The Manucodiats (Emblem 5)

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The Manucodiats (Emblem 5)

Poem 71

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 Lara Dodds.

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

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

 Editorial note

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

 Physical note

poem begins on the same page as previous one ends
Line number 8

 Physical note

over “r,” imperfectly erased ascender, as for “h”
Line number 24

 Physical note

struck-through with multiple slanted lines
Line number 29

 Physical note

“tt” appears in different hand from main scribe, with first possibly written over “s”
Line number 31

 Physical note

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

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
[Emblem 5]
The Manucodiats
(Emblem 5)
Emblem 5
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 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
I have modernized spelling and punctuation in this poem with the aim of enhancing clarity and readability. The notes gloss unfamiliar words and provide cultural and literary contexts.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
Perhaps only a paradisal species can achieve true equality in parenting—or so Pulter suggests here. But specialized anatomical hardware can help: in this emblem, a male bird sports in his back a “pit” for the eggs on which the concave-bellied female sits. Pulter’s manucodiats—better known as birds-of-paradise—are praised for this evidence of their transcendent love, unity, kindness, and “indulgency,” all qualities treated as signs of their divine origin. Rather than a call for more active and loving fathering, though, the speaker’s reflection on these birds becomes a prayer that she might be infused with love for her relations, which might suggest that this avian model of companionate marriage did not match her experience.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
In this poem, the Manucodiat, a bird now known as a bird-of-paradise, becomes an emblem that allows for an exploration of the links between God’s love for his creations, a parent’s love for her partner and her children, and the speaker’s own desires for spiritual transcendence. The first half of the poem describes the fabulous lore associated with the bird-of-paradise. It was believed that these birds never landed on the ground, fed only upon dew, and hatched their eggs from the conjoined bodies of male and female partners. Pulter explains that these birds are “crowned” for their “indulgency”—of their partners and their offspring—and this quality becomes the basis for the lesson of the second half of the poem. Parents are instructed to learn “indulgency” from the example of the birds-of-paradise, but the speaker develops this general injunction of “unity” into self-reflection and self-interrogation. Love comes only from “above,” and the speaker implores God to “irradiate” her soul with this love so that she may serve as an intermediary between the divine and her relations on earth. The speaker longs to inhabit the liminal space of the birds-of-paradise—halfway between the heavens and the earth—a conclusion that expands their emblematic significance.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
5
Physical Note
poem begins on the same page as previous one ends
The
Manucodiats as Authors write
The
Gloss Note
birds of paradise
manucodiats
, as authors write,
Critical Note
Manucodiats are now known as birds-of-paradise, a group of species native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Manucodiata derives from the Javanese phrase manuk dewata, bird of the gods (see OED manucodiata). European travelers and natural historians wrote about the bird-of-paradise for the first time in the sixteenth century, though most were familiar with the animal only through dead specimens. The bird-of-paradise was the subject of much lore and legend, which Pulter acknowledges in the first line of the poem (“as authors write”). One important part of this lore is its association with the phoenix, a divine bird that is reborn from its own ashes. Thomas P. Harrison collects much of this lore, including its association with the phoenix, in “Bird of Paradise: Phoenix Redivivus,” Isis, vol. 51, no 2 (1960): pp. 173-80.
The Manucodiats, as authors write
,
2
On This baſe dunghill Earth doth never lite
On this base
Gloss Note
pile of excrement
dunghill
Earth doth never
Gloss Note
land
light
,
On this base dunghill earth doth never light,
3
But hovers in the Ayr both day and Night
But hover in the air both day and night,
But hover in the air both day and night,
4
And on the Dew of Heaven they onely ffeed
And on the dew of heaven they only feed,
And on the dew of heaven they only feed,
5
Which Signifies their pure Celestiall breed
Which signifies their pure celestial breed.
Which signifies their
Critical Note
The traits Pulter identifies with the birds-of-paradise, including the belief that they never land on the earth and do not eat, are included in the description in Du Bartas’s very popular hexameral poem, The Divine Weeks and Works. The bird-of-paradise is included with the “Strange admirable birds” on the fifth day of the first week of the poem. The belief that the bird-of-paradise has no feet and, thus, never touches the ground, likely derives from the preparation of specimens with the feet, and sometimes wings and heads, removed (Harrison 175). For an illustration of a speciment prepared this way and an excerpt from Du Bartas’s poem, see “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
pure celestial breed
.
6
Their fflesh conſumes not, yet their often ffound
Their flesh
Gloss Note
rots
consumes
not, yet they’re often found
Their flesh consumes not, yet they’re often found
7
When Dead, for their Indulgencie their Crownd
When dead;
Critical Note
the indulgent nature of the birds is described a few lines later, in relation to how they raise their young.
for their indulgency they’re crowned
.
When dead. For their
Critical Note
the quality or act of being indulgent; the gratification of another’s desires; forebearance; relaxation of restraint (OED, "indulgency," n., 1; “indulgence,” n., 1a.). Indulgency is the quality that “crowns” the bird-of-paradise; i.e. their generosity toward others is what is most admirable about them. Though the ultimate beneficiaries of their indulgence are their offspring, the following lines suggest that it is their care for their partners, signified by their “conjoined” bodies, that confirms their superiority to other birds and ensures that their offspring are secure.
indulgency
they’re crowned:
8
T’is
Physical Note
over “r,” imperfectly erased ascender, as for “h”
true
Some Birds will help to build their Nests
’Tis true,
Critical Note
The speaker means that some male birds help the females construct nests.
some birds
will help to build their nests,
’Tis true some birds will help to build their nests,
9
And Swans and Doves Sit half the Time at least
And swans and doves sit half the time, at least;
Critical Note
Pulter elevates birds-of-paradise above other species (swans and doves) that also share the care of offspring between male and female partners. The birds-of-paradise “transcend all animals in love” because of their unique anatomy, as understood by their first European observers, allows the male and female to join together to protect the egg. By the second half of the seventeenth century, natural historians had begun to challenge earlier accounts of this bird. See “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
And swans and doves sit half the time at least
,
10
But theſe Tranſcend all Animals in Loue
But
Gloss Note
the manucodiats
these
transcend all animals in love,
But these transcend all animals in love,
11
Which Shews that their Extraction’s from above
Which shows that their
Gloss Note
origin, descent
extraction’s
from above;
Which shows that their extraction’s from above.
12
ffor on their Backs the Males have hollow Pits
For on their backs, the males have hollow pits
For on their backs the males have hollow pits
13
In w:ch the ffemale lays her Egs and Sits
In which the female lays her eggs and sits;
In which the female lays her eggs and sits,
Shee

