Anne Boleyn Prisoner and Poet

Posted By on March 18, 2010

Just a quick post as I’ve just found this video which talks about where Anne Boleyn was held prisoner – the Queen’s Lodgings of the Royal Palace (no longer in existence) not the Queen’s House – and whether she wrote “O Death Rock Me Asleep”:-

Here is the poem which Anne Boleyn was said to have written the night before her execution on the 19th May 1536:-

“O Death Rock Me Asleep”

O Death, O Death, rock me asleepe,
Bring me to quiet rest;
Let pass my weary guiltless ghost
Out of my careful breast.
Toll on, thou passing bell;

Ring out my doleful knell;
Thy sound my death abroad will tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedy.

My pains, my pains, who can express?
Alas, they are so strong!
My dolours will not suffer strength
My life for to prolong.
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Thy sound my death abroad will tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedy.

Alone, alone in prison strong
I wail my destiny:
Woe worth this cruel hap that I
Must taste this misery!
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Thy sound my death abroad will tell,
For I must die,
There is no remedy.

Farewell, farewell, my pleasures past!
Welcome, my present pain!
I feel my torment so increase
That life cannot remain.
Cease now, thou passing bell,
Ring out my doleful knoll,
For thou my death dost tell:
Lord, pity thou my soul!
Death doth draw nigh,
Sound dolefully:
For now I die,
I die, I die.

4 thoughts on “Anne Boleyn Prisoner and Poet”

  1. Matterhorn says:

    What a poignant poem!

  2. Rose says:

    That is indeed beautiful! If it was truly written by Anne, then it is clear to see where Elizabeth got her litersture skills from!

  3. Xena says:

    I read that poem,With Susan Boyle singing Wild horses in the back ground.I cried so hard I thought my heart would break.Such a beautiful soul lost.Cut down by the man she poured out her soul to.He There love betrayed by treasonous ambitions of lessor men. I think I will write a musical to this tragedy.Long passed but new in the mines of women,found in similar situations.I think I will sit here and seek safety in my blubbering.And a spoonful of rocky road to you Anne. 🙂

  4. Trish says:

    It’s amazing to me! Almost 500 years later and this women called Anne Boleyn is still reaching so many people! I had tears in my eyes reading that poem! Thank you so much for sharing it and allowing us all to appreciate her memory and spirit!

    I also think of the great Catherine of Aragon when I read that. I wonder if Anne had any sympathy for happened to her in her final days. She was a great queen who was also destroyed by the man she loved and devoted her life to. Both lost too early to a tyrannical king.

    While I appreciate and love learning about the Tudor period, I am VERY thankful to not have lived during that time! I would have probably been a head shorter!!

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