Orpheus with his Lute Made Trees

Original Text: 
William Shakespeare, "Henry VIII," Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, tragedies, & tragedies (London: Isaac Jaggard and Ed. Blount, 1623): 218 (Act III, scene 1). STC 22273. Facs. edn.: Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1902. F-10 356 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto). New York: Norton, 1968. PR 2751 A15 1968 Robarts Library
2And the Mountaine tops that freeze,
3Bow themselues when he did sing.
4To his Musicke, Plants and Flowers
5Euer sprung; as Sunne and Showers,
6There had made a lasting Spring.
7Euery thing that heard him play,
8Euen the Billowes of the Sea,
9Hung their heads, & then lay by.
10In sweet Musicke is such Art,
11Killing care, & griefe of heart,
12Fall asleepe, or hearing dye.


1] This song occurs in a scene commonly attributed to John Fletcher, and as it resembles his songs in style, it is frequently ascribed to him.
Queen Katherine of Aragon, wife to Henry VIII, asks one of her women attendants to sing with her lute. At song's end, Cardinals Wolsey and Campeius enter to urge Katherine to reconsider the King's demand for an annulment. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.231; re-edited RPO 1996-2000.