Plus Ultra

by Richard Jones

of Gray's Inn


Whom do men say that I am? Seen am I unseen?
Born York House? York Place? Half-bastard son of a Virgin Queen?
The Earl of Leicester by morganatic marriage wed he my mother
The Earl of Essex was born of them my younger royal brother
In fifteen-seventy Marsham had his ears cut off for uttering, the obscene
That my Lord of Leicester hath had two sons by the Queen
We were their natural issue, their love ushered us through life's door
We were concealed royal princes, but whisper it softly Tudor, Tudor

In my youth I set me out to instaurate the world with light
Making a claim to be a servant of posterity, born to set it right
I took all knowledge to be my province a Solomon of my age
Becoming a Proteus of literature an Apollo of masque and stage
Among students of Grays Inn, formed I the first masonic three degrees
With advancement of learning I set experimentation to be free
The English renaissance I created with the help of good pens
Sworn brothers in arms we created a brotherhood of men.

At Gorambury my temple was dedicated to the zodiacal stars
And above my doorway "Plus Ultra" always further beyond never too far
Rosicrosse code mark my Shakespearian plays to be or not to be
Yeah Just tap thirty-three and you will Lord Bacon see
I was the Prince of Purpool who reighned and died in fifteen-ninety-four
I was wed in purple, a Royal from my hat down to the floor
Oh how I revelled in the revels, I was master of the masques
But above all I laid me great bases for eternity, to last and last

At Twickenham Park I dwelled next door to my mother the Queen
I was the Shakespeare, the Spear-shaker, the Pallas Athene
One of the natural and true-bred children to her majesty I stand
In happy memorie I toast my mother Good Queen Bess of England
I gave warning to Essex that above all he must win the Queen
Now above his cell door in Welsh "Robert Tudir" can now be seen
Sir Walter Raleigh said "Essex was fecht of by a trick" he ran out of time
I always.told Essex, "Have I not reason to think your future comprehendeth mine"

I Francis of Verulam reasoned thus with myself and I said
"To know all is to forgive all" for all are soon dead
The King fearing dishonour, commanded that my honour my defense I forsook
Generations to come will say, this Bacon proved too tough for Edward the cook
"Was it aught to me that I bore the canopy"
Or that I laid me great bases for eternity
Three parts open three parts hid, the power of my instauration lay undiminished
I state once, twice, thrice "None be finished until all be finished."


The title "Plus Ultra" means "more beyond" and is a Masonic term. It appears in a 1586 book of emblems.