Dedicatory epistle The translation is by Eccles, Christopher Marlowe in London, p. 166. Eccles suggested that Marlowe echoed the dedication of Daniel’s Delia, printed earlier in 1592 and also addressed to the Countess of Pembroke, “whome the fortune of our time hath made the happie and iudiciall Patronesse of the Muses, (a glory hereditary to your house) to preserue them from those hidious Beestes, Obliuion and Barbarisme.” When Marlowe calles the Countess Delia, he disregards the identification of Elizabeth with Delia at Epistle V.64.
For Daphne as the nympha Peneia cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.472 and 504.
Epistle I Amyntas tells how he first fell in love with Phyllis. During the Matronalia (in March), two of her suitors began to fight; he intervened to break it up, and when Phyllis thanked him for his effort he was dazzled by her eyes.
I.1 For pulcherrime rerum as a form of amatory address cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.213 and Heroides iv.125.
I.4 Watson repeatedly imitates the Romans in alluding to the liver as the seat of the passions. To translate this word literally would strike a modern reader as grotesque, and so I render the word as “heart” save at Epistle II.81, where the physical organ is more likely meant.
I.7 Cf. curvoque pedo munitus at Amyntas, Lamentation II.9.
I.8 His dog Lycisca, named at Amyntas, Lamentation II.34 and Amintae Gaudia, Eclogues I.10 and V.5.
I.18 I rather doubtfully assume that quam non = “except.” The alternative is to translate (as did Boyle, p. 267) “Why did I not learn thoroughly that no heart caressed by the moist fire of Love is restored to health?” Watson’s Latin syntax would be no less eccentric than according to the present interpretation, if it were read as the equivalent of quam medullam non sanam esse.
I.20 Calendas refers to the Calendiae Martiae or Matronalia, when gifts were given to Roman women (Horace, Odes III.i.8, Tibullus III.i.1, Ovid, Fasti I.55 etc.).
I.24 In this passage Watson employs typical names of pastoral characters. He had already used some of these same names in Meliboeus to represent Sir Francis Walsingham, members of his family, and members of the Privy Council. But there is no reason for seeing any allusion to these same individuals in the present passage, especially as in that poem Sir Francis’ wife appears under the name of Dryas, not Clytia.
I.31 The allusion to the marigold is clarified by Passion IX of the Ἑκατομπαθία (cf. also Eclogue II.71): see the initial commentary note on that Passion.
I.43 For aemula virtus cf. Horace, Epodes xvi.5 and Lucan, Bellum Civile I.120.
I.45 Watson parodies Aeneid I.150, furor arma ministrat.
I.67 Watson’s dictum about shame being the enemy of love may be suggested by Ovid, Metamorphoses I.618f.:
Pudor est, qui suadeat illinc,
Hinc dissuadet Amor. Victus Pudor esset Amore.
I.70 Cf. Amyntas, Lamentation I.47, luce mihi media, noctu mihi Phyllis oberrat.
I.83 Nostris annalibus designates previous love poetry.
I.87 Imbelles...bella constitutes an untranslatable pun.
I.99 Telephus was wounded by Achilles’ spear and later cured by rust from the same weapon, as recounted in the headnote to Passion LXVIII of the Ἑκατομπαθία. Watson also used this image at Passion LXIX.14, And salue the soare which thou thy selfe hast made.
Epistle II Amyntas is distraught because he has written some love poetry for Phyllis, but she has torn up the poems unread. He reproaches her and discourses on love’s power over himself.
II.5 For the idiom convicere dico cf. the Vergilian Moretum 108.
II.10 Ovid found the epithet ferus amor at Vergil, Georgics II.476 and used it repeatedly (with or without the personification, which of course depends to an extent on the taste of individual editors): Amores I.ii.8, III.i.20, Heroides xvi.126. Cf. also Aeneid XII.819, nulla fati quod lege tenetur.
II.35 For pectoris index cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.535 (also at line-end).
II.36 The pen - pinna pun is also implied in a dedicatory epigram written for Peter Bales shorthand textbook The Arte of Brachygraphie (1597) by “T. C.” (probably Thomas Campion):
Verba volant; verum: quid enim velocius illis?
Arte (Balese tua), nunc quoque penna volat.
For aligeri...Amoris cf. Aeneid I.663.
II.39 Castalia was a fountain on Mt. Parnassus, associated with Apollo and the Muses.
II.42 In the temple of Diana, Acontius threw before Cydippe an apple inscribed I SWEAR BY THE SANCTUARY OF DIANA TO MARRY ACONTIUS. She picked it up and read aloud, thus inadvertently pledging herself. The story is told in Ovid, Heroides xx.
II.43 Watson was conceivably thinking of Vergil, Aeneid II.106, ignari scelerum tantorum artisque Pelasgae.
II.47 For Demophon and Phyllis, cf. Ovid, Heroides ii.
II.53 For nuda simplicitas cf. Ovid, Amores I.iii.14.
II.54 Cf. Ovid, Heroides xvi.25, si pectoris adiuvet aestum.
II.56 The book has pandere: ni videas, morbum qui tollere possis. Boyle (p. 272) translated “...lest you might not see it — you who are able to cure the infection.” This improbably presumes that ni = ne, in which case the proper translation would be “lest you see it.” I have attempted to solve the puzzle by 1.) placing a full stop after pandere; 2.) interpreting ni as nisi; 4.) interpreting qui as an interrogative adverb; and 4.) putting a question mark at the end of the line.
II.61 Amyntas rather frequently utters such sentiments: cf. Amyntas Lamentation II.58, mea vita secunda, IV.49, animae pars altera Phyllis, and VII.45 mens una duobus.
II.62 For pars animae as an amatory address cf. Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto I.viii.2 and Metamorphoses VIII.406.
II.63 Watson was probably thinking of Momus’ wish that all men would have windows in their breasts, so that the contents of their hearts could be seen: cf. Lucian, Hermotimus xx.
II.81ff. To avoid seeming silly, one could translate iecur as “seat of the affections” (so Boyle p. 273). But in view of the striking parallel with the effusion of the fatuously love-smitten scholar in Edward Forsett’s comedy Pedantius, quoted in the Introduction, it is less than wholly clear that this passage was not meant to strike the reader as silly.
II.88 The spleen was thought to be the seat of laughter.
II.90 Cf. faciles...Napaeae at Vergil, Georgics IV.535.
Epistle III Amyntas continues to reprove Phyllis for not accepting his poems. There are two Loves, one lustful and the other pure: he is entirely governed by the second.
III.7 For verecundos...rubores cf. Ovid, Heroides iv.72 and Metamorphoses I.484.
III.16 Note the accurate explanation of a lunar eclipse.
III.22f. Cf., perhaps, Vergil, Georgics I.451f.:
Nam saepe videmus
ipsius in vultu varios errare colores.
III.31 Cf. Ovid, Heroides xi.76f.:
ut quatitur tepido fraxina virga Noto,
sic mea vibrari pallentia membra videres.
III.34 The second half of this line is patterned after Aeneid VIII.708, vertebant terga Sabaei.
III.41 Cf. the commentary note on Raptus Helenae 103f.
III.43 For urget Amor cf. Ovid, Amores I.ii.17f.
III.45 The second half of this line is modeled after Ovid, Metamorphoses X.526 (of Cupid), destrinxit harudine pectus.
III.49ff. Other writers of the time display a taste for this kind of dualistic presentation of an abstraction (which can be traced back ultimately to Hesiod’s two forms of Strife in the Works and Days). Cf., for example, Una and Duessa in Book I of Spenser’s Faerie Queene and the two Religions described at Thomas Campion’s De Pulverea Coniuratione I.93ff.
Perhaps the conceit expressed in these lines represents Watson’s personal spin on the traditional idea of the twins Eros and Anteros, for which cf. G. de Tervarent, “Eros and Anteros or Reciprocal Love in Ancient and Renaissance Art,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 28 (1965) pp. 205 - 8.
III.56 For sceleris...signa cf. Ovid, Amores I.vii.67.
III.62 Astraea was the Roman goddess of justice.
III.77 The ending of this line is probably suggested by dat cura quietem at Aeneid IV.5 and X.217.
III.92 His seven-stopped pipe has already been mentioned at Amyntas, Lamentation II.44.
III.98 For annis with forms of convenio cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.55 and IX.553.
III.102 Cf. Ovid, Tristia III.xi.50, da, precor, ingenio praemia digna meo.
Epistle IV Amyntas is encouraged because Phyllis has now accepted his poems and read them bashfully.
IV.3 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.244, o superi, totoque libens mihi pectore grator.
IV.20 The liver which is the seat of the passions — cf. the commentary note on Epistle I.4 is identified with a liver given as a burnt offering in Roman rites. Nevertheless, nothing prevents the reader from regarding Amyntas’ vow as risibly extravagant.
IV.21 Nemorum Latonia custos is taken from Aeneid IX.405.
IV.25 He means the veil described at Epistle III.58.
IV.34 Watson may have been thinking of Vergil, Aeneid IV.239, pedibus talaria nectit.
IV.63 The indefiensible enclitic shows that the book’s vaenaeque is wrong (it also puts vaena in the nominative and obliges us to construe dura in appoistion). Although writers and printers of the time sometimes substituted ae or oe for long e (as happened with Epistle IV.52 taela for tela), in this case the typesetter has inadvertently transposed his vowels. Read venae.
