“A French Meeting” is Part 13 in Esther Hyams’ series of poems telling Anne Boleyn’s life story.

A French meeting

The fraternal visit between the two kings occurred in two parts
Francois of France and Henry of England, two Kings with lustful hearts
First, on 21st October 1532, King Henry and a suite went to France
Arriving at Boulogne to be entertained for four days – to merrily dance.
But Henry’s suite did not include French ladies or the new Lady Marquess
On 25th-29th October 1532 in Calais: Anne’s time would come, her time to impress.
Anne beautifully blossomed and was treated as the first Lady of the English court
At this French court where, so young, she had been guided, sophisticatedly taught.

Anne was presented with a diamond by the Provost of Paris, a diamond so grand
Just after she had led the dance with the French King, elegantly hand in hand.
Francois saluted as Anne, among her maids of honour, sat graciously and royal
The Lady Marquess then led the masque after supper with Henry, a suitor so loyal.

chessAccompanied by several ladies in waiting, dancing, apparelled in cloth of gold
Including Anne’s sister, Mary now a widow of William Carey, who was never so bold.
All of them clothed in crimson cerise satin, with golden visors over their faces
Their dresses so affluent, sumptuously interlaced with opulent golden laces.

Francois emphatically assured Henry he would not marry his son to the Pope’s niece
This marriage would happen the next year; Henry was treated like a chess piece.
Being moved about and being fooled by France to the French King’s desired place
Francois showed Henry his support, but to the Pope showed a different face.

This was the innate nature of Francois, the two faced French King
Henry and Anne thought they would leave France with King Francois’ blessing.
Francois’ genial charm had left a golden impression that was full of hope
Making Anne and Henry feel like through anything, they would always cope.

By Esther Hyams

Click here to read the next poem, “The King and His Wife”.