It was not until the other day that I was actually able to see a facsimile copy of 'Love's Martyr' and see how it is arranged upon the page - and even more importantly how it is arranged in relationship to the poem by John Marston that follows it.
From the poem by Marston we learn that a 'wondrous creature' has arisen from the Turtle's sacrifice in the preceding Threnos. Since I was familiar with Shakespeare's Ovidian epigraph at the front of his Venus and Adonis
I quite easily could believe that what Marston was witnessing was the sacrifice of Edward de Vere's mortal body (what he owed to the Queen) and the ascension of William Shakespeare - the immortal part of the Earl of Oxford - the offspring of his mind and soul.
In my previous posting I wrote this:
Phoenix and Turtle- poem as ‘sacred technology’:
Turtle/Vere /Master of Courtship’s self-sacrifice mixes his 'mortal' ashes with his Queen and buries himself and his name in ‘Old Eliza’s Urn’. The unnamed poem referred to as The Phoenix and Turtle embodies the mystery of courtly love. The poem not only describes ideal love but *enacts* it as the loyal Turtle Dove/Queen’s Great Courtier sacrifices himself for his sovereign's sake at each reading/recitation.
Marston, the self-described astonished bystander, draws our attention to the ‘wondrous creature’ arising out of the ‘Phoenix and Turtle Doves ashes’ – and then more narrowly- ‘What strangeness is’t that from the Turtles ashes/ Assumes such Forme?
It appears to me that Marston is intuiting the wonderful ascension of the of the Turtle’s ‘creature’ – that which has 'sprung forth' from the Turtle (creatus) . That ‘creature’ is that which is signified by the words William Shake-speare – the offspring, heir or 'mind' of the Turtle. This is Ovid’s ‘better part’ that ‘shall aspire’, after the author’s mortal body has fallen into the funeral fire.
...all his behaviours are printed, his face is another volume of Essays - Amorphus, Cynthia's Revels, Jonson
I am writing very quickly at the moment since I have to be somewhere else. However, the next thing that occurred to me was that the novella 'Billy Budd' describes the same arc(?) of thought that occurs in the Shakespeare/Marston poems. The sacrifice of the 'martyr to martial discipline' Billy, the occulted relationship between Billy Budd (Beauty) and Captain Edward Fairfax Vere (Truth) - and that wondrous conceit of the 'pinioned figure' ascending into the sky before falling into the deep - oblivion, Lethe.
And then I had to leave off thinking about Billy Budd for a bit.
A day or two later I thought I'd better busy myself with the business of finding out whether or not Melville had access to the text of Love's Martyr. I learned that Emerson had proposed that the Academy of Letters should offer a prize for the person who could come closest to describing what exactly was going on in Shakespeare's poem.
Imagine. Fancy the reclusive Melville working on Billy Budd until the end of his life - wrestling with Shakespeare's great poem; and, given the name of his Captain, Edward Fairfax Vere, the Shakespeare authorship enigma, as well!
This construction of Oxford/Shakespeare's bifold (?) monument (as presented in 'Love's Martyr' - an impressive display of loyalty at the time of the Essex rebellion - also explains Jonson's 'monument without a tomb' comments, and Milton's 'monument' of wonder and astonishment:
Marston, Love's Martyr
Then looke; for see what glorious issue brighter
Then Dians tier) now springs from yonder flame?
Let me stand numb'd with WONDER, neuer came
So strong amazement on ASTONISH’D eie
As this, this measurelesse pure RARITIE.
Lo now; th'xtracture of deuinest ESSENCE,
The Soule of heauens labour'd Quintessence,
(Peans to Phoebus) from deare Louer's death,
Takes sweete creation and all blessing breath.
What STRANGENESS is't that from the Turtles ashes
Assumes such forme?
What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
and also the avian imagery in his L'Allegro:
So back to Billy (Baby) Budd/Shakespeare's Book - truly Fancy's Child.
'Spiritualization' of Billy Budd (pre-ascension)
Billy Budd, Herman Melville
Billy Budd as the 'peacemaker' - Dove? Venus' bird.
Billy's stutter - art made tongue-tied by authority?
Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."