Mary Queen of Scots: A series of poems


Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587)

(In a nutshell)

Joe Sharp

Le Dauphin, François and Mary Queen of Scots.

The Prophecy

“It cam’ wi’ ane lass, an’ it’ll pass wi’ ane lass”

These were the prophetic words o’ her faither King James
On hearin’ the news o’ the birth at the Palace
He laid doon an’ deid, haundin’ Mary o’er the reigns

At nine months o’ age, oor Mary is Queen
Securely strapped in tae her wee baby seat
Wi’ rings on her fingers, a sight tae be seen
Suckin’ awa’ merrily on her Royal dummy teat

There were battles a’ ragin’ a’ roon’ aboot
In Kelso, an’ Jedburgh, King Henry did loot
When the wee Queen was four, there was an enquiry
An’ for safety took Mary tae Inchmahome Priory

Wi’ lots o’ disorder, at Dunbar on the border
The English were gein’ us a whole lot o’ hassle
King Henri o’ France, then geid oot an order
“We’ll be there, send Mary doon tae Dumbarton Castle”

The Rough Wooing

Henry V111, ye know, him wi’ a’ the wummin
He didnae seem tae me tae have bother wi’ his plumbin’
He had Mary betrothed tae his wee son, Prince Eddie
The betrothal was annulled, because the wee Queen wasnae ready

The English King was fumin’, up tae high doh an’ diddle
He louped up an’ doon, like a hare upon a griddle
Up doon, turn aroon’, his face against the wa’
Henry, he was ragin’, an’ so he went tae war

The cavalrymen, astride their magnificent hoarses
Set oot to seek the sturdy Scottish forces
Their numbers were few, in the early mornin’ dew
Victory was theirs, at the battle o’ Pinkie Cleugh

There was, o’ course, that thankfu’ savin’ grace
The union o’ the crowns, didnae then take place
Mary had led the King a merry dance
Sailin’ awa’, on a clipper ship tae France

Marie, la petite fille

She was such a bonnie lassie wi’ a twinkle in her een
When Mary sailed awa’ wi’ the Fleet o’ the French Marine
Frae Dumbarton Rock, in her prettiest frock, she had feenished potty trainin’
She was only wee, she’d had her tea, it was dull an’ dreich an’ it was rainin’

There was naewhere else tae go, for Mary an’ her freen’s
She didnae even know that they had taken her tae France
‘Till she was in her teens, eatin’ up a’ yon French runner beans
An’ learnin’ frae the ither lassies, how tae dae the can-can dance

She grew up tae be beautiful, fu’ o’ grace an’ inteligence
Merriein’ the Dauphin, her Prince, he was elegant
He sat on the throne as Francois the second
Daein’ everythin’ for Mary, whenever she beckoned

Their merriege lasted for only a year
Wi’ Mary cryin’ mony a tear
For Francis her lover, her Prince an’ her Dauphin
Had lain doon an’ deid in a wee fit o’ coughin’

Mary wasnae happy tae be leavin’ France
Wonderin’ what future would be waitin’ her at hame
An’ so she decided tae lose hersel’ in dance
Tae forget a’ her worries, an’ a’ her claims tae fame
She would merry a wee Lord wi’ a mansion hoose in Ayr
As long as he had the room, for a big dance flerr

Mary departing from France

The Dancing Queen

It was Shuggie the smuggler brought Mary hame frae France
Where she’d learned how tae talk an’ tae act like a lady
She had merried her Prince an’ he’d taught her tae dance
Just like Ginger Rogers in “Sweet Rosie O’Grady”

When up on the flerr she could dae the Fandango
An’ the Tally, David Rizzio, had taught her how tae Tango
She picked up her twirls, an’ the yin, twa, chasse
Frae a big French dancer, called Monsieur L’ Apache

She’d brought a’ her court wi’ her aboard the clipper
There was Mary her manicurist, wi’ her hair sae red
An’ Mary her hairdresser, she was called the snipper
An’ Mary o’ her chamber, would tuck her intae bed
An’ Mary in the kitchen would wash up a’ the mugs
An’ Shuggie o’ course, tae walk a’ Mary’s dugs

