On that Unparalleled Prince Charles the First, His Horrid Murder

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On that Unparalleled Prince Charles the First, His Horrid Murder

Poem 8

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.
  • Amplified edition: By Sarah C. E. Ross.

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
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X (Close panel)Notes: Transcription
Title note

 Physical note

in different hand from main scribe; originally written “Horred” with the “e” corrected to an “i”

 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 1

 Physical note

in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(1)”
Line number 8

 Physical note

horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
Line number 9

 Physical note

in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(2)”
Line number 16

 Physical note

horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
Line number 17

 Physical note

in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(3)”
Line number 17

 Physical note

“O” possibly changed to “o,” or reverse
Line number 24

 Physical note

the three commas in this line are added in a different ink
Line number 25

 Physical note

in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(4)”
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
On that Unparralel’d Prince Charles the first.
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe; originally written “Horred” with the “e” corrected to an “i”
his Horrid Murther
On that Unparalleled Prince Charles the First,
Physical Note
This phrase was added, probably in Pulter’s hand.
His Horrid Murder
On that
Critical Note
a common superlative in Pulter’s poems, most commonly applied to Charles I and his associates. See, for example, the poem immediately preceding this one, “On those Two Unparalleled Friends, Sir George Lisle and Sir Charles Lucas” (Poem 7).
Unparalleled
Prince Charles the First,
Physical Note
these words have been added to the title in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own (see Ross (2000), pp. 150-171 and 252-4).
His Horrid Murder
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
My priority in editing these poems has been to modernise, and to achieve interpretative and visual clarity, in order to make the poems as accessible as possible to as wide a modern audience as is possible. Spelling is modernised, as is punctuation. Modernising the latter, in particular, often involves a significant act of editorial interpretation, but in my view this is one of the most productive areas of editorial intervention, particularly for a manuscript text such as Pulter’s where the punctuation is erratic compared to modern usage (and, indeed, compared to early modern printed texts).
Critical Note
1. See Alice Eardley, “‘I haue not time to point yr booke … which I desire you yourselfe to doe’: Editing the Form of Early Modern Manuscript Verse”, in The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture, ed. Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 162-178.
1
In this edition of Poem 8, stanza breaks and numberings have been created based on marginal numberings and horizontal lines (at the ends of lines 8, 16, and 24) in the manuscript text. Like the addition of “His Horrid Murder” to the title (see notes), the numbers are in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own.


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This poem is one of several that meditates on the disastrous results caused by the death of King Charles I in the English Civil War. Offering an extended analogy, the speaker compares the national, natural, and personal trauma caused by the 1649 regicide to the trauma of the sun being extinguished. Written in iambic pentameter couplets, the poem draws heavily on mythological and cosmological knowledge, showing the relatively harmless consequences of losing particular constellations in the sky (compared to the disappearance of the sun’s primal heat and light). It concludes with a single couplet imploring God to install Charles II on the throne.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This poem is one of many that Pulter wrote on the fate of Charles I, from his imprisonment in 1647 until his execution and beyond. Some of these poems are elegies, and participate in the outpouring of elegiac literature on his death: see “On the Horrid Murder of that Incomparable Prince” (Poem 14) and “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), as well as the politicised insertion into her elegy on the death of her daughter, Jane Pulter (“Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10)). For royalist elegiac literature and a reading of Pulter’s poems in this context, see Sarah C. E. Ross, Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain (Oxford UP, 2015), pp. 153-7; Robert Wilcher, “Lamenting the King: 1649”, in The Writing of Royalism, 1628-1660 (Cambridge UP, 2001), pp. 287-307; and Nigel Smith on royalism and elegy, in Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-1660 (Yale UP, 1994), pp. 287-294.
This particular poem, however, is less elegiac in tone than several of Pulter’s others: it focuses less on grief and consolation than on a cosmological comparison between the sun and Charles I. Each of the eight-line stanzas follows the same structure: the first four lines describe a (lesser) celestial splendour, before there is a turn at the fifth line to the greater splendour of the sun, which is a figure for the monarch. The final stanza has an additional four lines extending the political implications of the metaphor. This common association of the sun and the monarch undergirds many of Pulter’s poems, often in a further association of sun-king-Christ; see, for example, “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), lines 38-45.
Pulter’s deep interest in cosmology and its metaphorical potential is evident throughout her work. See, for example, “The Revolution” (Poem 16), “The Center” (Poem 30), her two poems titled “Aurora” (Poems 3, 37), and “A Solitary Complaint” (Poem 54).


