QUEEN ELIZABETH I
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.
Queen Elizabeth's most famous, and perhaps most accomplished, poem. It is popularly known as "On Monsieur's Departure", but there is no evidence to connect it with the departure from England of the Queen's last political suitor, Francis, Duke of Alencon.
Now Leave And Let Me Rest
Now leave and let me rest. Dame Pleasure, be content.
Go choose among the best; my doting days be spent.
By sundry signs I see thy proffers are but vain,
And wisdom warneth me that pleasure asketh pain;
And Nature that doth know how time her steps doth try,
Gives place to painful woe, and bids me learn to die.
Since all fair earthly things, soon ripe, will soon be rot
And all that pleasant springs, soon withered, soon forgot,
And youth that yields men joys that wanton lust desires
In age repents the toys that reckless youth requires.
All which delights I leave to such as folly trains
By pleasures to deceive, till they do feel the pains.
And from vain pleasures past I fly, and fain would know
The happy life at last whereto I hope to go.
For words or wise reports ne yet examples gone
'Gan bridle youthful sports, till age came stealing on.
The pleasant courtly games that I do pleasure in,
My elder years now shames such folly to begin.
And all the fancies strange that fond delight brought forth
I do intend to change, and count them nothing worth.
For I by proffers vain am taught to know the skill
What might have been forborne in my young reckless will;
By which good proof I fleet from will to wit again,
In hope to set my feet in surety to remain.