The Eclipse

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The Eclipse

Poem 1

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 Wendy Wall.

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

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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 1

 Physical note

“1” in left margin
Line number 4

 Physical note

Terminal “e” in “these” and “ſkies” is a scribal abbreviation for “es.”
Line number 5

 Physical note

While the final letter appears like the scribal abbreviation for “es” in the previous line (in the word “∫kies,”) it appears here to be an error; the scribe’s mistake has created an unwitting linkage between lines 3 and 4.
Line number 10

 Physical note

“e” appears written over earlier “i”
Line number 13

 Physical note

“2” in left margin
Line number 23

 Physical note

appears corrected from “thine”; visible erasure marks of ascenders as for “th,” with remainder overwritten with “m”
Line number 25

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“3” in left margin
Line number 31

 Physical note

erased minuscule “p” under current majuscule; second final “e” partially blotted
Line number 35

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final “s” appears blotted
Line number 37

 Physical note

“4” in left margin
Line number 37

 Physical note

original “it is” altered by erasing “i” and adding ligature between “t” and “i”
Line number 45

 Physical note

possibly added later than surrounding words
Line number 52

 Physical note

possible pen-rest or comma after
Line number 58

 Physical note

lower part of “d” blotted; “ould” erased in space following
Line number 61

 Physical note

above, “S” or “ſ” appears twice
Line number 61

 Physical note

multiple strike-throughs, blotted; subscript caret visible between words, and curling line above struck-through “o” of “doth”
Line number 63

 Physical note

possible comma after
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Transcription

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The Eclips
The
Gloss Note
In astronomy, an eclipse is the obscuring of the light of the sun or the moon by another body. This might occur when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow or when the moon comes between the observer and the sun; in a figurative sense, an eclipse may refer to the (sometimes temporary) loss of brilliance or distinction of any kind.
Eclipse
The Eclipse
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 editorial goals are accessibility and attention to the multiplicity of interpretation. By modernizing spelling and punctuation according to American standards and by providing a gloss for archaic words, I make the poem legible for a wide array of readers and students. Some notes are designed to offer contextual information indicating Pulter’s intellectual breadth—for instance, the way that her chosen lexicon blends cosmological, scientific, and religious domains. Other notes seek to illuminate Pulter’s poetic craft by offering commentary on the syntactical and formal features in the text, some of which present knotty puzzles that entangle the reading experience.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The first poem in Pulter’s manuscript boldly traverses vast distances—cosmological, mythological, and theological—as the speaker objects to various obstacles to her clear vision of the heavens: that is, both the skies above and, ultimately, the God above them. Uniquely among her poems, “The Eclipse” is set forth in numbered sections, with numerals 1 through 4 carving out two-sestain sections, each addressing a distinct figure: clouds, the earth, the moon. These figures are characterized as material obstacles which are in the way at the moment but ultimately mortal; the speaker seems comforted by her contemplation, or the threat, of their eventual “dissolution.” Mortality itself, in the form of a personified Death, is then directly addressed in the fourth section, while in what could be considered the unnumbered fifth section, the speaker turns to sin as the most obdurate obstacle between herself and heaven. While the ranks of obstacles thus assembled each in turn appear formidable, only the last sees the speaker daunted, before a final stanza expresses her faith in Christ’s triumph over sin on her behalf. The poem is in iambic pentameter stanzas, rhyming ABABCC.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This first poem in Poems Breathed Forth by the Noble Hadassas is the only one written in sixains (ABABCC). The speaker’s use of apostrophe in the first three sections serves to vivify elements of the natural world as interlocutors, and thus introduces a theme that will thread throughout the poems: the animation of the physical world. “The Eclipse”’s interest in blending the discourses of cosmology and salvation is explored in numerous poems. Here the speaker moves from accusations that external objects in the skies block her access to the sun (figuratively God), to complaints about abstract personifications (Death), and finally to recognition that her internal transgressions impede her faith. The final stanza nestles the speaker “in Christ” as the solution to her initial, spatially expressed alienation. When John Donne similarly takes up faith and astronomy in “Good Friday: Riding Westward,” by contrast, he relies on the older Ptolemaic cosmology and the doctrine of correspondences. One popular literary source for information about Copernicanism was Henry More’s 1647 Philosophical Poems, especially “Psychathanasia, or The Second Part of the Song of the Soul.”

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
1
1
1
Physical Note
“1” in left margin
Why
doe those frowning vapours interpose
Why do those frowning
Gloss Note
clouds
vapors
interpose
Why do those frowning vapors interpose
2
betweene the bright expantion and mine eyes:
Between the bright
Gloss Note
sky, heavens
expansion
and my eyes,
Between the bright expansion and my eyes,
3
By whose unkindnes for a time I loose,
By whose unkindness for a time I lose
By whose unkindness for a time I lose
4
The be^avteous proſpect of
Physical Note
Terminal “e” in “these” and “ſkies” is a scribal abbreviation for “es.”
the Azure ſkies
:
The beauteous prospect of these
Gloss Note
blue
azure
skies?
The beauteous prospect of the azure skies?
5
Denie not thus my ſight to
Physical Note
While the final letter appears like the scribal abbreviation for “es” in the previous line (in the word “∫kies,”) it appears here to be an error; the scribe’s mistake has created an unwitting linkage between lines 3 and 4.
ſatiſfie
,
Deny not thus my sight to satisfy,
Deny not thus my sight to satisfy,
6
Malicious clouds, before you rarifie:
Malicious clouds, before you
Critical Note
to dissipate, grow thinner, especially by expansion; to refine; also a technical term used in alchemy for when a material is purified
rarefy
.
Malicious clouds, before you
Gloss Note
dissipate, purify
Critical Note
Pulter often deploys the alchemical term “rarefy” to describe both material and spiritual transformations. In alchemy, the process of rarefaction involves the purification of a substance by separating the essence from its “gross” elements. This involved condensation (mentioned in the second stanza) or vaporization (and alchemy uses the language of rebirth and renewal shared by Christianity). On Pulter’s use of “rarefy,” see, for instance, The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Circle [2] [Poem 21]; and The Invocation of the Elements [Poem 41]. In “The Eclipse,” the clouds are imagined to cycle from transparency, to vapors, and, perhaps, to rain, inaugurating another cycle. The “variable condition” (l. 5) that the speaker sees as linking her to the physical world makes both subject to decay, but also mobile enough to undergo the “passage through revolution” toward salvation (l. 45). The poem thus trades on language embedded in both alchemy and Christianity.
rarefy
.
7
For you are of a variable condition
For you are of a variable condition
For you are of a variable condition
8
as well as I, and ſhall ere long diſſolve,
As well as I, and shall
Gloss Note
before
ere
long dissolve;
As well as I, and shall ere long
Critical Note

“Dissolve” and “dissolution” are terms Pulter often uses to signal the interconnection of disintegrative and reconstructive cycles of formative elements (see, for example, the poems Universal Dissolution [Poem 6] and Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48]). The rhyme linkage between “dissolve” and “revolve” conflates creative evolution with erosion and death. On this correspondence, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble [Poem 40], which includes this declaration (ll. 29-32):

Then whether dissolution,
Or Transmigration,
Or rolling revolution
All ends in thy salvation

and Why Are Thou Sad [Poem 47], where the speaker writes of sunrise (ll. 11-12):

Methinks it’s like the revolution
Of life, and death, and life
dissolve
;
9
Glory not then in interpoſition,
Glory not, then, in
Gloss Note
interference, intervention
interposition
,
Glory not then in
Gloss Note
intervention
interposition
,
10
ffor into other
Physical Note
“e” appears written over earlier “i”
Elements
revolve
For into other elements
Gloss Note
to turn (about an axis) or return (to a place or state); to intertwine; to overturn by placing in motion
revolve
For into other elements
Gloss Note
turn, return, or evolve
Critical Note
A recurrent trope in the poems, “revolution” not only bespeaks a cycle of creation and destruction, but also connects the motions of mind, planets, elements, and soul (as they evolve, in relation to the body, to an eventual spiritual form). For instance, Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48] describes the soul’s gradual ascent up the “stairs of revolution.” Pulter composed many of her poems during a time when the term “revolution” would have implicitly referenced the civil war, but she reappropriates the term (in “The Eclipse” and elsewhere) to validate a royalist order in which the sun (figuratively God and the king) orders proper revolution.
revolve
11
You muſt; perhaps by condenſation
You must, perhaps by
Gloss Note
the conversion of a gas to a liquid (i.e., rain)
condensation
;
You must, perhaps by
Gloss Note
concentration; becoming more solid
condensation
;
12
hinder not then (ſo poore) a contentation
Hinder not, then, so poor a
Gloss Note
satisfaction; a source of pleasure; compensation
contentation
.
Hinder not then so poor a
Gloss Note
satisfaction
Critical Note
Contentation refers to the state of being satisfied, accepting a situation, or a source of satisfaction or pleasure.
contentation
.
2
2
2
13
Physical Note
“2” in left margin
And
thou ſad, pondrous, paſſive, Globe of Earth
And thou, sad,
Gloss Note
heavy, slow-moving
pond’rous
, passive globe of earth,
And thou,
Gloss Note
sorrowful; heavy; steadfast
sad
, pond’rous, passive, globe of earth,
14
though for thy weight thou canst not mount aboue
Though,
Gloss Note
because of
for
thy weight, thou canst not mount above,
Though for thy weight thou canst not mount above,
15
and though from thee my baſer parts tooke birth
And though, from thee,
Gloss Note
the body, material elements
my baser parts
took birth,
And though from thee my
Critical Note
The creation of human form from the earth. Cf. Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
baser parts took birth
,
16
Yet dost thou ſhew to me more hate then loue
Yet dost thou show to me more hate than love:
Yet dost thou show to me more hate than love,
17
ffor with thy ſhadow thou Eclip’st the light
For, with thy shadow, thou eclipsed the light
For with thy shadow thou eclipsed the light
18
of ſplendent Phebe from my feeble ſight
Of
Gloss Note
shining brightly
splendent
Gloss Note
In Greek mythology, Phoebe is goddess of the moon.
Phoebe
from my feeble sight.
Of splendent
Gloss Note
the moon
Phoebe
from my
Critical Note
In describing a lunar eclipse, in which the shadow of earth obscures the light of the moon, this stanza confirms Pulter’s knowledge of current astronomy and implies a heliocentric universe. For poems that reflect particulars of a Galilean-Copernican cosmology, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Center [Poem 30]; The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]; This Was Written 1648 [Poem 45]; and A Solitary Complaint [Poem 54]. For a less sanguine view of the emerging paradigm of heliocentrism, see Donne, “An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
feeble sight
.
19
Surely thy deſtinie is known to thee
Surely thy destiny is known to thee,
Surely thy destiny is known to thee,
20
and the continuall revolution:
And the continual
Critical Note
rotation; a recurring period of time; an alteration, upheaval, reversal of fortune; a rebellion, overthrow of established government with substitution of new
revolution
And the continual revolution
21
Of Elements as wee doe hourly ſee
Of elements, as we do hourly see,
Of elements as we do hourly see,
22
and thy irrevocable diſſolution:
And thy irrevocable dissolution,
And thy irrevocable
Gloss Note
separation into parts or constituent elements; the reduction of any body or mass to elements or atoms; liquefaction; termination of life, death
dissolution
23
As well as
Physical Note
appears corrected from “thine”; visible erasure marks of ascenders as for “th,” with remainder overwritten with “m”
mine
or rather conflagration
As well as mine—or, rather,
Gloss Note
a blazing fire
conflagration
:
As well as mine, or rather,
Gloss Note
blazing fire
conflagration
;
24
Then envie not (for ſhame) my contentation:
Then envy not (for shame) my contentation.
Then envy not (for shame) my
Critical Note
In viewing the eclipse only as a material manifestation of her alienation from God, the speaker departs from the conventional early modern view of eclipses as omens of negative events or signs of divine disapproval. For an early modern text mocking people’s fear of eclipses, see “On bugbear Black-Monday, March 29.1652, Or, The London-Fright at the Eclipse proceeding from a Natural Cause” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
contentation
.

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3
3
3
25
Physical Note
“3” in left margin
And
thou darke body of the Globius Moone
And thou, dark body of the
Gloss Note
spherical
globious
moon
And thou, dark body of the
Gloss Note
spherical
globious
moon
26
That dost obſcure the Radiant Delia’s ſight:
That dost obscure the radiant
Critical Note
In Greek myth, Delius is also called Apollo, the sun god from Delos; in this edition the word has been altered from the manuscript, which reads “Delia’s” (for Delia, the Greek moon goddess).
Delius’s
sight,
That dost obscure the radiant
Critical Note
Emblem 48 refers to Apollo and Diana as the “Delian twins”; throughout the poems, Pulter unusually refers to the male sun God (from Delos) as “Delia,” a name that conventionally identifies the female moon goddess. In distinguishing this solar eclipse from the lunar eclipse of the second section, the poem also displays familiarity with contemporary scientific developments.
Delia’s
sight,
27
Threatning to make my ſun to ſet at Noone
Threat’ning to make my sun to set at noon,
Threat’ning to make
Critical Note
Cf. Amos 8:9: “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.” Pulter may be alluding to the darkened sky at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, which some interpreted as an eclipse: “And it was about about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened” (Luke 23:44-45).
my sun to set at noon
,
28
Whereby I lose his influence and light:
Whereby I lose his influence and light:
Whereby I lose his
Gloss Note
In astrology, the ethereal fluid streaming from the stars or heavens that acted on the character and destiny of people.
influence
and
Critical Note
In The Caucasines (Emblem 52) [Poem 117], Pulter uses the metaphor of a solar eclipse to describe ways that a plague-like parliamentary opposition obscured the royal sun.
light
:
29
Dost thou not know inevitable fate
Dost thou not know inevitable fate?
Dost thou not know inevitable fate?
30
Then in conjunctions doe not ſhew thy hate:
Then in
Gloss Note
alignment of celestial bodies
conjunctions
do not show thy hate.
Then in
Gloss Note
alignment of celestial bodies
conjunctions
do not shew thy hate.
31
ffor the impartiall
Physical Note
erased minuscule “p” under current majuscule; second final “e” partially blotted
Parce
now have Spun
For the impartial
Gloss Note
In Greek myth, these are three female Fates who determine the length of human lives, represented as threads.
Parcae
now have spun
For the impartial
Gloss Note
the fates of Greek myth
Parcae
now have spun
32
Thy thread (and mine) then he that lends thee light:
Thy thread (and mine); then
Gloss Note
the sun
he
that lends thee light
Thy thread (and mine); then he that lends thee light
33
ſhall wane himſelfe, and darke ſhall be thy ſun,
Shall
Gloss Note
decrease
wane
himself, and dark shall be thy sun,
Shall wane himself, and dark shall be thy sun,
34
As in the Chaos were the ſhades of Night:
As in the
Gloss Note
the ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; or a state of confusion.
chaos
were the shades of night;
As in the
Critical Note
The word here signifies multiple states of nothingness: an ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; the utmost state of confusion. It also can mean “the natural environment of a person or thing,” as in night’s most basic habitat. For this meaning, see Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621): “Creatures, whose Chaos is the earth” (II.ii.iii.320). In mythology Chaos was the oldest of the gods, the parent of Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (night), and thus the source for all darkness. This stanza has the moon subject to the Fates, with the result that it will lose its reflected light when the sun dies (with the extinction of the entire physical world).
chaos
were the shades of night;
35
Then ſhall your ſhineing Spheres w:thfervo:r
Physical Note
final “s” appears blotted
melt
Then shall your shining spheres with
Gloss Note
intense heat or zeal
fervor
melt;
Then shall your shining spheres with fervor melt,
36
Then ſhall be done by thee as thou hast de^alt:
Then shall be done by thee as thou has dealt.
Then shall be done by thee as thou has dealt.
4
4
4
37
Physical Note
“4” in left margin
But
O mortalitie
Physical Note
original “it is” altered by erasing “i” and adding ligature between “t” and “i”
tis
thou alone
But O, Mortality, ’tis thou alone
But O, Mortality, ’tis thou alone
38
That dost obſcure bright Glory from my ſoule.
That dost obscure bright glory from my soul;
That dost obscure bright glory from my soul.
39
Tis thou that fet’rest me with flesh and bone
’Tis thou that fett’rest me with flesh and bone,
’Tis thou that fett’rest me with flesh and bone
40
And mak’st me here in dust and Ashes Rowle
And mak’st me here in dust and ashes roll,
And mak’st me here in dust and ashes
Gloss Note
be enclosed; turn
roll
,
41
Preſenting to me transitory toyes
Presenting to me transitory toys,
Presenting to me transitory toys
42
And hidest from my Soule Celestiall Joyes
And hidest from my soul celestial joys.
And hidest from my soul celestial joys.
43
But Death; triumph not in my diſſolucon
But, Death, triumph not in my dissolution,
But Death, triumph not in my dissolution,
44
ffor though thou hold’st in thy curſed Jawes
For though thou
Critical Note
The object of this verb (such as “me” or “us”) is absent in the manuscript.
holdest
in thy curséd jaws,
For though thou holdest in thy curséd jaws,
45
And
Physical Note
possibly added later than surrounding words
I
my paſſage make through Revolution
And I my passage make through revolution,
And I my passage make through revolution,
46
Humbly obedient to my Makers lawes
Humbly obedient to my Maker’s laws,
Humbly obedient to my maker’s laws,
47
Yet he that doth in infinite power excell
Yet
Gloss Note
Christ
He
that doth in infinite power excel,
Critical Note
The lack of punctuation after "excel" allows for an ambiguity that hints at the unknowable nature of the divine: does God excel in his capacity to love or in his infinite power? In either case, God is said to have triumphed over death.
Yet he that doth in infinite power excel
48
In love to me hath Conquer’d Death and Hell
In love to me, hath conquered Death and Hell.
In love to me hath conquered Death and Hell.

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5
49
But oh my ſins (my ſins) and none but those
But O, my sins (my sins), and none but those,
Critical Note
The manuscript has no number 5 (nor no 6 for the last stanza), but the logic of the double-stanza structure of 1-4 suggests that one should be here, as the speaker turns away from external blockages to the more basic and internal impediments to salvation and finally to the declaration of triumph.
But
O, my sins (my sins), and none but those,
50
Makes my poore ſoule o’re flow w:th sad anoy
Makes my poor soul o’erflow with sad annoy;
Make my poor soul o’er flow with sad annoy,
51
Tis they and none but they doe interpose
’Tis they, and none but they, do interpose
’Tis they and none but they do interpose
52
Twixt heaven and
Physical Note
possible pen-rest or comma after
me
and doth Eclips my Joy
’Twixt heaven and me, and doth eclipse my joy;
’Twixt heaven and me, and doth eclipse my joy;
53
Tis neither clowdes, nor Moone nor ſhades of Earth
’Tis neither clouds, nor moon, nor shades of earth
’Tis neither clouds, nor moon, nor shades of earth
54
Could keepe my ſoule from whence ſhe had her birth
Could keep my soul from whence she had her birth.
Could keep my soul from whence she had her birth.
55
For were my ſoule from all transgreſſion free
For were my soul from all transgression free,
For were my soul from all transgression free,
56
Earths fadeing pleaſures I would then deſpise
Earth’s fading pleasures I would then despise;
Earth’s fading pleasures I would then despise,
57
Corruption I would trample over thee
Corruption, I would trample over thee,
Corruption I would trample over thee
58
And with Swift Eagles wings
Physical Note
lower part of “d” blotted; “ould” erased in space following
I’d
mount ye Skies
And
Critical Note
KJV, Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
with swift eagle’s wings I’d mount the skies
;
And with
Critical Note
Cf. Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
swift eagle’s wings
I’d mount the skies,
59
But o my Sins they will not let mee flie
But O, my sins, they will not let me fly;
But O, my sins, they will not let me fly,
60
They fetter me more than Mortalitie.
They fetter me more than mortality.
They fetter me more than mortality.
6
61
But yet my
Physical Note
above, “S” or “ſ” appears twice
Saviour
Physical Note
multiple strike-throughs, blotted; subscript caret visible between words, and curling line above struck-through “o” of “doth”
doth^hope
me^with hope doth feed
But yet my
Critical Note
The savior is Jesus Christ, the human form of God (who in this form took on humanity’s “curséd nature”).
Savior
me with hope doth feed,
But yet my savior with hope me
Critical Note
This line reverses the act of eating established in l. 44, where the speaker is perilously consumed in Death’s mouth; here feeding is associated with the Eucharist.
doth feed
,
62
Who did in love my curſed nature take
Who did in love my curséd nature take,
Who did in love my curséd nature take,
63
And that poore I might
Physical Note
possible comma after
live
in Death did Bleed
And, that poor I might live in death, did bleed;
Critical Note
Lack of punctuation here allows for ambiguity: “And that poor I might live, in death did bleed” suggests that death is the action of Christ; “And that poor I might live in death, did bleed” has the speaker attain life only after her death. In either case, Christ’s death on the cross enables the speaker’s redemption.
And that poor I might live in death did bleed
,
64
he to Eternall Glory will mee take
He to eternal glory will me take.
He to eternal glory will me
Critical Note
The repetition of “take” brings out multiple meanings of the word: the first use (two lines above) accentuates the act of transferring something into someone’s possession, while the second emphasizes transport of a person.
take
;
65
Then Sin triumph noe longer over mee
Then, Sin, triumph no longer over me,
Then Sin, triumph no longer over me,
66
ffor I in Christ have conquer’d Death and thee:
For I in Christ have conquered Death and thee.
For I, in Christ,
Critical Note
See John Donne’s “Death be not Proud,” which suggests that an individual’s resurrection “kills” Death (“Death, thou shalt die”).
have conquered Death and thee
.
The
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Title note

 Gloss note

In astronomy, an eclipse is the obscuring of the light of the sun or the moon by another body. This might occur when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow or when the moon comes between the observer and the sun; in a figurative sense, an eclipse may refer to the (sometimes temporary) loss of brilliance or distinction of any kind.