IV.66 Cf. quid tibi mentis erat / erit at Ovid, Ars Amatoria III.713 and Heroides vii.66.
IV.75 For bibulam...favillam cf. Aeneid VI.227.
IV.79 Cf. vertice sidera tangam / -as at Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.v.75 and Metamorphoses VII.61.
IV.88 Cf. guttura pandens at Aeneid VI.421.
IV.90ff. This description of the nightingale’s song is a poetic adaptation of Pliny, Natural History X.lxxxi:
Lusciniis diebus ac noctibus continuis XV garrulus sine intermissu cantus densante se frondium germine, non in novissimis digna miratu ave. primum tanta vox tam parvo in corpusculo, tam pertinax spiritus; deinde in una perfecta musica scientia: modulatus editur sonus et nunc continuo spiritu trahitur in longum, nunc variatur inflexo, nunc distinguitur conciso, copulatur intorto, promittitur revocato, infuscatur ex inopinato, interdum et secum ipse murmurat, plenus, gravis, acutus, creber, extentus, ubi visum est, vibrans, summus, medius, imus. breviterque omnia tam parvulis in faucibus, quae tot exquisitis tibiarum tormentis ars hominum excogitavit, non ut sit dubium hanc suavitatem praemonstratam efficacia auspicio, cum in ore Stesichori cecinit infantis.
Epistle V Amyntas offers Phyllis some gifts, which he describes. One of these is a pail decorated witha prophetic painting of the forthcoming defeat of the Armada and pictures of famous English nautical exploits.
V.8 The aurea lunula, a golden ornament of crescent shape, is mentioned at Plautus, Epidicus 640. From line 12 we can gather that the item in question is a ring. Perhaps it is called a lunula because of a punning allusion to Amyntas’ father Lyncus, who originally gave it to his mother Silvula (see the commentary note on line 16 below).
V.13 Cum primas amare caepit ought to mean something like “when he began to love outstanding girls.” But in this context — would Amyntas admit that Lyncus had loved other girls before his mother? — it appears likelier that we should read primus. Cf. Ovid, Amores III.xii.5, quae modo dicta mea est, quam coepi solus amare.
V.16 Lynge represents a proper name, that of Amyntas’ father. Not realizing this, Boyle (p. 395) justified his translation I AM LED BY A LEASH, thinking that this is an unattested late Latin word related to long(i)a, lungia, and longe, used to describe the lunge used to restrain a hawk in falconry (Watson did use several falconry terms in the Ἑκατομπαθία). But it must be concded that there may well be a pun in the inscription. Albert Chatterley informs me that the 1594 An Ould Facioned Love (commonly thought to be the work of John Trussel) opens with a verse translation of the first five Epistles of Amintae Gaudia, and, curiously, these words are rendered “I am drawn by demerit” (i. e., by merit).
V.21 Possibly there is a touch of irony in specifying that the shell lies under the western sea, if the waters off Spain are intended.
V.23 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.5, materiam superabat opus.
V.25 Mysteria because the illustrations on the pail are prophetic (65ff.). Sub umbris is meant figuratively.
Why is the defeat of the Armada represented as existing in the future? Since the present cycle of Epistles and Eclogues is a sequel to Amyntas, the reader is supposed to understand that Phyllis, so to speak, died in 1581. So Amyntas cannot describe subsequent historical events in the present tense.
V.28 The royal palace of Whitehall, or possibly the one at Greenwich. Watson succinctliy describes the Tudor style of palatial architecture (well illustrated by Hampton Court), a series of turreted towers connected by curtains.
V.30 By the time it reaches Westminster, the Thames is a tidal estuary.
V.32 Being a virgin queen, Elizabeth was represented as Diana in other contemporary Anglo-Latin literature (e. g. at the beginning of Thomas Campion’s Ad Thamesin, printed in 1595, another heavily mythologized account of the Armada’s destruction).
V.33f. This disjunctive portrait of Elizabeth is commonplace. Cf., for example, John Sanford, Apollonis et Musarum Εὐκτικὰ Εἰδύλλια (1592) 103ff.:
Fertur ad pacis studium suapte
Sponte, dum stringit manus una ferrum;
Alteram sacri tenet occupatam
For avidas...fauces cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.829.
V.38 With aequo...limite Watson is touching on a common literary theme of the period, England’s beneficial isolation: the gods have separated Britain to protect it from the outside world. This theme can be traced back to Vergil, Eclogue i.5, et pentitus toto divisos orbe Britannos (quoted at 56 below). Cf. Shakespeare, Cymbeline III.i.13f., a world by it selfe and II.iv.136f., I’ th’ worlds volume / Our Britain seemes as of it, but not in’t, and, most memorably, Richard II II.i.42ff.:
This other Eden, demy paradise,
This Fortresse built by Nature for her selfe,
Against infection, and the hand of warre:
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone, set in the siluer sea,
Which serues it in the office of a wall,
Or as a Moate defensiue to a house,
Against the enuy of lesse happier Lands.
V.39 Again, this view of Elizabeth as the favored offsping of the gods can be matched in other literature of the time. On the same page of Sanford’s lyric volume we find (115ff.):
Salve conspicuum decus Brytannum,
Tu regum soboles, iubar perenne
Lucis, cura Iovis, favor deorum.
V.40f. Watson of course remembered Aeneid I.141, Aeolus et clauso ventorum carcere regnet.
V.42f. Cf. ib. V.789f.:
maria omnia caelo
Miscuit Aeoliis nequicquam freta procellis.
V.44 Cf. ib. III.128, nauticus exoritur vario certamine clamor.
V.47 Cf. ib. I.123, accipiunt inimicum imbrem.
V.48 The idea is that the Spanish are descended from African stock (presumably the Moors), and so are related to the Carthaginians of old, who used to be under Juno’s special protection. Because of this historical association, the goddess is the patroness of the Spanish. Although the transformation of the ships into whales may seem Ovidian, especially in the context of a work containing several transformation-tales told in Ovid’s manner, it is in fact suggested by the metamorphosis of Aeneas’ ships at Aeneid IX.95ff.
V.54 See the commentary note on Amyntas, Lamentation VI.2f.
V.57 Your Protestant Englishman is no whit inferior to your Catholic (and, perhaps it is implied, to your ancient Roman).
V.59f. Cf. Aeneid IX.119f.:
demersis aequora rostris
Cf. also Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.240, merguntque viros merguntque carinas.
V.64 We have just seen Elizabeth identified with Diana at line 32; she is called a Sibyl in the introductory poem Authoris Ad Libellum Suum Protrepticon prefacing the Ἑκατομπαθία (line 12), and also in the dedicatory poem prefacing the translation of Coluthus’ Raptus Helenae, line 10, Meliboeus 402 (cf. the commentary note ad loc.), and the poem I hope and feare preserved in The Phoenix Nest.
V.68 Watson may have been thinking of Martial VIII.lxxiii.1f.:
quo non sincerior alter habetur
Pectore nec nivea simplicitate prior.
V.71ff. The allusion is to Sebastian Cabot’s ill-starred 1553 attempt to discover the Northeast Passage to Cathay. Watson seems to have been under the mistaken impression that Cabot himself met his end on the voyage.
V.74 Cf. Aeneid VIII.334, Fortuna omnipotens et ineluctabile fatum.
V.75ff. Richard Chancellor, captain of the Edward Bonaventure and pilot of Cabot’s 1553 expedition, was separated in a gale off the Loforden Islands and wintered in Russia. Watson fails to mention that Chancellor and his ship were lost on the return voyage from a second Russian expedition, in 1556.
V.80ff. In 1553 Thomas Wyndhakm explored the Gold Coast, where he died of fever.
V.87 It is interesting to see a religious justification for English exploration and perhaps colonialism — one wonders what precisely is implied by foedera — offered at such an early date.
V.88 Sir Hugh willoughby, captain of the Bona Esperanza, was likewise separated from the Cabot expedition; he and his crew perished miserably when their ship became icebound in the White Sea.
V.91 In his dissertation (p. 396) Harry Boyle glossed cunis as “a 1564 coin,.” and translated (p. 284) “and hopes to establish mercantile trade.” I prefer to regard cunis as a form of cunae (“cradle”) and interpret it as a poetical term for “the land of his birth.”
V.93 Cf. cana concreta pruina at Vergil, Georgics II.376.
V.95ff. Sir Martin Frobisher made several fruitless attempts to discover the Northwest Passage in the 1570’s. Meta Incognita is the name he gave to the southwest peninsula of Baffin Island, separating Frobisher Bay from the Hudson Straits.
V.96 Boyle (p. 396) glossed this line with a passage of Haklyut’s Principal Navigations (pp. 633f.) stating that the natives of Meta Incognita would at all times keep the water between them and us. But when as they perceived the ships to be gone, they would not only shew themselves...and call us to come over unto them: but also would come in their botes, very neere to us...Our General...went over to the people: who perceiving his arrivall, fledde away with all speede.
V.97ff. The allusion is to the mooring of the Golden HInde at Deptford in April 1581, when Elizabeth came aboard and knighted him.
V.98 The use of an infinitive with impono is unusual: I assume the idea is “imposed the task of...”
