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Short poem

Elizabeth I (1533-1603)

The Doubt of Future Foes

              1The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
              2And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy;
              3For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects' faith doth ebb,
              4Which should not be if reason ruled or wisdom weaved the web.
              5But clouds of joys untried do cloak aspiring minds,
              6Which turn to rain of late repent by changed course of winds.
              7The top of hope supposed the root upreared shall be,
              8And fruitless all their grafted guile, as shortly ye shall see.
              9The dazzled eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds,
            10Shall be unsealed by worthy wights whose foresight falsehood finds.
            11The daughter of debate that discord aye doth sow
            12Shall reap no gain where former rule still peace hath taught to know.
            13No foreign banished wight shall anchor in this port;
            14Our realm brooks not seditious sects, let them elsewhere resort.
            15My rusty sword through rest shall first his edge employ
            16To poll their tops that seek such change or gape for future joy.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Bodl. MS Rawlinson 108, fol. 44v; Poems, ed. Leicester Bradner (Providence, R.I., Brown University Press, 1964): 4, 72-73.
First publication date: 1568 - 1570
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 1:2002/4/18

Composition date: 1568 - 1570
Form: couplets

Other poems by Elizabeth I