 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

The first poem in Pulter’s manuscript boldly traverses vast distances—cosmological, mythological, and theological—as the speaker objects to various obstacles to her clear vision of the heavens: that is, both the skies above and, ultimately, the God above them. Uniquely among her poems, “The Eclipse” is set forth in numbered sections, with numerals 1 through 4 carving out two-sestain sections, each addressing a distinct figure: clouds, the earth, the moon. These figures are characterized as material obstacles which are in the way at the moment but ultimately mortal; the speaker seems comforted by her contemplation, or the threat, of their eventual “dissolution.” Mortality itself, in the form of a personified Death, is then directly addressed in the fourth section, while in what could be considered the unnumbered fifth section, the speaker turns to sin as the most obdurate obstacle between herself and heaven. While the ranks of obstacles thus assembled each in turn appear formidable, only the last sees the speaker daunted, before a final stanza expresses her faith in Christ’s triumph over sin on her behalf. The poem is in iambic pentameter stanzas, rhyming ABABCC.
Line number 1

 Gloss note

clouds
Line number 2

 Gloss note

sky, heavens
Line number 4

 Gloss note

blue
Line number 6

 Critical note

to dissipate, grow thinner, especially by expansion; to refine; also a technical term used in alchemy for when a material is purified
Line number 8

 Gloss note

before
Line number 9

 Gloss note

interference, intervention
Line number 10

 Gloss note

to turn (about an axis) or return (to a place or state); to intertwine; to overturn by placing in motion
Line number 11

 Gloss note

the conversion of a gas to a liquid (i.e., rain)
Line number 12

 Gloss note

satisfaction; a source of pleasure; compensation
Line number 13

 Gloss note

heavy, slow-moving
Line number 14

 Gloss note

because of
Line number 15

 Gloss note

the body, material elements
Line number 18

 Gloss note

shining brightly
Line number 18

 Gloss note

In Greek mythology, Phoebe is goddess of the moon.
Line number 20

 Critical note

rotation; a recurring period of time; an alteration, upheaval, reversal of fortune; a rebellion, overthrow of established government with substitution of new
Line number 23

 Gloss note

a blazing fire
Line number 25

 Gloss note

spherical
Line number 26

 Critical note

In Greek myth, Delius is also called Apollo, the sun god from Delos; in this edition the word has been altered from the manuscript, which reads “Delia’s” (for Delia, the Greek moon goddess).
Line number 30

 Gloss note

alignment of celestial bodies
Line number 31

 Gloss note

In Greek myth, these are three female Fates who determine the length of human lives, represented as threads.
Line number 32

 Gloss note

the sun
Line number 33

 Gloss note

decrease
Line number 34

 Gloss note

the ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; or a state of confusion.
Line number 35

 Gloss note

intense heat or zeal
Line number 44

 Critical note

The object of this verb (such as “me” or “us”) is absent in the manuscript.
Line number 47

 Gloss note

Christ
Line number 58

 Critical note

KJV, Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
Line number 61

 Critical note

The savior is Jesus Christ, the human form of God (who in this form took on humanity’s “curséd nature”).
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The Eclips
The
Gloss Note
In astronomy, an eclipse is the obscuring of the light of the sun or the moon by another body. This might occur when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow or when the moon comes between the observer and the sun; in a figurative sense, an eclipse may refer to the (sometimes temporary) loss of brilliance or distinction of any kind.
Eclipse
The Eclipse
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 editorial goals are accessibility and attention to the multiplicity of interpretation. By modernizing spelling and punctuation according to American standards and by providing a gloss for archaic words, I make the poem legible for a wide array of readers and students. Some notes are designed to offer contextual information indicating Pulter’s intellectual breadth—for instance, the way that her chosen lexicon blends cosmological, scientific, and religious domains. Other notes seek to illuminate Pulter’s poetic craft by offering commentary on the syntactical and formal features in the text, some of which present knotty puzzles that entangle the reading experience.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The first poem in Pulter’s manuscript boldly traverses vast distances—cosmological, mythological, and theological—as the speaker objects to various obstacles to her clear vision of the heavens: that is, both the skies above and, ultimately, the God above them. Uniquely among her poems, “The Eclipse” is set forth in numbered sections, with numerals 1 through 4 carving out two-sestain sections, each addressing a distinct figure: clouds, the earth, the moon. These figures are characterized as material obstacles which are in the way at the moment but ultimately mortal; the speaker seems comforted by her contemplation, or the threat, of their eventual “dissolution.” Mortality itself, in the form of a personified Death, is then directly addressed in the fourth section, while in what could be considered the unnumbered fifth section, the speaker turns to sin as the most obdurate obstacle between herself and heaven. While the ranks of obstacles thus assembled each in turn appear formidable, only the last sees the speaker daunted, before a final stanza expresses her faith in Christ’s triumph over sin on her behalf. The poem is in iambic pentameter stanzas, rhyming ABABCC.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This first poem in Poems Breathed Forth by the Noble Hadassas is the only one written in sixains (ABABCC). The speaker’s use of apostrophe in the first three sections serves to vivify elements of the natural world as interlocutors, and thus introduces a theme that will thread throughout the poems: the animation of the physical world. “The Eclipse”’s interest in blending the discourses of cosmology and salvation is explored in numerous poems. Here the speaker moves from accusations that external objects in the skies block her access to the sun (figuratively God), to complaints about abstract personifications (Death), and finally to recognition that her internal transgressions impede her faith. The final stanza nestles the speaker “in Christ” as the solution to her initial, spatially expressed alienation. When John Donne similarly takes up faith and astronomy in “Good Friday: Riding Westward,” by contrast, he relies on the older Ptolemaic cosmology and the doctrine of correspondences. One popular literary source for information about Copernicanism was Henry More’s 1647 Philosophical Poems, especially “Psychathanasia, or The Second Part of the Song of the Soul.”

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
1
1
1
Physical Note
“1” in left margin
Why
doe those frowning vapours interpose
Why do those frowning
Gloss Note
clouds
vapors
interpose
Why do those frowning vapors interpose
2
betweene the bright expantion and mine eyes:
Between the bright
Gloss Note
sky, heavens
expansion
and my eyes,
Between the bright expansion and my eyes,
3
By whose unkindnes for a time I loose,
By whose unkindness for a time I lose
By whose unkindness for a time I lose
4
The be^avteous proſpect of
Physical Note
Terminal “e” in “these” and “ſkies” is a scribal abbreviation for “es.”
the Azure ſkies
:
The beauteous prospect of these
Gloss Note
blue
azure
skies?
The beauteous prospect of the azure skies?
5
Denie not thus my ſight to
Physical Note
While the final letter appears like the scribal abbreviation for “es” in the previous line (in the word “∫kies,”) it appears here to be an error; the scribe’s mistake has created an unwitting linkage between lines 3 and 4.
ſatiſfie
,
Deny not thus my sight to satisfy,
Deny not thus my sight to satisfy,
6
Malicious clouds, before you rarifie:
Malicious clouds, before you
Critical Note
to dissipate, grow thinner, especially by expansion; to refine; also a technical term used in alchemy for when a material is purified
rarefy
.
Malicious clouds, before you
Gloss Note
dissipate, purify
Critical Note
Pulter often deploys the alchemical term “rarefy” to describe both material and spiritual transformations. In alchemy, the process of rarefaction involves the purification of a substance by separating the essence from its “gross” elements. This involved condensation (mentioned in the second stanza) or vaporization (and alchemy uses the language of rebirth and renewal shared by Christianity). On Pulter’s use of “rarefy,” see, for instance, The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Circle [2] [Poem 21]; and The Invocation of the Elements [Poem 41]. In “The Eclipse,” the clouds are imagined to cycle from transparency, to vapors, and, perhaps, to rain, inaugurating another cycle. The “variable condition” (l. 5) that the speaker sees as linking her to the physical world makes both subject to decay, but also mobile enough to undergo the “passage through revolution” toward salvation (l. 45). The poem thus trades on language embedded in both alchemy and Christianity.
rarefy
.
7
For you are of a variable condition
For you are of a variable condition
For you are of a variable condition
8
as well as I, and ſhall ere long diſſolve,
As well as I, and shall
Gloss Note
before
ere
long dissolve;
As well as I, and shall ere long
Critical Note

“Dissolve” and “dissolution” are terms Pulter often uses to signal the interconnection of disintegrative and reconstructive cycles of formative elements (see, for example, the poems Universal Dissolution [Poem 6] and Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48]). The rhyme linkage between “dissolve” and “revolve” conflates creative evolution with erosion and death. On this correspondence, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble [Poem 40], which includes this declaration (ll. 29-32):

Then whether dissolution,
Or Transmigration,
Or rolling revolution
All ends in thy salvation

and Why Are Thou Sad [Poem 47], where the speaker writes of sunrise (ll. 11-12):

