Queen of Wands:The Virgin Queen
She rose each morning to stand by her window,
where, what should meet her eye but,
on a high pole, his vantage point now,
who’d not scrupled in his thirsting ambition
to gamble his life for her throne and crown,
the head of Essex, a decaying gob
of featureless flesh and dank, matted hair.
What did she think about, staring at the wreck
of her last passion, what deceptions disown?
Or did she, with her strong-minded, if vain
and vascillating character, admit
her error in mistaking power’s magnet
for the magnet of sex? What bitterness,
either way, what rue! Did she remember
the gifts of jewels, the commissions, the favors
squandered on him, his hand on her arm,
leading her in the dance: or words he spoke,
she treasured, all turned sour now, all smoke?
The head rested a full year on its prop,
in snow, in rain, in radiant sunshine,
as day be day, she regarded it, drawing
from the grim sight, what arcane object lesson?
She alone could know, and knew it, alone.