V.99 In a successful imitation of Drake, Thomas Cavendish (or Candish) circumnavigated the globe (1586 - 88).
Epistle VI Amyntas is grief-stricken because his poems and gifts have failed to move Phyllis. He compares his torments to those of famous felons punished in the Underworld.VI.7ff. Proteus was the famous shape-shifter described by Menelaus in Book IV of the Odyssey. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.731ff.:
Ut tibi, conplexi terram maris incola, Proteu.
Nam modo te iuvenem, modo te videre leonem,
Nunc violentus aper, nunc, quem tetigisse timerent,
Anguis eras, modo te faciebant cornua taurum;
Saepe lapis poteras, arbor quoque saepe videri,
Interdum, faciem liquidarum imitatus aquarum,
Flumen eras, interdum undis contrarius ignis.
VI.14f. Cf. Scribonius Largius, Compositiones clxxxvii, Salamandra quibus data est, lingua exasperatur, corpus invalidum fit; praeter hoc torpet rigoribus quibusdam et livoribus quasi maculis variatur. For the comparison cf. Madrigal X.6, And now to a Salamander changed, with flames surrounded.
VI.23ff. This comparison imitates the epic simile at Aeneid VII.586ff.:
Ille velut pelago rupes immota resistit,
Ut pelagi rupes magno veniente fragore,
Quae sese multis circum latrantibus undis
Mole tenet; scopuli nequiquam et spumea circum
Saxa fremunt laterique inlisa refunditur alga.
Herculeo...marmore presumably means the waters around the Pillars of Hercules.
VI.39ff. Cf. Seneca, Medea 858ff.:
Flagrant genae rubentes,
Pallor fugat ruborem,
Nullam vagante forma
Servat diu colorem.
VI.40 Cf. Statius, Thebais VI.526, et effusae longe sparguntur harenae.
VI.41 Cf., perhaps, Ovid, Metamorphoses III.491, et neque iam color est mixto candore rubori.
VI.51 Irus was the beggar in the Odyssey. Cf. Ovid, Tristia III.vii.42, Irus et est subito, qui modo Croesus erat (these two figures are also contrasted at Propertius III.v.17 and Martial V. xxxix.8f.).
VI.59 The second half of this line is modeled after Aeneid II.276, quantum mutuatus ab illo.
VI.71 For the usage cf. Martial IX.lx.4, seu modo Campani gloria ruris eras. For gloria ruris cf. Amyntas, Lamentation VII.6 and, more particularly, Meliboeus 292f., o nostri gloria ruris / mascula with the commentary note on ib. 82.
VI.77f. I am not certain whether Watson has in mind Lucretius II.269ff. or a more modern understanding of physiology:
Ut videas initum motus a corde creari
Ex animique voluntate id procedere primum,
Inde dari porro per totum corpus et artus.
His location of sensation in the braine may suggest the latter
VI.80 This line is perhaps suggested by Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.716, non tulit impatiens longi tormenta doloris.
VI.83 Watson was probably thinking of Aeneid VI.404, ad genitorem imas Erebi descendit ad umbras.
VI.87 As a punishment for having tried to rape Diana, the giant Tithys was stretched out in the Underworld, where a vulture constantly gnawed at his liver.
A suitor also compares his sufferings to those of the notorious sinners in Hades at Propertius II.xx.29ff.:
Tum me vel tragicae vexetis Erinyes, et me
Infermo damnes, Aeace, iudicio,
Atque inter Tityi volucres mea paena vagetur,
Tumque ego Sisyphio saxa labore geram!
Ne tu supplicibus me sis venerata tabellis:
Ultima talis erit quae mea prima fides.
Cf. also the beginning of Passion LI of the Ἑκατομπαθία.
VI.89 Cf. Ovid, Ibis 169, unguibus et rostro crudus trahet ilia vultur.
VI.95 The Danaides, who were forced to carry water in leaky vases in the Underworld, where daughters of King Belus of the Thebaid.
VI.96 Possibly Watson remembered Statius, Silvae II.ii.99f.:
sed pectore fido
Nunquam abero longisque sequar tua carbasa votis.
Epistle VII In an attempt to sway Phyllis, Amyntas tells her the cautionary tale of a nymph who was punished for sinning against love.
VII.1f. For moras...facis used as an amatory idiom cf. Propertius I.xii.2.
VII.5 For Idaliusque puer cf. Statius, Thebais II.287.
VII.7 Cf. Ovid, Amores III.x.13, prima iugis tauros supponere colla coegit.
VII.17 Boyle (p. 288) translates “But for all that, may you come (my Phyllis) to me without having been forced by a wound; and I be the one surrounded by your arms...,” which seems to imply that he read simque for the book’s sumque. Although this emendation is not recorded in his textual notes, this transformation of a factual statement into a wish certainly does appear more suitable for the dramatic context, and so is adopted here.
VII.18 The affinity of vines (especially the grapevine) for the elm was proverbial in ancient literature: in Ovid alone it is mentioned at Amores II.xvi,41, Epistolae ex Ponto III.viii.13, Fasti III.411, Heroides v.47, Metamorphoses X.100, XIV.661 and 665, Tristia II.i.143 and V.iii.35.
VII.21 Cf. the Ovidian Epicedion Drusi 334, fronde triumphali tempora vinctus erit.
VII.25 For pater superum cf. Aeneid VI.780.
VII.26 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XII.560, at deus, aequoreas qui cuspide temperat undas.
VII.27 Cf. Ovid, Fasti III.85, Mars Latio venerandus erat, quia praesidet armis.
VII.32 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses III.524, neque enim dignabere numen honore.
VII.40 The Lee, another name for the Ware, is a tributary that joins the Thames at Blackwall. William Vallan’s A Tale of two Swannes (1590) is a poetic description of the Lee. In the prose introduction to that work, Amyntas, Lamentation II.52f. are rather gratuitously quoted, attributed to “D. Thomas Watson in his Odes” (note that Vallan either knew or assumed that Watson had been admitted to the B. A.). Watson gave the Lee such prominence in this transformation tale as a way of returning the compliment.
VII.42 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.497, fando aliquem Hippolytum vestras si contigit aures.
VII.43 In Latin ardea means “heron.”
VII.46f. It may have been the case that Watson had read Lucretius’ discussion of mirrors and was thinking of it here and when he wrote Eclogue VII.56ff. Cf. Lucretius IV.52, quod speciem ac formam similem gerit eius imago.
VII.47ff. For her attributes compare Ovid, Heroides xx.56ff.:
Tu facis hoc oculique tuo, quibus ignea cedunt
Sidera, qui flammae causa fuere meae;
Hoc faciunt flavi crines et eburnea cervix.
VII.59 For advectus in oras cf. Aeneid III.108.
VII.67 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.232 (also involving a divine manifestation), at virgo quamvis inopino territa visu.
VII.71 Cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile V.520f.:
Molli consurgit Amyclas
Quem dabas alga toro.
VII.72 The minor sea-god Glaucus also fell in love with Scylla, the beautiful daughter of Phorcys; the story is told by Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.906ff. He has already been mentioned at Meliboeus 316f.
VII.75 For blandimenta precesque cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.885.
VII.77 For vires...Amoris cf. ib. V.374.
VII.80ff. This passage is modeled on ib. I.467f.:
Inpiger umbrosa Parnassi constitit arce
Eque sagittifera prompsit duo tela pharetra
Diversorum operum: fugat hoc, facit illud amorem;
Quod facit, auratum est et cuspide fulget acuta,
Quod fugat, obtusum est et habet sub harundine plumbum.
Hoc deus in nympha Peneide fixit, at illo
Laesit Apollineas traiecta per ossa medullas;
Protinus alter amat, fugit altera nomen amantis.
See also Conradus Celtis, quoted in the headnote to Passion LXIII of the Ἑκατομπαθία.
VII.86 Cf. Ovid, Heroides iv.70, acer in extremis ossibus haesit amor.
VII.87 Watson was possibly thinking of Martial IV.xxiii.3, tu licet et manibus blandis et vocibus instes.
VII.90ff. Ardea is transformed into her namesake, the bitter or bittern (Ardea stellata), a common English bird prior to the loss of most marshland, closely related to the heron but smaller. This very Ovidian change is patterned after similar ones in the Metamorphoses. First II.373ff.:
Cum vox est tenuata viro canaeque capillos
Dissimulant plumae collumque a pectore longe
Porrigitur digitosque ligat iunctura rubentis,
Penna latus velat, tenet os sine acumine rostrum.
Fit nova Cycnus avis.
longa internodia crurum,
Longa manet cervix, caput est a corpore longe;
Aequora amat nomenque tenet, quia mergitur illo.
And also XIV.498ff.
Vox pariter vocisque via est tenuata, comaeque
In plumas abeunt, plumis nova colla teguntur
Pectoraque et tergum, maiores bracchia pennas
Accipiunt, cubitique leves sinuantur in alas;
Magna pedis digitos pars occupat, oraque cornu
Indurata rigent finemque in acumine ponunt.
VII.100 For the resemblance of the bittern’s cry to the bellow of a bull, cf. Pliny, Natural History X.xlii and the etymological information provided by the O. E. D.
Epistle VIII In his frustration, Amyntas accuses Phyllis of toying with his affections.
VIII.13 The exchange of New Year’s gifts (strenae) was a popular custom of the time.
