Old Aeschylus (Emblem 31)

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Old Aeschylus (Emblem 31)

Poem 96

Original Source

Hester Pulter, Poems breathed forth by the nobel Hadassas, University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32

Versions

  • Facsimile of manuscript: Photographs provided by University of Leeds, Brotherton Collection

  • Transcription of manuscript: By Leah Knight and Wendy Wall.
  • Elemental edition: By Leah Knight and Wendy Wall.

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

  • Created by Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
  • Encoded by Katherine Poland, Matthew Taylor, Elizabeth Chou, and Emily Andrey, Northwestern University
  • Website designed by Sergei Kalugin, Northwestern University
  • IT project consultation by Josh Honn, Northwestern University
  • Project sponsored by Northwestern University, Brock University, and University of Leeds
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X (Close panel)Notes: Transcription

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Line number 15

 Physical note

“r” appears in different hand from main scribe; superscript colon in same hand may represent insertion marks
Line number 16

 Physical note

in different hand from main scribe, directly above doubly struck-through “ffourteen”
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Transcription
Transcription

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
[Emblem 31]
Old Aeschylus
(Emblem 31)
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
It is a mistake to want to know your fate, Pulter argues here. Once you do, you’ll want to change it, and you can’t; a destiny foreknown is not forestalled. Her first exhibit is a fellow poet, whose attempt to outwit the prediction that he’d die from something falling from above only brings about such a death: he goes to an open field, where a plummeting turtle smashes in his skull. This seemingly unexpected death was, of course, expected, indeed predicted—as are all deaths, or as they should be, this memento mori poem reminds us: while each of us will die, we cannot and should not inquire about the details, Pulter opines. Yet she herself is awfully tempted, if we can judge by how urgently (in the poem’s late-breaking, self-reflective turn) she implores that she should “never know [her] destiny,” and “not here anticipate [her] grave.” To do so, she frets, is to be buried alive: a paradoxical state reflecting a certain ambivalence, in this poem as in others, toward life and death on (and in) earth, and perhaps what follows too. Her projected solution is devotion to God’s purpose, which might reframe consciousness of mortality.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
31 Old Eſculus being told that hee Should die
Old
Gloss Note
Prolific Greek playwright who was told by an oracle that he would die by something from the heavens. According to legend, this prophecy was realized when he was killed by a turtle shell dropped by an eagle.
Aeschylus
, being told that he should die
2
By the deſcent of Something from on High
By the descent of something from on high,
3
Into the field hee went and Satt him down
Into the field he went and sat him down.
4
The Sun Shone bright upon his glistring Crown
The sun shone bright upon his
Gloss Note
glittering head. Aeschylus is bald (and thus a target for the eagle).
glist’ring crown
,
5
ffor hee to Eriſine had Sacrifis’d
Gloss Note
Aeschylus is devoted to “Erycine,” a name for Venus, the goddess of love, derived from her temple on Mount Eryx. In humoral medicine, it was thought that “one major way to induce coldness, and thus baldness, was too much sexual activity” (Anu Korhonen, “Strange Things Out of Hair: Baldness and Masculinity in Early Modern England,” The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 41, no. 2 [2010], pp. 371-91 at p. 380).
For he to Erycine had sacrificed
;
6
Pitty a Poet thus was Stigmatiz’d
Gloss Note
It is a pity
Pity
a poet thus was
Gloss Note
scarred, branded, or disgraced. Baldness is here construed as a stigma.
stigmatized
.
7
A Towring Eagle let her prey fall down
A tow’ring eagle let her prey fall down
8
In hope to break the Eſcallup on his Crown
In hope to break
Gloss Note
shell
th’escallop
on his crown.
9
Shee had her wiſh it broke the fatall Shell
She had her wish; it broke the fatal shell,
10
And Struck the Poets Ryming Soul to Hell
And struck the poet’s rhyming soul to Hell.
11
Then let none Curiouſly prie in their ffate
Then let none curiously pry in their fate,
12
ffor none can lengthen or make Short their date
For none can lengthen or make short their date.
13
ffor Surely none their ffortune can prevent
For surely none their fortune can prevent,
14
Unleſs a Meſſenger from Heaven bee Sent
Unless a messenger from Heaven be sent
15
With a
Physical Note
“r” appears in different hand from main scribe; superscript colon in same hand may represent insertion marks
Repr:.ieve
, Soe Hezechias Tears
With a reprieve; so
Gloss Note
See 2 Kings: 20:1-6, which tells of how Hezekiah wept and prayed when the prophet Isaiah told him of Hezekiah’s impending death; in response, God extended his life by fifteen years.
Hezekiah’s tears
16
A pardon did obtain for ffourteen
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe, directly above doubly struck-through “ffourteen”
ffifteen
Years
A pardon did obtain for fifteen years.
17
This Jezabell found true that fatall hour
This
Gloss Note
Jezebel was the wife of Ahab, King of Israel. She was a worshipper of Baal caught in religious wars; Elijah’s prophecy, that dogs would eat her corpse, came true.
Jezebel
found true that fatal hour
18
When Dogs her Curſſed Karcas did Devour
When dogs her curséd carcass did devour.
19
Nor could domition Croſs his Prophets fate
Nor could
Gloss Note
Domitian was a Roman emperor who failed to disprove one of Ascletarion’s prophecies. He also tried unsuccessfully to evade a soothsayer’s prediction of his own death.
Domitian
cross his prophet’s fate
20
Or ad a minute to his own lives date
Or add a minute to his own life’s date.
21
Though Cæſar did the fatall Ides Know
Gloss Note
A soothsayer foretold the death of Roman emperor Julius Caesar, who was stabbed to death on the “Ides” (or fifteenth day) of March.
Though Caesar did the fatal Ides know
,
22
At twenty and three wounds his blood did flow
At twenty and three wounds his blood did flow.
23
Soe Agrippina was her fate foretold
So Agrippina was her fate foretold,
24
Yet her deſcection Nero did behould
Gloss Note
As Agrippina had been foretold by an astrologer, Roman emperor Nero killed his mother and passionately viewed (“dissected”) each part of her corpse.
Yet her dissection Nero did behold
.
then

