of Cyprus had:
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

Young Frederick of Royall Ligne,
Of Cassimiers, who on the Rhine
To none are second said to be,
For Valour, Bounty, Pietie.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

Come Bride-maide Venus and undoe
Th' Herculean knot with fingers two,
And take the girdle from her wast,
That Virgins must for goe at last.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

Scatter Nuts without the Dore,
The Married is a Childe no more,
For whosoere a wife hath wed,
Hath other businesse in his head.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

Where passe ye many an happy night,
Untill Lucina brings to light,
An hopefull Prince who may restore,
In part, the losse we had before.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

That one day we may live to see,
A Frederick Henry on her knee,
Who mought to Europe give her law,
And keepe encroaching Hell in awe.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

Upon whose Brow may Envie read,
The reconcile of Love and Dread,
And in whose Rosie cheeke we see,
His Mothers gracefull Modestie,
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

But Muse of mine we but molest
I doubt, with ruder song their rest,
The Dores are shut, and lights about
Extinct, then time thy flame were out.
Io Hymen Hymenaeus.

4.
Th' Idalian Boy no sooner with his Fire,
Had warm'd the brest of Honour'd Casimire:
(That now he leaves the Nimphes along his Rheine,
T' espouse Eliza, with Saint Valentine.)
But smiling at the Newes, away he hide
To Cyprus, where his Mother did abide.
There is a Mount within this sacred Ile,
Right opposite against seaven-headed Nile,
Another way affronting Pharos bright,
That many a mile, the Sea-man lends her light:
Here on a plaine, to mortall wight unknowne,
Where never storme, or bitter blast had blowne;
Or candid hoare-Frost show'd the crusty earth;
But ever May of meriment and mirth.
An hedge the same environs all of Gold,
Which Mulciber, for sweet embracements sold
And wanton dalliance, to the Cipryan Dame;
(Tis said) and since she hath possest the same.
Where still the fields with velvet-greene are spred,
And blossomes paint the woods all white and red,
No Bird may perch her on the tender bow
But such for voyce as Venus shall allow.
The trees themselues doe fall in love with either,
As seemes by kissing of their tops together:
And softly whispring; when some gentle gale
Chides from the Mountaine, through the shady Vale.
Now from a Rocke within, two fountaines fall,
One sweet, the other, bitter as the gall,
Herein doth Cupid often steepe his darts,
When his dispos'd to sever loving harts.
A thousand Amorets about doe play
(Borne of the Nymphes) these onely wound, they say,
The common people, Venus darling hee,
Aimes at the Gods, and awfull Majestie:
And many a Power else in this place is found,
As Licence, ever hating to be bound,
Wrath, easie to be reconcil'd and Teares,
Slie Theft, and Pleasure, pale, and jocund Feares:
And over-head doe flutter in the bowes
With painted wings, Lyes, Perjuries and Vowes.
Hence Age is banish'd. Here is seene besides
The Goddesse Court, where alway she resides,
This Lemnius built of Gold and rarest jemmes,
That like a Mount quite hid with Diadems
It seemes; where Art and Cost with each contend,
For which the Eye, the Frame should most commend.
Here Cupid downe with weary wing did light,
And jocund comes into his Mothers sight,
With statefull gate: who from a burnish'd Throne,
Embraces, with Ambrosian Armes, her Sonne;
And thus begins; the newes my lovely Boy,
And cause of thy arrive, and this new joy?
Hast thou againe turn'd Jove into a Cow?
Or wanton Daphne to a Lawrell-bough?
What Man, or Power immortall, by thy Dart,
Is falne to ground, that thus reviv'd thou art?
With many a Nectar kisse, milde Love replies,
Our Bow ne'er bare away a greater prize:
Knowes not the Goddesse by the fertile Rheine,
Young Fredericke, borne of Imperiall Ligne,
Descended from that brave Rolando slaine,
And worlds great Worthy, valiant Charle-Maigne.
This hopefull Impe is stricken with our Bowe,
Wee have his Armes, and three-fold Shield to show;
Franconias Lyon, and this of Baveir,
A potent Heyre deriv'd from Cassimeir.
Another Argent onely, long they bore,
Till charg'd by Charles the last, late Emperour,
That as Arch-Sewer, and Elector, this
Hee beares, save honor, adding nought of his.
What Coast or Country have not heard their Fame?
Or who not lov'd their ever honour'd Name?
Yet trembled at from farthest Castian Sea,
And Scythian Tanais, to the Danubie.
ELIZA'S Name, I know, is not unknowne
Unto my Queene, the second unto none,
For beauty, shape of Body, every grace,
That may in earthly Majestie take place;
That were not Venus daily seene of mee,
I would have sworne this Princesse had beene shee.
Hast Cytherea, Leave thy native Land,
And joyne them quickly by the Marriage band.
The Queene her Sonne removing from her lap,
Her haire of wiery gold shee tresseth up.
Throwes on her Veile, and takes the Girdle chaste,
Wherewith she quiets stormes, and every blast,
Allaies the swelling flouds, and furious sea;
Whereto full speedily she takes her way:
And here arriv'd, sends forth a Cupid faire,
Drest like a Sea-Nymph, with a silver hayre:
To search the deepe, and bring unto the shore
Some Triton, able to convay her o'er;
Which if hee did performe with nimble speede,
A golden Bowe and Shafts should be his meede.
No sooner Love had div'd into the Maine,
But on the surge appear'd a wondrous traine
Of Sea-gods, Tritons, Nymphes, who equall strove
The formost who should aide the Queene of Love;
First, Neptune, mounted on a Grampas crown'd
With Roses, calm'd the Ocean all around:
Palaemon on a Seale with hoary lockes,
Begirt with Samphire from the neighbour rockes:
An ugly Whirlepoole Nereus bestrides,
With Trident galling oft his lazie sides.
Among the Maids she Glaucus hindmost lagges
Upon a Porpose brideled with flagges.
Next Venus comes, with all her beauteous crew,
Whom Dolphins in a shelly Chariot drew.
No Nymph was there but did some gift bestow,
That did in Amphitrites bosome grow:
Cymothoe brought a girdle passing faire
Of silver, twisted with her Christall haire.
Young Spathale, a pearely Carcanet,
And Clotho Corrall, good as she could get.
Faire Galatea from the Persian Shore,
Strange Jemmes and Flowers, some unknowne before,
Which to ELIZA, as their loves they sent,
(Herewith adorning Venus as she went)
Whom when they had conducted to our Thame,
And view'd the spatious channell of the same,
Admir'd our Chalkie Cliffes, survai'd each Pierre,
Our fertile Shores, our Ships, and Harbours here,
They backe unto their boundlesse home doe hye;
But in a cloud the Queene ascends the skie,
And takes her way unto the Royall Hall,
Where downe, she did no sooner softly fall,
But Clouds were fled that over cast the ayre,
And Phoebus threw about his golden hayre:
Eke Snow-tress'd January (seldome seene)
Upon his brow had got a wreath of greene.
Joy was in Court, and jocund mirth possest
The hearts of all, from greatest to the least,
(Yet knew they not the cause) the windowes lay
Bestrow'd with Primrose, Violets, and Bay.
Now children looke (quoth shee) you banish hence
Affaires of State, ambitious difference,
Complaints, and Faction, melancholy Feares,
All Parsimonie, sighes, and former Teares.
Let Nights in royall banquetting be spent,
Sweet Musicke, Masques, and joyous merriment.
Now pleasure take her fill; bring Graces Flowers;
With Torches Hymen plant the lofty Towers;
Twine, Concord double Girlonds, Cupids you
Some gather branches from the Myrtle bough.
And guild the roofe with waxen lights on high;
Tacke (others) up rich Arras busily;
Some cast about sweet waters; others clense
With Myrrhe, and best Sabaean Frankinsence,
The Curtaines; others fit about her Bed,
Or for her foote the floore with Velvet spred.
Which said, into the Chamber of the Bride,
Who lay to rest, she passed unespide
And secretly instructs her how to love,
Recounting every pleasure shee should prove:
And urgeth that each Creature's borne to be
The Propagator of Posteritie.
And now and then, shee casteth in betweene,
Their Legends that have faithfull Lovers beene:
Shee tels of Dido, and Lucretia chaste,
Camilla, Hero, Thisbe, and the rest,
And many a Booke shee had at fingers end,
Which for her purpose oft shee can commend.
Now as the Aire gan more and more to cleare,
The Goddesse plainly did at last appeare.
Whose burnish'd haire the goodly roome did guild,
And with a sweet Ambrosian odor fill'd,
That seeing now ELIZA'S goodly grace,
Her daintie fingers, and her fairest face:
Shee stood amazed, and with a Nectar kisse,
Shee bow'd her selfe, and boldly utter'd this.
All happinesse unto the Princesse be,
The Pearle and Mirrour of great Brittannie,
For whose deere sake, I this adventure tooke,
And Paphos with my Cyprus sweet forsooke:
Drawne by the Rumor of thy Princely Name,
And pitty of the hopefull Frederickes flame,
Though thou wert not a Princesse by thy birth,
This face deserves the greatest King on Earth,
What hand so fits a Scepter, and what Eye,
Did ever sparke with sweeter Majestie,
Thy lips the Roses, whitest necke excells
The mountaine snow, and what is whiter els.
With equall temper how the white and red,
(Our cullors,) are upon thy cheeke dispred,
The fingers of the Morning doe not shine,
Why art thou yet uncrowned, fairer farre?
Oh Virgin, worthy onely not of Rhine,
And that sweet foile, thy Countie Palatine,
(Where Mose, the Moene, the Nah, and Nicer clear,
With Nectar runne against thy comming there)
But of a world, due to those guiftes of thine,
Which in thee more then all thy Jewels shine,
This said; about her Ivory necke she hung,
The Nerieds tokens which she brought along,
And with a needle curl'd her lovely haire,
Then Gallant Pearles bestrow'd at either eare,
And ore her head she threw her Sindon vaile,
That farre adowne (upborne by Nimphes) did traile,
By this, without a thousand Virgins stai'd,
To lead along to Church the Princely maid,
With heavenly sounds, (in fall of plenteous showers,
Among the crew of all the sweetest flowers.)
That Cytharea leaves the Virgin now,
And takes her leave with this, or other vow.
Live Royall Paire in peace and sweetest Love,
With all aboundance blest by heaven above,
A thousand kisses binde your harts together,
Your Armes be weary with embracing either,
And let me live to see betweene you twaine,
A Ceasar borne as great as Charlemaine.

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