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About this text

  • Title: Henry The Eighth (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Diane Jakacki
  • Research assistant: Beth Norris
  • Research assistant (proof): Simon Carpenter

  • Copyright Diane Jakacki. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Diane Jakacki
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry The Eighth (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Life of King Henry the Eight.
    Holy and Heauenly thoughts still Counsell her:
    3400She shall be lou'd and fear'd. Her owne shall blesse her;
    Her Foes shake like a Field of beaten Corne,
    And hang their heads with sorrow:
    Good growes with her.
    In her dayes, Euery Man shall eate in safety,
    3405Vnder his owne Vine what he plants; and sing
    The merry Songs of Peace to all his Neighbours.
    God shall be truely knowne, and those about her,
    From her shall read the perfect way of Honour,
    And by those claime their greatnesse; not by Blood.
    3410Nor shall this peace sleepe with her: But as when
    The Bird of Wonder dyes, the Mayden Phoenix,
    Her Ashes new create another Heyre,
    As great in admiration as her selfe.
    So shall she leaue her Blessednesse to One,
    3415(When Heauen shal call her from this clowd of darknes)
    Who, from the sacred Ashes of her Honour
    Shall Star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,
    And so stand fix'd. Peace, Plenty, Loue, Truth, Terror,
    That were the Seruants to this chosen Infant,
    3420Shall then be his, and like a Vine grow to him;
    Where euer the bright Sunne of Heauen shall shine,
    His Honour, and the greatnesse of his Name,
    Shall be, and make new Nations. He shall flourish,
    And like a Mountaine Cedar, reach his branches,
    3425To all the Plaines about him: Our Childrens Children
    Shall see this, and blesse Heauen.
    Kin. Thou speakest wonders.
    Cran. She shall be to the happinesse of England,
    An aged Princesse; many dayes shall see her,
    3430And yet no day without a deed to Crowne it.
    Would I had knowne no more: But she must dye,
    She must, the Saints must haue her; yet a Virgin,
    A most vnspotted Lilly shall she passe
    To th'ground, and all the World shall mourne her.
    3435Kin. O Lord Archbishop
    Thou hast made me now a man, neuer before
    This happy Child, did I get any thing.
    This Oracle of comfort, ha's so pleas'd me,
    That when I am in Heauen, I shall desire
    3440To see what this Child does, and praise my Maker.
    I thanke ye all. To you my good Lord Maior,
    And you good Brethren, I am much beholding:
    I haue receiu'd much Honour by your presence,
    And ye shall find me thankfull. Lead the way Lords,
    3445Ye must all see the Queene, and she must thanke ye,
    She will be sicke els. This day, no man thinke
    'Has businesse at his house;s for all shall stay:
    This Little-One shall make it Holy-day.