Elizabethan Sonnet Month

King James I


James VI & I (19 June 1566 - 27 March 1625) was King of Scots as James VI from 1567 to 1625, and after the death of Elizabeth, became King of England and Ireland as James I from 1603 to 1625.
Under James, the "Golden Age" of Elizabethan literature and drama continued, with writers such as William Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Johnson, and Sir Francis Bacon contributing to a flourishing literary culture. James himself was a talented scholar, the author of works such as Daemonologie (1597), True Law of Free Monarchies (1598), and Basilikon Doron (1599). Sir Anthony Weldon claimed that James had been termed "the wisest fool in Christendom", an epithet associated with his character ever since.


Sonnet 1

First Iove, as greatest God above the rest,
Graunt thou to me a pairt of my desyre :
That when in verse of thee I write my best,
This onely thing I earnestly requyre,
That thou my veine Poetique so inspyre,
As they may suirlie think, all that it reid,
When I descryve thy might and thundring fyre,
That they do see thy self in verie deid
From heaven thy greatest Thunders for to leid,
And syne vpon the Gyants heads to fall :
Or cumming to thy Semele with speid
In Thunders least, at her request and call :
Or throwing Phaethon downe from heaven to eard.
With threatning thunders, making monstrous reard.

Sonnet 2

The azur'd vaulte, the crystall circles bright,
The gleaming fyrie torches powdred there,
The changing round, the shynie beamie light,
The sad and bearded fyres, the monsters faire;
The prodiges appearing in the aire,
The rearding thunders, and the blustering windes,
The fowles in hew, in shape, in nature raire,
The prettie notes that wing'd musiciens finds;
In earth the sau'rie flowres, the mettal'd minds,
The wholesome hearbes, the hautie pleasant trees,
The syluer streames, the beasts of sundrie kinds;
The bounded waves, and fishes of the seas:
All these for teaching man the Lord did frame,
To do his will whose glorie shines in thame.

If you have any suggestions or questions regarding these poems please email me

Elizabethan Sonnet Month
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Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will we realise that money cannot be eaten
- Cree Indian Prophesy