Methinks it’s like the revolution
Of life, and death, and life
dissolve
;
9
Glory not then in interpoſition,
Glory not, then, in
Gloss Note
interference, intervention
interposition
,
Glory not then in
Gloss Note
intervention
interposition
,
10
ffor into other
Physical Note
“e” appears written over earlier “i”
Elements
revolve
For into other elements
Gloss Note
to turn (about an axis) or return (to a place or state); to intertwine; to overturn by placing in motion
revolve
For into other elements
Gloss Note
turn, return, or evolve
Critical Note
A recurrent trope in the poems, “revolution” not only bespeaks a cycle of creation and destruction, but also connects the motions of mind, planets, elements, and soul (as they evolve, in relation to the body, to an eventual spiritual form). For instance, Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48] describes the soul’s gradual ascent up the “stairs of revolution.” Pulter composed many of her poems during a time when the term “revolution” would have implicitly referenced the civil war, but she reappropriates the term (in “The Eclipse” and elsewhere) to validate a royalist order in which the sun (figuratively God and the king) orders proper revolution.
revolve
11
You muſt; perhaps by condenſation
You must, perhaps by
Gloss Note
the conversion of a gas to a liquid (i.e., rain)
condensation
;
You must, perhaps by
Gloss Note
concentration; becoming more solid
condensation
;
12
hinder not then (ſo poore) a contentation
Hinder not, then, so poor a
Gloss Note
satisfaction; a source of pleasure; compensation
contentation
.
Hinder not then so poor a
Gloss Note
satisfaction
Critical Note
Contentation refers to the state of being satisfied, accepting a situation, or a source of satisfaction or pleasure.
contentation
.
2
2
2
13
Physical Note
“2” in left margin
And
thou ſad, pondrous, paſſive, Globe of Earth
And thou, sad,
Gloss Note
heavy, slow-moving
pond’rous
, passive globe of earth,
And thou,
Gloss Note
sorrowful; heavy; steadfast
sad
, pond’rous, passive, globe of earth,
14
though for thy weight thou canst not mount aboue
Though,
Gloss Note
because of
for
thy weight, thou canst not mount above,
Though for thy weight thou canst not mount above,
15
and though from thee my baſer parts tooke birth
And though, from thee,
Gloss Note
the body, material elements
my baser parts
took birth,
And though from thee my
Critical Note
The creation of human form from the earth. Cf. Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
baser parts took birth
,
16
Yet dost thou ſhew to me more hate then loue
Yet dost thou show to me more hate than love:
Yet dost thou show to me more hate than love,
17
ffor with thy ſhadow thou Eclip’st the light
For, with thy shadow, thou eclipsed the light
For with thy shadow thou eclipsed the light
18
of ſplendent Phebe from my feeble ſight
Of
Gloss Note
shining brightly
splendent
Gloss Note
In Greek mythology, Phoebe is goddess of the moon.
Phoebe
from my feeble sight.
Of splendent
Gloss Note
the moon
Phoebe
from my
Critical Note
In describing a lunar eclipse, in which the shadow of earth obscures the light of the moon, this stanza confirms Pulter’s knowledge of current astronomy and implies a heliocentric universe. For poems that reflect particulars of a Galilean-Copernican cosmology, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Center [Poem 30]; The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]; This Was Written 1648 [Poem 45]; and A Solitary Complaint [Poem 54]. For a less sanguine view of the emerging paradigm of heliocentrism, see Donne, “An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
feeble sight
.
19
Surely thy deſtinie is known to thee
Surely thy destiny is known to thee,
Surely thy destiny is known to thee,
20
and the continuall revolution:
And the continual
Critical Note
rotation; a recurring period of time; an alteration, upheaval, reversal of fortune; a rebellion, overthrow of established government with substitution of new
revolution
And the continual revolution
21
Of Elements as wee doe hourly ſee
Of elements, as we do hourly see,
Of elements as we do hourly see,
22
and thy irrevocable diſſolution:
And thy irrevocable dissolution,
And thy irrevocable
Gloss Note
separation into parts or constituent elements; the reduction of any body or mass to elements or atoms; liquefaction; termination of life, death
dissolution
23
As well as
Physical Note
appears corrected from “thine”; visible erasure marks of ascenders as for “th,” with remainder overwritten with “m”
mine
or rather conflagration
As well as mine—or, rather,
Gloss Note
a blazing fire
conflagration
:
As well as mine, or rather,
Gloss Note
blazing fire
conflagration
;
24
Then envie not (for ſhame) my contentation:
Then envy not (for shame) my contentation.
Then envy not (for shame) my
Critical Note
In viewing the eclipse only as a material manifestation of her alienation from God, the speaker departs from the conventional early modern view of eclipses as omens of negative events or signs of divine disapproval. For an early modern text mocking people’s fear of eclipses, see “On bugbear Black-Monday, March 29.1652, Or, The London-Fright at the Eclipse proceeding from a Natural Cause” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
contentation
.

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3
3
3
25
Physical Note
“3” in left margin
And
thou darke body of the Globius Moone
And thou, dark body of the
Gloss Note
spherical
globious
moon
And thou, dark body of the
Gloss Note
spherical
globious
moon
26
That dost obſcure the Radiant Delia’s ſight:
That dost obscure the radiant
Critical Note
In Greek myth, Delius is also called Apollo, the sun god from Delos; in this edition the word has been altered from the manuscript, which reads “Delia’s” (for Delia, the Greek moon goddess).
Delius’s
sight,
That dost obscure the radiant
Critical Note
Emblem 48 refers to Apollo and Diana as the “Delian twins”; throughout the poems, Pulter unusually refers to the male sun God (from Delos) as “Delia,” a name that conventionally identifies the female moon goddess. In distinguishing this solar eclipse from the lunar eclipse of the second section, the poem also displays familiarity with contemporary scientific developments.
Delia’s
sight,
27
Threatning to make my ſun to ſet at Noone
Threat’ning to make my sun to set at noon,
Threat’ning to make
Critical Note
Cf. Amos 8:9: “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.” Pulter may be alluding to the darkened sky at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, which some interpreted as an eclipse: “And it was about about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened” (Luke 23:44-45).
my sun to set at noon
,
28
Whereby I lose his influence and light:
Whereby I lose his influence and light:
Whereby I lose his
Gloss Note
In astrology, the ethereal fluid streaming from the stars or heavens that acted on the character and destiny of people.
influence
and
Critical Note
In The Caucasines (Emblem 52) [Poem 117], Pulter uses the metaphor of a solar eclipse to describe ways that a plague-like parliamentary opposition obscured the royal sun.
light
:
29
Dost thou not know inevitable fate
Dost thou not know inevitable fate?
Dost thou not know inevitable fate?
30
Then in conjunctions doe not ſhew thy hate:
Then in
Gloss Note
alignment of celestial bodies
conjunctions
do not show thy hate.
Then in
Gloss Note
alignment of celestial bodies
conjunctions
do not shew thy hate.
31
ffor the impartiall
Physical Note
erased minuscule “p” under current majuscule; second final “e” partially blotted
Parce
now have Spun
For the impartial
Gloss Note
In Greek myth, these are three female Fates who determine the length of human lives, represented as threads.
Parcae
now have spun
For the impartial
Gloss Note
the fates of Greek myth
Parcae
now have spun
32
Thy thread (and mine) then he that lends thee light:
Thy thread (and mine); then
Gloss Note
the sun
he
that lends thee light
Thy thread (and mine); then he that lends thee light
33
ſhall wane himſelfe, and darke ſhall be thy ſun,
Shall
Gloss Note
decrease
wane
himself, and dark shall be thy sun,
Shall wane himself, and dark shall be thy sun,
34
As in the Chaos were the ſhades of Night:
As in the
Gloss Note
the ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; or a state of confusion.
chaos
were the shades of night;
As in the
Critical Note
The word here signifies multiple states of nothingness: an ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; the utmost state of confusion. It also can mean “the natural environment of a person or thing,” as in night’s most basic habitat. For this meaning, see Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621): “Creatures, whose Chaos is the earth” (II.ii.iii.320). In mythology Chaos was the oldest of the gods, the parent of Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (night), and thus the source for all darkness. This stanza has the moon subject to the Fates, with the result that it will lose its reflected light when the sun dies (with the extinction of the entire physical world).
chaos
were the shades of night;
35
Then ſhall your ſhineing Spheres w:thfervo:r
Physical Note
final “s” appears blotted
melt
Then shall your shining spheres with
Gloss Note
intense heat or zeal
fervor
melt;
Then shall your shining spheres with fervor melt,
36
Then ſhall be done by thee as thou hast de^alt:
Then shall be done by thee as thou has dealt.
Then shall be done by thee as thou has dealt.
4
4
4
37
Physical Note
“4” in left margin
But
O mortalitie
Physical Note
original “it is” altered by erasing “i” and adding ligature between “t” and “i”
tis
thou alone
But O, Mortality, ’tis thou alone
But O, Mortality, ’tis thou alone
38
That dost obſcure bright Glory from my ſoule.
That dost obscure bright glory from my soul;
That dost obscure bright glory from my soul.
39
Tis thou that fet’rest me with flesh and bone
’Tis thou that fett’rest me with flesh and bone,
’Tis thou that fett’rest me with flesh and bone
40
And mak’st me here in dust and Ashes Rowle
And mak’st me here in dust and ashes roll,
And mak’st me here in dust and ashes
Gloss Note
be enclosed; turn
roll
,
41
Preſenting to me transitory toyes
Presenting to me transitory toys,
Presenting to me transitory toys
42
And hidest from my Soule Celestiall Joyes
And hidest from my soul celestial joys.
And hidest from my soul celestial joys.
43
But Death; triumph not in my diſſolucon
But, Death, triumph not in my dissolution,
But Death, triumph not in my dissolution,
44
ffor though thou hold’st in thy curſed Jawes
For though thou
Critical Note
The object of this verb (such as “me” or “us”) is absent in the manuscript.
holdest
in thy curséd jaws,
For though thou holdest in thy curséd jaws,
45
And
Physical Note
possibly added later than surrounding words
I
my paſſage make through Revolution
And I my passage make through revolution,
And I my passage make through revolution,
46
Humbly obedient to my Makers lawes
Humbly obedient to my Maker’s laws,
Humbly obedient to my maker’s laws,
47
Yet he that doth in infinite power excell
Yet
Gloss Note
Christ
He
that doth in infinite power excel,
Critical Note
The lack of punctuation after "excel" allows for an ambiguity that hints at the unknowable nature of the divine: does God excel in his capacity to love or in his infinite power? In either case, God is said to have triumphed over death.
Yet he that doth in infinite power excel
48
In love to me hath Conquer’d Death and Hell
In love to me, hath conquered Death and Hell.
In love to me hath conquered Death and Hell.

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5
49
But oh my ſins (my ſins) and none but those
But O, my sins (my sins), and none but those,
Critical Note
The manuscript has no number 5 (nor no 6 for the last stanza), but the logic of the double-stanza structure of 1-4 suggests that one should be here, as the speaker turns away from external blockages to the more basic and internal impediments to salvation and finally to the declaration of triumph.
But
O, my sins (my sins), and none but those,
50
Makes my poore ſoule o’re flow w:th sad anoy
Makes my poor soul o’erflow with sad annoy;
Make my poor soul o’er flow with sad annoy,
51
Tis they and none but they doe interpose
’Tis they, and none but they, do interpose
’Tis they and none but they do interpose
52
Twixt heaven and
Physical Note
possible pen-rest or comma after
me
and doth Eclips my Joy
’Twixt heaven and me, and doth eclipse my joy;
’Twixt heaven and me, and doth eclipse my joy;
53
Tis neither clowdes, nor Moone nor ſhades of Earth
’Tis neither clouds, nor moon, nor shades of earth
’Tis neither clouds, nor moon, nor shades of earth
54
Could keepe my ſoule from whence ſhe had her birth
Could keep my soul from whence she had her birth.
Could keep my soul from whence she had her birth.
55
For were my ſoule from all transgreſſion free
For were my soul from all transgression free,
For were my soul from all transgression free,
56
Earths fadeing pleaſures I would then deſpise
Earth’s fading pleasures I would then despise;
Earth’s fading pleasures I would then despise,
57
Corruption I would trample over thee
Corruption, I would trample over thee,
Corruption I would trample over thee
58
And with Swift Eagles wings
Physical Note
lower part of “d” blotted; “ould” erased in space following
I’d
mount ye Skies
And
Critical Note
KJV, Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
with swift eagle’s wings I’d mount the skies
;
And with
Critical Note
Cf. Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
swift eagle’s wings
I’d mount the skies,
59
But o my Sins they will not let mee flie
But O, my sins, they will not let me fly;
But O, my sins, they will not let me fly,
60
They fetter me more than Mortalitie.
They fetter me more than mortality.
They fetter me more than mortality.
6
61
But yet my
Physical Note
above, “S” or “ſ” appears twice
Saviour
Physical Note
multiple strike-throughs, blotted; subscript caret visible between words, and curling line above struck-through “o” of “doth”
doth^hope
me^with hope doth feed
But yet my
Critical Note
The savior is Jesus Christ, the human form of God (who in this form took on humanity’s “curséd nature”).
Savior
me with hope doth feed,
But yet my savior with hope me
Critical Note
This line reverses the act of eating established in l. 44, where the speaker is perilously consumed in Death’s mouth; here feeding is associated with the Eucharist.
doth feed
,
62
Who did in love my curſed nature take
Who did in love my curséd nature take,
Who did in love my curséd nature take,
63
And that poore I might
Physical Note
possible comma after
live
in Death did Bleed
And, that poor I might live in death, did bleed;
Critical Note
Lack of punctuation here allows for ambiguity: “And that poor I might live, in death did bleed” suggests that death is the action of Christ; “And that poor I might live in death, did bleed” has the speaker attain life only after her death. In either case, Christ’s death on the cross enables the speaker’s redemption.
And that poor I might live in death did bleed
,
64
he to Eternall Glory will mee take
He to eternal glory will me take.
He to eternal glory will me
Critical Note
The repetition of “take” brings out multiple meanings of the word: the first use (two lines above) accentuates the act of transferring something into someone’s possession, while the second emphasizes transport of a person.
take
;
65
Then Sin triumph noe longer over mee
Then, Sin, triumph no longer over me,
Then Sin, triumph no longer over me,
66
ffor I in Christ have conquer’d Death and thee:
For I in Christ have conquered Death and thee.
For I, in Christ,
Critical Note
See John Donne’s “Death be not Proud,” which suggests that an individual’s resurrection “kills” Death (“Death, thou shalt die”).
have conquered Death and thee
.
The
X (Close panel)Notes: Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

