I grieve, yet dare not show my discontent;
I love, and yet am forced to seem to hate;
I dote, but dare not what I ever meant,
I seem stark mute, yet inwardly doe prate;
I am, and am not—freeze, and yet I burn;
Since from myself my other self I turn.
My care is like a shadow in the sun—
Follows me flying—flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lives by me—does what I have done;
This too familiar care doth make me rue it.
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Till by the end of things it be suppressed.
Some gentler passion steal into my mind,
(For I am soft and made of melting snow),
Or be more cruel, Love, or be more kind,
Or let me float or sink, be high or low;
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Or die, and forget what love e’er meant.
Queen Elizabeth I, 1581
There is a very catchy tune based upon excerpts from this poem, performed by The Medieval Baebes, written by Michael Phipps and part of the soundtrack to The Virgin Queen.