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THE DEATH OF QUEEN JANE

 

Queen Jane was in travail

For six weeks or more,

Till the women grew tired,

And fain would give o'er.

'O women! O women!

Good wives if ye be,

Go, send for King Henrie,

And bring him to me.'

 

King Henrie was sent for,

He came with all speed,

In a gownd of green velvet

From heel to the head.

'King Henrie! King Henrie!

If kind Henrie you be,

Send for a surgeon,

And bring him to me.'

 

The surgeon was sent for,

He came with all speed,

In a gownd of black velvet

From heel to the head.

He gave her rich caudle,

But the death-sleep slept she.

Then her right side was opened,

And the babe was set free.

 

The babe it was christened,

And put out and nursed,

While the royal Queen Jane

She lay cold in the dust.

 

So black was the mourning,

And white were the wands,

Yellow, yellow the torches,

They bore in their hands.

The bells they were muffled,

And mournful did play,

While the royal Queen Jane

She lay cold in the day.

 

Six knights and six lords

Bore her corpse through the grounds;

Six dukes followed after,

In black mourning gownds.

The flower of Old England

Was laid in cold clay,

Whilst the royal King Henrie

Came weeping away.

 

-- Anonymous

 

Note: The historical aspect of this poem is inaccurate. Jane and Henry were not together when Edward was born, and Jane didn't die in childbirth, but rather 12 days later. It's unlikely that Jane had a caesarian given that she lived 12 days after Edward's birth.