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spacerThe Thames, his hoary hair bound with reed, gleamed as his entire body rose high above the water. A pretty bevy of Naiads followed, demonstrating their great joy in light measures, and, intermingled with these, delightful swans joined in the song with a heavenly noise. On all sides the savage winds’ howlings fell silent, and the softer breeze that blew was that of a zephyr. Watching these things, I was walking along the pleasant embankment, admiring the songs and new rejoicings, when suddenly the sound of ringing trumpets began to be heard, and I saw many watercraft. I recognized this as the Queen’s solemn procession, as she was coming to the Tower of Belinus, the noble work of that former king. Who can describe or give a fitting account of the splendor of her escort and of their proud fleet? In a long row the leading men of the city cleaved the azure river, each one separate with his own retinue. Standards on their prows bore their emblems, both the falcon and the double rose. First came a throng of young merchants born on a fast skiff, not without praise, and from its high topmast a Moor dived into the swift waters, more than once. Next, to the sound of loud flutes, came the Lord Mayor of the City and the scarlet-gowned Aldermen. Then a swift galley carried its hollow cannon, which shot off their bellowing threats. There were many musket-wielding yeomen and well-born young gentlemen. Finally our bountiful Queen made her appearance, carried by a sail-driven craft, amidst bevies of ladies-in-waiting. Neither Cleopatra on her barge of the Nile, nor the goddess borne on her light shell made such a splendid showing as did Anne amidst this thronged spectacle, a rara avis of true nobility.
Thus far I have touched upon the distinguished participants. A great crowd followed, but it was composed of commoners.


Now the golden Titan shone high in the sky, with his bright countenance giving to good cheer to man and beast, and the happy birds sang their happiness, varying their song with their warbling voices. Now the green glades stood forth in their greenery, every tree was in bloom, and a fostering grace made the new flowers welcome, as a soft zephyr moved them with its friendly divinity. Get started, why hesitate? Behold your snow-white carriage. Get started, your foaming horses, champing at the bit, are summoning you. The people of the City and their scarlet-clad Aldermen are inviting you to the spectacles of a thronged procession. At no other time, Lady Anne, could you have better mounted your stellar carriage. But you, Calliope, should refrain from saying anything more: yet loftier, Anne is occupying her lofty carriage.


Anne, fairer than the fair sister of the Clarian god, you whom the conjoined Graces attend, whom the sweet Loves follow in a lengthy procession,
See how Phoebus, who dwells on twin-peaked Parnassus, has come here to see the brilliant parade of your procession, his brow bound with laurel.
See how the elegant Muses have come, a crew garlanded with wreaths of roses of Paestum, a crew which delights in song and festive dances.
 Here, where the earth sends forth its many aromas, and the Castalian Fountain pours out its pure water past all its edges with a welcome plashing,
While bright Phoebus plies his curving lyre with noble fingers and his strings sweetly resound, mixing the high notes with the low,
These nine Muses, the daughters of Jove on high, will use their tuneful voices to praise you to the golden stars, Anne.


Anne comes, about to be driven through the City in her snow-white carriage, nothing brighter in the world than this woman. So come hither, you bards, with all of Helicon, and let not your sweet lyre fail you, Apollo. And we advise you too, you Pierian Muses, that your songs must ring out joyfully as your mistress approaches.

APOLLO speaks

Parnassus (very happy, very blessed), you must mark this day, which has dawned most brilliantly, with a whiter mark, and adorn it with garlands of roses. In these places you will be the first to garner unaccustomed joys, and happily witness spectacles you have not seen before. Here comes Queen Anne, right distinguished with her distinguished procession, bringing with herself times better than bygone years. Each place pays its duty, with manifest tokens demonstrating its rejoicing at the arrival of our mistress. The Castalian fountains burst forth with more water than usual, bearing witness to their joy with their eager gush, and the strings which it is my art to pluck with my thumb will sound forth of their own volition. Now both my hands are unequal to my eager lyre’s verses, so great grows the strength of my music. And so, you Pierian Sisters, you delightful crew, Anne comes to us, with favoring tongues and song you must each in give a song with your noble strumming. Now I perceive the divinity of our mistress as she comes into the City. You make a start, Clio, while the rest of the crew follows.

CLIO speaks

Strew the road with flowers, give gifts to the temples, let every altar burn bright with fragrant fires. Now bind your heads with the triumphal laurel, bind your happy brows with crimson roses. Let there be well-attended sports in honor of this time, you rich and poor alike must go and meet your mistress. Anne comes, the fairest women in all the world, Anne, that splendid image of chastity. Queen Anne is here, very like a goddess in her snow-white carriage, the salvation of your posterity. Henry, this wide world’s most illustrious sovereign, has chosen her as the partner of his rule. Such as he is, he is worthy of such a pious consort; such as she is, she is worthy of to be the wife of such a man. Therefore let the gods give to the approval to this marriage they have appointed, sought with such eager wishes and prayers. Go, mighty Queen, well born for bearing a scepter, let the hoped-for crown encircle your head. May you soon bear a male child, fertile mother, in this way you will give your subjects complete joy.