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
(1)
1
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(1)”
Those
glittring Globes of light which grace
Those glittering
Gloss Note
stars, planets
globes
of light which grace
Those glittering globes of light which grace
2
The vast Expantion, when they leave theire place
The vast
Gloss Note
heaven, firmament
expansion
, when they leave their place,
The vast expansion, when they leave their place
3
Or hide theire Radiant heads, wee never wonder
Or hide their radiant heads, we
Physical Note
“never” in the manuscript
ne’er
wonder;
Or hide their radiant heads, we never wonder;
4
Theire place and Splendenti’s Supplied’e by number
Critical Note
Their presence and splendor are assured by their multitude, even if some disappear from view.
Their place and splendency’s supplied by number
.
Critical Note
I.e., the splendour of the stars and planets in the sky is created by their sheer number.
Their place and splendency’s supplied by number
.
5
But Should the Sun forſake the line Ecliptick
But should the sun forsake the
Critical Note
the great circular path of the celestial sphere that the sun appears to follow over the course of a year (as seen from Earth); named as such because eclipses can happen only when the moon is very near this line
line ecliptic
,
But should the sun forsake
Gloss Note
its orbit (OED ecliptic B.n.1) or apparent orbit as viewed from the earth
the line ecliptic
,
6
Then totall Nature would be Epiliptick
Then total Nature would be
Gloss Note
have a seizure
epileptic
.
Then total nature would be
Physical Note
in the manuscript, this is “epiliptic”, in a full rhyme with line 5
epileptic
;
7
Just so’s our caſe Since Royall Charles did die
Just so’s our case since royal Charles did die;
Just so’s our case since
Critical Note
Perhaps an allusion to the death of Christ, at which “the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” (Matthew 27:51). Pulter frequently uses the sun as a simultaneous figure for Charles (and his restoration) and Christ (and his resurrection).
royal Charles did die
;
8
In horrid, Trembling Trances now
Physical Note
horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
wee lie
In horrid, trembling trances now we lie.
In horrid, trembling trances now we lie.
(2)
9
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(2)”
Coye
Aſaph may her Sparkling Spendlor hide
Coy
Gloss Note
comet visible every 400 years
Asoph
may her sparkling splendor hide
Coy
Gloss Note
a comet thought to be visible from earth every four hundred years
Asoph
may her sparkling splendour hide
10
ffour hundred years, yet wee noe change abide
Four hundred years, yet we no change abide;
Four hundred years, yet we no change abide,
11
And ^if Sad Electra may her bevties turn
And if sad
Critical Note
one of the Pleiades, or constellation of seven stars; mythical ancestor of the Trojans, known as the “Lost Pleiad,” or she is said to have disappeared before the Trojan war to avoid seeing the ruin of her beloved city; reputed to show herself occasionally to mortal eyes only in the guise of a comet; not to be confused with the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, sister of Orestes who persuaded her brother Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus (their mother’s lover) in revenge for the murder of Agamemnon
Electra
may her beauties turn
And
Critical Note
In Greek mythology, Electra, grieving for the destruction of Troy (Ilium) and the death of her son, is transformed into a comet.
sad Electra
may her beauties turn
12
Away from us, yet non but Illium burn
Away from us, yet none but
Gloss Note
Troy
Ilium
burn.
Away from us, yet none but Ilium burn.
13
But if the ſun in darknes be involv’d
But if the sun in darkness be
Gloss Note
entangled, enveloped
involved
But if the sun in darkness be involved,
14
Ould Natures fabrick would bee ſoon diſſolv’d
Old Nature’s fabric would be soon dissolved.
Old nature’s fabric would be soon
Gloss Note
reduced to its elements, broken up (OED 1)
dissolved
;
15
E’ne ſoe (Aye mee) ſince Sacrid Cæſars death
E’en so (ay me) since sacred
Gloss Note
epithet for King Charles
Caesar’s
death
E’en so (aye me) since sacred
Critical Note
an epithet for Charles I, used by Pulter in many of her poems
Caesar
’s death
16
Our Spirits exhale in Sighs wee turn
Physical Note
horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
to earth
Our spirits exhale in sighs; we turn to earth.
Our spirits exhale, in sighs we turn to earth.
(3)
17
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(3)”
Thoſe
Physical Note
“O” possibly changed to “o,” or reverse
Oviparos
Brothers Soe ador’d
Those
Critical Note
The twins, Castor and Pollux, were born out of a single egg (“oviparous” means egg-laying, which Pulter uses idiosyncratically); Zeus transformed the twins into the constellation Gemini, which navigators use to track their course.
oviparous brothers
, so adored
Those
Critical Note
Castor and Pollux, twins in Greek mythology who hatched out of an egg (Pulter misuses “oviparous”, which means egg-laying). Zeus transformed them after their death into the constellation Gemini, used by navigators to find their way.
oviparous brothers
so adored
18
By Navigators, would bee deplor’d
By navigators, would be deplored
By navigators, would be
Gloss Note
lamented
deplored
19
By non but them nor doe wee care or feare
By none but them, nor do we care or
Gloss Note
fear if
fear
By none but
Gloss Note
i.e. the navigators
them
, nor do we care or fear
20
The one or both of them at once apeare
The one, or both of them, at once appear;
The one or both of them at once appear.
21
But if the ſun Should loſe his heat and light
But if the sun should lose his heat and light
But if the sun should lose his heat and light
22
Wee Should invaded bee with Death and Night
We should invaded be with Death and Night.
We should invaded be with death and night;
ſoe

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
23
Soe Since our Martred Sover’ngs Spirits fled
So since our martyred sovereign’s spirit’s fled,
So since our martyred sovereign’s
Gloss Note
i.e. spirit is/has
spirit’s
fled
24
Physical Note
the three commas in this line are added in a different ink
Our light, and life; our hopes, and Joyes, are dead
Our light and life, our hopes and joys, are dead.
Our light and life, our hopes and joys, are dead.
(4)
25
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(4)”
Nay
Should the Poles or Axes of the Skie
Nay, should the
Critical Note
“Poles” are the points in the celestial sphere about which stars appear to revolve or the points at which the earth’s axis meets the celestial sphere; “axis” is the imaginary line about which planets rotate.
poles or axes of the sky
Nay, should the
Gloss Note
Axes are the (imaginary) lines around which planets rotate, and the poles are the ends of these axes (see OED pole n.2 1a).
poles or axes of the sky
26
Their Raidient luster unto us denie
Their radiant luster unto us deny,
Their radiant lustre unto us deny,
27
Or Cinthia ceaſe to wane or to increasſe
Or
Gloss Note
moon, named after goddess
Cynthia
cease to wane or to increase,
Or
Gloss Note
the moon
Cynthia
cease to wane or to increase,
28
Wee Should Subsist, t’wold not diſturb o: r Peace
We should subsist; t’would not disturb our peace.
We should subsist, ’twould not disturb our peace.
29
But Should wee looſe the influence of the Sun
But should we lose the influence of the sun
But should we lose the influence of the sun,
30
All into Chaos inſtantly would run
All into
Gloss Note
primordial matter, nothingness
chaos
instantly would run.
All into chaos instantly would run;
31
Soe Since our king’s aboue in glorys Crownd
So since our king’s above—in
Gloss Note
glory is
glory’s
crowned—
So since our king’s above in glories crowned,
32
Anarchicall confution doth Surround
Anarchical confusion doth surround
Anarchical confusion doth surround
33
This fatall Isle and Devils here will dwell
This fatal
Gloss Note
England, now doomed
isle
, and
Gloss Note
usurpers led by Cromwell
devils
here will dwell,
This
Critical Note
England, condemned by fate
fatal isle
, and
Critical Note
Eardley (ed.),Lady Hester Pulter, suggests a reference to the race of rebellious giants thought to have populated the earth in ancient times, in Sandys, Metamorphoses, 1; and Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.151-160. See also Pulter’s “Mighty Nimrod” (Emblem 1), lines 11-17.
devils here will dwell
,
34
As Antiantly and turn this place to Hell
As
Gloss Note
in ancient times
anciently
, and turn this place to hell.
As anciently, and turn this place to hell,
35
Unles our God doth a ſecond Charles illustrate
Unless our God doth a
Critical Note
illumine or confer honor on the son of Charles I
second Charles illustrate
,
Unless our God doth a second Charles
Gloss Note
make illustrious, confer honour upon (OED v. 4)
illustrate
36
Which (oh denie not) all our hopes are frustrate.
(Which, O deny not!) all our hopes are frustrate.
(Which, O deny not) all our hopes are frustrate.
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition
Title note

 Physical note

This phrase was added, probably in Pulter’s hand.

