Wednesday, August 30, 2023

"The Doubt of Future Foes" by Queen Elizabeth I

The Doubt of Future Foes, Circa 1571

[Headed] Verses made by the queen's majesty

The doubt of future foes 
Exiles my present joy
And wit me warns to shun such snares 
As threatens mine annoy.

For falsehood now doth flow
And subjects’ faith doth ebb,
Which should not be if reason ruled 
Or wisdom weaved the web.

But clouds of joys untried 
Do cloak aspiring minds
Which turns to rage of late repent 
By changèd course of winds.

The top of hope supposed 
The root of rue shall be
And fruitless all their grafted guile, 
As shortly ye shall see.

Their dazzled eyes with pride, 
Which great ambition blinds,
Shall be unsealed by worthy wights 
Whose foresight falsehood finds.

The daughter of debate 
That discord aye doth sow
Shall reap no gain where former rule 
Still peace hath taught to know.

No foreign banished wight 
Shall anchor in this port:
Our realm brooks no seditious sects
Let them elsewhere resort.

My rusty sword through rest 
Shall first his edge employ
To pull their tops who seek such change 
Or gape for future joy.
                    Vivat Regina

Source of the text - Elizabeth I: Collected Works, Edited by Leah S. Marcus, Janel Mueller, and Mary Beth Rose.  Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000, pages 133-134.

TJB: Royal rap. In lilting ballad verse, the queen says ‘protect ya neck’ to Mary Stuart & threatens to get medieval on her ass if Mary pops off.

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