The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Now (Unattributed)
Textual Commentary[edit | edit source]
This piece is only one word, presumably enough to give rise in the mind to the rest of the lyric, though there is little room left among the musical notation for text. “Now” is not listed in the manuscript’s table of contents, and follows a blank, though ruled, page. It does not begin with a block capital typical of the first letter of most lyrics, nor has the scribe left space for lyrics, save the word which is present. Stevens supplies further words for this from Robbins’ Secular Lyrics #138 (Stevens MCH8 72):
freshe flower, to me that is so bright,
Of your lovely womanhood I pray you of grace,
Of your fair beauty I pray you a sight
That my great mourning may come to solace.
One may also wish to consider other possibilities for the full text of this piece, such as the departure song “Now fayre wele my Joye my comfort and solace” (Oxford Bodleian 120 ff. 95r–v; see Robbins Index & Suppl. 766 and Ringler MS TM1098), a lyric which itself has some echoes in this manuscript, such as in Cornish’s “Adew adew my hartis lust” (H 13).
“Now” is indexed in Ringler MS TM1092. It is reprinted in Stevens M&P 417 and Stevens MCH8 72.