James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

May 16

Mary Queen of Scots

By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

  • After the battle of Langside, Mary Queen of Scots fled to England, landing in Derwent on May 16, 1568, and took the fatal step of confiding herself to the protection of Queen Elizabeth.

  • DEAR to the Loves, and to the Graces vowed,

    The Queen drew back the wimple that she wore;

    And to the throng, that on the Cumbrian shore

    Her landing hailed, how touchingly she bowed!

    And like a Star (that from a heavy cloud

    Of pine-tree foliage poised in air, forth darts,

    When a soft summer gale at even parts

    The gloom that did its loveliness enshroud)

    She smiled; but Time, the old Saturnian seer,

    Sighed on the wing as her foot pressed the strand,

    With step prelusive to a long array

    Of woes and degredations hand in hand—

    Weeping captivity, and shuddering fear

    Stilled by the ensanguined block of Fotheringay!