Antony’s Last Poem.


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In my story Somewhat Musing Antony is writing something which his squire, Robert cannot see properly. But he (Robert) describes how his master is writing in a column, left to right and down and down. Dipping the quill in to the ink pot and back to paper as he writes on and on in an attempt to transfer to paper his musings on the fickleness of Fate and Fortune.

This is the poem which I imagined he was writing. It is said that Antony wrote the poem at Pontefract Castle on the eve of his execution, but I like to think he did so while still at Sheriff Hutton.

After his execution on the 25th June 1483, and when his body was stripped prior to burial Antony was found to be wearing a hair shirt under his clothes.

He and his nephew Sir Richard Grey, and Sir Thomas Vaughan were thrown, un coffined into a communal grave at a nearby monastery.

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Here is the poem in a more readable form as the photo above is a little blurred.

Somewhat musing
And more mourning,
In remembering
Th’unsteadfness;
This world being
Of such wheeling,
Me contrarying,
What may I guess?

I fear, doubtless,
Remediless,
Is now to seize
My woeful chance;
For unkindness,
Withoutenless,
And no redress,
Me doth advance.

With displeasure,
To my grievance,
And no surance
Of remedy;
Lo, in this trance,
Now in substance,
Such is my dance,
Willing to die.

Methinks truly
Bounden am I,
And that greatly,
To be content;
Seeing plainly
Fortune doth wry
All contrary
From mine intent.

My life was lent
Me to one intent.
It is nigh spent.
Welcome, Fortune!
But I ne went [neer thought]
Thus to be shent [ruined]
But she it meant;
Such is her won [custom].

Image by Oscarimages<br

3 thoughts on “Antony’s Last Poem.

  1. Elin Gregory

    I’ve been experimenting with various archaic pronunciations to make it rhyme. Definitely not something to do in public but very good fun.

    Vaughan was a local lad, born in Monmouth and lived in Abergavenny for a while. He’d have been better off staying here. Getting too close to monarchy is always a bad idea.

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