My editorial goals are accessibility and attention to the multiplicity of interpretation. By modernizing spelling and punctuation according to American standards and by providing a gloss for archaic words, I make the poem legible for a wide array of readers and students. Some notes are designed to offer contextual information indicating Pulter’s intellectual breadth—for instance, the way that her chosen lexicon blends cosmological, scientific, and religious domains. Other notes seek to illuminate Pulter’s poetic craft by offering commentary on the syntactical and formal features in the text, some of which present knotty puzzles that entangle the reading experience.

 Headnote

This first poem in Poems Breathed Forth by the Noble Hadassas is the only one written in sixains (ABABCC). The speaker’s use of apostrophe in the first three sections serves to vivify elements of the natural world as interlocutors, and thus introduces a theme that will thread throughout the poems: the animation of the physical world. “The Eclipse”’s interest in blending the discourses of cosmology and salvation is explored in numerous poems. Here the speaker moves from accusations that external objects in the skies block her access to the sun (figuratively God), to complaints about abstract personifications (Death), and finally to recognition that her internal transgressions impede her faith. The final stanza nestles the speaker “in Christ” as the solution to her initial, spatially expressed alienation. When John Donne similarly takes up faith and astronomy in “Good Friday: Riding Westward,” by contrast, he relies on the older Ptolemaic cosmology and the doctrine of correspondences. One popular literary source for information about Copernicanism was Henry More’s 1647 Philosophical Poems, especially “Psychathanasia, or The Second Part of the Song of the Soul.”
Line number 6

 Gloss note

dissipate, purify
Line number 6

 Critical note

Pulter often deploys the alchemical term “rarefy” to describe both material and spiritual transformations. In alchemy, the process of rarefaction involves the purification of a substance by separating the essence from its “gross” elements. This involved condensation (mentioned in the second stanza) or vaporization (and alchemy uses the language of rebirth and renewal shared by Christianity). On Pulter’s use of “rarefy,” see, for instance, The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Circle [2] [Poem 21]; and The Invocation of the Elements [Poem 41]. In “The Eclipse,” the clouds are imagined to cycle from transparency, to vapors, and, perhaps, to rain, inaugurating another cycle. The “variable condition” (l. 5) that the speaker sees as linking her to the physical world makes both subject to decay, but also mobile enough to undergo the “passage through revolution” toward salvation (l. 45). The poem thus trades on language embedded in both alchemy and Christianity.
Line number 8

 Critical note


“Dissolve” and “dissolution” are terms Pulter often uses to signal the interconnection of disintegrative and reconstructive cycles of formative elements (see, for example, the poems Universal Dissolution [Poem 6] and Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48]). The rhyme linkage between “dissolve” and “revolve” conflates creative evolution with erosion and death. On this correspondence, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble [Poem 40], which includes this declaration (ll. 29-32):

Then whether dissolution,
Or Transmigration,
Or rolling revolution
All ends in thy salvation

and Why Are Thou Sad [Poem 47], where the speaker writes of sunrise (ll. 11-12):

Methinks it’s like the revolution
Of life, and death, and life
Line number 9

 Gloss note

intervention
Line number 10

 Gloss note

turn, return, or evolve
Line number 10

 Critical note

A recurrent trope in the poems, “revolution” not only bespeaks a cycle of creation and destruction, but also connects the motions of mind, planets, elements, and soul (as they evolve, in relation to the body, to an eventual spiritual form). For instance, Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48] describes the soul’s gradual ascent up the “stairs of revolution.” Pulter composed many of her poems during a time when the term “revolution” would have implicitly referenced the civil war, but she reappropriates the term (in “The Eclipse” and elsewhere) to validate a royalist order in which the sun (figuratively God and the king) orders proper revolution.
Line number 11

 Gloss note

concentration; becoming more solid
Line number 12

 Gloss note

satisfaction
Line number 12

 Critical note

Contentation refers to the state of being satisfied, accepting a situation, or a source of satisfaction or pleasure.
Line number 13

 Gloss note

sorrowful; heavy; steadfast
Line number 15

 Critical note

The creation of human form from the earth. Cf. Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Line number 18

 Gloss note

the moon
Line number 18

 Critical note

In describing a lunar eclipse, in which the shadow of earth obscures the light of the moon, this stanza confirms Pulter’s knowledge of current astronomy and implies a heliocentric universe. For poems that reflect particulars of a Galilean-Copernican cosmology, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Center [Poem 30]; The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]; This Was Written 1648 [Poem 45]; and A Solitary Complaint [Poem 54]. For a less sanguine view of the emerging paradigm of heliocentrism, see Donne, “An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
Line number 22

 Gloss note

separation into parts or constituent elements; the reduction of any body or mass to elements or atoms; liquefaction; termination of life, death
Line number 23

 Gloss note

blazing fire
Line number 24

 Critical note

In viewing the eclipse only as a material manifestation of her alienation from God, the speaker departs from the conventional early modern view of eclipses as omens of negative events or signs of divine disapproval. For an early modern text mocking people’s fear of eclipses, see “On bugbear Black-Monday, March 29.1652, Or, The London-Fright at the Eclipse proceeding from a Natural Cause” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
Line number 25

 Gloss note

spherical
Line number 26

 Critical note

Emblem 48 refers to Apollo and Diana as the “Delian twins”; throughout the poems, Pulter unusually refers to the male sun God (from Delos) as “Delia,” a name that conventionally identifies the female moon goddess. In distinguishing this solar eclipse from the lunar eclipse of the second section, the poem also displays familiarity with contemporary scientific developments.
Line number 27

 Critical note

Cf. Amos 8:9: “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.” Pulter may be alluding to the darkened sky at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, which some interpreted as an eclipse: “And it was about about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened” (Luke 23:44-45).
Line number 28

 Gloss note

In astrology, the ethereal fluid streaming from the stars or heavens that acted on the character and destiny of people.
Line number 28

 Critical note

In The Caucasines (Emblem 52) [Poem 117], Pulter uses the metaphor of a solar eclipse to describe ways that a plague-like parliamentary opposition obscured the royal sun.
Line number 30

 Gloss note

alignment of celestial bodies
Line number 31

 Gloss note

the fates of Greek myth
Line number 34

 Critical note

The word here signifies multiple states of nothingness: an ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; the utmost state of confusion. It also can mean “the natural environment of a person or thing,” as in night’s most basic habitat. For this meaning, see Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621): “Creatures, whose Chaos is the earth” (II.ii.iii.320). In mythology Chaos was the oldest of the gods, the parent of Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (night), and thus the source for all darkness. This stanza has the moon subject to the Fates, with the result that it will lose its reflected light when the sun dies (with the extinction of the entire physical world).
Line number 40

 Gloss note

be enclosed; turn
Line number 47

 Critical note

The lack of punctuation after "excel" allows for an ambiguity that hints at the unknowable nature of the divine: does God excel in his capacity to love or in his infinite power? In either case, God is said to have triumphed over death.
Line number 49

 Critical note

The manuscript has no number 5 (nor no 6 for the last stanza), but the logic of the double-stanza structure of 1-4 suggests that one should be here, as the speaker turns away from external blockages to the more basic and internal impediments to salvation and finally to the declaration of triumph.
Line number 58

 Critical note

Cf. Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
Line number 61

 Critical note

This line reverses the act of eating established in l. 44, where the speaker is perilously consumed in Death’s mouth; here feeding is associated with the Eucharist.
Line number 63

 Critical note

Lack of punctuation here allows for ambiguity: “And that poor I might live, in death did bleed” suggests that death is the action of Christ; “And that poor I might live in death, did bleed” has the speaker attain life only after her death. In either case, Christ’s death on the cross enables the speaker’s redemption.
Line number 64

 Critical note

The repetition of “take” brings out multiple meanings of the word: the first use (two lines above) accentuates the act of transferring something into someone’s possession, while the second emphasizes transport of a person.
Line number 66

 Critical note

See John Donne’s “Death be not Proud,” which suggests that an individual’s resurrection “kills” Death (“Death, thou shalt die”).
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X (Close panel)Amplified Edition
Amplified Edition

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The Eclips
The
Gloss Note
In astronomy, an eclipse is the obscuring of the light of the sun or the moon by another body. This might occur when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow or when the moon comes between the observer and the sun; in a figurative sense, an eclipse may refer to the (sometimes temporary) loss of brilliance or distinction of any kind.
Eclipse
The Eclipse
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.

— 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.

— Wendy Wall
My editorial goals are accessibility and attention to the multiplicity of interpretation. By modernizing spelling and punctuation according to American standards and by providing a gloss for archaic words, I make the poem legible for a wide array of readers and students. Some notes are designed to offer contextual information indicating Pulter’s intellectual breadth—for instance, the way that her chosen lexicon blends cosmological, scientific, and religious domains. Other notes seek to illuminate Pulter’s poetic craft by offering commentary on the syntactical and formal features in the text, some of which present knotty puzzles that entangle the reading experience.

