The Hunted Hart (Emblem 22)

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The Hunted Hart (Emblem 22)

Poem #87

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 Elizabeth Kolkovich.

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

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

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Line number 1

 Physical note

previous poem concludes at top of page
Line number 20

 Physical note

double strike-through
Line number 20

 Physical note

in different hand from main scribe
Line number 22

 Physical note

“o” written over other letter
Line number 22

 Physical note

colon beneath superscript “th”
Line number 30

 Physical note

remaining half page blank
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Transcription
Transcription

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
[Emblem 22]
The Hunted Hart
(Emblem 22)
“The Hunted Hart”
(Emblem 22)
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
In my editions, I prioritize accessibility and multiple interpretive possibilities. To prepare these poems for a wide range of readers, I have modernized erratic early modern spelling, punctuation, and capitalization to conform to standard American usage. I gloss archaic definitions and confusing syntax, and I expand contractions, unless needed to maintain the integrity of the poem’s form. My notes investigate how Pulter’s poems engage with the literature and culture of mid-seventeenth-century England. At the same time, I emphasize how her poems are unique, how they respond to one another and seem to reveal their author’s individual circumstances and philosophies. It is worth noting that although Pulter’s poems survive in only one known source, they are not necessarily stable texts. The source manuscript features variants and revisions that invite multiple interpretations. I encourage readers to refer to the manuscript transcriptions and images on this site; my notes alert readers when the manuscript’s original spelling or physical features are especially worth considering.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
Karl Marx concluded that “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” 1 Two centuries earlier, Pulter also shockingly imagined her deity as a drug for oppressed creatures, much like the herbal medicine used by the deer in this emblem. Chased by hounds and arrow-wounded, such a creature is also found in “Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10): but where the deer there dies, the hart in this poem eventually discovers dittany, a healing plant. This hart, skilled in herbalism, is so successful in self-medicating as to outrun all pursuers and attain a life that sounds, paradoxically, as restful as death itself, where in “sweet shades [she] doth rest in peace.” Such a restful death-in-life, or life-in-death, is also the goal of the soul, tenor to the deer’s vehicle: just as terrified, dogged by spiritual enemies, heart-broken, sighing, weeping, all but exhausted and indeed “dissolved”—when the soul finds her own, perhaps more enduring and saving, cure. The speaker concludes by asking God to “let me trust in Thee,” since her ordeal is not only to outpace foes but simply to believe in the efficacy of this legendary ancient medicine.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
In this poem, Pulter compares a wounded hart to a grieving soul. Like a deer nearing death who is restored by a medicinal plant, a pained soul can turn to Christ for comfort and peace. This emblem functions as a prayer or meditation; the speaker assures herself that her pain will end eventually if she trusts in God. At the same time, the poem does not minimize the pain of grief, as its suffering deer and emotionally exhausted speaker move frantically through a cruel, oppressive world. Although a hart is a male deer, Pulter assigns it and the soul feminine pronouns. A feminized “hunted hart” also appears in Like Lily Leaves [Poem 9], in which Pulter compares an arrow-struck deer to her dying daughter Jane, and This Flying Fish (Emblem 25) [Poem 90], which uses the same image as an analogy for the death of King Charles I. When considered alongside those poems, this emblem’s surviving hart seems to indulge a fantasy of a magic balm able to prevent such losses or heal a broken heart. It also draws attention to Pulter’s medical knowledge. Many early modern women served as medical caregivers in their households and learned about healing plants by reading books on herbalism.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
22
Physical Note
previous poem concludes at top of page
The
hunted Hart when Shee begins to Tire
The hunted
Gloss Note
deer (generally referring to the male)
hart
, when she begins to tire,
The hunted
Gloss Note
male deer, with a pun on “heart”
hart
, when she begins to tire
2
Before her Vitall Spirits doth expire
Before her
Gloss Note
substances or fluids thought, at this time, to permeate the blood and organs and thought essential to the maintenance of life
vital spirits
doth expire,
Before her vital spirits doth expire,
3
Shee every way doth Rowl her weeping Eye
She every way doth roll her weeping eye;
She every way doth roll her weeping eye;
4
At last Shee finds her long’d for Dittany
At last she finds her longed for
Gloss Note
a medicinal plant supposed to be able to expel weapons and heal wounds
dittany
,
At last she finds her longed for
Gloss Note
plant with medicinal properties. See Seeking Dittany in the Curations for this poem.
dittany
,
5
Which having eat if Shee bee but alive
Which, having ate, if she be but alive,
Which, having
Gloss Note
eaten
eat
, if she be but alive,
6
It doth her fainting Spirit Soe Revive
It doth her fainting spirit so revive
It doth her fainting spirit so revive
7
That Shee out Runs all that her life purſue
That she outruns all that her life pursue;
That she outruns all that her life pursue.
8
Though they their Courage and their cryes Renew
Though they their courage and their cries renew,
Though they their courage and their cries renew,
9
Yet Shee trips on the Hounds their Yelping cease
Yet she trips on, the hounds their yelping cease,
Yet she trips on; the hounds their yelping cease,
10
And Shee in thoſe Sweet Shades doth Rest in Peace
And she in those sweet shades doth
Critical Note
This phrase, still familiar and already active in Pulter’s lifetime as a wish for the dead, briefly suggests that the deer has died, rather than being saved by the dittany. This blurring of seeming opposites, salvation and death (figured as “rest” here and two lines later), alludes to the Christian context which follows.
rest in peace
.
And she in those sweet shades doth rest in peace.
11
Thus if at any time Shee bee opprest
Thus, if at any time she be oppressed,
Thus if at any time she be oppressed,
12
In her lov’d Dittany Shee findeth Rest
In her loved dittany she findeth rest.
In her loved dittany, she findeth rest.
13
Even ^Soe a Soul which is or’e whelmd with griefe
Even so, a soul which is o’erwhelmed with grief,
Even so, a soul which is o’erwhelmed with grief
14
And ^in this Empty Orb finds noe Reliefe
And in this empty
Gloss Note
Earth
orb
finds no relief,
And in this empty
Gloss Note
Earth
orb
finds no relief,
15
Though preſent Sorrows doth her heart oppreſs
Though present sorrows doth her heart oppress,
Though present sorrows doth her heart oppress
16
And future fears afflict her thoughts noe leſs
And future fears afflict her thoughts no less,
And future fears afflict her thoughts no less,
17
Though her Sad Soul with Suffrings gi’ns to Tire
Though her sad soul with suff’rings
Gloss Note
begins
’gins
to tire,
Though her sad soul with suff’rings ’gins to tire,
18
Her ffainting Spirit Ready to expire
Her fainting spirit ready to expire,
Her fainting spirit ready to expire,
though

