The Ostrich (Emblem 41)

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The Ostrich (Emblem 41)

Poem #106

Original Source

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

Versions

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

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

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

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

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Line number 26

 Physical note

“ich” appears written over earlier letters
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 41]
The Ostrich
(Emblem 41)
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

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

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The mother ostrich in this emblem is doubly vain, since her high self-regard (or vanity) coincides with her deeply inadequate parenting skills, such that “she lays and labors all in vain.” While the speaker might first play the haughty ostrich for laughs, this emblem’s primary concern connects with several deeply serious poems by Pulter on the importance of loving (or even “indulgent”) parenting. Examples of birds who exhibit better and worse mothering are woven throughout this heartfelt critique of English parents who “sell their children, ne’er to see them more”—a shocking claim that brings into the poem’s orbit the slave trade in Africa and the English subjection of the Irish. These moral and social failures provide a sharp contrast to the divine parent-child relations she posits as a model for the wisdom of her attachment to her own offspring. The speaker ends with a humble plea to God to let her be an instrument to reproduce not just children but the blessing of love.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
41The Estrich with her gallant gaudy plumes
The ostrich, with her
Gloss Note
gorgeous or showy (“gallant”) brilliantly fine or ornate (“gaudy”) feathers
gallant gaudy plumes
,
2
In her great wit and Courage Soe Preſumes
In her great
Gloss Note
intellect
wit
and courage so presumes
3
That as with wind and wing upright Shees bo’rn
That,
Gloss Note
since with
as with
wind and wing upright she’s borne,
4
The Horſe and’s valient Rider Shee doth Scorn
The horse
Gloss Note
and his
and’s
valiant rider she doth scorn.
5
But folly is Concom̃itant with Pride
But folly is
Gloss Note
concurrent, accompanied
concomitant
with pride,
6
ffor Shee her precious Egs in Sand doth hide
For she her precious eggs in sand doth hide,
7
fforgetting that the Travellor’s foot may Cruſh
Forgetting that the traveler’s foot may crush
8
Their Tender Shell, nor doth Shee Care a Ruſh
Critical Note
The preceding account closely tracks the biblical book of Job 39:14-18, in which the ostrich is described as scorning the horse and rider and being negligent of her offspring: she “leaveth her eggs in the earth, … and forgetteth that the foot may crush them.”
Their tender shell
; nor doth she
Gloss Note
care at all
care a rush
9
Though Shee her young doe never See again
Though she her young do never see again.
10
And thus Shee lays and labours all in vain
And thus she lays and labors all in vain,
11
Cauſ God hath Underſtanding her deni’de
’Cause God hath understanding her denied.
12
ffor Love, and Wiſdome, never will Reſide
For love and wisdom never will reside
13
With Arogance for they Are from above
With arrogance, for they are from above,
14
ffrom God who is the ffountain of all Love
From God, who is the fountain of all love.
15
The Estrich then the Cuckow is ffar worſs
The ostrich than the cuckoo is far worse,
16
ffor Shee doth onely put her Egs to Nurſs
For
Gloss Note
Many cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, who feed (“nurse”) them.
she doth only put her eggs to nurse
;
17
Hard is her Meat but harder is her Heart
Gloss Note
The flesh of the cuckoo is tough for humans to eat.
Hard is her meat
, but harder is her heart,
18
That with her new lay’d Ovums thus can part
That with her new laid
Gloss Note
eggs
ovums
thus can part.
19
Oh my Sad Soul this mak’s my Heart e’ne bleed
Oh, my sad soul: this makes my heart e’en bleed!
20
None but baſe Engliſh and Cams curſed Seed
None but base English and
Gloss Note
In the Bible, Ham’s son Canaan is cursed by his grandfather, Noah (Genesis 9:20-27) causing his descendants to become subject to Israelites. Numerous early modern texts suggest that Ham’s dark-skinned lineage populated Africa.
Ham’s curséd seed
doe