‘Twas a gloomy gloomy day, when they sailed intae Leith
A total eclipse o’ the sun, no’ wi’ the moon tae the Earth
But the usual big black clouds, stretchin’ a’ the way tae Perth
So the weather’d make ye sick, right uptae yer wisdom teeth

Pierre de Chatelard

The Potty Poet

Pierre de Chatelard, a young French poet
Was headin’ for trouble, but he wasnae tae know it
He’d been found by Mary’s chambermaid, all sweaty an’ hot
In Mary’s chamber, ‘neath her bed, next tae Mary’s chamber pot

He was banished frae her court, but he didnae take nae heed
An’ he followed as she went tae Rossend Castle
Fu’ o’ passion an’ fu’ o’ port, an’ intent tae plant his seed
The pickled poet was hopin’ Mary widnae gie him hassle

It was well efter hauf past nine, an’ Mary’d had a gless o’ wine
An’ the ither Mary thingumyjig, was helpin’ wi’ her disrobin’
In barged Pierre, an’ his airms roon’ Mary’s middle did entwine
‘It’s the poet, hurry.’ It took the Earl o’ Moray, tae stop the poet’s probin’

They dragged the drunken poet away
Tae a dungeon on St Andrews Bay
Where his famous last words still cause a row
They think it’s all over, it is now

Darn ye Darnley

He was a tall, peely-wally link o’ a man, wi’ a mind as mean as a weasel’s
He came tae Mary in Edinburgh, an’ she helped him get o’er the measles
A right big nancy, but he took her fancy, so she made him Earl o’ Ross
He was a fairy, she agreed tae merry, but said it didnae mean he was boss

Mary set oot tae find a Priest, tae ask for a Papal dispensation
Darnley an’ her were blood related, but they both kicked wi’ the same foot
She chapped on the door o’ the chapel hoose, but the Priest was on vacation
It was like if ye were lookin’ for a Glasgow polis, ye never see yin aboot

They got merried, wi’ plenty o’ food, there in the Palace o’ Hollyrood
On honeymoon, a’ dressed in plaid, they rode oot on the Chaseaboot Raid
Moray an’ his rebels, ran o’er the border tae safety, as fast as they could
That night in Dunbar, Bothwell was paid, tae join up, in Mary’s Parade

Mary an’ Darnley were growin’ apart
An’ Mary fair fancied the man frae Dunbar
He had hair on his airms, an’ chest for a start
Wi’ him by her side, they were sure tae go far

David Rizzio

Mary was dancin’, happy in the supper room
Wi’ a’ o’ her ladies, the four Marys, in attendance
David was pluckin’, at his mandolin tae tune
Getting ready for a two-by-two-by-two step dance

Mary said, ‘David, David, can ye play the minuet?’
So he bent doon tae the lute, so that he’d be nearer
‘David, David, have ye no’ got that thing ready yet?’
He said, ‘I havenae got the music so I’m playin’ it by ear’

Poor David Rizzio, wi’ his ear so sorely occupied
He didnae hear the rumpus on the stair
The thugs rushed in an’ Mary’s favourite music died
Wi’ Darnley’s dagger in his back, an’ him lyin’ on the flerr

O’ a’ ye Scottish noblemen, hing doon yer heids in shame
For takin’ Mary’s melodies away
An’ the wee Italian troubadour, so far away frae hame
Will haunt ye a’, until ye’re auld an’ grey

James V1.

Darnley gave the nation a shock, a bump appearin’ behind Mary’s frock
Ye cannae judge a book by it’s cover, he must have been a pretty guid lover
Him braggin’ he was hard as a rock, ye took it that he was just guid wi’ the talk
Don Juan, Valentino, move over, Lord Henry Darnley’s rollin’ in the clover

Mary lies in Edinburgh in considerable pain, screaming
‘I’m never gonnae let this bloody thing happen again’
She sends for her midwife, Margaret Aestane, screaming
‘Will ye bloody hurry up an’ deliver this bloody wean’

Two months later, an’ still wi’ battles goin’ on
Mary goes tae Traquair Hoose, tae try tae convalesce
Eatin’ raw eggs an’ marmalade, on a tasty soda scone
Returnin’ hame tae find she takes a size fourteen in dress

Wee James is safe in Stirlin’, preparin’ tae be baptized
Darnley’s back in Glasgow, havin’ just been ostracized
Bothwell’s in his coontin’ hoose, coontin’ oot his money
Mary’s in the parlour, eatin’ breid an’ honey

Mary, aged thirteen, at French Court

The Arden Oak

‘Och! Mary, Mary, what is it noo?
Ye’re due in Dunbar on the morrow at two.’
‘Och! Darnley, Darnley, ye havenae a clue
Can ye no’ see my hoarse has a stane in it’s shoe?’

