The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Dulcis amica (Prioris, Incipit)

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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

Let not vs that yongmen be Lusti yough shuld vs ensue

[ff. 88v-89r]

Dulcis amica

Textual Commentary[edit | edit source]

“Dulcis amica” is an anonymous prayer to the Virgin. The piece appears as an incipit in H in only one of four voices. Although all voices have spaces for large initial block capitals, they are left blank in voices two through four, and filled with a capital in voice one slightly large than the text of the incipit. There is space among the musical notation for further text. “Dulcis amica” is listed in the manuscript’s table of contents as the fifty-eighth work. Unattributed in H, it is attributed elsewhere to Prioris.

The best source of “Dulcis amica,” as noted by Keahey and Douglas (3.XI), is CaP1760 (f. 2r), and it is also found in Am162 (f. 117v), C1848 (413), Cb124–8 (f. 133v), CCap (16–17), L35087 (ff. 61v–62r), Mu326 (f. 13v), P1597 (ff. 4v–5r), P2245 (ff. 31v–32r), PBA31 (ff. 106v–107v), PBLau (f. 20r), PBMiss (f. 4v), PBMot (f. 16v), PBRha (#3), PBTre (ff. 7v–8r), SG462 (9), SG463 (#140), T27 (f. 35v), Up76a (ff. 55v–56r), WLab (ff. 139v–140r), and elsewhere. Of these, full texts of the lyric are extant in Am162, C1848, CaP1760, Cb124–8, L35087, P1597, PBLau, PBMiss, PBMot, SG462, SG463, T27, Up76a, and WLab. A slight variant is provided by SG462, which reads “Dulcis Maria”; PBRha and Mu326 (a copy of the former) provide an entirely different text, “Qui credit in filium habet vitam aeternam…” (see Albrecht, ed., 3.6).

The first voice of CaP1760, a chansonnier at one time likely belonging to Henry VIII’s elder brother Prince Arthur, provides the following text:

DVlcis amica dei
Rosa vernans stella decora
Tu memor esto mei
dum mortis venerit hora

This piece is reprinted in Stevens (MCH8 64), Keahey and Douglas, eds. (5.44), and Albrecht (ed. 3.6), among others. It is indexed in Fallows (Catalogue 580–1), among others.