Aurora [2]

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Aurora [2]

Poem #37

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 Kenneth Graham.

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

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  • Encoded by Katherine Poland, Matthew Taylor, Elizabeth Chou, and Emily Andrey, Northwestern University
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  • 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 6

 Physical note

“d” written over other letter
Line number 9

 Physical note

parentheses lighter than surrounding marks; last one may be imperfectly erased
Line number 12

 Physical note

“y”, in thicker ink, written over earlier letter(s)
Line number 23

 Physical note

“S” corrects earlier letter
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
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Transcription

Facsimile Image Placeholder

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Aurora [2]
Aurora [2]
Aurora [2]
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
This is a modern (Canadian) spelling edition that preserves the capitalization of nouns when they clearly refer to mythological beings. I have also modernized punctuation. References to the Bible are to the 1611 Authorized Version (the King James Bible).
My only controversial editorial decision is to remove the word “but” from the final line, where the manuscript reading of “but in” adds an extrametrical syllable without, in my view, strengthening the meaning of the line. There are three reasons for making this change. First, Pulter is an excellent metrist, and in no other poem does she allow a comparable metrical interruption—an extra syllable not easily elided—in the final line. Second, phrases such as “in endless love” and “in endless glory” are so frequent in her poetry as to be formulaic (I count eight), and two poems echo the “end in endless” formula of “Aurora [2]”: Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter [Poem 10], “Which now her soul doth end in endless glory” (l. 34), and Aletheia’s Pearl [Poem 32], “My troubles all would end in endless glory” (l. 48). In no other case does she add a “but.” Third, while “but” could combine with “in” to give the sense of “only in,” serving, in effect, as an intensifier, it appears to me that this locution normally followed “never,” hence retaining some of the adversative function of “but.” For example, Robert Bolton writes that the “heart of man” without God “shall never find rest; but in endless woe and restless torments” (Mr. Bolton’s Last and Learned Work of the Four Last Things [London, 1632], 225 [modernized]), while William Jemmat claims that “Faith never leaves the soul, but in endless and unspeakable blessedness” (The Rock, or, A Settled Heart in Unsettled Times [London, 1644], 28 [modernized]). In short, the manuscript line is metrically clumsy, uncharacteristic of Pulter in its phrasing, and somewhat unidiomatic.
Of course, none of this proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the manuscript is corrupt here, so if I were publishing a conventional edition of the poem I might have decided, despite these reservations, to include the full line as it is written in the manuscript. But knowing that The Pulter Project makes other versions of the poem available to readers allows me to publish what I suspect, based on the preponderance of the evidence, is the line Pulter wrote.


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The unfailing daily return of dawn offered Pulter a figure she returned to often in her verse, as in this, her second poem called “Aurora” and the fifth poem in the manuscript dedicated to this figure. The poem begins as an imploring address from a melancholy speaker to a classical goddess, dawn’s personification; but if this poem participates in the genre of the aubade—addresses to the dawn—it is complicated by originating in pitch blackness: an objectionable condition from which the speaker seeks Aurora as savior. But she no sooner makes this appeal than she castigates it as a kind of optico-spiritual error, stemming from the limited vision of her mortal form; she thus reminds herself that earthly darkness is merely a matter of perspective: the lights in fact are always on, and someone’s always home, even if we cannot see them. The illumination in question is, of course, not just the astronomical kind (from the sun, the source of dawn’s light) but the sort associated here with truth and eternal life. The poem ends with a visionary cavalcade of physical and allegorical detail, anticipating what such heavenly light is like—and, with even plain daylight being so desirable, a sense of how much better it must be.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
“Aurora [2]” holds a central place in Pulter’s poetic exploration of life, death, and rebirth. Characteristically, the poem draws upon both a Classical understanding of the mythical contest between the creative forces of light and the destructive forces of darkness and a Christian belief in the ultimate triumph of supernatural good over evil. At the mythical level, the forces of darkness and death are represented chiefly by Night, while Aurora shines the light of joy and love. As a Christian text, the poem draws its inspiration at least partly from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, which reveals a mysterious change that will take place at the last trumpet, when the dead shall rise and “put on” immortality—as an alternative to sleep. There is some tension between the poem’s Classical and Christian elements, and the tension plays out in the personal drama of a speaker who expresses “fear” in lines 5–6, criticizes such fearful thoughts as foolish in line 7, and devotes the remainder of the poem to Christian consolation. The poem shifts decisively from its Classical to its Christian frame of reference with the appeal to the “Word” at line 9, and at lines 13–14 introduces what will be its chief metaphorical conceit: Night is to death as day is to the Resurrection. This is a familiar conceit, expressed in detail by George Gascoigne (see the Curation for this poem, The Poetry of Night and Day), and present elsewhere in Pulter’s own verse (see especially My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]: “This life’s a dream of mirth or sorrow / Envelopèd in night. / The Resurrection’s like the morrow / As full of life as light” (ll.5–8)). But the strength of the poem lies in Pulter’s ability to bring new life to familiar materials. Here, her materials include the mythology of Aurora and Night, the philosophy of mortalism and atomic dissolution, and a number of biblical commonplaces.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
Lovly Aurora, when wilt thou apear?
Lovely
Gloss Note
classical goddess of the dawn
Aurora
, when wilt thou appear,
Lovely
Gloss Note
The Roman goddess of the dawn. Aurora appears in various forms in Classical literature, from the famous “rosy-fingered Dawn” of the Iliad to Ovid and Virgil. Alice Eardley notes that Pulter “draws particularly heavily on symbolism relating to cycles of light and dark, at the heart of which appears Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn, or the morning, and her daughter Astraea, or Truth, who brings light to the world after a period of darkness” (Eardley, ed., Poems, Emblems, and The Unfortunate Florinda, by Lady Hester Pulter, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series vol. 32 [Iter and Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014], 27).
Aurora
, when wilt thou appear
2
And with thy Lightſom looks, my Spirit Cheer.
And with thy
Gloss Note
graceful, elegant; light-hearted, cheerful, merry; enlivening, entertaining; nimble, quick
lightsome
looks my spirit cheer?
And with thy lightsome looks my spirit cheer?
3
Mee thinks thou let’st old Night too much prevail,
Methinks thou let’st old
Gloss Note
classical goddess (Nyx)
Night
too much prevail;
Methinks thou let’st old
Gloss Note
As in “Aurora [1],” Night is one of Aurora’s chief antagonists, a menacing maternal figure whose illegitimate children (the “black Embryons” of line 12, and the “Spurious breed” of Aurora [1] [Poem 3], l. 37) include Death, Doom, and Fate. For a longer list, see the note to “embryos” in the Elemental Edition.
Night
too much prevail;
4
Shee too Long laps us, in her Sable vail:
She too long
Gloss Note
enfolds, wraps; hems in; embraces
laps
us in her
Gloss Note
black
sable
veil,
She too long
Gloss Note
enfolds or wraps (OED)
laps
us in her
Critical Note
That night wore a sable veil was a poetic commonplace. A particularly distinguished example appears in Mary Sidney Herbert’s translation of Psalm 139: “Do thou thy best, O secret night, / In sable veil to cover me: / Thy sable veil / Shall vainly fail. / With day unmasked my night shall be, / For night is day, and darkness light, / O father of all lights, to thee” (The Sidney Psalter, ed. Hannibal Hamlin, Michael G. Brennan, Margaret P. Hannay, and Noel J. Kinnamon [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009], ll.36–42).
sable veil
,
5
Which makes mee fear, confuſed Chaos might
Which makes me fear confuséd
Gloss Note
oldest of the classical gods, and parent of Night (Nyx)
Chaos
might
Which makes me fear confusèd
Gloss Note
The primordial state before the creation of the universe, typically described as confused because it contained only formless matter. For Pulter, it was a state of darkness, as in Genesis 1:2, immediately before God creates light: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” For a comparison, see The Revolution [Poem 16], ll. 13–15: “Shouldst thou thy glorious beams recall, / To horrid chaos they would fall / And darkness would involve them all.” Writers have long associated Chaos with Night. In Hesiod’s Theogony, for example, Chaos is the mother of Night, while in Milton’s Paradise Lost Night is the consort of Chaos.
Chaos
might
6
Involv this Globe, (once more) in
Physical Note
“d” written over other letter
Shades
of Night.
Gloss Note
enfold, envelop
Involve
this globe (once more) in shades of Night.
Gloss Note
Pulter frequently uses this word in its Latin sense of enwrap or envelope.
Involve
this globe (once more) in shades of night.
7
ffool that I am, Soe ffooliſhly to think,
Fool that I am, so foolishly to think,
Fool that I am, so foolishly to
Critical Note
The rhyme between “think” and (in the next line) “wink” may recall some lines in another aubade, Donne’s “The Sun Rising”: “Thy beams, so reverend, and strong / Why shouldst thou think? / I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, / But that I would not lose her sight so long” (John Donne, ed. John Carey [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990], ll.11–14). Whether intentional or not, the echo points the contrast between the two morning poems. For Donne’s speaker, lying happily in bed with his beloved, the sun is a “Busy old fool” with the potential to interrupt his bliss, while for Pulter darkness distracts from the truth represented by the light of day. In Donne’s more conventional aubade, dawn arrives too soon; in Pulter’s poem, it cannot arrive soon enough.
think
,
8
As if t’were dark becauſe my eyes doe wink.
As if ’twere dark, because my eyes do wink,
As if ’twere dark because my eyes do wink,
9
When hee
Physical Note
parentheses lighter than surrounding marks; last one may be imperfectly erased
(hath Said) (whoſe
word Shall never fayle,
When He hath said (whose word shall never fail),
When he hath said (whose
Gloss Note
God’s Word, including the biblical promise of everlasting life
Word
shall never fail)
10
That Truth, and Light, and Life, Should Still p:evail.
That truth, and light, and life should still prevail.
That truth and light and life should
Gloss Note
always
still
prevail.
11
Then doe but Shew the Luster of thine Eye,
Then do but show the
Gloss Note
sheen; beautiful radiance; splendour, glory
luster
of
Gloss Note
Aurora’s
thine
eye,
Then do but show the lustre of thine eye,
12
And theſe black
Physical Note
“y”, in thicker ink, written over earlier letter(s)
Embryons
w:th their Dam will fly.
And these black
Gloss Note
unborn or not yet fully formed offspring; here, in allusion to the offspring of the classical Night, including Doom, Fate, Death, Dreams, Blame, Misery, the Hesperides, the Destinies (or Parcae), Nemesis, Deceit, Lovemaking, Old Age, and Strife. Hesiod, The Poems of Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, and the Shield of Herakles (2017), 42, 45.
embryos
with their dam will
Gloss Note
flee; rise suddenly into the air
fly
.
And these black
Gloss Note
embryos
Embryons
with their dam will fly.
13
If Day (my Soul) Soe Delectable bee,
If day (my soul) so
Gloss Note
delightful, pleasant
delectable
be,
If day (my soul) so
Critical Note
Pulter may have accented the first and third syllables, as in Latin delectare, to delight.
delectable
be,
14
What will the Resurrection bee to thee
What will the
Gloss Note
the process, predicted in biblical book of Revelation, by which souls will be restored to their bodies and raised to heaven; also known as the second coming of Christ or Final Judgment
Resurrection
be to thee?
What will the
Gloss Note
The rising of the dead, usually understood in Christian theology to occur at the Last Judgement (when the last trumpet of line 15 shall sound). This is sometimes called the General Resurrection, as distinguished from the Resurrection of Christ.
Resurrection
be to thee?
15
When as the last (& lowdest) Trump Shall Sound,
Gloss Note
when
Whenas
the last (and loudest)
Gloss Note
the trumpet of the Last Judgment; Revelation 8–11.
trump
shall sound,
Gloss Note
when
Whenas
the last (and loudest)
Critical Note
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:51–53)
trump shall sound
,
16
Which will bee heard the Univerſall Round,
Which will be heard the universe all round,
Which will be heard the universal round,
17
That from our Drowſey Cauſes Shall us wake:
That from our drowsy
Critical Note
As Eardley notes, “Pulter uses the term to draw a connection between the grave (i.e., the earth), the atoms or first principles of which organisms are composed, and the origins of life; i.e., when living beings die they return to their place of origin.”
causes
shall us wake:
That from our drowsy
Critical Note
In Pulter’s poems, causes are typically the places where bodies, dissolved into their elements (the “dust” of line 18), sleep while awaiting a call to new life. Causes, then, are also places of origin, holding the matter that will produce a thing. Pulter’s use of the term likely derives at least in part from the Aristotelian idea of the material cause, “that out of which a thing comes to be and which persists” (Aristotle, Physics II.3, in Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. Richard McKeon [New York: Random House, 1941], 240). The mid-seventeenth century provides some close parallels. For example, a song in Thomas Carew’s 1640 Poems begins, “Ask me no more where Jove bestows, / When June is past, the fading rose; / For in your beauty’s orient deep / These flowers, as in their causes, sleep” (Seventeenth-Century British Poetry, 1603–1660, ed. John P. Rumrich and Gregory Chaplin [New York: Norton, 2006], 317); and in Religio Medici (1642) Sir Thomas Browne describes human life before conception as “that general and common existence we are conceived to hold in our Chaos, and while we sleep within the bosom of our causes” (Selected Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], 46 [modernized]). Other instances in Pulter’s poems include Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] (“Trust me, they seem to hang their heads and weep / ’Cause in their causes they so soon must sleep” (ll.13–14; also lines 32 and 46)); The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39] (“The chicken in the shell lies still, / So doth the embryo in the womb, / So doth the corpse within the tomb, / So doth the flower sleep in its cause, / Obedient all to Nature’s laws” (ll.2–6)); and Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night” [Poem 47] (“In causes all sleep best” (l.32)).
causes
shall us wake,
18
Then Shall wee Darknes, Dust, and Death, of Shake,
Then shall we darkness,
Gloss Note
disintegrated matter; also original, formative physical elements; see 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.”
dust
, and death off shake,
Then shall we darkness, dust, and death
Gloss Note
A common inversion of shake off. Shaking the dust off one’s feet is a gesture of departure in several New Testament texts (see Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5, and Acts 13:51), and is used in this sense by Fulke Greville in Caelica 88: “When thou the dust hast shaken from thy feet” (Selected Poems, ed. Thom Gunn [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], l.14). Sleep, too, was sometimes said to be shaken off. A close parallel to Pulter’s lines appears in Richard Lovelace’s “Night. To Lucasta,” where Lucasta plays the role Aurora plays in Pulter’s poem: “Night! loathed jailor of the locked up sun, / And tyrant-turnkey on committed day; /… Thou dost arise our living hell, / With thee groans, terrors, furies dwell, / Until Lucasta doth awake, / And with her beams these heavy chains off shake.” For the complete text of Lovelace’s poem, see The Poetry of Night and Day in Curations.
off shake
,
19
And in our Sleeping Urns noe longer lie,
And in our sleeping
Gloss Note
metaphorically, tombs
urns
no longer lie,
And in our
Critical Note
Many (but not all) of Pulter’s poems are consistent with the controversial doctrine of mortalism, defined by the OED as “The belief that the soul is mortal and dies with the body, or lies unconscious until the final resurrection.” Mortalist belief was often expressed after the Reformation through the metaphor of sleep, as it may have been by Pulter. See Christian Mortalism from the Bible to Pulter in Curations.
sleeping
Critical Note
The dead in Pulter’s poems often sleep in urns, awaiting rebirth. The closest parallel is found in The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]: “But oh my soul, once more, return, / And call me in my silent urn. / But if asleep I then am found, / Jog me, and say the trump doth sound” (ll. 22–25). Also see Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]. Urns are frequently a place of final rest in Roman epitaphs and in seventeenth-century poetry. The last line of Robert Herrick’s “The Dirge of Jephthah’s Daughter,” for example, is “And leave thee sleeping in thy urn” (His Noble Numbers [London, 1647], 27).
urns
no longer lie;
20
But beeing cloathd with imortality;
But being clothed with immortality,
But being
Gloss Note
A religious commonplace, perhaps deriving from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, where it offers a transformative alternative to sleeping (see note above to “trump shall sound”)
clothed with immortality
,
guided

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21
Guided by Grace, and Truth, where Love doth^Dwell
Guided by Grace and Truth where Love doth dwell,
Guided by grace and truth, where love doth dwell,
22
Whilst Night, Death, Error, Shall bee trod to Hell.
Whilst Night, Death, Error shall be trod to Hell.
Whilst Night, death, error, shall be trod to hell,
23
Then on
Physical Note
“S” corrects earlier letter
Soft
mercies Wings Ile mount aboue;
Then on soft mercy’s wings I’ll mount above
Then on soft
Critical Note
A common conceit, suggested by Psalm 17:7–8: “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” For example, a 1646 edition of The Psalter of David with Titles and Collects follows this psalm with a prayer reading, in part, “hide us under the shadow of thy wings of mercy and providence” (27)
mercy’s wings
I’ll mount above,
24
Where all Shall end, but in endles Joy & love.
Where all shall end, but in endless joy and love.
Where all shall end
Gloss Note
The manuscript reads “but in.” See the Editorial Note for discussion of this emendation.
in
Critical Note
This phrase also ends Pardon Me, My Dearest Love [Poem 42] and appears in To Aurora [2] [Poem 26], l. 14.
endless joy and love
.
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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

The unfailing daily return of dawn offered Pulter a figure she returned to often in her verse, as in this, her second poem called “Aurora” and the fifth poem in the manuscript dedicated to this figure. The poem begins as an imploring address from a melancholy speaker to a classical goddess, dawn’s personification; but if this poem participates in the genre of the aubade—addresses to the dawn—it is complicated by originating in pitch blackness: an objectionable condition from which the speaker seeks Aurora as savior. But she no sooner makes this appeal than she castigates it as a kind of optico-spiritual error, stemming from the limited vision of her mortal form; she thus reminds herself that earthly darkness is merely a matter of perspective: the lights in fact are always on, and someone’s always home, even if we cannot see them. The illumination in question is, of course, not just the astronomical kind (from the sun, the source of dawn’s light) but the sort associated here with truth and eternal life. The poem ends with a visionary cavalcade of physical and allegorical detail, anticipating what such heavenly light is like—and, with even plain daylight being so desirable, a sense of how much better it must be.
Line number 1

 Gloss note

classical goddess of the dawn
Line number 2

 Gloss note

graceful, elegant; light-hearted, cheerful, merry; enlivening, entertaining; nimble, quick
Line number 3

 Gloss note

classical goddess (Nyx)
Line number 4

 Gloss note

enfolds, wraps; hems in; embraces
Line number 4

 Gloss note

black
Line number 5

 Gloss note

oldest of the classical gods, and parent of Night (Nyx)
Line number 6

 Gloss note

enfold, envelop
Line number 11

 Gloss note

sheen; beautiful radiance; splendour, glory
Line number 11

 Gloss note

Aurora’s
Line number 12

 Gloss note

unborn or not yet fully formed offspring; here, in allusion to the offspring of the classical Night, including Doom, Fate, Death, Dreams, Blame, Misery, the Hesperides, the Destinies (or Parcae), Nemesis, Deceit, Lovemaking, Old Age, and Strife. Hesiod, The Poems of Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, and the Shield of Herakles (2017), 42, 45.
Line number 12

 Gloss note

flee; rise suddenly into the air
Line number 13

 Gloss note

delightful, pleasant
Line number 14

 Gloss note

the process, predicted in biblical book of Revelation, by which souls will be restored to their bodies and raised to heaven; also known as the second coming of Christ or Final Judgment
Line number 15

 Gloss note

when
Line number 15

 Gloss note

the trumpet of the Last Judgment; Revelation 8–11.
Line number 17

 Critical note

As Eardley notes, “Pulter uses the term to draw a connection between the grave (i.e., the earth), the atoms or first principles of which organisms are composed, and the origins of life; i.e., when living beings die they return to their place of origin.”
Line number 18

 Gloss note

disintegrated matter; also original, formative physical elements; see 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 19

 Gloss note

metaphorically, tombs
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Elemental Edition
Elemental Edition

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Aurora [2]
Aurora [2]
Aurora [2]
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
This is a modern (Canadian) spelling edition that preserves the capitalization of nouns when they clearly refer to mythological beings. I have also modernized punctuation. References to the Bible are to the 1611 Authorized Version (the King James Bible).
My only controversial editorial decision is to remove the word “but” from the final line, where the manuscript reading of “but in” adds an extrametrical syllable without, in my view, strengthening the meaning of the line. There are three reasons for making this change. First, Pulter is an excellent metrist, and in no other poem does she allow a comparable metrical interruption—an extra syllable not easily elided—in the final line. Second, phrases such as “in endless love” and “in endless glory” are so frequent in her poetry as to be formulaic (I count eight), and two poems echo the “end in endless” formula of “Aurora [2]”: Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter [Poem 10], “Which now her soul doth end in endless glory” (l. 34), and Aletheia’s Pearl [Poem 32], “My troubles all would end in endless glory” (l. 48). In no other case does she add a “but.” Third, while “but” could combine with “in” to give the sense of “only in,” serving, in effect, as an intensifier, it appears to me that this locution normally followed “never,” hence retaining some of the adversative function of “but.” For example, Robert Bolton writes that the “heart of man” without God “shall never find rest; but in endless woe and restless torments” (Mr. Bolton’s Last and Learned Work of the Four Last Things [London, 1632], 225 [modernized]), while William Jemmat claims that “Faith never leaves the soul, but in endless and unspeakable blessedness” (The Rock, or, A Settled Heart in Unsettled Times [London, 1644], 28 [modernized]). In short, the manuscript line is metrically clumsy, uncharacteristic of Pulter in its phrasing, and somewhat unidiomatic.
Of course, none of this proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the manuscript is corrupt here, so if I were publishing a conventional edition of the poem I might have decided, despite these reservations, to include the full line as it is written in the manuscript. But knowing that The Pulter Project makes other versions of the poem available to readers allows me to publish what I suspect, based on the preponderance of the evidence, is the line Pulter wrote.


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The unfailing daily return of dawn offered Pulter a figure she returned to often in her verse, as in this, her second poem called “Aurora” and the fifth poem in the manuscript dedicated to this figure. The poem begins as an imploring address from a melancholy speaker to a classical goddess, dawn’s personification; but if this poem participates in the genre of the aubade—addresses to the dawn—it is complicated by originating in pitch blackness: an objectionable condition from which the speaker seeks Aurora as savior. But she no sooner makes this appeal than she castigates it as a kind of optico-spiritual error, stemming from the limited vision of her mortal form; she thus reminds herself that earthly darkness is merely a matter of perspective: the lights in fact are always on, and someone’s always home, even if we cannot see them. The illumination in question is, of course, not just the astronomical kind (from the sun, the source of dawn’s light) but the sort associated here with truth and eternal life. The poem ends with a visionary cavalcade of physical and allegorical detail, anticipating what such heavenly light is like—and, with even plain daylight being so desirable, a sense of how much better it must be.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
“Aurora [2]” holds a central place in Pulter’s poetic exploration of life, death, and rebirth. Characteristically, the poem draws upon both a Classical understanding of the mythical contest between the creative forces of light and the destructive forces of darkness and a Christian belief in the ultimate triumph of supernatural good over evil. At the mythical level, the forces of darkness and death are represented chiefly by Night, while Aurora shines the light of joy and love. As a Christian text, the poem draws its inspiration at least partly from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, which reveals a mysterious change that will take place at the last trumpet, when the dead shall rise and “put on” immortality—as an alternative to sleep. There is some tension between the poem’s Classical and Christian elements, and the tension plays out in the personal drama of a speaker who expresses “fear” in lines 5–6, criticizes such fearful thoughts as foolish in line 7, and devotes the remainder of the poem to Christian consolation. The poem shifts decisively from its Classical to its Christian frame of reference with the appeal to the “Word” at line 9, and at lines 13–14 introduces what will be its chief metaphorical conceit: Night is to death as day is to the Resurrection. This is a familiar conceit, expressed in detail by George Gascoigne (see the Curation for this poem, The Poetry of Night and Day), and present elsewhere in Pulter’s own verse (see especially My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]: “This life’s a dream of mirth or sorrow / Envelopèd in night. / The Resurrection’s like the morrow / As full of life as light” (ll.5–8)). But the strength of the poem lies in Pulter’s ability to bring new life to familiar materials. Here, her materials include the mythology of Aurora and Night, the philosophy of mortalism and atomic dissolution, and a number of biblical commonplaces.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
Lovly Aurora, when wilt thou apear?
Lovely
Gloss Note
classical goddess of the dawn
Aurora
, when wilt thou appear,
Lovely
Gloss Note
The Roman goddess of the dawn. Aurora appears in various forms in Classical literature, from the famous “rosy-fingered Dawn” of the Iliad to Ovid and Virgil. Alice Eardley notes that Pulter “draws particularly heavily on symbolism relating to cycles of light and dark, at the heart of which appears Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn, or the morning, and her daughter Astraea, or Truth, who brings light to the world after a period of darkness” (Eardley, ed., Poems, Emblems, and The Unfortunate Florinda, by Lady Hester Pulter, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series vol. 32 [Iter and Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014], 27).
Aurora
, when wilt thou appear
2
And with thy Lightſom looks, my Spirit Cheer.
And with thy
Gloss Note
graceful, elegant; light-hearted, cheerful, merry; enlivening, entertaining; nimble, quick
lightsome
looks my spirit cheer?
And with thy lightsome looks my spirit cheer?
3
Mee thinks thou let’st old Night too much prevail,
Methinks thou let’st old
Gloss Note
classical goddess (Nyx)
Night
too much prevail;
Methinks thou let’st old
Gloss Note
As in “Aurora [1],” Night is one of Aurora’s chief antagonists, a menacing maternal figure whose illegitimate children (the “black Embryons” of line 12, and the “Spurious breed” of Aurora [1] [Poem 3], l. 37) include Death, Doom, and Fate. For a longer list, see the note to “embryos” in the Elemental Edition.
Night
too much prevail;
4
Shee too Long laps us, in her Sable vail:
She too long
Gloss Note
enfolds, wraps; hems in; embraces
laps
us in her
Gloss Note
black
sable
veil,
She too long
Gloss Note
enfolds or wraps (OED)
laps
us in her
Critical Note
That night wore a sable veil was a poetic commonplace. A particularly distinguished example appears in Mary Sidney Herbert’s translation of Psalm 139: “Do thou thy best, O secret night, / In sable veil to cover me: / Thy sable veil / Shall vainly fail. / With day unmasked my night shall be, / For night is day, and darkness light, / O father of all lights, to thee” (The Sidney Psalter, ed. Hannibal Hamlin, Michael G. Brennan, Margaret P. Hannay, and Noel J. Kinnamon [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009], ll.36–42).
sable veil
,
5
Which makes mee fear, confuſed Chaos might
Which makes me fear confuséd
Gloss Note
oldest of the classical gods, and parent of Night (Nyx)
Chaos
might
Which makes me fear confusèd
Gloss Note
The primordial state before the creation of the universe, typically described as confused because it contained only formless matter. For Pulter, it was a state of darkness, as in Genesis 1:2, immediately before God creates light: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” For a comparison, see The Revolution [Poem 16], ll. 13–15: “Shouldst thou thy glorious beams recall, / To horrid chaos they would fall / And darkness would involve them all.” Writers have long associated Chaos with Night. In Hesiod’s Theogony, for example, Chaos is the mother of Night, while in Milton’s Paradise Lost Night is the consort of Chaos.
Chaos
might
6
Involv this Globe, (once more) in
Physical Note
“d” written over other letter
Shades
of Night.
Gloss Note
enfold, envelop
Involve
this globe (once more) in shades of Night.
Gloss Note
Pulter frequently uses this word in its Latin sense of enwrap or envelope.
Involve
this globe (once more) in shades of night.
7
ffool that I am, Soe ffooliſhly to think,
Fool that I am, so foolishly to think,
Fool that I am, so foolishly to
Critical Note
The rhyme between “think” and (in the next line) “wink” may recall some lines in another aubade, Donne’s “The Sun Rising”: “Thy beams, so reverend, and strong / Why shouldst thou think? / I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, / But that I would not lose her sight so long” (John Donne, ed. John Carey [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990], ll.11–14). Whether intentional or not, the echo points the contrast between the two morning poems. For Donne’s speaker, lying happily in bed with his beloved, the sun is a “Busy old fool” with the potential to interrupt his bliss, while for Pulter darkness distracts from the truth represented by the light of day. In Donne’s more conventional aubade, dawn arrives too soon; in Pulter’s poem, it cannot arrive soon enough.
think
,
8
As if t’were dark becauſe my eyes doe wink.
As if ’twere dark, because my eyes do wink,
As if ’twere dark because my eyes do wink,
9
When hee
Physical Note
parentheses lighter than surrounding marks; last one may be imperfectly erased
(hath Said) (whoſe
word Shall never fayle,
When He hath said (whose word shall never fail),
When he hath said (whose
Gloss Note
God’s Word, including the biblical promise of everlasting life
Word
shall never fail)
10
That Truth, and Light, and Life, Should Still p:evail.
That truth, and light, and life should still prevail.
That truth and light and life should
Gloss Note
always
still
prevail.
11
Then doe but Shew the Luster of thine Eye,
Then do but show the
Gloss Note
sheen; beautiful radiance; splendour, glory
luster
of
Gloss Note
Aurora’s
thine
eye,
Then do but show the lustre of thine eye,
12
And theſe black
Physical Note
“y”, in thicker ink, written over earlier letter(s)
Embryons
w:th their Dam will fly.
And these black
Gloss Note
unborn or not yet fully formed offspring; here, in allusion to the offspring of the classical Night, including Doom, Fate, Death, Dreams, Blame, Misery, the Hesperides, the Destinies (or Parcae), Nemesis, Deceit, Lovemaking, Old Age, and Strife. Hesiod, The Poems of Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, and the Shield of Herakles (2017), 42, 45.
embryos
with their dam will
Gloss Note
flee; rise suddenly into the air
fly
.
And these black
Gloss Note
embryos
Embryons
with their dam will fly.
13
If Day (my Soul) Soe Delectable bee,
If day (my soul) so
Gloss Note
delightful, pleasant
delectable
be,
If day (my soul) so
Critical Note
Pulter may have accented the first and third syllables, as in Latin delectare, to delight.
delectable
be,
14
What will the Resurrection bee to thee
What will the
Gloss Note
the process, predicted in biblical book of Revelation, by which souls will be restored to their bodies and raised to heaven; also known as the second coming of Christ or Final Judgment
Resurrection
be to thee?
What will the
Gloss Note
The rising of the dead, usually understood in Christian theology to occur at the Last Judgement (when the last trumpet of line 15 shall sound). This is sometimes called the General Resurrection, as distinguished from the Resurrection of Christ.
Resurrection
be to thee?
15
When as the last (& lowdest) Trump Shall Sound,
Gloss Note
when
Whenas
the last (and loudest)
Gloss Note
the trumpet of the Last Judgment; Revelation 8–11.
trump
shall sound,
Gloss Note
when
Whenas
the last (and loudest)
Critical Note
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:51–53)
trump shall sound
,
16
Which will bee heard the Univerſall Round,
Which will be heard the universe all round,
Which will be heard the universal round,
17
That from our Drowſey Cauſes Shall us wake:
That from our drowsy
Critical Note
As Eardley notes, “Pulter uses the term to draw a connection between the grave (i.e., the earth), the atoms or first principles of which organisms are composed, and the origins of life; i.e., when living beings die they return to their place of origin.”
causes
shall us wake:
That from our drowsy
Critical Note
In Pulter’s poems, causes are typically the places where bodies, dissolved into their elements (the “dust” of line 18), sleep while awaiting a call to new life. Causes, then, are also places of origin, holding the matter that will produce a thing. Pulter’s use of the term likely derives at least in part from the Aristotelian idea of the material cause, “that out of which a thing comes to be and which persists” (Aristotle, Physics II.3, in Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. Richard McKeon [New York: Random House, 1941], 240). The mid-seventeenth century provides some close parallels. For example, a song in Thomas Carew’s 1640 Poems begins, “Ask me no more where Jove bestows, / When June is past, the fading rose; / For in your beauty’s orient deep / These flowers, as in their causes, sleep” (Seventeenth-Century British Poetry, 1603–1660, ed. John P. Rumrich and Gregory Chaplin [New York: Norton, 2006], 317); and in Religio Medici (1642) Sir Thomas Browne describes human life before conception as “that general and common existence we are conceived to hold in our Chaos, and while we sleep within the bosom of our causes” (Selected Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], 46 [modernized]). Other instances in Pulter’s poems include Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] (“Trust me, they seem to hang their heads and weep / ’Cause in their causes they so soon must sleep” (ll.13–14; also lines 32 and 46)); The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39] (“The chicken in the shell lies still, / So doth the embryo in the womb, / So doth the corpse within the tomb, / So doth the flower sleep in its cause, / Obedient all to Nature’s laws” (ll.2–6)); and Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night” [Poem 47] (“In causes all sleep best” (l.32)).
causes
shall us wake,
18
Then Shall wee Darknes, Dust, and Death, of Shake,
Then shall we darkness,
Gloss Note
disintegrated matter; also original, formative physical elements; see 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.”
dust
, and death off shake,
Then shall we darkness, dust, and death
Gloss Note
A common inversion of shake off. Shaking the dust off one’s feet is a gesture of departure in several New Testament texts (see Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5, and Acts 13:51), and is used in this sense by Fulke Greville in Caelica 88: “When thou the dust hast shaken from thy feet” (Selected Poems, ed. Thom Gunn [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], l.14). Sleep, too, was sometimes said to be shaken off. A close parallel to Pulter’s lines appears in Richard Lovelace’s “Night. To Lucasta,” where Lucasta plays the role Aurora plays in Pulter’s poem: “Night! loathed jailor of the locked up sun, / And tyrant-turnkey on committed day; /… Thou dost arise our living hell, / With thee groans, terrors, furies dwell, / Until Lucasta doth awake, / And with her beams these heavy chains off shake.” For the complete text of Lovelace’s poem, see The Poetry of Night and Day in Curations.
off shake
,
19
And in our Sleeping Urns noe longer lie,
And in our sleeping
Gloss Note
metaphorically, tombs
urns
no longer lie,
And in our
Critical Note
Many (but not all) of Pulter’s poems are consistent with the controversial doctrine of mortalism, defined by the OED as “The belief that the soul is mortal and dies with the body, or lies unconscious until the final resurrection.” Mortalist belief was often expressed after the Reformation through the metaphor of sleep, as it may have been by Pulter. See Christian Mortalism from the Bible to Pulter in Curations.
sleeping
Critical Note
The dead in Pulter’s poems often sleep in urns, awaiting rebirth. The closest parallel is found in The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]: “But oh my soul, once more, return, / And call me in my silent urn. / But if asleep I then am found, / Jog me, and say the trump doth sound” (ll. 22–25). Also see Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]. Urns are frequently a place of final rest in Roman epitaphs and in seventeenth-century poetry. The last line of Robert Herrick’s “The Dirge of Jephthah’s Daughter,” for example, is “And leave thee sleeping in thy urn” (His Noble Numbers [London, 1647], 27).
urns
no longer lie;
20
But beeing cloathd with imortality;
But being clothed with immortality,
But being
Gloss Note
A religious commonplace, perhaps deriving from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, where it offers a transformative alternative to sleeping (see note above to “trump shall sound”)
clothed with immortality
,
guided