They had ridden a’ day, frae yon Ballantrae
Where Shuggie the smuggler an’ his donkey abide
Ye’ll find them there, durin’ Glasgow Fair
Givin’ a’ the Gleswegian weans a donkey ride

‘Noo listen Darnley, when we get tae Stra’ven Castle
I dinnae want ye givin’ me ony mair o’ yer hassle
I want a room wi’ a view, an’ an en suite loo, right?
I’m no’ gonnae sleep rough, like I had tae dae last night’

‘Under yon big oak tree, at Arden
An’ wi’ a’ yon big burly Busby men
An’ wi’ a’ yon big acorns stickin’ in my ribs
An’ wi’ yon big Clydesdale lickin’ at my…’

‘Och! Mary, Mary, will ye no’ give me peace
An’ anyway, that wasnae the hoarse’

Lies, Spies, an’ pies in the Skies.

‘Och! Mary, Mary, Mary my Queen
What were ye daein’ in the common green
Wi’ yon big laddie wi’ the hair sae red
An’ me here waitin’ ye tae come back tae bed?’

‘Och! Darnley, Darnley, ye’ve always got a moan
I wish that ye’d leave a poor body alone
The laddie, he was just helpin’ me choose
A couple o’ mince pies, tae bring back tae youse’

‘Och! Mary, Mary, nae mair o’ yer lies
Aboot Ginger an’ you an’ a couple o’ pies
Fair weel I ken yon Ginger McAskill
He’s naethin’ but a dirty big rascal’

Mary then decided that she’d had aboot enough
Although she agreed that she liked a bit o’ rough
She arranged wi’ big Ginger an’ anither big tough
Tae waylay Darnley on his way tae Edinburgh

In Kirk o’ Field hoose, efter dinner an’ stuff
A large jug o’ ale an’ a wee pinch o’ snuff
A barrel o’ gunpooder went up wi’ a puff
Goodbye Darnley, tough, tough, tough

The Turncoat

Preachin’ frae the pulpit, wi’ his big grey beard
Hell fire an’ damnation, had congregations scared
Runnin’ tae their hooses, tae burn the graven images
Drappin’ tae their knees, an’ offerin’ up their homages

A’ the knees were knockin’, when John Knox started talkin’
The pee was dribblin’ doon a’ body’s leg
When he screamed oot ‘Jezebel‘, some wimmin ran like hell
An’ Jock McGee’s jaiket was on a shaky peg

Then he started oot on Mary
For behavin’ quite contrary
He said, ‘Ye’re a whore, an idolatress’, right tae her face.
‘Ye’re a bloody abhorration on the whole human race’

Mary’s reply was swift an’ somewhat comical
Her two index fingers pointin’ tae places anatomical
She chanted, ‘Milk, lemonade an’ chocolate
Milk, lemonade an’ chocolate’

Bothwell the Borderer

Mary met him in Dunbar at a dance
An’ he showed her his sturdy big Castle
She was a’ taken on wi’ his knowledge o’ France
So she didnae give him much hassle
Wi’ his persuasive technique, an’ his manly physique
He wormed his way intae her favour
His dancin’ was fine if he stayed aff the wine
But he just couldnae stop this behaviour
He was a bandit, a robber, a right bob-a-jobber
An’ he danced wi’ an axe in his belt
She merried the chancer, ‘cause he was a guid dancer
Or was it the shaft o’ the chopper she’d felt?
Mary had only yin question tae raise
As soon as their heids hit the pillow
‘Why dae ye dance wi’ an axe roon’ yer waist?’
He said, ‘It’s handy for strippin’ the willow’
His comeuppance came at Carberry Hill
When he showed her his dashin’ white sergeant
Beatin’ a retreat, tae a lively quadrille
Wi’ a yellow leather streak, on his red leather garment

