Tessera caerulea — commentariolum. Tessera rubicunda — nota textualis. Tessera viridis — translatio.
EDUARDO PRINCIPI CAMBRIAE ILLUSTRISSIMO, DUCI CORINIAE ET COMITI PALATINO
Est mea Musa tuo vel devinctissima patri,
Cuius praecingit festa corona caput.
Omnibus ergo modis studet invigilatque modestis
Te talem ac tantum demeruisse sibi.
Ut desint vires, animo tamen ardet amico 5
Eximias dotes concelebrare tuas.
Praebuit exemplum nuper, cecinitque canoro
Natalem illa tuum carmine laeta diem.
Prodiit in lucem tum qualiscunque libellus,
A doctis legitur, iudiciumque subit. 10
Non maiestatem potuit conferre Maronis,
Nasonis fontes sed nec adire sacros.
Candida sollicite, potuit quod, praestitit omne
Musa per argutos officiosa modos,
Inque tua ditione frequens demonstrat aperte 15
Antiquas urbes, flumina, castra sinus.
Quorum nigrarunt ingrata silentia famam,
Quae prius emicuit lumine clara suo.
Nec contenta bonis studiis hanc addere metam,
Ad solitum foelix Musa recurrit opus. 20
En liber hic prodit referens encomia laetus,
Inclyta, nobilibus dona parata viris.
Mirificeque tuum cupit ille extendere nomen,
Famam, virtutes, numen, et omne decus
Talia decantans de te quae concinat aetas 25
Praesens, quae adveniens posteritasque canat.
Troigenum de gente satum te praedicat orbis,
Felicem felix Ascaniumque vocat.
Totus ut eniteas addit cognomen Iuli.
Conveniunt celso nomina celsa tibi. 30
Si pater Aeneas te alta vidisset in Ida,
Optasset prolem te sine fine sibi.
Diceris a multis gallinae filius albae
Delicias titulus indicat ille meras.
Iudicio nostro phoenicis filius almae 35
Eximium certe nunc tibi nomen erit
Clara festa tuae fulsere insignia matris
In quibus et phoenix gloria prima fuit.
Rara avis in terris coelo dignissima phoenix
Te nato, ad superos transiit atque lubens 40
Et reparatorem te solum sola reliquit,
Unicus inter aves hac ratione micas.
Forsitan expectas phoenicis maxime princeps
Ut laudem vates altisonusque canam
Altisonus non sum, vatum tamen admirator 45
Et cultor, notus Pierioque gregi.
Ansam praeripuit prior hanc Lactantius ille,
Fontibus ex cuius lactea vena fluit.
Is tibi facundus referet vel singula, sic et
Edisces studiis non aliena tuis. 50
Ad rem sed redeo. Tantum natura benigna,
Illa tibi plene contulit alma parens,
Quantum suspiciat fecunda Britannia celsi
Imperii sedes splendida et ampla tui
Qualis Apelleis Amor enitet inque tabellis 55
Talis colluces fronte serenus, ovans.
Coelitus ingenium demissum possidet illud
Omne tuum lepidum conspicuumque caput.
Quisquis te intentis oculis aspexerit, ille
Senserit et praesens numen inesse tibi.60
Gratia blanda tuo sic semper spirat in ore
Mulceat ut merito robora, saxa, feras,
Teque salutatum venientes accipis ultro
Sic proceres, patriae lumina clara tuae,
Insolito candore animi, verbisque modestis 65
Illos ut facilis terque quaterque bees.
Et memini nuper qua dexteritate serena
Rettuleris grates ingeniose mihi
Quod mea Musa tuas occinisset carmine laudes,
Non arguta sonans, officiosa tamen. 70
Felix nominibus multis, clarissime princeps,
Fulges, non secus ac lucifer orbe suo.
Nomine at hoc imo collucet gloria prima
Natus es ad Musas litterulasque bonas.
