Anne Boleyn Files visitor Esther Hyams is a history student and poet who is writing a series of poems about the life of our heroine Anne Boleyn.

“Mistress Anne” is the second poem in the series, following on from “Little Nan”.

Mistress Anne

Archduchess Margaret was very impressed with young Anne
Her charm she loved – a bright Mademoiselle Boullan.
But then Anne had to go to Mary Tudor’s household
King Henry VIII’s sister, who was cheery and bold.
Mary Tudor was to be sent to France
And Anne must grasp another European chance.
Mary was a bride to old King Louis – to be the French Queen
Bound to travel to France in the autumn of 1514.

Anne Boleyn PortraitBut a year later, Louis died and Mary Tudor would return
To England, as Duchess of Suffolk, married to a man she had yearned.
Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister, became the King of England’s mistress
But this caused Anne no great upset or distress.
Anne stayed in France to serve Claude the new French Queen
Wife to the new King of France, Francois, at a court morally unclean.
Anne showed linguistic talent, charm, and manners so appealing
Without, like other women, being so promiscuous and revealing.

Anne had such wit and talents as well as the art of pleasing
Maintaining an honest reputation, her weapon was flirtatious teasing.
This fresh young damsel’s black eyes were so sparkling and expressive
Her dark, thick, lustrous hair and beauty marks; were so impressive.
An adventurous spirit with a swan like neck, emanating such grace
Her elegance was so provocative, so many eyes drawn to her face.
She was never the typical English rose, comely and palely white
But her black eyes were so exotic, bewitching and bright.

Her coal black eyes sent silent messages to the hearts of men
She exercised a sexual fascination, but never offered herself to them.
She was dazzled by France: its poetry, manners, language, music and fashion
She played the lute, sung marvellous music, and danced with such passion.
Then in 1521, Anne returned to England, now 20 years old
She must now join Queen Catherine’s royal household
As a maid of honour, now Mistress Anne, to serve a lonely Queen
For Henry had no male heir, with Bessie Blount and Mary Boleyn he had been.

On 1st March 1522 – Anne danced at a masque as ‘perseverance’
Standing alongside Mary Tudor, ready to be lured by a knight in this dance.
Dressed all in white like a swan, with a mask coloured gold
She gazed into the eyes of a knight, so handsome and so bold.
Time stood so still and she felt a thrill, then she looked at the knight’s hand
A striking man who was so alluring, enthralling and so grand.
For Mistress Anne was gazing into the eyes of Henry Tudor –
King of England.

By Esther Hyams

Read Esther’s third poem “A King’s Passion” – click here.