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
19
Though Shee is purſued by her Goastly ffoes
Though she is pursued by her
Gloss Note
spiritual, incorporeal; in “ghostly foes,” the sense might include specters or devils, or figuratively worries and fears
ghostly
foes,
Though she is pursued by her
Gloss Note
spiritual
ghostly
foes,
20
Who all her Ssins
Physical Note
double strike-through
doe
in their
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe
\true \
Coulours Shows
Who all her sins in
Critical Note
The pronoun is ambiguous: its immediate antecedent is “sins” (the true colors of which are shown), but the “ghostly foes” of the preceding lines could also be revealing the sins by means of their true colors. “To show one’s true colors” means to reveal one’s real character, especially when disreputable.
their
true colors shows,
Who all her sins in their true colors shows,
21
Her Soul beeing ffild with Horrid Helliſh ffears
Her soul being filled with horrid, hellish fears,
Her soul being filled with horrid, hellish fears,
22
Her Heart en’e
Physical Note
“o” written over other letter
broak
with Sighs, her eyes,
Physical Note
colon beneath superscript “th”
w:th
Tears,
Her heart e’en broke with sighs, her eyes with tears,
Her heart e’en broke with sighs, her eyes with tears,
23
Beeing quite diſſolvd, even fainting then Shee goes
Being quite
Gloss Note
disintegrated; weakened; destroyed; grew faint; dispersed; lost its binding force
dissolved
, even
Gloss Note
losing heart, giving way; growing weak; swooning; fading
fainting
: then she goes
Being quite
Gloss Note
melted into tears
dissolved
, even fainting, then she goes
24
To him who for her Sake his life did loſe
To
Gloss Note
Jesus Christ
Him
who for her sake his life did lose.
To
Gloss Note
Jesus Christ
Him
who for her sake his life did lose.
25
Then o my God though Sorrows doe involve
Then, O, my God, though sorrows do
Gloss Note
envelop, entangle; entwine (as in a spiral form); render intricate; implicate in a charge or crime; contain implicitly; include or affect in its operation; overwhelm or swallow up
involve
Then O, my God, though sorrows do
Gloss Note
overwhelm, swallow up
involve
26
My Sinfull Soul, though I to Tears diſſolv
My sinful soul, though I to tears dissolve,
My sinful soul, though I
Gloss Note
see Dissolved to Tears in the Curations for this poem
to tears dissolve
,
27
Or though my Spirit I Suſpire to Ayre
Or though my spirit I
Gloss Note
breathe [out]; sigh [forth], or utter with a sigh, esp. longingly. Pulter’s poems are titled as sighs “breathed forth.”
suspire
to air,
Or though my spirit I
Gloss Note
sigh; breathe out
suspire
to air,
28
Yet let mee trust in thee and not despair
Yet let me trust in Thee and not despair;
Yet let me trust in Thee and not despair;
29
And when my Sorrows and my Sins doe ceaſe
And when my sorrows and my sins do cease,
And when my sorrows and my sins do cease,
30
Let mee injoy thy everlasting
Physical Note
remaining half page blank
Peace
Let me enjoy Thy everlasting peace.
Let me enjoy Thy everlasting peace.
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

