The Poems of Lady Jane Grey, 9 Days the Queen of England

MaddieJoy's picture

This account is from the anonymous Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary.
‘...was there a scaffold made upon the green over against the White Tower, for the said Lady Jane to die upon....TThe hangman went to her to help her therewith; then she desired him to let her alone, and also with her other attire and neckercher, giving to her a fair handkercher to knit about her eyes.
Then she said, 'I pray you dispatch me quickly.' She tied the kercher about her eyes; then feeling for the block said, 'What shall I do? Where is it?' One of the standers-by guiding her thereto, she laid her head down upon the block and stretched forth her body and said: 'Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit!' And so she ended.’

A poem written hours before her death, eerily predicting the exact sequence of events:

My final walk
Shrouded in black hymnbook in hand
My time has come
For the new promised land.
I walk steadfast, upon the way
Though inside me,
My heart is beating,
As if to fly away.

They are around me now,
People whom I doubt to trust,
Vigilantly, they watch me,
As they think they must.
Still a threat to them is I,
Until I perish,
Until I die.

Grasping my prayer book close to my beating heart,
While duplicitous eyes stare,
True to god, loyal unto my faith,
Never having faltered.
Lord thus far I have not pleaded as now,
'Lord my God carry, me safe',
'Hear my prayer'

Slowly, climbing the scaffold stairs,
I count the steps to three.
Upon the platform, my will still strong,
But tainted nervously.
Addressing a silent crowd before me,
Ambience is still, but poignant.
I state my innocence and make peace with those
Who decide my providence.
'Do you forgive me madam'?
Asks the masked man who is to slay me.
I reply standing unmoving impotently.
I place a blindfold to my eyes.
Shaking but achieved alone,
Much, to their surprise.

Last light has gone,
First darkness has come,
This moment in time is my last.
My kingdom is almost done.

The voice I hear is the man I forgave,
He is requesting me to kneel.
Down I go so frightened now,
Outstretch my arms,
No block before me do I, feel.
A, gentle hand Guides me to the block where my head will at last lay.
I hold the block before my hands with a sudden sense of dismay,
I place my head upon the block,
Then voice my last prayer,
Lord into thy hand I commend my spirit. (actual last words of Jane)
Then swiftly,
My life flashes,
Through the eye of my soul.
I have arrived in forever darkness,
But, oh! it is lighter than the sun.
This moment in time will stand still forever,
Thy kingdom has now come.
I can see,
I wonder how this can be.
I rise, high, towards my loved ones,
And the rising heaven sun.

My Woeful Day's are ended,
My spirit is released,
My soul,
It is