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POETRY OF ELIZABETH I

 

Written with a diamond on her window at Woodstock

Much suspected by me,
Nothing proved can be,
Quoth Elizabeth prisoner.

 

Elizabeth's verses, while prisoner at Woodstock [Writ with charcoal on a shutter]

Oh, Fortune! how thy restlesse wavering state
Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt!
Witnes this present prisonn, whither fate
Could beare me, and the joys I quitt.
Thou causedest the guiltie to be losed
From bandes, wherein are innocents inclosed:
Causing the guiltles to be straite reserved,
And freeing those that death had well deserved.
But by her envie can be nothing wroughte,
So God send to my foes all they have thoughte.

signed - A. D. MDLV.
Elizabethe, Prisonner.

 

Written in her French psalter

No crooked leg, no bleared eye,
No part deformed out of kind,
Nor yet so ugly half can be
As is the inward suspicious mind.

 

A Sonnet by Queen Elizabeth

The doubt of future foes
Exiles my present joy;
And wit me warnes to shun such snares,
As threaten mine annoy.

For falshood now doth flow,
And subject faith doth ebbe;
Which would not be if reason rul'd,
Or wisdome wev'd the webbe.

But clowdes of toyes untried
Do cloake aspiring mindes;
Which turn to raine of late repent,
By course of changed windes.

The toppe of hope supposed
The roote of ruthe wil be;
And frutelesse all their graffed guiles,
As shortly ye shall see.

Then dazeld eyes with pride,
Which great ambition blindes,
Shal be unseeld by worthy wights,
Whose foresight falshood finds.

The daughter of debate,
That eke discord doth sowe,
Shal reape no gaine where former rule
Hath taught stil peace to growe.

No forreine bannisht wight
Shall ancre in this port;
Our realme it brookes no strangers force,
Let them elsewhere resort.

Our rusty sworde with rest
Shall first his edge employ,
Shall quickly poll their toppes, that seeke
Such change, and gape for joy.

 

On fortune

Never think you fortune can bear the sway
Where virtue's force can cause her to obey.

 

On monsieur's departure

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 do 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.