The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Alas what shall I do for love, Henry VIII

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Lyrics  |  Manuscript  |  Authors and Composers
The Lyrics of Henry VIII
Appendix 1: Lyrics by Occasion/Theme  |  Appendix 2: Textual/Musical Witnesses  |  Appendix 3: Bibliography

HElas madam cel que ie metant Hey nowe nowe

[ff. 20v-21r]

Early Modern English                   Modern English
Alas what shall I do for love Alas, what shall I do for love?
for love alasse what shall I do For love, alas, what shall I do?
Syth now so kynd Since now so kind
I do yow fynde I do you find
to kepe yow me vnto To kepe you me unto
Alasse Alasse!

Textual Commentary[edit]

“Alas what shall I do for love” is a lyric about keeping a lover, once she is discovered, with play on the two separate syllables of “alas” (“a” and “lass”). Stevens notes that the words of further strophic verses may be missing (M&P 390).

3 syth Since.

This lyric appears solely in H, where it is given in four complete voices.

“Alas what shall I do for love” is Indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 159.5, Boffey, Ringler MS TM110, Crum A884. The piece is reprinted in Chappell Account 374, Flügel Anglia 231, Flügel Neuengl 133, Trefusis 7–8, Padelford 78, Stevens M&P 390, and Stevens MCH8 16.