When I Was Young and Fair

by QUEEN ELIZABETH I (1533-1603)

When I was fair and young, then favor graced me.
Of many was I sought their mistress for to be.
But I did scorn them all and answered them therefore:
Go, go, go, seek some other where; importune me no more.

How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe,
How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show,
But I the prouder grew and still this spake therefore:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

Then spake fair Venus’ son, that proud victorious boy,
Saying: You dainty dame, for that you be so coy,
I will so pluck your plumes as you shall say no more:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

As soon as he had said, such change grew in my breast
That neither night nor day I could take any rest.
Wherefore I did repent that I had said before:
Go, go, go, seek some other where, importune me no more.

Queen Elizabeth I

“A pale Roman nose, a head of hair loaded with crowns and powdered with diamonds, a vast ruff, a water fardingale and a bushel of pearls are the features by which everybody knows at once the pictures of Queen Elizabeth.” Horace Walpole in “Anecdotes of Painting in England…”

16th century poets
William Shakespeare
Christopher Marlowe
Ben Jonson

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