This Flying Fish (Emblem 25)

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This Flying Fish (Emblem 25)

Poem 90

Original Source

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

Versions

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

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

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

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

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Line number 2

 Physical note

“orth” appears written over other letters; two imperfectly erased ascenders visible at end
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 25]
This Flying Fish
(Emblem 25)
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

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

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t—this emblem asks the reader to imagine three seemingly unrelated creatures who must choose between equally hazardous options: the flying fish who faces predators whether leaping in the sky or diving beneath the waters; a wounded deer who can flee and bleed to death, or get caught when resting to conserve energy; and Charles I, who surrendered during the civil war to those in his native Scotland (who betrayed him) in order to evade English armies. Envisioning the king as akin to a quivering and bleeding deer connects him imagistically with Pulter’s dying daughter, Jane, in Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter [Poem 10], thus showing the crossover between Pulter’s vocabularies for expressing political and personal elegy. Yet what at first seems a lesson in futility turns, in this emblem’s final four lines, to a discovery of consolation, since Charles’ death offers a paradoxical triumph: martyrdom allows for fame and duration beyond the individual life. Pulter concludes not by drawing out the implications of the Christian paradox of dying to live, but by schooling her readers to put their tribulations into a larger perspective: after all, life could always be worse, as her three examples demonstrate—and even that “worse” might be, unexpectedly, conjoined with the very best.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
25Behold this flying ffiſh with Shineing Wings
Behold: this flying fish, with shining wings,
2
When
Physical Note
“orth” appears written over other letters; two imperfectly erased ascenders visible at end
fforth
the Swelling Billows up Shee Springs
When
Gloss Note
“forth” here indicates moving onwards or forwards from the billows, or ocean waves
forth the swelling billows up she springs
,
3
Thinking but all in vain to flie away
Thinking, but all in vain, to fly away,
4
To hungry Hawks, and Kites, becom’s a prey
To hungry hawks and
Gloss Note
birds of prey
kites
becomes a prey.
5
Then down into the deep Shee dives again
Then down into the deep she dives again;
6
But then her ffoes within the ffrothey Main
But then her foes within the frothy
Gloss Note
open sea
main
7
Whales, Sharks, Boneetoſ lie, \ lie \ and Watch each hour
(Whales, sharks,
Gloss Note
medium-sized, tuna-like fish
bonitos
) lie and
Gloss Note
keep watch, as in await a time in which, as the next line explains, to devour the creature
watch
, each hour,
8
This helples, harmles, Creature to devour
This helpless, harmless creature to devour.
9
Let diſcontented Spirits come and See
Let discontented spirits come and see
10
This perfect Map of infilicity
This perfect
Gloss Note
a summary or epitome; an embodiment or incarnation of a quality
map
of
Gloss Note
unhappiness; misfortune
infelicity
.
11
Soe have I Seen a Hart w:th Hounds opprest
So have I seen a
Gloss Note
a male deer (here gendered female)
hart
with hounds oppressed,
12
An Arrow Sticking in her quivering Breast
An arrow sticking in her quivering breast;
13
If Shee goes on her guiltles blood still fflows
If she goes on, her guiltless blood still flows;
14
If Shee stands Still Shee ffals amongst her foes
If she stands still, she falls amongst her foes.
15
S,oe have I known (oh Sad) the Best of Kings
So have I known (O, sad)
Gloss Note
Charles I
the best of kings
16
(Ay mee the thought of this such horrour brings
(
Gloss Note
an expression of anguish
Ay me
, the thought of this such horror brings
17
To my Sad Soul) his Princely Spirit poſed
To my sad soul), his princely spirit posed
18
In Strange Delemas every where incloſed
In strange dilemmas, everywhere enclosed
19
By his ,and Gods depreſſed Iſraell’s foes
By his and
Gloss Note
God’s chosen people, Israel, are here compared to the English, who are “depressed” (brought low or oppressed as well as dejected) by their “foes” in the civil wars of the 1640s.
God’s depressed Israel’s foes
;
20
In this great Strait his native Side hee choſe
In this great
Gloss Note
dilemma or difficult choice; confined place; time of need or difficult circumstances
strait
,
Gloss Note
in the civil wars, the Scottish side (since Charles I was born in Scotland)
his native side
he chose.
21
Perfidious Scot thou this base plot did’st Lay
Gloss Note
a generic Scottish person, or the Scots in general, castigated for treachery (perfidy)
Perfidious Scot
, thou
Gloss Note
As Eardley notes, Charles I surrendered in April 1646 to the Scots, who the next year released him to England’s Parliament, under whose authority he was executed in 1649.
this base plot
did’st lay;
22
Iſcariot like thou didst thy Kings betray
Gloss Note
Judas Iscariot, as the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ to the authorities, became emblematic of treachery.
Iscariot-like
thou didst thy
Gloss Note
The plural “kings” suggests that Pulter refers not only to Charles I but to Christ as another monarch betrayed by the Scots.
kings
betray.
23
Hee lost his life but got a lasting ffame
Gloss Note
Charles I, with echoes of Christ, from the line above
He
lost his life, but got a lasting
Gloss Note
reputation; renown
fame
;
24
Thuſs beeing overcome hee overcame
Thus, being overcome, he overcame.
25
Then Patient bee though things fit not thy Wiſh
Then patient be, though things fit not thy wish;
26
Thou might’st a been, King, Hart, or fflying ffiſh,
Thou might’st have been king, hart, or flying fish.
ascending straight line
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

