The King Who Will Win the Holy Cross ("henrico sexto," c. 1429)

John Audelay, "De rege nostro henrico sexto" (MS. Douce 302)

                         A, perles pryns, to Şe we pray:

                        Saue oure kyng boş ny3t & day.

 Ffore he is ful 3ong, tender of age,

Semele to see, o bold corage,

Louele & lofte of his lenage,

            Boş perles prince & kyng veray.


His gracious granseres & his grawndame,

His fader & moder of kyngis şay came;

Was neuer a worşear prynce of name

            So excelent in al our day.


His fader, fore loue of mayd kateryn,

In fraunce he wro3t turment & tene;

His loue, hee sayd, hit schuld not ben,

            & send him ballis, him with to play.


Şen was he wyse in wars with-all,

& ta3t franchemen to plai at şe ball;

With tenes hold he ferd ham hall;

            To castelles & setis şei floyn away.


To harflete a sege he layd anon

& cast a bal vn-to şe towne;

şe frenchemen swere be se & sun

            Hit was şe fynd şat mad şat fray.


Anon şai toke ham to cownsele;

Oure gracious kyng şai wold asayle;

At agyncowrt, at şat patayle,

            Şe floure of frawnce he fel şat day.


Şe kyng of frawns şen was agast,

Mesagers to him send in hast,

ffore welle he west hit was bot wast

            Hem to witstond in hone way.


& prayed hym to ses of his outrage

& take kateryn to mareage;

Al frawnce to him schuld do homage,

            & croune him kyng afftyr his day.


Of frawnce he mad him anon regent

& wedid kateren in his present;

In-to Englond anon he went

            & cround our quene in ryal aray.


Of quen kateryn our kyng was borne

To saue our ry3t şat was forelorne;

Oure faders in frawns had won beforne,

            Şai han hit hold mone a day.


Şus was his fader a conqueroure

& wan his moder with gret onoure;

Now may şe kyng bere şe floure

            Of kyngis & kyngdams in vche cuntre.


On him schal fal şe prophece

Şat haş ben sayd of kyng herre:           

Şe hole cros wyn or he dye,

            Şat crist halud on good fryday.


Al wo & werres he schal a-cese,

& set all reams in rest & pese,

& turne to cristyndam al heşynes—

            Now grawnt him hit so be may.


Pray we şat lord is lord of all,

To saue our kyng, his reme ryal;

& let neuer myschip vppon him falle

            Ne false traytoure him to betray.


I pray 3oue, seris, of 3our gentre,

Syng şis carol reuerently,

ffore hit is mad of kyng herre;

            Gret ned fore him we han to pray.


3if he fare wele, wele schuld we be;

Or ellis we may be ful sore;

ffore him schal wepne mone an e—

            Şis prophecis şe blynd awdlay!


Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth Centuries.  Ed. Rossell Hope Robbins  (N.Y.: Columbia UP, 1959)108-10.