The Doubt of Future Foes

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The doubt of future foes
by Elizabeth I

The poem concerns Mary, Queen of Scots, who in 1568 sought refuge in England from her rebellious subjects.

The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threatens mine annoy.
For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects faith doth ebb,
Which should not be, if reason ruled or wisdom weaved the web.
But clouds of toys untried do cloak aspiring minds,
Which turns to rain of late repent, by course of changèd winds.
The top of hope supposed, the root of rue shall be,
And fruitless all their grafted guile, as shortly you shall see.
Their dazzled eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds,
Shall be unsealed by worthy wights whose foresight falsehood finds.
The daughter of debate, that discord aye doth sow,
Shall reap no gain where former rule still peace hath taught to grow.
No foreign banished wight shall anchor in this port:
Our realm brooks no seditious sects--let them elsewhere resort.
My rusty sword through rest shall first his edge employ
To poll their tops who seek such change or gape for future joy.

Vivat Regina

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.