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21
Guided by Grace, and Truth, where Love doth^Dwell
Guided by Grace and Truth where Love doth dwell,
Guided by grace and truth, where love doth dwell,
22
Whilst Night, Death, Error, Shall bee trod to Hell.
Whilst Night, Death, Error shall be trod to Hell.
Whilst Night, death, error, shall be trod to hell,
23
Then on
Physical Note
“S” corrects earlier letter
Soft
mercies Wings Ile mount aboue;
Then on soft mercy’s wings I’ll mount above
Then on soft
Critical Note
A common conceit, suggested by Psalm 17:7–8: “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” For example, a 1646 edition of The Psalter of David with Titles and Collects follows this psalm with a prayer reading, in part, “hide us under the shadow of thy wings of mercy and providence” (27)
mercy’s wings
I’ll mount above,
24
Where all Shall end, but in endles Joy & love.
Where all shall end, but in endless joy and love.
Where all shall end
Gloss Note
The manuscript reads “but in.” See the Editorial Note for discussion of this emendation.
in
Critical Note
This phrase also ends Pardon Me, My Dearest Love [Poem 42] and appears in To Aurora [2] [Poem 26], l. 14.
endless joy and love
.
horizontal straight line
X (Close panel)Notes: Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

This is a modern (Canadian) spelling edition that preserves the capitalization of nouns when they clearly refer to mythological beings. I have also modernized punctuation. References to the Bible are to the 1611 Authorized Version (the King James Bible).
My only controversial editorial decision is to remove the word “but” from the final line, where the manuscript reading of “but in” adds an extrametrical syllable without, in my view, strengthening the meaning of the line. There are three reasons for making this change. First, Pulter is an excellent metrist, and in no other poem does she allow a comparable metrical interruption—an extra syllable not easily elided—in the final line. Second, phrases such as “in endless love” and “in endless glory” are so frequent in her poetry as to be formulaic (I count eight), and two poems echo the “end in endless” formula of “Aurora [2]”: Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter [Poem 10], “Which now her soul doth end in endless glory” (l. 34), and Aletheia’s Pearl [Poem 32], “My troubles all would end in endless glory” (l. 48). In no other case does she add a “but.” Third, while “but” could combine with “in” to give the sense of “only in,” serving, in effect, as an intensifier, it appears to me that this locution normally followed “never,” hence retaining some of the adversative function of “but.” For example, Robert Bolton writes that the “heart of man” without God “shall never find rest; but in endless woe and restless torments” (Mr. Bolton’s Last and Learned Work of the Four Last Things [London, 1632], 225 [modernized]), while William Jemmat claims that “Faith never leaves the soul, but in endless and unspeakable blessedness” (The Rock, or, A Settled Heart in Unsettled Times [London, 1644], 28 [modernized]). In short, the manuscript line is metrically clumsy, uncharacteristic of Pulter in its phrasing, and somewhat unidiomatic.
Of course, none of this proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the manuscript is corrupt here, so if I were publishing a conventional edition of the poem I might have decided, despite these reservations, to include the full line as it is written in the manuscript. But knowing that The Pulter Project makes other versions of the poem available to readers allows me to publish what I suspect, based on the preponderance of the evidence, is the line Pulter wrote.

