This HTML e-text of Thomas Campion's Lords' Masque (1613) was created in 1999 by Anniina Jokinen of Luminarium. The text and glosses were left unchanged.
Campion, Thomas. Lords' Masque. English Masques.
Ed. Herbert Arthur Evans. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1898. 72-87.
MASQUE, PRESENTED IN THE BANQUETING-HOUSE ON
THE MARRIAGE NIGHT OF THE HIGH AND MIGHTY
COUNT PALATINE, AND THE ROYALLY DESCENDED
THE LADY ELIZABETH.
[This is the first of three masques written in honour of this marriage.
It was presented, as its title indicates, by the noblemen of the Court on
the evening of the wedding-day, Sunday, Fehruary 14, 1613. The
other two were presented by the Inns of Court : the masque of the
Middle Temple and Lincoln's Inn, written by George Chapman, on
the evening of Monday, February 15, and the masque of the Inner
Temple and Gray's Inn, written by Francis Beaumont, on the evening
of Saturday, February 20.]
HAVE now taken occasion to satisfy many, who long since
were desirous that the Lords' masque should be published,
which, but for some private lets, had in due time come forth.
The Scene was divided into two parts. From the roof to the
floor, the lower part being first discovered (upon the sound of
a double consort, exprest by several instruments, placed on
either side of the room) there appeared a wood in prospec-
tive, the innermost part being of relief, or whole round, the
rest painted. On the left hand from the seat was a cave, and
on the right a thicket, out of which came Orpheus, who was
attired after the old Greek manner, his hair curled and long,
a laurel wreath on his head, and in his hand he bare a silver
bird ; about him tamely placed several wild beasts : and
upon the ceasing of the consort Orpheus spake.
Orpheus. Again, again, fresh kindle Phoebus' sounds,
T' exhale1 Mania from her earthly den ;
And call her gently forth ; sound, sound again.
The consorts both sound again, and Mania, the goddess of madness,
appears wildly out of her cave. Her habit was confused and strange,
but yet graceful ; she as one amazed speaks.
Mania. What powerful noise is this importunes me,
T' abandon darkness which my humour fits?
Jove's hand in it I feel, and ever he
Must be obeyed ev'n of the frantic'st wits.
Orpheus. Mania !
Mania. Hah !
Orpheus. Brain-sick, why start'st thou so?
Approach yet nearer, and thou then shalt know
The will of Jove, which he will breathe from me.
Mania. Who art thou? if my dazzled eyes can see,
Thou art the sweet enchanter heav'nly Orpheus.
Orpheus. The same, Mania, and Jove greets thee thus:
Though several power to thee and charge he gave
T' enclose in thy dominions such as rave
Through blood's distemper, how durst thou attempt
T' imprison Entheus whose rage is exempt
From vulgar censure? it is all divine,
Full of celestial rapture, that can shine
Through darkest shadows : therefore Jove by me
Commands thy power straight to set Entheus free.
Mania. How can I? Frantics with him many more
In one cave are locked up; ope once the door,
All will fly out, and through the world disturb
The peace of Jove; for what power then can curb
Their reinless fury?
Orpheus. Let not fear in vain
Trouble thy crazed fancy; all again,
Save Entheus, to thy safeguard shall retire,
For Jove into our music will inspire
The power of passion, that their thoughts shall bend
To any form or motion we intend.
Obey Jove's will then; go, set Entheus free.
Mania. I willing go, so Jove obeyed must be.
Orpheus. Let music put on Protean changes now ;
Wild beasts it once tamed, now let Frantics bow.
At the sound of a strange music twelve Frantics enter, six men and
six women, all presented in sundry habits and humours. There was
the lover, the self-lover, the melancholic-man full of fear, the school-
man, overcome with fantasy, the over-watched1 usurer, with others
that made an absolute medley of madness; in midst of whom Entheus
(or poetic fury) was hurried forth, and tost up and down, till by virtue
of a new change in the music, the Lunatics fell into a mad measure,
fitted to a loud fantastic tune ; but in the end thereof the music
changed into a very solemn air, which they softly played, while
Orpheus. Through these soft and calm sounds, Mania,
With thy Fantastics hence; here is no place
Longer for them or thee; Entheus alone
Must do Jove's bidding now: all else be gone.
During this speech Mania with her Frantics depart, leaving Entheus
behind them, who was attired in a close curace2 of the antic fashion,
bases3 with labels4, a robe fastened to his shoulders, and hanging
down behind ; on his head a wreath of laurels, out of which grew a
pair of wings : in the one hand he held a book, and in the other a
Entheus. Divinest Orpheus, O how all from thee
Is my affliction vanished?
Orpheus. Too, too long,
Alas, good Entheus, hast thou brooked this wrong
What ! number thee with madmen ! O mad age,
Senseless of thee, and thy celestial rage !
For thy excelling rapture, ev'n through things
That seem most light, is borne with sacred wings :
Nor are these musics, shows, or revels vain,
When thou adorn'st them with thy Phoebean brain.
Th' are palate-sick of much more vanity,
That cannot taste them in their dignity.
