Archive for January 5th, 2018

Friday, 5 January 2018

Sonnet Written at Fotheringhay Castle by Mary, Queen of Scots

Alas what am I? What use has my life?
I am but a body whose heart’s torn away,
A vain shadow, an object of misery
Who has nothing left but death-in-life.
O my enemies, set your envy all aside;
I’ve no more eagerness for high domain;
I’ve borne too long the burden of my pain
To see your anger swiftly satisfied.
And you, my friends who have loved me so true,
Remember, lacking health and heart and peace,
There is nothing worthwhile I can do;
Ask only that my misery should cease
And that, being punished in a world like this,
I have my portion in eternal bliss.

From: Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots and Bell, Robin (ed. and transl.), Bittersweet Within My Heart, 1992, Chronicle Books: San Francisco, p. 109.

Date: 1587 (original in French); 1992 (translation in English)

By: Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587)

Translated by: Robin Bell (19??- )