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
21
Doe Sell their Children ne’re to See them more
Do
Critical Note
Eardley suggests that this line might refer to the sale of royalist political prisoners, criminals, and Irish to the West Indies as indentured servants or slaves in the 1650s.
sell their children, ne’er to see them more
!
22
Such Barbariſme all Christians muſt deplore
Such barbarism all Christians must
Gloss Note
lament
deplore
.
23
Cruell’s the Eſtrich crueller their heart
Cruel’s the ostrich: crueller their heart
24
That with their dear bought Children thus can part
That with their
Gloss Note
obtained at a great cost
dear-bought
children thus can part,
25
When as the Stork her Young doe bear & feed
Gloss Note
When; seeing that
Whenas
the stork her young do bear and feed,
26
Physical Note
“ich” appears written over earlier letters
Which
they Retaliate in Age and Need
Gloss Note
The young storks support their parents when old. Here, “retaliate” means to repay a kindness or service.
Which they retaliate in age and need
27
By which the Noble Reader plain may See
By which the noble reader plain may see
28
That ffooliſh Creatures least indulgent bee
That foolish creatures least indulgent be.
29
Let Parents then to theirs extend their Love
Let parents then to
Gloss Note
their offspring
theirs
extend their love,
30
Seeing Naturall affection’s from above
Seeing natural affection’s from above.
31
Then Gracious God into my Soul infuſe
Then, gracious God, into my soul infuse
32
Thy Love and Wiſdome that it may diffuſe
Thy love and wisdom, that it may diffuse
33
To all my Children great as well as leſs
To all my children, great as well as less;
34
Then ô my God that Love and Wiſdome bleſs.
Then, O my God, that love and wisdom bless.
horizontal straight line
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

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

 Headnote

The mother ostrich in this emblem is doubly vain, since her high self-regard (or vanity) coincides with her deeply inadequate parenting skills, such that “she lays and labors all in vain.” While the speaker might first play the haughty ostrich for laughs, this emblem’s primary concern connects with several deeply serious poems by Pulter on the importance of loving (or even “indulgent”) parenting. Examples of birds who exhibit better and worse mothering are woven throughout this heartfelt critique of English parents who “sell their children, ne’er to see them more”—a shocking claim that brings into the poem’s orbit the slave trade in Africa and the English subjection of the Irish. These moral and social failures provide a sharp contrast to the divine parent-child relations she posits as a model for the wisdom of her attachment to her own offspring. The speaker ends with a humble plea to God to let her be an instrument to reproduce not just children but the blessing of love.
Line number 1

 Gloss note

gorgeous or showy (“gallant”) brilliantly fine or ornate (“gaudy”) feathers
Line number 2

 Gloss note

intellect
Line number 3

 Gloss note

since with
Line number 4

 Gloss note

and his
Line number 5

 Gloss note

concurrent, accompanied
Line number 8

 Critical note

The preceding account closely tracks the biblical book of Job 39:14-18, in which the ostrich is described as scorning the horse and rider and being negligent of her offspring: she “leaveth her eggs in the earth, … and forgetteth that the foot may crush them.”
Line number 8

 Gloss note

care at all
Line number 16

 Gloss note

Many cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, who feed (“nurse”) them.
Line number 17

 Gloss note

The flesh of the cuckoo is tough for humans to eat.
Line number 18

 Gloss note

eggs
Line number 20

 Gloss note

In the Bible, Ham’s son Canaan is cursed by his grandfather, Noah (Genesis 9:20-27) causing his descendants to become subject to Israelites. Numerous early modern texts suggest that Ham’s dark-skinned lineage populated Africa.
Line number 21

 Critical note

Eardley suggests that this line might refer to the sale of royalist political prisoners, criminals, and Irish to the West Indies as indentured servants or slaves in the 1650s.
Line number 22

 Gloss note

lament
Line number 24

 Gloss note

obtained at a great cost
Line number 25

 Gloss note

When; seeing that
Line number 26

 Gloss note

The young storks support their parents when old. Here, “retaliate” means to repay a kindness or service.
Line number 29

 Gloss note

their offspring
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 41]
The Ostrich
(Emblem 41)
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