 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

This poem is one of several that meditates on the disastrous results caused by the death of King Charles I in the English Civil War. Offering an extended analogy, the speaker compares the national, natural, and personal trauma caused by the 1649 regicide to the trauma of the sun being extinguished. Written in iambic pentameter couplets, the poem draws heavily on mythological and cosmological knowledge, showing the relatively harmless consequences of losing particular constellations in the sky (compared to the disappearance of the sun’s primal heat and light). It concludes with a single couplet imploring God to install Charles II on the throne.
Line number 1

 Gloss note

stars, planets
Line number 2

 Gloss note

heaven, firmament
Line number 3

 Physical note

“never” in the manuscript
Line number 4

 Critical note

Their presence and splendor are assured by their multitude, even if some disappear from view.
Line number 5

 Critical note

the great circular path of the celestial sphere that the sun appears to follow over the course of a year (as seen from Earth); named as such because eclipses can happen only when the moon is very near this line
Line number 6

 Gloss note

have a seizure
Line number 9

 Gloss note

comet visible every 400 years
Line number 11

 Critical note

one of the Pleiades, or constellation of seven stars; mythical ancestor of the Trojans, known as the “Lost Pleiad,” or she is said to have disappeared before the Trojan war to avoid seeing the ruin of her beloved city; reputed to show herself occasionally to mortal eyes only in the guise of a comet; not to be confused with the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, sister of Orestes who persuaded her brother Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus (their mother’s lover) in revenge for the murder of Agamemnon
Line number 12

 Gloss note

Troy
Line number 13

 Gloss note

entangled, enveloped
Line number 15

 Gloss note

epithet for King Charles
Line number 17

 Critical note

The twins, Castor and Pollux, were born out of a single egg (“oviparous” means egg-laying, which Pulter uses idiosyncratically); Zeus transformed the twins into the constellation Gemini, which navigators use to track their course.
Line number 19

 Gloss note

fear if
Line number 25

 Critical note

“Poles” are the points in the celestial sphere about which stars appear to revolve or the points at which the earth’s axis meets the celestial sphere; “axis” is the imaginary line about which planets rotate.
Line number 27

 Gloss note

moon, named after goddess
Line number 30

 Gloss note

primordial matter, nothingness
Line number 31

 Gloss note

glory is
Line number 33

 Gloss note

England, now doomed
Line number 33

 Gloss note

usurpers led by Cromwell
Line number 34

 Gloss note

in ancient times
Line number 35

 Critical note

illumine or confer honor on the son of Charles I
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
On that Unparralel’d Prince Charles the first.
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe; originally written “Horred” with the “e” corrected to an “i”
his Horrid Murther
On that Unparalleled Prince Charles the First,
Physical Note
This phrase was added, probably in Pulter’s hand.
His Horrid Murder
On that
Critical Note
a common superlative in Pulter’s poems, most commonly applied to Charles I and his associates. See, for example, the poem immediately preceding this one, “On those Two Unparalleled Friends, Sir George Lisle and Sir Charles Lucas” (Poem 7).
Unparalleled
Prince Charles the First,
Physical Note
these words have been added to the title in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own (see Ross (2000), pp. 150-171 and 252-4).
His Horrid Murder
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
My priority in editing these poems has been to modernise, and to achieve interpretative and visual clarity, in order to make the poems as accessible as possible to as wide a modern audience as is possible. Spelling is modernised, as is punctuation. Modernising the latter, in particular, often involves a significant act of editorial interpretation, but in my view this is one of the most productive areas of editorial intervention, particularly for a manuscript text such as Pulter’s where the punctuation is erratic compared to modern usage (and, indeed, compared to early modern printed texts).
Critical Note
1. See Alice Eardley, “‘I haue not time to point yr booke … which I desire you yourselfe to doe’: Editing the Form of Early Modern Manuscript Verse”, in The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture, ed. Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 162-178.
1
In this edition of Poem 8, stanza breaks and numberings have been created based on marginal numberings and horizontal lines (at the ends of lines 8, 16, and 24) in the manuscript text. Like the addition of “His Horrid Murder” to the title (see notes), the numbers are in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own.


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This poem is one of several that meditates on the disastrous results caused by the death of King Charles I in the English Civil War. Offering an extended analogy, the speaker compares the national, natural, and personal trauma caused by the 1649 regicide to the trauma of the sun being extinguished. Written in iambic pentameter couplets, the poem draws heavily on mythological and cosmological knowledge, showing the relatively harmless consequences of losing particular constellations in the sky (compared to the disappearance of the sun’s primal heat and light). It concludes with a single couplet imploring God to install Charles II on the throne.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This poem is one of many that Pulter wrote on the fate of Charles I, from his imprisonment in 1647 until his execution and beyond. Some of these poems are elegies, and participate in the outpouring of elegiac literature on his death: see “On the Horrid Murder of that Incomparable Prince” (Poem 14) and “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), as well as the politicised insertion into her elegy on the death of her daughter, Jane Pulter (“Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10)). For royalist elegiac literature and a reading of Pulter’s poems in this context, see Sarah C. E. Ross, Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain (Oxford UP, 2015), pp. 153-7; Robert Wilcher, “Lamenting the King: 1649”, in The Writing of Royalism, 1628-1660 (Cambridge UP, 2001), pp. 287-307; and Nigel Smith on royalism and elegy, in Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-1660 (Yale UP, 1994), pp. 287-294.
This particular poem, however, is less elegiac in tone than several of Pulter’s others: it focuses less on grief and consolation than on a cosmological comparison between the sun and Charles I. Each of the eight-line stanzas follows the same structure: the first four lines describe a (lesser) celestial splendour, before there is a turn at the fifth line to the greater splendour of the sun, which is a figure for the monarch. The final stanza has an additional four lines extending the political implications of the metaphor. This common association of the sun and the monarch undergirds many of Pulter’s poems, often in a further association of sun-king-Christ; see, for example, “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), lines 38-45.
Pulter’s deep interest in cosmology and its metaphorical potential is evident throughout her work. See, for example, “The Revolution” (Poem 16), “The Center” (Poem 30), her two poems titled “Aurora” (Poems 3, 37), and “A Solitary Complaint” (Poem 54).


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
(1)
1
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(1)”
Those
glittring Globes of light which grace
Those glittering
Gloss Note
stars, planets
globes
of light which grace
Those glittering globes of light which grace
2
The vast Expantion, when they leave theire place
The vast
Gloss Note
heaven, firmament
expansion
, when they leave their place,
The vast expansion, when they leave their place
3
Or hide theire Radiant heads, wee never wonder
Or hide their radiant heads, we
Physical Note
“never” in the manuscript
ne’er
wonder;
Or hide their radiant heads, we never wonder;
4
Theire place and Splendenti’s Supplied’e by number
Critical Note
Their presence and splendor are assured by their multitude, even if some disappear from view.
Their place and splendency’s supplied by number
.
Critical Note
I.e., the splendour of the stars and planets in the sky is created by their sheer number.
Their place and splendency’s supplied by number
.
5
But Should the Sun forſake the line Ecliptick
But should the sun forsake the
Critical Note
the great circular path of the celestial sphere that the sun appears to follow over the course of a year (as seen from Earth); named as such because eclipses can happen only when the moon is very near this line
line ecliptic
,
But should the sun forsake
Gloss Note
its orbit (OED ecliptic B.n.1) or apparent orbit as viewed from the earth
the line ecliptic
,
6
Then totall Nature would be Epiliptick
Then total Nature would be
Gloss Note
have a seizure
epileptic
.
Then total nature would be
Physical Note
in the manuscript, this is “epiliptic”, in a full rhyme with line 5
epileptic
;
7
Just so’s our caſe Since Royall Charles did die
Just so’s our case since royal Charles did die;
Just so’s our case since
Critical Note
Perhaps an allusion to the death of Christ, at which “the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” (Matthew 27:51). Pulter frequently uses the sun as a simultaneous figure for Charles (and his restoration) and Christ (and his resurrection).
royal Charles did die
;
8
In horrid, Trembling Trances now
Physical Note
horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
wee lie
In horrid, trembling trances now we lie.
In horrid, trembling trances now we lie.
(2)
9
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(2)”
Coye
Aſaph may her Sparkling Spendlor hide
Coy
Gloss Note
comet visible every 400 years
Asoph
may her sparkling splendor hide
Coy
Gloss Note
a comet thought to be visible from earth every four hundred years
Asoph
may her sparkling splendour hide
10
ffour hundred years, yet wee noe change abide
Four hundred years, yet we no change abide;
Four hundred years, yet we no change abide,
11
And ^if Sad Electra may her bevties turn
And if sad
Critical Note
one of the Pleiades, or constellation of seven stars; mythical ancestor of the Trojans, known as the “Lost Pleiad,” or she is said to have disappeared before the Trojan war to avoid seeing the ruin of her beloved city; reputed to show herself occasionally to mortal eyes only in the guise of a comet; not to be confused with the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, sister of Orestes who persuaded her brother Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus (their mother’s lover) in revenge for the murder of Agamemnon
Electra
may her beauties turn
And
Critical Note
In Greek mythology, Electra, grieving for the destruction of Troy (Ilium) and the death of her son, is transformed into a comet.
sad Electra
may her beauties turn
12
Away from us, yet non but Illium burn
Away from us, yet none but
Gloss Note
Troy
Ilium
burn.
Away from us, yet none but Ilium burn.
13
But if the ſun in darknes be involv’d
But if the sun in darkness be
Gloss Note
entangled, enveloped
involved
But if the sun in darkness be involved,
14
Ould Natures fabrick would bee ſoon diſſolv’d
Old Nature’s fabric would be soon dissolved.
Old nature’s fabric would be soon
Gloss Note
reduced to its elements, broken up (OED 1)
dissolved
;
15
E’ne ſoe (Aye mee) ſince Sacrid Cæſars death
E’en so (ay me) since sacred
Gloss Note
epithet for King Charles
Caesar’s
death
E’en so (aye me) since sacred
Critical Note
an epithet for Charles I, used by Pulter in many of her poems
Caesar
’s death
16
Our Spirits exhale in Sighs wee turn
Physical Note
horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
to earth
Our spirits exhale in sighs; we turn to earth.
Our spirits exhale, in sighs we turn to earth.
(3)
17
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(3)”
Thoſe
Physical Note
“O” possibly changed to “o,” or reverse
Oviparos
Brothers Soe ador’d
Those
Critical Note
The twins, Castor and Pollux, were born out of a single egg (“oviparous” means egg-laying, which Pulter uses idiosyncratically); Zeus transformed the twins into the constellation Gemini, which navigators use to track their course.
oviparous brothers
, so adored
Those
Critical Note
Castor and Pollux, twins in Greek mythology who hatched out of an egg (Pulter misuses “oviparous”, which means egg-laying). Zeus transformed them after their death into the constellation Gemini, used by navigators to find their way.
oviparous brothers
so adored
18
By Navigators, would bee deplor’d
By navigators, would be deplored
By navigators, would be
Gloss Note
lamented
deplored
19
By non but them nor doe wee care or feare
By none but them, nor do we care or
Gloss Note
fear if
fear
By none but
Gloss Note
i.e. the navigators
them
, nor do we care or fear
20
The one or both of them at once apeare
The one, or both of them, at once appear;
The one or both of them at once appear.
21
But if the ſun Should loſe his heat and light
But if the sun should lose his heat and light
But if the sun should lose his heat and light
22
Wee Should invaded bee with Death and Night
We should invaded be with Death and Night.
We should invaded be with death and night;
ſoe

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23
Soe Since our Martred Sover’ngs Spirits fled
So since our martyred sovereign’s spirit’s fled,
So since our martyred sovereign’s
Gloss Note
i.e. spirit is/has
spirit’s
fled
24
Physical Note
the three commas in this line are added in a different ink
Our light, and life; our hopes, and Joyes, are dead
Our light and life, our hopes and joys, are dead.
Our light and life, our hopes and joys, are dead.
(4)
25
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(4)”
Nay
Should the Poles or Axes of the Skie
Nay, should the
Critical Note
“Poles” are the points in the celestial sphere about which stars appear to revolve or the points at which the earth’s axis meets the celestial sphere; “axis” is the imaginary line about which planets rotate.
poles or axes of the sky
Nay, should the
Gloss Note
Axes are the (imaginary) lines around which planets rotate, and the poles are the ends of these axes (see OED pole n.2 1a).
poles or axes of the sky
26
Their Raidient luster unto us denie
Their radiant luster unto us deny,
Their radiant lustre unto us deny,
27
Or Cinthia ceaſe to wane or to increasſe
Or
Gloss Note
moon, named after goddess
Cynthia
cease to wane or to increase,
Or
Gloss Note
the moon
Cynthia
cease to wane or to increase,
28
Wee Should Subsist, t’wold not diſturb o: r Peace
We should subsist; t’would not disturb our peace.
We should subsist, ’twould not disturb our peace.
29
But Should wee looſe the influence of the Sun
But should we lose the influence of the sun
But should we lose the influence of the sun,
30
All into Chaos inſtantly would run
All into
Gloss Note
primordial matter, nothingness
chaos
instantly would run.
All into chaos instantly would run;
31
Soe Since our king’s aboue in glorys Crownd
So since our king’s above—in
Gloss Note
glory is
glory’s
crowned—
So since our king’s above in glories crowned,
32
Anarchicall confution doth Surround
Anarchical confusion doth surround
Anarchical confusion doth surround
33
This fatall Isle and Devils here will dwell
This fatal
Gloss Note
England, now doomed
isle
, and
Gloss Note
usurpers led by Cromwell
devils
here will dwell,
This
Critical Note
England, condemned by fate
fatal isle
, and
Critical Note
Eardley (ed.),Lady Hester Pulter, suggests a reference to the race of rebellious giants thought to have populated the earth in ancient times, in Sandys, Metamorphoses, 1; and Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.151-160. See also Pulter’s “Mighty Nimrod” (Emblem 1), lines 11-17.
devils here will dwell
,
34
As Antiantly and turn this place to Hell
As
Gloss Note
in ancient times
anciently
, and turn this place to hell.
As anciently, and turn this place to hell,
35
Unles our God doth a ſecond Charles illustrate
Unless our God doth a
Critical Note
illumine or confer honor on the son of Charles I
second Charles illustrate
,
Unless our God doth a second Charles
Gloss Note
make illustrious, confer honour upon (OED v. 4)
illustrate
36
Which (oh denie not) all our hopes are frustrate.
(Which, O deny not!) all our hopes are frustrate.
(Which, O deny not) all our hopes are frustrate.
X (Close panel)Notes: Amplified Edition
Title note

 Critical note

a common superlative in Pulter’s poems, most commonly applied to Charles I and his associates. See, for example, the poem immediately preceding this one, “On those Two Unparalleled Friends, Sir George Lisle and Sir Charles Lucas” (Poem 7).
Title note

 Physical note

these words have been added to the title in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own (see Ross (2000), pp. 150-171 and 252-4).

 Editorial note

My priority in editing these poems has been to modernise, and to achieve interpretative and visual clarity, in order to make the poems as accessible as possible to as wide a modern audience as is possible. Spelling is modernised, as is punctuation. Modernising the latter, in particular, often involves a significant act of editorial interpretation, but in my view this is one of the most productive areas of editorial intervention, particularly for a manuscript text such as Pulter’s where the punctuation is erratic compared to modern usage (and, indeed, compared to early modern printed texts).
Critical Note
1. See Alice Eardley, “‘I haue not time to point yr booke … which I desire you yourselfe to doe’: Editing the Form of Early Modern Manuscript Verse”, in The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture, ed. Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 162-178.
1
In this edition of Poem 8, stanza breaks and numberings have been created based on marginal numberings and horizontal lines (at the ends of lines 8, 16, and 24) in the manuscript text. Like the addition of “His Horrid Murder” to the title (see notes), the numbers are in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own.

 Headnote

This poem is one of many that Pulter wrote on the fate of Charles I, from his imprisonment in 1647 until his execution and beyond. Some of these poems are elegies, and participate in the outpouring of elegiac literature on his death: see “On the Horrid Murder of that Incomparable Prince” (Poem 14) and “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), as well as the politicised insertion into her elegy on the death of her daughter, Jane Pulter (“Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10)). For royalist elegiac literature and a reading of Pulter’s poems in this context, see Sarah C. E. Ross, Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain (Oxford UP, 2015), pp. 153-7; Robert Wilcher, “Lamenting the King: 1649”, in The Writing of Royalism, 1628-1660 (Cambridge UP, 2001), pp. 287-307; and Nigel Smith on royalism and elegy, in Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-1660 (Yale UP, 1994), pp. 287-294.
This particular poem, however, is less elegiac in tone than several of Pulter’s others: it focuses less on grief and consolation than on a cosmological comparison between the sun and Charles I. Each of the eight-line stanzas follows the same structure: the first four lines describe a (lesser) celestial splendour, before there is a turn at the fifth line to the greater splendour of the sun, which is a figure for the monarch. The final stanza has an additional four lines extending the political implications of the metaphor. This common association of the sun and the monarch undergirds many of Pulter’s poems, often in a further association of sun-king-Christ; see, for example, “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), lines 38-45.
Pulter’s deep interest in cosmology and its metaphorical potential is evident throughout her work. See, for example, “The Revolution” (Poem 16), “The Center” (Poem 30), her two poems titled “Aurora” (Poems 3, 37), and “A Solitary Complaint” (Poem 54).
Line number 4

 Critical note

I.e., the splendour of the stars and planets in the sky is created by their sheer number.
Line number 5

 Gloss note

its orbit (OED ecliptic B.n.1) or apparent orbit as viewed from the earth
Line number 6

 Physical note

in the manuscript, this is “epiliptic”, in a full rhyme with line 5
Line number 7

 Critical note

Perhaps an allusion to the death of Christ, at which “the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” (Matthew 27:51). Pulter frequently uses the sun as a simultaneous figure for Charles (and his restoration) and Christ (and his resurrection).
Line number 9

 Gloss note

a comet thought to be visible from earth every four hundred years
Line number 11

 Critical note

In Greek mythology, Electra, grieving for the destruction of Troy (Ilium) and the death of her son, is transformed into a comet.
Line number 14

 Gloss note

reduced to its elements, broken up (OED 1)
Line number 15

 Critical note

an epithet for Charles I, used by Pulter in many of her poems
Line number 17

 Critical note

Castor and Pollux, twins in Greek mythology who hatched out of an egg (Pulter misuses “oviparous”, which means egg-laying). Zeus transformed them after their death into the constellation Gemini, used by navigators to find their way.
Line number 18

 Gloss note

lamented
Line number 19

 Gloss note

i.e. the navigators
Line number 23

 Gloss note

i.e. spirit is/has
Line number 25

 Gloss note

Axes are the (imaginary) lines around which planets rotate, and the poles are the ends of these axes (see OED pole n.2 1a).
Line number 27

 Gloss note

the moon
Line number 33

 Critical note

England, condemned by fate
Line number 33

 Critical note

Eardley (ed.),Lady Hester Pulter, suggests a reference to the race of rebellious giants thought to have populated the earth in ancient times, in Sandys, Metamorphoses, 1; and Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.151-160. See also Pulter’s “Mighty Nimrod” (Emblem 1), lines 11-17.
Line number 35

 Gloss note

make illustrious, confer honour upon (OED v. 4)
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Amplified Edition
Amplified Edition

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On that Unparralel’d Prince Charles the first.
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe; originally written “Horred” with the “e” corrected to an “i”
his Horrid Murther
On that Unparalleled Prince Charles the First,
Physical Note
This phrase was added, probably in Pulter’s hand.
His Horrid Murder
On that
Critical Note
a common superlative in Pulter’s poems, most commonly applied to Charles I and his associates. See, for example, the poem immediately preceding this one, “On those Two Unparalleled Friends, Sir George Lisle and Sir Charles Lucas” (Poem 7).
Unparalleled
Prince Charles the First,
Physical Note
these words have been added to the title in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own (see Ross (2000), pp. 150-171 and 252-4).
His Horrid Murder
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.

— Sarah C. E. Ross
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.

