In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen ELIZABETH

Original Text: 
The Tenth Muse Lately sprung up in America. By a Gentlewoman in those parts (London: Stephen Bowtell, 1650): 199-203. See Anne Bradstreet, The Tenth Muse (1650), a facsimile reproduction with an introd
1.2Yet thy loud Herald Fame, doth to the sky
1.3Thy wondrous worth proclaim, in every clime,
1.4And so has vow'd, whilst there is world or time.
1.5So great's thy glory, and thine excellence,
1.6The sound thereof raps every human sense
1.7That men account it no impiety
1.8To say thou wert a fleshly Deity.
1.9Thousands bring off'rings (though out of date)
1.10Thy world of honours to accumulate.
1.12'Mine bleating stands before thy royal Hearse.
1.13Thou never didst, nor canst thou now disdain,
1.14T' accept the tribute of a loyal Brain.
1.16The acclamations of the poor, as rich,
1.17Which makes me deem, my rudeness is no wrong,
1.18Though I resound thy greatness 'mongst the throng.
2.3Eliza's works, wars, praise, can e're compact,
2.4The World's the Theater where she did act.
2.5No memories, nor volumes can contain,
2.7Who was so good, so just, so learn'd, so wise,
2.8From all the Kings on earth she won the prize.
2.9Nor say I more than truly is her due.
2.10Millions will testify that this is true.
2.11She hath wip'd off th' aspersion of her Sex,
2.12That women wisdom lack to play the Rex.
2.14She taught them better manners to their cost.
2.16If France had ever hop'd for such a Queen.
2.17But can you Doctors now this point dispute,
2.18She's argument enough to make you mute,
2.19Since first the Sun did run, his ne'er runn'd race,
2.20And earth had twice a year, a new old face;
2.21Since time was time, and man unmanly man,
2.22Come shew me such a Ph{oe}nix if you can.
2.23Was ever people better rul'd than hers?
2.24Was ever Land more happy, freed from stirs?
2.25Did ever wealth in England so abound?
2.26Her Victories in foreign Coasts resound?
2.27Ships more invincible than Spain's, her foe
2.30Don Anthony in's right for to install.
2.32The States united now her fame do sing.
2.33She their Protectrix was, they well do know,
2.35Her Nobles sacrific'd their noble blood,
2.36Nor men, nor coin she shap'd, to do them good.
2.38And Tiron bound, before her picture fell.
2.39Had ever Prince such Counsellors as she?
2.41Such Soldiers, and such Captains never seen,
2.43Her Sea-men through all straits the world did round,
2.47But time would fail me, so my wit would too,
2.48To tell of half she did, or she could do.
2.50More infamy than fame she did procure.
2.52World's wonder for a time, but yet it falls.
2.54Had put her Harness off, had she but seen
2.56(Judging all valour, and all Majesty)
2.57Within that Princess to have residence,
2.58And prostrate yielded to her Excellence.
2.60(Who living consummates her Funerals),
2.61A great Eliza, but compar'd with ours,
2.62How vanisheth her glory, wealth, and powers.
2.64Instead of glory, prov'd her Country's shame:
2.65Of her what worth in Story's to be seen,
2.66But that she was a rich Ægyptian Queen.
2.68And of all these without compare the best
2.69(Whom none but great Aurelius could quell)
2.70Yet for our Queen is no fit parallel:
2.71She was a Ph{oe}nix Queen, so shall she be,
2.72Her ashes not reviv'd more Ph{oe}nix she.
2.73Her personal perfections, who would tell,
2.75Which I may not, my pride doth but aspire
2.76To read what others write and then admire.
2.77Now say, have women worth, or have they none?
2.78Or had they some, but with our Queen is't gone?
2.79Nay Masculines, you have thus tax'd us long,
2.80But she, though dead, will vindicate our wrong.
2.81Let such as say our sex is void of reason
2.82Know 'tis a slander now, but once was treason.
2.83But happy England, which had such a Queen,
2.84O happy, happy, had those days still been,
2.85But happiness lies in a higher sphere.
2.86Then wonder not, Eliza moves not here.
2.87Full fraught with honour, riches, and with days,
2.89No more shall rise or set such glorious Sun,
2.90Until the heaven's great revolution:
2.91If then new things, their old form must retain,
Her Epitaph.