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
25
Then let mee never Know my Destinie
Then let me never know my destiny,
26
But every day Soe live that when I die
But every day so live that when I die
27
I may with comfort lay theſe Ruins down
I may with comfort lay these ruins down
28
In dust tis ſofter farr then finest Down
In
Gloss Note
the material from which life derives to and to which it will return; see Genesis 3:19: “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
dust
; ’tis softer far than finest
Gloss Note
soft feathers
down
.
29
Nor is that Pillow Stuft with Cares or fears
Nor is that pillow stuffed with cares or fears,
30
Nor Shall I wake as now to Sighs and tears
Nor shall I wake as now to sighs and tears.
31
Yet o my God this Comfort let mee have
Yet O, my God, this comfort let me have:
32
Let mee not here Anticipate my Grave
Let me not here anticipate my grave;
33
Yet if I must alive thus buried bee
Yet
Gloss Note
The speaker reads her own anticipation of the grave (see the previous line), through worrying or wondering about her fate, as a form of living death.
if I must alive thus buried be
,
34
Let mee yet live my gracious God to thee
Let me yet live, my gracious God, to Thee.
35
Then Soe aſſist my Soul in her Sad Story
Then so assist my soul in her sad story,
36
That though I fall yet I may Riſe to Glory.
That though I fall, yet I may rise to glory.
curled line
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

 Headnote

It is a mistake to want to know your fate, Pulter argues here. Once you do, you’ll want to change it, and you can’t; a destiny foreknown is not forestalled. Her first exhibit is a fellow poet, whose attempt to outwit the prediction that he’d die from something falling from above only brings about such a death: he goes to an open field, where a plummeting turtle smashes in his skull. This seemingly unexpected death was, of course, expected, indeed predicted—as are all deaths, or as they should be, this memento mori poem reminds us: while each of us will die, we cannot and should not inquire about the details, Pulter opines. Yet she herself is awfully tempted, if we can judge by how urgently (in the poem’s late-breaking, self-reflective turn) she implores that she should “never know [her] destiny,” and “not here anticipate [her] grave.” To do so, she frets, is to be buried alive: a paradoxical state reflecting a certain ambivalence, in this poem as in others, toward life and death on (and in) earth, and perhaps what follows too. Her projected solution is devotion to God’s purpose, which might reframe consciousness of mortality.
Line number 1

