Poem – The Beginning of the End

Part 32 of Esther Hyams’ series of poems on the life and times of Anne Boleyn – time is running out for Anne!

The Beginning of the End

The rack
Torture rack from Tower of London

On 24th April 1536, privately the King at Thomas Cromwell’s instigation
Signed a document that would launch on his wife a secret investigation.
Into the behaviour and conduct of his wife, Anne Boleyn, the Queen
To see if Anne’s conduct could be deemed either adulterous or obscene.

This appointed Audley, other English peers, Lords, and many a noble man
This even included the Duke of Norfolk and the ambitious father of Anne.
This investigation at the core never really had any worthy cause or reason
It would just result in charges of a queen’s supposed adultery or treason.

On Sunday 30th April 1536, on that portentous, fateful and ominous day
A day that seemed for many of the English courtiers like any other day.
There was to be such terrible darkness, although the sun was in the sky
This day led to Anne’s destruction and many innocent persons would die.

Mark Smeaton, the ‘deft dancer’ and musician, with origins so humble
His only support was his musical talent without this he would crumble.
Mark Smeaton was considered by many, “a very handsome young man”
And Mark was supported, admired, and patronized by Queen Anne.

For the now lonely Queen liked to keep this young musician close by
For his sweet sounding music soothed her soul when she wanted to cry.
What was Anne supposed to do when Henry left her always alone?
All she could do was to listen to sweet music, and then look like stone.

But on that day, drawn away from Greenwich, Mark Smeaton was lured
To then be arrested and no doubt be so cruelly and painfully tortured.
This frightened animal stood no chance against the power of the state
The young Mark Smeaton made a confession, and sealed poor Anne’s fate.

By Esther Hyams

(Photo by David Bjorgen – Used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License from Wikimedia Commons)

Click here to read Esther’s next poem about the events of May Day 1536

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