Anne, tracing her pedigree from distinguished ancestors, but far nobler than they, and now greatest thanks to her royal marriage, comes with thronged procession.
Our king, who has, alas, laid too long alone in his bed because of the begrudging Fates, has chosen her alone for his consort out of the bevy of noble maidens.
So tomorrow, if the gods are favorable, Anne, that gentle bulwark of the English, will walk about, her head bound by a golden crown, carrying a scepter in her hand.
You citizens, receiving your mistress with your pious minds and eager applause, as, jewel-like, she makes her way through the streets of her city, give out cries of happiness.
Each of you should pray that Henry obtain the years of Pylian Nestor, Anne the age of the prophetic virgin, and that they receive children worthy of their parents.


Each of you present at these new spectacles and seeing Anne coming into a City laden with decorations, seeing bevies of maidens and the jealous goddesses, should place pious incense on the sacred fires and first of all pray the gods that a crown encircle her head, most fitly seated on her brow, and then that she should soon fruitfully bless our nation and sovereign with a male child, and, living to see her husband grown old, a grandfather to right noble descendants, she, thrice-blessed, should seek the stars, above together with her thrice-blessed prince.

THALIA speaks

Either the prophecy of the white falcon deceives us thanks to the trickery of that bird which summons us, or a crown will encircle your head, noble Anne, worthy of your virtues. Mighty queen, may the gods grant you that which is propitious and good, and useful for your people, and may they grant you and your King the happy times of a long life. As long as this life will be, thus all men pray you also have right lengthy joys, a fortunate marriage, and children to inherit your realm in after times. This is men’s hope, these are their unanimous prayers. Gods, give your approval.


This day deserves to be celebrated with a festive day for being more splendid than triumphs of olden times, noble Anne, the day on which you are driven through the City in a carriage,
The festival during which grateful antiquity was wont to celebrate the games of golden Ceres was seen less frequently, and by a smaller populace.
Nor did the Phrygian mother of the gods, fetched to bring aid to Romulus's city during hard times, make an entrance preceded by such a great escort.
Anne, here you draw oaks and rocks, and also all the gods and goddesses, and likewise the stars from high heaven, by the power of your divinity.
Go forth, decorous Queen, to your crown, and live long, free of all sorrow, as King Henry’s excellent consort, with the help of the gods.


And so let the gods plant a love of concord, like that of the turtledoves, in both their minds, both that of our excellent King and of his consort. May they cleave together, bound by mutual love, not otherwise than the Falernian grapevine which binds itself to elm-trees with its clinging tendrils, or as a vine wrapped around a tree, all the way from its roots to its lofty top, faithfully endures and grows old along with it. Prayers assault heaven that this might befall Henry and Anne with no complaint, together with children of their begetting.


For the fire that makes your heart burn for your consort, most kindly sovereign, is no lighter than that which made Cornelia a wife dear to her Gracchus (but without Gracchus’ dire doom). Nor in its turn, Anne (purer in your fidelity than the ancient Sabines), is the fire which burns your heart lighter than that which Portia is said once to have sought out for the sake of her Brutus (but without the reason for that fire and its flames). Just as faithful Plautius thought it a sin to survive his wife Anna after she was placed on the bier, thus, Henry, you refuse to survive your consort. Nevertheless, as his rescued Pagasean wife redeemed the son of Pheres, returning to him his hold age, bestowing on her husband his years to be enjoyed, so, great King, let your Queen be dearer to you than your life. But we pray you be spared these necessities — rather let you both be able to live, each dear to the other, so that your endings will be happy ones.


 Townsmen, you will celebrate this day with well-deserved games and dances, and for Anne’s sake you will bestow incense on the sacred hearths with many a prayer. The gods above send her to you, o lucky England, born under propitious stars, to bear excellent princes. Soon now she will devote her attention to the fruitful production of a male child who will duly govern this realm, together with his elderly parents. Indeed, if they keep the faith and the stars are not deceitful and lying, Anne’s already-swelling womb will soon bear you a sweet prince. And so, at the gods’ behest go where the Fates have summoned you. Go, mighty Queen, take the scepter, take the crown that is owed to you. Hasten to the royal palace, long has it awaited, desired, and cried out for you, and now Henry also longs to see you. Pray to the skies, townsmen, that she may always grow with well-deserved honors, and wherever noble Anne goes let the streets resound with happy songs.


