Gloriana – A Queen Elizabeth Rhapsody


Gloriana – A Queen Elizabeth Rhapsody

Prepared and presented by Elizabeth Klett

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) ruled England during the so-called “Golden Age”, from 1558 to 1603. She was beloved and deified in her own time and after her death, and was known as Gloriana, Astraea (the goddess of justice), the Virgin Queen, and Good Queen Bess, among others. The daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth was educated by the foremost humanists of the age, including Roger Ascham, and spoke a number of languages and was well-read in classical literature. She was a scholar and poet, and served as inspiration for the scholars and poets of the Elizabethan Age. This collection presents some of her verses, as well as poetry written for and about her, by her contemporaries and succeeding generations of poets. As Anne Bradstreet observes, she refuted the common belief at the time that women made ineffective rulers. On the contrary, she presided over an age of relative stability at the twilight of the Tudor dynasty.


Excerpts from Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Performed by the US Army Strings

A public domain recording issued by


00:22 1. Queen Elizabeth, “The Doubt of Future Foes”

02:00 2. Queen Elizabeth, “All Humankind on Earth”

02:58 3. Queen Elizabeth, “On Monsieur’s Departure”

04:31 4. Queen Elizabeth, “When I Was Fair and Young”

06:10 5. Anne Bradstreet, “In Honor of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth”

14:07 6. Sir Walter Raleigh, “The Ocean to Cynthia”

17:44 7. William Shakespeare, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

19:43 8. William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, from Henry VIII

23:12 9. Edmund Spenser, from The Faerie Queene

25:46 10. George Peele, “A Farewell to Arms (To Queen Elizabeth)”

27:14 11. Mary Sidney Herbert, “In Praise of Astraea”

30:46 12. Mary Sidney Herbert, “To the Thrice-Sacred Queen Elizabeth”

36:58 13. Walter Savage Landor, “Time to be Wise”

38:41 14. Charles Tennyson Turner, “Queen Elizabeth”

39:41 15. T. S. Eliot, from The Waste Land

Internet Archive Page for Gloriana: A Queen Elizabeth Rhapsody


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