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

 Headnote

Karl Marx concluded that “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” 1 Two centuries earlier, Pulter also shockingly imagined her deity as a drug for oppressed creatures, much like the herbal medicine used by the deer in this emblem. Chased by hounds and arrow-wounded, such a creature is also found in “Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10): but where the deer there dies, the hart in this poem eventually discovers dittany, a healing plant. This hart, skilled in herbalism, is so successful in self-medicating as to outrun all pursuers and attain a life that sounds, paradoxically, as restful as death itself, where in “sweet shades [she] doth rest in peace.” Such a restful death-in-life, or life-in-death, is also the goal of the soul, tenor to the deer’s vehicle: just as terrified, dogged by spiritual enemies, heart-broken, sighing, weeping, all but exhausted and indeed “dissolved”—when the soul finds her own, perhaps more enduring and saving, cure. The speaker concludes by asking God to “let me trust in Thee,” since her ordeal is not only to outpace foes but simply to believe in the efficacy of this legendary ancient medicine.
Line number 1

 Gloss note

deer (generally referring to the male)
Line number 2

 Gloss note

substances or fluids thought, at this time, to permeate the blood and organs and thought essential to the maintenance of life
Line number 4

 Gloss note

a medicinal plant supposed to be able to expel weapons and heal wounds
Line number 10

 Critical note

This phrase, still familiar and already active in Pulter’s lifetime as a wish for the dead, briefly suggests that the deer has died, rather than being saved by the dittany. This blurring of seeming opposites, salvation and death (figured as “rest” here and two lines later), alludes to the Christian context which follows.
Line number 14

 Gloss note

Earth
Line number 17

 Gloss note

begins
Line number 19

 Gloss note

spiritual, incorporeal; in “ghostly foes,” the sense might include specters or devils, or figuratively worries and fears
Line number 20

 Critical note

The pronoun is ambiguous: its immediate antecedent is “sins” (the true colors of which are shown), but the “ghostly foes” of the preceding lines could also be revealing the sins by means of their true colors. “To show one’s true colors” means to reveal one’s real character, especially when disreputable.
Line number 23

 Gloss note

disintegrated; weakened; destroyed; grew faint; dispersed; lost its binding force
Line number 23

 Gloss note

losing heart, giving way; growing weak; swooning; fading
Line number 24

 Gloss note

Jesus Christ
Line number 25

 Gloss note

envelop, entangle; entwine (as in a spiral form); render intricate; implicate in a charge or crime; contain implicitly; include or affect in its operation; overwhelm or swallow up
Line number 27

 Gloss note

breathe [out]; sigh [forth], or utter with a sigh, esp. longingly. Pulter’s poems are titled as sighs “breathed forth.”
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Elemental Edition
Elemental Edition

