The Devonshire Manuscript/My hope is yow for to obtaine,
|←o happy dames that may enbrayes||when I bethynk my wontet ways→|
1 My hope is yow for to obtaine,
2 Let not my hope be lost in vaine.
3 Forget not my paines manifoulde,
4 Nor my meanynge to yow vntoulde.
5 And eke withe dedes I did yow craue,
6 Withe swete woordes yow for to haue.
7 To my hape and hope condescend,
8 Let not Cupido in vaine his bowe to bende.
9 Nor vs two louers, faithfull, trwe,
10 Lyke a bowe made of bowynge yewe.
11 But nowe receaue by your industrye and art,
12 Your humble seruant Hary Stuart.
Notes & Glosses
1. Faded text, unreadable.
The poem ascribes the poem to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary Queen of Scots and son of Margaret Douglas in the last line, written as "Hary Stuart." Helen Baron considers that the poem is both written in his hand and remains the only poem attributed to Henry Stuart in the manuscript. Scholars generally associate the poem with Henry's courtship of Mary, Queen of Scots, whom he married in July 1565, but Baron suggests that Henry may have composed the poem as early as 1560 when the match was first proposed. May and Ringler's index, Elizabethan Poetry, determine the date of composition as c. 1562.
The scribe writes the poem elegantly in italics (one of the few instances of italic text in the Devonshire Manuscript). He capitalizes the first word of each poetic line and proper names, and uses fewer abbreviations, increasing instead his use of punctuation. Consequently, this poem features more punctuation marks than most other texts in the manuscript.
- Helen Baron. "Mary (Howard) Fitzroy's Hand in the Devonshire Manuscript." Review of English Studies: A Quarterly Journal of English Literature and the English Language 45 (1994): 332.
- ibid., 334.
- May, Steven W., and William A. Ringler. Elizabethan poetry bibliography and first-line index of English verse, 1559-1603. London: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004. 1043.