In the sixteenth century there was a schism
‘Twixt the English Church and French Catholicism.
The Scots were caught in between
Until there was born a courageous queen.
In Linlithgow Palace little Mary was born,
On December seventh in the dewy morn.
James the Fifth was her unfortunate father
Who found Mary’s birth quite a bother.
And so he died within the week,
And Mary was crowned before she could speak.
While Mary’s mother ruled Scotland’s throne,
Mary sailed away to France alone
To live with her young husband-to-be:
Prince Francis, the son of King Henri.
In France she learned her lessons well,
And all too soon rang the wedding bell.
One April day Mary wed Prince Francis,
They joint their lands with vows and a kiss.
But two years later their dream would end,
Leaving wounds no length of time could mend.
Queen Mary’s beloved Francis suddenly died,
So she sailed for Scotland with the outgoing tide.
Scotland was dreary and bleak to see,
And forebode of the difficult times to be.
The Catholic queen reigned in a Protestant land,
But she ruled it with a steady hand.
Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was a Protestant queen,
But the British Catholics were none too keen.
They doubted Elizabeth’s legitimacy,
To say nothing of her choice of celibacy.
They wanted Mary for Queen instead,
A fact Elizabeth came to dread.
But Mary stayed in her place,
And gave her cousin her desired space.
She strengthened her position and wed again,
Choosing one who seemed the choicest of men.
He was a member of her own family:
One Henry Stewart, the Lord of Darnley.
But he proved witless and unfit to be king,
And Mary regretted his wedding ring.
Mary had a friend named David Riccio
And Darnley thought he was her Romeo.
So Darnley committed the worst of crimes,
And had Riccio stabbed fifty-six times.
Though heartbroken Mary won her husband back
With something that would put any husband on track.
She gave birth to a beautiful son James,
And swore he was their son despite other claims.
Meanwhile Mary made another male friend,
One who would see to Lord Darnley’s end.
His name was James Hepburn, Lord of Bothwell,
Who decided it was time that Lord Darnley fell.
Darnley was at home in Kirk o’Field
When then and there his fate was sealed.
The house with great force did explode
And Darnley lay dead outside near the road.
However, Queen Mary was struck by no grief,
Indeed she found this to be a great relief.
But she then committed her worst mistake,
By marrying Bothwell, the treacherous snake.
There were many questions about Darnley’s death,
So Mary sought help from Queen Elizabeth.
But Elizabeth responded to this with guile,
By putting her nemesis on murder trial.
Though nothing could be proven either way,
Mary was condemned in England forever to stay.
From her beloved Scotland she was now banned
So for eighteen years her escape was planned.
In Fotheringhay Castle she spent her life,
And embroidered cloth during her time of strife.
Letters she wrote to a young Catholic friend,
But unbeknownst to her each letter she would send
Was read by others in service of the queen,
And all Mary’s schemes were uncovered and seen.
She was tried for plotting against Elizabeth,
And found guilty and sentenced to death.
Dressed in a gown of scarlet red,
She bowed for the executioner to sever her head.
But before he could do this terrible deed
The executioner for forgiveness did plead.
And as he swung and lowered his blade
Her eyes did dim and saw naught but shade.
To this day she hasn’t left our thoughts,
The courageous Mary, Queen of Scots.
Jutras, Marie. “Mary Queen of Scots.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. 2003. 04 May. 2005 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09764a.htm>.
“Mary.” Historic World Leaders. 1994 Biography Resource Center. The Gale Group. 02 May 2005 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC>.
“Mary, Queen of Scots.” Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. 1998 Biography Resource Center. The Gale Group. 02 May 2005 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC>.
“Mary, Queen of Scots.” U*X*L Biographies. 2003 Student Resource Center. The Gale Group. 04 May 2005 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/SRC>>.