VIII.14 For laxatur cardine cf. Statius, Thebais VIII.349.
VIII.15 Janus is called bifrons at Aeneid VII.180 and XII.198.
VIII.21 Cf. ib. IX.615, iuvat indulgere choreis.
VIII.23 One thinks of Morris dancers carrying some sort of stick with bells attached, or having them sewn on their costumes.
VIII.29 Watson was thinking of Ovid, Tristia V.xiii.13f.:
Hoc, precor, emenda: quod si correxeris unum,
Nullus in egregio corpore naevus erit.
VIII.41 Cf. Aeneid VI.642, pars in gramineis exercent membra palaestris.
VIII.45 Boyle (p. 293) plausibly thought that the lantern in question is being wielded by a birdcatcher. This simile repeats the one found in the first staff of Passion XLVIII of the Ἑκατομπαθία, where the same method is described.
VIII.51 For the alliterative miscens murmura cf. Aeneid I.124, IV.160, IV.210, and Statius, Thebais IX.733f.
VIII.54 Classical Latin poetry is full of such lists of impossibilities or adunata. One such, partially echoed here, is found at Ovid, Tristia I.viii.1ff.:
In caput alta suum labentur ab aequore retro
Flumina, conuersis Solque recurret equis:
Terra feret stellas, caelum findetur aratro,
Unda dabit flammas, et dabit ignis aquas,
Omnia naturae praepostera legibus ibunt,
Parsque suum mundi nulla tenebit iter,
Omnia iam fient, fieri quae posse negabam,
Et nihil est, de quo non sit habenda fides.
Another such passage, doubtless recalled by Watson, is Vergil, Eclogue i.59ff. (which he had already imitated at Amyntas, Lamentation VIII.79ff.):
Ante leves ergo pascentur in aethere cervi
Et freta destituent nudos in litore pisces,
Ante pererratis amborum finibus exsul
Aut Ararim Parthus bibet aut Germania Tigrim,
Quam nostro illius labatur pectore vultus.
VIII.65 The laws of the famous Athenian Solon and the Spartan Great Rhetra attributed to Lycurgus.
VIII.66 Riding on a long reed as if it were a horse is a Roman children’s game mentioned by Horace, Sermones II.iii.248 (a line quoted in the dedicatory epistle prefacing Amyntas).
VIII.72 For mutabile pectus cf. Ovid, Fasti IV.602 and Metamorphoses II.145.
VIII.73 Tyrian Elisa (Dido), because Carthage had been settled by immigrants from Tyre.
VIII.75 Cf. the Vergilian passage quoted in the commentary note on lines 96ff. below.
VIII.80 Oenone, a fountain nymph and daughter of the river Oeneus, was Paris’ beloved prior to his abduction by Helen: Ovid, Heroides v.12ff. and a139.
VIII.85 For lasciva...furta cf. Martial VII.lxxiv.3.
VIII.88 Perhaps Watson was thinking of Catullus lxii.26f.:
Qui desponsa tua firmes conubia flamma,
Quae pepigere viri, pepigerunt ante parentes.
VIII.92 For amoris...fructus cf. Catullus lv.19, Propertius III.xx.30, and Lucan, Bellum Civile V.794 and VII.32.
VIII.93 Cf. rumpe segnes moras at Vergil, Georgics III.43 and Seneca, Medea 54.
VIII.96ff. These lines are written to echo Dido’s dying threat to Aeneas (Aeneid IV.381ff.):
I, sequere Italiam ventis, pete regna per undas.
Spero equidem mediis, si quid pia numina possunt,
Supplicia hausurum scopulis et nomine Dido
Saepe vocaturum. Sequar atris ignibus absens
Et, cum frigida mors anima seduxerit artus,
Omnibus umbra locis adero. Dabis, improbe, poenas.
Audiam et haec Manis ueniet mihi fama sub imos.
VIII.100 Tisiphone was one of the three Furies.
Epistle IX Amyntas exclaims that unrequited love is destroying him. Then he describes the estate that Phyllis would share if she were to marry him, including a handsome pony.
IX.1 For tremor occupat artus cf. Aeneid VII.446, XI.424, and Ovid, Metamorphoses III.40.
IX.8 The Cimmerians (a people inhabiting what is now Russia) were supposed to live so far to the north that they existed in perpetal darkness. Cf. Tibullus III.vii.64f.:
Cimmerion etiam obscuras accessit ad arces,
Quis nunquam canden dies adparuit ortu.
IX.12f. cf. Horace, Epistulae I.i.34f.:
Sunt verba et voces, quibus hunc lenire dolorem
Possis et magnam morbi deponere partem.
IX.20 The interpretation that caesia...penula means a little blue-gray cloak is taken from Boyle’s translation (p. 295). This understanding assumes, first, that caesia can be used to describe something other than the color of a person’s eyes (to which it is limited in classical Latin), that penula = pennula, and that “little wing” can be used to designate a short cloak.
IX.23 Cf. Ovid, Fasti II.703, hortus odoratis suberat cultissimus herbis.
IX.28 For nodosa...arundine cf. Persius, Satire iii.11.
IX.39 for faenique recentis cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.645.
IX.41 Perhaps Watson was thinking of Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.31, forte boves presoo subigebant vomere terram.
IX.43 Volgiolum is a diminutive of volgolus (“pail”), a word found in Du Cange’s medieval Latin lexicon.
IX.46 Cf. Aeneid VII.375, stabant ter centum nitidi in praesepibus altis.
IX.47 Cf. Vergil, Georgics III.185f.:
Tum magis atque magis blandis gaudere magistri
Laudibus et plausae sonitum cervicis amare.
IX.51 Cf. Aeneid XII.115, solis equi lucemque elatis naribus efflant.
IX.53 According to some sources, Pluto’s abduction of Proserpina occurred in Sicily.
IX.57 Falcia is not a classical Latin word. I assume that it is derived from falx and means a sickle-shaped mark.
IX.61 Summa ubi distinguit bicolor vestigia cauda probably means that two different strands of colored yarn will be woven into the tail.
IX.69 Cf. Aeneid I.589, os umerosque deo similis.
IX.70 Agricolum pubes may have been suggested by ib. VII.521, indomiti agricolae, nec non et Troia pubes.
IX.71 For obliqua tuentes cf. Statius, Thebais I.447 and IV.606.
IX.76 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses III.460, nutu quoqua signa remittis.
IX.78 Cf. Aeneid IV.294f., ocius omnes / imperio laeti parent et iussa facessunt.
IX.86 Cf. ib. I.723, postquam prima quies epulis mensaeque remotae.
IX.87 Amyntas’ mother, already mentioned at Epistle V.26.
IX.89f. Watson describes a typical Lord of Misrule; the term basilinda is taken from a Greek children’s game described in greater detail by Pollux, Onomasticon IX.110 (cf. also Anecdota Graeca Bekker 1353 as well as Herodotus I.114f. and Horace, Epistles I.i.59f.).
Epistle X Amyntas announces that, if Phyllis will not marry him, he will hang himself.
X.4 Evidently Watson used Xanthe as another name for Paris’ lover Oenone (see the commentary note on Epistle VIII.80).
X.10 See the commentary note on Amyntas, Lamentation IV.80ff.
X.13 Cf., perhaps, Vergil, Georgics IV.534f.:
tu munera supplex
Tende petens pacem.
X.20 Atalanta deliberately lost a foot-race so that she would be won by Hippomenes. The story is told by Ovid, Metamorphoses X.565ff.
X.23 Cf. tanta est fiducia formae at Ovid, Metamorphoses II.731 and III.270 (fiducia formae is also found, always at line-end, at Ars Amatoria I.707, Metamorphoses IV.687, VIII.424, XIV.32, and Propertius III. xxiv (xxiv + xv).1).
X.28 Amyntas is in effect voicing the fear that Phyllis will replicate the story of Lee told in Epistle VII, or even that of Narcissus (a similar anxiety is expssed at Eclogue VII.52ff.). See further the commentary note on Amyntas Lamentation III.8f., and the commentary note on ib. 22ff.
X.33 Cf. the physical description of Phyllis at Amyntas, Lamentation III.22ff. and the commentary note on III.25).
X.41 Cf. Aeneid I.463, multa gemens, largoque umectat flumine vultum.
X.55 Fellifluus is coined as an ironic counterpart of mellifluus. For lugubria verba cf. Ovid, Ibis 99.
X.64 Cf. Ovid, Heroides iii.140, quam sine te cogis vivere, coge mori.
X.67 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses X.132, velle mori statuit.
X.77 See the commentary note on Raptus Helenae 223f.
X.85 The phrase virides...annos comes from Martial I.ci.3, XI.lxx5, and Statius, Silvae III.i.161.
X.87ff. “The inset epitaph convention is found in most epistolary and elegiac Roman poets (Ovid, Heroides ii.147 - 148, Propertius II.xiv.27 - 28)”: Boyle p. 399.
X.89 At Aeneid IV.367 an aggrieved Dido rebukes Aeneas:
Nec tibi diva parens generis nec Dardanus auctor,
Perfide, sed duris genuit te cautibus horrens
Caucasus Hyrcanaeque admorunt ubera tigres.
X.91 Cf. pecorisque magistro at Vergil, Eclogue iii.101.