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

 Headnote

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t—this emblem asks the reader to imagine three seemingly unrelated creatures who must choose between equally hazardous options: the flying fish who faces predators whether leaping in the sky or diving beneath the waters; a wounded deer who can flee and bleed to death, or get caught when resting to conserve energy; and Charles I, who surrendered during the civil war to those in his native Scotland (who betrayed him) in order to evade English armies. Envisioning the king as akin to a quivering and bleeding deer connects him imagistically with Pulter’s dying daughter, Jane, in Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter [Poem 10], thus showing the crossover between Pulter’s vocabularies for expressing political and personal elegy. Yet what at first seems a lesson in futility turns, in this emblem’s final four lines, to a discovery of consolation, since Charles’ death offers a paradoxical triumph: martyrdom allows for fame and duration beyond the individual life. Pulter concludes not by drawing out the implications of the Christian paradox of dying to live, but by schooling her readers to put their tribulations into a larger perspective: after all, life could always be worse, as her three examples demonstrate—and even that “worse” might be, unexpectedly, conjoined with the very best.
Line number 2

 Gloss note

“forth” here indicates moving onwards or forwards from the billows, or ocean waves
Line number 4

 Gloss note

birds of prey
Line number 6

 Gloss note

open sea
Line number 7

 Gloss note

medium-sized, tuna-like fish
Line number 7

 Gloss note

keep watch, as in await a time in which, as the next line explains, to devour the creature
Line number 10

 Gloss note

a summary or epitome; an embodiment or incarnation of a quality
Line number 10

 Gloss note

unhappiness; misfortune
Line number 11

 Gloss note

a male deer (here gendered female)
Line number 15

 Gloss note

Charles I
Line number 16

 Gloss note

an expression of anguish
Line number 19

 Gloss note

God’s chosen people, Israel, are here compared to the English, who are “depressed” (brought low or oppressed as well as dejected) by their “foes” in the civil wars of the 1640s.
Line number 20

 Gloss note

dilemma or difficult choice; confined place; time of need or difficult circumstances
Line number 20

 Gloss note

in the civil wars, the Scottish side (since Charles I was born in Scotland)
Line number 21

 Gloss note

a generic Scottish person, or the Scots in general, castigated for treachery (perfidy)
Line number 21

 Gloss note

As Eardley notes, Charles I surrendered in April 1646 to the Scots, who the next year released him to England’s Parliament, under whose authority he was executed in 1649.
Line number 22

 Gloss note

Judas Iscariot, as the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ to the authorities, became emblematic of treachery.
Line number 22

 Gloss note

The plural “kings” suggests that Pulter refers not only to Charles I but to Christ as another monarch betrayed by the Scots.
Line number 23

 Gloss note

Charles I, with echoes of Christ, from the line above
Line number 23

 Gloss note

reputation; renown
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 25]
This Flying Fish
(Emblem 25)
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