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
14
Shee having the like Concave in her breast
She, having the like concave in her breast,
She having the like concave in her breast;
15
Beeing thus conjoyn’d their young Securely Rest
Being thus conjoined,
Critical Note
Pulter’s source for her information on this bird appears to be Simon Goulart, A Learned Summary Upon the Famous Poem of William of Saluste Lord of Bartas (London, 1621), 1.240-1.
their young securely rest
.
Being thus conjoined, their young securely rest.
16
Let Parents then Learn here Indulgencie
Let parents then learn here indulgency,
Critical Note
the meaning or lesson of the emblem. Parents must seek “unity” with each other in order to be “blessed” in their children.
Let parents then learn here indulgency
,
17
ffor none are Bleſſed without Unitie
For none are blesséd without unity.
For none are blessed without unity.
18
But know that the least Spark or beam of Love
But know that the least spark or
Gloss Note
ray
beam
of love
But know that the least spark or beam of love
19
Is first diffuſ’d and kindled from above
Is first diffused and kindled from above.
Is first diffused and kindled from above.
20
ffor in my poor experience this I find
For in my poor experience, this I find:
For in my poor experience this I find:
21
The holyest Men are evermore most Kind
The holiest men are evermore most kind.
The holiest men are evermore most kind.
22
Then Oh my God from thy bright Throne above
Then O, my God, from Thy bright throne above,
Then, Oh my God, from thy bright throne above
23
Irradiate my Soul Soe with thy Love
Gloss Note
illuminate, brighten spiritually
Irradiate
my soul so with Thy love
Irradiate my soul so with thy love,
24
That as the Sun Illuminateth
Physical Note
struck-through with multiple slanted lines
to
all
Gloss Note
So that
That
, as the sun illuminateth all
That as the sun illuminateth all
25
Which are capacious on this Earthly Ball
Which are
Gloss Note
contained
capacious
on this earthly ball,
Which are
Gloss Note
qualified, adapted or disposed for the reception of; of capacity or qualified to do something (OED, "capacious," n., 3); i.e. everything on the earth that is capable of receiving the sun’s light.
capacious
on this earthly ball,
26
Yet Still his brightest beams to Heaven Return
Yet still his brightest beams to Heaven return,
Yet still his brightest beams to heaven return;
27
Soe let mee with Such holy ffervour Burn
So let me with such holy fervor burn:
So let me with such holy fervor burn.
28
When that Eternall Spark begins to Glow
When that eternal spark begins to glow
When that eternal spark begins to glow
29
In my Chast Breast let
Physical Note
“tt” appears in different hand from main scribe, with first possibly written over “s”
itt
diffuſe below
In my chaste breast, let it diffuse below
In my chaste breast, let it diffuse below
30
To all Relations then Reaſcend above
To all
Gloss Note
people related by blood or marriage; social interactions; kinships
relations
, then reascend above
To all relations, then reascend above
31
To God the ffount of Glory, Life and
Physical Note
remaining quarter-page blank
Love
To God, the fount of glory, life and love.
To God, the fount of glory, life, and love.
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition 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

Perhaps only a paradisal species can achieve true equality in parenting—or so Pulter suggests here. But specialized anatomical hardware can help: in this emblem, a male bird sports in his back a “pit” for the eggs on which the concave-bellied female sits. Pulter’s manucodiats—better known as birds-of-paradise—are praised for this evidence of their transcendent love, unity, kindness, and “indulgency,” all qualities treated as signs of their divine origin. Rather than a call for more active and loving fathering, though, the speaker’s reflection on these birds becomes a prayer that she might be infused with love for her relations, which might suggest that this avian model of companionate marriage did not match her experience.
Line number 1

 Gloss note

birds of paradise
Line number 2

 Gloss note

pile of excrement
Line number 2

 Gloss note

land
Line number 6

 Gloss note

rots
Line number 7

 Critical note

the indulgent nature of the birds is described a few lines later, in relation to how they raise their young.
Line number 8

 Critical note

The speaker means that some male birds help the females construct nests.
Line number 10

 Gloss note

the manucodiats
Line number 11

 Gloss note

origin, descent
Line number 15

 Critical note

Pulter’s source for her information on this bird appears to be Simon Goulart, A Learned Summary Upon the Famous Poem of William of Saluste Lord of Bartas (London, 1621), 1.240-1.
Line number 18

 Gloss note

ray
Line number 23

 Gloss note

illuminate, brighten spiritually
Line number 24

 Gloss note

So that
Line number 25

 Gloss note

contained
Line number 30

 Gloss note

people related by blood or marriage; social interactions; kinships
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Elemental Edition
Elemental Edition

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
[Emblem 5]
The Manucodiats
(Emblem 5)
Emblem 5
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 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
I have modernized spelling and punctuation in this poem with the aim of enhancing clarity and readability. The notes gloss unfamiliar words and provide cultural and literary contexts.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
Perhaps only a paradisal species can achieve true equality in parenting—or so Pulter suggests here. But specialized anatomical hardware can help: in this emblem, a male bird sports in his back a “pit” for the eggs on which the concave-bellied female sits. Pulter’s manucodiats—better known as birds-of-paradise—are praised for this evidence of their transcendent love, unity, kindness, and “indulgency,” all qualities treated as signs of their divine origin. Rather than a call for more active and loving fathering, though, the speaker’s reflection on these birds becomes a prayer that she might be infused with love for her relations, which might suggest that this avian model of companionate marriage did not match her experience.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
In this poem, the Manucodiat, a bird now known as a bird-of-paradise, becomes an emblem that allows for an exploration of the links between God’s love for his creations, a parent’s love for her partner and her children, and the speaker’s own desires for spiritual transcendence. The first half of the poem describes the fabulous lore associated with the bird-of-paradise. It was believed that these birds never landed on the ground, fed only upon dew, and hatched their eggs from the conjoined bodies of male and female partners. Pulter explains that these birds are “crowned” for their “indulgency”—of their partners and their offspring—and this quality becomes the basis for the lesson of the second half of the poem. Parents are instructed to learn “indulgency” from the example of the birds-of-paradise, but the speaker develops this general injunction of “unity” into self-reflection and self-interrogation. Love comes only from “above,” and the speaker implores God to “irradiate” her soul with this love so that she may serve as an intermediary between the divine and her relations on earth. The speaker longs to inhabit the liminal space of the birds-of-paradise—halfway between the heavens and the earth—a conclusion that expands their emblematic significance.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
5
Physical Note
poem begins on the same page as previous one ends
The
Manucodiats as Authors write
The
Gloss Note
birds of paradise
manucodiats
, as authors write,
Critical Note
Manucodiats are now known as birds-of-paradise, a group of species native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Manucodiata derives from the Javanese phrase manuk dewata, bird of the gods (see OED manucodiata). European travelers and natural historians wrote about the bird-of-paradise for the first time in the sixteenth century, though most were familiar with the animal only through dead specimens. The bird-of-paradise was the subject of much lore and legend, which Pulter acknowledges in the first line of the poem (“as authors write”). One important part of this lore is its association with the phoenix, a divine bird that is reborn from its own ashes. Thomas P. Harrison collects much of this lore, including its association with the phoenix, in “Bird of Paradise: Phoenix Redivivus,” Isis, vol. 51, no 2 (1960): pp. 173-80.
The Manucodiats, as authors write
,
2
On This baſe dunghill Earth doth never lite
On this base
Gloss Note
pile of excrement
dunghill
Earth doth never
Gloss Note
land
light
,
On this base dunghill earth doth never light,
3
But hovers in the Ayr both day and Night
But hover in the air both day and night,
But hover in the air both day and night,
4
And on the Dew of Heaven they onely ffeed
And on the dew of heaven they only feed,
And on the dew of heaven they only feed,
5
Which Signifies their pure Celestiall breed
Which signifies their pure celestial breed.
Which signifies their
Critical Note
The traits Pulter identifies with the birds-of-paradise, including the belief that they never land on the earth and do not eat, are included in the description in Du Bartas’s very popular hexameral poem, The Divine Weeks and Works. The bird-of-paradise is included with the “Strange admirable birds” on the fifth day of the first week of the poem. The belief that the bird-of-paradise has no feet and, thus, never touches the ground, likely derives from the preparation of specimens with the feet, and sometimes wings and heads, removed (Harrison 175). For an illustration of a speciment prepared this way and an excerpt from Du Bartas’s poem, see “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
pure celestial breed
.
6
Their fflesh conſumes not, yet their often ffound
Their flesh
Gloss Note
rots
consumes
not, yet they’re often found
Their flesh consumes not, yet they’re often found
7
When Dead, for their Indulgencie their Crownd
When dead;
Critical Note
the indulgent nature of the birds is described a few lines later, in relation to how they raise their young.
for their indulgency they’re crowned
.
When dead. For their
Critical Note
the quality or act of being indulgent; the gratification of another’s desires; forebearance; relaxation of restraint (OED, "indulgency," n., 1; “indulgence,” n., 1a.). Indulgency is the quality that “crowns” the bird-of-paradise; i.e. their generosity toward others is what is most admirable about them. Though the ultimate beneficiaries of their indulgence are their offspring, the following lines suggest that it is their care for their partners, signified by their “conjoined” bodies, that confirms their superiority to other birds and ensures that their offspring are secure.
indulgency
they’re crowned:
8
T’is
Physical Note
over “r,” imperfectly erased ascender, as for “h”
true
Some Birds will help to build their Nests
’Tis true,
Critical Note
The speaker means that some male birds help the females construct nests.
some birds
will help to build their nests,
’Tis true some birds will help to build their nests,
9
And Swans and Doves Sit half the Time at least
And swans and doves sit half the time, at least;
Critical Note
Pulter elevates birds-of-paradise above other species (swans and doves) that also share the care of offspring between male and female partners. The birds-of-paradise “transcend all animals in love” because of their unique anatomy, as understood by their first European observers, allows the male and female to join together to protect the egg. By the second half of the seventeenth century, natural historians had begun to challenge earlier accounts of this bird. See “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
And swans and doves sit half the time at least
,
10
But theſe Tranſcend all Animals in Loue
But
Gloss Note
the manucodiats
these
transcend all animals in love,
But these transcend all animals in love,
11
Which Shews that their Extraction’s from above
Which shows that their
Gloss Note
origin, descent
extraction’s
from above;
Which shows that their extraction’s from above.
12
ffor on their Backs the Males have hollow Pits
For on their backs, the males have hollow pits
For on their backs the males have hollow pits
13
In w:ch the ffemale lays her Egs and Sits
In which the female lays her eggs and sits;
In which the female lays her eggs and sits,
Shee