Eclogue I Phyllis has written to Amyntas and now they are betrothed; he praises her parts. Boyle (p. 107) remarked that the absence of a transition between the parts of Amintae Gaudia is very conspicuous.
I.1 Why does Watson call Aurora daughter of earth? According to such authorities as Hesiod, Theogony 372 she was the daughter of Hyperion and Theia, although Ovid iden fies her as the daughter of Pallas (Fasti IV.373, Metamorphoses IX.420). for the benefit of the reader who does not remember that she was the consort of Tithon, our poet supplies this information at line 34.
I.2 The Actaeus iuvenis is Cephalus (cf. Epistle X.10 with the commentary note ad loc.). Actaeus, an ancestor of Cephalus, was the first king of Attica.
I.10 His dog: see the commentary note on Epistle I.8.
I.12 For alba dies cf. the commentary note on Eclogue II.11. I do not know if Elizabethan lovers exchanged perfumed letters, and so if melligine sparsa is meant literally or figuratively.
I.25 Possibly Watson was thinking of Ovid, Heroides xvii.131, prima mea est igitur veneri placuisse voluptas.
I.28 Aeonius = “Boeotian,” the district of Mt. Helicon.
I.29 For Peneia virgine (“the girl born of the river Peneus”) as a designation for Diana, cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.452 and 504.
I.34 Aurora is called Tithoni coniux at Ovid, Amores II.v.35 and Heroides xviii.122.
I.35 For caput inter nubilia condit cf. Aeneid IV.177 = X.767.
I.43ff. When Vulcan was born, Juno was so disgusted with his appearance that she threw him off Olympus. He fell into the sea and swelt nine years with the sea nymphs thetis and Eurynome. While living in their grotto he set up a smithy and built all sorts of useful and decorative objects. One day Juno happened to see Thetis wearing a brooch of his manufacture and was so impressed by it that she brought Vulcan back to Olympus and set him to work making similar things for the gods. Cf. Homer, Ilias XVIII.394ff.
This is the first of several occasions on which Watson tries to create links between the Eclogues in this series: in Eclogue IV we shall be given a detailed description of Vulcan’s underwater handiwork (229ff.).
I.46 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.270, nuntia Iunonis varios induta colores (which also contributed a phrase for line 52 below).
I.53 Cf. ib. III.420, spectat humi positus geminum, sua lumina, sidus.
I.62 For this story of Psyche’s descent into the Underworld cf. Apuleius, Metamorphoses VI.xviff. Watson establishes another link with Eclogue IV, in which this beauty-conferring mist plays a large part in the narrative of Amyntas’ dream (76ff.). Watson could have read Apuleius’ novel in William Aldington’s 1566 translation.
I.65 “[Effluxu] is a cognate of effluo, but the fourth declension noun is not found”: Boyle p. 399.
I.70 See the commentary note on Amyntas, Lamentation VI.93. It is intereasting that Watson repeatedly alludes to this myth and the rather similar one of Narcissus.
I.71ff. The conceit in these lines is rendered more comprehensible by the headnote to Passion XX of the Ἑκατομπαθία: [The Author] enlargeth his inuention upon the french proverbiall speech, which importeth thus much in effect, that three things proceed from the mouth, which are to be had in high account: Breath, Speech, and Kissing; the first argueth a mans life; the second, his thought; the third and last, his loue.
I.73 Possibly Watson remembered Aeneid VII.33f.:
Adsuetae ripis volucres et fuminis alveo
Aethera mulcebant cantu lucoque volebant.
I.74 In fact stactes is another word for myrrh.
I.84 Boyle (p. 400) noted that pampillum is defined as a chariot in Thomas Cooper’s Thesaurus Linguae Romanae (London, 1587). The word also occurs at Eclogue IV.95. For a picture of Venus thus transported, cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses X.717f.:
Vecta levi curru medias Cytherea per auras
Cympron olorinis nondum pervenerat alis.
I.85 Cf. the commentary note on Meliboeus 323.
I.86 Cf. Aeneid III.118, meritos aris mactavit honores.
I.94 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.107, ver erat aeternum (from a description of the Golden Age).
I.96 Andromeda’s shoulders are mentioned because those of Andromeda the constellation are especially visible, as is noted by Aratus, Phaenomena 200f. One of Juno’s regular epithets in Homer is “white-armed.” Likewise, Dawn is “rosy-fingered.” Thetis, the mother of Achilles, is called mater aquosa at Ovid, Heroides iii.53.
I.99 For cannea tecta cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.630.
Eclogue II Amyntas expresses his utter happiness: all nature congratulates our lovers.
II.4 Ovid calls mountains tumidi at Amores II.xvi.51.
II.11 The Romans marked lucky days with a white stone (Persius, Satire ii.1 and Martial IX.lii.5).
II.14 The use of the genitive is peculiar syntax, but I do not see what other meaning can be extracted from the Latin than that which I have used in my translation, “won by my exertions.”
II.16ff. This epic simile embroiders upon Seneca, Agamemnon 790f.:
Optatus ille portus aerumnis adest.
Festus dies est.
II.19f. Inhalis is an adjective not found in the classical Latin lexicon, which presumably = inhalatus. Cf. Aeneid I.122f.:
Laxis laterum compagibus omnes
Accipiunt inimicum imbrem.
II.20 Cf. Seneca, Phoenissae 429f.:
qualis insano ratis
Premente vento rapitur
II.30 Possibly Watson remembered Aeneid XII.211, talibus inter se firmabant foedera dictis.
II.31 A line loaded with pathetic irony.
II.35 Cf. Lucretius V.93f.:
multosque per annos
Sustentata ruet moles et machina mundi.
II.38 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.872, nec poterit ferrum nec edax abolere vetustas.
II.49 Amyntas finds his true freedon in the bond of his bethrothal to Phyllis.
II.54 Cf. totumque infusa per artus at Statius, Thebais I.614 (a word-pattern in turn suggested by totamque infusa per artus at Aeneid VI.726).
II.58ff. Pyropus has two meanings, a silver-and-gold alloy having a red hue, and a red precious stone (such as a carbuncle). Here the metal is meant (so too, perhaps, at Eclogue V.15). At Eclogue IV.288, however, the word appears in a list of stones.
The idea of this passage seems to be that the world is illuminated by the reflection of Phyllis’ radiance, as once Venus was illuminated by the reflection of Mars’ armor (the world caught sight of the strange flashes). Since in invoking the idea of adultery so inappropriately by bringing up the affair of Venus and Mars, and emphasizing it with the words Vulcania coniux, Watson appears to be indulging in some subversive clowning, the rather baroque nature of the simile may well be deliberate.
II.64 Cf. Aeneid VII.33f., already quoted in connection with Eclogue I.73 above.
II.65 Cf. ib. I.124f., interea magno miscere murmure caelum / incipit.
II.70 We are told what colors are stolen by the lily and the marigold, but not by the rose. The weak adjective nimiumque stands where a noun is wanted, ans surely the noun in question is ruboremque. Presumably the printer misread the manuscript he was given.
II.74ff. These lines are adapted from lines 26ff. of a Latin poem The Poets Speach to her Maiestie that had previously appeared in The Honorable Entertainement gieven to the Queenes Maiestie in Progress, at Elvetham in Hampshire, by the right Honorable the Earle of Hertford. Cf. also Vergil, Georgics IV.10f., oves haedisque petulci / floribus insultent.
II.76 Cf. Ovid, Tristia III.xii.15, turgescit in arbore ramus.
II.77 For generosa...uva cf. Ovid, Remedia Amoris 567.
II.83f. Cf. Aeneid VIII.265, nequeunt expleri corda tuendo.
II.91 See the commentary note on Epistle V.41.
II.93ff, For the reader familiar with the earlier Amyntas, these lines acquire pathetic irony, in view of Phyllis’ impending death. The theme resurfaces in Echo’s cryptic forecasts at Eclogue X.38ff.
These lines are adapted from lines 51ff. of The Poet’s Speach to her Maiestie.
II.97 For intabescitque videndo cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.780 (also at line-end).
Eclogue III The lovers engage in a tussle; Phyllis becomes worn out and takes a nap, and while she sleeps Amyntas praises her beauty. The dramatic situation has been anticipated in Madrigal XII.
III.1 Cf. Aeneid IV.7, umentemque Aurora polo dimoverat umbram.
III.3 The oak from which Amyntas threatened to hang himself in Epistle X (70ff.).
III.16 Watson may have been thinking of Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.623, delectant etiam castas praeconia formae.
III.21 See the commentary note on AUTHORIS AD LIBELLUM SUUM PROTREPTICON 22 prefacing the Ἑκατομπαθία.
III.24 We are left to guess at the identity of Venus’ other two weapons: eyes and lips, perhaps.
III.36 For fulminis in morem cf. Aeneid XI.616. Cf. Statius, Silvae V.i.56, secretis agitare sub ossibus ignem.
III.42 Cf. Aeneid VIII.97, sol medium caeli conscenderat igneus orbem.
III.43 Annual harvest festivals were dedicated to Erigone and Icarius: Graves, The Greek Myths § 79; we are to understand that the eight succesive days depicted by these Eclogues occur in early autumn (and this, incidentally, disposes of any possibility that Watson left Amintae Gaudia incomplete at his death).