— Sarah C. E. Ross
My priority in editing these poems has been to modernise, and to achieve interpretative and visual clarity, in order to make the poems as accessible as possible to as wide a modern audience as is possible. Spelling is modernised, as is punctuation. Modernising the latter, in particular, often involves a significant act of editorial interpretation, but in my view this is one of the most productive areas of editorial intervention, particularly for a manuscript text such as Pulter’s where the punctuation is erratic compared to modern usage (and, indeed, compared to early modern printed texts).
Critical Note
1. See Alice Eardley, “‘I haue not time to point yr booke … which I desire you yourselfe to doe’: Editing the Form of Early Modern Manuscript Verse”, in The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture, ed. Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 162-178.
1
In this edition of Poem 8, stanza breaks and numberings have been created based on marginal numberings and horizontal lines (at the ends of lines 8, 16, and 24) in the manuscript text. Like the addition of “His Horrid Murder” to the title (see notes), the numbers are in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own.


— Sarah C. E. Ross
This poem is one of several that meditates on the disastrous results caused by the death of King Charles I in the English Civil War. Offering an extended analogy, the speaker compares the national, natural, and personal trauma caused by the 1649 regicide to the trauma of the sun being extinguished. Written in iambic pentameter couplets, the poem draws heavily on mythological and cosmological knowledge, showing the relatively harmless consequences of losing particular constellations in the sky (compared to the disappearance of the sun’s primal heat and light). It concludes with a single couplet imploring God to install Charles II on the throne.

— Sarah C. E. Ross
This poem is one of many that Pulter wrote on the fate of Charles I, from his imprisonment in 1647 until his execution and beyond. Some of these poems are elegies, and participate in the outpouring of elegiac literature on his death: see “On the Horrid Murder of that Incomparable Prince” (Poem 14) and “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), as well as the politicised insertion into her elegy on the death of her daughter, Jane Pulter (“Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10)). For royalist elegiac literature and a reading of Pulter’s poems in this context, see Sarah C. E. Ross, Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain (Oxford UP, 2015), pp. 153-7; Robert Wilcher, “Lamenting the King: 1649”, in The Writing of Royalism, 1628-1660 (Cambridge UP, 2001), pp. 287-307; and Nigel Smith on royalism and elegy, in Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-1660 (Yale UP, 1994), pp. 287-294.
This particular poem, however, is less elegiac in tone than several of Pulter’s others: it focuses less on grief and consolation than on a cosmological comparison between the sun and Charles I. Each of the eight-line stanzas follows the same structure: the first four lines describe a (lesser) celestial splendour, before there is a turn at the fifth line to the greater splendour of the sun, which is a figure for the monarch. The final stanza has an additional four lines extending the political implications of the metaphor. This common association of the sun and the monarch undergirds many of Pulter’s poems, often in a further association of sun-king-Christ; see, for example, “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), lines 38-45.
Pulter’s deep interest in cosmology and its metaphorical potential is evident throughout her work. See, for example, “The Revolution” (Poem 16), “The Center” (Poem 30), her two poems titled “Aurora” (Poems 3, 37), and “A Solitary Complaint” (Poem 54).


— Sarah C. E. Ross
(1)
1
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(1)”
Those
glittring Globes of light which grace
Those glittering
Gloss Note
stars, planets
globes
of light which grace
Those glittering globes of light which grace
2
The vast Expantion, when they leave theire place
The vast
Gloss Note
heaven, firmament
expansion
, when they leave their place,
The vast expansion, when they leave their place
3
Or hide theire Radiant heads, wee never wonder
Or hide their radiant heads, we
Physical Note
“never” in the manuscript
ne’er
wonder;
Or hide their radiant heads, we never wonder;
4
Theire place and Splendenti’s Supplied’e by number
Critical Note
Their presence and splendor are assured by their multitude, even if some disappear from view.
Their place and splendency’s supplied by number
.
Critical Note
I.e., the splendour of the stars and planets in the sky is created by their sheer number.
Their place and splendency’s supplied by number
.
5
But Should the Sun forſake the line Ecliptick
But should the sun forsake the
Critical Note
the great circular path of the celestial sphere that the sun appears to follow over the course of a year (as seen from Earth); named as such because eclipses can happen only when the moon is very near this line
line ecliptic
,
But should the sun forsake
Gloss Note
its orbit (OED ecliptic B.n.1) or apparent orbit as viewed from the earth
the line ecliptic
,
6
Then totall Nature would be Epiliptick
Then total Nature would be
Gloss Note
have a seizure
epileptic
.
Then total nature would be
Physical Note
in the manuscript, this is “epiliptic”, in a full rhyme with line 5
epileptic
;
7
Just so’s our caſe Since Royall Charles did die
Just so’s our case since royal Charles did die;
Just so’s our case since
Critical Note
Perhaps an allusion to the death of Christ, at which “the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” (Matthew 27:51). Pulter frequently uses the sun as a simultaneous figure for Charles (and his restoration) and Christ (and his resurrection).
royal Charles did die
;
8
In horrid, Trembling Trances now
Physical Note
horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
wee lie
In horrid, trembling trances now we lie.
In horrid, trembling trances now we lie.
(2)
9
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(2)”
Coye
Aſaph may her Sparkling Spendlor hide
Coy
Gloss Note
comet visible every 400 years
Asoph
may her sparkling splendor hide
Coy
Gloss Note
a comet thought to be visible from earth every four hundred years
Asoph
may her sparkling splendour hide
10
ffour hundred years, yet wee noe change abide
Four hundred years, yet we no change abide;
Four hundred years, yet we no change abide,
11
And ^if Sad Electra may her bevties turn
And if sad
Critical Note
one of the Pleiades, or constellation of seven stars; mythical ancestor of the Trojans, known as the “Lost Pleiad,” or she is said to have disappeared before the Trojan war to avoid seeing the ruin of her beloved city; reputed to show herself occasionally to mortal eyes only in the guise of a comet; not to be confused with the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, sister of Orestes who persuaded her brother Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus (their mother’s lover) in revenge for the murder of Agamemnon
Electra
may her beauties turn
And
Critical Note
In Greek mythology, Electra, grieving for the destruction of Troy (Ilium) and the death of her son, is transformed into a comet.
sad Electra
may her beauties turn
12
Away from us, yet non but Illium burn
Away from us, yet none but
Gloss Note
Troy
Ilium
burn.
Away from us, yet none but Ilium burn.
13
But if the ſun in darknes be involv’d
But if the sun in darkness be
Gloss Note
entangled, enveloped
involved
But if the sun in darkness be involved,
14
Ould Natures fabrick would bee ſoon diſſolv’d
Old Nature’s fabric would be soon dissolved.
Old nature’s fabric would be soon
Gloss Note
reduced to its elements, broken up (OED 1)
dissolved
;
15
E’ne ſoe (Aye mee) ſince Sacrid Cæſars death
E’en so (ay me) since sacred
Gloss Note
epithet for King Charles
Caesar’s
death
E’en so (aye me) since sacred
Critical Note
an epithet for Charles I, used by Pulter in many of her poems
Caesar
’s death
16
Our Spirits exhale in Sighs wee turn
Physical Note
horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
to earth
Our spirits exhale in sighs; we turn to earth.
Our spirits exhale, in sighs we turn to earth.
(3)
17
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(3)”
Thoſe
Physical Note
“O” possibly changed to “o,” or reverse
Oviparos
Brothers Soe ador’d
Those
Critical Note
The twins, Castor and Pollux, were born out of a single egg (“oviparous” means egg-laying, which Pulter uses idiosyncratically); Zeus transformed the twins into the constellation Gemini, which navigators use to track their course.
oviparous brothers
, so adored
Those
Critical Note
Castor and Pollux, twins in Greek mythology who hatched out of an egg (Pulter misuses “oviparous”, which means egg-laying). Zeus transformed them after their death into the constellation Gemini, used by navigators to find their way.
oviparous brothers
so adored
18
By Navigators, would bee deplor’d
By navigators, would be deplored
By navigators, would be
Gloss Note
lamented
deplored
19
By non but them nor doe wee care or feare
By none but them, nor do we care or
Gloss Note
fear if
fear
By none but
Gloss Note
i.e. the navigators
them
, nor do we care or fear
20
The one or both of them at once apeare
The one, or both of them, at once appear;
The one or both of them at once appear.
21
But if the ſun Should loſe his heat and light
But if the sun should lose his heat and light
But if the sun should lose his heat and light
22
Wee Should invaded bee with Death and Night
We should invaded be with Death and Night.
We should invaded be with death and night;
ſoe

