Elizabeth, Queen of England, was daughter of King Henry VIII and an immensely talented and able scholar and statesman. Fluent in modern and classical languages, she wrote and translated sermons, letters, speeches and prayers, and has a fine turn of phrase, of power and grace. In this, of course, she was but a product of her age, but also an inspiration of it.
She was the Virgin Queen, and never married, although was often sought after. There was an extensive marriage negotiation between her and the French nobleman Francois d'Alencon, Duke of Anjou - and a Medici on his mother's side. Although he was 22 years her junior (and stunted, effeminate and marked by smallpox, according to the less obliging of commentators), they were clearly close, although as a Catholic, he presented a serious worry to many English. When he left England, no marriage having proved possible, in 1582, Elizabeth had very mixed and painful feelings - and, at almost 50, must have felt her marriage prospects - at least for love - were poor indeed.
A little later, she wrote a moving poem about him (he is "Monsieur" in all her correspondence); this is On Monsieur's Departure, by Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England:
I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute but inwardly do prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned,
Since from myself another self I turned.
My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
His too familiar care doth make me rue it.
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Till by the end of things it be supprest.
Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
For I am soft and made of melting snow;
Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind.
Let me or float or sink, be high or low.
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Or die and so forget what love ere meant.