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
[Emblem 22]
The Hunted Hart
(Emblem 22)
“The Hunted Hart”
(Emblem 22)
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
In my editions, I prioritize accessibility and multiple interpretive possibilities. To prepare these poems for a wide range of readers, I have modernized erratic early modern spelling, punctuation, and capitalization to conform to standard American usage. I gloss archaic definitions and confusing syntax, and I expand contractions, unless needed to maintain the integrity of the poem’s form. My notes investigate how Pulter’s poems engage with the literature and culture of mid-seventeenth-century England. At the same time, I emphasize how her poems are unique, how they respond to one another and seem to reveal their author’s individual circumstances and philosophies. It is worth noting that although Pulter’s poems survive in only one known source, they are not necessarily stable texts. The source manuscript features variants and revisions that invite multiple interpretations. I encourage readers to refer to the manuscript transcriptions and images on this site; my notes alert readers when the manuscript’s original spelling or physical features are especially worth considering.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
Karl Marx concluded that “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” 1 Two centuries earlier, Pulter also shockingly imagined her deity as a drug for oppressed creatures, much like the herbal medicine used by the deer in this emblem. Chased by hounds and arrow-wounded, such a creature is also found in “Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10): but where the deer there dies, the hart in this poem eventually discovers dittany, a healing plant. This hart, skilled in herbalism, is so successful in self-medicating as to outrun all pursuers and attain a life that sounds, paradoxically, as restful as death itself, where in “sweet shades [she] doth rest in peace.” Such a restful death-in-life, or life-in-death, is also the goal of the soul, tenor to the deer’s vehicle: just as terrified, dogged by spiritual enemies, heart-broken, sighing, weeping, all but exhausted and indeed “dissolved”—when the soul finds her own, perhaps more enduring and saving, cure. The speaker concludes by asking God to “let me trust in Thee,” since her ordeal is not only to outpace foes but simply to believe in the efficacy of this legendary ancient medicine.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
In this poem, Pulter compares a wounded hart to a grieving soul. Like a deer nearing death who is restored by a medicinal plant, a pained soul can turn to Christ for comfort and peace. This emblem functions as a prayer or meditation; the speaker assures herself that her pain will end eventually if she trusts in God. At the same time, the poem does not minimize the pain of grief, as its suffering deer and emotionally exhausted speaker move frantically through a cruel, oppressive world. Although a hart is a male deer, Pulter assigns it and the soul feminine pronouns. A feminized “hunted hart” also appears in Like Lily Leaves [Poem 9], in which Pulter compares an arrow-struck deer to her dying daughter Jane, and This Flying Fish (Emblem 25) [Poem 90], which uses the same image as an analogy for the death of King Charles I. When considered alongside those poems, this emblem’s surviving hart seems to indulge a fantasy of a magic balm able to prevent such losses or heal a broken heart. It also draws attention to Pulter’s medical knowledge. Many early modern women served as medical caregivers in their households and learned about healing plants by reading books on herbalism.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
22
Physical Note
previous poem concludes at top of page
The
hunted Hart when Shee begins to Tire
The hunted
Gloss Note
deer (generally referring to the male)
hart
, when she begins to tire,
The hunted
Gloss Note
male deer, with a pun on “heart”
hart
, when she begins to tire
2
Before her Vitall Spirits doth expire
Before her
Gloss Note
substances or fluids thought, at this time, to permeate the blood and organs and thought essential to the maintenance of life
vital spirits
doth expire,
Before her vital spirits doth expire,
3
Shee every way doth Rowl her weeping Eye
She every way doth roll her weeping eye;
She every way doth roll her weeping eye;
4
At last Shee finds her long’d for Dittany
At last she finds her longed for
Gloss Note
a medicinal plant supposed to be able to expel weapons and heal wounds
dittany
,
At last she finds her longed for
Gloss Note
plant with medicinal properties. See Seeking Dittany in the Curations for this poem.
dittany
,
5
Which having eat if Shee bee but alive
Which, having ate, if she be but alive,
Which, having
Gloss Note
eaten
eat
, if she be but alive,
6
It doth her fainting Spirit Soe Revive
It doth her fainting spirit so revive
It doth her fainting spirit so revive
7
That Shee out Runs all that her life purſue
That she outruns all that her life pursue;
That she outruns all that her life pursue.
8
Though they their Courage and their cryes Renew
Though they their courage and their cries renew,
Though they their courage and their cries renew,
9
Yet Shee trips on the Hounds their Yelping cease
Yet she trips on, the hounds their yelping cease,
Yet she trips on; the hounds their yelping cease,
10
And Shee in thoſe Sweet Shades doth Rest in Peace
And she in those sweet shades doth
Critical Note
This phrase, still familiar and already active in Pulter’s lifetime as a wish for the dead, briefly suggests that the deer has died, rather than being saved by the dittany. This blurring of seeming opposites, salvation and death (figured as “rest” here and two lines later), alludes to the Christian context which follows.
rest in peace
.
And she in those sweet shades doth rest in peace.
11
Thus if at any time Shee bee opprest
Thus, if at any time she be oppressed,
Thus if at any time she be oppressed,
12
In her lov’d Dittany Shee findeth Rest
In her loved dittany she findeth rest.
In her loved dittany, she findeth rest.
13
Even ^Soe a Soul which is or’e whelmd with griefe
Even so, a soul which is o’erwhelmed with grief,
Even so, a soul which is o’erwhelmed with grief
14
And ^in this Empty Orb finds noe Reliefe
And in this empty
Gloss Note
Earth
orb
finds no relief,
And in this empty
Gloss Note
Earth
orb
finds no relief,
15
Though preſent Sorrows doth her heart oppreſs
Though present sorrows doth her heart oppress,
Though present sorrows doth her heart oppress
16
And future fears afflict her thoughts noe leſs
And future fears afflict her thoughts no less,
And future fears afflict her thoughts no less,
17
Though her Sad Soul with Suffrings gi’ns to Tire
Though her sad soul with suff’rings
Gloss Note
begins
’gins
to tire,
Though her sad soul with suff’rings ’gins to tire,
18
Her ffainting Spirit Ready to expire
Her fainting spirit ready to expire,
Her fainting spirit ready to expire,
though