Jove therefore lets thy prisoned sprite obtain
Her liberty and fiery scope again ;
And here by me commands thee to create
Inventions rare, this night to celebrate,
Such as become a nuptial by his will
Begun and ended.
Entheus. Jove I honour still,
And must obey. Orpheus, I feel the fires
Are ready in my brain, which Jove inspires.
Lo, through that veil I see Prometheus stand
Before those glorious lights which his false band
Stole out of heav'n, the dull earth to inflame
With the affects1 of Love and honoured Fame.
I view them plain in pomp and majesty,
Such as being seen might hold rivality
With the best triumphs. Orpheus, give a call
With thy charmed music, and discover all.
Orpheus. Fly, cheerful voices, through the air, and clear
These clouds, that yon bid beauty may appear.
Come away; bring thy golden theft,
Bring, bright Prometheus, all thy lights;
Thy fires from Heav'n bereft
Show now to human sights.
Come quickly, come! Thy stars to our stars straight
For pleasure being too much deferred loseth her best
What fair dames wish, should swift as their own thoughts
To loving and to longing hearts every hour seems a year.
See how fair, O how fair, they shine !
What yields more pomp beneath the skies?
Their birth is yet divine,
And such their form implies.
Large grow their beams, their near approach afford them
By nature sights that pleasing are, cannot too amply
O might these flames in human shapes descend this
How lovely would their presence be, how full of grace !
In the end of the first part of this song, the upper part of the scene
was discovered by the sudden fall of a curtain ; then in clouds of
several colours (the upper part of them being fiery, and the middle
heightened with silver) appeared eight stars of extraordinary bigness,
which so were placed, as that they seemed to be fixed between the
firmament and the earth. In the front of the scene stood Prometheus,
attired as one of the ancient heroes.
Entheus. Patron of mankind, powerful and bounteous,
Rich in thy flames, reverend Prometheus,
These royal nuptials ; fill the lookers' eyes
With admiration of thy fire and light,
And from thy hand let wonders flow to-night.
Prometheus. Entheus and Orpheus, names both dear to
In equal balance I your third will be
In this night's honour. View these heav'n-born stars,
Who by my stealth are become sublunars ;
How well their native beauties fit this place,
Which with a choral dance they first shall grace ;
Then shall their forms to human figures turn,
And these bright fires within their bosoms burn.
Orpheus, apply thy music, for it well,
Helps to induce a courtly miracle.
Orpheus. Sound, best of musics, raise yet higher our
While we admire Prometheus' dancing lights.
According to the humour of this song, the stars moved in an exceed-
ing strange and delightful manner, and I suppose few have ever seen
more neat artifice than Master Inigo Jones shewed in contriving their
motion, who in all the rest of the workmanship which belonged to
the whole invention shewed extraordinary industry and skill, which
if it be not as lively exprest in writing as it appeared in view, rob
not him of his due, but lay the blame on my want of right apprehend-
ing his instructions for the adorning of his art. But to return to our
purpose; about the end of this song, the stars suddenly vanished, as
if they had been drowned amongst the clouds, and the eight masquers
appeared in their habits, which were infinitely rich, befitting states1
(such as indeed they all were) as also a time so far heightened the
day before with all the richest show of solemnity that could be
invented. The ground of their attires was massy cloth of silver,
embossed with flames of embroidery; on their heads, they had
crowns, flames made all of gold-plate enameled, and on the top a
feather of silk, representing a cloud of smoke. Upon their new
transformation, the whole scene being clouds dispersed, and there
appeared an element of artificial fires, with several circles of lights,
in continual motion, representing the house of Prometheus, who then
thus applies his speech to the masquers.
Prometheus. So pause awhile, and come, ye fiery sprites,
Break forth the earth like sparks t' attend these knights.
Sixteen pages, like fiery spirits, all their attires being alike composed
of flames, with fiery wings and bases, bearing in either hand a torch
of virgin wax, come forth below dancing a lively measure, and the
dance being ended, Prometheus speaks to them from above.
Prometheus. Wait, spirits, wait, while through the clouds
And by descending gain a higher place.
The pages return toward the scene, to give their attendance to the
masquers with their lights : from the side of the scene appeared a bright
and transparent cloud, which reached from the top of the heavens to
the earth : on this cloud the masquers, led by Prometheus, descended
with the music of a full song ; and at the end of their descent, the
cloud brake in twain, and one part of it (as with a wind) was blown
overthwart the scene.
While this cloud was vanishing, the wood being the underpart of
the scene, was insensibly changed, and in place thereof appeared
four noble women - statues of silver, standing in several niches,
accompanied with ornaments of architecture, which filled all the end
of the house, and seemed to be all of goldsmith's work. The first
order consisted of pilasters all of gold, set with rubies, sapphires,
emeralds, opals and such like. The capitals were composed, and of
a new invention. Over this was a bastard order with cartouches1
reversed coming from the capitals of every pilaster, which made the
upper part rich and full of ornament. Over every statue was placed
a history in gold, which seemed to be of base relief ; the conceits
which were figured in them were these. In the first was Prometheus,
embossing in clay the figure of a woman, in the second he was re-
presented stealing fire from the chariot-wheel of the sun; in the third
he is exprest putting life with this fire into his figure of clay; and in
the fourth square Jupiter, enraged, turns these new-made women into
statues. Above all, for finishing, ran a cornice, which returned over
every pilaster, seeming all of gold and richly carved.
