The Last Testament of Henry Tudor

by Dermot Ryan


My royal lungs are choked,
Consumption lingers, cloaked.
The monstrance poised ahead,
Not long before I'm dead.

Never met my father,
Banished from my mother,
Breton, my salvation,
Soon I seize my nation.

Return to native Wales,
Blessed voyage to the Dale,
Six thousand at the field,
Great power soon to wield.

On Ambion Hill, we meet,
The tyrant’s men to greet,
Pikes drawn, release the bow,
Men's blood begins to flow.

The stench of death abounds,
Limbs falling to the ground,
Still Stanley on the hill,
York cedes his certain will.

Nine blows and stripped naked,
Near decapitated.
The crown must sit anew,
Roses unite in lieu.

First, to the tower go,
Did Richard stoop so low?
If not I must despatch,
The Princes of the past.

False rumours to abate,
The Lord dictates my fate,
Stop slander from my foes,
History to compose.

Wedlock for foundation
Mater to a nation,
Elizabeth, my love,
A gift from God above.

Two sons secure my rights,
Sweet Arthur is my light,
Much virtue to admire,
Sound health, we so desire.

The challenges begin,
Simnel embraces sin,
Warbeck fled the tower,
Soon to scream and cower.

Traitors at my pleasure,
The realm rich with treasure,
Sovereigns, I create,
Great wealth a fitting fate.

Power lies in wedlock
Defend and feed my flock,
Aragon and Castille,
God makes a sacred deal.

Five months and then great woe,
A fever grips Ludlow,
Dear Arthur writhes and cries,
Not long before he dies.

Dear Lord, an awful curse,
There could be nothing worse,
To see my precious son,
Lifeless for an aeon.

Henry must take the oath,
Vows affirmed, Tudor growth.
Secure my dynasty,
Despite his tendencies.

Stable realm to this day,
Coercion grants the way,
Web of spies, full control,
Winter thrives in my soul.

The final sacrament,
My life was only lent,
A struggle from the start,
Time chooses to depart.

First, a horrid vision,
Split church, much division,
The monasteries do burn,
Priests and men must turn.

Commandments, set aside,
Pope and bishops, denied,
Dudley and More to die,
My riches drained with lies.

What awful hell ahead?
Bring Arthur from the dead.
Save noble England's fate,
Denied at heaven’s gate.

Goodbye, my faithful wife,
Goodbye, my privileged life,
Goodbye, my Albion,
My judgement has begun.