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
14
Shee having the like Concave in her breast
She, having the like concave in her breast,
She having the like concave in her breast;
15
Beeing thus conjoyn’d their young Securely Rest
Being thus conjoined,
Critical Note
Pulter’s source for her information on this bird appears to be Simon Goulart, A Learned Summary Upon the Famous Poem of William of Saluste Lord of Bartas (London, 1621), 1.240-1.
their young securely rest
.
Being thus conjoined, their young securely rest.
16
Let Parents then Learn here Indulgencie
Let parents then learn here indulgency,
Critical Note
the meaning or lesson of the emblem. Parents must seek “unity” with each other in order to be “blessed” in their children.
Let parents then learn here indulgency
,
17
ffor none are Bleſſed without Unitie
For none are blesséd without unity.
For none are blessed without unity.
18
But know that the least Spark or beam of Love
But know that the least spark or
Gloss Note
ray
beam
of love
But know that the least spark or beam of love
19
Is first diffuſ’d and kindled from above
Is first diffused and kindled from above.
Is first diffused and kindled from above.
20
ffor in my poor experience this I find
For in my poor experience, this I find:
For in my poor experience this I find:
21
The holyest Men are evermore most Kind
The holiest men are evermore most kind.
The holiest men are evermore most kind.
22
Then Oh my God from thy bright Throne above
Then O, my God, from Thy bright throne above,
Then, Oh my God, from thy bright throne above
23
Irradiate my Soul Soe with thy Love
Gloss Note
illuminate, brighten spiritually
Irradiate
my soul so with Thy love
Irradiate my soul so with thy love,
24
That as the Sun Illuminateth
Physical Note
struck-through with multiple slanted lines
to
all
Gloss Note
So that
That
, as the sun illuminateth all
That as the sun illuminateth all
25
Which are capacious on this Earthly Ball
Which are
Gloss Note
contained
capacious
on this earthly ball,
Which are
Gloss Note
qualified, adapted or disposed for the reception of; of capacity or qualified to do something (OED, "capacious," n., 3); i.e. everything on the earth that is capable of receiving the sun’s light.
capacious
on this earthly ball,
26
Yet Still his brightest beams to Heaven Return
Yet still his brightest beams to Heaven return,
Yet still his brightest beams to heaven return;
27
Soe let mee with Such holy ffervour Burn
So let me with such holy fervor burn:
So let me with such holy fervor burn.
28
When that Eternall Spark begins to Glow
When that eternal spark begins to glow
When that eternal spark begins to glow
29
In my Chast Breast let
Physical Note
“tt” appears in different hand from main scribe, with first possibly written over “s”
itt
diffuſe below
In my chaste breast, let it diffuse below
In my chaste breast, let it diffuse below
30
To all Relations then Reaſcend above
To all
Gloss Note
people related by blood or marriage; social interactions; kinships
relations
, then reascend above
To all relations, then reascend above
31
To God the ffount of Glory, Life and
Physical Note
remaining quarter-page blank
Love
To God, the fount of glory, life and love.
To God, the fount of glory, life, and love.
X (Close panel)Notes: Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