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23
Soe Since our Martred Sover’ngs Spirits fled
So since our martyred sovereign’s spirit’s fled,
So since our martyred sovereign’s
Gloss Note
i.e. spirit is/has
spirit’s
fled
24
Physical Note
the three commas in this line are added in a different ink
Our light, and life; our hopes, and Joyes, are dead
Our light and life, our hopes and joys, are dead.
Our light and life, our hopes and joys, are dead.
(4)
25
Physical Note
in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(4)”
Nay
Should the Poles or Axes of the Skie
Nay, should the
Critical Note
“Poles” are the points in the celestial sphere about which stars appear to revolve or the points at which the earth’s axis meets the celestial sphere; “axis” is the imaginary line about which planets rotate.
poles or axes of the sky
Nay, should the
Gloss Note
Axes are the (imaginary) lines around which planets rotate, and the poles are the ends of these axes (see OED pole n.2 1a).
poles or axes of the sky
26
Their Raidient luster unto us denie
Their radiant luster unto us deny,
Their radiant lustre unto us deny,
27
Or Cinthia ceaſe to wane or to increasſe
Or
Gloss Note
moon, named after goddess
Cynthia
cease to wane or to increase,
Or
Gloss Note
the moon
Cynthia
cease to wane or to increase,
28
Wee Should Subsist, t’wold not diſturb o: r Peace
We should subsist; t’would not disturb our peace.
We should subsist, ’twould not disturb our peace.
29
But Should wee looſe the influence of the Sun
But should we lose the influence of the sun
But should we lose the influence of the sun,
30
All into Chaos inſtantly would run
All into
Gloss Note
primordial matter, nothingness
chaos
instantly would run.
All into chaos instantly would run;
31
Soe Since our king’s aboue in glorys Crownd
So since our king’s above—in
Gloss Note
glory is
glory’s
crowned—
So since our king’s above in glories crowned,
32
Anarchicall confution doth Surround
Anarchical confusion doth surround
Anarchical confusion doth surround
33
This fatall Isle and Devils here will dwell
This fatal
Gloss Note
England, now doomed
isle
, and
Gloss Note
usurpers led by Cromwell
devils
here will dwell,
This
Critical Note
England, condemned by fate
fatal isle
, and
Critical Note
Eardley (ed.),Lady Hester Pulter, suggests a reference to the race of rebellious giants thought to have populated the earth in ancient times, in Sandys, Metamorphoses, 1; and Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.151-160. See also Pulter’s “Mighty Nimrod” (Emblem 1), lines 11-17.
devils here will dwell
,
34
As Antiantly and turn this place to Hell
As
Gloss Note
in ancient times
anciently
, and turn this place to hell.
As anciently, and turn this place to hell,
35
Unles our God doth a ſecond Charles illustrate
Unless our God doth a
Critical Note
illumine or confer honor on the son of Charles I
second Charles illustrate
,
Unless our God doth a second Charles
Gloss Note
make illustrious, confer honour upon (OED v. 4)
illustrate
36
Which (oh denie not) all our hopes are frustrate.
(Which, O deny not!) all our hopes are frustrate.
(Which, O deny not) all our hopes are frustrate.
X (Close panel) All Notes
Transcription
Title note

 Physical note

in different hand from main scribe; originally written “Horred” with the “e” corrected to an “i”
Elemental Edition
Title note

 Physical note

This phrase was added, probably in Pulter’s hand.
Amplified Edition
Title note

 Critical note

a common superlative in Pulter’s poems, most commonly applied to Charles I and his associates. See, for example, the poem immediately preceding this one, “On those Two Unparalleled Friends, Sir George Lisle and Sir Charles Lucas” (Poem 7).
Amplified Edition
Title note

 Physical note

these words have been added to the title in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own (see Ross (2000), pp. 150-171 and 252-4).
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

My priority in editing these poems has been to modernise, and to achieve interpretative and visual clarity, in order to make the poems as accessible as possible to as wide a modern audience as is possible. Spelling is modernised, as is punctuation. Modernising the latter, in particular, often involves a significant act of editorial interpretation, but in my view this is one of the most productive areas of editorial intervention, particularly for a manuscript text such as Pulter’s where the punctuation is erratic compared to modern usage (and, indeed, compared to early modern printed texts).
Critical Note
1. See Alice Eardley, “‘I haue not time to point yr booke … which I desire you yourselfe to doe’: Editing the Form of Early Modern Manuscript Verse”, in The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture, ed. Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 162-178.
1
In this edition of Poem 8, stanza breaks and numberings have been created based on marginal numberings and horizontal lines (at the ends of lines 8, 16, and 24) in the manuscript text. Like the addition of “His Horrid Murder” to the title (see notes), the numbers are in a hand that is different from the main scribe’s, and may be Pulter’s own.
Elemental Edition