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

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t—this emblem asks the reader to imagine three seemingly unrelated creatures who must choose between equally hazardous options: the flying fish who faces predators whether leaping in the sky or diving beneath the waters; a wounded deer who can flee and bleed to death, or get caught when resting to conserve energy; and Charles I, who surrendered during the civil war to those in his native Scotland (who betrayed him) in order to evade English armies. Envisioning the king as akin to a quivering and bleeding deer connects him imagistically with Pulter’s dying daughter, Jane, in Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter [Poem 10], thus showing the crossover between Pulter’s vocabularies for expressing political and personal elegy. Yet what at first seems a lesson in futility turns, in this emblem’s final four lines, to a discovery of consolation, since Charles’ death offers a paradoxical triumph: martyrdom allows for fame and duration beyond the individual life. Pulter concludes not by drawing out the implications of the Christian paradox of dying to live, but by schooling her readers to put their tribulations into a larger perspective: after all, life could always be worse, as her three examples demonstrate—and even that “worse” might be, unexpectedly, conjoined with the very best.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
25Behold this flying ffiſh with Shineing Wings
Behold: this flying fish, with shining wings,
2
When
Physical Note
“orth” appears written over other letters; two imperfectly erased ascenders visible at end
fforth
the Swelling Billows up Shee Springs
When
Gloss Note
“forth” here indicates moving onwards or forwards from the billows, or ocean waves
forth the swelling billows up she springs
,
3
Thinking but all in vain to flie away
Thinking, but all in vain, to fly away,
4
To hungry Hawks, and Kites, becom’s a prey
To hungry hawks and
Gloss Note
birds of prey
kites
becomes a prey.
5
Then down into the deep Shee dives again
Then down into the deep she dives again;
6
But then her ffoes within the ffrothey Main
But then her foes within the frothy
Gloss Note
open sea
main
7
Whales, Sharks, Boneetoſ lie, \ lie \ and Watch each hour
(Whales, sharks,
Gloss Note
medium-sized, tuna-like fish
bonitos
) lie and
Gloss Note
keep watch, as in await a time in which, as the next line explains, to devour the creature
watch
, each hour,
8
This helples, harmles, Creature to devour
This helpless, harmless creature to devour.
9
Let diſcontented Spirits come and See
Let discontented spirits come and see
10
This perfect Map of infilicity
This perfect
Gloss Note
a summary or epitome; an embodiment or incarnation of a quality
map
of
Gloss Note
unhappiness; misfortune
infelicity
.
11
Soe have I Seen a Hart w:th Hounds opprest
So have I seen a
Gloss Note
a male deer (here gendered female)
hart
with hounds oppressed,
12
An Arrow Sticking in her quivering Breast
An arrow sticking in her quivering breast;
13
If Shee goes on her guiltles blood still fflows
If she goes on, her guiltless blood still flows;
14
If Shee stands Still Shee ffals amongst her foes
If she stands still, she falls amongst her foes.
15
S,oe have I known (oh Sad) the Best of Kings
So have I known (O, sad)
Gloss Note
Charles I
the best of kings
16
(Ay mee the thought of this such horrour brings
(
Gloss Note
an expression of anguish
Ay me
, the thought of this such horror brings
17
To my Sad Soul) his Princely Spirit poſed
To my sad soul), his princely spirit posed
18
In Strange Delemas every where incloſed
In strange dilemmas, everywhere enclosed
19
By his ,and Gods depreſſed Iſraell’s foes
By his and
Gloss Note
God’s chosen people, Israel, are here compared to the English, who are “depressed” (brought low or oppressed as well as dejected) by their “foes” in the civil wars of the 1640s.
God’s depressed Israel’s foes
;
20
In this great Strait his native Side hee choſe
In this great
Gloss Note
dilemma or difficult choice; confined place; time of need or difficult circumstances
strait
,
Gloss Note
in the civil wars, the Scottish side (since Charles I was born in Scotland)
his native side
he chose.
21
Perfidious Scot thou this base plot did’st Lay
Gloss Note
a generic Scottish person, or the Scots in general, castigated for treachery (perfidy)
Perfidious Scot
, thou
Gloss Note
As Eardley notes, Charles I surrendered in April 1646 to the Scots, who the next year released him to England’s Parliament, under whose authority he was executed in 1649.
this base plot
did’st lay;
22
Iſcariot like thou didst thy Kings betray
Gloss Note
Judas Iscariot, as the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ to the authorities, became emblematic of treachery.
Iscariot-like
thou didst thy
Gloss Note
The plural “kings” suggests that Pulter refers not only to Charles I but to Christ as another monarch betrayed by the Scots.
kings
betray.
23
Hee lost his life but got a lasting ffame
Gloss Note
Charles I, with echoes of Christ, from the line above
He
lost his life, but got a lasting
Gloss Note
reputation; renown
fame
;
24
Thuſs beeing overcome hee overcame
Thus, being overcome, he overcame.
25
Then Patient bee though things fit not thy Wiſh
Then patient be, though things fit not thy wish;
26
Thou might’st a been, King, Hart, or fflying ffiſh,
Thou might’st have been king, hart, or flying fish.
ascending straight line
X (Close panel) All Notes
Transcription