 Gloss note

Prolific Greek playwright who was told by an oracle that he would die by something from the heavens. According to legend, this prophecy was realized when he was killed by a turtle shell dropped by an eagle.
Line number 4

 Gloss note

glittering head. Aeschylus is bald (and thus a target for the eagle).
Line number 5

 Gloss note

Aeschylus is devoted to “Erycine,” a name for Venus, the goddess of love, derived from her temple on Mount Eryx. In humoral medicine, it was thought that “one major way to induce coldness, and thus baldness, was too much sexual activity” (Anu Korhonen, “Strange Things Out of Hair: Baldness and Masculinity in Early Modern England,” The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 41, no. 2 [2010], pp. 371-91 at p. 380).
Line number 6

 Gloss note

It is a pity
Line number 6

 Gloss note

scarred, branded, or disgraced. Baldness is here construed as a stigma.
Line number 8

 Gloss note

shell
Line number 15

 Gloss note

See 2 Kings: 20:1-6, which tells of how Hezekiah wept and prayed when the prophet Isaiah told him of Hezekiah’s impending death; in response, God extended his life by fifteen years.
Line number 17

 Gloss note

Jezebel was the wife of Ahab, King of Israel. She was a worshipper of Baal caught in religious wars; Elijah’s prophecy, that dogs would eat her corpse, came true.
Line number 19

 Gloss note

Domitian was a Roman emperor who failed to disprove one of Ascletarion’s prophecies. He also tried unsuccessfully to evade a soothsayer’s prediction of his own death.
Line number 21

 Gloss note

A soothsayer foretold the death of Roman emperor Julius Caesar, who was stabbed to death on the “Ides” (or fifteenth day) of March.
Line number 24

 Gloss note

As Agrippina had been foretold by an astrologer, Roman emperor Nero killed his mother and passionately viewed (“dissected”) each part of her corpse.
Line number 28

 Gloss note

the material from which life derives to and to which it will return; see Genesis 3:19: “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Line number 28

 Gloss note

soft feathers
Line number 33

 Gloss note

The speaker reads her own anticipation of the grave (see the previous line), through worrying or wondering about her fate, as a form of living death.
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Elemental Edition
Elemental Edition

