Part 8 of Esther Hyams’ wonderful series of poems telling the life story of Anne Boleyn.
The Queen persistently taxed Henry, driving him mad with irritation
At a court dinner they then argued about the scholars contemplations.
An angry Henry rushed from the room to find solace with his sweetheart
But the Lady Anne was in no mood to play the comforting part.
King Henry felt such frustration, fury and distress
He was caught between a nagging wife and a moaning mistress.
Tearful Anne cried to the King that she had waited for so long
She could have had a noble husband and a son, now her youth was gone.
Farewell to her youth, and for what? She had lost much time
To have had a good marriage and born sons would have been sublime.
King Henry VIII found this feisty woman’s fire so exciting
Her tempestuous nature and fearless tongue were so enticing.
After years of silent self restraint due to her sex and her ‘place’
She determined to defy convention with boldness in her face.
Reckless and bold, in 1531, she insulted ladies of the Queen
With more power, she became braver than she had ever been.
Her boldness and independence was far from the expected norm
Becoming dangerously prouder, and confident in every form.
But some of these explosions were sparked people’s hate
England’s wish for the Lady’s downfall never seemed to abate.
Rather than ‘Nan Bullen’ they would want a royal princess
And none believed that the King had not slept with his mistress.
She stood for a principle they hated, a marriage of carnal love
Yells of ‘Nan Bullen: the King’s whore’ were heard from buildings above.
Women yelled out insults when Anne went hunting with the king
If his passion ever faded she would be blamed for woes she would bring.
At Easter 1532, William Peto offended Anne and the King
Suggesting Anne was Jezebel, and Henry was Ahab: a man of sin.
Anne and Henry had a huge row over Catherine sewing his shirts
That the Queen was allowed this wifely duty caused Anne such hurt.
But soon Anne’s status as a future consort would be celebrated
Regardless of whether or not the King of England would be berated.
At the Christmas Ball of 1529, Anne was given precedence in seating
Even above the King’s sister, Mary, for her power did not seem fleeting.
By Esther Hyams
Click here to read the next part of the series, “Distant Hearts”.