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ALAS! POOR QUEEN

 

She was skilled in music and the dance

And the old arts of love

At the court of the poisoned rose

And the perfumed glove,

And gave her beautiful hand

To the pale Dauphin

A triple crown to win-

And she loved little dogs

And parrots

And red-legged partridges

And the golden fishes of the Duc de Guise

And a pigeon with a blue ruff

She had from Monsieur d'Elboe

 

Master John Knox was no friend to her;

She spoke him soft and kind,

Her honeyed words were Satan's lure

The unwary soul to bind.

'Good sir, doth a lissome shape

And a comely face

Offend your God His Grace

Whose Wisdom maketh these

Golden fishes of the Duc de Guise?'

 

She rode through Liddesdale with a song;

'Ye streams sae wondrous strang,

Oh, mak' me a wrack as I come back

But spare me as I gang.'

While a hill-bird cried and cried

Like a spirit lost

By the grey storm-wind tost.

 

Consider the way she had to go,

Think of the hungry snare,

The net she herself had woven,

Aware or unaware,

Of the dancing feet grown still,

The blinded eyes -

Queens should be cold and wise,

And she loved little things,

Parrots

And red-legged partridges

And the golden fishes of the Duc de Guise

And the pigeon with the blue ruff

She had from Monsieur d'Elboeuf.

 

-- Marion Angus