The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Yow and I and amyas, Cornish
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Yow and I and amyas
Amyas and yow and I
to the grene wode must we go Alas
yow and I my lyff and amyas
The knyght knokett at the castell gate. 5
The lady meruelyd who was therat.
To call the porter he wold not blyn.
The lady said he shuld not com In.
The portres was a lady bryght.
Strangenes that lydy hyght. 10
She asked hym what was his name.
He said desyre yor man madame.
She said desyre what do ye here.
He said Madame as yor prisoner
He was cownselled to breffe a byll. 15
And shew my lady hys oune wyll.
Kyndes said she wold yt bere.
and Pyte said she wold be ther.
Thus how thay dyd we can nott say.
we left them ther and went ower way. 20
This lyric appears, by its allegorized characters and their interaction, to be directly associated with the Schatew Vert court pageant-disguising held 5 March 1522. The Schatew Vert is suggestive of a situation in the Roman de la Rose where the fortress containing the rose is under seige by the god of love and his followers (l. 3267 ff.; see Streitberger [Court Revels] 113). For a lyric possibly associated with the thematically-related tournament of 2 March 1522, see the commentary to the unattributed “What remedy what remedy” (H 69). It may also be connected with the tradition of the May Games, as with Cornish’s “Trolly lolly loly lo” (H 33).
- 1 Amyas A name, perhaps, with topical significance; there were several persons in royal employ by this name, including foresters (see Chambers Lyrics 337).
- 7 blyn Cease, leave off, desist, stop (OED “blin” v 1).
- 10 hyght Was called, was named (OED “hight” v.1 II.5).
- 15 breffe a byll Indite a petition.
- 17 Kyndnes Kind feeling; a feeling of tenderness or fondness; affection, love (perhaps with sexual overtones); also, good will, favour, friendship (OED “kindness” 5).
The first stanza of “Yow and I and amyas,” the burden, is through-set for three voices, with the remaining text underlaid. Music is provided for the burden only. The lyric may have been sung to a well-known tune (Stevens M&P 127–28, 399), as with “Grene growith the holy” (H 27), “Hey nony nony nony nony no” (H 26), “Blow thi hornne hunter” (H 29), and “Whilles lyue or breth is in my brest” (H 43).
“Yow and I and amyas” is indexed in Robbins Index & Suppl. 3405.5 and Ringler MS TM1545. It is reprinted in Chambers Lyrics 56, Chambers Verse 37, Chappell Account 381–82, Flügel Anglia 239–40, Flügel Neuengl 135, Greene 312, Stevens M&P 402, and Stevens MCH833.
H1,2,3 (ff. 45v–46r, ll. 1–4 H2,3).
- 3 we] I H2
- These entertainments featured performances by Cornish’s Children of the Chapel Royal; see Strietberger (Court Revels 112–14), L&P HenryVIII (III[ii] 1558–59), PRO SP1/29 (ff. 228v–237r), and Hall (631–32). This lyric, and the fact that Cornish would also author the political play in June of this year for Charles V, is suggestive of Cornish’s larger involvement in these entertainments; see L&P Henry VIII (III[ii] #2305), PRO SP1/24 (ff. 230v–233v). See also the commentary to Cooper’s “I haue bene a foster” (H 47).