Mary’s bedroom

The Abdication

Mary’s forced tae abdicate in favour o’ her son just yin year old
In a dungeon on Loch Leven where it was damp an’ it was cold
Wi’ the help o’ yon young Douglas she escaped to fight again
At Langside just outside Glasgow she amassed six thousan’ men

The battle was a gory one, an’ the bloody Earl o’ Moray won
Chasin’ Mary’s men right doon to Solway Bay
No’ afraid o’ anyone an’ against the advice o’ everyone
She who turns an’ runs away lives to fight another day

Dressed discretely as a wee fishwife
Sailin’ o’er the bay to a bright new life
Wrapped up snuggly in a tartan shawl
Spendin’ the night at Workington Hall

Mary was hopin’ that her big cousin Lizzy
Would help her get o’er this bit o’ a tizzy
Instead skinny Lizzy rang a loud death knell
An’ condemned oor Mary to nineteen years o’ hell

A tisket, a tasket
Letters in a casket.

Lizzy was reluctant tae have Mary in her court
Unless she was cleared, o’ the ‘Darnley’ blunder
She imprisoned oor Queen, in the creepy Carlisle Fort
Sayin’ ‘I’m no gonnae have her here, stealin’ my bloody thunder’

They had never ever met, exchanging letters by the dozens
Both respected yin another, an’ their status o’ regality
Never face tae face, they were hardly kissin’ cousins
An’ Mary’s health was failin’, due tae lack o’ hospitality

On the move again, doon tae Tutbury Castle prison
In tae the haun’s o’ her jailers, the Earl o’ Shrewsbury an’ his wife
Further intae England, ‘cause rebellion had arisen
An’ Lizzy’s paranoia made her fearful for her life

Then Walsin’ham an’ Paulet, a couple o’ schemin’ plotters
Wi’ their spyin’ an’ their lyin’, like a couple o’ stinkin’ rotters
Concoctin’ the fraudulent, ‘Letters in a casket case’
Nearly turnin’ oor Mary, intae a bloody basket case

The supper room

The Babington Plot

An’ so it continued wi’ the Babin’ton plottin’
Wi’ yin bad apple turnin’ the whole lot rottin’
A big burly brewer, wi’ a beer barrel belly
Made a special bung, an’ stuck it in wi’ jelly

Mary was now able tae send her letters in the plug hole
Hopin’ none o’ Lizzy’s men, were thirsty for yin or twa swallows
An incriminatin’ letter, reached Walsin’ham’s lughole
He took his quill, an’ drew an image, an image o’ the gallows

Mary Queen o’ Scots is taken awa’ tae Tixall
Preparin’ for her trial, an’ what fate was tae befall

“Oh my Lord and my God, I have trusted in Thee
Oh my dear Jesus, now liberate me
In shackle and chain, in torture and pain, I long for Thee
In weakness and sighing, in kneeling and crying
I adore and implore Thee, to liberate me”

The Parting

After nineteen long years o’ trials an’ degradation
Sae fu’ o’ spyin’ an’ lyin’, an’ negotiations tae
Mary, Queen o’ Scots, the pride o’ a’ the nation
Is sentenced tae death, in the hall o’ Fotheringhay

There are some ither names tae be written down in shame
The bloody Earl o’ Moray, an’ others share the blame
Walsin’ham, Paulet, Phelippes an’ Paget. Jist a few o’ the names
I hope they said their prayers, afore they burned up in the flames

Yin question remains Liz, how did ye stay a virgin
How did ye ever manage tae avoid the great temptation?
It cannae be the case that ye never had the urgin’
Wi’ sic a parcel o’ rogues in yer nation

* * * *

Then came the partin’, the deed they’d a’ been dreadin’
Between the hoors o’ nine an’ ten, came oor Mary’s awful beheadin’

* * *

“In my End is my Beginning”

* * *

Alas! The Prophecy had come true
“It had begun wi’ ane lass, an’ it had passed wi’ ane lass”

Mary Queen o’ Scots.

The End.

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