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
[Emblem 31]
Old Aeschylus
(Emblem 31)
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
It is a mistake to want to know your fate, Pulter argues here. Once you do, you’ll want to change it, and you can’t; a destiny foreknown is not forestalled. Her first exhibit is a fellow poet, whose attempt to outwit the prediction that he’d die from something falling from above only brings about such a death: he goes to an open field, where a plummeting turtle smashes in his skull. This seemingly unexpected death was, of course, expected, indeed predicted—as are all deaths, or as they should be, this memento mori poem reminds us: while each of us will die, we cannot and should not inquire about the details, Pulter opines. Yet she herself is awfully tempted, if we can judge by how urgently (in the poem’s late-breaking, self-reflective turn) she implores that she should “never know [her] destiny,” and “not here anticipate [her] grave.” To do so, she frets, is to be buried alive: a paradoxical state reflecting a certain ambivalence, in this poem as in others, toward life and death on (and in) earth, and perhaps what follows too. Her projected solution is devotion to God’s purpose, which might reframe consciousness of mortality.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
31 Old Eſculus being told that hee Should die
Old
Gloss Note
Prolific Greek playwright who was told by an oracle that he would die by something from the heavens. According to legend, this prophecy was realized when he was killed by a turtle shell dropped by an eagle.
Aeschylus
, being told that he should die
2
By the deſcent of Something from on High
By the descent of something from on high,
3
Into the field hee went and Satt him down
Into the field he went and sat him down.
4
The Sun Shone bright upon his glistring Crown
The sun shone bright upon his
Gloss Note
glittering head. Aeschylus is bald (and thus a target for the eagle).
glist’ring crown
,
5
ffor hee to Eriſine had Sacrifis’d
Gloss Note
Aeschylus is devoted to “Erycine,” a name for Venus, the goddess of love, derived from her temple on Mount Eryx. In humoral medicine, it was thought that “one major way to induce coldness, and thus baldness, was too much sexual activity” (Anu Korhonen, “Strange Things Out of Hair: Baldness and Masculinity in Early Modern England,” The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 41, no. 2 [2010], pp. 371-91 at p. 380).
For he to Erycine had sacrificed
;
6
Pitty a Poet thus was Stigmatiz’d
Gloss Note
It is a pity
Pity
a poet thus was
Gloss Note
scarred, branded, or disgraced. Baldness is here construed as a stigma.
stigmatized
.
7
A Towring Eagle let her prey fall down
A tow’ring eagle let her prey fall down
8
In hope to break the Eſcallup on his Crown
In hope to break
Gloss Note
shell
th’escallop
on his crown.
9
Shee had her wiſh it broke the fatall Shell
She had her wish; it broke the fatal shell,
10
And Struck the Poets Ryming Soul to Hell
And struck the poet’s rhyming soul to Hell.
11
Then let none Curiouſly prie in their ffate
Then let none curiously pry in their fate,
12
ffor none can lengthen or make Short their date
For none can lengthen or make short their date.
13
ffor Surely none their ffortune can prevent
For surely none their fortune can prevent,
14
Unleſs a Meſſenger from Heaven bee Sent
Unless a messenger from Heaven be sent
15
With a
Physical Note
“r” appears in different hand from main scribe; superscript colon in same hand may represent insertion marks
Repr:.ieve
, Soe Hezechias Tears
With a reprieve; so
Gloss Note
See 2 Kings: 20:1-6, which tells of how Hezekiah wept and prayed when the prophet Isaiah told him of Hezekiah’s impending death; in response, God extended his life by fifteen years.
Hezekiah’s tears
16
A pardon did obtain for ffourteen
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe, directly above doubly struck-through “ffourteen”
ffifteen
Years
A pardon did obtain for fifteen years.
17
This Jezabell found true that fatall hour
This
Gloss Note
Jezebel was the wife of Ahab, King of Israel. She was a worshipper of Baal caught in religious wars; Elijah’s prophecy, that dogs would eat her corpse, came true.
Jezebel
found true that fatal hour
18
When Dogs her Curſſed Karcas did Devour
When dogs her curséd carcass did devour.
19
Nor could domition Croſs his Prophets fate
Nor could
Gloss Note
Domitian was a Roman emperor who failed to disprove one of Ascletarion’s prophecies. He also tried unsuccessfully to evade a soothsayer’s prediction of his own death.
Domitian
cross his prophet’s fate
20
Or ad a minute to his own lives date
Or add a minute to his own life’s date.
21
Though Cæſar did the fatall Ides Know
Gloss Note
A soothsayer foretold the death of Roman emperor Julius Caesar, who was stabbed to death on the “Ides” (or fifteenth day) of March.
Though Caesar did the fatal Ides know
,
22
At twenty and three wounds his blood did flow
At twenty and three wounds his blood did flow.
23
Soe Agrippina was her fate foretold
So Agrippina was her fate foretold,
24
Yet her deſcection Nero did behould
Gloss Note
As Agrippina had been foretold by an astrologer, Roman emperor Nero killed his mother and passionately viewed (“dissected”) each part of her corpse.
Yet her dissection Nero did behold
.
then