 Headnote

“Aurora [2]” holds a central place in Pulter’s poetic exploration of life, death, and rebirth. Characteristically, the poem draws upon both a Classical understanding of the mythical contest between the creative forces of light and the destructive forces of darkness and a Christian belief in the ultimate triumph of supernatural good over evil. At the mythical level, the forces of darkness and death are represented chiefly by Night, while Aurora shines the light of joy and love. As a Christian text, the poem draws its inspiration at least partly from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, which reveals a mysterious change that will take place at the last trumpet, when the dead shall rise and “put on” immortality—as an alternative to sleep. There is some tension between the poem’s Classical and Christian elements, and the tension plays out in the personal drama of a speaker who expresses “fear” in lines 5–6, criticizes such fearful thoughts as foolish in line 7, and devotes the remainder of the poem to Christian consolation. The poem shifts decisively from its Classical to its Christian frame of reference with the appeal to the “Word” at line 9, and at lines 13–14 introduces what will be its chief metaphorical conceit: Night is to death as day is to the Resurrection. This is a familiar conceit, expressed in detail by George Gascoigne (see the Curation for this poem, The Poetry of Night and Day), and present elsewhere in Pulter’s own verse (see especially My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]: “This life’s a dream of mirth or sorrow / Envelopèd in night. / The Resurrection’s like the morrow / As full of life as light” (ll.5–8)). But the strength of the poem lies in Pulter’s ability to bring new life to familiar materials. Here, her materials include the mythology of Aurora and Night, the philosophy of mortalism and atomic dissolution, and a number of biblical commonplaces.
Line number 1

 Gloss note

The Roman goddess of the dawn. Aurora appears in various forms in Classical literature, from the famous “rosy-fingered Dawn” of the Iliad to Ovid and Virgil. Alice Eardley notes that Pulter “draws particularly heavily on symbolism relating to cycles of light and dark, at the heart of which appears Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn, or the morning, and her daughter Astraea, or Truth, who brings light to the world after a period of darkness” (Eardley, ed., Poems, Emblems, and The Unfortunate Florinda, by Lady Hester Pulter, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series vol. 32 [Iter and Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014], 27).
Line number 3

 Gloss note

As in “Aurora [1],” Night is one of Aurora’s chief antagonists, a menacing maternal figure whose illegitimate children (the “black Embryons” of line 12, and the “Spurious breed” of Aurora [1] [Poem 3], l. 37) include Death, Doom, and Fate. For a longer list, see the note to “embryos” in the Elemental Edition.
Line number 4

 Gloss note

enfolds or wraps (OED)
Line number 4

 Critical note

That night wore a sable veil was a poetic commonplace. A particularly distinguished example appears in Mary Sidney Herbert’s translation of Psalm 139: “Do thou thy best, O secret night, / In sable veil to cover me: / Thy sable veil / Shall vainly fail. / With day unmasked my night shall be, / For night is day, and darkness light, / O father of all lights, to thee” (The Sidney Psalter, ed. Hannibal Hamlin, Michael G. Brennan, Margaret P. Hannay, and Noel J. Kinnamon [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009], ll.36–42).
Line number 5

 Gloss note

The primordial state before the creation of the universe, typically described as confused because it contained only formless matter. For Pulter, it was a state of darkness, as in Genesis 1:2, immediately before God creates light: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” For a comparison, see The Revolution [Poem 16], ll. 13–15: “Shouldst thou thy glorious beams recall, / To horrid chaos they would fall / And darkness would involve them all.” Writers have long associated Chaos with Night. In Hesiod’s Theogony, for example, Chaos is the mother of Night, while in Milton’s Paradise Lost Night is the consort of Chaos.
Line number 6

 Gloss note

Pulter frequently uses this word in its Latin sense of enwrap or envelope.
Line number 7

 Critical note

The rhyme between “think” and (in the next line) “wink” may recall some lines in another aubade, Donne’s “The Sun Rising”: “Thy beams, so reverend, and strong / Why shouldst thou think? / I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, / But that I would not lose her sight so long” (John Donne, ed. John Carey [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990], ll.11–14). Whether intentional or not, the echo points the contrast between the two morning poems. For Donne’s speaker, lying happily in bed with his beloved, the sun is a “Busy old fool” with the potential to interrupt his bliss, while for Pulter darkness distracts from the truth represented by the light of day. In Donne’s more conventional aubade, dawn arrives too soon; in Pulter’s poem, it cannot arrive soon enough.
Line number 9

 Gloss note

God’s Word, including the biblical promise of everlasting life
Line number 10

 Gloss note

always
Line number 12

 Gloss note

embryos
Line number 13

 Critical note

Pulter may have accented the first and third syllables, as in Latin delectare, to delight.
Line number 14

 Gloss note

The rising of the dead, usually understood in Christian theology to occur at the Last Judgement (when the last trumpet of line 15 shall sound). This is sometimes called the General Resurrection, as distinguished from the Resurrection of Christ.
Line number 15

 Gloss note

when
Line number 15

 Critical note

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:51–53)
Line number 17

 Critical note

In Pulter’s poems, causes are typically the places where bodies, dissolved into their elements (the “dust” of line 18), sleep while awaiting a call to new life. Causes, then, are also places of origin, holding the matter that will produce a thing. Pulter’s use of the term likely derives at least in part from the Aristotelian idea of the material cause, “that out of which a thing comes to be and which persists” (Aristotle, Physics II.3, in Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. Richard McKeon [New York: Random House, 1941], 240). The mid-seventeenth century provides some close parallels. For example, a song in Thomas Carew’s 1640 Poems begins, “Ask me no more where Jove bestows, / When June is past, the fading rose; / For in your beauty’s orient deep / These flowers, as in their causes, sleep” (Seventeenth-Century British Poetry, 1603–1660, ed. John P. Rumrich and Gregory Chaplin [New York: Norton, 2006], 317); and in Religio Medici (1642) Sir Thomas Browne describes human life before conception as “that general and common existence we are conceived to hold in our Chaos, and while we sleep within the bosom of our causes” (Selected Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], 46 [modernized]). Other instances in Pulter’s poems include Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] (“Trust me, they seem to hang their heads and weep / ’Cause in their causes they so soon must sleep” (ll.13–14; also lines 32 and 46)); The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39] (“The chicken in the shell lies still, / So doth the embryo in the womb, / So doth the corpse within the tomb, / So doth the flower sleep in its cause, / Obedient all to Nature’s laws” (ll.2–6)); and Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night” [Poem 47] (“In causes all sleep best” (l.32)).
Line number 18

 Gloss note

A common inversion of shake off. Shaking the dust off one’s feet is a gesture of departure in several New Testament texts (see Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5, and Acts 13:51), and is used in this sense by Fulke Greville in Caelica 88: “When thou the dust hast shaken from thy feet” (Selected Poems, ed. Thom Gunn [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], l.14). Sleep, too, was sometimes said to be shaken off. A close parallel to Pulter’s lines appears in Richard Lovelace’s “Night. To Lucasta,” where Lucasta plays the role Aurora plays in Pulter’s poem: “Night! loathed jailor of the locked up sun, / And tyrant-turnkey on committed day; /… Thou dost arise our living hell, / With thee groans, terrors, furies dwell, / Until Lucasta doth awake, / And with her beams these heavy chains off shake.” For the complete text of Lovelace’s poem, see The Poetry of Night and Day in Curations.
Line number 19

 Critical note

Many (but not all) of Pulter’s poems are consistent with the controversial doctrine of mortalism, defined by the OED as “The belief that the soul is mortal and dies with the body, or lies unconscious until the final resurrection.” Mortalist belief was often expressed after the Reformation through the metaphor of sleep, as it may have been by Pulter. See Christian Mortalism from the Bible to Pulter in Curations.
Line number 19

 Critical note

The dead in Pulter’s poems often sleep in urns, awaiting rebirth. The closest parallel is found in The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]: “But oh my soul, once more, return, / And call me in my silent urn. / But if asleep I then am found, / Jog me, and say the trump doth sound” (ll. 22–25). Also see Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]. Urns are frequently a place of final rest in Roman epitaphs and in seventeenth-century poetry. The last line of Robert Herrick’s “The Dirge of Jephthah’s Daughter,” for example, is “And leave thee sleeping in thy urn” (His Noble Numbers [London, 1647], 27).
Line number 20

 Gloss note

A religious commonplace, perhaps deriving from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, where it offers a transformative alternative to sleeping (see note above to “trump shall sound”)
Line number 23

 Critical note

A common conceit, suggested by Psalm 17:7–8: “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” For example, a 1646 edition of The Psalter of David with Titles and Collects follows this psalm with a prayer reading, in part, “hide us under the shadow of thy wings of mercy and providence” (27)
Line number 24

 Gloss note

The manuscript reads “but in.” See the Editorial Note for discussion of this emendation.
Line number 24

 Critical note

This phrase also ends Pardon Me, My Dearest Love [Poem 42] and appears in To Aurora [2] [Poem 26], l. 14.
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Aurora [2]
Aurora [2]
Aurora [2]
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.

— Kenneth Graham
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.

— Kenneth Graham
This is a modern (Canadian) spelling edition that preserves the capitalization of nouns when they clearly refer to mythological beings. I have also modernized punctuation. References to the Bible are to the 1611 Authorized Version (the King James Bible).
My only controversial editorial decision is to remove the word “but” from the final line, where the manuscript reading of “but in” adds an extrametrical syllable without, in my view, strengthening the meaning of the line. There are three reasons for making this change. First, Pulter is an excellent metrist, and in no other poem does she allow a comparable metrical interruption—an extra syllable not easily elided—in the final line. Second, phrases such as “in endless love” and “in endless glory” are so frequent in her poetry as to be formulaic (I count eight), and two poems echo the “end in endless” formula of “Aurora [2]”: Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter [Poem 10], “Which now her soul doth end in endless glory” (l. 34), and Aletheia’s Pearl [Poem 32], “My troubles all would end in endless glory” (l. 48). In no other case does she add a “but.” Third, while “but” could combine with “in” to give the sense of “only in,” serving, in effect, as an intensifier, it appears to me that this locution normally followed “never,” hence retaining some of the adversative function of “but.” For example, Robert Bolton writes that the “heart of man” without God “shall never find rest; but in endless woe and restless torments” (Mr. Bolton’s Last and Learned Work of the Four Last Things [London, 1632], 225 [modernized]), while William Jemmat claims that “Faith never leaves the soul, but in endless and unspeakable blessedness” (The Rock, or, A Settled Heart in Unsettled Times [London, 1644], 28 [modernized]). In short, the manuscript line is metrically clumsy, uncharacteristic of Pulter in its phrasing, and somewhat unidiomatic.
Of course, none of this proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the manuscript is corrupt here, so if I were publishing a conventional edition of the poem I might have decided, despite these reservations, to include the full line as it is written in the manuscript. But knowing that The Pulter Project makes other versions of the poem available to readers allows me to publish what I suspect, based on the preponderance of the evidence, is the line Pulter wrote.