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

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The mother ostrich in this emblem is doubly vain, since her high self-regard (or vanity) coincides with her deeply inadequate parenting skills, such that “she lays and labors all in vain.” While the speaker might first play the haughty ostrich for laughs, this emblem’s primary concern connects with several deeply serious poems by Pulter on the importance of loving (or even “indulgent”) parenting. Examples of birds who exhibit better and worse mothering are woven throughout this heartfelt critique of English parents who “sell their children, ne’er to see them more”—a shocking claim that brings into the poem’s orbit the slave trade in Africa and the English subjection of the Irish. These moral and social failures provide a sharp contrast to the divine parent-child relations she posits as a model for the wisdom of her attachment to her own offspring. The speaker ends with a humble plea to God to let her be an instrument to reproduce not just children but the blessing of love.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
41The Estrich with her gallant gaudy plumes
The ostrich, with her
Gloss Note
gorgeous or showy (“gallant”) brilliantly fine or ornate (“gaudy”) feathers
gallant gaudy plumes
,
2
In her great wit and Courage Soe Preſumes
In her great
Gloss Note
intellect
wit
and courage so presumes
3
That as with wind and wing upright Shees bo’rn
That,
Gloss Note
since with
as with
wind and wing upright she’s borne,
4
The Horſe and’s valient Rider Shee doth Scorn
The horse
Gloss Note
and his
and’s
valiant rider she doth scorn.
5
But folly is Concom̃itant with Pride
But folly is
Gloss Note
concurrent, accompanied
concomitant
with pride,
6
ffor Shee her precious Egs in Sand doth hide
For she her precious eggs in sand doth hide,
7
fforgetting that the Travellor’s foot may Cruſh
Forgetting that the traveler’s foot may crush
8
Their Tender Shell, nor doth Shee Care a Ruſh
Critical Note
The preceding account closely tracks the biblical book of Job 39:14-18, in which the ostrich is described as scorning the horse and rider and being negligent of her offspring: she “leaveth her eggs in the earth, … and forgetteth that the foot may crush them.”
Their tender shell
; nor doth she
Gloss Note
care at all
care a rush
9
Though Shee her young doe never See again
Though she her young do never see again.
10
And thus Shee lays and labours all in vain
And thus she lays and labors all in vain,
11
Cauſ God hath Underſtanding her deni’de
’Cause God hath understanding her denied.
12
ffor Love, and Wiſdome, never will Reſide
For love and wisdom never will reside
13
With Arogance for they Are from above
With arrogance, for they are from above,
14
ffrom God who is the ffountain of all Love
From God, who is the fountain of all love.
15
The Estrich then the Cuckow is ffar worſs
The ostrich than the cuckoo is far worse,
16
ffor Shee doth onely put her Egs to Nurſs
For
Gloss Note
Many cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, who feed (“nurse”) them.
she doth only put her eggs to nurse
;
17
Hard is her Meat but harder is her Heart
Gloss Note
The flesh of the cuckoo is tough for humans to eat.
Hard is her meat
, but harder is her heart,
18
That with her new lay’d Ovums thus can part
That with her new laid
Gloss Note
eggs
ovums
thus can part.
19
Oh my Sad Soul this mak’s my Heart e’ne bleed
Oh, my sad soul: this makes my heart e’en bleed!
20
None but baſe Engliſh and Cams curſed Seed
None but base English and
Gloss Note
In the Bible, Ham’s son Canaan is cursed by his grandfather, Noah (Genesis 9:20-27) causing his descendants to become subject to Israelites. Numerous early modern texts suggest that Ham’s dark-skinned lineage populated Africa.
Ham’s curséd seed
doe

