The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Though sum saith that yough rulyth me
|← I am a joly foster||MAdame damours →|
|Early Modern English||Modern English|
|Though some saith that yough rulyth me||Though some say that youth rules me,|
|I trust in age to tarry||I trust in age to tarry.|
|god and my ryght and my dewtye||God and my right, and my duty,|
|frome them shall I neuer vary||From them shall I never vary,|
|thow sum say that yough rulyth me.||Though some say that youth rules me.|
|I pray you all that aged be.||I pray you all that aged be|
|How well dyd ye yor yough carry.||How well did your youth carry?|
|I thynk sum wars of ych degre.||I think some worse of each degree.|
|Ther in a wage. lay dar I.||Therein a wager dare I,|
|though sum sayth. that yough rulyth me||Though some say that youth rules me.|
|Pastymes of yough sum tyme among||Pastimes of youth some time among|
|none can sey but necessary.||None can say but necessary.|
|I hurt no man I do no wrong||I hurt no man, I do no wrong,|
|I loue trew wher I dyd mary||I love true where I did marry,|
|thow sum sayth. that yough rulyth me||Though some say that youth rules me.|
|Then sone dyscusse that hens we must||Then soon discuss that hence we must|
|Pray we to god and seynt mary.||Pray we to God and Saint Mary|
|That all amend and here an end.||That all amend, and here an end.|
|Thus sayth the king the .viii.th harry.||Thus says the King, the eighth Harry,|
|though sum sayth that yough rulyth me.||Though some say that youth rules me.|
“Though sum saith that yough rulyth me” is a statement of personal doctrine in the first person by the king, who reinforces his position by repeating in the burden his motto: “god and my ryght.” In dealing with issues typical of the debate between youth and age (evident in other of Henry’s works), this lyric urges that, though youth may rule the speaker, the speaker does not hurt anyone and is not in the wrong. The speaker’s youth does not keep him from performing those duties that are expected of him, nor from his allegiance to his wife. The lyric ends with a prayer that those who have forgotten the time of youth—those who have perhaps been more excessive in their own youths than the speaker—will bring this matter to an end, and amend their actions. The tune is very much like that of Henry’s “Pastyme with good companye” (H 5).
- 1–2 Though … tarry Cf. the proverb “Youthe in his flowres may lyue at liberte / In age it is convenient to grow to gravite” (Flügel, “Die Proverbes von Lekenfield und Wresil” 483); cf. also the words of Mary in Wager’s interlude The Life and Repentaunce of Marie Magdalene: “I may vse daliance and pastyme a while, / But the courage of youth will soone be in exile” (ll.702–703).
- 3 god and my ryght Henry’s royal motto was “Dieu et mon droit”; at the Field of Cloth of Gold on 22 June 1520 Henry jousted with the motto, in French (Hall 618).
- 8 wars Worse.
- 11 Pastymes … among “to be sometimes engaged in pastimes of youth” (Stevens M&P 412)
- 16 dyscusse Drive away, dispel, disperse, scatter (OED v 1.a). hens Hence.
- 18 amend For similar use in the context of prayer, see the note to Henry’s “Withowt dyscord” (H 49.24).
This lyric is in an unusual form, classified by Greene as a carol, in three voices with variation in the music. The first and second lines of stanza three are missing in the third voice, though the erroneous beginning of the third stanza is marked with a block capital. No scribal attribution is given for this piece; the editor’s attribution to Henry VIII is given, typically, on the evidence of line 19 (“Thus sayth the king the .viii.th harry”), the allusion to the royal motto “Dieu et mon droit” (“god and my ryght,” l. 3), and following tradition (see reprintings, below).
“Though sum saith that yough rulyth me” is indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 3706.5, Ringler MS TM1707, and Crum T2407. It is reprinted in Chappell Account 377, Flügel Anglia 246–47, Flügel Neuengl 137, Greene 297, Stevens M&P 411–12, Stevens MCH8 41, and Trefusis 28–31.
H1,2,3 (ff. 71v–73r, ll. 1–5 and 11–15 H2, ll. 1–5 and 13–15 H3).
- 2 to tarry^] for to tarry^ H2,3
- 4 shall I] omit H2
- 11, 12 omit H3
- 14 wher] when H1, wher H1,3