Ignimicans, a word not found in the classical Latin lexicon, is possibly a poetic compound of Watson’s invention.
III.50 Evidently simple pastoral folk are credited with magical powers, hust as they have prophetic powers according to Epistle V.68.
III.66 I do not know the source for this detail about Helen. Did Watson invent it?
III.72 Feronia is a cult title of Diana, used at Horace, Sermones I.v.24, Aeneid VII.800 and VIII.564.
III.83 Amyntas’ anxiety that some divinity might seduce his darling recalls that expressed in Passion XLII of the Ἑκατομπαθία and in Madrigal XI. For dividuisque crinibus cf. Statius, Thebais VIII.489.
III.85 Cf. Aeneid VI.358, procul o procul esto profani (itself an echo of a ritual injunction).
Eclogue IV At Phyllis’ request, Amyntas recounts a dream he has had about the reception of Sir Philip Sidney on Olympus and his metamorphosis into the brilliant star Astrophilus.
IV.2 See the commentay note on Epistle IX.46.
IV.5 The harvest festival mentioned at Eclogue III.43f. There is probably no significance in this detail beyond the fact that a festive day is a good time to recount the happy story of Sidney’s apotheosis. Or is it because Sidney died in the autumn?
IV.15 The dream is called mystic because it is prophetic: from the viewpoint of our story, Sidney’s death lies in the future (see the commentary note on Epistle V.25).
IV.16 Sidney was shot in the leg in the battle of Zutphen (September, 1586) and died the next month.
IV.42 Cf. Aeneid V.246, viridique advelat tempora lauro, and V.539, sic fatus cingit viridanti tempora lauro.
IV.44 A verse sems missing here: a.) it is puzzling why Apollo’s garland should by itself be called a “double honor”; b.) to preserve the balance otherwise maintained throughout this passage, one would expect Mars to give Sidney an equivalent gift; c.) where is a verb? d.) the passage seems to echo Aeneid V.365ff., in which two gifts are given:
Sic ait, et geminum pugnae proponit honorem,
Victori velatum auro vittisque iuvencum,
Ensem atque insignem galeam solacia victo.
IV.49 Sidney’s situation may reflect Statius, Silvae III.i.25ff.:
Sive tui solium Iovis et virtute parata
Astra tenes, haustumque tibi succincta beati
Nectaris excluso melior Phryge porrigit Hebe.
Sir Francis Walsingham receives a similar immortality-conferring drink at Meliboeus 356f. in the context of his reception into heaven.
IV.50 In the book the words semper mansurae are joined by a hyphen.
IV.51 Erycina was a cult name of Venus.
IV.54ff. The allusion to the Judgment of Paris strongly suggests that Watson got the idea for Venus’ motivation from the similar description he had written of her enhancing her beauty in preparation for the context when he translated Coluthus’ Raptus Helenae 84ff.
IV.56 Cf. Ovid, Heroides xvi.53, est locus in mediis nemorosae vallibus Idae.
IV.59 Mercury was the son of Maia, one of the Pleiades.
IV.62f. Cf. Seneca, Hercules Furens 709, est in recessu Tartari obscuro locus.
IV.63 This is the triple wall seen by Aeneas during his descent to the Underworld: cf. Aeneid VI.549, moenia lata videt triplici circumdata muro.
IV.64 Cf. solido de marmore temoplum at ib. VII.69.
IV.67 A close echo of Meliboeus 84, in furvos lapsus thalamos Iunonis Avernae (“Juno of the Underworld” is Persephone).
IV.68 The poetic compound dulciloquus is found at Apuleius, Apology ix.
IV.75 Supplicuis is an unclassical word.
IV.76 For the source of this beauty-conferring mist cf. the commentary note on Eclogue I.62ff.
IV.77 Note the pun on the goddess’ name in nube venustatis.
IV.82 Cf. the commentary note on Meliboeus 323.
IV.87f. Cf. Aeneid IV.239f., et primum pedibus talaria nectit / aurea.
IV.90 There was supposed to be an entrance to the Underwold hard by Mt. Tanarum in Laconia. Cf. Vergil, Georgics IV.467, Taenarias etiam fauces, alta ostia Ditis. For intima Lethi / Tartara cf. ib. IV.481.
IV.94 Cf. the commentary note on Eclogue I.84.
IV.96ff. Likewise at Homeric Hymn V.59ff. Venus goes to her temple at Paphus on Cyprus, where the Graces bathe her in a beauty-enhancing oil.
IV.97 Cf. Aeneid I.417, ture calent arae.
IV.98 Venus’ ceston or chest is a container. What is contained in it? Surely it holds the girdle described at Homer, Iliad XIV.213ff. Venus’ beauty-conferring chest has already been called her invincible weapon at Raptus Helenae 98ff.
IV.101 The reference is to the amour of Venus and Mars already mentioned at Epistle IV.15f. and Eclogue II.58ff.
IV.106 The Loves.
IV.108ff. Aestate serena shows that this is an embroidery on the epic simile at Aeneid VI.707ff.:
Ac veluti in pratis ubi apes aestate serena
Floribus insidunt variis et candida circum
Lilia funduntur, strepit omnis murmure campus.
IV.109 Either regem is meant in the generalized sense “sovereign,” or Watson did not realize that the queen bee is female. For glomerantur in orbem cf. Vergil, Georgics IV.78, Ovid, Metamorphoses I.35, VI.19, and Lucan, Bellum Civile V.715.
IV.111 Cf. Ovid, Metamophoses V.266, et innumeris distinctas floribus herbas.
IV.113 Cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria II.87, a summa despexit in aequora caelo.
IV.119 There is no such adjective as futuus. I assume that the printer made an error, or perhaps misread the manuscript from which he was working, and that fulvamque is the right reading.
Cf. Aeneid I.106f., his unda dehiscens / terram inter fluctus aperit.
IV.131ff. In traditional mythology, after being defeated by Zeus, Saturn and most of the other Titans were banished to an island in the far West or buried in Tartarus (so Ovid, Metamorphoses I.113f.). Cf. the discussion of this passage in the General Introduction.
IV.133 For devinctus lumina somno cf. Catyllus lxiv.122 and the Vergilian Ciris 206.
IV.142 For fati seriem cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.152.
IV.149ff. Compare the description of the Golden Age presided over by Saturn at ib. I.89ff.
IV.152 For plena...copia cornu cf. Horace, Odes I.xii.29 and Carmen Saeculare 59f.
IV.154 Intentionally or not, this line echoes Epistle V.66f.
IV.160 Cf/ Vergil, Georgics IV.392f. (of Proteus):
Novit namque omnia vates,
Quae sint, quae fuerint, quae mox ventura trahantur.
IV.162 See the commentary note on Eclogue II.82f.
IV.172 Cf. Aeneid VII.170, tectum agustum, ingens, centum sublime columnis.
IV.173f. Cf. ib. VII.183ff.:
Multaque praeterea sacris in postibus arma,
Captivi pendent currus curbaeque secures
Et cristae capitum et portarum ingentia claustra,
Spiculaque clipeique ereptaque rostra carinis.
IV.177 Cf. ib. V.235, de quibus imperium est pelagi.
IV.178 My translation of alterna viride represents only a guess about the poet’s meaning; Boyle (p. 318) rendered “colored shells shown [sic] freshly from alternate heights.”
IV.179 “Green-colored sandstone” is Boyle’s translation of punice; alternatively, might read pumice, in which case Watson would be describing three products of volcanic activity.
IV.180 This detail about coral’s behavior when exposed to air is taken from a remark in John Lyly’s gratulatory letter prefacing the Ἑκατομπαθία, The Corall in the water is a soft weede, on the land a hard stone.
IV.183 Cytherea is a cult name of Venus.
IV.185 Tethys, a sea-goddess in her own right, was Oceanus’ consort.
IV.188 Cf. Aeneid VII.197f.:
Quae causa rates aut cuius egentis
Litus ad Ausonium tot per vada caerula vexit?
IV.194f. In a sense, this is a proleptic statement neabt to to help link the Eclogues togeter, since Pluto’s attack on Heaven in Eclogue VI replicates the previous attempt of the Giants to overwhelm Olympus.
IV.197 See the commentary note on line 51.
IV.199 See the commentary note on Amyntas, Lamentation IV.61.
IV.201 Cf. Vergil, Georgics I.290, et coniuratos caelum rescindere fratres.
IV.204 For the story cf. the commentary note on Eclogue I.45ff.
IV.205 Cf. Aeneid VII.216f.:
Consilio hanc omnes animisque volentibus urbem
IV.210 Cf. ib. IV.335, nec me meminisse pigebit Elisae.
IV.218ff. Cf. ib. VII.156f.:
Haud mora, festinant iussi rapidisque feruntur
IV.222 For diversa per aequor cf. ib. I.376 and III.325.
IV.223 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.354f.:
In liquidis translucet aquis, ut eburnea si quis
Signa tegat claro vel candida lilia vitro.
IV.224 This line = ib. VIII.651.
IV.226 Palaemon is the divine name for Melicertes, son of Athamas and Ino: Graves, The Greek Myths § 70 (i).
IV.227 We have already met the minor sea-god Glaucus in Epistle VII. For his biformis appearance, cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.915, ultimaque excipiat quod tortilis inguina piscis.
