Hello to everyone! Today is another anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s tragic death.
As a tribute to the extraordinary Anne Boleyn, here is my poem written in Renaissance style, lyrical and a bit whimsical, about her thoughts in different moments of her life. My poem is a mixture of real and alternate history, featuring the Anne/Henry VIII and the Anne/Henry Percy pairings. If you are fond of poetry, you will like these poems.
A hymn of Anne Boleyn’s heart
June 1529, after the Legatine Court at Blackfriars
My great Henry and I are sweethearts
He longs me, his Anne, and I long for him,
We are two dearest lovebirds, but alas!
Between us has appeared an old rival –
Catherine, a harbinger of my doom,
His wife who brings us misery and pain,
Her words at that unfortunate court
Moving our love to the brink of ruin.
In her lies, she is cruel and demanding
That my beloved come back to her life,
To her bed, to be chained to her forever.
Yet, aged and barren, she possesses empty lure.
Her name is the Spanish woman of his past,
Now Henry is captured by my exotic allure!
My king loves me back, not Catherine,
And we are dotted by lovely golden threads
Dropped from heaven by the gods of immoral love.
My Henry and I are meant to be together,
To pick up the flowers of joy in our gardens,
To embrace the trees of lust in a million ways,
To touch each other gently and with passion,
To sigh together from the deep sea of affection.
Catherine will never win the battle for my king,
The heat of my feelings shall give me victory,
Complete and utter, and her eventual surrender,
I swear I shall overcome that stubborn woman
With the strength I take from my king and my faith.
Between May 1 and May 19, 1536, Tower of London
Imprisoned, abandoned, and utterly alone,
I beg my king to come to my humble home.
Alas, the Tower has become my home!
The fate’s weird sense of humor keeps me
In the same room where I spent the night
Before my coronation, waiting for daylight.
I imagine his broad, kind face, but I can’t.
In my memories, under the trees, by the lakes,
At his resplendent court, in his grand palaces,
There is no trace of my beloved, he is gone.
For the man I once adored turned a snake.
Substance of evil has spirited him to Hades,
And placed him on the throne of hell,
Of praises, enormous riches, and self-love.
I call for my Henry with the voice of knowledge
And of wisdom, begging not to cause wreckage.
Imploring him to become his old kind self,
But he does not hearken, unwilling to listen,
For demons have enticed him into the dungeon
Of selfishness, where avarice and cruelty dwell.
Again I seek him in the green fields of Hever,
I remember them well as he chased after me,
Calling me his Anne, his future queen, his siren.
But I’m all alone, Henry will never come back,
Just as he did not return to Catherine, oh silly me!
I hated my late rival, was so sure of her lies.
But were her words a lie? Was she his true wife?
Did Henry lie to me about her and Arthur? Why?
I don’t know, and I care not, it no longer matters,
Yet, guilt remains, like a bud on a fading flower,
Like a morning dew on previously green grass,
It remains, dragging, sinking me without mercy
Until I cry into the silence: “Catherine, forgive me!”
I’m a prisoner condemned to my unfair end,
But Henry will also be confined to the cage
Of gluttony and greed, becoming an earthly weed.
The king – oh, no longer mine – is locked there
With thick chains of gold until his dying day,
Until his body fattens, his legs fail him,
Until the shadow of him turns deathly gray.
Yet, as I walk to the scaffold, I call to him,
When my lips smile, my heart goes to him,
For I pity Henry and his future wives after me,
They will see excess tinge him with sick slumber,
His tyranny grow until he leaves the earth.
And as the French sword swings in the air,
I think of my daughter, my dear Lizzie,
And before I close my years forever, I know
That I would never have changed my life,
For my daughter is England’s glorious future.
In heaven, after Henry Percy’s death in 1537
In heaven, I beguile my first love, the other Henry,
At eventide, when the celestial silence rules,
When the flowers sleep, when the sky gets dark,
He responds to the call, so my heart calms,
Just as in youth, Sir Percy yearns to love me,
Without seeking me in the edifices of any glory
Which the king has built upon human bones,
Without demanding a male heir from me.
And as he whispers to me to go to paradise,
I take his hand, happy to have eternal rest,
As we are basking in our reviving affection,
Feeling the richness of the youthful breeze.
He will never bruise my heart with betrayal,
And I will enrich his with all my love.
This is how I learned what true love is,
For substance of Percy’s affection has filled me,
Letting him teach me how to shed tears of joy,
And I can see mercy from the eyes of his soul
For all the wrongs I have done in my life.
With sighs of contentment through those tears,
I realize this man is my true sweetheart,
And I crave to belong to him, to be his rock.
I’m the dame of Percy’s noble heart,
The sigh of passionate sea, his every breath,
The laughter of his lips, I’m his sweetheart.
He is a link between my past and death,
Between the present and the coming world.
He is a spring from which my thirsty soul drinks.
Our love is a tree watered by heavenly rivers,
Bearing fruit which our hungry hearts crave,
He is my nightingale, saving me from pain,
Soothing my bruised spirit with his hymn.
He is a white cloud appearing over the horizon,
And he ascends and grows, shines across the sky.
In heaven, I do feel better than on earth,
Sir Percy has assured that, has robed my life
In his care and the unselfish love of his heart.
Sir Percy, you are the love of my life,
In death I have triumphed over suffering,
I have seduced you again without shame,
Tying us together with a cord of blessing,
With blossoms – pure lilies of innocence.
And people should lament me not,
For Sir Percy and I sing songs of youth
In God’s kingdom that brings us eternal delight.