The Doubt of Future Foes

By Queen Elizabeth I 1533–1603 Queen Elizabeth I
The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten 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 joys untried do cloak aspiring minds,
Which turn to rain of late repent by changed course of winds.
The top of hope supposed the root upreared shall be,
And fruitless all their grafted guile, as shortly ye shall see.
The 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 know.
No foreign banished wight shall anchor in this port;
Our realm brooks not seditious sects, let them elsewhere resort.
My rusty sword through rest shall first his edge employ
To poll their tops that seek such change or gape for future joy.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Queen Elizabeth I 1533–1603

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Crime & Punishment, Living, History & Politics, Social Commentaries, Time & Brevity, Nature, War & Conflict, Trees & Flowers, Weather

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Queen  Elizabeth I

Biography

Although the influence of Queen Elizabeth I on the literature of the period that bears her name has been much discussed, her own status as an author has been less recognized. Critics have traced her role as subject of or inspiration for such works as Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene (1590-1596), William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1600), and some Petrarchan sonnets but have generally considered her as the author . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Crime & Punishment, Living, History & Politics, Social Commentaries, Time & Brevity, Nature, War & Conflict, Trees & Flowers, Weather

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.