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Friday, March 30, 2007

Poetry Friday: When I Was Fair And Young

I find it so interesting how centuries ago, women ruled lands and were considered to be savvy political and military strategists. With no doubts of womanhood undermining their power. And in present day United States? Well. You can read between the lines on this one.

Queen Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Some interesting facts:

  • Her half sister, Queen Mary I, imprisoned Elizabeth for suspected treason for a couple of months. Afterwards, Elizabeth was placed under house arrest.
  • Queen Mary I, also known as "Bloody Mary," was a Catholic. She persecuted Protestants. Queen Mary I tried to get her half sister Elizabeth to convert, since Elizabeth was a Protestant. When Queen Mary I passed away, Elizabeth became Queen. Queen Elizabeth never converted and helped create the present day Church of England.
  • Queen Elizabeth I is sometimes referred to as The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess. She never married.
  • She reigned for 45 years. Her reign is referred to as the Elizabethan era.
  • Talented men such as William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Sir Walter Raleigh and Francis Bacon sought her favor and approval.
  • The State of Virginia, the 13th colony of what was to become the United States, was named after the Virgin Queen, Queen Elizabeth I.
  • Queen Elizabeth I was a writer and poet.
Here's to a much loved female queen, a royal strong role model, who was known for being an even tempered, decisive, resourceful, intelligent, and charismatic ruler.

When I Was Fair And Young
by Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
When I was fair and young, then favor graced me.
Of many was I sought their mistress for to be.
But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore:
Go, go, go, seek some other where; importune me no more.

How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe,
How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show,
But I the prouder grew and still this spake therefore:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

Then spake fair Venus’ son, that proud victorious boy,
Saying: You dainty dame, for that you be so coy,
I will so pluck your plumes as you shall say no more:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.
As soon as he had said, such change grew in my breast
That neither night nor day I could take any rest.
Wherefore I did repent that I had said before:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.
Susan from Chicken Spaghetti heads up the roundups for Poetry Friday this week.


Erin said...

I'd never read any of her poetry before, so thanks for posting it (and the facts)!

HipWriterMama said...

I recently discovered this information and found it quite fascinating. Glad you found it interesting.

Robin Brande said...

I'm with Erin--had no clue Queen Lizzie ever wrote poetry. More evidence of her general kickassedness.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'm a big fan of QE1, flaws and all. It is a superb (if bloody) twist of irony that after all Henry VIII did to ensure that a son would inherit the throne, the rulership of England technically went to three women: Lady Jane, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth Tudor. I say "technically" because poor Lady Jane was grossly manipulated. I wonder how history would have been different had Mary Tudor inherited the throne without incident. She was a strong, intelligent woman who endured humiliation and grief in her childhood. It doesn't excuse the religious persecution she condoned, but it certainly explains how it shaped her character. I wish the sisters had been allies, not competitors.

HipWriterMama said...

Alkelda the Gleeful,
Wow, thanks for your insight. I'm rediscovering these regal women, and am quite amazed by what I clearly missed in my history classes.


Yes, this lady rocks.