Elegy on the Death of Henry VII


STC 13075
Ringler 13075 and TP 1382. Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce e.20. Single sheet folio, imperfect. This and /or STC 13075.5 may be by S. Hawes (STC). Ptd. Alexander Dyce, _The Poetical Works of John Skelton_, 2 (1843), 399-400; complete version from Dean and Chapter of Durham MS, Registrum Parvum II, 174-78v ptd. G.V. Scammell and H.L. Rogers, _Review of English Studies_ new ser. 8 (1957), 167-70. Order no. 1302; UMI microfilm reel 80

[Elegy on the death of Henry VII]
London: [Wynkyn de Worde],1509.

Variant source 1: MS Durham Cathedral, Registrum Parvum II, fols. 174-78v (=D)

Composition Date: 1509.

The left-hand edge of the sheet is cut away; the missing text is supplied from D.
[O wauering Wo]rlde all wrapped in wretchydnes
[What auales t]hy pompes so gay and gloryous
[Thy pastymes thy p]easures / and all thy ryches
[Syth of necessitie the]y be but transytoryous
5 [Example but late o] to moche pyteous
[The puyssaunt princ]e that eche man whylom dred
[Maugre thy myght b]y naturall lyne and cours
[Henry the seuenth ala]s alas lyeth dede

[O case Wonderfull so] ryall a kynge
10 [Surmountyng in m]aner the prudent salamon
[In Wysdome in Riche]sse and in euery-thynge Richesse] Riches D
[None to hym lyck in n]o crysten regyon lyck: =like
[Redoubted and fered] not longe agone
[Laudid and prased] his name by fame spr[e]de sprede] sprde 1509, spred D
15 [From Worldly conten]te nowe destytute alone
[For henry the seuenth ala]s alas lyeth dede

[Lo marke we this m]ater we wretchyd creatures
[For all his kyngdom]es and tryumphaunt maiestye
[For all his Ioyes his] pastymes and pleasures
20 [He is now gone wi]thouten remedye
[The soule Where god] wyll the myserable bodye
[Closed in stone and in] heuy lede
[O what is this worl]de but vanyte and all vanytye
[For henry the seuent]h alas alas lyeth dede

25 [Come we therfor h]is subgectes and make lamentacyon.
[For the losse of one s]o noble a gouernoure
[To god with oure pr]ayers make we exclamacyon
[His soule forto guy]de to his supernall toure
[For faded is the goo]dly rose-floure
30 [That Whilome so r]yally all aboute spred
[Dethe hath hym m]ated where is his power
[Henry the seuenth a]las alas lyeth dede

Of this moost crysten kynge in vs it lyeth not
His tyme-passed honour suffycyent to prayse
35 But yet though that / that thyng envalue we may not envalue: =invalue, 'place a value on'
Our prayers of suertye he shall haue alwayes
And though that atropose hathe ended his dayes
His name and fame shall euer be dred
As fer as phebus spredes his golden rayes
40 Though henry the seuenth alas alas lyeth dede

But nowe what remedye he is vncouerable vncouerable] vncorable Dvncouerable: =uncoverable, 'irrecoverable'vncouerable: =uncoverable, 'irrecoverable'
Touchyd by the handes of god that is moost Iust handes] hand D
But yet agayne a cause moost confortable
We haue / Wherin / of ryght reioys we must
45 His sone on ####ab#### lyue in beaute force and lust
In honour lykely traianus to shede shede ='rout, put to flight'? See OED s.v. shed v1, 4b
Wherfore in hym put we our hope and trust
Syth henry his fader alas alas lyeth dede

And nowe for conclusyon aboute his herse
50 Let this be grauyd for endeles memorye
With sorowfull tunes of Thesyphenes verse
Here lyeth the puyssaunt and myghty henry
Hector in batayll / Ulyxes in polecy
Salamon in wysdome the noble rose rede
55 Creses in rychesse Iulyus in glory
Henry the seuenth ingraued here lyeth dede ingraued: =ingraved, 'entombed, buried'