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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Sarah Williams 1841–68

Queen Elizabeth

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;

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;

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,—

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.

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,

Hear me, assoil, receive me, God, my God.