The Lyrics of Henry VIII/O my hart and o my hart, 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

Alone I leffe alone Adew adew my hartis lust

[ff. 22v-23r]

The Kyng H. viij.

Early Modern English                                 Modern English
O my hart and o my hart Oh my heart, and oh my heart,
my hart it is so sore My heart it is so sore
sens I must nedys from my loue depart Since I must from my love depart
and know no cause wherefore And know no cause wherefore.


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This piece is a lyric of departure: the lover regretfully leaves his lady, not fully understanding the reasons for his leaving. The Henry VIII Manuscript presents “O my hart and o my hart” in three voices, each in full and with text-height block capitals at the outset. Extra rules are given on both the verso and recto sheets. The lyric appears to have been copied once, in an early sixteenth-century hand, on the final page (gg4v) of Caxton’s edition of Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda Aurea (PBLe; trans. and pr. 1493; Huntington Printed Book 69798; Pollard/STC 24875).

“O my hart and o my hart” is indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 2531.5, Boffey, Ringler MS TM1218, and Crum O715. The piece is reprinted in Chappell Account 374, Flügel Anglia 232, Trefusis 9, Stevens M&P 390, and Stevens MCH8 17.

Textual Notes

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Texts Collated

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H1,2,3 (ff. 22v–23r), PBLe (gg4v).

2 it] that PBLe
3 sens] sytt PBLe; I] that I PBLe; nedys] omit PBLe