I have modernized spelling and punctuation in this poem with the aim of enhancing clarity and readability. The notes gloss unfamiliar words and provide cultural and literary contexts.

 Headnote

In this poem, the Manucodiat, a bird now known as a bird-of-paradise, becomes an emblem that allows for an exploration of the links between God’s love for his creations, a parent’s love for her partner and her children, and the speaker’s own desires for spiritual transcendence. The first half of the poem describes the fabulous lore associated with the bird-of-paradise. It was believed that these birds never landed on the ground, fed only upon dew, and hatched their eggs from the conjoined bodies of male and female partners. Pulter explains that these birds are “crowned” for their “indulgency”—of their partners and their offspring—and this quality becomes the basis for the lesson of the second half of the poem. Parents are instructed to learn “indulgency” from the example of the birds-of-paradise, but the speaker develops this general injunction of “unity” into self-reflection and self-interrogation. Love comes only from “above,” and the speaker implores God to “irradiate” her soul with this love so that she may serve as an intermediary between the divine and her relations on earth. The speaker longs to inhabit the liminal space of the birds-of-paradise—halfway between the heavens and the earth—a conclusion that expands their emblematic significance.
Line number 1

 Critical note

Manucodiats are now known as birds-of-paradise, a group of species native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Manucodiata derives from the Javanese phrase manuk dewata, bird of the gods (see OED manucodiata). European travelers and natural historians wrote about the bird-of-paradise for the first time in the sixteenth century, though most were familiar with the animal only through dead specimens. The bird-of-paradise was the subject of much lore and legend, which Pulter acknowledges in the first line of the poem (“as authors write”). One important part of this lore is its association with the phoenix, a divine bird that is reborn from its own ashes. Thomas P. Harrison collects much of this lore, including its association with the phoenix, in “Bird of Paradise: Phoenix Redivivus,” Isis, vol. 51, no 2 (1960): pp. 173-80.
Line number 5

 Critical note

The traits Pulter identifies with the birds-of-paradise, including the belief that they never land on the earth and do not eat, are included in the description in Du Bartas’s very popular hexameral poem, The Divine Weeks and Works. The bird-of-paradise is included with the “Strange admirable birds” on the fifth day of the first week of the poem. The belief that the bird-of-paradise has no feet and, thus, never touches the ground, likely derives from the preparation of specimens with the feet, and sometimes wings and heads, removed (Harrison 175). For an illustration of a speciment prepared this way and an excerpt from Du Bartas’s poem, see “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
Line number 7

 Critical note

the quality or act of being indulgent; the gratification of another’s desires; forebearance; relaxation of restraint (OED, "indulgency," n., 1; “indulgence,” n., 1a.). Indulgency is the quality that “crowns” the bird-of-paradise; i.e. their generosity toward others is what is most admirable about them. Though the ultimate beneficiaries of their indulgence are their offspring, the following lines suggest that it is their care for their partners, signified by their “conjoined” bodies, that confirms their superiority to other birds and ensures that their offspring are secure.
Line number 9

 Critical note

Pulter elevates birds-of-paradise above other species (swans and doves) that also share the care of offspring between male and female partners. The birds-of-paradise “transcend all animals in love” because of their unique anatomy, as understood by their first European observers, allows the male and female to join together to protect the egg. By the second half of the seventeenth century, natural historians had begun to challenge earlier accounts of this bird. See “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
Line number 16

 Critical note

the meaning or lesson of the emblem. Parents must seek “unity” with each other in order to be “blessed” in their children.
Line number 25

 Gloss note

qualified, adapted or disposed for the reception of; of capacity or qualified to do something (OED, "capacious," n., 3); i.e. everything on the earth that is capable of receiving the sun’s light.
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X (Close panel)Amplified Edition
Amplified Edition

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[Emblem 5]
The Manucodiats
(Emblem 5)
Emblem 5
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.

— Lara Dodds
The aim of the elemental edition 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.

— Lara Dodds
I have modernized spelling and punctuation in this poem with the aim of enhancing clarity and readability. The notes gloss unfamiliar words and provide cultural and literary contexts.

