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CAPTIVE SONG OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
(Laurence Josephs)

Though I was crowned a French princess
My day was quickly done
To trail my childhood's royal dress
In the Paris sun

My husband was to be a king
But died a little child
And I was sent without my ring
Back to Scotland wild

O Mary, Mother, hear my prayer
My cousin is a queen
Most powerful, though not so fair
As I have always been

In Scotland found I men to love
To love, if not to like
Who killed each other for my glove
With knife or sword or pike

But I took one to husband there
So pretty, slim-hipped, spoiled
With velvet eyes and gilded hair
Who fathered me a child

O Mary, Mother, hear my prayer
My cousin is a queen
Most powerful, though not so fair
As I have always been

From this high window seems the earth
A desert or a stone
Despite the son I brought to birth
Who'll sit the English throne

To rule where I have never stood
To rule when I am dead
Who'll nought remember of my good
Nor any word I said

O Mary, Mother, hear my prayer
My cousin is a queen
Most powerful, though not so fair
As I have always been

Ah, God, it is an empty thing
To one gone mad for love
To want it more than be a king
The royal world above

And I was once a French princess
Though that was quickly done
And trail'd my childhood's purple dress
In the Paris sun


Words: Laurence Josephs
Tune: J.Redpath
Recorded Fine Song for Singing 1987
Laurence Josephs joined the Department of English at Skidmore College, Saratoga
Springs in 1963,
and was resident poet and Professor of English there till his retirement.
His work has appeared in innumerable publications but can most readily be found
in his own collections:
Cold Water Morning [published 1964]; Six Elegies [1973]. Most recently his
poetry appears in North Country,
an anthology published by the Greenfield Review Press and in Remembered Blood:
American Poets on the Holocaust,
published by Avon. Laurence gave me the text for Captive Song of Mary Stuart in
1964 when he was caught
by the poignant images of Mary, Queen of Scots as portrayed in traditional
balladry.

@history @royalty
filename[ CAPTVMAR
MS
Feb07



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