1 - 10 Meter: hendecasyllables. In the title of this masque, INVISENT is a copying error for INVISANT.
4The allusion is of course to the tradition that the British are descended from an eponymous ancestor Brutus, a refugee from the Trojan War.
11 - 18 Meter: elegiac couplets.
15 As a blooming young girl, Mary can in any event be compared to the rose, but there is also an allusion here to the emblem of the Tudor dynasty, whose future hopes now rest on her.
17 The implication is that, since Mary is to devoted to learning and the arts, Ludlow Castle is a natural home to the Muses, almost as if it were a miniature university.
19 - 26 Meter: First Asclepiadeans.
19 The manuscript has et me.
26 Hortensius was Cicero’s chief rival as an orator during the late Roman Republic; i. e., Mary is striving to surpass Italian girls’ eloquence in their native language.
27 - 34 Meter: Sapphic stanzas.
33 The Spanish-born Catherine of Aragon.
35 - 42 Meter: hendecasyllables.
35 The manuscript has venus (ending with a long s).
43 - 50 Meter: Second Asclepiadeans.
51 - 57 Meter: First Asclepiadeans.
58 - 65 Meter: Alcmanic strophes (one dactylic hexameter + one dactylic tetrameter).
62 The pecten is probably the frame on which she stretches out her purple fabric, while she does her embroidery with gold thread.
65 Arachne was a Lydian princess who was so proud of her needlework that she boasted she could surpass Minerva. As a punishment for her effrontery she was transformed into a spider. The story is told by Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.5 - 145.
66 - 73 Meter: First Archilochians (one dactylic hexameter + one dactylic trimeter catalectic).
70 A mythical queen of Assyria.
72 Tyrian because Tyre is the source of purple dye.
74 - 81 Although not copied out as such by John Stow, this passage seems to fall into two stanzas, the first three lines of which are First Asclepiadeans. Line 4 scans – – – ̆ ̆ – | ̆ – , making a Fourth Asclepiadean stanza, but line 8 contains one extra syllable at the end (in line 77 we could read et veni <tu> to procure symmetry, but it is impossible to shorten 81).
79 A city of Campania famous for its roses in Roman times.
1 - 6 Meter: hendecasyllables.
7 - 14 Meter: Third Asclepiadeans.
11 For a while Clement had occupied the chair of Greek at Oxford. As a member of Thomas More’s household, Margaret Gibbs must have acquired a first-rate education.
15 - 22 Meter: Sapphic stanzas.
20 Cyrrha was the name of the peak of Mt. Parnassus.
23 - 28 Meter: elegiac couplets.
23 The Roman god of marriage.
29 - 36 Meter: First Asclepiadeans.
35 It will be observed that in this line necnon etiam features an elision.
37 - 44 Alcmanic strophes.
44 Nestor was proverbial for his long life (one cannot help wondering whether Leland wrote felicior).