To Daughter Ann, New Year's Day, 1567

Original Text: 
Conyers Read, Mr. Secretary Cecil and Queen Elizabeth (London: Jonathan Cape, 1955): 354. From British Library Lansdowne MS 104, fol. 193.
3These years in me work nothing less,
4Yet for your years and New Year's gift
5To set you on work, some thrift to feel,
6I send you now a spinning wheel.
7But one thing first I wish and pray,
8Lest thirst of thrift might soon you tire,
9Only to spin one pound a day
10And play the rest, as time require,
11Sweat not (O fie!), fling work in fire!
12God send, who sendeth all thrift and wealth,

Notes

1] 11 years old in 1567, Cecil's daughter Anne (5 Dec. 1556-5 June 1588) was to marry Edward de Vere, seventeenth earl of Oxford (1550-1604), and her father's ward, on 19 December 1571. See Steven May, ."Vere, Anne de, countess of Oxford (1556.-1588),." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (Oxford: OUP, 2004). 28 Dec. 2006. . Back to Line
2] thrift: home economy. Back to Line
13] your father health: as secretary and principal minister to Elizabeth I, Cecil worked indefatigably from just before her accession in 1558 to his death. He suffered increasingly from gout (a painful inflammation of the joints from chalk-stone deposits; and late in life he had to be carried everywhere in a chair. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2006
Rhyme: