top of page

Henrietta VIII

She was astute, cautious, prudent, patient,
Henrietta VIII waited for her fourth husband replacement. 
She cries, “it’s 1540 for (Protestant) God’s sake and there’s no good men in sight!
When I charged the court at 17, I was planning to rewrite
a history of pomposity squeezed into hosen and ruff,
and then I learned a ringless Queen, oh, she’s just not enough.
My ministers, chancellors, ladies’ maids, too, cannot play bachelorette,
never fear, they hark, clutching their necks, Adam of Cleves is the best yet.
I thought the same with the chap from Aragon 31 years ago,
yet dreary Charles only gave me a boy and to him the crown I would not bestow.
Scarlett was the letter I did receive from a certain Adam Boleyn, 
and his green-collared beauty in my eyes betrayed my next of kin. 
Ol’ Aragon had to go, so I invited the Pope for tea,
these Roman Catholics are such a bore, saw my plan as treachery. 
Women, be warned, hoist up your dress,
it’s time to graduate from checkers to chess, 
if you don’t like the rules, play a different game, 
the Pope didn’t know I could change my name. 
Move my new King to C2 and I’ll go to E1,
in God’s will, the Church of England has just begun. 
Another baby born, still waiting for my daughter,
this warlock in royal robes is about to meet the slaughter.
Caught Adam with a pawn, did he not read the handbook?
A Queen can play the field, the King must remain with the rook.
He lost his mind and now his head,
his collar was green, blood stains it red.
Do not curse me for a fiend for this was the English way, 
oh, what’s the use, you male readers, you damned sayers of nay.  
James Seymour, number three, the dearest one to date, 
true love at last, a baby girl, her head, a crown awaits.
Death wasted no time,
and now I sit with the work of Hans Holbein.

I heard six was my final repertoire,
those were the lines in my memoir:
Aragon, Boleyn, and Seymour, Cleves, Howard, and Parr
these men prevented me from going very far.  
The importance of a Queen, I do not deserve such prefix
mistakes I made many, I only regret six.”

bottom of page