The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Lusti yough shuld vs ensue
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The Kynge. H. viij
|Early Modern English||Modern English|
|Lusti yough shuld vs ensue||Lusty Youth should us ensue!|
|hys mery hart shall sure all rew||His merry heart shall sure all rue.|
|for what so euer they do hym tell||For whatsoever they do him tell|
|it ys not for hym we know yt well.||It is not for him, we know it well.|
|For they wold haue hym hys libertye refrayne.||For they would have him his liberty refrain,|
|And all mery company for to dysdayne.||And all merry company for to disdain.|
|But I wyll not do what so euer thay say.||But I will not do whatsoever they say,|
|But follow hys mynd in all that we may.||But follow his mind in all that we may.|
|How shuld yough hym selfe best vse||How should youth himself best use|
|but all dysdaynares for to refuse||But all disdainers for to refuse?|
|yough has as chef assurans||Youth has as chief assurance|
|honest myrth with vertus pastance.||Honest mirth with virtue's pastance.|
|For in them consisteth gret honor.||For in them consists great honour,|
|Though that dysdaynars wold therin put error.||Though that disdainers would therein put error.|
|For they do sew to get them grace.||For they do sue to get them grace --|
|All only reches to purchase.||All only riches to purchase.|
|With goode order councell and equite.||With good order, counsel, and equity,|
|goode lord graunt vs or mancyon to be.||Goode Lord grant us our mansion to be.|
|for withowt ther goode gydaunce||For without their good guidance|
|yough shuld fall in grett myschaunce||Youth should fall in great mischance.|
|For yough ys frayle and prompt to doo.||For Youth is frail and prompt to do|
|As well vices as vertuus to ensew.||As well vices as virtues to ensue.|
|Wherefor be thes he must be gydyd.||Where fore by these he must be guided|
|And vertuus pastaunce must theryn be usyd||And virtues pastance must therin be used.|
|Now vnto god thys prayer we make.||Now unto God this prayer we make,|
|That this rude play may well be take.||That this rude play may well betake|
|And that we may ower fauttes amend.||And that we may our faults amend|
|An blysse opteyne at ower last end.||An blysse obtain at our last end.|
The speaker of “Lusti yough shuld vs ensue” affirms his intention—using the plural first person pronoun, at times—to follow the ways of “Lusti yough” (l. 1). The ways of “Lusti yough,” hwoever, are at odds with the wishes of youth’s “dysdaynares” (l. 10; most often referred to as “they”). The speaker asserts the virtuous aspects of youthful pastimes, and their provision of “goode gydaunce” (l. 19) necessary in youth.
- 1 ensue Imitate the example of.
- 2 rew Affect with regret (for some act), make (one) wish one had acted otherwise, or affect with pity or compassion (OED v.1 2,4).
- 6 dysdayne Cf. Henry’s “Whoso that wyll all feattes optayne” (H 28.2,4,8,11,14) and elsewhere; see the note to line 2 of the aforementioned lyric.
- 8 But . . . may Cf., in Youth, the statement of Youth in response to Pride’s advice “It is time enough to be good / when that ye be old” (ll. 645–46): “I will make merry while I may” (l. 648; Lancashire, Two Tudor Interludes).
- 9–10 How . . . vse / but all dysdaynares for to refuse Cf. the moral saying “he that in yowth no vertu will vse / In Age all honor shall hym Refuce” (OxHill f. 200v ; variant in OxRawl86 f. 31r); the full saying in OxHill is as follows: “kepe well .x. & Flee From sevyn. / sspende well .v. & Cum to hevyn / he that in yowth no vertu will vse / In Age all honor shall hym Refuce / Serve god truly & the world besily // Ete thy mete meryly / and euer leve in Rest // Thank god highly thowgh he visit the porely. // he may amend it lyghtly wham hym lyke the best.”
- 12 vertus pastance Likely the pastimes noted in Henry’s “The tyme of youthe is to be spent” (H 19), the “As featys of armys” (l. 7) and other “goode dysporttys” (l. 12); see also l. 24.
- 13 them Honest mirth, &c.
- 15 sew … grace See the comment in Henry’s “If love now reynyd as it hath bene” (H 38.12).
- 21 yough ys frayle Though not exactly the sense here, cf. the verses recollected by Mary in Wager’s interlude The Life and Repentaunce of Marie Magdalene: “The pleasure of youth is a thyng right frayle, / And is yearely lesse, so that at length it doth faile” (ll. 711–12).
- 24 vertuus pastaunce See l. 11, above.
- 27 amend For similar use in the context of prayer, see the note to Henry’s “Withowt dyscord” (H 49.24).
- 28 An And.
“Lusti yough shuld vs ensue” is in the form of a combined strophic and through-setting. Some music is missing, and some rules are left blank.
“Lusti yough shuld vs ensue” is indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 2025.5 and Ringler MS TM964, and reprinted in Chappell Account 376, Flügel Anglia 249–50, Stevens M&P 416–17, Stevens MCH8 70–71, and Trefusis 34–35.
H1,2,3,4 (ff. 94v–97r, ll. 1–4 H2,3, ll. 17–20 H2,3,4).
- 7 do] so H1
- 11 has as] as as H1
- 20 shuld] shull H2; in] in to gret H3,4