Ode Natalitia

Harvey's Ode Natalitia was published in London in 1575 by Thomas Vautrollier. The author of the work is identified only with the initials A.P.S. (Aulae Pembrochianae Socius, i.e. Fellow of Pembroke Hall). The work was unknown, or at least not known to be the work of Harvey, until it was rediscovered by Warren Austin (see his article Gabriel Harvey's "Lost" Ode on Ramus, Modern Language Notes, April 1946, p.242-247).

I copied the text from a microfilm of the copy at the Cambridge University Library. In transcribing the text I didn't make any corrections. Words I thought to be typographical errors I marked with an asterisk. A couple of these might well be legitimate variants.

The following synopsis of the Ode Natalitia is quoted verbatim from Austin's article:

Nativity Ode or a Work of that Holiday
which is celebrated in the name of St. Stephen
the protomartyr. 1574.

"Morning Eclogue (Ecloga Matutina): All the Arts together invite the studious Youth to the abodes of the Muses, of Apollo, Pallas, and the Graces. Method, a heavenly virgin who directs the goddesses of the Arts, assumes the role of guide. As each of the five Arts reformed by Ramus - Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry - introduces herself, Method reiterates: "With me as leader the road is smooth, which before was rough. (Me duce plana via est, quae salebrosa fuit.)" When the Youth begs admission, Pallas, attended by the Muses and Graces, embraces him; then Method leads him to the temple of Apollo and the god (Qui lucis Deus est & Methodi pater est) bids the happy Youth enter.

"Afternoon Eclogue (Ecloga pomeridiana): Music and Astronomy complain that they have been left in an unkempt state and so have no lovers. Method assures them that, though Fate intervened (i.e., by the death of Ramus before his project was complete), there may come a Ramist to provide for them (instar Rami forsitan alter erit.) In answer to Theology, Jurisprudence, and Medicine, complaining that their principles are especially in need of reduction to order and system, Method suggests that followers of Ramus have already done much.

"Then, in an address to all professors of eloquence and philosophy, she urges that they spread Ramism in England. Ramus, she says, (1) eliminated lists of authorities, (2) diligently observed the laws of "artificial" judgment, and (3) wisely brought back the doctrine of Use. Turning to all aspirants to eloquence and philosophy, Method exhorts them to take Ramus, who "kindles new fires in frigid hearts," as their absolute master. The Eclogue concludes with suggestions for epitaphs and epigrams to honor the philosopher's memory.

"He had planned, the poet informs the reader, to extemporize an evening eclogue after dinner, but, alas! Ceres and Bacchus proved too much for Minerva and Apollo: the evening theme was put off to another time and place and the better part of the night was passed in Christmas games and talk."