IV.230 For the myth of Vulcan’s fall, cf. the commentary note on Eclogue I.45ff.
IV.243 The sea nymph Doris, consort of Nereus and mother of the Nereides, and Proteus, given the epithet “Carpathian”because he haunts the Carpathian Sea (for which cf. the commentary note on Eclogue I.85). He is called the Carpathius vates by Vergil, Georgics IV.387, Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.249, and Statius, Achilleis I.136.
IV.246 Cf. Aeneid VI.156, Aeneas maesto defixus lumina vultu.
IV.247f. Watson hints at yet another apotheosis: when Ino tried to commit suicide by hurling herself into the sea, Jupiter took pity and transformed her into the goddess Leucothea (Graves, loc. cit.). Because of her oceanic plunge, Watson uses the participle sparsa.
IV.251 Watson seems to have been thinking of Statius, Thebais IX.582, effigiesque suas simulacraque nota cremari.
IV.258ff. The bee simile at Aen. VI.707ff. likewise starts with aestate serena (cf. the commentary note on line 108). But more generally the present simile imitates the ant one at ib. IV.402ff.:
Ac velut ingentem formicae farris acervum
Cum populant hiemis memores tectoque reponunt,
It nigrum campis agmen praedamque per herbas
Convectant calle angusto; pars grandia trudunt
Obnixae frumenta umeris, pars agmina cogunt
Castigantque moras, opere omnis semita fervet.
IV.268 Presumably the idea is that Vulcan is associated with the island of Lemnos and the mythological metal adamant is associated with that god, at least when he uses it to bind Prometheus to his crag at the beginning of Aeschylus’ Prometjeus Bound, and also to chain Venus and Mars together when he caught them in flagrante.
IV.271ff. Cf. Pliny, Natural History XXXVII.lxiv.6, Nero princeps gladiatorum pugnas spectabat in smaragdo.
IV.277 According to ib. X.xii, eaglestone is a specific against miscarriage. Boyle (p. 400) quoted the definition in Cooper’s Thesaurus, A precious stone found in an eagle’s nest. Being hanged around the left arme of a woman it retayneth he childe in hir bodie: Being taken awaye and bounde to hir thigh, it givith quick deliveraunce.
IV.279f. Boyle (loc. cit.) quoted Cooper’s Thesaurus: a precious stone, wherein are represented divers figures. Some have the ymages of the ix Muses; some of Venus. He did not explain why Neoptolemus is associated with agate.
IV.288 See t he commentary note on Eclogue II.56.
IV.292 The story of Acis and Galataea is told by Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.738ff.
IV.296 Cf. ib. XI.228, iussit et amplexus in virginis ire marinae.
IV.298 Another cult title of Venus.
IV.299 For Palantias cf. the commentary note on Epistle X.10.
IV.312 Cf. Aeneid I.255, vultu, quo caelum tempestatesque serenat.
IV.323 Cf. Catullus lxiv.7, caerula verrentes abiegnis aequora palmis.
IV.328 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.556, illas virgineis exercent lusibus undas.
IV.330 Mercury was occasionally called Arcas because he was born in Arcadia.
IV.339f. Cf. Aeneid VII.231f.:
nec verba feretur
Fama levis tantique abolescet gratia facti.
IV.346f. Cf. Statius, Silvae IV.ii.33, agmina mille simul iussit discumbere mensis.
IV.353 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.606, unxit et ambrosia cum dulci nectare mixta.
IV.354 Cf. ib. I.68, nec quicquam terrenae faecis habentem.
IV.378 Being new and unexpected, the star proves a baffling embarrassment to astrological theory. For sciolis see the commentary note on line 19 of the epigram appended to Amyntas.
IV.379 Proprium...centrum sounds as if Watson was thinking of the old theory of epicenters associated with the Ptolemaic model of the universe, although epicenters were actually used to explain the errant motions of the moving celestial bodies, not the fixed stars. But what else can these words mean?
IV.383 The star is made equal in brilliance to all celestial bodies less bright than the sun itself.
IV.386 Sidney had already appeared under this name at Meliboeus 94ff.
IV.391ff. Cf. Aeneid X.116f.:
Solio tum Iuppiter aureo
Surgit, caelicolae medium quem ad limina ducunt.
Eclogue V To document the power of the love women inspire, Amyntas recites for Phyllis a catalogue of the amorous adventures of Jupiter and other gods. The present Eclogue develops the theme of Amyntas, Lamentation V.35ff. (see the commentary note ad loc.), as well as Watson’s lost poem on “The love abuses of Jupiter” mentioned in the headnote to Passion LXXV of the Ἑκατομπαθία, which may have supplied material for both these passages.
V.5 His dog: cf. the commentary note on Eclogue I.10.
V.6 Cf. the description of Phyllis at Amyntas, Lamentation III.22ff., which refers to her spaciosaque tempora laetae / frontis.
V.15 In fact, her lips shone like the gold-silver alloy mentioned at Eclogues II.58 and IV.288.
V.29 The detail of the shady grove may be suggested by Ovid, Metamorphoses I.588f.:
Viderat a patrio redeuntem Iuppiter illam
Flumine et ”o virgo Iove digna tuoque beatum
Nescio quem factura toro, pete” dixerat “umbras
Altorum nemorum” (et nemorum monstraverat umbras)
“dum calet, et medio sol est altissimus orbe!”
V.31 Cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile IV.574, totum discurrens Fama per orbem.
V.32 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VI.103ff.:
Maeonis elusam designat imagine tauri
Europam: verum taurum, freta vera putares;
Ipsa videbatur terras spectare relictas
Et comites clamare suas tactumque vereri
Adsilientis aquae timidasque reducere plantas.
Fecit et Asterien aquila luctante teneri,
Fecit olorinis Ledam recubare sub alis;
Addidit, ut satyri celatus imagine pulchram
Iuppiter inplerit gemino Nycteida fetu,
Amphitryon fuerit, cum te, Tirynthia, cepit,
Aureus ut Danaen, Asopida luserit ignis,
Mnemosynen pastor, varius Deoida serpens.
Te quoque mutatum torvo, Neptune, iuvenco
Virgine in Aeolia posuit; tu visus Enipeus
Gignis Aloidas, aries Bisaltida fallis,
Et te flava comas frugum mitissima mater
Sensit equum, sensit volucrem crinita colubris
Mater equi volucris, sensit delphina Melantho:
Omnibus his faciemque suam faciemque locorum
Reddidit. est illic agrestis imagine Phoebus,
Utque modo accipitris pennas, modo terga leonis
Gesserit, ut pastor Macareida luserit Issen,
Liber ut Erigonen falsa deceperit uva,
Ut Saturnus equo geminum Chirona crearit.
Ultima pars telae, tenui circumdata limbo,
Nexilibus flores hederis habet intertextos.
V.36 On the Pleiad Asterie Jupiter sired Oenomaeus: Graves, The Greek Myths § 88 (b).
V.38 Antiope was the mother of Amphion and Zethus: ib. § 76 (a).
V.39 Alcmene was the mother of Hercules (ib. § 118 (c)). Later in his life Hercules relieved Atlas of his burden of holding up the globe.
V.41 Danae was the mother of Perseus.
V.44 The Medusa was the daughter of Phorcys: ib. § 73 (t).
V.45 For Perseus’ rescue of Andromeda cf. ib. § 22 (h).
V.46ff. Aegina was the mother of Aeacus, who joined Minos as a judge in the Underworld: ib. § 66 (c).
V.49 For the seduction of Callisto see ib. § 22 (h).
V.50 By Mnemosyne Jupiter fathered the Muses. For his seduction of Ceres (Deiois is one of her cult titles) see ib. § 14 (a).
V.56 Evidently Canace was thus seduced by Neptune: P. Ovidius Naso, Metamorphosen, Kommentar von Franz Bömer (Heidelberg, 1976) III.40f.
V.58 For Neptune’s seduction of the nymph Caenis see Graves § 78 (a).
V.60 for his seduction of Meduca cf. ib. § 33 (b).
V.61f. Disguised as a ram, Neptune seduced Theophane of Thrace, mother of the lamb that produced the Golden Fleece. For the problems in Ovid’s aries Bisaltida fallis see Bömer, op. cit. III.42. For his seduction of Ceres cf. Graves § 16 (f.). For that of Melantho, see the evidence collected by Bömer III.42f.
V.62 Disguised as the Thessalian river Enipeus he seduced Iphimedeia, daughter of Trops and wife of Aloeus (Bömer III.41).
V.65f. For Apollo’s seduction of Leucothea cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.215ff.
V.66 For his seduction of Chione cf. ib. 301ff. Cf. Aeneid VII.416, in vultus esese transformat anili.
V.67 His seduction of Isse, daughter of Macareus, is a tale only related by Parthenius fr. 15 Martini: Bömer III.43.
V.69 We have already seen that in the passage upon which this one is based Ovid alluded to Bacchus’ seduction of Icarius’ daughter Erigone.
V.73 Cronos begot Chiron on Philyra, daughter of Oceanus: Graves § 151 (g).
V.74 For Pluto’s abduction of Persephone cf. ib. § 24 (c - l).
V.76 Cf. Ovid, Fasti IV.591, at neque Persephone digna est praedone marito.