 Editorial note

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

 Editorial note

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

 Editorial note

Elemental Edition

 Headnote

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t—this emblem asks the reader to imagine three seemingly unrelated creatures who must choose between equally hazardous options: the flying fish who faces predators whether leaping in the sky or diving beneath the waters; a wounded deer who can flee and bleed to death, or get caught when resting to conserve energy; and Charles I, who surrendered during the civil war to those in his native Scotland (who betrayed him) in order to evade English armies. Envisioning the king as akin to a quivering and bleeding deer connects him imagistically with Pulter’s dying daughter, Jane, in Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter [Poem 10], thus showing the crossover between Pulter’s vocabularies for expressing political and personal elegy. Yet what at first seems a lesson in futility turns, in this emblem’s final four lines, to a discovery of consolation, since Charles’ death offers a paradoxical triumph: martyrdom allows for fame and duration beyond the individual life. Pulter concludes not by drawing out the implications of the Christian paradox of dying to live, but by schooling her readers to put their tribulations into a larger perspective: after all, life could always be worse, as her three examples demonstrate—and even that “worse” might be, unexpectedly, conjoined with the very best.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

Transcription
Line number 2

 Physical note

“orth” appears written over other letters; two imperfectly erased ascenders visible at end
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

“forth” here indicates moving onwards or forwards from the billows, or ocean waves
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

birds of prey
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

open sea
Elemental Edition
Line number 7

 Gloss note

medium-sized, tuna-like fish
Elemental Edition
Line number 7

 Gloss note

keep watch, as in await a time in which, as the next line explains, to devour the creature
Elemental Edition
Line number 10

 Gloss note

a summary or epitome; an embodiment or incarnation of a quality
Elemental Edition
Line number 10

 Gloss note

unhappiness; misfortune
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

a male deer (here gendered female)
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

Charles I
Elemental Edition
Line number 16

 Gloss note

an expression of anguish
Elemental Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

God’s chosen people, Israel, are here compared to the English, who are “depressed” (brought low or oppressed as well as dejected) by their “foes” in the civil wars of the 1640s.
Elemental Edition
Line number 20

 Gloss note

dilemma or difficult choice; confined place; time of need or difficult circumstances
Elemental Edition
Line number 20

 Gloss note

in the civil wars, the Scottish side (since Charles I was born in Scotland)
Elemental Edition
Line number 21

 Gloss note

a generic Scottish person, or the Scots in general, castigated for treachery (perfidy)
Elemental Edition
Line number 21

 Gloss note

As Eardley notes, Charles I surrendered in April 1646 to the Scots, who the next year released him to England’s Parliament, under whose authority he was executed in 1649.
Elemental Edition
Line number 22

 Gloss note

Judas Iscariot, as the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ to the authorities, became emblematic of treachery.
Elemental Edition
Line number 22

 Gloss note

The plural “kings” suggests that Pulter refers not only to Charles I but to Christ as another monarch betrayed by the Scots.
Elemental Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

Charles I, with echoes of Christ, from the line above
Elemental Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

reputation; renown
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
ManuscriptX (Close panel)
image