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
19
Though Shee is purſued by her Goastly ffoes
Though she is pursued by her
Gloss Note
spiritual, incorporeal; in “ghostly foes,” the sense might include specters or devils, or figuratively worries and fears
ghostly
foes,
Though she is pursued by her
Gloss Note
spiritual
ghostly
foes,
20
Who all her Ssins
Physical Note
double strike-through
doe
in their
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe
\true \
Coulours Shows
Who all her sins in
Critical Note
The pronoun is ambiguous: its immediate antecedent is “sins” (the true colors of which are shown), but the “ghostly foes” of the preceding lines could also be revealing the sins by means of their true colors. “To show one’s true colors” means to reveal one’s real character, especially when disreputable.
their
true colors shows,
Who all her sins in their true colors shows,
21
Her Soul beeing ffild with Horrid Helliſh ffears
Her soul being filled with horrid, hellish fears,
Her soul being filled with horrid, hellish fears,
22
Her Heart en’e
Physical Note
“o” written over other letter
broak
with Sighs, her eyes,
Physical Note
colon beneath superscript “th”
w:th
Tears,
Her heart e’en broke with sighs, her eyes with tears,
Her heart e’en broke with sighs, her eyes with tears,
23
Beeing quite diſſolvd, even fainting then Shee goes
Being quite
Gloss Note
disintegrated; weakened; destroyed; grew faint; dispersed; lost its binding force
dissolved
, even
Gloss Note
losing heart, giving way; growing weak; swooning; fading
fainting
: then she goes
Being quite
Gloss Note
melted into tears
dissolved
, even fainting, then she goes
24
To him who for her Sake his life did loſe
To
Gloss Note
Jesus Christ
Him
who for her sake his life did lose.
To
Gloss Note
Jesus Christ
Him
who for her sake his life did lose.
25
Then o my God though Sorrows doe involve
Then, O, my God, though sorrows do
Gloss Note
envelop, entangle; entwine (as in a spiral form); render intricate; implicate in a charge or crime; contain implicitly; include or affect in its operation; overwhelm or swallow up
involve
Then O, my God, though sorrows do
Gloss Note
overwhelm, swallow up
involve
26
My Sinfull Soul, though I to Tears diſſolv
My sinful soul, though I to tears dissolve,
My sinful soul, though I
Gloss Note
see Dissolved to Tears in the Curations for this poem
to tears dissolve
,
27
Or though my Spirit I Suſpire to Ayre
Or though my spirit I
Gloss Note
breathe [out]; sigh [forth], or utter with a sigh, esp. longingly. Pulter’s poems are titled as sighs “breathed forth.”
suspire
to air,
Or though my spirit I
Gloss Note
sigh; breathe out
suspire
to air,
28
Yet let mee trust in thee and not despair
Yet let me trust in Thee and not despair;
Yet let me trust in Thee and not despair;
29
And when my Sorrows and my Sins doe ceaſe
And when my sorrows and my sins do cease,
And when my sorrows and my sins do cease,
30
Let mee injoy thy everlasting
Physical Note
remaining half page blank
Peace
Let me enjoy Thy everlasting peace.
Let me enjoy Thy everlasting peace.
X (Close panel)Notes: Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

In my editions, I prioritize accessibility and multiple interpretive possibilities. To prepare these poems for a wide range of readers, I have modernized erratic early modern spelling, punctuation, and capitalization to conform to standard American usage. I gloss archaic definitions and confusing syntax, and I expand contractions, unless needed to maintain the integrity of the poem’s form. My notes investigate how Pulter’s poems engage with the literature and culture of mid-seventeenth-century England. At the same time, I emphasize how her poems are unique, how they respond to one another and seem to reveal their author’s individual circumstances and philosophies. It is worth noting that although Pulter’s poems survive in only one known source, they are not necessarily stable texts. The source manuscript features variants and revisions that invite multiple interpretations. I encourage readers to refer to the manuscript transcriptions and images on this site; my notes alert readers when the manuscript’s original spelling or physical features are especially worth considering.

 Headnote

In this poem, Pulter compares a wounded hart to a grieving soul. Like a deer nearing death who is restored by a medicinal plant, a pained soul can turn to Christ for comfort and peace. This emblem functions as a prayer or meditation; the speaker assures herself that her pain will end eventually if she trusts in God. At the same time, the poem does not minimize the pain of grief, as its suffering deer and emotionally exhausted speaker move frantically through a cruel, oppressive world. Although a hart is a male deer, Pulter assigns it and the soul feminine pronouns. A feminized “hunted hart” also appears in Like Lily Leaves [Poem 9], in which Pulter compares an arrow-struck deer to her dying daughter Jane, and This Flying Fish (Emblem 25) [Poem 90], which uses the same image as an analogy for the death of King Charles I. When considered alongside those poems, this emblem’s surviving hart seems to indulge a fantasy of a magic balm able to prevent such losses or heal a broken heart. It also draws attention to Pulter’s medical knowledge. Many early modern women served as medical caregivers in their households and learned about healing plants by reading books on herbalism.
Line number 1

 Gloss note

male deer, with a pun on “heart”
Line number 4

 Gloss note

plant with medicinal properties. See Seeking Dittany in the Curations for this poem.
Line number 5

 Gloss note

eaten
Line number 14

 Gloss note

Earth
Line number 19

 Gloss note

spiritual
Line number 23

 Gloss note

melted into tears
Line number 24

 Gloss note

Jesus Christ
Line number 25

 Gloss note

overwhelm, swallow up
Line number 26

 Gloss note

see Dissolved to Tears in the Curations for this poem
Line number 27

 Gloss note

sigh; breathe out
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Amplified Edition
Amplified Edition

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
[Emblem 22]
The Hunted Hart
(Emblem 22)
“The Hunted Hart”
(Emblem 22)
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.

— Elizabeth Kolkovich
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.

