Thursday, 4 September 2008

A love once had now lost forever

I have always been intruiged by Elizabeth I's relationship with Robert Dudley, and the way they used each other's strength and still managed to fight like cats and dogs. Robert died today in 1588, and here is a poem, by Elizabeth which I think fits the moment quite well (even if it was probably written about the Duke of Alencon.)

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.

I'm planning a post about historical novels soon (probably tomorrow), so I can carry on the theme of Elizabeth then!

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