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
25
Then let mee never Know my Destinie
Then let me never know my destiny,
26
But every day Soe live that when I die
But every day so live that when I die
27
I may with comfort lay theſe Ruins down
I may with comfort lay these ruins down
28
In dust tis ſofter farr then finest Down
In
Gloss Note
the material from which life derives to and to which it will return; see Genesis 3:19: “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
dust
; ’tis softer far than finest
Gloss Note
soft feathers
down
.
29
Nor is that Pillow Stuft with Cares or fears
Nor is that pillow stuffed with cares or fears,
30
Nor Shall I wake as now to Sighs and tears
Nor shall I wake as now to sighs and tears.
31
Yet o my God this Comfort let mee have
Yet O, my God, this comfort let me have:
32
Let mee not here Anticipate my Grave
Let me not here anticipate my grave;
33
Yet if I must alive thus buried bee
Yet
Gloss Note
The speaker reads her own anticipation of the grave (see the previous line), through worrying or wondering about her fate, as a form of living death.
if I must alive thus buried be
,
34
Let mee yet live my gracious God to thee
Let me yet live, my gracious God, to Thee.
35
Then Soe aſſist my Soul in her Sad Story
Then so assist my soul in her sad story,
36
That though I fall yet I may Riſe to Glory.
That though I fall, yet I may rise to glory.
curled line
X (Close panel) All Notes
Transcription

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.
Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

Elemental Edition

 Headnote

It is a mistake to want to know your fate, Pulter argues here. Once you do, you’ll want to change it, and you can’t; a destiny foreknown is not forestalled. Her first exhibit is a fellow poet, whose attempt to outwit the prediction that he’d die from something falling from above only brings about such a death: he goes to an open field, where a plummeting turtle smashes in his skull. This seemingly unexpected death was, of course, expected, indeed predicted—as are all deaths, or as they should be, this memento mori poem reminds us: while each of us will die, we cannot and should not inquire about the details, Pulter opines. Yet she herself is awfully tempted, if we can judge by how urgently (in the poem’s late-breaking, self-reflective turn) she implores that she should “never know [her] destiny,” and “not here anticipate [her] grave.” To do so, she frets, is to be buried alive: a paradoxical state reflecting a certain ambivalence, in this poem as in others, toward life and death on (and in) earth, and perhaps what follows too. Her projected solution is devotion to God’s purpose, which might reframe consciousness of mortality.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

Prolific Greek playwright who was told by an oracle that he would die by something from the heavens. According to legend, this prophecy was realized when he was killed by a turtle shell dropped by an eagle.
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

glittering head. Aeschylus is bald (and thus a target for the eagle).
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

Aeschylus is devoted to “Erycine,” a name for Venus, the goddess of love, derived from her temple on Mount Eryx. In humoral medicine, it was thought that “one major way to induce coldness, and thus baldness, was too much sexual activity” (Anu Korhonen, “Strange Things Out of Hair: Baldness and Masculinity in Early Modern England,” The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 41, no. 2 [2010], pp. 371-91 at p. 380).
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

It is a pity
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

scarred, branded, or disgraced. Baldness is here construed as a stigma.
Elemental Edition
Line number 8

 Gloss note

shell
Transcription
Line number 15

 Physical note

“r” appears in different hand from main scribe; superscript colon in same hand may represent insertion marks
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

See 2 Kings: 20:1-6, which tells of how Hezekiah wept and prayed when the prophet Isaiah told him of Hezekiah’s impending death; in response, God extended his life by fifteen years.
Transcription
Line number 16

 Physical note

in different hand from main scribe, directly above doubly struck-through “ffourteen”
Elemental Edition
Line number 17

 Gloss note

Jezebel was the wife of Ahab, King of Israel. She was a worshipper of Baal caught in religious wars; Elijah’s prophecy, that dogs would eat her corpse, came true.
Elemental Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

Domitian was a Roman emperor who failed to disprove one of Ascletarion’s prophecies. He also tried unsuccessfully to evade a soothsayer’s prediction of his own death.
Elemental Edition
Line number 21

 Gloss note

A soothsayer foretold the death of Roman emperor Julius Caesar, who was stabbed to death on the “Ides” (or fifteenth day) of March.
Elemental Edition
Line number 24

 Gloss note

As Agrippina had been foretold by an astrologer, Roman emperor Nero killed his mother and passionately viewed (“dissected”) each part of her corpse.
Elemental Edition
Line number 28

 Gloss note

the material from which life derives to and to which it will return; see Genesis 3:19: “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Elemental Edition
Line number 28

 Gloss note

soft feathers
Elemental Edition
Line number 33

 Gloss note

The speaker reads her own anticipation of the grave (see the previous line), through worrying or wondering about her fate, as a form of living death.
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