3.1Here sleeps T H E Queen, this is the royal bed
3.2O' th' Damask Rose, sprung from the white and red,
3.3Whose sweet perfume fills the all-filling air,
3.4This Rose is withered, once so lovely fair:
3.5On neither tree did grow such Rose before,
3.6The greater was our gain, our loss the more.
4.1Here lies the pride of Queens, pattern of Kings:
4.2So blaze it fame, here's feathers for thy wings.
4.3Here lies the envy'd, yet unparallel'd Prince,
4.4Whose living virtues speak (though dead long since).
4.5If many worlds, as that fantastic framed,
4.6In every one, be her great glory famed.


1.1] thou now in silence in lie: the dates of Elizabeth I were 1533-1603. Back to Line
1.11] Hecatombs: units of 100 cattle or oxen, destined for sacrifice. Back to Line
1.15] yerst: erst, once Back to Line
2.1] Ph{oe}nix Pen: the writings of Sir Philip Sidney, the English poet in whose memory R. S. compiled The Phoenix Nest (1593), an anthology of poems of that time.
Spenser's Poetry: Edmund Spenser, author of The Faerie Queene, an epic poem in praise of Elizabeth. Back to Line
2.2] Speed: John Speed (1552?-1629), mapmaker and historian who published Historie of Great Britaine in 1611.
Camden: William Camden (1551-1653), Latin historian and author of two seminal works in the period, Britannia (1586-) and the Annales of Elizabeth's reign. (1615-29). Back to Line
2.6] nine Olymp'ades: Back to Line
2.13] Monarch: Philip II of Spain. Back to Line
2.15] Salic law: Back to Line
2.28] Armadoe: the Spanish Armada of 1588. Back to Line
2.29] Lisbon's wall: Elizabeth launched a naval attack on Portugal in 1589 to replace its monarch with the pretender, Don Antonio of Crato (1531-95), but the voyage failed. Back to Line
2.31] Franks' (brave) distressed King: Back to Line
2.34] Virago: woman of great power. Back to Line
2.37] Irish: sent by Elizabeth to Ireland in March 1599, Essex failed to put down a rebellion led by Hugh O'Neill, second earl of Tyrone (ca. 1540-1616) and returned home under a cloud. Back to Line
2.40] Minerva: Roman goddess of wisdom and war, identified with the Greek Athene. Back to Line
2.42] Pallas: Athene. Back to Line
2.44] Terra incognitæ: land unknown. Back to Line
2.45] Drake: Sir Francis Drake (1540?-96), famous for his circumnavigation of the world in 1577-81, plundered Spanish cities in 1585 and 1589 with Elizabeth's approval. Back to Line
2.46] Robert Devereux, second earl of Essex (1566-1601).
Cadiz: port in southwest Spain Back to Line
2.49] Semiramis: mythical Assyrian queen and wife and successor of Ninus, king of Assyria, founder of Nineveh. Back to Line
2.51] Babel's walls: belonging to the tower of Babel (Genesis 11), and tumbled down by Yahweh to punish the builders' pride in trying to reach heaven. Back to Line
2.53] Tomris: Back to Line
2.55] th' Camp at Tilbury: in 1588 Elizabeth gave a rousing speech to her assembled forces here, a military camp on the north bank of the Thames, just before they defeat the Spanish Armada. Back to Line
2.59] Dido: Queen of Carthage who, in Virgil's Æneid, falls in love with the Trojan exile and, when he abandons her, kills herself. Back to Line
2.63] Cleopatra: queen of Egypt, mistress of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, whose love for her led to the defeat at Actium, Antony's death and Cleopatra's suicide. Back to Line
2.67] Zenobia: Queen of Palmyra, deposed by Rome in 272, when the city was destroyed by Aurelian (cf. Aurelius, line 69). Back to Line
2.74] Heliconian Well: the fountains Hippocrene and Aganippe, which flowed from mount Helicon in Greece, where there was a temple dedicated to the muses. Back to Line
2.88] Titan: one of the giants born of Gaea and Uranus, here presumably naming the sun. Back to Line
2.92] Albian: Albion, Latin name for England, from the white ("albus") cliffs of Dover. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997.