Marriott Edgar

Here you will find the Long Poem Henry the Seventh of poet Marriott Edgar

Henry the Seventh

Henry the Seventh of England
Wasn't out of the Royal top drawer,
The only connection of which he could boast,
He were King's nephew's brother-in-law.

It were after the Wars of the Roses
That he came to the front, as it were,
When on strength of his having slain Richard the Third 
He put himself up as his heir.

T'were a bit of a blow to the Barons
When Henry aspired to the Throne,
And some who'd been nursing imperial hopes 
Started pushing out claims of their own.

But they didn't get far with their scheming,
For the moment the matter were pressed
A stroke of the pen took them off to the Tower,
Where a stroke of the axe did the rest.

A feller they called Perkin Warbeck
Was the one who led Henry a dance, 
To make sure that nowt awkward should happen to him
He worked from an office in France.

He claimed to be one of the Princes
As were smothered to death in the Tower. 
His tale was that only his brother was killed
And that he had escaped the seas ower.

Henry knew the appeal of the Princes
Was a strong one for Perkin to make, 
And he reckoned he'd best have a chat with the lad
And find out the least he would take.

In reply to his kind invitation 
Perkin said he'd he happy to call,
But he'd bring his own escort of ten thousand men 
And a hundred pipers an' all.

This reply put the King in a passion 
He swore as he'd stop Perkin's fun,
Then he offered a fortune per annum to him
As could tell him how his could be done.

Then up spoke the bold Lambert Simne 
The King's private scullion he were,
He said: "Just one word in thy ear 'ole, O King,
I've a plan as will stop all this 'ere."

Then he took the King up in a corner, 
Where no one could hear what they said,
He hadn't got far when King started to laff 
And he laffed till he had to he bled.

T 'were a plan to anticipate Perkin, 
By getting in first with these tales,
Start another rebellion before he arrived 
And take the wind out of his sails.

And so Lambert Simnel's rebellion 
Made its fateful debut in the North 
Experts disagree who he made out to be, 
John the Second or Richard the Fourth.

T 'was surprising how many believed him
They flocked to his flag like one man,
For in them days the folk would do owt for a change,
And their motto was, " San fairy ann."

It were quite a success this rebellion
Till t'were routed by Henry at Stoke,
And Lambert were taken and made to confess 
That his parents was working class folk.

The public forgave this deception,
The thing that made them proper mad
Was a twopenny increase on every one's rates 
To pay for the fun they had had.

And so when Peter Warbeck came over
Expecting his praise to be sung,
He was greeted, defeated, escheated, unseated, 
Maltreated and finally hung.

And the Baron went back to his castle, 
The Peasant went back to his herd,
Lambert Simnel went back to his scullion's job
Because Henry went back on his word.