— Kenneth Graham
The unfailing daily return of dawn offered Pulter a figure she returned to often in her verse, as in this, her second poem called “Aurora” and the fifth poem in the manuscript dedicated to this figure. The poem begins as an imploring address from a melancholy speaker to a classical goddess, dawn’s personification; but if this poem participates in the genre of the aubade—addresses to the dawn—it is complicated by originating in pitch blackness: an objectionable condition from which the speaker seeks Aurora as savior. But she no sooner makes this appeal than she castigates it as a kind of optico-spiritual error, stemming from the limited vision of her mortal form; she thus reminds herself that earthly darkness is merely a matter of perspective: the lights in fact are always on, and someone’s always home, even if we cannot see them. The illumination in question is, of course, not just the astronomical kind (from the sun, the source of dawn’s light) but the sort associated here with truth and eternal life. The poem ends with a visionary cavalcade of physical and allegorical detail, anticipating what such heavenly light is like—and, with even plain daylight being so desirable, a sense of how much better it must be.

— Kenneth Graham
“Aurora [2]” holds a central place in Pulter’s poetic exploration of life, death, and rebirth. Characteristically, the poem draws upon both a Classical understanding of the mythical contest between the creative forces of light and the destructive forces of darkness and a Christian belief in the ultimate triumph of supernatural good over evil. At the mythical level, the forces of darkness and death are represented chiefly by Night, while Aurora shines the light of joy and love. As a Christian text, the poem draws its inspiration at least partly from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, which reveals a mysterious change that will take place at the last trumpet, when the dead shall rise and “put on” immortality—as an alternative to sleep. There is some tension between the poem’s Classical and Christian elements, and the tension plays out in the personal drama of a speaker who expresses “fear” in lines 5–6, criticizes such fearful thoughts as foolish in line 7, and devotes the remainder of the poem to Christian consolation. The poem shifts decisively from its Classical to its Christian frame of reference with the appeal to the “Word” at line 9, and at lines 13–14 introduces what will be its chief metaphorical conceit: Night is to death as day is to the Resurrection. This is a familiar conceit, expressed in detail by George Gascoigne (see the Curation for this poem, The Poetry of Night and Day), and present elsewhere in Pulter’s own verse (see especially My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]: “This life’s a dream of mirth or sorrow / Envelopèd in night. / The Resurrection’s like the morrow / As full of life as light” (ll.5–8)). But the strength of the poem lies in Pulter’s ability to bring new life to familiar materials. Here, her materials include the mythology of Aurora and Night, the philosophy of mortalism and atomic dissolution, and a number of biblical commonplaces.

— Kenneth Graham
1
Lovly Aurora, when wilt thou apear?
Lovely
Gloss Note
classical goddess of the dawn
Aurora
, when wilt thou appear,
Lovely
Gloss Note
The Roman goddess of the dawn. Aurora appears in various forms in Classical literature, from the famous “rosy-fingered Dawn” of the Iliad to Ovid and Virgil. Alice Eardley notes that Pulter “draws particularly heavily on symbolism relating to cycles of light and dark, at the heart of which appears Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn, or the morning, and her daughter Astraea, or Truth, who brings light to the world after a period of darkness” (Eardley, ed., Poems, Emblems, and The Unfortunate Florinda, by Lady Hester Pulter, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series vol. 32 [Iter and Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014], 27).
Aurora
, when wilt thou appear
2
And with thy Lightſom looks, my Spirit Cheer.
And with thy
Gloss Note
graceful, elegant; light-hearted, cheerful, merry; enlivening, entertaining; nimble, quick
lightsome
looks my spirit cheer?
And with thy lightsome looks my spirit cheer?
3
Mee thinks thou let’st old Night too much prevail,
Methinks thou let’st old
Gloss Note
classical goddess (Nyx)
Night
too much prevail;
Methinks thou let’st old
Gloss Note
As in “Aurora [1],” Night is one of Aurora’s chief antagonists, a menacing maternal figure whose illegitimate children (the “black Embryons” of line 12, and the “Spurious breed” of Aurora [1] [Poem 3], l. 37) include Death, Doom, and Fate. For a longer list, see the note to “embryos” in the Elemental Edition.
Night
too much prevail;
4
Shee too Long laps us, in her Sable vail:
She too long
Gloss Note
enfolds, wraps; hems in; embraces
laps
us in her
Gloss Note
black
sable
veil,
She too long
Gloss Note
enfolds or wraps (OED)
laps
us in her
Critical Note
That night wore a sable veil was a poetic commonplace. A particularly distinguished example appears in Mary Sidney Herbert’s translation of Psalm 139: “Do thou thy best, O secret night, / In sable veil to cover me: / Thy sable veil / Shall vainly fail. / With day unmasked my night shall be, / For night is day, and darkness light, / O father of all lights, to thee” (The Sidney Psalter, ed. Hannibal Hamlin, Michael G. Brennan, Margaret P. Hannay, and Noel J. Kinnamon [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009], ll.36–42).
sable veil
,
5
Which makes mee fear, confuſed Chaos might
Which makes me fear confuséd
Gloss Note
oldest of the classical gods, and parent of Night (Nyx)
Chaos
might
Which makes me fear confusèd
Gloss Note
The primordial state before the creation of the universe, typically described as confused because it contained only formless matter. For Pulter, it was a state of darkness, as in Genesis 1:2, immediately before God creates light: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” For a comparison, see The Revolution [Poem 16], ll. 13–15: “Shouldst thou thy glorious beams recall, / To horrid chaos they would fall / And darkness would involve them all.” Writers have long associated Chaos with Night. In Hesiod’s Theogony, for example, Chaos is the mother of Night, while in Milton’s Paradise Lost Night is the consort of Chaos.
Chaos
might
6
Involv this Globe, (once more) in
Physical Note
“d” written over other letter
Shades
of Night.
Gloss Note
enfold, envelop
Involve
this globe (once more) in shades of Night.
Gloss Note
Pulter frequently uses this word in its Latin sense of enwrap or envelope.
Involve
this globe (once more) in shades of night.
7
ffool that I am, Soe ffooliſhly to think,
Fool that I am, so foolishly to think,
Fool that I am, so foolishly to
Critical Note
The rhyme between “think” and (in the next line) “wink” may recall some lines in another aubade, Donne’s “The Sun Rising”: “Thy beams, so reverend, and strong / Why shouldst thou think? / I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, / But that I would not lose her sight so long” (John Donne, ed. John Carey [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990], ll.11–14). Whether intentional or not, the echo points the contrast between the two morning poems. For Donne’s speaker, lying happily in bed with his beloved, the sun is a “Busy old fool” with the potential to interrupt his bliss, while for Pulter darkness distracts from the truth represented by the light of day. In Donne’s more conventional aubade, dawn arrives too soon; in Pulter’s poem, it cannot arrive soon enough.
think
,
8
As if t’were dark becauſe my eyes doe wink.
As if ’twere dark, because my eyes do wink,
As if ’twere dark because my eyes do wink,
9
When hee
Physical Note
parentheses lighter than surrounding marks; last one may be imperfectly erased
(hath Said) (whoſe
word Shall never fayle,
When He hath said (whose word shall never fail),
When he hath said (whose
Gloss Note
God’s Word, including the biblical promise of everlasting life
Word
shall never fail)
10
That Truth, and Light, and Life, Should Still p:evail.
That truth, and light, and life should still prevail.
That truth and light and life should
Gloss Note
always
still
prevail.
11
Then doe but Shew the Luster of thine Eye,
Then do but show the
Gloss Note
sheen; beautiful radiance; splendour, glory
luster
of
Gloss Note
Aurora’s
thine
eye,
Then do but show the lustre of thine eye,
12
And theſe black
Physical Note
“y”, in thicker ink, written over earlier letter(s)
Embryons
w:th their Dam will fly.
And these black
Gloss Note
unborn or not yet fully formed offspring; here, in allusion to the offspring of the classical Night, including Doom, Fate, Death, Dreams, Blame, Misery, the Hesperides, the Destinies (or Parcae), Nemesis, Deceit, Lovemaking, Old Age, and Strife. Hesiod, The Poems of Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, and the Shield of Herakles (2017), 42, 45.
embryos
with their dam will
Gloss Note
flee; rise suddenly into the air
fly
.
And these black
Gloss Note
embryos
Embryons
with their dam will fly.
13
If Day (my Soul) Soe Delectable bee,
If day (my soul) so
Gloss Note
delightful, pleasant
delectable
be,
If day (my soul) so
Critical Note
Pulter may have accented the first and third syllables, as in Latin delectare, to delight.
delectable
be,
14
What will the Resurrection bee to thee
What will the
Gloss Note
the process, predicted in biblical book of Revelation, by which souls will be restored to their bodies and raised to heaven; also known as the second coming of Christ or Final Judgment
Resurrection
be to thee?
What will the
Gloss Note
The rising of the dead, usually understood in Christian theology to occur at the Last Judgement (when the last trumpet of line 15 shall sound). This is sometimes called the General Resurrection, as distinguished from the Resurrection of Christ.
Resurrection
be to thee?
15
When as the last (& lowdest) Trump Shall Sound,
Gloss Note
when
Whenas
the last (and loudest)
Gloss Note
the trumpet of the Last Judgment; Revelation 8–11.
trump
shall sound,
Gloss Note
when
Whenas
the last (and loudest)
Critical Note
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:51–53)
trump shall sound
,
16
Which will bee heard the Univerſall Round,
Which will be heard the universe all round,
Which will be heard the universal round,
17
That from our Drowſey Cauſes Shall us wake:
That from our drowsy
Critical Note
As Eardley notes, “Pulter uses the term to draw a connection between the grave (i.e., the earth), the atoms or first principles of which organisms are composed, and the origins of life; i.e., when living beings die they return to their place of origin.”
causes
shall us wake:
That from our drowsy
Critical Note
In Pulter’s poems, causes are typically the places where bodies, dissolved into their elements (the “dust” of line 18), sleep while awaiting a call to new life. Causes, then, are also places of origin, holding the matter that will produce a thing. Pulter’s use of the term likely derives at least in part from the Aristotelian idea of the material cause, “that out of which a thing comes to be and which persists” (Aristotle, Physics II.3, in Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. Richard McKeon [New York: Random House, 1941], 240). The mid-seventeenth century provides some close parallels. For example, a song in Thomas Carew’s 1640 Poems begins, “Ask me no more where Jove bestows, / When June is past, the fading rose; / For in your beauty’s orient deep / These flowers, as in their causes, sleep” (Seventeenth-Century British Poetry, 1603–1660, ed. John P. Rumrich and Gregory Chaplin [New York: Norton, 2006], 317); and in Religio Medici (1642) Sir Thomas Browne describes human life before conception as “that general and common existence we are conceived to hold in our Chaos, and while we sleep within the bosom of our causes” (Selected Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], 46 [modernized]). Other instances in Pulter’s poems include Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] (“Trust me, they seem to hang their heads and weep / ’Cause in their causes they so soon must sleep” (ll.13–14; also lines 32 and 46)); The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39] (“The chicken in the shell lies still, / So doth the embryo in the womb, / So doth the corpse within the tomb, / So doth the flower sleep in its cause, / Obedient all to Nature’s laws” (ll.2–6)); and Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night” [Poem 47] (“In causes all sleep best” (l.32)).
causes
shall us wake,
18
Then Shall wee Darknes, Dust, and Death, of Shake,
Then shall we darkness,
Gloss Note
disintegrated matter; also original, formative physical elements; see 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.”
dust
, and death off shake,
Then shall we darkness, dust, and death
Gloss Note
A common inversion of shake off. Shaking the dust off one’s feet is a gesture of departure in several New Testament texts (see Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5, and Acts 13:51), and is used in this sense by Fulke Greville in Caelica 88: “When thou the dust hast shaken from thy feet” (Selected Poems, ed. Thom Gunn [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], l.14). Sleep, too, was sometimes said to be shaken off. A close parallel to Pulter’s lines appears in Richard Lovelace’s “Night. To Lucasta,” where Lucasta plays the role Aurora plays in Pulter’s poem: “Night! loathed jailor of the locked up sun, / And tyrant-turnkey on committed day; /… Thou dost arise our living hell, / With thee groans, terrors, furies dwell, / Until Lucasta doth awake, / And with her beams these heavy chains off shake.” For the complete text of Lovelace’s poem, see The Poetry of Night and Day in Curations.
off shake
,
19
And in our Sleeping Urns noe longer lie,
And in our sleeping
Gloss Note
metaphorically, tombs
urns
no longer lie,
And in our
Critical Note
Many (but not all) of Pulter’s poems are consistent with the controversial doctrine of mortalism, defined by the OED as “The belief that the soul is mortal and dies with the body, or lies unconscious until the final resurrection.” Mortalist belief was often expressed after the Reformation through the metaphor of sleep, as it may have been by Pulter. See Christian Mortalism from the Bible to Pulter in Curations.
sleeping
Critical Note
The dead in Pulter’s poems often sleep in urns, awaiting rebirth. The closest parallel is found in The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]: “But oh my soul, once more, return, / And call me in my silent urn. / But if asleep I then am found, / Jog me, and say the trump doth sound” (ll. 22–25). Also see Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]. Urns are frequently a place of final rest in Roman epitaphs and in seventeenth-century poetry. The last line of Robert Herrick’s “The Dirge of Jephthah’s Daughter,” for example, is “And leave thee sleeping in thy urn” (His Noble Numbers [London, 1647], 27).
urns
no longer lie;
20
But beeing cloathd with imortality;
But being clothed with immortality,
But being
Gloss Note
A religious commonplace, perhaps deriving from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, where it offers a transformative alternative to sleeping (see note above to “trump shall sound”)
clothed with immortality
,
guided