Et pater ille tuus qui doctos Hesperus inter 75
Emittet radios nocte dieque suos,
Hoc tibi perpetuum votis exoptat amicis,
Ut praestes poscit te similemque sui.
Hinc praeceptores delegit sedulus idem
Sustinerent qui te moribus atque piis 80
Et qui te studiis doctis, linguisque disertis
Ornarent vigili voce, labore, fide,
Quo tu quo tandem veluti cultissimus hortus
Ingenii erigeres semina picta tui
Atque alios nitidi cultores candidus horti 85
Excoleres referens florea serta manu.
Praeco evangelicus felix hac parte renidet
Coxius, antiqua simplicitatis apex.
Choecus adest noster Grantae flos ipse venustae
Linguarum solida cognitione valens 90
Aurea progenies tersi Demosthenis ille,
Totus conflagrans et Ciceronis amor.
Tu preceptorum vestigia lata tuorum
Comprime ter fausto nunc pede. Doctus eris
Et tua per comptos florebit fama libellos,95
Decoris patriae lucida gemma tuae.
Sis licet egregie fortunas natus ad amplas
Circinet ac festum bella corona caput,
Gloria paulisper manet illa, et concidet omnis.
Virtus parta perennis erit. 100
Sed neque ducenda est studiis tua vita serenis
Tota, igitur lepidis seria solve iocis,
Et tua sollicitet citharam manus apta canoram
Dum pangis resonis carmina laeta modis.
Ducere nec pigeat castas de more choreas 105
In numerosque tuos disposuisse pedes.
Corporis exercat partes feliciter omnes
Quae teres niveo pervolat orbe pila.
Artifici hanc dextra ac agilis contende sinistra
Concutere, hinc palmam victor et ipse feres. 110
Fac loca collustres sylvarum devia promptus [princeps]
In queis cervorum colla superba premas,
Accipterque audax collidat saepe volucres,
Agnoscat dextram et protinus ille tuam.
Audeat ac resonas voces scapoque suetus 115
Privatodominum reppetat usque suum.
Te iuvet extensis arcus lunare lacertis,
Et signum feriat crispa sagitta suum.
Sic dabit applausum victoria laeta sonorum
Vincit io princeps candidus ille meus. 120
Sunt adolescenti grata haec praeludia cuique,
Matura ast aetas splendidiora petet.
Arma et equos celeres tum pila minantia pilis
Quaeres magna minus praesidiumque feres.
Perpetuae optassem certe tibi lumina pacis 125
Hostilis gladio vis resecanda tamen.
Dii te conservent faelici sydere natum
Et tenero faveant numina magna tibi.
Praestitit officium tamen meus ecce libellus
Qui te florentem suspicit atque colit. 130
TO EDWARD, RIGHT ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCE OF WALES, DUKE OF CORNWALL, AND COUNT PALATINE
My Muse is most devoted to your father, whose head it wreaths with a happy garland. Therefore in all her humble ways she works and strives to do well by you, such and so great that you are. Although she lacks the powers, in her friendly heart she nevertheless yearns to celebrate your great endowments. Lately she has given a specimen, and in tuneful song has happily sung of your birthday. Then was published a book, whatever its quality may be, which is read by the learned and submits to their judgment. It could not bestow Vergil’s majesty, nor approach Ovid’s sacred founts, but in her straightforward way my Muse carefully did all that she could, dutiful in all her shrewd ways, and issued a catalogue of all the ancient cities, rivers, camps, and bays in your province, whose fame has been obscured by unwelcome silence, although Wales was formerly brightened by their light. Not content to set this goal for her goodly studies, my Muse returned to her regular task. See, this happy volume comes forth containing noble encomiums, gifts prepared for noble gentleman. And it wonderfully desires to proclaim your name, your fame, virtues, majesty, and all your glory, proclaiming things about you such as this present age and coming posterity may sing. The world proclaims you to be a descendant of Trojans, and happily calls you a happy Ascanius, and so that you might shine completely it adds the cognomen of Julius. These lofty names suit your lofty self. If Father Aeneas had seen you on lofty Mt. Ida, he would have wholeheartedly wished to have you as his son forever. You would have called the son of a white hen (a title that signifies pure delights). In my opinion, now you will surely have the name of the son of a noble Phoenix. For your mother’s festive coat of arms shone bright, and on these the Phoenix possessed the chief glory. The Phoenix is a rare bird on earth, but, most deserving of heaven, after your birth it happily passed to the upper world by itself, leaving you as its only source of renewal, and in this way you stand out as unique among all the birds. Perhaps, great Phoenix-born prince, you expect that I sing your praise as a loud-voiced bard. But I have no loud voice, tough I am an admirer and adorer of bards and familiar to the Pierian crew. Lactantius (from whose fountains flows a rich vein) has anticipated me in this, and he will eloquently tell you every detail, and thus you might learn things not alien to your studies.
