On Monsieur’s Departure

Elizabeth I (1533-1603)

Read by Iulia Comsa, Clinical Neuroscience, PhD Student, 2014

On Monsieur’s Departure is an Elizabethan poem attributed to Elizabeth I. It is written in the form of a meditation on the failure of her marriage negotiations with Francis, Duke of Anjou yet has also been attributed to her alleged affair with, and love of, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester.

Elizabeth I was unusually well-educated for a person of her time and wrote several poems, which seem to have been based on her life, in an era where courtly love was the European tradition. “On Monsieur’s Departure,” is a poem in which the persona has fallen victim to unrequited love.


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