Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Setting Aside

Chosen words
'robust, charm, feast'.


Let's set-aside his later years, his corpulence and wives.
Let's draw a curtain over ways he ruined other's lives.
Let's turn a blind-eye to his health in his declining years.
In fact, let's try ignoring how he usually appears......
Henry the Eighth, a travesty of any normal man,
Was something very different at the time his reign began.
For one thing he was robust, and unusually strong;
His ability at sports delighted the adoring throng.
For another he had charm, as everybody, then, agreed,
And he was also clever, reading all that he could read.
At a feast he was great company, a teller of tall tales,
With a sharp eye for the ladies, like so many Alpha males.
He was, also, a musician, composing melodies,
The ever-popular 'Greensleeves' was said to be one of these.
He was a politician of astuteness and renown,
Not just because he had the power and wore a nation's crown.
In fact, he was remarkable, and not a cause for laughter;
We shouldn't be too influenced by all that followed after.
Read of his various illnesses, then you will realise
He was something more than a lecher who grew to a monstrous size.
We should judge him by his era, his position and his health,
And the way that he was moulded by politics and wealth.
Were he living nowadays I think that we would see
More than the bloated womaniser known to history.
From the Venetian diplomat Pasqualigo in a dispatch, 1515

"His Majesty is the handsomest potentate I ever set eyes on; above the usual height, with an extremely fine calf to his leg, his complexion very fair and bright, auburn hair combed straight and short, in the French fashion, and a round face so very beautiful that it would become a pretty woman, his throat being rather long and thick.... He will enter his twenty-fifth year the month after next. He speaks French, English and Latin, and a little Italian, plays well on the lute and harpsichord, sings from book at sight, draws the bow with greater strength than any man in England and jousts marvelously.... a most accomplished Prince."

(An Acrostic)

Countless millions, thronging, thronging.
Humanity galore!
Imagine if you were belonging!
Now there'd be one more!
All that Science! All that Art!
A country like a world apart.


Ramesh Sood said...

Beautifully rhyming and perhaps a bold judgement on a king.. a lovely depiction of China..

Deborah said...

I really enjoyed reading this, I could read a whole book of interesting facts like this ... fascinating and brilliantly written.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

This is such fun! Thank you for bringing light to an intriguing character from history. I learned something... always grand!

My 3ww.

christopher said...

Wow. Interesting take on the old boy. It is hard to overlook executions though, and the Catholics have a bone to pick with him too.

This is a wonderful poem.

Witless Exposition said...

He really does represent a fascinating time in history. It's too bad he didn't set more store in his daughters. Who knows how history would have changed if he had been satisfied with them.

Thom Gabrukiewicz said...

A wonderful history lesson in this.

Susannah said...

I love how you educate AND write great rhymes! :-)

I always enjoy my visits here.

Angel said...

Very interesting.

Amity said...

A beautiful poem're a magician of words as always and your rhymes' always a treat!

Now I have learned a beautiful lesson about Henry VIII...

Thanks for sharing Brenda!