V.78 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.192f.:
Sunt mihi semidei, sunt, rustica numina, nymphae
Faunique satyrique et monticolae silvani.
V.80f. For the story of Boreas and Oreithyia cf. Graves § 48.
V.87 It may not be coincidental that at Fasti IV.97 Ovid said of Venus illa rudes animos hominum contraxit in unum.
Eclogue VI Amyntas describes to Phyllis a curious chess set he has carved and the strange game played out by its figures.
VI.1 Cf. Aeneid III.515., sidera cuncta notat tacito labentia caelo.
VI.7f. Cf. Propertius III.xx.7, est tibi forma potens, sunt casta Palladis artes. Cf. also Passion XXI.7 - 9 of the Ἑκατομπαθία.
VI.20 This is how the line is given in the printed text. Either Watson left it unfinished, or perhaps the printer could not read a word in the manuscript and inserted asterisks to mark it. Or is this supposed to be a typographical representation of kisses?
VI.24 Cf. Aeneid VI.74f.:
Foliis tantum ne carmina manda,
Ne turbata volent rapidis ludibria ventis.
VI.30 This is an astrological line and virtus is used in its postclassical sense: on the day of Elizabeth’s birth, the planets in her ephemeris achieved a miraculous harmony of their individual virtues or powers, so that their aspects indicated the dawning of a new Golden Age.
Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses I.25, dissociata locis concordi pace ligavit.
VI.34f. Cf. Scipio Gentili’s Plutonis Concilium (1584, a Latin translation of Book IV of Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata) 11f.:
Imperat horrendum prima intra limina cogi
And also lines 17f. of the same poem:
Iamque vocans atri cives tuba ferrea regni
Murmure Tartareo mugit.
The adjective lucifugus appears at Vergil, Georgics IV.23.
VI.36 Cf. Gentili’s Plutonis Concilium 24f.:
Convenere citi, variisque ad regia turmis
Undique tecta ruunt, et nigris postibus adsunt.
VI.39 For the myth in which Zeus, Neptune, and Pluto drew lots for possession of the three realms of the universe cf. Graves, The Greek Myths § 16 (a).
VI.46ff. Pluto is vexed because these four mythological figures he names have been snatched from him by being deified (the apotheoses of both Palaeomon and Ino have already been mentioned in Eclogue IV). This serves as a mythological equivalent of Christ’s harrowing of Hell, which incenses Tasso’s Pluto: cf. Gentili’s Plutonis Concilium 84ff., especially 89f.:
Tot mihi sorte datas animas, tot debita fato
Pluto is alarmed that the coming Golden Age, to be presided over by Elizabeth, will be a time of peace, and also because, by fostering Protestantism, she will rescue many souls from Hell (53f.).
VI.47 Either gemini is used to mean “both of them,” or it is a misprint for gemino. Cf. gemino decens honore at Martial III.ii.8.
VI.52 The word ponticolus does not exist in the classical Latin lexicon. By poticolis cinctam Watson alludes to a theme already touched on at Epistle V.38: Britain is a separate place cut off from the world and protected by the ocean (and, in some contemporary poems that employ this theme, by friendly marine deities). Here Elizabeth is intented by cinctam, but the real point of the line is that she will preside over a realm that is protected by these gods as well by her own well-equipped fleet.
VI.55 Cf. Aeneid VI.584, superisque Iovem detrudere regnis.
VI.59f. Dis (Pluto) is black king and Proserpina black queen Cerberus and Ate ar their respective pawns.
VI.61f. Aeacus and Minos are the two black bishops. Incubus and Sleep are their pawns. One might think that the knight in line 64 is Diomedes, the savage Thracian king who kept man-eating horses (Graves, The Greek Myths § 130). But since he is paired with Achilles he is likelier to be the familiar Homeric hero. They serve Pluto as knights because as dead warriors they now dwell in the Underworld (where Odysseus meets Achilles in Book IX of the Odyssey). Nemesis is Diomedes’ pawn and his friend Patroclus serves Achilles in this capacity. One cannot help remarking that, save for Nemesis, this quartet is not suiably sinister and Hell sh as a match for the company in which they find themselves.
VI.69ff. The castles of Death and the Parcae are the two rooks, with Furies Megaera and Allecto their respective pawns. Cotyto was a Thracian goddess worshipped with orgiastic rites, mentioned at Juvenal, Satire ii.92.
VI.72 For Allecto as the Cocytia virgo cf. Aeneid VII.479.
VI.73 Cf. ib. VII.341, Gorgoneis Allecto infecta venenis.
VI.78f. The towers of the two war deities of the pantheon, Mars and Minerva, are the two white rooks, and Caesar and Orion are their respective pawns. Caesar qualifies as a heaven-dweller because of his posthumous deification as a star, and the warrior Orion was likewise transformed into a constellation in mythology. For nimbosus Orion cf. Aeneid I.535; he is given this epithet because his rising heralds the stormy time of year.
Watson uses hysteron proteron structure: in describing the black pieces he began at the center and worked outwards; now he begins with the rooks and ends back at the center of the board, where the game will begin.
VI.80f. Hercules and Perseus are the two white knights, and their consorts Hebe and Andromeda are their pawns.
VI.83f. Mercury and Apollo are the bishops, with Mirth and Love their pawns.
VI.85f. Jupiter and Juno are white king and queen, having for their pawns Ganymede and Iris.
VI.92f. B P → K4 elicits an identical response, W P → K4, as Ganymede moves forward. Watson gives a whimsical explanation why the black pawn, now blocked by the white, could make no more forward progress. This duplicates the way that the Sibyl deals with Cerberus at Aeneid VI.420f.:
Melle soporatam et medicatis frugibus offam
Eclogue VII Amyntas invites Phyllis to join him in praising love; then he extols the pastoral life.
VII.2 The adverb pedepressim does not appear in the classical Latin lexicon
VII.11f. For tempora myrto / cingis cf. Vergil, Georgics I.28 and Ovid, Amores I.i.29.
VII.16f, The harvest foretold at Epistle I.74.Amyntas is speaking figuratively, but his words gain extra meaning because it is currently the harvest season.
VII.25 The kind of altar he proposes to build is decribed by Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.573ff.:
Viridique e caespite factas
Placa odoratis herbosas ignibus aras.
VII.26 For Sabaean incense see the commentary note on Amyntas, Lamentation III.61.
VII.31f. Cf. Statius, Thebais I.63f.:
si stagna peti Cirrhaea bicorni
In the present case, Mt. Helicon is probably meant, as is made clearer at Eclogue VIII.74, bifidum sacri montis acumen. Hence Amyntas is speaking figuratively: love has made him a poet.
VII.54f. Cf. the Vergilian Culex 408f.:
Non illinc Narcissus abest, cui gloria formae
Igne Cupidineo proprios exarsiti n artus.
See also the commentary note on Amyntas, Lamentation III.9f.
VII.55f. Watson playfully manufacrures a theory of reflected images, perhaps having in mind the discussion of the subject at Lucretius IV.98ff.
VII.65 For sine sidere noctes cf. Aeneid III.204.
VII.71 Cf. ib. V.399, proximus ut viridante toro consederat herba.
VII.74f. Hunting was a favorite sport of the Elizabethan leisure class.
VII.79f. Cf. Horace, Epistulae I.i.45f.:
Inpiger extremos curris mercator ad Indos,
Per mare pauperiem fugiens, per saxa, per ignis.
Eclogue VIII Amyntas engages in a playful slanging-match with Echo. The game takes a sinister turn when Echo predicts Phyllis’ impending death. Amyntas shurgs this off and tells Phyllis the story of the transformation of some farmers into grasshoppers.
VIII.6 Cf. Vergil, Eclogue i.1, Tityre, tu patulae recumbans sub tegmine fagi. In Amyntas the protagonist recollected that he and Phyllis used to stay together: sedimus unanimes patulae sub tegmine fagi (Lamentation I.29).
VIII.13ff. The idea for this game is suggested by the description at Ovid, Metamorphoses III.360ff.:
Corpus adhuc Echo, non vox erat, et tamen unum
Garrula non alium, quam nunc habet, oris habebat,
Reddere de multis ut verba novissima posset.
The prominence given Echo here builds upon a number of references to her in Amyntas such as at Lamentations I.59 and VI.8of., but primarily compare the very similar Passion XXV of the Ἑκατομπαθία.
VIII.39 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VII.531, Luna, quater plenum tenuata retexuit orbem.
VIII.69 For resonant arbusta cicadis cf. Vergil, Eclogues ii.13, Georgics III.328, and the Vergilian Copa 7.
VIII.71 According to Servius on Aeneid III.88, quia Cadmus oraculo Apollinis bovem secutus, in Hyanteo Boeotiam condidit (so too Pliny, N. H. IV.xxvi.9). Hence the Boeotians were sometimes called the Hyantes, as at Statius, Thebais I.183.
VIII.72 Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses IX.268, sic ubi mortales Tirynthius exuit artus.
VIII.74 Mt Helicon. Cf. bifido Parnasso at lines 1118f. of the Antigone translation.
VIII.87 For furit ardor edendi cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.828.
VIII.95 Cf. ib. VIII.805f., from a description of Famine (this may have helped suggest the connection between starvation and grasshoppers):
Pectus et a spina tantummodo crate teneri.
The passage goes on to describe her swollen joints.