If Fortune Good Could Answer Present Ill by Henry Goodere (Goodyer)

If fortune good could answer present ill
and often well amend but once amiss
my life fore-past in truth and duty still
may salve the sore for which my trouble is

O happy they that quiet their princes so
but thus with me o wretched man it frames
for often well I unrewarded go
and for one ill receive a thousand blames

Is this my hap or justice due for sin
If both to fault and to my fault yield I
Mine own good deeds and just deserts herein
I leave and to my god and Queen I fly
And mercy crave for all my sins unseen
Prostrate with tears before my god and queen

An heap of sins I must confess to god
against whom because I have done most amiss
I will receive his just deserved rod
but to my queen mine only fault is this:

I did advise a queen unfortunate
to yield herself unto my prince here
whom apt I thought to pity her estate
a friend by kind a queen and neighbour near

But I sought not against my Mistress’s will
to steal by sleight out of her highness’ hands
this captive queen for guiltless of that ill
or any such I feel these bitter bands.
I only did pity her misery
enforced thereto by wretched sympathy

Well shews the time in this compassion spent
the will I had to ease her care-full mind
for I conveyed some Ietters that she sent
to help her woe to hurt myself I find

Lo here the truth let friends say what they can
call this my fault my folly or mishap
If my good Queen have mercy on her man
the tree shall live though wounded in the sap

Whose heart is sound and never could be brought
by love or hate or hope of any gain
Of my good queen to think as ill a thought
as might offend her life or happy reign
Whom god preserve an aged queen to be
to England’s joy betide what may of me.

From: Hughey, Ruth (ed.), The Arundel Harington Manuscript of Tudor Poetry, Volume I, 1960, Ohio State University Press: Columbus, Ohio, pp. 179-189.
(https://ohiostatepress.org/Books/Complete%20PDFs/hughey_tudor/vol1/12.pdf)

Date: 1572

By: Henry Goodere (Goodyer) (1534-1595)

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