This is Part 3 of Esther’s poetry series on the life of Anne Boleyn and follows on from Part 1 – Little Nan and Part 2 – Mistress Anne.
A King’s Passion
Anne left the masque, barely thinking of Henry Tudor: the King
For she had danced with a man who had made her heart sing.
Young and handsome, a great heir and a good, noble man
He was Lord Henry Percy of Northumberland who was in love with Anne.
In the household of Cardinal Wolsey was this most eligible man
Expected to make a profitable match and not with the bold Mistress Anne.
Anne was no heiress, despite all her wit and charm
Their love for each other would bring naught but harm.
The great Cardinal Wolsey soon put an end to this romance
Impervious and hard to Henry Percy and Anne’s heartbroken rants.
Henry Percy put up a defence of the choice of Anne in his heart
But his furious father was enraged, yelling they would be torn apart.
Henry Percy was forced to marry and Anne was sent to Hever
Henry beginning a life without love and Anne to calm her furious fever.
Anne hated Wolsey with a burning fire and a never ending heat
She wanted to break out of the traditional ways by acting calm and sweet.
Anne Boleyn would be no weak woman or a rich man’s whore
And do everything in her power to bring chaos to Wolsey’s door.
But now it begins, the infamous story that myth and legend would mix
All beginning in the jovial ambience of Shrovetide – in the year 1526.
King Henry VIII was now 35, which was a dangerous age
A once continuous youthful charm could erupt into an angry rage
Eaten up with his frustration of living with a now barren wife
Their only heir was a girl – that Henry felt would only bring strife.
He stormed his chambers at night in a preoccupied fashion
For all he could see, think, or feel was an incredible passion.
A passion for the Queen’s bewitching, alluring lady in waiting
The fiery Anne Boleyn, with a swans grace and flirtatious baiting.
King Henry gave magnificent gifts that Anne first returned
He wrote Anne 17 letters of a love that enflamed and burned.
He implored for Anne to be his official mistress and give herself to him
For she was no passing fancy, no empty meaningless whim.
To Henry’s surprise Anne said nay – she would be no man’s whore
She would only be given to a husband; this made Henry want her more.
In May 1527, Henry told Anne that he wanted an annulment from the Queen
Catherine had been a widow; she swore that with Henry’s brother she had not been.
Anne Boleyn filled the King with such hope; he finally could have a son
He had ‘fought with his conscience’ he thought to himself and he had never won.
Wolsey set up an official examination that Queen Catherine could not see
But the King’s case was not as simple as Henry and Anne thought it would be.
By Esther Hyams
Read Part 4 of Esther’s poetry series “The Lonely Damsel” – click here.