 Headnote

This poem is one of several that meditates on the disastrous results caused by the death of King Charles I in the English Civil War. Offering an extended analogy, the speaker compares the national, natural, and personal trauma caused by the 1649 regicide to the trauma of the sun being extinguished. Written in iambic pentameter couplets, the poem draws heavily on mythological and cosmological knowledge, showing the relatively harmless consequences of losing particular constellations in the sky (compared to the disappearance of the sun’s primal heat and light). It concludes with a single couplet imploring God to install Charles II on the throne.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

This poem is one of many that Pulter wrote on the fate of Charles I, from his imprisonment in 1647 until his execution and beyond. Some of these poems are elegies, and participate in the outpouring of elegiac literature on his death: see “On the Horrid Murder of that Incomparable Prince” (Poem 14) and “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), as well as the politicised insertion into her elegy on the death of her daughter, Jane Pulter (“Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10)). For royalist elegiac literature and a reading of Pulter’s poems in this context, see Sarah C. E. Ross, Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain (Oxford UP, 2015), pp. 153-7; Robert Wilcher, “Lamenting the King: 1649”, in The Writing of Royalism, 1628-1660 (Cambridge UP, 2001), pp. 287-307; and Nigel Smith on royalism and elegy, in Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-1660 (Yale UP, 1994), pp. 287-294.
This particular poem, however, is less elegiac in tone than several of Pulter’s others: it focuses less on grief and consolation than on a cosmological comparison between the sun and Charles I. Each of the eight-line stanzas follows the same structure: the first four lines describe a (lesser) celestial splendour, before there is a turn at the fifth line to the greater splendour of the sun, which is a figure for the monarch. The final stanza has an additional four lines extending the political implications of the metaphor. This common association of the sun and the monarch undergirds many of Pulter’s poems, often in a further association of sun-king-Christ; see, for example, “Let None Sigh More for Lucas or for Lisle [On the Same [2]]” (Poem 15), lines 38-45.
Pulter’s deep interest in cosmology and its metaphorical potential is evident throughout her work. See, for example, “The Revolution” (Poem 16), “The Center” (Poem 30), her two poems titled “Aurora” (Poems 3, 37), and “A Solitary Complaint” (Poem 54).
Transcription
Line number 1

 Physical note

in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(1)”
Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

stars, planets
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

heaven, firmament
Elemental Edition
Line number 3

 Physical note

“never” in the manuscript
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Critical note

Their presence and splendor are assured by their multitude, even if some disappear from view.
Amplified Edition
Line number 4

 Critical note

I.e., the splendour of the stars and planets in the sky is created by their sheer number.
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Critical note

the great circular path of the celestial sphere that the sun appears to follow over the course of a year (as seen from Earth); named as such because eclipses can happen only when the moon is very near this line
Amplified Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

its orbit (OED ecliptic B.n.1) or apparent orbit as viewed from the earth
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

have a seizure
Amplified Edition
Line number 6

 Physical note

in the manuscript, this is “epiliptic”, in a full rhyme with line 5
Amplified Edition
Line number 7

 Critical note

Perhaps an allusion to the death of Christ, at which “the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” (Matthew 27:51). Pulter frequently uses the sun as a simultaneous figure for Charles (and his restoration) and Christ (and his resurrection).
Transcription
Line number 8

 Physical note

horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
Transcription
Line number 9

 Physical note

in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(2)”
Elemental Edition
Line number 9

 Gloss note

comet visible every 400 years
Amplified Edition
Line number 9

 Gloss note

a comet thought to be visible from earth every four hundred years
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Critical note

one of the Pleiades, or constellation of seven stars; mythical ancestor of the Trojans, known as the “Lost Pleiad,” or she is said to have disappeared before the Trojan war to avoid seeing the ruin of her beloved city; reputed to show herself occasionally to mortal eyes only in the guise of a comet; not to be confused with the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, sister of Orestes who persuaded her brother Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus (their mother’s lover) in revenge for the murder of Agamemnon
Amplified Edition
Line number 11

 Critical note

In Greek mythology, Electra, grieving for the destruction of Troy (Ilium) and the death of her son, is transformed into a comet.
Elemental Edition
Line number 12

 Gloss note

Troy
Elemental Edition
Line number 13

 Gloss note

entangled, enveloped
Amplified Edition
Line number 14

 Gloss note

reduced to its elements, broken up (OED 1)
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

epithet for King Charles
Amplified Edition
Line number 15

 Critical note

an epithet for Charles I, used by Pulter in many of her poems
Transcription
Line number 16

 Physical note

horizontal line in lighter ink underneath
Transcription
Line number 17

 Physical note

in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(3)”
Transcription
Line number 17

 Physical note

“O” possibly changed to “o,” or reverse
Elemental Edition
Line number 17

 Critical note

The twins, Castor and Pollux, were born out of a single egg (“oviparous” means egg-laying, which Pulter uses idiosyncratically); Zeus transformed the twins into the constellation Gemini, which navigators use to track their course.
Amplified Edition
Line number 17

 Critical note

Castor and Pollux, twins in Greek mythology who hatched out of an egg (Pulter misuses “oviparous”, which means egg-laying). Zeus transformed them after their death into the constellation Gemini, used by navigators to find their way.
Amplified Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

lamented
Elemental Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

fear if
Amplified Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

i.e. the navigators
Amplified Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

i.e. spirit is/has
Transcription
Line number 24

 Physical note

the three commas in this line are added in a different ink
Transcription
Line number 25

 Physical note

in left margin, in lighter ink and different hand from main scribe: “(4)”
Elemental Edition
Line number 25

 Critical note

“Poles” are the points in the celestial sphere about which stars appear to revolve or the points at which the earth’s axis meets the celestial sphere; “axis” is the imaginary line about which planets rotate.
Amplified Edition
Line number 25

 Gloss note

Axes are the (imaginary) lines around which planets rotate, and the poles are the ends of these axes (see OED pole n.2 1a).
Elemental Edition
Line number 27

 Gloss note

moon, named after goddess
Amplified Edition
Line number 27

 Gloss note

the moon
Elemental Edition
Line number 30

 Gloss note

primordial matter, nothingness
Elemental Edition
Line number 31

 Gloss note

glory is
Elemental Edition
Line number 33

 Gloss note

England, now doomed
Elemental Edition
Line number 33

 Gloss note

usurpers led by Cromwell
Amplified Edition
Line number 33

 Critical note

England, condemned by fate
Amplified Edition
Line number 33

 Critical note

Eardley (ed.),Lady Hester Pulter, suggests a reference to the race of rebellious giants thought to have populated the earth in ancient times, in Sandys, Metamorphoses, 1; and Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.151-160. See also Pulter’s “Mighty Nimrod” (Emblem 1), lines 11-17.
Elemental Edition
Line number 34

 Gloss note

in ancient times
Elemental Edition
Line number 35

 Critical note

illumine or confer honor on the son of Charles I
Amplified Edition
Line number 35

 Gloss note

make illustrious, confer honour upon (OED v. 4)
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