In Honour Of That High And Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth, Of Most Happy Memory

An Electronic Edition · Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)

Original Source: The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse. Edited by John Harvard Ellis. (Charlestown: A. E. Cutter, 1867)

Copyright 2003. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided.

Full Colophon Information

In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth OF HAPPY MEMORY The Proem.

ALthough great Queen thou now in silence lye 
Yet thy loud Herald Fame doth to the sky 
Thy wondrous worth proclaim in every Clime, 
And so hath vow’d while there is world or time. 
So great’s thy glory and thine excellence,5.
The sound thereof rapts every humane sense, 
That men account it no impiety, 
To say thou wert a fleshly Deity: 
Thousands bring offerings (though out of date) 
Thy world of honours to accumulate.10.
‘Mongst hundred Hecatombs of roaring verse, 
‘Mine bleating stands before thy royal Herse. 
Thou never didst nor canst thou now disdain 
T’ accept the tribute of a loyal brain. 
Thy clemency did yerst esteem as much15.
The acclamations of the poor as rich, 
Which makes me deem my rudeness is no wrong, 
Though I resound thy praises ‘mongst the throng. 

The Poem.

No Phœnix pen, nor Spensers poetry, 
No Speeds nor Cambdens learned History, 
Elizahs works, warrs, praise, can e’re compact, 
The World’s the Theater where she did act.22.
No memoryes nor volumes can contain 
The ‘leven Olympiads of her happy reign: 
Who was so good, so just, so learn’d so wise, 
From all the Kings on earth she won the prize. 
Nor say I more than duly is her due,27.
Millions will testifie that this is true. 
She hath wip’d off th’ aspersion of her Sex, 
That women wisdome lack to play the Rex: 
Spains Monarch, sayes not so, nor yet his host: 
She taught them better manners, to their cost.32.
The Salique law, in force now had not been, 
If France had ever hop’d for such a Queen. 
But can you Doctors now this point dispute, 
She’s Argument enough to make you mute. 
Since first the sun did run his nere run race,37.
And earth had once a year, a new old face, 
Since time was time, and man unmanly man, 
Come shew me such a Phœnix if you can? 
Was ever people better rul’d than hers? 
Was ever land more happy freed from stirrs?42.
Did ever wealth in England more abound? 
Her victoryes in forreign Coasts resound, 
Ships more invincible than Spain‘s, her foe 
She wrackt, she sackt, she sunk his Armado. 
Her stately troops advanc’d to Lisbons wall47.
Don Anthony in’s right there to install. 
She frankly helpt, Franks brave distressed King, 
The States united now her fame do sing, 
She their Protectrix was, they well do know 
Unto our dread Virago, what they owe.52.
Her Nobles sacrific’d their noble blood, 
Nor men nor Coyn she spar’d to do them good. 
The rude untamed Irish, she did quel, 
Before her picture the proud Tyrone fell. 
Had ever prince such Counsellours as she?57.
Her self Minerva caus’d them so to be. 
Such Captains and such soldiers never seen, 
As were the Subjects of our Pallas Queen. 
Her Sea-men through all straights the world did round; 
Terra incognita might know the sound.62.
Her Drake came laden home with Spanish gold: 
Her Essex took Cades, their Herculean Hold: 
But time would fail me, so my tongue would to, 
To tell of half she did, or she could doe. 
Semiramis to her, is but obscure,67.
More infamy than fame, she did procure. 
She built her glory but on Babels walls, 
Worlds wonder for a while, but yet it falls. 
Fierce Tomris, (Cyrus heads-man) Scythians queen, 
Had put her harness off, had she but seen72.
Our Amazon in th’ Camp of Tilbury, 
Judging all valour and all Majesty 
Within that Princess to have residence, 
And prostrate yielded to her excellence. 
Dido first Foundress of proud Carthage walls,77.
(Who living consummates her Funeralls) 
A great Eliza, but compar’d with ours, 
How vanisheth her glory, wealth and powers. 
Profuse, proud Cleopatra, whose wrong name, 
Instead of glory, prov’d her Countryes shame:82.
Of her what worth in Storyes to be seen, 
But that she was a rich Egyptian Queen. 
Zenobya potent Empress of the East, 
And of all these, without compare the best, 
Whom none but great Aurelius could quel;87.
Yet for our Queen is no fit Parallel. 
She was a Phœnix Queen, so shall she be, 
Her ashes not reviv’d, more Phœnix she. 
Her personal perfections, who would tell, 
Must dip his pen in th’ Heliconian Well,92.
Which I may not, my pride doth but aspire 
To read what others write, and so admire. 
Now say, have women worth? or have they none? 
Or had they some, but with our Queen is’t gone? 
Nay Masculines, you have thus taxt us long,97.
But she, though dead, will vindicate our wrong. 
Let such as say our Sex is void of Reason, 
Know tis a Slander now, but once was Treason. 
But happy England which had such a Queen: 
Yea happy, happy, had those dayes still been:102.
But happiness lyes in a higher sphere, 
Then wonder not Eliza moves not here. 
Full fraught with honour, riches and with dayes 
She set, she set, like Titan in his rayes. 
No more shall rise or set so glorious sun107.
Untill the heavens great revolution, 
If then new things their old forms shall retain, 
Eliza shall rule Albion once again. 


Here sleeps THE Queen, this is the Royal Bed, 
Of th’ Damask Rose, sprung from the white and red, 
Whose sweet perfume fills the all-filling Air: 
This Rose is wither’d, once so lovely fair.114.
On neither tree did grow such Rose before, 
The greater was our gain, our loss the more. 


Here lyes the pride of Queens, Pattern of Kings, 
So blaze it Fame, here’s feathers for thy wings. 
Here lyes the envi’d, yet unparalled Prince, 
Whose living virtues speak, (though dead long since)120.
If many worlds, as that Fantastick fram’d, 
In every one be her great glory fam’d. 

Full Colophon Information

Genre: Poetry
Subjects: Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533-1603
Period: 1650-1700
Location: New England
Format: verse

This text was first published in 1678 in Several Poems.

This electronic text was prepared from and proofed against The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse. Edited by John Harvard Ellis. (Charlestown: A. E. Cutter, 1867). All preliminaries and notes have been omitted except those for which the author is responsible and those in which editorial notes indicate significant textual variations. All editorial notes have been omitted except for those which indicate significant textual variations. Line and paragraph numbers contained in the source text have been retained. In cases where the source text displays no numbers, numbers are automatically generated. In the header, personal names have been regularized according to the Library of Congress authority files as "Last Name, First Name" for the REG attribute and "First Name Last Name" for the element value. Names have not been regularized in the body of the text.