Aemilia Lanyer

Aemilia Lanyer Poems

Often haue I heard that it is the property of some wo-
men, not only to emulate the virtues and perfections

Sith Cynthia is ascended to that rest
Of endlesse joy and true Eternitie,
That glorious place that cannot be exprest

Farewell (sweet Cooke-ham) where I first obtain'd
Grace from that Grace where perfit Grace remain'd;
And where the Muses gaue their full consent,

Each blessed Lady that in Virtue spends
Your pretious time to beautifie your soules;
Come wait on hir whom winged Fame attends

Gentle Reader, if thou desire to be resolued, why I
giue this Title, Salue Deus Rex Judaeorum, know

Renowned Empresse, and great Britaines Queene,

Most gratious Mother of succeeding Kings;
Vouchsafe to view that which is seldome seene,

Great learned Ladie, whom I long haue knowne,
And yet not knowne so much as I desired:
Rare Phoenix, whose faire feathers are your owne,

ME Thought I pass'd through th'Edalyan Groues,
And askt the Graces, if they could direct
Me to a Lady whom Minerva chose,

Thrice happy women ! that obtain'd such grace
From Him whose worth the world could not containe,
Immediately to turne about his face,
As not remembering his great griefe and paine,

Come you that were the Mistris of my youth,
The noble guide of my vngouern'd days;
Come you that haue delighted in Gods truth,

To you I dedicate this worke of Grace,
This frame of Glory which I haue erected,
For your faire mind I hold the fittest place,

Most gratious Ladie, faire ELIZABETH,
Whose Name and Virtues puts us still in mind,
Of her, of whom we are depriv'd by death;

Right Honourable and Excellent Lady, I may
say with Saint Peter, Siluer nor gold haue
I none, but such as I haue, that give I you: for

Although great Lady. it may seeme right strange
That I a stranger should presume thus farre,
To write to you: yet as the times doe change,

Me thinkes I see faire Virtue readie stand,
T'unlocke the closet of your louely breast,
Holding the key of Knowledge in her hand,

Aemilia Lanyer Biography

Emilia Lanier, also spelled Lanyer, (1569–1645) was the first Englishwoman to assert herself as a professional poet through her single volume of poems, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611).[2] Born Aemilia Bassano and part of the Lanier family tree, she was a member of the minor gentry through her father's appointment as a royal musician, and was apparently educated in the household by Susan Bertie, Countess of Kent. She was for several years the mistress of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, first cousin of Elizabeth I of England. She was married to court musician Alfonso Lanier in 1592 when she became pregnant by Hunsdon, and the marriage was reportedly unhappy. As the author of the collection of poetry known as "Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum" (1611) Emelia was the first woman in England to publish a book of original poetry. Her volume centres on the title poem, a long narrative work of over 200 stanzas. It tells the story of Christ's passion satirically and almost entirely from the point of view of the women who surround him. The main poem is prefaced by ten shorter dedicatory works, all to aristocratic women, beginning with the queen. There is also a prose preface addressed to the reader, comprising a vindication of "virtuous women" against detractors of the sex. After the central poem there is a verse "Description of Cookham," dedicated to Margaret, Countess of Cumberland and her daughter Lady Anne Clifford. This last is the first published country house poem in English (Ben Jonson's more famous "To Penshurst" may have been written earlier but was first published in 1616). Her inspiration came from a visit to Cookham Dean, where Margaret Clifford, Countess of Cumberland, and her daughter Lady Anne Clifford lived. While visiting the residence she says to have received a spiritual awakening, inspired by the piety of Margaret. At the age of 42, in 1611, she published Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (Hail, God, King of the Jews). At the time that she published her book, it was extremely unusual for an Englishwoman to publish work and to do so as a means of making a living was even more unusual. The book was radical for its time, although the topics of virtue and religion were considered to be suitable themes for women. It was viewed as radical because it addressed topics such as the maltreatment of women. Layner defends Eve, and womankind in general, arguing that Eve has been wrongly blamed for the original sin of eating the forbidden fruit, while no blame has been pointed at Adam. She argues that Adam shares most of the guilt by concluding that Adam was stronger than Eve, and thus, he should have been able to resist the temptation. She also defends women by pointing out the dedication of the female followers of Christ who stayed with Him throughout the Passion, and looked for him first after the burial and resurrection. She also draws attention to Pilate’s wife who attempted to intervene and prevent the unjust trial and crucifixion of Christ. Layner reproaches mankind by accusing them of crucifying Christ. She also notes the male apostles that forsook and even denied Christ during His crucifixion and Passion.)

The Best Poem Of Aemilia Lanyer

To The Vertuous Reader

Often haue I heard that it is the property of some wo-
men, not only to emulate the virtues and perfections
of the rest, but also by all their powers of ill speaking,
to ecclipse the brightness of their deserved fame: now
contrary to this custome, which men I hope uniustly lay to
their charge, I haue written this small volume, or little booke,
for the generall vse of all virtuous Ladies and Gentlewomen
of this kingdome; and in commendation of some particular
persons of our owne sexe, such as for the most part, are so well
knowne to my selfe, and others, that I dare undertake Fame
dares not to call any better. And this haue I done, to make
knowne to the world, that all women deserue not to be blamed
though some forgetting they are women themselues, and in
danger to be condemned by the words of their owne mouthes,
fall into so great an errour, as to speake vnaduisedly against
the rest of their sexe; which if it be true, I am persuaded they
can shew their owne imperfection in nothing more: and there-
fore could wish (for their owne ease, modesties, and credit) they
would referre such points of folly, to be practised by euell dispo-
sed men, who forgetting they were borne of women, nourished
of women, and that if it were not by the means of women, they
would be quite extinguished out of the world: and a finall ende
of them all, doe like Vipers deface the wombes wherein they
were bred, onely to giue way and vtterance to their want of
discretion and goodnesse. Such as these, were they that disho-
noured Christ his Apostles and Prophets, putting them to
shamefull deaths. Therefore, we are not to regard any imputa-
tions that they vndeseruedly lay upon us, no otherwise than
to make vse of them to our owne benefits, as spurres to ver-
tue, making vs flie all occasions that may colour their uniust
speeches to passe currant. Especially considering that they haue
tempted euen the patience of God himselfe, who gaue power to
wise and virtuous women, to bring downe their pride and ar-
rogancie. As was cruell Cesarus by the discreet counsell of no-
ble Deborah, Iudge and Prophetesse of Israel: and resolution
of Jael wife of Heber the Kenite: wicket Haman, by the di-
uine prayers and prudent proceedings of beautiful Hester:
blasphemous Holofernes, by the inuincible courage, rare wis-
dome, and confident carriage of Iudeth: & the vniust Iudges,
by the innocency of chast Susanna: with infinite others, which
for breuitie sake I will omit. As also in respect it pleased our
Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ, without the assistance of man,
beeing free from originall and all other sinnes, from the time
of his conception, till the houre of his death, to be begotten of a
woman, borne of a woman, nourished of a woman, obedient to a
woman; and that he healed woman, pardoned women, comfor-
ted women: yea, euen when he was in his greatest agonie and
bloodie sweat, going to be crucified, and also in the last houre
of his death, tooke care to dispose of a woman: after his resur-
rection, appeared first to a woman, sent a woman to declare his
most glorious resurrection to the rest of his Disciples. Many
other examples I could alledge of diuers faithfull and virtu-
ous women, who haue in all ages, not onely beene Confessors,
but also indured most cruel martyrdome for their faith in Ie-
sus Christ. All which is sufficient to inforce all good Christi-
ans and honourable minded men to speake reuerently of our
sexe, and especially of all virtuous and good women. To the
modest sensures of both which, I refer these my imperfect in-
deauours, knowing that according to their owne excellent di-
spositions, they will rather, cherish, nourish, and increase the
least sparke of virtue where they find it, by their fauourable
and beste interpretations, than quench it by wrong constructi-
ons. To whom I wish all increase of virtue, and desire their
best opinions.

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