— Elizabeth Kolkovich
In my editions, I prioritize accessibility and multiple interpretive possibilities. To prepare these poems for a wide range of readers, I have modernized erratic early modern spelling, punctuation, and capitalization to conform to standard American usage. I gloss archaic definitions and confusing syntax, and I expand contractions, unless needed to maintain the integrity of the poem’s form. My notes investigate how Pulter’s poems engage with the literature and culture of mid-seventeenth-century England. At the same time, I emphasize how her poems are unique, how they respond to one another and seem to reveal their author’s individual circumstances and philosophies. It is worth noting that although Pulter’s poems survive in only one known source, they are not necessarily stable texts. The source manuscript features variants and revisions that invite multiple interpretations. I encourage readers to refer to the manuscript transcriptions and images on this site; my notes alert readers when the manuscript’s original spelling or physical features are especially worth considering.

— Elizabeth Kolkovich
Karl Marx concluded that “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” 1 Two centuries earlier, Pulter also shockingly imagined her deity as a drug for oppressed creatures, much like the herbal medicine used by the deer in this emblem. Chased by hounds and arrow-wounded, such a creature is also found in “Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10): but where the deer there dies, the hart in this poem eventually discovers dittany, a healing plant. This hart, skilled in herbalism, is so successful in self-medicating as to outrun all pursuers and attain a life that sounds, paradoxically, as restful as death itself, where in “sweet shades [she] doth rest in peace.” Such a restful death-in-life, or life-in-death, is also the goal of the soul, tenor to the deer’s vehicle: just as terrified, dogged by spiritual enemies, heart-broken, sighing, weeping, all but exhausted and indeed “dissolved”—when the soul finds her own, perhaps more enduring and saving, cure. The speaker concludes by asking God to “let me trust in Thee,” since her ordeal is not only to outpace foes but simply to believe in the efficacy of this legendary ancient medicine.

— Elizabeth Kolkovich
In this poem, Pulter compares a wounded hart to a grieving soul. Like a deer nearing death who is restored by a medicinal plant, a pained soul can turn to Christ for comfort and peace. This emblem functions as a prayer or meditation; the speaker assures herself that her pain will end eventually if she trusts in God. At the same time, the poem does not minimize the pain of grief, as its suffering deer and emotionally exhausted speaker move frantically through a cruel, oppressive world. Although a hart is a male deer, Pulter assigns it and the soul feminine pronouns. A feminized “hunted hart” also appears in Like Lily Leaves [Poem 9], in which Pulter compares an arrow-struck deer to her dying daughter Jane, and This Flying Fish (Emblem 25) [Poem 90], which uses the same image as an analogy for the death of King Charles I. When considered alongside those poems, this emblem’s surviving hart seems to indulge a fantasy of a magic balm able to prevent such losses or heal a broken heart. It also draws attention to Pulter’s medical knowledge. Many early modern women served as medical caregivers in their households and learned about healing plants by reading books on herbalism.

— Elizabeth Kolkovich
1
22
Physical Note
previous poem concludes at top of page
The
hunted Hart when Shee begins to Tire
The hunted
Gloss Note
deer (generally referring to the male)
hart
, when she begins to tire,
The hunted
Gloss Note
male deer, with a pun on “heart”
hart
, when she begins to tire
2
Before her Vitall Spirits doth expire
Before her
Gloss Note
substances or fluids thought, at this time, to permeate the blood and organs and thought essential to the maintenance of life
vital spirits
doth expire,
Before her vital spirits doth expire,
3
Shee every way doth Rowl her weeping Eye
She every way doth roll her weeping eye;
She every way doth roll her weeping eye;
4
At last Shee finds her long’d for Dittany
At last she finds her longed for
Gloss Note
a medicinal plant supposed to be able to expel weapons and heal wounds
dittany
,
At last she finds her longed for
Gloss Note
plant with medicinal properties. See Seeking Dittany in the Curations for this poem.
dittany
,
5
Which having eat if Shee bee but alive
Which, having ate, if she be but alive,
Which, having
Gloss Note
eaten
eat
, if she be but alive,
6
It doth her fainting Spirit Soe Revive
It doth her fainting spirit so revive
It doth her fainting spirit so revive
7
That Shee out Runs all that her life purſue
That she outruns all that her life pursue;
That she outruns all that her life pursue.
8
Though they their Courage and their cryes Renew
Though they their courage and their cries renew,
Though they their courage and their cries renew,
9
Yet Shee trips on the Hounds their Yelping cease
Yet she trips on, the hounds their yelping cease,
Yet she trips on; the hounds their yelping cease,
10
And Shee in thoſe Sweet Shades doth Rest in Peace
And she in those sweet shades doth
Critical Note
This phrase, still familiar and already active in Pulter’s lifetime as a wish for the dead, briefly suggests that the deer has died, rather than being saved by the dittany. This blurring of seeming opposites, salvation and death (figured as “rest” here and two lines later), alludes to the Christian context which follows.
rest in peace
.
And she in those sweet shades doth rest in peace.
11
Thus if at any time Shee bee opprest
Thus, if at any time she be oppressed,
Thus if at any time she be oppressed,
12
In her lov’d Dittany Shee findeth Rest
In her loved dittany she findeth rest.
In her loved dittany, she findeth rest.
13
Even ^Soe a Soul which is or’e whelmd with griefe
Even so, a soul which is o’erwhelmed with grief,
Even so, a soul which is o’erwhelmed with grief
14
And ^in this Empty Orb finds noe Reliefe
And in this empty
Gloss Note
Earth
orb
finds no relief,
And in this empty
Gloss Note
Earth
orb
finds no relief,
15
Though preſent Sorrows doth her heart oppreſs
Though present sorrows doth her heart oppress,
Though present sorrows doth her heart oppress
16
And future fears afflict her thoughts noe leſs
And future fears afflict her thoughts no less,
And future fears afflict her thoughts no less,
17
Though her Sad Soul with Suffrings gi’ns to Tire
Though her sad soul with suff’rings
Gloss Note
begins
’gins
to tire,
Though her sad soul with suff’rings ’gins to tire,
18
Her ffainting Spirit Ready to expire
Her fainting spirit ready to expire,
Her fainting spirit ready to expire,
though