But I return to my subject. Kindly nature, that noble mother of yours, has granted you so much as fertile Britain, the splendid and ample seat of your lofty empire, is able to revere. Just as Eros shines forth from Apelles’ painting, so you, triumphant, shine with your serene brow. A heaven-sent nature wholly possess your elegant, distinguished person. Whoever examines you closely will perceive the majesty present within you. A sweet grace always lives on your face, so that it can deservedly tame trees, stones. You freely receive the Peers (those bright lights of your nation) with unusual friendliness of mind and modest words, so that you bless them three or four times over. And I recall the serene affability with which you recently returned my thanks in your gifted way. You shine forth happily in many ways, most noble Prince, not unlike the sun in its course. And your glory is particularly bright on this score, that you were born for the Muses and learning. Your father, who sheds his rays by day and night amidst the learned, constantly hopes this for you in his friendly prayers, demanding that you show yourself his equal. Hence he has carefully chosen you tutors who with their vigilance of voice, effort, and faith, might adorn you with pious manners, erudite studies, and learning in languages, so that ultimately, like a most cultivated garden, you might send up colorful seedlings of your intellect and in your friendly way might foster other tillers of the shining garden, bestowing garlands of flowers with your hand. In this respect Cox, that ancient pinnacle of simplicity, shines bright as a preacher of the Gospel. Our Cheke is at hand, the very flower of beautiful Cambridge, mighty for his true understanding of languages, the golden descendent of elegant Demosthenes and wholly ablaze with the love of Cicero. Now walk in the footsteps of your tutors with a thrice-happy foot, you will be learned and your fame will flourish in fine books, the gleaming gem of your beautiful nation. Albeit you are excellently born to ample fortunes and a fine crown will encircle your festive head, that glory endures but a little while, and everything comes to an end. But once gained, virtue will last forever.
But your life is not to be spent entirely amidst tranquil studies, and so you should interrupt the serious things with elegant games, and let your trained hand set in motion the tuneful lute while you play happy songs in resonant ways. Nor should it shame you to lead chaste dances, as is the custom, and to ply your feet in measures. The round ball which goes a-flying with its snow-white sphere exercises all the parts of the body. Be agile and strive to strike it with your skilled forehand and backhand, and thus you will carry off the palm as the victor. Be sure to be eager in scouring the forest byways, in which you may overcome the proud necks of stags, and let your bold hawk often swoop down on birds, and it will quickly come to know your hand. Let it hear your loud voice and, accustomed to its own perch, it will always return to its master. Let it be your pleasure to stretch the bow with your arms, and let your fletched arrow always hit its target. Thus your happy victory will create happy applause, “huzzah, my fair prince is victorious!”These sports are welcome to every boy, but more mature years will require things more splendid. Then you will seek out arms, fast horses, and great menacing lances, and will you will tolerate less supervision. I would certainly hope for you the brightness of enduring peace, yet hostile force is to be checked by the sword. May the gods protect you, born under a happy star, and may their great divinities favor your tender self.
See, my little book has done its duty, which reveres and adores you as you flourish.