Cynthia's Revels: Queen and huntress, chaste and fair

Original Text: 
Ben Jonson, The workes of Benjamin Jonson (London: Will Stansby, 1616). STC 14751.
2Now the sun is laid to sleep,
3Seated in thy silver chair
4State in wonted manner keep:
5      Hesperus entreats thy light,
6      Goddess excellently bright.
7Earth, let not thy envious shade
8Dare itself to interpose;
9Cynthia's shining orb was made
10Heaven to clear when day did close:
11      Bless us then with wished sight,
12      Goddess excellently bright.
13Lay thy bow of pearl apart
14And thy crystal-shining quiver;
15Give unto the flying hart
16Space to breathe, how short soever:
17      Thou that mak'st a day of night,
18      Goddess excellently bright.


1] An early play by Jonson, first printed in 1601. Queen Elizabeth was often addressed in literature as Cynthia, virgin-goddess of the moon. The song is sung by Hesperus (line 5), god of the evening star. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Cynthia's Revels
RPO poem Editors: 
F. D. Hoeniger
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.153.