Oh fortune, thy wresting, wavering state
Hath fraught with cares my troubled wit,
Whose witness this present prison late
Could bear, where once was joy flown quite.
Thou caused'st the guilty to be loosed
From bands where innocents were enclosed,
And caused the guiltless to be reserved,
And freed those that death had well deserved.
But herein can be nothing wrought.
So God send to my foes as they have thought.
These verses were dated from 1554-55, the period of Elizabeth's imprisonment at Woodstock Palace by Queen Mary. It was written in charcoal on a wall.
From "Elizabeth I, Collected Works"
Edited by Leah S. Marcus, Janel Mueller, and Mary Beth Rose.
Pub. 2000 by The University of Chicago