Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Poetry - On Monsieur's Departure by Queen Elizabeth I of England

I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute but inwardly to prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned.
Since from myself another self I turned.

My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
His too familiar care doth make me rue it.
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Till by the end of things it be supprest.

Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
For I am soft and made of melting snow;
Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind.
Let me or float or sink, be high or low.
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Or die and so forget what love ere meant.

In recognition of the Queen's return home today after a long absence, our poetry corner today features one of her predecessors - arguably one of the more evocative monarchs that England has had - the Virgin Queen, Eliabeth Tudor.

The Elizabethan era is one in which drama and literature flourished and in between slaughtering the peasant Catholics in Ireland and taking on the might of Spain at sea, she penned a few little verses herself. This one by all accounts laments the departure of her suitor, Francois of France, Duke of Anjou, after failed marriage negotiations. Elizabeth was keen to rid herself of the moniker of Virgin Queen and the Duke was one of the last to "come calling".