Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Queen Elizabeth
 
Sarah Williams (1841–68)
 
 
DYING, and loth to die, and long’d to die;
  Is there no pity, O my land, my land?
Is it as naught to you, ye passersby?
  Will ye not, for a moment, listening stand?
 
Who shall come after me, is what ye pray;        5
  Truly ye have not spar’d me all my days.
Tudor, the grand old race, may pass away;
  Stuart, the weak and false, awaits your praise.
 
Essex, my murder’d darling, tender one,
  Should have been here, my people, but for you;        10
Now he but haunts me,—oh, my son, my son!
  Would that the queen had err’d, the friend been true.
 
Dudley, my one one love, my spirit halts;
  Would that it had thine now on which to lean;
Faulty thou wert, they said; come back, dear faults,—        15
  Have I not right to pardon, as a queen?
 
Truly, ’t is hard to rule, ’t is sore to love,
  All my life long the two have torn my heart;
Now that the end has come, all things to prove,
  I but repent me of my chosen part.        20
 
Now to my mother’s God, who dwells afar,
  Come I, a broken queen, a woman old;
Smirch’d with the miry way my soul hath trod,
  Weary of life as with a tale twice told.
Thou who dost know what ingrate subjects are,        25
  Hear me, assoil, receive me, God, my God.
 

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