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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.
    Source text:
    Campion, Thomas. Lords' Masque. English Masques.
    Ed. Herbert Arthur Evans. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1898. 72-87.
This edition is made available to the public for nonprofit purposes only. It is not represented by the publisher as a scholarly edition in the peer-reviewed sense. Unique site content is copyright 1999 Anniina Jokinen. This e-text may not be reproduced or published without express written consent from the copyright holder. For corrections, comments, and queries, please email the publisher.



     [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.]

I 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 ;

1 Draw forth


Allay the fury that her sense confounds,
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 spake.

    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

1 Weary for want of sleep.
2 Cuirass.    3 Kilts.    4 Lappets.


Proceed with wondrous sweetness !    Am I free?
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.

1 Dispositions, feelings, likely to result in effects.



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
        appear ;
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,


In Hymen's place aid us to solemnise
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.


Advance your choral motions now,
    You music-loving lights :
This night concludes the nuptial vow,
    Make this the best of nights :
So bravely crown it with your beams
    That it may live in fame
As long as Rhenus or the Thames
    Are known by either name.

Once more again, yet nearer move
    Your forms at willing view ;

Such fair effects of joy and love
    None can express but you.
Then revel midst your airy bowers
    Till all the clouds do sweat,
That pleasure may be poured in showers
    On this triumphant seat.

Long since bath lovely Flora thrown
    Her flowers and garlands here ;
Rich Ceres all her wealth hath shown,
    Proud of her dainty cheer.
Changed then to human shape, descend,
    Clad in familiar weed,
That every eye may here commend
    The kind delights you breed.

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.

1 Persons of rank.


They are transformed.

    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.

The Torch-bearers' Dance.

    Prometheus. Wait, spirits, wait, while through the clouds
        we pace,
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.

1 Architectural ornaments in the shape of rolls of paper.



Supported now by clouds descend,
Divine Prometheus, Hymen's friend :
Lead down the new transformed fires
And fill their breasts with love's desires,
That they may revel with delight,
And celebrate this nuptial night.
So celebrate this nuptial night
    That all which see may say
They never viewed so fair a sight
    Even on the clearest day.

    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.


Powerful Jove, that of bright stars,
Now hast made men fit for wars,
Thy power in these statues prove
And make them women fit for love.

In the  time of  this  invocation  the  first  four  statues are transformed
into women.

1 Stolen.


    Orpheus. See, Jove is pleased ; statues have life and
        move !
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.


Woo her, and win her, he that can !
    Each woman hath two lovers,
So she must take and leave a man,
    Till time more grace discovers.
This doth Jove to shew that want
    Makes beauty most respected ;
If fair women were more scant,
    They would be more affected.

Courtship and music suit with love,
    They both are works of passion ;
Happy is he whose words can move,
    Yet sweet notes help persuasion.
Mix your words with music then,
    That they the more may enter ;
Bold assaults are fit for men,
    That on strange beauties venter.

While this  song  is  sung,  and the masquers court  the four new trans-
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.



Powerful Jove, that hast given four,
Raise this number but once more,
That complete, their numerous1 feet
May aptly in just measures meet.

The other  four  statues are  transformed  into  women,  in  the  time  of
this invocation.

    Entheus. The number 's now complete, thanks be to
        Jove !
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.

Breathe you now, while lo Hymen
    To the bride we sing :
O how many joys and honours,
    From this match will spring !
Ever firm the league will prove,
Where only goodness causeth love.
Some for profit seek
What their fancies most disleek2;
These love for virtue's sake alone :
Beauty and youth unite them both in one.

Live with thy bridegroom happy, sacred bride ;
How blest is he that is for love envìed !

1Rhythmical, moving in time to music.



Breathe again, while we with music
    Fill the empty space ;
O but do not in your dances
    Yourselves only grace.
Ev'ry one fetch out your fere1,
Whom chiefly you will honour here.
Sights most pleasure breed,
When their numbers most exceed.
Choose then, for choice to all is free;
Taken or left, none discontent must be.

Now in thy revels frolic-fair delight,
To heap joy on this ever-honoured night.

The  masquers  during  this  dialogue   take  out  others  to  dance  with
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
short  song.


Cease, cease you revels, rest a space ;
New pleasures press into this place,
Full of beauty and of grace.

The whole scene was  now again changed,  and became a prospective3
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.

2See Introduction, p. xxxiv.
1Perspective, vista.


    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.


Come triumphing, come with state,
    Old Sibylla, reverend dame ;
Thou keep'st the secret key of fate,
    Preventing swiftest Fame.
This night breathe only words of joy,
And speak them plain, now be not coy.

Debetur alto iure principium Tovi,
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.


Dance, dance ! and visit now the shadows of our joy,
All in height, and pleasing state, your changed forms
And as the bird of Jove salutes with lofty wing the
So mount, so fly, these trophies to adorn.
Grace them with all the sounds and motions of delight,
Since all the earth cannot express a lovelier sight.
View them with triumph, and in shades the truth adore :
No pomp or sacrifice can please Jove's greatness more.

Turn, turn ! and honour now the life these figures bear :
Lo, how heav'nly natures far above all art appear !
Let their aspects revive in you the fire that shined so
Still mount and still retain your heavenly state.
Gods were with dance and with music served of old,
Those happy days derived their glorious style from gold :
This pair, by Hymen joined, grace you with measures
Since they are both divine and you are more than men.


    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.



No longer wrong the night
Of her Hymenaean right ;
A thousand Cupids call away,
Fearing the approaching day ;
The cocks already crow :
Dance then and go !

The  last  new  dance  of  the  masquers,  which  concludes  all  with  a
lively strain at their going out.

©1999 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.