Poem – A Doomed Fate

“A Doomed Fate” is Part 28 of Esther Hyams’ wonderful series of poems on the life of Anne Boleyn.

A Doomed Fate

Jane Seymour - Vintage Engraving
Jane Seymour - Vintage Engraving

A week before Chapuys and Cromwell’s surreptitious, secret talks
Anne felt a terrible ominous foreboding, like a shadow that stalks.
Henry explained to Jane, his new sweetheart, without contention
That news of their relationship had not escaped public attention.

A new member of the King’s Privy Chamber was Edward Seymour
A tribute that meant royal favour was on the Boleyn’s no more.
It was an honour indicating which way the royal wind was blowing
The King counselled Jane to be calm, when talk was overflowing.

This is when Henry sent a letter to Jane along with gold sovereigns
Like with Anne, he said that he wanted no other to be close to him.
Henry ended the letter to Jane with love Anne would have despised
For they were gallant flourishes that the Queen would have recognised.

But Jane Seymour modestly kissed the letter and refused the gifts
Although the honour of this she said, did make her spirits lift
She said that she was a moral gentlewoman devoid of reproach
And on her virtue and pure chastity she would never encroach.

King Henry was not put off, but enchanted by this pure rejection
Such innocence, opposite to his dark queen, enflamed his affection.
This blushing reserve enflamed his ardour, as hot as the summer sun
Just as the evocative, seductive words of Anne Boleyn had once done.

Henry said he would only see Jane Seymour if her relatives were there
But Henry VIII was always sentimental at the beginning of his affairs.
As most felt that his second marriage had been against God’s law
It would be easy to be rid of a woman the people called a ‘wh*re’.

Toward the Boleyn’s, especially Anne, there had been such hate
How easy it would be to bring down on the Queen a doomed fate!
Only now was it possible and safe to express such hate and fears
This news would bring Queen Anne Boleyn such terror filled tears.

By Esther Hyams

Click here to read the next poem in the series – “The Downfall of Queen Anne”.