The Lyrics of Henry VIII/And I war a maydyn (Unattributed)
And I war a maydyn
as many one ys
for all the golde in englond
I wold not do amysse
When I was a wanton wench 5
of .xii. yere of age.
Thes cowrtyers with ther amorus
they kyndyld my corage.
When I was come to
the age of .xv. yere. 10
In all this lond nowther fre nor bond
me thought I had no pere.
Textual Commentary[edit | edit source]
This seemingly incomplete lyric begins a tale spoken by a female, in retrospect, of her growth in the “corage” (l. 8) kindled by amorous courtiers. “And I war a maydyn” is a popular tune. “Swet Iesu is cum to vs / this good tym of crystmas” (OxEP ff. 45v–47v; Greene #93) is stated to be “A song in the tune of / And y were a mayden”; its burden is “hey now now now.” As well, a lyric with a similar name is mentioned in the interlude Thersites: “‘And I were a maid again’ now may be here song” (Hazlitt and Dodsley, eds. i.405).
- 7 amorus Amours, loves.
- 8 corage Sexual vigour and inclination, the desire to love, the amorous spirit; see Henry’s “The tyme of youthe is to be spent” (H 19.10, note).
The first stanza of the unattributed “And I war a maydyn” is through-set for five voices. The remaining lines are underlaid, and appear to be incomplete. LTho contains an incipit and several lines in English, with Latin following.
This piece is indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 302.5 and Ringler MS TM154. It is reprinted in Flügel Anglia 250, Stevens M&P 42, and Stevens MCH8 78–9.
Textual Notes[edit | edit source]
Texts Collated[edit | edit source]
H1,2,3,4,5 (ff. 106v–107r, ll. 1–4 H2,3,4,5), LTho (f. 59r, ll. 1–4).
- 2 one] here LTho
- 3 englond] this lonne LTho