— Lara Dodds
Perhaps only a paradisal species can achieve true equality in parenting—or so Pulter suggests here. But specialized anatomical hardware can help: in this emblem, a male bird sports in his back a “pit” for the eggs on which the concave-bellied female sits. Pulter’s manucodiats—better known as birds-of-paradise—are praised for this evidence of their transcendent love, unity, kindness, and “indulgency,” all qualities treated as signs of their divine origin. Rather than a call for more active and loving fathering, though, the speaker’s reflection on these birds becomes a prayer that she might be infused with love for her relations, which might suggest that this avian model of companionate marriage did not match her experience.

— Lara Dodds
In this poem, the Manucodiat, a bird now known as a bird-of-paradise, becomes an emblem that allows for an exploration of the links between God’s love for his creations, a parent’s love for her partner and her children, and the speaker’s own desires for spiritual transcendence. The first half of the poem describes the fabulous lore associated with the bird-of-paradise. It was believed that these birds never landed on the ground, fed only upon dew, and hatched their eggs from the conjoined bodies of male and female partners. Pulter explains that these birds are “crowned” for their “indulgency”—of their partners and their offspring—and this quality becomes the basis for the lesson of the second half of the poem. Parents are instructed to learn “indulgency” from the example of the birds-of-paradise, but the speaker develops this general injunction of “unity” into self-reflection and self-interrogation. Love comes only from “above,” and the speaker implores God to “irradiate” her soul with this love so that she may serve as an intermediary between the divine and her relations on earth. The speaker longs to inhabit the liminal space of the birds-of-paradise—halfway between the heavens and the earth—a conclusion that expands their emblematic significance.

— Lara Dodds
1
5
Physical Note
poem begins on the same page as previous one ends
The
Manucodiats as Authors write
The
Gloss Note
birds of paradise
manucodiats
, as authors write,
Critical Note
Manucodiats are now known as birds-of-paradise, a group of species native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Manucodiata derives from the Javanese phrase manuk dewata, bird of the gods (see OED manucodiata). European travelers and natural historians wrote about the bird-of-paradise for the first time in the sixteenth century, though most were familiar with the animal only through dead specimens. The bird-of-paradise was the subject of much lore and legend, which Pulter acknowledges in the first line of the poem (“as authors write”). One important part of this lore is its association with the phoenix, a divine bird that is reborn from its own ashes. Thomas P. Harrison collects much of this lore, including its association with the phoenix, in “Bird of Paradise: Phoenix Redivivus,” Isis, vol. 51, no 2 (1960): pp. 173-80.
The Manucodiats, as authors write
,
2
On This baſe dunghill Earth doth never lite
On this base
Gloss Note
pile of excrement
dunghill
Earth doth never
Gloss Note
land
light
,
On this base dunghill earth doth never light,
3
But hovers in the Ayr both day and Night
But hover in the air both day and night,
But hover in the air both day and night,
4
And on the Dew of Heaven they onely ffeed
And on the dew of heaven they only feed,
And on the dew of heaven they only feed,
5
Which Signifies their pure Celestiall breed
Which signifies their pure celestial breed.
Which signifies their
Critical Note
The traits Pulter identifies with the birds-of-paradise, including the belief that they never land on the earth and do not eat, are included in the description in Du Bartas’s very popular hexameral poem, The Divine Weeks and Works. The bird-of-paradise is included with the “Strange admirable birds” on the fifth day of the first week of the poem. The belief that the bird-of-paradise has no feet and, thus, never touches the ground, likely derives from the preparation of specimens with the feet, and sometimes wings and heads, removed (Harrison 175). For an illustration of a speciment prepared this way and an excerpt from Du Bartas’s poem, see “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
pure celestial breed
.
6
Their fflesh conſumes not, yet their often ffound
Their flesh
Gloss Note
rots
consumes
not, yet they’re often found
Their flesh consumes not, yet they’re often found
7
When Dead, for their Indulgencie their Crownd
When dead;
Critical Note
the indulgent nature of the birds is described a few lines later, in relation to how they raise their young.
for their indulgency they’re crowned
.
When dead. For their
Critical Note
the quality or act of being indulgent; the gratification of another’s desires; forebearance; relaxation of restraint (OED, "indulgency," n., 1; “indulgence,” n., 1a.). Indulgency is the quality that “crowns” the bird-of-paradise; i.e. their generosity toward others is what is most admirable about them. Though the ultimate beneficiaries of their indulgence are their offspring, the following lines suggest that it is their care for their partners, signified by their “conjoined” bodies, that confirms their superiority to other birds and ensures that their offspring are secure.
indulgency
they’re crowned:
8
T’is
Physical Note
over “r,” imperfectly erased ascender, as for “h”
true
Some Birds will help to build their Nests
’Tis true,
Critical Note
The speaker means that some male birds help the females construct nests.
some birds
will help to build their nests,
’Tis true some birds will help to build their nests,
9
And Swans and Doves Sit half the Time at least
And swans and doves sit half the time, at least;
Critical Note
Pulter elevates birds-of-paradise above other species (swans and doves) that also share the care of offspring between male and female partners. The birds-of-paradise “transcend all animals in love” because of their unique anatomy, as understood by their first European observers, allows the male and female to join together to protect the egg. By the second half of the seventeenth century, natural historians had begun to challenge earlier accounts of this bird. See “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
And swans and doves sit half the time at least
,
10
But theſe Tranſcend all Animals in Loue
But
Gloss Note
the manucodiats
these
transcend all animals in love,
But these transcend all animals in love,
11
Which Shews that their Extraction’s from above
Which shows that their
Gloss Note
origin, descent
extraction’s
from above;
Which shows that their extraction’s from above.
12
ffor on their Backs the Males have hollow Pits
For on their backs, the males have hollow pits
For on their backs the males have hollow pits
13
In w:ch the ffemale lays her Egs and Sits
In which the female lays her eggs and sits;
In which the female lays her eggs and sits,
Shee

