Listen Jolly Gentlemen

In Between the Lines: The Examination of Italian and English Poetry Across the 16th and 17th Centuries



 

(Late-1500s)

Listen iolly gentlemen,

listen and be merry !

a word or tow faine world I speake

in the praiise of old King Harry;

for hee wold sweare, & he wold stare,

& lay hand on his dagger ;

& he wold swiue, if he were aliue,

from the queeene vnto the beggar.

But let him alone, he is dead & gone,

another wee haue in his place,

our Noble King, of whome weele sing

“god blesse King Iames his grace !

With a hey downe downe, with How downe downe,

With a hey downe, downe, downe derry &c.”

 

King Iames hath meate, King Iames hath men,

King Iames loues to be merry,

King Iames is angry now & then,

but it makes him quickly weary,

[half a page missing]

Of his office bestowed vpon him.

for your whores & your kanues & your merry

drunken slaues

cry a plauge & a pox vpon him !

with a hey downe&c.

 

Before I haue done with our Kings braue sonne

I must sett forth his praise ;

England had neure a liuelier ladd

to prolonge our happy dayes ;

but I made this song, I must not be long,

for good King Iames his sake ;

god blese his grace, his children & realme !

& soe I make an end.