Archive for January 3rd, 2023

Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Patria Cuique Chara*: To Richarde Cotton, Esquier by Geoffrey/Geffrey Whitney

The bees at lengthe retourne into their hive,
When they have suck’d the sweete of FLORAS bloomes;
And with one minde their worke they doe contrive,
And laden come with honie to their roomes:
A worke of arte; and yet no arte of man,
Can worke, this worke; these little creatures can.

The maister bee, within the midst dothe live,
In fairest roome, and most of stature is;
And everie one to him dothe reverence give,
And in the hive with him doe live in blisse:
Hee hath no stinge, yet none can doe him harme,
For with their strengthe, the rest about him swarme.

Lo, natures force within these creatures small,
Some, all the daye the honie home doe beare.
And some, farre off on flowers freshe doe fall,
Yet all at nighte unto their home repaire:
And everie one, her proper hive doth knowe,
Althoughe there stande a thousande on a rowe.

A Comon-wealthe, by this, is right expreste;
Bothe him, that rules, and those, that doe obaye:
Or suche, as are the heads above the rest,
Whome here, the Lorde in highe estate dothe staye:
By whose supporte, the meaner sorte doe live,
And unto them all reverence dulie give.

Which when I waied: I call’d unto my minde
Your CUMBERMAIRE, that fame so farre commendes:
A stately seate, whose like is harde to finde,
Where mightie JOVE the horne of plentie lendes:
With fishe, and foule, and cattaile sondrie flockes,
Where christall springes doe gushe out of the rockes.

There, fertile fieldes; there, meadowes large extende:
There, store of grayne: with water, and with wood.
And, in this place, your goulden time you spende̱,
Unto your praise, and to your countries good:
This is the hive, your tennaunts, are the bees:
And in the same, have places by degrees.

And as the bees, that farre and neare doe straye,
And yet come home, when honie they have founde:
So, thoughe some men doe linger longe awaye,
Yet love they best their native countries grounde.
And from the same, the more they absent bee,
With more desire, they wishe the same to see.

Even so my selfe; throughe absence manie a yeare,
A straunger meere, where I did spend my prime.
Nowe, parentes love dothe hale mee by the eare,
And sayeth, come home, deferre no longer time:
Wherefore, when happe, some goulden honie bringes?
I will retorne, and rest my wearie winges.

*Patria cuique chara – To each a native land is dear.

From: Whitney, Geoffrey and Green, Henry (ed.), Whitney’s “Choice of Emblemes”, A Fac-simile Reprint, 1866, Lovell Reeve & Co: London, pp. 200-201.

Date: 1586

By: Geoffrey/Geffrey Whitney (c1548-c1601)