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14
Shee having the like Concave in her breast
She, having the like concave in her breast,
She having the like concave in her breast;
15
Beeing thus conjoyn’d their young Securely Rest
Being thus conjoined,
Critical Note
Pulter’s source for her information on this bird appears to be Simon Goulart, A Learned Summary Upon the Famous Poem of William of Saluste Lord of Bartas (London, 1621), 1.240-1.
their young securely rest
.
Being thus conjoined, their young securely rest.
16
Let Parents then Learn here Indulgencie
Let parents then learn here indulgency,
Critical Note
the meaning or lesson of the emblem. Parents must seek “unity” with each other in order to be “blessed” in their children.
Let parents then learn here indulgency
,
17
ffor none are Bleſſed without Unitie
For none are blesséd without unity.
For none are blessed without unity.
18
But know that the least Spark or beam of Love
But know that the least spark or
Gloss Note
ray
beam
of love
But know that the least spark or beam of love
19
Is first diffuſ’d and kindled from above
Is first diffused and kindled from above.
Is first diffused and kindled from above.
20
ffor in my poor experience this I find
For in my poor experience, this I find:
For in my poor experience this I find:
21
The holyest Men are evermore most Kind
The holiest men are evermore most kind.
The holiest men are evermore most kind.
22
Then Oh my God from thy bright Throne above
Then O, my God, from Thy bright throne above,
Then, Oh my God, from thy bright throne above
23
Irradiate my Soul Soe with thy Love
Gloss Note
illuminate, brighten spiritually
Irradiate
my soul so with Thy love
Irradiate my soul so with thy love,
24
That as the Sun Illuminateth
Physical Note
struck-through with multiple slanted lines
to
all
Gloss Note
So that
That
, as the sun illuminateth all
That as the sun illuminateth all
25
Which are capacious on this Earthly Ball
Which are
Gloss Note
contained
capacious
on this earthly ball,
Which are
Gloss Note
qualified, adapted or disposed for the reception of; of capacity or qualified to do something (OED, "capacious," n., 3); i.e. everything on the earth that is capable of receiving the sun’s light.
capacious
on this earthly ball,
26
Yet Still his brightest beams to Heaven Return
Yet still his brightest beams to Heaven return,
Yet still his brightest beams to heaven return;
27
Soe let mee with Such holy ffervour Burn
So let me with such holy fervor burn:
So let me with such holy fervor burn.
28
When that Eternall Spark begins to Glow
When that eternal spark begins to glow
When that eternal spark begins to glow
29
In my Chast Breast let
Physical Note
“tt” appears in different hand from main scribe, with first possibly written over “s”
itt
diffuſe below
In my chaste breast, let it diffuse below
In my chaste breast, let it diffuse below
30
To all Relations then Reaſcend above
To all
Gloss Note
people related by blood or marriage; social interactions; kinships
relations
, then reascend above
To all relations, then reascend above
31
To God the ffount of Glory, Life and
Physical Note
remaining quarter-page blank
Love
To God, the fount of glory, life and love.
To God, the fount of glory, life, and love.
X (Close panel) All Notes
Transcription

 Editorial note

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

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition 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

I have modernized spelling and punctuation in this poem with the aim of enhancing clarity and readability. The notes gloss unfamiliar words and provide cultural and literary contexts.
Elemental Edition

 Headnote

Perhaps only a paradisal species can achieve true equality in parenting—or so Pulter suggests here. But specialized anatomical hardware can help: in this emblem, a male bird sports in his back a “pit” for the eggs on which the concave-bellied female sits. Pulter’s manucodiats—better known as birds-of-paradise—are praised for this evidence of their transcendent love, unity, kindness, and “indulgency,” all qualities treated as signs of their divine origin. Rather than a call for more active and loving fathering, though, the speaker’s reflection on these birds becomes a prayer that she might be infused with love for her relations, which might suggest that this avian model of companionate marriage did not match her experience.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