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
21
Doe Sell their Children ne’re to See them more
Do
Critical Note
Eardley suggests that this line might refer to the sale of royalist political prisoners, criminals, and Irish to the West Indies as indentured servants or slaves in the 1650s.
sell their children, ne’er to see them more
!
22
Such Barbariſme all Christians muſt deplore
Such barbarism all Christians must
Gloss Note
lament
deplore
.
23
Cruell’s the Eſtrich crueller their heart
Cruel’s the ostrich: crueller their heart
24
That with their dear bought Children thus can part
That with their
Gloss Note
obtained at a great cost
dear-bought
children thus can part,
25
When as the Stork her Young doe bear & feed
Gloss Note
When; seeing that
Whenas
the stork her young do bear and feed,
26
Physical Note
“ich” appears written over earlier letters
Which
they Retaliate in Age and Need
Gloss Note
The young storks support their parents when old. Here, “retaliate” means to repay a kindness or service.
Which they retaliate in age and need
27
By which the Noble Reader plain may See
By which the noble reader plain may see
28
That ffooliſh Creatures least indulgent bee
That foolish creatures least indulgent be.
29
Let Parents then to theirs extend their Love
Let parents then to
Gloss Note
their offspring
theirs
extend their love,
30
Seeing Naturall affection’s from above
Seeing natural affection’s from above.
31
Then Gracious God into my Soul infuſe
Then, gracious God, into my soul infuse
32
Thy Love and Wiſdome that it may diffuſe
Thy love and wisdom, that it may diffuse
33
To all my Children great as well as leſs
To all my children, great as well as less;
34
Then ô my God that Love and Wiſdome bleſs.
Then, O my God, that love and wisdom bless.
horizontal straight line
X (Close panel) All Notes
Transcription

 Editorial note

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

 Editorial note

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

 Editorial note

Elemental Edition

 Headnote

The mother ostrich in this emblem is doubly vain, since her high self-regard (or vanity) coincides with her deeply inadequate parenting skills, such that “she lays and labors all in vain.” While the speaker might first play the haughty ostrich for laughs, this emblem’s primary concern connects with several deeply serious poems by Pulter on the importance of loving (or even “indulgent”) parenting. Examples of birds who exhibit better and worse mothering are woven throughout this heartfelt critique of English parents who “sell their children, ne’er to see them more”—a shocking claim that brings into the poem’s orbit the slave trade in Africa and the English subjection of the Irish. These moral and social failures provide a sharp contrast to the divine parent-child relations she posits as a model for the wisdom of her attachment to her own offspring. The speaker ends with a humble plea to God to let her be an instrument to reproduce not just children but the blessing of love.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

Elemental Edition
Line number 1

 Gloss note

gorgeous or showy (“gallant”) brilliantly fine or ornate (“gaudy”) feathers
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

intellect
Elemental Edition
Line number 3

 Gloss note

since with
Elemental Edition
Line number 4

 Gloss note

and his
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Gloss note

concurrent, accompanied
Elemental Edition
Line number 8

 Critical note

The preceding account closely tracks the biblical book of Job 39:14-18, in which the ostrich is described as scorning the horse and rider and being negligent of her offspring: she “leaveth her eggs in the earth, … and forgetteth that the foot may crush them.”
Elemental Edition
Line number 8

 Gloss note

care at all
Elemental Edition
Line number 16

 Gloss note

Many cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, who feed (“nurse”) them.
Elemental Edition
Line number 17

 Gloss note

The flesh of the cuckoo is tough for humans to eat.
Elemental Edition
Line number 18

 Gloss note

eggs
Elemental Edition
Line number 20

 Gloss note

In the Bible, Ham’s son Canaan is cursed by his grandfather, Noah (Genesis 9:20-27) causing his descendants to become subject to Israelites. Numerous early modern texts suggest that Ham’s dark-skinned lineage populated Africa.
Elemental Edition
Line number 21

 Critical note

Eardley suggests that this line might refer to the sale of royalist political prisoners, criminals, and Irish to the West Indies as indentured servants or slaves in the 1650s.
Elemental Edition
Line number 22

 Gloss note

lament
Elemental Edition
Line number 24

 Gloss note

obtained at a great cost
Elemental Edition
Line number 25

 Gloss note

When; seeing that
Transcription
Line number 26

 Physical note

“ich” appears written over earlier letters
Elemental Edition
Line number 26

 Gloss note

The young storks support their parents when old. Here, “retaliate” means to repay a kindness or service.
Elemental Edition
Line number 29

 Gloss note

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