Every sex, condition, kind, rank, order and station congratulates your honor, Anne, and all England counts and marks this day with sacred stones on its calendar. Rich, poor, maiden, woman, old and young, they all come running alike to greet their mistress as she comes. And lo, Anne, Apollo abandons his heavenly home to hail you here. Juno, Venus, Pallas, we Muses, the three Graces, and a large company of other gods have come to congratulate you, Anne, singing due songs at Phoebus’ bidding. Nobody comes here for the sake of seeing noble horses, or lords and ladies, the happy townsfolk are looking only at you, the source of their joys, for them this very thronged procession consists of yourself alone. They look at only you, fix their eyes on you alone, eyes not to be wounded by your sight. And you in turn should regard with piety the devoted populace which attends on you with honor. Anne, thus may you happily live forever, most dear to King Henry. Anne, thus may you wear the crown of tawny gold, and quickly bless your nation with offspring. Anne, thus may the citizenry see you pass by frequently, wielding a happy scepter.


And so may you often be willing to show your pretty face, may you often be willing for your divinity to be present for your subjects, may you often be willing to progress through the midst of the City, Anne, in order to be received into the eager bosom of the populace. Oh, with what stones should we mark this day that has come, that has auspiciously dawned for you, England? Oh you would be happy, if you now were to comprehend your boons, which today brings along with the Queen! With her your mistress, the divinities here present promise you to give you times better than those of the past. With her your mistress, never-lying Apollo promises you happy times forever. Now the honor of perpetual springtime return, now return centuries such as existed under the rule of Saturn. This city, which has ever been free under Henry, will be freer now that he has taken Anne as his consort. Soon she will conceive a son as the consolation of your realm, a son worthy of such a great father — a son who can wield the scepter and rights of his father, but only in much later days, after Henry’s time. With this hope (and its most reliable sponsor, Apollo, is present) you should welcome your mistress, you reborn citizenry. And you, Queen, must seek your crown, glittering with jewels, nothing is more fit for your head.


Anne’s most holy fertility produced the three Marys, sure pledges that their family would be enlarged, and the miraculously fructified daughter of Anne produced the first seeds of our sacred Faith. Having this origin, Christ is the author and granter of our salvation, and by this help many a man is born as a son of Christ. And so, Anne, our townsmen are not acting rashly in placing here a pageant of Anne’s offspring for your edification. Their hope is that, in accordance with her example, you will produce offspring who will govern as protectors of the faith and royal right. Thus may you receive the crown, blessed and happy, and live happily with your husband as his consort.


Behold, noble Anne, your bird is here, the falcon, surpassing in its whiteness, the lily, marble, and ivory. Your falcon gives us sweet sights, and provides your subjects with their fill of joys. If there is any credit in this bird, none of the others is more spirited, nor any more noble. Indeed, if we trust the omens of the ancient seers, this was accounted the first among the propitious birds. And it often seeks the skies, a very familiar guest in heaven, for it soars higher than the bird of Jove. Now it comes to earth, flown down from the height of Olympus, so that it might perch its welcome body on the twin roses. This is a rare sight indeed, deservedly wonderful, that a bird born for hunting prey develops a liking for roses. Yet this falcon, having abandoned its quarry and its ancestors, is a great bird that loves roses especially.


The falcon had scarce glided through the pleasant rose-garden and lighted on the longed-for place, when an angel, descending from a celestial could, brought a crown as a reward for this empire-deserving bird. Hence he left sure forecasts, Anne, that the gods approve of your marriage. Therefore happily seek your crown with these favorable omens, not hesitating to obey the gods’ excellent decrees.


Anne, the townsmen have represented Anne’s blessed offspring as a pageant, following the example of your name. And the falcon has been added, that badge of your ancestors, whiter than a swan, than marble, milk, or snow. Having swooped down through the empty air on a swift wing, he rests among the white and crimson roses. While it regards these with a steady eye, loving them, you have no idea how much you inspire his beak with your sweet murmur. An angel sent down from the fiery heaven decorates its head with a yet more shining crown. So just be friendly to your subjects, Anne, who omit no means of adoring you. Thus may your offspring flourish like Anne’s line, so that he may wield the scepter with his propitious divinity. Thus may it befall you to live as many days as your milk-white bird has feathers.


Great princes, these fair girls you see spread around this pleasant little fountain with its plashing water, their hands linked, their hair let down over their milk-white necks, are the daughters of Lenaeus and Venus, and are called by the Greeks the Graces. These pious sisters seek out this earth for no reason than to adorn you with those excellent virtues with which the gods on high have fitly adorned themselves in recognition of their great merits. Give your applause, Anne, and the graces and charms will abide with you for endless days.


