But the Queen of Walsingham
to be my guide and muse.
The Ruins of Walsingham by Anonymous

Our Lady of Walsingham is a title applied to Mary after she supposedly appeared there to Richeldis de Faverches in 1061.

Although her famous shrine had been destroyed, the author believes that her patronage has not vanished; this faith in the face of adversity is typical of the English Recusants of the Elizabethan period.

Her invocation at the beginning of the poem under the title of “muse” is a deliberate aversion of the neo-Classical invocation of the pagan Muses with which Renaissance poets very frequently began their works.

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The ways unknown
Where the press of peers did pass
While her fame was blown.
The Ruins of Walsingham by Anonymous

Previously the pious feudal lords had been eager to visit this shrine;

after the Reformation, it was completely forsaken, as most of the upper classes conformed to the state Church of England (and attempts to rebuild it would have suppressed as affronts to the government, anyway).

On a more cheerful note, the revived shrine does attract a few prominent pilgrims, including these Knights (and Dames) of Malta (the rather heavy chap with bowed head is their Prince-Grand Master)

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Bitter was it so to see
The seely sheep
Murdered by the ravenous wolves
While the shepherds did sleep.
The Ruins of Walsingham by Anonymous

The author compares those who destroyed Walsingham Priory to the the wolves, or at least to the “bad shepherds” (as opposed to the “Good Shepherd”), from John 10. Even those who aren’t actively trying to destroy the Catholic Church are turning a blind eye to the depredations of those who do — an attitude which was only practical in the Elizabethan era, but which is not perhaps the most commendable.

“Seely” is an old word for “holy,” and thus the sheep may specifically represent the Catholic religious community that had lived at Walsingham.

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Started drinking alcohol at 3pm This Friday I Woke Up At 2PM by Mira Gonzalez 10

When you wake up in the afternoon, you tend to feel like shit, more so if you have an hangover.

Especially in the latter case, the only reasonable solution is to drink — it doesn’t really make you feel good, and you’re not exactly drowning your sorrows, but it does restore a kind of familiar sensation, and thus grounds you. Minimizes the anomie too, which is a big plus for millenials.

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More glorious she than fleece of Jason hymned
Which now adorns her house far-famed in song.
To the Archduchess Eleonore von Habsburg-Löthringen by HailTheKing 2

This refers to the golden fleece (nowadays thought to have been a sheep’s skin full of gold dust) which was the object of the quest of Jason and his Argonauts. It was adopted as the symbol of the ultra-exclusive Order of the Golden Fleece

which is distributed by the head of the House of Hapsburg (currently Eleonore’s father)

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Soul, all thy store of secrets now un-pen To the Archduchess Eleonore von Habsburg-Löthringen by HailTheKing 2

Our memories contain lots of things that we’re unable to recall on a daily basis, and although the “we only use 10% of our brains” thing is a myth, I do think we rarely use the full extent of our minds. This line urges whatever limits are holding it back to be undone, so that all my poetic potential is released.

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Hail, pride among virgins,
glorious virgin,
24. Ave, formosissima (III. Cour d'Amours [The Court of Love]) by Carl Orff

This poem is addressed to an idealized maiden, not any girl in particular; in the Platonic understanding, she would then possess the fullness of every quality typical of her kind, and truly be their pride.

Sadly, she could only exist in the unimaginable realm of forms.

Note that there might well be a Marian reference here (considering that the poem was written by monks)

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Noble Venus! 24. Ave, formosissima (III. Cour d'Amours [The Court of Love]) by Carl Orff

Venus (or Aphrodite) was the Greco-Roman goddess of love and beauty, and is thus the idealization of everything the author of this poem praises.

She doesn’t really like clothes…

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And Helen, 24. Ave, formosissima (III. Cour d'Amours [The Court of Love]) by Carl Orff

Helen of Troy, whose face “launch’d a thousand ships,” and who is renowned as perhaps the most beautiful woman of all time.

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Blanchefleur 24. Ave, formosissima (III. Cour d'Amours [The Court of Love]) by Carl Orff

The heroine of the medieval romance “Floris and Blanchefleur,” which exists in various French and Middle English versions.

Her name, meaning “white flower,” is symbolic of purity.

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