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
19
Though Shee is purſued by her Goastly ffoes
Though she is pursued by her
Gloss Note
spiritual, incorporeal; in “ghostly foes,” the sense might include specters or devils, or figuratively worries and fears
ghostly
foes,
Though she is pursued by her
Gloss Note
spiritual
ghostly
foes,
20
Who all her Ssins
Physical Note
double strike-through
doe
in their
Physical Note
in different hand from main scribe
\true \
Coulours Shows
Who all her sins in
Critical Note
The pronoun is ambiguous: its immediate antecedent is “sins” (the true colors of which are shown), but the “ghostly foes” of the preceding lines could also be revealing the sins by means of their true colors. “To show one’s true colors” means to reveal one’s real character, especially when disreputable.
their
true colors shows,
Who all her sins in their true colors shows,
21
Her Soul beeing ffild with Horrid Helliſh ffears
Her soul being filled with horrid, hellish fears,
Her soul being filled with horrid, hellish fears,
22
Her Heart en’e
Physical Note
“o” written over other letter
broak
with Sighs, her eyes,
Physical Note
colon beneath superscript “th”
w:th
Tears,
Her heart e’en broke with sighs, her eyes with tears,
Her heart e’en broke with sighs, her eyes with tears,
23
Beeing quite diſſolvd, even fainting then Shee goes
Being quite
Gloss Note
disintegrated; weakened; destroyed; grew faint; dispersed; lost its binding force
dissolved
, even
Gloss Note
losing heart, giving way; growing weak; swooning; fading
fainting
: then she goes
Being quite
Gloss Note
melted into tears
dissolved
, even fainting, then she goes
24
To him who for her Sake his life did loſe
To
Gloss Note
Jesus Christ
Him
who for her sake his life did lose.
To
Gloss Note
Jesus Christ
Him
who for her sake his life did lose.
25
Then o my God though Sorrows doe involve
Then, O, my God, though sorrows do
Gloss Note
envelop, entangle; entwine (as in a spiral form); render intricate; implicate in a charge or crime; contain implicitly; include or affect in its operation; overwhelm or swallow up
involve
Then O, my God, though sorrows do
Gloss Note
overwhelm, swallow up
involve
26
My Sinfull Soul, though I to Tears diſſolv
My sinful soul, though I to tears dissolve,
My sinful soul, though I
Gloss Note
see Dissolved to Tears in the Curations for this poem
to tears dissolve
,
27
Or though my Spirit I Suſpire to Ayre
Or though my spirit I
Gloss Note
breathe [out]; sigh [forth], or utter with a sigh, esp. longingly. Pulter’s poems are titled as sighs “breathed forth.”
suspire
to air,
Or though my spirit I
Gloss Note
sigh; breathe out
suspire
to air,
28
Yet let mee trust in thee and not despair
Yet let me trust in Thee and not despair;
Yet let me trust in Thee and not despair;
29
And when my Sorrows and my Sins doe ceaſe
And when my sorrows and my sins do cease,
And when my sorrows and my sins do cease,
30
Let mee injoy thy everlasting
Physical Note
remaining half page blank
Peace
Let me enjoy Thy everlasting peace.
Let me enjoy Thy everlasting peace.
X (Close panel) All Notes
Transcription

 Editorial note

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

 Editorial note

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

 Editorial note

In my editions, I prioritize accessibility and multiple interpretive possibilities. To prepare these poems for a wide range of readers, I have modernized erratic early modern spelling, punctuation, and capitalization to conform to standard American usage. I gloss archaic definitions and confusing syntax, and I expand contractions, unless needed to maintain the integrity of the poem’s form. My notes investigate how Pulter’s poems engage with the literature and culture of mid-seventeenth-century England. At the same time, I emphasize how her poems are unique, how they respond to one another and seem to reveal their author’s individual circumstances and philosophies. It is worth noting that although Pulter’s poems survive in only one known source, they are not necessarily stable texts. The source manuscript features variants and revisions that invite multiple interpretations. I encourage readers to refer to the manuscript transcriptions and images on this site; my notes alert readers when the manuscript’s original spelling or physical features are especially worth considering.
Elemental Edition

