Monday, May 18, 2015

O Deathe Rock Me Asleepe

by Hunter S. Jones


O Death, O Death, rock me asleepe,
Bring me to quiet rest;
Let pass my weary guiltless ghost
Out of my careful breast.
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Thy sound my death abroad will tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedy.
My pains, my pains, who can express?
Alas, they are so strong!
My dolours will not suffer strength
My life for to prolong.
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Thy sound my death abroad will tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedy.

Alone, alone in prison strong
I wail my destiny:
Woe worth this cruel hap that I
Must taste this misery!
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Thy sound my death abroad will tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedy.

Farewell, farewell, my pleasures past!
Welcome, my present pain!
I feel my torment so increase
That life cannot remain. 
Cease now, thou passing bell,
Ring out my doleful knoll,
For thou my death dost tell:
Lord, pity thou my soul!
Death doth draw nigh,
Sound dolefully:
For now I die,
I die, I die.
Poem attributed to Anne Boleyn, said to be written on the eve of her execution, 19 May 1536.



There are various citations for this poem. The following video features contemporary musician Martin Pope who discusses the possible originations of this poem with late historian Eric Ives.



Music was added to the poem by Anne Boleyn’s chaplain, Robert Jordan. That gives it a great deal of provenance. Was the poem written by Anne, that dark night before her execution, or was it penned by a poet or troubadour, longing for the beautiful, doomed queen? We may never know. Today let us remember the passing of someone long ago who still enchants, much as she enthralled a king who changed an entire realm for her love. Yet for Henry, and for all of history, Anne Boleyn will forever be unattainable. We will never know her secrets. Her charm and mystique are the enigma which captivates us 479 years after her death. That is the power of her legacy.




SOURCES:
The Anne Boleyn Files
On The Tudor Trail

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Deb Hunter writes fiction as Hunter S. Jones. She lives in Atlanta, GA. Look for her Anne Boleyn story, Phoenix Rising. Now available via Kindle and paperback on Amazon.

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PHOENIX RISING

The last hour of Anne Boleyn’s life…

Court intrigue, revenge and all the secrets of the last hour are revealed as one queen falls and another rises to take her place on destiny’s stage.

A young Anne Boleyn arrives at the court of King Henry VIII. She is to be presented at the Shrovetide pageant, le Ch√Ęteau Vert. The young and ambitious Anne has no idea that a chance encounter before the pageant will lead to her capturing the heart of the king. What begins as a distraction becomes his obsession and leads to her destruction.

Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment… the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever.

“Compelling, captivating and moving.”
– Claire Ridgway, author of The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Phoenix Rising is the last hour of Anne Boleyn’s life, told from the descendant of the astrologer/physician of King Henry VIII. She uses the star map used by her ancestress to reveal the stories hidden in that hour. Characters include King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Sir Francis Bryan, Thomas Cromwell, Ralph Sadler, Mary Tudor, Eustace Chapyus, Elizabeth Howard Boleyn, Elizabeth I and the Swordsman of Calais. Look for upcoming insights into the secrets of Tudor England as we launch Phoenix Rising via MadeGlobal Publishing on May 19, 2015.

Order your copy today: Amazon

You can find Hunter S. Jones on Twitter or Facebook but Pinterest is best!

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