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21
Guided by Grace, and Truth, where Love doth^Dwell
Guided by Grace and Truth where Love doth dwell,
Guided by grace and truth, where love doth dwell,
22
Whilst Night, Death, Error, Shall bee trod to Hell.
Whilst Night, Death, Error shall be trod to Hell.
Whilst Night, death, error, shall be trod to hell,
23
Then on
Physical Note
“S” corrects earlier letter
Soft
mercies Wings Ile mount aboue;
Then on soft mercy’s wings I’ll mount above
Then on soft
Critical Note
A common conceit, suggested by Psalm 17:7–8: “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” For example, a 1646 edition of The Psalter of David with Titles and Collects follows this psalm with a prayer reading, in part, “hide us under the shadow of thy wings of mercy and providence” (27)
mercy’s wings
I’ll mount above,
24
Where all Shall end, but in endles Joy & love.
Where all shall end, but in endless joy and love.
Where all shall end
Gloss Note
The manuscript reads “but in.” See the Editorial Note for discussion of this emendation.
in
Critical Note
This phrase also ends Pardon Me, My Dearest Love [Poem 42] and appears in To Aurora [2] [Poem 26], l. 14.
endless joy and love
.
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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

This is a modern (Canadian) spelling edition that preserves the capitalization of nouns when they clearly refer to mythological beings. I have also modernized punctuation. References to the Bible are to the 1611 Authorized Version (the King James Bible).
My only controversial editorial decision is to remove the word “but” from the final line, where the manuscript reading of “but in” adds an extrametrical syllable without, in my view, strengthening the meaning of the line. There are three reasons for making this change. First, Pulter is an excellent metrist, and in no other poem does she allow a comparable metrical interruption—an extra syllable not easily elided—in the final line. Second, phrases such as “in endless love” and “in endless glory” are so frequent in her poetry as to be formulaic (I count eight), and two poems echo the “end in endless” formula of “Aurora [2]”: Upon the Death of my Dear and Lovely Daughter, Jane Pulter [Poem 10], “Which now her soul doth end in endless glory” (l. 34), and Aletheia’s Pearl [Poem 32], “My troubles all would end in endless glory” (l. 48). In no other case does she add a “but.” Third, while “but” could combine with “in” to give the sense of “only in,” serving, in effect, as an intensifier, it appears to me that this locution normally followed “never,” hence retaining some of the adversative function of “but.” For example, Robert Bolton writes that the “heart of man” without God “shall never find rest; but in endless woe and restless torments” (Mr. Bolton’s Last and Learned Work of the Four Last Things [London, 1632], 225 [modernized]), while William Jemmat claims that “Faith never leaves the soul, but in endless and unspeakable blessedness” (The Rock, or, A Settled Heart in Unsettled Times [London, 1644], 28 [modernized]). In short, the manuscript line is metrically clumsy, uncharacteristic of Pulter in its phrasing, and somewhat unidiomatic.
Of course, none of this proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the manuscript is corrupt here, so if I were publishing a conventional edition of the poem I might have decided, despite these reservations, to include the full line as it is written in the manuscript. But knowing that The Pulter Project makes other versions of the poem available to readers allows me to publish what I suspect, based on the preponderance of the evidence, is the line Pulter wrote.
Elemental Edition

 Headnote

The unfailing daily return of dawn offered Pulter a figure she returned to often in her verse, as in this, her second poem called “Aurora” and the fifth poem in the manuscript dedicated to this figure. The poem begins as an imploring address from a melancholy speaker to a classical goddess, dawn’s personification; but if this poem participates in the genre of the aubade—addresses to the dawn—it is complicated by originating in pitch blackness: an objectionable condition from which the speaker seeks Aurora as savior. But she no sooner makes this appeal than she castigates it as a kind of optico-spiritual error, stemming from the limited vision of her mortal form; she thus reminds herself that earthly darkness is merely a matter of perspective: the lights in fact are always on, and someone’s always home, even if we cannot see them. The illumination in question is, of course, not just the astronomical kind (from the sun, the source of dawn’s light) but the sort associated here with truth and eternal life. The poem ends with a visionary cavalcade of physical and allegorical detail, anticipating what such heavenly light is like—and, with even plain daylight being so desirable, a sense of how much better it must be.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

“Aurora [2]” holds a central place in Pulter’s poetic exploration of life, death, and rebirth. Characteristically, the poem draws upon both a Classical understanding of the mythical contest between the creative forces of light and the destructive forces of darkness and a Christian belief in the ultimate triumph of supernatural good over evil. At the mythical level, the forces of darkness and death are represented chiefly by Night, while Aurora shines the light of joy and love. As a Christian text, the poem draws its inspiration at least partly from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, which reveals a mysterious change that will take place at the last trumpet, when the dead shall rise and “put on” immortality—as an alternative to sleep. There is some tension between the poem’s Classical and Christian elements, and the tension plays out in the personal drama of a speaker who expresses “fear” in lines 5–6, criticizes such fearful thoughts as foolish in line 7, and devotes the remainder of the poem to Christian consolation. The poem shifts decisively from its Classical to its Christian frame of reference with the appeal to the “Word” at line 9, and at lines 13–14 introduces what will be its chief metaphorical conceit: Night is to death as day is to the Resurrection. This is a familiar conceit, expressed in detail by George Gascoigne (see the Curation for this poem, The Poetry of Night and Day), and present elsewhere in Pulter’s own verse (see especially My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]: “This life’s a dream of mirth or sorrow / Envelopèd in night. / The Resurrection’s like the morrow / As full of life as light” (ll.5–8)). But the strength of the poem lies in Pulter’s ability to bring new life to familiar materials. Here, her materials include the mythology of Aurora and Night, the philosophy of mortalism and atomic dissolution, and a number of biblical commonplaces.
Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

classical goddess of the dawn
Amplified Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

