A Rueful Lamentation on the Death of Queen Elizabeth by Sir Thomas More

EOY WQ y Verdadera
Thomas More was a young lawyer at the time of the Queen’s death. He wrote a beautiful eulogy for her titled “A Rueful Lamentation on the Death of Queen Elizabeth” which commemorates Elizabeth for her union with Henry, her offspring, her piety, and most of all her great lineage:

“Oh ye that put your trust and confidence
in worldly joy and frail prosperity,
That so live here as ye should never hence,
Remember death and look here on me.
Example I think there may no better be.
Yourself worth well that in this realm was I,
Your Queen but late, and lo, now here I lie.
Was I not born of old worthy lineage?
Was not my mother Queen, my father King?
Was I not a King’s fierce companion in marriage?
Had I not plenty of every pleasant thing?
Merciful God, this is a strange reckoning:
Riches, honour, wealth, and ancestry
hath me forsaken, and lo, now here I lie.

If worship worth, honour, renown
might have kept me, I had not gone;
If wit, intelligence might have me
saved, I needed not fear;
If money might have hold, I lacked none;
But oh, good God, what veiled all this gear?

When Death is come,
Thy mighty messenger, Obey we must
there is no remedy;
Me hath he summoned, and lo, now here I lie.

Yet was I late promised otherwise,
This year to life in wealth and delice.
Lo! Whereto cometh thy blandishing promise
Of false astrology and divination,
Of God’s secrets, making thyself so wise?
How true is for this year thy prophecy?
The year yet last, and lo, now here I lie.

O, brittle wealth, aye full of bitterness,
Thy single pleasure doubled is with pain.
Account my sorrow first, and my distress
In sundry wise, and reckon there again
The joy that I have had, and I dare say,
For all my honour, endured there have I
More woe than wealth, and lo, now here I lie.
Where are our castles now, where are our towers?
Goodly Richmond, soon art thou gone from me;
At Westminster, that costly work of yours,
Mine own dear lord, now shall I never see.
Almighty God vouchsafe to grant that these
For you and your children may well edify.
My palace built is, and lo now here I lie.
Adieu, mine own spouse, my worthy lord!
The faithful love, that did us both combine
In marriage peaceable concord,
Into your hands here I do clear resign,
To be bestowed on your children and mine;
Erst were ye father, now must ye supply
The mother’s part also, for here I lie.
Farewell my daughter, Lady Margaret,
God wot full of it grieved hath my mind
That ye should go where we might seldom meet;
Now I am gone, and have left you behind.
O mortal folk, but we be very blind:
What we at least fear full oft it is most nigh
From you depart I first, for lo, now here I lie.

Farewell, Madam, my lord’s worthy mother;
Comfort your son, and be of good cheer!
Take all at worth, for it will be no other.
Farwell my daughter Katherine, late the companion
Unto Prince Arthur, late my child so dear.
It booteth not for me to wail and cry;
Pray for my soul, for lo now here I lie.

Adieu Lord Henry, Loving Son, Adieu!
Our Lord increase your honour and estate!
Adieu my daughter Mary, bright and hue,
God make you virtuous, wise, and fortunate.
Adieu, sweetheart, my little daughter Kate!
Thou shalt, sweet babe, such is thy destiny,
Thy mother never know, for lo, now here I lie.

Lady Cecily, Lady Anne, and Lady Katherine,
Farewell, my well-beloved sisters three.
O Lady Bridget, other sister mine,
Lo, here the end of worldly vanity!
Now are you well who earthly folly flee
And heavenly things do praise and magnify.
Farewell and pray for me, for lo, now here I lie.

Adieu my lords, adieu my ladies all,
Adieu my faithful servants every one,
Adieu my commons, whom I never shall see in this world:
wherefore to Thee alone,
Immortal God, verily Three in One,
I me commend thy infinity mercy show to thy servant,
for lo, now here I lie.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s