Hever

Moated castle with winding stairs

and winding histories

built into your bricks,

clinging to the mortar

like the ivy that crawls over the portcullis

green and wild with the years.

Two girls grew to womanhood, here

one a mistress, one a wife

to a great Tudor king.

Sweet Anne,

How could you know

as you played with your Bartholomew baby

and walked amongst the crisp, box hedges

that you would meet your end

at the hand of a Frenchman,

at the end of a swift sword blade?

Mary, were you jealous of your sister?

Or as the keen blade descended

did you pity her cruel end

and, lamenting her death

feel glad that it was not your own?

Hever stands and keeps your secrets,

but the echoes of your lives

resounds there in portraits and ink.

 

And another poem inspired by Hever Castle and the Boleyn girls who grew up there. This one is rather obviously focused on Anne and Mary’s relationship. 

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