Now is the Golden Age returned to us, Anne, thanks to your auspices. For the rivers, everywhere flowing with much wine, attested to this well enough, even if I hold my silence. Likewise the shining aspect of things speaks this, and the day that shines brighter than usual at your arrival. Thus too the joyful organ attest, along with which the chorus of maidens loudly sings. May you often progress through the midst of the City, and may fortunate sails speed your fortune, so that that the babe who will soon lie eagerly in your pregnant womb will come forth as the dear child of your Henry.


All the City’s aspect and color have changed, now everything has lost its erstwhile look. The column which lately stood up in squalor and dishonor now shine at your arrival, noble Anne. Not only does it shine, with its rosy painted colors it displays the face and hands of your husband Henry. You stand, closely pressed to his fair side, like Venus as drawn by Apelles. “Long may you live as a princess joined to such a great prince,” cry out young and old with redoubled noise.

The proud goddesses assaulted great Jove with their immoderate entreaties, asking him for the little golden prize bestowed on consummate beauty. Therefore at the behest of his Dictys-born father, the child of African Atlas flew through the clouds as a companion to the goddesses, and gave the apple to comely Paris as he was pasturing his flocks in the groves of Phrygia’s Mt. Ida, and now the Dardanian shepherd, shaking off his easy sleep, grasped it in his hand, so he might quickly employ his keen judgment to bestow it on a goddess of especial beauty for her enjoyment. Meanwhile the consort of supreme Jove, impatient of delay, demanded this prize of conquering beauty, promising Paris proud realms. Pallas offered her arts, if the prize for comeliness were granted her. Venus, promising him the beds he desired, staked her claim on the little reward of the golden apple. Straightway Paris sweetly smiled, and, casting around his delightful eyes and pointing at Anne, said, “Behold, you may see a woman supreme in all respects, and deserving to carry off even three hundred apples thanks to the goodliness of her virtues. No small gift must be given to Anne. The scepter awaits her, as does the crown, a fitting reward for her virtues. He who bid you come here in search of prizes of beauty, goddesses, set a trap for you, and when he sent you here the Thunderer wanted you to be suffused with no small amout of blushing. You take the apple, Venus, and now all you goddesses may go back to high heaven.”


Many men have told me that Dardanian Paris was an elegant witness to beauties and to all comeliness when, a proud shepherd, he was leading his snow-white flocks over lofty Ida, and with his thrice-fair hand gave the golden apple to Venus, to the indignation of Minerva and Jove’s sister, until comely Anne came along. Thinking this over frequently, I could not see the point of these amazing mysteries until you, divine Venus, came down from heaven on a quick course to us oceanic English and cheerfully gave the golden apple to a woman fairer than yourself, Anne, whose pretty head will soon be encircled by the beauty of a crown gleaming with jewels.


You are witnessing rare spectacles, yet fair ones, which grateful citizens have performed with a will. The castle which lately offered sweet refreshments, a welcome host with its clear water, now waxes proud, scorning its erstwhile lot in life, and pours forth French wine into many a cask. It has also fetched little boys to sing songs and pluck harmonious lutes with their fluttering hands. Thus the castle has acquired an elegant splendor and manifold honors, having grown fairer for your sake, Anne.


This is a day to be hymned with a resounding plectum, and a day to be ornamented by a thrice-festive palm frond. This is a lucky day rightly to be marked with a white stone.
Anne (oh that unique glory of England!) will receive the sacred crown, now she wholly shines forth, like the moon amidst the lesser lights.
Therefore Phoebe, just as your sisters must sing, take up your tuneful lyre and run your plaintive thumb over its sweet strings.
Diana, you fair guardian of the groves, you must pluck myrtle, ivy and laurel, so that our high mistress might shine forth in her elegance.
You kindly Graces, let your first be care to pick out pearls from the Red Sea, so that you might adorn her happy brow with bright gems.


The bards of antiquity took their greatest pains in proclaiming the praises of noble ladies. Hence, milk-white Galatea, the celebrated glory of your beauty now blazes forth. Likewise, learned Cornelia shines bright, worthy to maintain her name in books that endure for ever. Chaste Lucretia provides a great example chastity, and the fame of her worthiness thrives in song. Portia shines too, that famous daughter of stern Cato, she was yet rarer in her devotion to marriage. These reports are indeed great, but you have far greater, Anne. For all of their individual great qualities shine forth conspicuously in you.


Anne, you rare ornament of your nation, you most noble princess, who can trace a long pedigree on both sides, whiter than a swan of the Thames, whiter than first beestings, whiter than snow, Anne, you who shine with so many consummate virtues, so that you by yourself can equal many thousand women, happily accept this crown, shining with jewels, it beautifully befits your brow. And may you, a fertile woman, be more fertile than Niobe, so that many a child may bear a resemblance to your husband. May you also live so long, happy queen, so that you can count the days of the Sibyl of Cumae.