COMMENTARY NOTES  

‘Epicedion’

spacer1 fata vocant a commonplace phrase, but Craig's allusion is surely Virgilian, cf. Georgics iv.496, Aeneid VI.147, X.471-72 and XI.97.

spacer5 Ovid’s elegy for Tibullus, Amores, III, ix.40, vix manet e tanto parva quod urna capit.

spacer7 patrii penates a commonplace phrase; cf. Statius. Silvae IV.viii.54.

spacer8 Eskia Eskdale, in the Borders, was the home of the Herries clan. Lord Herries had led an unsuccessful charge on behalf of Mary Queen of Scots against Moray’s troops at the battle of Langside on 13 May 1568.

spacer9 alluit unda Catullus 65.6 (on Lethe).
spacer Lidderis vnda in November 1561, Moray had led a savage assault on ‘the thieves of Liddesdale’ in the Borders.
See Maurice Lee, James Stewart, Earl of Moray (Columbia University Press, 1953; reprint Greenwood Press: Westport, 1971) 93f.

spacer12 Celta Moray had fought the French in 1559-60, though it is an exaggeration to say that the French withdrawal from Scotland after 6 July 1560 was due to Moray, who was helped by a very large English army, the English fleet, English diplomacy and above all, the death of the Regent, Marie of Guise, on 10 June.
spacerinsensum I read this as a scribal lapsus for incensum.
spacer
belliger Anglus horruit armatus Moray  had successfully fought the English invaders in January and June 1547 in Fife, and he took part in the abortive invasion of Northumbria in 1557. Buchanan had used belliger Anglus in his Francisci Valesii et Mariae Stuartae...Epithalamion, 222.

spacer13 pacatum amplexus amicum Moray was the much-admired key figure in the realignment of Reformed Scotland with Protestant England against Catholic France and Spain.

spacer16 An exact clinical description of the cause of the Regent's death.

spacer17 The assassin, James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, when under sentence of death for high treason as a combatant on the side of Mary at the battle of Langside, had been pardoned by Moray.

spacer21 liquidi fontes Georgics IV.18.

spacer25f. An inversion of Metamorphoses II.481, ora Iovi lato fieri deformia rictu “”

spacer27-32 Craig redeployed these lines in 1603, towards the end of his Ad…Iacobum VI e sua Scotia discedentem, Paraeneticon, 369-73, changing 31’s tenues [thin] to teneras [tender], and replacing 32 with undique sylvarum virides ponuntur honores [everywhere the green splendour of the woods is laid aside, i.e. the trees are stripped of their green foliage] (Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum, I, 230-40). The changes are  an attempt to adjust the quoted section to the fact the king set off for London on 5 April, when the weather was rather different from that of late January 1570. However, the reappearance of these lines in 1603 tells us much about Craig’s fears as to what James’s departure portended for sua Scotia. His fellow advocate, the jurisconsult John Russell, expressed feelings similar to Craig’s in Scots prose, in the ‘Paranaesis to His Maiestie’ appended to his Treatise of the Happie and Blissed Union Betwixt the Tua Ancienne Realmes of Scotland Ingland of 1604 (NLS Adv. Ms. 1.1): ‘Bot as zour M loues zour awin standing vith zour posteritie, and veill of this haill Ile: be neuir vnmyndfull of this zour hines first and auldest impyir of Scotland, and of zour gude subiectis heir’ (fol. 27v).  Russell’s treatise, minus the Paranaesis, is printed in B. P. Levack and Bruce Galloway, The Jacobean Union: Six Tracts of 1604 (Scottish History Sociey: Edinburgh, 1985).  Craig’s  De Unione regnorum Britanniae Tractatus was edited and translated by C. Stanford Terry for the Scottish History Society, 1909.

spacer30 picti gloria campi Jacobus Micyllus [1503 - 58], Sylvarum Liber Quintus, ‘Ps. 103’ ll.59-60. Craig’s friend and fellow jurist, Sir John Skene [1543 - 1617], had studied in Germany, and would be a possible channel for German neo-Latinity coming to Craig’s ken;  the latter had studied in France, though German neo-Latinists also had links in Paris (see note to line 50 below).

spacer40 Romana licentia the reference is to the Reformation Parliament (which abolished Papal authority and the mass), and perhaps more specifically (Arcto) to the defeat of the Catholic forces of the Earl of Huntly at Corrichie on October 28 1562, and the belated reformation of King’s College, Old Aberdeen, in 1569.

spacer43 bis vindice dextra presumably by first driving out the French in 1560, and, as senior Protestant leader, abolishing the authority of the Pope, and secondly by overthrowing the tyranny of Mary Queen of Scots and saving the country from enslavement to the designs of the Guise family and the Pope. Craig is casting the Regent in the role of an Old Testament 'Captain of Israel' whose strong right hand protects the Chosen People. Buchanan uses vindice dext(e)ra in Ps. XVII.32 and XXXV.36.
spacerServatricis is Dana F. Sutton’s conjectural emendation for the meaningless and unmetrical MS. reading serviture.

spacer50 With this list of attributes, which Craig echoes in l.7 of his second poem, compare heroum decus, et speciem virtutis avita e/ Dux jacet hic belli gloria, pacis honos, in the epitaph for Albert of Brandenburg, first Duke of Prussia [d. 1568] penned by the educationalist and warm admirer of George Buchanan, Nathan Chytraeus [1543 - 98].  It is not entirely impossible that Craig actually knew Chytraeus’ poem in MS (perhaps through the good offices of Buchanan: see McFarlane, Buchanan, p.243); it would be published only in 1579, in the first volume of the German poet’s Tristia.

spacer52 Craig refrains from naming the Hamiltons; this may not merely be because he does not wish to spoil the mood of high and solemn tragedy he has established, but also because at the time of writing, there were still hopes that it might prove possible to 'unbind' the Hamilton clan and avoid fullscale civil war. The wavering and indecisive Duke of Chatelhérault was the head of the family and next in line to the throne, should the three year-old king die. He was completely under the thumb of his brilliant illegitimate half brother the Catholic Archbishop of St Andrews, who had seen to the detailed organisation of the Regent's murder by his clansman James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh.

spacer56 hoc miseriae solamen habebis / Mortis, Mapheus Vegius, XIII book of the Aeneid, 183f.

‘In…funus’

spacer2 Cyanee and Biblis appear in Ovid, Metamorphoses IX, 450-665; the river nymph Cyanee, seduced by Apollo, gave birth to the twins Biblis and Caunus. The former's unfulfilled incestuous passion for the latter resulted in unhappiness so great that her ever-flowing tears turned her into a fountain (655-65). This reference is further evidence of the haste in which Craig wrote his verses: he was presumably not fully thinking through all the implications of comparing Scotland's love for Moray with Biblis’s for her brother. Caunus felt nothing but revulsion for her declarations of love and eventually fled abroad to escape her.

spacer5 commercia mundi Lucan, Bellum Civile VII. 312.

spacer6 in modico clauditur hoc tumulo appears in the anonymous hexameters inscribed on the tomb of Baldwin of Jerusalem, spes patriae. This epitaph was noted by travellers, and it would appear that knowledge of it circulated widely, if Craig was aware of it. Certainly, parallels could be drawn between Moray, champion of the Reformation and its restoration of the purity of primitive Christianity, and Baldwin, the heroic defender of reconquered Jerusalem against the Saracens.

spacer7 See the note on Epicedion 50.

spacerThe date is given in the Old Style, which obtained in Scotland until 1600, i.e. 23 January ‘1569’ means 1570.