— Wendy Wall
The first poem in Pulter’s manuscript boldly traverses vast distances—cosmological, mythological, and theological—as the speaker objects to various obstacles to her clear vision of the heavens: that is, both the skies above and, ultimately, the God above them. Uniquely among her poems, “The Eclipse” is set forth in numbered sections, with numerals 1 through 4 carving out two-sestain sections, each addressing a distinct figure: clouds, the earth, the moon. These figures are characterized as material obstacles which are in the way at the moment but ultimately mortal; the speaker seems comforted by her contemplation, or the threat, of their eventual “dissolution.” Mortality itself, in the form of a personified Death, is then directly addressed in the fourth section, while in what could be considered the unnumbered fifth section, the speaker turns to sin as the most obdurate obstacle between herself and heaven. While the ranks of obstacles thus assembled each in turn appear formidable, only the last sees the speaker daunted, before a final stanza expresses her faith in Christ’s triumph over sin on her behalf. The poem is in iambic pentameter stanzas, rhyming ABABCC.

— Wendy Wall
This first poem in Poems Breathed Forth by the Noble Hadassas is the only one written in sixains (ABABCC). The speaker’s use of apostrophe in the first three sections serves to vivify elements of the natural world as interlocutors, and thus introduces a theme that will thread throughout the poems: the animation of the physical world. “The Eclipse”’s interest in blending the discourses of cosmology and salvation is explored in numerous poems. Here the speaker moves from accusations that external objects in the skies block her access to the sun (figuratively God), to complaints about abstract personifications (Death), and finally to recognition that her internal transgressions impede her faith. The final stanza nestles the speaker “in Christ” as the solution to her initial, spatially expressed alienation. When John Donne similarly takes up faith and astronomy in “Good Friday: Riding Westward,” by contrast, he relies on the older Ptolemaic cosmology and the doctrine of correspondences. One popular literary source for information about Copernicanism was Henry More’s 1647 Philosophical Poems, especially “Psychathanasia, or The Second Part of the Song of the Soul.”

— Wendy Wall
1
1
1
1
Physical Note
“1” in left margin
Why
doe those frowning vapours interpose
Why do those frowning
Gloss Note
clouds
vapors
interpose
Why do those frowning vapors interpose
2
betweene the bright expantion and mine eyes:
Between the bright
Gloss Note
sky, heavens
expansion
and my eyes,
Between the bright expansion and my eyes,
3
By whose unkindnes for a time I loose,
By whose unkindness for a time I lose
By whose unkindness for a time I lose
4
The be^avteous proſpect of
Physical Note
Terminal “e” in “these” and “ſkies” is a scribal abbreviation for “es.”
the Azure ſkies
:
The beauteous prospect of these
Gloss Note
blue
azure
skies?
The beauteous prospect of the azure skies?
5
Denie not thus my ſight to
Physical Note
While the final letter appears like the scribal abbreviation for “es” in the previous line (in the word “∫kies,”) it appears here to be an error; the scribe’s mistake has created an unwitting linkage between lines 3 and 4.
ſatiſfie
,
Deny not thus my sight to satisfy,
Deny not thus my sight to satisfy,
6
Malicious clouds, before you rarifie:
Malicious clouds, before you
Critical Note
to dissipate, grow thinner, especially by expansion; to refine; also a technical term used in alchemy for when a material is purified
rarefy
.
Malicious clouds, before you
Gloss Note
dissipate, purify
Critical Note
Pulter often deploys the alchemical term “rarefy” to describe both material and spiritual transformations. In alchemy, the process of rarefaction involves the purification of a substance by separating the essence from its “gross” elements. This involved condensation (mentioned in the second stanza) or vaporization (and alchemy uses the language of rebirth and renewal shared by Christianity). On Pulter’s use of “rarefy,” see, for instance, The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Circle [2] [Poem 21]; and The Invocation of the Elements [Poem 41]. In “The Eclipse,” the clouds are imagined to cycle from transparency, to vapors, and, perhaps, to rain, inaugurating another cycle. The “variable condition” (l. 5) that the speaker sees as linking her to the physical world makes both subject to decay, but also mobile enough to undergo the “passage through revolution” toward salvation (l. 45). The poem thus trades on language embedded in both alchemy and Christianity.
rarefy
.
7
For you are of a variable condition
For you are of a variable condition
For you are of a variable condition
8
as well as I, and ſhall ere long diſſolve,
As well as I, and shall
Gloss Note
before
ere
long dissolve;
As well as I, and shall ere long
Critical Note

“Dissolve” and “dissolution” are terms Pulter often uses to signal the interconnection of disintegrative and reconstructive cycles of formative elements (see, for example, the poems Universal Dissolution [Poem 6] and Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48]). The rhyme linkage between “dissolve” and “revolve” conflates creative evolution with erosion and death. On this correspondence, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble [Poem 40], which includes this declaration (ll. 29-32):

Then whether dissolution,
Or Transmigration,
Or rolling revolution
All ends in thy salvation

and Why Are Thou Sad [Poem 47], where the speaker writes of sunrise (ll. 11-12):

Methinks it’s like the revolution
Of life, and death, and life
dissolve
;
9
Glory not then in interpoſition,
Glory not, then, in
Gloss Note
interference, intervention
interposition
,
Glory not then in
Gloss Note
intervention
interposition
,
10
ffor into other
Physical Note
“e” appears written over earlier “i”
Elements
revolve
For into other elements
Gloss Note
to turn (about an axis) or return (to a place or state); to intertwine; to overturn by placing in motion
revolve
For into other elements
Gloss Note
turn, return, or evolve
Critical Note
A recurrent trope in the poems, “revolution” not only bespeaks a cycle of creation and destruction, but also connects the motions of mind, planets, elements, and soul (as they evolve, in relation to the body, to an eventual spiritual form). For instance, Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48] describes the soul’s gradual ascent up the “stairs of revolution.” Pulter composed many of her poems during a time when the term “revolution” would have implicitly referenced the civil war, but she reappropriates the term (in “The Eclipse” and elsewhere) to validate a royalist order in which the sun (figuratively God and the king) orders proper revolution.
revolve
11
You muſt; perhaps by condenſation
You must, perhaps by
Gloss Note
the conversion of a gas to a liquid (i.e., rain)
condensation
;
You must, perhaps by
Gloss Note
concentration; becoming more solid
condensation
;
12
hinder not then (ſo poore) a contentation
Hinder not, then, so poor a
Gloss Note
satisfaction; a source of pleasure; compensation
contentation
.
Hinder not then so poor a
Gloss Note
satisfaction
Critical Note
Contentation refers to the state of being satisfied, accepting a situation, or a source of satisfaction or pleasure.
contentation
.
2
2
2
13
Physical Note
“2” in left margin
And
thou ſad, pondrous, paſſive, Globe of Earth
And thou, sad,
Gloss Note
heavy, slow-moving
pond’rous
, passive globe of earth,
And thou,
Gloss Note
sorrowful; heavy; steadfast
sad
, pond’rous, passive, globe of earth,
14
though for thy weight thou canst not mount aboue
Though,
Gloss Note
because of
for
thy weight, thou canst not mount above,
Though for thy weight thou canst not mount above,
15
and though from thee my baſer parts tooke birth
And though, from thee,
Gloss Note
the body, material elements
my baser parts
took birth,
And though from thee my
Critical Note
The creation of human form from the earth. Cf. Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
baser parts took birth
,
16
Yet dost thou ſhew to me more hate then loue
Yet dost thou show to me more hate than love:
Yet dost thou show to me more hate than love,
17
ffor with thy ſhadow thou Eclip’st the light
For, with thy shadow, thou eclipsed the light
For with thy shadow thou eclipsed the light
18
of ſplendent Phebe from my feeble ſight
Of
Gloss Note
shining brightly
splendent
Gloss Note
In Greek mythology, Phoebe is goddess of the moon.
Phoebe
from my feeble sight.
Of splendent
Gloss Note
the moon
Phoebe
from my
Critical Note
In describing a lunar eclipse, in which the shadow of earth obscures the light of the moon, this stanza confirms Pulter’s knowledge of current astronomy and implies a heliocentric universe. For poems that reflect particulars of a Galilean-Copernican cosmology, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Center [Poem 30]; The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]; This Was Written 1648 [Poem 45]; and A Solitary Complaint [Poem 54]. For a less sanguine view of the emerging paradigm of heliocentrism, see Donne, “An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
feeble sight
.
19
Surely thy deſtinie is known to thee
Surely thy destiny is known to thee,
Surely thy destiny is known to thee,
20
and the continuall revolution:
And the continual
Critical Note
rotation; a recurring period of time; an alteration, upheaval, reversal of fortune; a rebellion, overthrow of established government with substitution of new
revolution
And the continual revolution
21
Of Elements as wee doe hourly ſee
Of elements, as we do hourly see,
Of elements as we do hourly see,
22
and thy irrevocable diſſolution:
And thy irrevocable dissolution,
And thy irrevocable
Gloss Note
separation into parts or constituent elements; the reduction of any body or mass to elements or atoms; liquefaction; termination of life, death
dissolution
23
As well as
Physical Note
appears corrected from “thine”; visible erasure marks of ascenders as for “th,” with remainder overwritten with “m”
mine
or rather conflagration
As well as mine—or, rather,
Gloss Note
a blazing fire
conflagration
:
As well as mine, or rather,
Gloss Note
blazing fire
conflagration
;
24
Then envie not (for ſhame) my contentation:
Then envy not (for shame) my contentation.
Then envy not (for shame) my
Critical Note
In viewing the eclipse only as a material manifestation of her alienation from God, the speaker departs from the conventional early modern view of eclipses as omens of negative events or signs of divine disapproval. For an early modern text mocking people’s fear of eclipses, see “On bugbear Black-Monday, March 29.1652, Or, The London-Fright at the Eclipse proceeding from a Natural Cause” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
contentation
.