In this poem, the Manucodiat, a bird now known as a bird-of-paradise, becomes an emblem that allows for an exploration of the links between God’s love for his creations, a parent’s love for her partner and her children, and the speaker’s own desires for spiritual transcendence. The first half of the poem describes the fabulous lore associated with the bird-of-paradise. It was believed that these birds never landed on the ground, fed only upon dew, and hatched their eggs from the conjoined bodies of male and female partners. Pulter explains that these birds are “crowned” for their “indulgency”—of their partners and their offspring—and this quality becomes the basis for the lesson of the second half of the poem. Parents are instructed to learn “indulgency” from the example of the birds-of-paradise, but the speaker develops this general injunction of “unity” into self-reflection and self-interrogation. Love comes only from “above,” and the speaker implores God to “irradiate” her soul with this love so that she may serve as an intermediary between the divine and her relations on earth. The speaker longs to inhabit the liminal space of the birds-of-paradise—halfway between the heavens and the earth—a conclusion that expands their emblematic significance.
Transcription
Line number 1

 Physical note

poem begins on the same page as previous one ends
Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

birds of paradise
Amplified Edition
Line number 1

 Critical note

Manucodiats are now known as birds-of-paradise, a group of species native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Manucodiata derives from the Javanese phrase manuk dewata, bird of the gods (see OED manucodiata). European travelers and natural historians wrote about the bird-of-paradise for the first time in the sixteenth century, though most were familiar with the animal only through dead specimens. The bird-of-paradise was the subject of much lore and legend, which Pulter acknowledges in the first line of the poem (“as authors write”). One important part of this lore is its association with the phoenix, a divine bird that is reborn from its own ashes. Thomas P. Harrison collects much of this lore, including its association with the phoenix, in “Bird of Paradise: Phoenix Redivivus,” Isis, vol. 51, no 2 (1960): pp. 173-80.
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

pile of excrement
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

land
Amplified Edition
Line number 5

 Critical note

The traits Pulter identifies with the birds-of-paradise, including the belief that they never land on the earth and do not eat, are included in the description in Du Bartas’s very popular hexameral poem, The Divine Weeks and Works. The bird-of-paradise is included with the “Strange admirable birds” on the fifth day of the first week of the poem. The belief that the bird-of-paradise has no feet and, thus, never touches the ground, likely derives from the preparation of specimens with the feet, and sometimes wings and heads, removed (Harrison 175). For an illustration of a speciment prepared this way and an excerpt from Du Bartas’s poem, see “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
Elemental Edition
Line number 6

 Gloss note

rots
Elemental Edition
Line number 7

 Critical note

the indulgent nature of the birds is described a few lines later, in relation to how they raise their young.
Amplified Edition
Line number 7

 Critical note

the quality or act of being indulgent; the gratification of another’s desires; forebearance; relaxation of restraint (OED, "indulgency," n., 1; “indulgence,” n., 1a.). Indulgency is the quality that “crowns” the bird-of-paradise; i.e. their generosity toward others is what is most admirable about them. Though the ultimate beneficiaries of their indulgence are their offspring, the following lines suggest that it is their care for their partners, signified by their “conjoined” bodies, that confirms their superiority to other birds and ensures that their offspring are secure.
Transcription
Line number 8

 Physical note

over “r,” imperfectly erased ascender, as for “h”
Elemental Edition
Line number 8

 Critical note

The speaker means that some male birds help the females construct nests.
Amplified Edition
Line number 9

 Critical note

Pulter elevates birds-of-paradise above other species (swans and doves) that also share the care of offspring between male and female partners. The birds-of-paradise “transcend all animals in love” because of their unique anatomy, as understood by their first European observers, allows the male and female to join together to protect the egg. By the second half of the seventeenth century, natural historians had begun to challenge earlier accounts of this bird. See “Birds Without Feet?” in the Curations for this poem.
Elemental Edition
Line number 10

 Gloss note

the manucodiats
Elemental Edition
Line number 11

 Gloss note

origin, descent
Elemental Edition
Line number 15

 Critical note

Pulter’s source for her information on this bird appears to be Simon Goulart, A Learned Summary Upon the Famous Poem of William of Saluste Lord of Bartas (London, 1621), 1.240-1.
Amplified Edition
Line number 16

 Critical note

the meaning or lesson of the emblem. Parents must seek “unity” with each other in order to be “blessed” in their children.
Elemental Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

ray
Elemental Edition
Line number 23

 Gloss note

illuminate, brighten spiritually
Transcription
Line number 24

 Physical note

struck-through with multiple slanted lines
Elemental Edition
Line number 24

 Gloss note

So that
Elemental Edition
Line number 25

 Gloss note

contained
Amplified Edition
Line number 25

 Gloss note

qualified, adapted or disposed for the reception of; of capacity or qualified to do something (OED, "capacious," n., 3); i.e. everything on the earth that is capable of receiving the sun’s light.
Transcription
Line number 29

 Physical note

“tt” appears in different hand from main scribe, with first possibly written over “s”
Elemental Edition
Line number 30

 Gloss note

people related by blood or marriage; social interactions; kinships
Transcription
Line number 31

 Physical note

remaining quarter-page blank
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