Entheus. See, see, Prometheus, four of these first
Which thou long since out of thy purchased1 flames,
Didst forge with heav'nly fire, as they were then
By Jove transformed to statues, so again
They suddenly appear by his command
At thy arrival. Lo, how fixed they stand ;
So did Jove's wrath too long, but now at last,
It by degrees relents, and he hath placed
These statues, that we might his aid implore,
First for the life of these, and then for more.
Prometheus. Entheus, thy counsels are divine and just,
Let Orpheus deck thy hymn, since pray we must.
In the time of this invocation the first four statues are transformed
Go, new-born men, and entertain with love
The new-born women, though your number yet
Exceeds theirs double, they are armed with wit
To bear your best encounters. Court them fair :
When words and music please, let none despair.
formed ladies, four other statues appear in their places.
Prometheus. Cease, cease your wooing strife! see, Jove
To fill your number up, and make all friends.
Orpheus and Entheus, join your skills once more,
And with a hymn the deity implore.
The other four statues are transformed into women, in the time of
Entheus. The number 's now complete, thanks be to
No man needs fear a rival in his love ;
For all are sped, and now begins delight
To fill with glory this triumphant night.
The masquers, having everyone entertained his lady, begin their first
new entering dance : after it, while they breathe, the time is enter-
tained with a dialogue song.
them; men women, and women men; and first of all the princely
bridegroom and bride were drawn into these solemn revels,2 which
continued a long space, but in the end were broken off with this
with porticoes on each side, which seemed to go in a great way ; in
the middle was erected an obelisk, all of silver, and in it lights of
several colours ; on the side of this obelisk, standing on pedestals,
were the statues of the bridegroom and bride, all of gold, in gracious
postures. This obelisk was of that height, that the top thereof touched
the highest clouds, and yet Sibylla did draw it forth with a thread of
gold. The grave sage was in a robe of gold tuckt up before to her
girdle, a kirtle gathered full and of silver ; with a veil on her head,
being bare-necked, and bearing in her hands a scroll of parchment.
Entheus. Make clear the passage to Sibylla's sight,
Who with her trophy comes to crown this night ;
And, as herself with music shall be led,
So shall she pull on with a golden thread
A high vast obelisk, dedicate to Fame,
Which immortality itself did frame.
Raise high your voices now ; like trumpets fill
The room with sounds of triumph, sweet and shrill.
Votis det ipse vim meis, dictis fidem.
Utrinque decoris splendet egregium iubar ;
Medio triumphus mole stat dignus sua,
Coelumque summo capite dilectum petit.
Quam pulchra pulchro sponsa respondet viro !
Quam plena numinis ! Patrem vultu exprimit,
Parens futura masculae prolis, parens
Regum, imperatorum. Additur Germaniae
Robur Britannicum : ecquid esse par potest?
Utramque iunget una mens gentem, fides,
Deique cultus unus, et simplex amor.
Idem erit utrique hostis, sodalis idem, idem
Votum periclitantium, atque eadem manus.
Favebit illis pax, favebit bellica
Fortuna, semper aderit adiutor Deus.
Sic, sic Sibylla ; vocibus nec his deest
Pondus, nec hoc inane monumentum trahit.
Et aureum est, et quale nec flammas timet,
Nec fulgura, ipsi quippe sacratur Iovi.
Prometheus. The good old sage is silenced, her free
That made such melody, is now unstrung :
Then grace her trophy with a dance triumphant ;
Where Orpheus is none can fit music want.
Orpheus. Let here Sibylla's trophy stand,
Lead her now by either hand,
That she may approach yet nearer,
And the bride and bridegroom hear her
Bless them in her native tongue,
Wherein old prophecies she sung,
Which time to light hath brought.
She speaks that which Jove hath taught :
Well may he inspire her now,
To make a joyful and true vow.
Sibylla. Sponsam sponse toro tene pudicam,
Sponsum sponsa tene toro pudicum.
Non haec unica nox datur beatis,
At vos perpetuo haec beabit una
Prole multiplici, parique amore.
Laeta, ac vera refert Sibylla ; ab alto
Ipse luppiter annuit loquenti.
Prometheus. So be it ever ; joy and peace,
And mutual love give you increase,
That your posterity may grow
In fame, as long as seas do flow.
Entheus. Live you long to see your joys,
In fair nymphs and princely boys;
Breeding like the garden flowers,
Which kind heav'n draws with her warm showers.
Orpheus. Enough of blessing, though too much
Never can be said to such ;
But night doth waste, and Hymen chides,
Kind to bridegrooms and to brides.
Then, singing, the last dance induce,
So let good night present excuse.
lively strain at their going out.