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3
3
3
25
Physical Note
“3” in left margin
And
thou darke body of the Globius Moone
And thou, dark body of the
Gloss Note
spherical
globious
moon
And thou, dark body of the
Gloss Note
spherical
globious
moon
26
That dost obſcure the Radiant Delia’s ſight:
That dost obscure the radiant
Critical Note
In Greek myth, Delius is also called Apollo, the sun god from Delos; in this edition the word has been altered from the manuscript, which reads “Delia’s” (for Delia, the Greek moon goddess).
Delius’s
sight,
That dost obscure the radiant
Critical Note
Emblem 48 refers to Apollo and Diana as the “Delian twins”; throughout the poems, Pulter unusually refers to the male sun God (from Delos) as “Delia,” a name that conventionally identifies the female moon goddess. In distinguishing this solar eclipse from the lunar eclipse of the second section, the poem also displays familiarity with contemporary scientific developments.
Delia’s
sight,
27
Threatning to make my ſun to ſet at Noone
Threat’ning to make my sun to set at noon,
Threat’ning to make
Critical Note
Cf. Amos 8:9: “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.” Pulter may be alluding to the darkened sky at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, which some interpreted as an eclipse: “And it was about about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened” (Luke 23:44-45).
my sun to set at noon
,
28
Whereby I lose his influence and light:
Whereby I lose his influence and light:
Whereby I lose his
Gloss Note
In astrology, the ethereal fluid streaming from the stars or heavens that acted on the character and destiny of people.
influence
and
Critical Note
In The Caucasines (Emblem 52) [Poem 117], Pulter uses the metaphor of a solar eclipse to describe ways that a plague-like parliamentary opposition obscured the royal sun.
light
:
29
Dost thou not know inevitable fate
Dost thou not know inevitable fate?
Dost thou not know inevitable fate?
30
Then in conjunctions doe not ſhew thy hate:
Then in
Gloss Note
alignment of celestial bodies
conjunctions
do not show thy hate.
Then in
Gloss Note
alignment of celestial bodies
conjunctions
do not shew thy hate.
31
ffor the impartiall
Physical Note
erased minuscule “p” under current majuscule; second final “e” partially blotted
Parce
now have Spun
For the impartial
Gloss Note
In Greek myth, these are three female Fates who determine the length of human lives, represented as threads.
Parcae
now have spun
For the impartial
Gloss Note
the fates of Greek myth
Parcae
now have spun
32
Thy thread (and mine) then he that lends thee light:
Thy thread (and mine); then
Gloss Note
the sun
he
that lends thee light
Thy thread (and mine); then he that lends thee light
33
ſhall wane himſelfe, and darke ſhall be thy ſun,
Shall
Gloss Note
decrease
wane
himself, and dark shall be thy sun,
Shall wane himself, and dark shall be thy sun,
34
As in the Chaos were the ſhades of Night:
As in the
Gloss Note
the ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; or a state of confusion.
chaos
were the shades of night;
As in the
Critical Note
The word here signifies multiple states of nothingness: an ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; the utmost state of confusion. It also can mean “the natural environment of a person or thing,” as in night’s most basic habitat. For this meaning, see Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621): “Creatures, whose Chaos is the earth” (II.ii.iii.320). In mythology Chaos was the oldest of the gods, the parent of Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (night), and thus the source for all darkness. This stanza has the moon subject to the Fates, with the result that it will lose its reflected light when the sun dies (with the extinction of the entire physical world).
chaos
were the shades of night;
35
Then ſhall your ſhineing Spheres w:thfervo:r
Physical Note
final “s” appears blotted
melt
Then shall your shining spheres with
Gloss Note
intense heat or zeal
fervor
melt;
Then shall your shining spheres with fervor melt,
36
Then ſhall be done by thee as thou hast de^alt:
Then shall be done by thee as thou has dealt.
Then shall be done by thee as thou has dealt.
4
4
4
37
Physical Note
“4” in left margin
But
O mortalitie
Physical Note
original “it is” altered by erasing “i” and adding ligature between “t” and “i”
tis
thou alone
But O, Mortality, ’tis thou alone
But O, Mortality, ’tis thou alone
38
That dost obſcure bright Glory from my ſoule.
That dost obscure bright glory from my soul;
That dost obscure bright glory from my soul.
39
Tis thou that fet’rest me with flesh and bone
’Tis thou that fett’rest me with flesh and bone,
’Tis thou that fett’rest me with flesh and bone
40
And mak’st me here in dust and Ashes Rowle
And mak’st me here in dust and ashes roll,
And mak’st me here in dust and ashes
Gloss Note
be enclosed; turn
roll
,
41
Preſenting to me transitory toyes
Presenting to me transitory toys,
Presenting to me transitory toys
42
And hidest from my Soule Celestiall Joyes
And hidest from my soul celestial joys.
And hidest from my soul celestial joys.
43
But Death; triumph not in my diſſolucon
But, Death, triumph not in my dissolution,
But Death, triumph not in my dissolution,
44
ffor though thou hold’st in thy curſed Jawes
For though thou
Critical Note
The object of this verb (such as “me” or “us”) is absent in the manuscript.
holdest
in thy curséd jaws,
For though thou holdest in thy curséd jaws,
45
And
Physical Note
possibly added later than surrounding words
I
my paſſage make through Revolution
And I my passage make through revolution,
And I my passage make through revolution,
46
Humbly obedient to my Makers lawes
Humbly obedient to my Maker’s laws,
Humbly obedient to my maker’s laws,
47
Yet he that doth in infinite power excell
Yet
Gloss Note
Christ
He
that doth in infinite power excel,
Critical Note
The lack of punctuation after "excel" allows for an ambiguity that hints at the unknowable nature of the divine: does God excel in his capacity to love or in his infinite power? In either case, God is said to have triumphed over death.
Yet he that doth in infinite power excel
48
In love to me hath Conquer’d Death and Hell
In love to me, hath conquered Death and Hell.
In love to me hath conquered Death and Hell.

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5
49
But oh my ſins (my ſins) and none but those
But O, my sins (my sins), and none but those,
Critical Note
The manuscript has no number 5 (nor no 6 for the last stanza), but the logic of the double-stanza structure of 1-4 suggests that one should be here, as the speaker turns away from external blockages to the more basic and internal impediments to salvation and finally to the declaration of triumph.
But
O, my sins (my sins), and none but those,
50
Makes my poore ſoule o’re flow w:th sad anoy
Makes my poor soul o’erflow with sad annoy;
Make my poor soul o’er flow with sad annoy,
51
Tis they and none but they doe interpose
’Tis they, and none but they, do interpose
’Tis they and none but they do interpose
52
Twixt heaven and
Physical Note
possible pen-rest or comma after
me
and doth Eclips my Joy
’Twixt heaven and me, and doth eclipse my joy;
’Twixt heaven and me, and doth eclipse my joy;
53
Tis neither clowdes, nor Moone nor ſhades of Earth
’Tis neither clouds, nor moon, nor shades of earth
’Tis neither clouds, nor moon, nor shades of earth
54
Could keepe my ſoule from whence ſhe had her birth
Could keep my soul from whence she had her birth.
Could keep my soul from whence she had her birth.
55
For were my ſoule from all transgreſſion free
For were my soul from all transgression free,
For were my soul from all transgression free,
56
Earths fadeing pleaſures I would then deſpise
Earth’s fading pleasures I would then despise;
Earth’s fading pleasures I would then despise,
57
Corruption I would trample over thee
Corruption, I would trample over thee,
Corruption I would trample over thee
58
And with Swift Eagles wings
Physical Note
lower part of “d” blotted; “ould” erased in space following
I’d
mount ye Skies
And
Critical Note
KJV, Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
with swift eagle’s wings I’d mount the skies
;
And with
Critical Note
Cf. Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
swift eagle’s wings
I’d mount the skies,
59
But o my Sins they will not let mee flie
But O, my sins, they will not let me fly;
But O, my sins, they will not let me fly,
60
They fetter me more than Mortalitie.
They fetter me more than mortality.
They fetter me more than mortality.
6
61
But yet my
Physical Note
above, “S” or “ſ” appears twice
Saviour
Physical Note
multiple strike-throughs, blotted; subscript caret visible between words, and curling line above struck-through “o” of “doth”
doth^hope
me^with hope doth feed
But yet my
Critical Note
The savior is Jesus Christ, the human form of God (who in this form took on humanity’s “curséd nature”).
Savior
me with hope doth feed,
But yet my savior with hope me
Critical Note
This line reverses the act of eating established in l. 44, where the speaker is perilously consumed in Death’s mouth; here feeding is associated with the Eucharist.
doth feed
,
62
Who did in love my curſed nature take
Who did in love my curséd nature take,
Who did in love my curséd nature take,
63
And that poore I might
Physical Note
possible comma after
live
in Death did Bleed
And, that poor I might live in death, did bleed;
Critical Note
Lack of punctuation here allows for ambiguity: “And that poor I might live, in death did bleed” suggests that death is the action of Christ; “And that poor I might live in death, did bleed” has the speaker attain life only after her death. In either case, Christ’s death on the cross enables the speaker’s redemption.
And that poor I might live in death did bleed
,
64
he to Eternall Glory will mee take
He to eternal glory will me take.
He to eternal glory will me
Critical Note
The repetition of “take” brings out multiple meanings of the word: the first use (two lines above) accentuates the act of transferring something into someone’s possession, while the second emphasizes transport of a person.
take
;
65
Then Sin triumph noe longer over mee
Then, Sin, triumph no longer over me,
Then Sin, triumph no longer over me,
66
ffor I in Christ have conquer’d Death and thee:
For I in Christ have conquered Death and thee.
For I, in Christ,
Critical Note
See John Donne’s “Death be not Proud,” which suggests that an individual’s resurrection “kills” Death (“Death, thou shalt die”).
have conquered Death and thee
.
The
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Elemental Edition
Title note

 Gloss note

In astronomy, an eclipse is the obscuring of the light of the sun or the moon by another body. This might occur when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow or when the moon comes between the observer and the sun; in a figurative sense, an eclipse may refer to the (sometimes temporary) loss of brilliance or distinction of any kind.
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 editorial goals are accessibility and attention to the multiplicity of interpretation. By modernizing spelling and punctuation according to American standards and by providing a gloss for archaic words, I make the poem legible for a wide array of readers and students. Some notes are designed to offer contextual information indicating Pulter’s intellectual breadth—for instance, the way that her chosen lexicon blends cosmological, scientific, and religious domains. Other notes seek to illuminate Pulter’s poetic craft by offering commentary on the syntactical and formal features in the text, some of which present knotty puzzles that entangle the reading experience.
Elemental Edition

 Headnote

The first poem in Pulter’s manuscript boldly traverses vast distances—cosmological, mythological, and theological—as the speaker objects to various obstacles to her clear vision of the heavens: that is, both the skies above and, ultimately, the God above them. Uniquely among her poems, “The Eclipse” is set forth in numbered sections, with numerals 1 through 4 carving out two-sestain sections, each addressing a distinct figure: clouds, the earth, the moon. These figures are characterized as material obstacles which are in the way at the moment but ultimately mortal; the speaker seems comforted by her contemplation, or the threat, of their eventual “dissolution.” Mortality itself, in the form of a personified Death, is then directly addressed in the fourth section, while in what could be considered the unnumbered fifth section, the speaker turns to sin as the most obdurate obstacle between herself and heaven. While the ranks of obstacles thus assembled each in turn appear formidable, only the last sees the speaker daunted, before a final stanza expresses her faith in Christ’s triumph over sin on her behalf. The poem is in iambic pentameter stanzas, rhyming ABABCC.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

This first poem in Poems Breathed Forth by the Noble Hadassas is the only one written in sixains (ABABCC). The speaker’s use of apostrophe in the first three sections serves to vivify elements of the natural world as interlocutors, and thus introduces a theme that will thread throughout the poems: the animation of the physical world. “The Eclipse”’s interest in blending the discourses of cosmology and salvation is explored in numerous poems. Here the speaker moves from accusations that external objects in the skies block her access to the sun (figuratively God), to complaints about abstract personifications (Death), and finally to recognition that her internal transgressions impede her faith. The final stanza nestles the speaker “in Christ” as the solution to her initial, spatially expressed alienation. When John Donne similarly takes up faith and astronomy in “Good Friday: Riding Westward,” by contrast, he relies on the older Ptolemaic cosmology and the doctrine of correspondences. One popular literary source for information about Copernicanism was Henry More’s 1647 Philosophical Poems, especially “Psychathanasia, or The Second Part of the Song of the Soul.”
Transcription
Line number 1