 Headnote

Karl Marx concluded that “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” 1 Two centuries earlier, Pulter also shockingly imagined her deity as a drug for oppressed creatures, much like the herbal medicine used by the deer in this emblem. Chased by hounds and arrow-wounded, such a creature is also found in “Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter” (Poem 10): but where the deer there dies, the hart in this poem eventually discovers dittany, a healing plant. This hart, skilled in herbalism, is so successful in self-medicating as to outrun all pursuers and attain a life that sounds, paradoxically, as restful as death itself, where in “sweet shades [she] doth rest in peace.” Such a restful death-in-life, or life-in-death, is also the goal of the soul, tenor to the deer’s vehicle: just as terrified, dogged by spiritual enemies, heart-broken, sighing, weeping, all but exhausted and indeed “dissolved”—when the soul finds her own, perhaps more enduring and saving, cure. The speaker concludes by asking God to “let me trust in Thee,” since her ordeal is not only to outpace foes but simply to believe in the efficacy of this legendary ancient medicine.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

In this poem, Pulter compares a wounded hart to a grieving soul. Like a deer nearing death who is restored by a medicinal plant, a pained soul can turn to Christ for comfort and peace. This emblem functions as a prayer or meditation; the speaker assures herself that her pain will end eventually if she trusts in God. At the same time, the poem does not minimize the pain of grief, as its suffering deer and emotionally exhausted speaker move frantically through a cruel, oppressive world. Although a hart is a male deer, Pulter assigns it and the soul feminine pronouns. A feminized “hunted hart” also appears in Like Lily Leaves [Poem 9], in which Pulter compares an arrow-struck deer to her dying daughter Jane, and This Flying Fish (Emblem 25) [Poem 90], which uses the same image as an analogy for the death of King Charles I. When considered alongside those poems, this emblem’s surviving hart seems to indulge a fantasy of a magic balm able to prevent such losses or heal a broken heart. It also draws attention to Pulter’s medical knowledge. Many early modern women served as medical caregivers in their households and learned about healing plants by reading books on herbalism.
Transcription
Line number 1

 Physical note

previous poem concludes at top of page
Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

deer (generally referring to the male)
Amplified Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

male deer, with a pun on “heart”
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

substances or fluids thought, at this time, to permeate the blood and organs and thought essential to the maintenance of life
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

a medicinal plant supposed to be able to expel weapons and heal wounds
Amplified Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

plant with medicinal properties. See Seeking Dittany in the Curations for this poem.
Amplified Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

eaten
Elemental Edition
Line number 10

 Critical note

This phrase, still familiar and already active in Pulter’s lifetime as a wish for the dead, briefly suggests that the deer has died, rather than being saved by the dittany. This blurring of seeming opposites, salvation and death (figured as “rest” here and two lines later), alludes to the Christian context which follows.
Elemental Edition
Line number 14

 Gloss note

Earth
Amplified Edition
Line number 14

 Gloss note

Earth
Elemental Edition
Line number 17

 Gloss note

begins
Elemental Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

spiritual, incorporeal; in “ghostly foes,” the sense might include specters or devils, or figuratively worries and fears
Amplified Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

spiritual
Transcription
Line number 20

 Physical note

double strike-through
Transcription
Line number 20

 Physical note

in different hand from main scribe
Elemental Edition
Line number 20

 Critical note

The pronoun is ambiguous: its immediate antecedent is “sins” (the true colors of which are shown), but the “ghostly foes” of the preceding lines could also be revealing the sins by means of their true colors. “To show one’s true colors” means to reveal one’s real character, especially when disreputable.
Transcription
Line number 22

 Physical note

“o” written over other letter
Transcription
Line number 22

 Physical note

colon beneath superscript “th”
Elemental Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

disintegrated; weakened; destroyed; grew faint; dispersed; lost its binding force
Elemental Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

losing heart, giving way; growing weak; swooning; fading
Amplified Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

melted into tears
Elemental Edition
Line number 24

 Gloss note

Jesus Christ
Amplified Edition
Line number 24

 Gloss note

Jesus Christ
Elemental Edition
Line number 25

 Gloss note

envelop, entangle; entwine (as in a spiral form); render intricate; implicate in a charge or crime; contain implicitly; include or affect in its operation; overwhelm or swallow up
Amplified Edition
Line number 25

 Gloss note

overwhelm, swallow up
Amplified Edition
Line number 26

 Gloss note

see Dissolved to Tears in the Curations for this poem
Elemental Edition
Line number 27

 Gloss note

breathe [out]; sigh [forth], or utter with a sigh, esp. longingly. Pulter’s poems are titled as sighs “breathed forth.”
Amplified Edition
Line number 27

 Gloss note

sigh; breathe out
Transcription
Line number 30

 Physical note

remaining half page blank
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
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ManuscriptX (Close panel)
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