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"The Winter Queen", Elizabeth of Bohemia (1596-1662)

Daughter of James Stuart (James VI of Scotland, James I of England) and Anne of Denmark. On St. Valentine's Day 1613 she married Elector Palatine, Frederick V. Several works where written for their wedding; William Shakespeare wrote the Tempest. Among the other poems written for the occasion is this:

Nuptial Hymn

Nymphs of sea and land, away,
This, Eliza's wedding day,
Help to dress our gallant bride
With the treasures that ye hide:
Some bring flowery coronets,
Roses white and violets:
Doris, gather from thy shore
Coral, crystal, amber, store,
Which thy queen in bracelets twist
For her alabaster wrist,
While ye silver-footed girls
Plait her tresses with your pearls:
Others, from Pactolus' stream,
Greet her with a diademe:
Search in every rocky mount
For the gems of most account:
Bring ye rubies for her ear,
Diamonds to fill her hair,
Emerald green and chrysolite
Bind her neck more white than white;
On her breast depending be
The onyx, friend to chastity;
Take the rest without their place,
In borders, sleeves, her shoes, or lace:
Nymphs of Niger, offer plumes,
Some, your odours and perfumes:
Dian's maids, more white than milk,
Fit a robe of finest silk:
Dian's maids who mont to be
The honour of virginity.
Heavens have bestowed their grace,
Her chaste desires, and angel's face.

Peacham (1613), "A period of mourning"
in Norman Ault (1949)

In 1619, Frederick was elected King of Bohemia by the Protestant Union. They were exiled from Bohemia after the Battle of White Mountain (1620). Their children included:

Sources:
Greer, G., Medoff, J., Sansome, M. & Hastings, S., eds. (1988) "Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of 17th Century Women's Verse", Virago, London


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Created 31/5/99
Last modified 18/7/00