Subject: Beloved Despot
From: Christopher W. Thomas (poetlaureate@poetic.com)
Host: 209-150-40-113.s113.tnt1.spg.ma.dialup.rcn.com
Date: Sat June 12, 1999 at 1:22PM

Beloved Despot


On this date in fifteen hundred and nine
King Henry the VIII married for the first time
Taking as his wife Catherine of Aragon
Who he later would divorce, but not gone

As two of his other five wives would be
Both of them beheaded for things petty
The one who followed - Anne Boleyn
And Catherine Howard, the fifth one in

After divorcing the fourth - Anne of Cleves, the only other
Having lost Jane Seymour during birth ... Edward the VI's mother
And survived by the sixth - his beloved Catherine Parr
Who made none of the mistakes of the five marred ...

Considering the man beheaded two and divorced two more
It's hard to understand why this tyrant was so loved by all
But in the thirty-eight long years of his reign
England was prosperous, and no wars came

And on top of it, he was single-handedly responsible at home
For severing the church from the auspices of Rome
Something he felt was necessary to keep the faith
(And not just because divorce was not a recognized state)

But Henry envisioned a totally independent land under the eyes of God
Seeing that Rome was not the only place where the devout trod
And so, under Henry's care and authoritarian stand
England would become a country with a clear hand ...

- Tristram

Christopher W. Thomas
written 9:30am June 12th, 1999
for the date - June 11th, 1999

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Catherine of Aragon (divorced)
mother of Mary the First
Anne Boleyn (beheaded)
mother of Elizabeth the First
Jane Seymour (died giving birth)
mother of Edward the VI
Anne of Cleves (divorced)
no issue of this union
Catherine Howard (beheaded)
no issue of this union
Catherine Parr (outlived the King)
no issue of this union

Edward the VI died of tubercolosis at 16
Lady Jane Grey followed and reigned for nine days at 17 (executed at 18)
Mary the First (Bloody Mary) died after only a five-year reign (no issue)
Elizabeth the First reigned for 44 years (unmarried, no issue)