The Roman goddess of the dawn. Aurora appears in various forms in Classical literature, from the famous “rosy-fingered Dawn” of the Iliad to Ovid and Virgil. Alice Eardley notes that Pulter “draws particularly heavily on symbolism relating to cycles of light and dark, at the heart of which appears Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn, or the morning, and her daughter Astraea, or Truth, who brings light to the world after a period of darkness” (Eardley, ed., Poems, Emblems, and The Unfortunate Florinda, by Lady Hester Pulter, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series vol. 32 [Iter and Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014], 27).
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

graceful, elegant; light-hearted, cheerful, merry; enlivening, entertaining; nimble, quick
Elemental Edition
Line number 3

 Gloss note

classical goddess (Nyx)
Amplified Edition
Line number 3

 Gloss note

As in “Aurora [1],” Night is one of Aurora’s chief antagonists, a menacing maternal figure whose illegitimate children (the “black Embryons” of line 12, and the “Spurious breed” of Aurora [1] [Poem 3], l. 37) include Death, Doom, and Fate. For a longer list, see the note to “embryos” in the Elemental Edition.
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

enfolds, wraps; hems in; embraces
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

black
Amplified Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

enfolds or wraps (OED)
Amplified Edition
Line number 4

 Critical note

That night wore a sable veil was a poetic commonplace. A particularly distinguished example appears in Mary Sidney Herbert’s translation of Psalm 139: “Do thou thy best, O secret night, / In sable veil to cover me: / Thy sable veil / Shall vainly fail. / With day unmasked my night shall be, / For night is day, and darkness light, / O father of all lights, to thee” (The Sidney Psalter, ed. Hannibal Hamlin, Michael G. Brennan, Margaret P. Hannay, and Noel J. Kinnamon [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009], ll.36–42).
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

oldest of the classical gods, and parent of Night (Nyx)
Amplified Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

The primordial state before the creation of the universe, typically described as confused because it contained only formless matter. For Pulter, it was a state of darkness, as in Genesis 1:2, immediately before God creates light: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” For a comparison, see The Revolution [Poem 16], ll. 13–15: “Shouldst thou thy glorious beams recall, / To horrid chaos they would fall / And darkness would involve them all.” Writers have long associated Chaos with Night. In Hesiod’s Theogony, for example, Chaos is the mother of Night, while in Milton’s Paradise Lost Night is the consort of Chaos.
Transcription
Line number 6

 Physical note

“d” written over other letter
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

enfold, envelop
Amplified Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

Pulter frequently uses this word in its Latin sense of enwrap or envelope.
Amplified Edition
Line number 7

 Critical note

The rhyme between “think” and (in the next line) “wink” may recall some lines in another aubade, Donne’s “The Sun Rising”: “Thy beams, so reverend, and strong / Why shouldst thou think? / I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink, / But that I would not lose her sight so long” (John Donne, ed. John Carey [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990], ll.11–14). Whether intentional or not, the echo points the contrast between the two morning poems. For Donne’s speaker, lying happily in bed with his beloved, the sun is a “Busy old fool” with the potential to interrupt his bliss, while for Pulter darkness distracts from the truth represented by the light of day. In Donne’s more conventional aubade, dawn arrives too soon; in Pulter’s poem, it cannot arrive soon enough.
Transcription
Line number 9

 Physical note

parentheses lighter than surrounding marks; last one may be imperfectly erased
Amplified Edition
Line number 9

 Gloss note

God’s Word, including the biblical promise of everlasting life
Amplified Edition
Line number 10

 Gloss note

always
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

sheen; beautiful radiance; splendour, glory
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

Aurora’s
Transcription
Line number 12

 Physical note

“y”, in thicker ink, written over earlier letter(s)
Elemental Edition
Line number 12

 Gloss note

unborn or not yet fully formed offspring; here, in allusion to the offspring of the classical Night, including Doom, Fate, Death, Dreams, Blame, Misery, the Hesperides, the Destinies (or Parcae), Nemesis, Deceit, Lovemaking, Old Age, and Strife. Hesiod, The Poems of Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, and the Shield of Herakles (2017), 42, 45.
Elemental Edition
Line number 12

 Gloss note

flee; rise suddenly into the air
Amplified Edition
Line number 12

 Gloss note

embryos
Elemental Edition
Line number 13

 Gloss note

delightful, pleasant
Amplified Edition
Line number 13

 Critical note

Pulter may have accented the first and third syllables, as in Latin delectare, to delight.
Elemental Edition
Line number 14

 Gloss note

the process, predicted in biblical book of Revelation, by which souls will be restored to their bodies and raised to heaven; also known as the second coming of Christ or Final Judgment
Amplified Edition
Line number 14

 Gloss note

The rising of the dead, usually understood in Christian theology to occur at the Last Judgement (when the last trumpet of line 15 shall sound). This is sometimes called the General Resurrection, as distinguished from the Resurrection of Christ.
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

when
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

the trumpet of the Last Judgment; Revelation 8–11.
Amplified Edition
Line number 15

 Gloss note

when
Amplified Edition
Line number 15

 Critical note

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:51–53)
Elemental Edition
Line number 17

 Critical note

As Eardley notes, “Pulter uses the term to draw a connection between the grave (i.e., the earth), the atoms or first principles of which organisms are composed, and the origins of life; i.e., when living beings die they return to their place of origin.”
Amplified Edition
Line number 17

 Critical note

In Pulter’s poems, causes are typically the places where bodies, dissolved into their elements (the “dust” of line 18), sleep while awaiting a call to new life. Causes, then, are also places of origin, holding the matter that will produce a thing. Pulter’s use of the term likely derives at least in part from the Aristotelian idea of the material cause, “that out of which a thing comes to be and which persists” (Aristotle, Physics II.3, in Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. Richard McKeon [New York: Random House, 1941], 240). The mid-seventeenth century provides some close parallels. For example, a song in Thomas Carew’s 1640 Poems begins, “Ask me no more where Jove bestows, / When June is past, the fading rose; / For in your beauty’s orient deep / These flowers, as in their causes, sleep” (Seventeenth-Century British Poetry, 1603–1660, ed. John P. Rumrich and Gregory Chaplin [New York: Norton, 2006], 317); and in Religio Medici (1642) Sir Thomas Browne describes human life before conception as “that general and common existence we are conceived to hold in our Chaos, and while we sleep within the bosom of our causes” (Selected Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], 46 [modernized]). Other instances in Pulter’s poems include Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] (“Trust me, they seem to hang their heads and weep / ’Cause in their causes they so soon must sleep” (ll.13–14; also lines 32 and 46)); The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39] (“The chicken in the shell lies still, / So doth the embryo in the womb, / So doth the corpse within the tomb, / So doth the flower sleep in its cause, / Obedient all to Nature’s laws” (ll.2–6)); and Why Art Thou Sad at the Approach of Night” [Poem 47] (“In causes all sleep best” (l.32)).
Elemental Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

disintegrated matter; also original, formative physical elements; see 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.”
Amplified Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

A common inversion of shake off. Shaking the dust off one’s feet is a gesture of departure in several New Testament texts (see Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5, and Acts 13:51), and is used in this sense by Fulke Greville in Caelica 88: “When thou the dust hast shaken from thy feet” (Selected Poems, ed. Thom Gunn [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968], l.14). Sleep, too, was sometimes said to be shaken off. A close parallel to Pulter’s lines appears in Richard Lovelace’s “Night. To Lucasta,” where Lucasta plays the role Aurora plays in Pulter’s poem: “Night! loathed jailor of the locked up sun, / And tyrant-turnkey on committed day; /… Thou dost arise our living hell, / With thee groans, terrors, furies dwell, / Until Lucasta doth awake, / And with her beams these heavy chains off shake.” For the complete text of Lovelace’s poem, see The Poetry of Night and Day in Curations.
Elemental Edition
Line number 19

 Gloss note

metaphorically, tombs
Amplified Edition
Line number 19

 Critical note

Many (but not all) of Pulter’s poems are consistent with the controversial doctrine of mortalism, defined by the OED as “The belief that the soul is mortal and dies with the body, or lies unconscious until the final resurrection.” Mortalist belief was often expressed after the Reformation through the metaphor of sleep, as it may have been by Pulter. See Christian Mortalism from the Bible to Pulter in Curations.
Amplified Edition
Line number 19

 Critical note

The dead in Pulter’s poems often sleep in urns, awaiting rebirth. The closest parallel is found in The Perfection of Patience and Knowledge [Poem 39]: “But oh my soul, once more, return, / And call me in my silent urn. / But if asleep I then am found, / Jog me, and say the trump doth sound” (ll. 22–25). Also see Universal Dissolution, Made When I Was with Child, of my 15th Child, my Son, John, I Being, Everyone Thought, in a Consumption, 1648 [Poem 6] and My Soul, Why Art Thou Full of Trouble? [Poem 40]. Urns are frequently a place of final rest in Roman epitaphs and in seventeenth-century poetry. The last line of Robert Herrick’s “The Dirge of Jephthah’s Daughter,” for example, is “And leave thee sleeping in thy urn” (His Noble Numbers [London, 1647], 27).
Amplified Edition
Line number 20

 Gloss note

A religious commonplace, perhaps deriving from 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, where it offers a transformative alternative to sleeping (see note above to “trump shall sound”)
Transcription
Line number 23

 Physical note

“S” corrects earlier letter
Amplified Edition
Line number 23

 Critical note

A common conceit, suggested by Psalm 17:7–8: “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” For example, a 1646 edition of The Psalter of David with Titles and Collects follows this psalm with a prayer reading, in part, “hide us under the shadow of thy wings of mercy and providence” (27)
Amplified Edition
Line number 24

 Gloss note

The manuscript reads “but in.” See the Editorial Note for discussion of this emendation.
Amplified Edition
Line number 24

 Critical note

This phrase also ends Pardon Me, My Dearest Love [Poem 42] and appears in To Aurora [2] [Poem 26], l. 14.
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