 Physical note

“1” in left margin
Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

clouds
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

sky, heavens
Transcription
Line number 4

 Physical note

Terminal “e” in “these” and “ſkies” is a scribal abbreviation for “es.”
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

blue
Transcription
Line number 5

 Physical note

While the final letter appears like the scribal abbreviation for “es” in the previous line (in the word “∫kies,”) it appears here to be an error; the scribe’s mistake has created an unwitting linkage between lines 3 and 4.
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Critical note

to dissipate, grow thinner, especially by expansion; to refine; also a technical term used in alchemy for when a material is purified
Amplified Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

dissipate, purify
Amplified Edition
Line number 6

 Critical note

Pulter often deploys the alchemical term “rarefy” to describe both material and spiritual transformations. In alchemy, the process of rarefaction involves the purification of a substance by separating the essence from its “gross” elements. This involved condensation (mentioned in the second stanza) or vaporization (and alchemy uses the language of rebirth and renewal shared by Christianity). On Pulter’s use of “rarefy,” see, for instance, The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Circle [2] [Poem 21]; and The Invocation of the Elements [Poem 41]. In “The Eclipse,” the clouds are imagined to cycle from transparency, to vapors, and, perhaps, to rain, inaugurating another cycle. The “variable condition” (l. 5) that the speaker sees as linking her to the physical world makes both subject to decay, but also mobile enough to undergo the “passage through revolution” toward salvation (l. 45). The poem thus trades on language embedded in both alchemy and Christianity.
Elemental Edition
Line number 8

 Gloss note

before
Amplified Edition
Line number 8

 Critical note


“Dissolve” and “dissolution” are terms Pulter often uses to signal the interconnection of disintegrative and reconstructive cycles of formative elements (see, for example, the poems Universal Dissolution [Poem 6] and Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48]). The rhyme linkage between “dissolve” and “revolve” conflates creative evolution with erosion and death. On this correspondence, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble [Poem 40], which includes this declaration (ll. 29-32):

Then whether dissolution,
Or Transmigration,
Or rolling revolution
All ends in thy salvation

and Why Are Thou Sad [Poem 47], where the speaker writes of sunrise (ll. 11-12):

Methinks it’s like the revolution
Of life, and death, and life
Elemental Edition
Line number 9

 Gloss note

interference, intervention
Amplified Edition
Line number 9

 Gloss note

intervention
Transcription
Line number 10

 Physical note

“e” appears written over earlier “i”
Elemental Edition
Line number 10

 Gloss note

to turn (about an axis) or return (to a place or state); to intertwine; to overturn by placing in motion
Amplified Edition
Line number 10

 Gloss note

turn, return, or evolve
Amplified Edition
Line number 10

 Critical note

A recurrent trope in the poems, “revolution” not only bespeaks a cycle of creation and destruction, but also connects the motions of mind, planets, elements, and soul (as they evolve, in relation to the body, to an eventual spiritual form). For instance, Immense Fount of Truth [Poem 48] describes the soul’s gradual ascent up the “stairs of revolution.” Pulter composed many of her poems during a time when the term “revolution” would have implicitly referenced the civil war, but she reappropriates the term (in “The Eclipse” and elsewhere) to validate a royalist order in which the sun (figuratively God and the king) orders proper revolution.
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

the conversion of a gas to a liquid (i.e., rain)
Amplified Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

concentration; becoming more solid
Elemental Edition
Line number 12

 Gloss note

satisfaction; a source of pleasure; compensation
Amplified Edition
Line number 12

 Gloss note

satisfaction
Amplified Edition
Line number 12

 Critical note

Contentation refers to the state of being satisfied, accepting a situation, or a source of satisfaction or pleasure.
Transcription
Line number 13

 Physical note

“2” in left margin
Elemental Edition
Line number 13

 Gloss note

heavy, slow-moving
Amplified Edition
Line number 13

 Gloss note

sorrowful; heavy; steadfast
Elemental Edition
Line number 14

 Gloss note

because of
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

the body, material elements
Amplified Edition
Line number 15

 Critical note

The creation of human form from the earth. Cf. Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Elemental Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

shining brightly
Elemental Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

In Greek mythology, Phoebe is goddess of the moon.
Amplified Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

the moon
Amplified Edition
Line number 18

 Critical note

In describing a lunar eclipse, in which the shadow of earth obscures the light of the moon, this stanza confirms Pulter’s knowledge of current astronomy and implies a heliocentric universe. For poems that reflect particulars of a Galilean-Copernican cosmology, see The Revolution [Poem 16]; The Center [Poem 30]; The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]; This Was Written 1648 [Poem 45]; and A Solitary Complaint [Poem 54]. For a less sanguine view of the emerging paradigm of heliocentrism, see Donne, “An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
Elemental Edition
Line number 20

 Critical note

rotation; a recurring period of time; an alteration, upheaval, reversal of fortune; a rebellion, overthrow of established government with substitution of new
Amplified Edition
Line number 22

 Gloss note

separation into parts or constituent elements; the reduction of any body or mass to elements or atoms; liquefaction; termination of life, death
Transcription
Line number 23

 Physical note

appears corrected from “thine”; visible erasure marks of ascenders as for “th,” with remainder overwritten with “m”
Elemental Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

a blazing fire
Amplified Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

blazing fire
Amplified Edition
Line number 24

 Critical note

In viewing the eclipse only as a material manifestation of her alienation from God, the speaker departs from the conventional early modern view of eclipses as omens of negative events or signs of divine disapproval. For an early modern text mocking people’s fear of eclipses, see “On bugbear Black-Monday, March 29.1652, Or, The London-Fright at the Eclipse proceeding from a Natural Cause” in the “Curations” accompanying this poem.
Transcription
Line number 25

 Physical note

“3” in left margin
Elemental Edition
Line number 25

 Gloss note

spherical
Amplified Edition
Line number 25

 Gloss note

spherical
Elemental Edition
Line number 26

 Critical note

In Greek myth, Delius is also called Apollo, the sun god from Delos; in this edition the word has been altered from the manuscript, which reads “Delia’s” (for Delia, the Greek moon goddess).
Amplified Edition
Line number 26

 Critical note

Emblem 48 refers to Apollo and Diana as the “Delian twins”; throughout the poems, Pulter unusually refers to the male sun God (from Delos) as “Delia,” a name that conventionally identifies the female moon goddess. In distinguishing this solar eclipse from the lunar eclipse of the second section, the poem also displays familiarity with contemporary scientific developments.
Amplified Edition
Line number 27

 Critical note

Cf. Amos 8:9: “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.” Pulter may be alluding to the darkened sky at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, which some interpreted as an eclipse: “And it was about about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened” (Luke 23:44-45).
Amplified Edition
Line number 28

 Gloss note

In astrology, the ethereal fluid streaming from the stars or heavens that acted on the character and destiny of people.
Amplified Edition
Line number 28

 Critical note

In The Caucasines (Emblem 52) [Poem 117], Pulter uses the metaphor of a solar eclipse to describe ways that a plague-like parliamentary opposition obscured the royal sun.
Elemental Edition
Line number 30

 Gloss note

alignment of celestial bodies
Amplified Edition
Line number 30

 Gloss note

alignment of celestial bodies
Transcription
Line number 31

 Physical note

erased minuscule “p” under current majuscule; second final “e” partially blotted
Elemental Edition
Line number 31

 Gloss note

In Greek myth, these are three female Fates who determine the length of human lives, represented as threads.
Amplified Edition
Line number 31

 Gloss note

the fates of Greek myth
Elemental Edition
Line number 32

 Gloss note

the sun
Elemental Edition
Line number 33

 Gloss note

decrease
Elemental Edition
Line number 34

 Gloss note

the ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; or a state of confusion.
Amplified Edition
Line number 34

 Critical note

The word here signifies multiple states of nothingness: an ultimate abyss; the formless void before the creation of the universe; the utmost state of confusion. It also can mean “the natural environment of a person or thing,” as in night’s most basic habitat. For this meaning, see Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621): “Creatures, whose Chaos is the earth” (II.ii.iii.320). In mythology Chaos was the oldest of the gods, the parent of Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (night), and thus the source for all darkness. This stanza has the moon subject to the Fates, with the result that it will lose its reflected light when the sun dies (with the extinction of the entire physical world).
Transcription
Line number 35

 Physical note

final “s” appears blotted
Elemental Edition
Line number 35

 Gloss note

intense heat or zeal
Transcription
Line number 37

 Physical note

“4” in left margin
Transcription
Line number 37

 Physical note

original “it is” altered by erasing “i” and adding ligature between “t” and “i”
Amplified Edition
Line number 40

 Gloss note

be enclosed; turn
Elemental Edition
Line number 44

 Critical note

The object of this verb (such as “me” or “us”) is absent in the manuscript.
Transcription
Line number 45

 Physical note

possibly added later than surrounding words
Elemental Edition
Line number 47

 Gloss note

Christ
Amplified Edition
Line number 47

 Critical note

The lack of punctuation after "excel" allows for an ambiguity that hints at the unknowable nature of the divine: does God excel in his capacity to love or in his infinite power? In either case, God is said to have triumphed over death.
Amplified Edition
Line number 49

 Critical note

The manuscript has no number 5 (nor no 6 for the last stanza), but the logic of the double-stanza structure of 1-4 suggests that one should be here, as the speaker turns away from external blockages to the more basic and internal impediments to salvation and finally to the declaration of triumph.
Transcription
Line number 52

 Physical note

possible pen-rest or comma after
Transcription
Line number 58

 Physical note

lower part of “d” blotted; “ould” erased in space following
Elemental Edition
Line number 58

 Critical note

KJV, Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
Amplified Edition
Line number 58

 Critical note

Cf. Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
Transcription
Line number 61

 Physical note

above, “S” or “ſ” appears twice
Transcription
Line number 61

 Physical note

multiple strike-throughs, blotted; subscript caret visible between words, and curling line above struck-through “o” of “doth”
Elemental Edition
Line number 61

 Critical note

The savior is Jesus Christ, the human form of God (who in this form took on humanity’s “curséd nature”).
Amplified Edition
Line number 61

 Critical note

This line reverses the act of eating established in l. 44, where the speaker is perilously consumed in Death’s mouth; here feeding is associated with the Eucharist.
Transcription
Line number 63

 Physical note

possible comma after
Amplified Edition
Line number 63

 Critical note

Lack of punctuation here allows for ambiguity: “And that poor I might live, in death did bleed” suggests that death is the action of Christ; “And that poor I might live in death, did bleed” has the speaker attain life only after her death. In either case, Christ’s death on the cross enables the speaker’s redemption.
Amplified Edition
Line number 64

 Critical note

The repetition of “take” brings out multiple meanings of the word: the first use (two lines above) accentuates the act of transferring something into someone’s possession, while the second emphasizes transport of a person.
Amplified Edition
Line number 66

 Critical note

See John Donne’s “Death be not Proud,” which suggests that an individual’s resurrection “kills” Death (“Death, thou shalt die”).
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