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Lady Mary Wroth




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   Baxter, Nathaniel: Sir Philip Sydneys Ourāania, dedication. London : Printed by Ed. Allde, for Edward White,1606.

To the virtuous Ladie M. / Agape Wrotha.
In all the Greeke None but this word is found,
That doth containe a true description,
Of virtues Cardinall, which doon abound
In thine Heroycall disposition.
Agape shewes thy composition
Loue it is called in our Dialect,
Eros is Venerie; but this Dilection,
Chast, holy, modest, diuine and perfect,
Arcadian Sydney gaue thee this aspect,
When he forsooke this transitory Globe,
To mount the whirling Orb with course direct,
Adorning thee with loue for marriage Robe.
      Sith famous Wroth Agape hath possest:
      Ourania pray’s a while to be your guest.


   Chapman, George: TO THE HAPPY STARRE, DISCOUERED in our Sydneian; Asterisme; comfort of learning, Sphere of all the vertues, the Lady VVrothe. [from The Whole Works of Homer ... in his Iliads and Odysses [1616]]

When all our other Starres set (in their skies
To Vertue, and all honor of her kind;
That you (rare Lady) should so clearely rise,
Makes all the vertuous glorifie your mind.
And let true Reason, and Religion trie,
If it be Fancie, not iudiciall Right,
In you t'oppose the times Apostasie,
To take the soules part, and her sauing Light,
While others blinde and burie both in Sense;
When, tis the onely end, for which all liue.
And, could those soules, in whom it dies, dispense
As much with their Religion; they would giue
That as small grace. Then shun their course, faire Starre;
      And still keepe your way, pure, and circular.


   Denny, Edward, Baron of Waltham: To Pamphilia from the father-in-law of Seralius

Hermophradite in show, in deed a monster
As by thy words and works all men may conster
Thy wrathfull spite conceived an Idell book
Brought forth a foole which like the damme doth look
Wherein thou strikes at some mans noble blood
Of kinne to thine if thine be counted good
Whose vaine comparison for want of witt
Takes up the oystershell to play with it
Yet common oysters such as thine gape wide
And take in pearles or worse at every tide
Both frind and foe to thee are even alike
Thy witt runns madd not caring who it strike
These slanderous flying f[l]ames rise from the pott
For potted witts inflamd are raging hott
How easy wer't to pay thee with thine owne
Returning that which thou thyself hast throwne
And write a thousand lies of thee at least
And by thy lines describe a drunken beast
This were no more to thee then thou hast donne
A Thrid but of thine owne which thou hast spunn
By which thou plainly seest in thine owne glass
How easy tis to bring a ly to pass
Thus hast thou made thyself a lying wonder
Fooles and their Bables seldom part asunder
Work o th' Workes leave idle bookes alone
For wise and worthyer women have writte none.


Note: For Wroth's rejoinder, click here.


   Drummond, William: xv. To my ladye Mary Wroath. [from The Poetical Works (1913)]

Who can (great lady) but adore thy name
To which the sacred band are bound to bow.
Of men your vncle first, of woemen yow,
Both grace this age, & it to both giues fame.

Your spacious thoughts with choice inuentiones free,
Show passiones power, affectiones seuerall straines;
And yet one sort, and that most rare remaines,
Not told by you, but to be proud by me.

No face at all could haue my hart subdued,
Though beautyes Sune in the Meridian shind;
Yet by the glorye lightning from a mynd,
I am her captiue whom I neuer knew.

Sprightes wanting bodyes are not barrd from loue,
But feele, not tuching; see, though wanting eyes;
Aboue grosse senses reach true vertue flyes,
And doth by sympathye effectuall proue.

Then wonder not to see this flame burst forth,
Nor blame mee not who dare presume so much;
I honor but the best, and hold you such;
None can deserue & I discerne your worth.

In spight of fortune though you should disdaine,
I can enjoy this fauour fate assignes;
Your speaking portrait drawn with liuing lines,
A greater good than louers vse to gaine.

My loue may (as begune) last without sight,
And by degrees contemplatiuly grow;
Yet from affection curious thoughtes most flow:
I long to know whence comes so great a light,

And wish to see (since so your spright excelles)
The Paradise where such an Angell dwelles.


   Drummond, William: viii. To my Ladye Mary Wroath. [from The Poetical Works (1913)]

For beautye onlye, armd with outward grace,
I scorne to yeeld, to conquerre, or to striue;
Let shallow thoughtes that can no deeper dyue,
As fits their weaknesse, rest vpon a face.
But when rare partes a heunlye shape confines,
Scarce reacht by thoughtes, not subiect to the sight,
Yet but the lanterne of a greater light,
Wher worth accomplisht crownd with glorie shines,
Then when bright vertue raignes in beautyes throne,
And doth the hart by spirituall magick moue,
Whilst reasone leads though passiones follow loue,
Lothd may hee be that likes not such a one.
If it not lou'd so braue a mynd thus shown,
I hated had the basenesse of myne own.


   Galli, Antimo: Stanze fatte con l'occasione d'un balletto guidato da la Real Mta de la Regina de la gran Brettagna &c. Li 6. di Genaro del 1608. [Excerpt]

Note: The "balletto" described by Galli is the Masque of Beauty, which was performed at the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall in 1608. The following complementary stanza on Wroth forms a part of Galli's description of the members of the audience present on this occasion. For more details about this text, see the
complete bibliography.

St. 70
Vedi colei, che sol Celeste sembra,
Al girar de begl'occhi al bianco petto?
Quella sol par, che ą, Ateon le membra
Vaghe, cangiar sč nel ferino aspetto.
E questa de VVroth, in cui rimembra
Il Cielo ą noi l'almo suo bel perfetto.
E se vera honestą'n Donna risiede,
Ne la bella MARIA si scopre, e vede.


   Gamage, William: Epigram 25. To the most famous, and Heroike Ladie Mary, L. Wroth. [from Linsi-Woolsie (1613)]

Thy worthy husband Ladifies thee Wroth,
Pray be not so with my poore pen, to place
'Fore R the O; then iustly Lady VVorth
I might thee stile, worth what? hie honours Grace.


   Gamage, William: Epigram 60. To the worthy Knight, Sr Ro. Wroth, of his house call'd Durance. [from Linsi-Woolsie (1613)]

Thy Durance keeps in durance none, I heare,
'Lesse be to pertake of thy bounteous cheere.




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These pages are maintained by Nandini Das and were last updated on 15 June, 2001.