Henry VIII: Both sides of the quarrel

You, all by yourself, represent both sides of the quarrel which usually arises; the fact that both your parents were high-born disposes of this problem. And anyway the anger of the people, a wicked thing, common source of civil disturbance, is even more remote from you.

To all your subjects you are so dear that no man could be dearer to himself. But if perchance wrath were to bring powerful chieftains to war, your nod will promptly put an end to that wrath, such reverence for your sacred majesty have your virtues justly created.

And whatever virtues your ancestors had, these are yours too, not excelled in ages past. For you, sire, have your father’s wisdom, you have your mother’s kindly strength, the devout intelligence of your paternal grandmother, the noble heart of your mother’s father.

What wonder, then, if England rejoices in a fashion heretofore unknown, since she has such a king as she never had before?

And then there is the fact that this joy, apparently as great as it could be, was increased by your marriage—a marriage which the kindly powers above arranged and in which they planned well for you and yours.

In her you have as wife one whom your people have been happy to see sharing your power, one for whom the powers above care so much that they distinguish her and honor her by marriage with you. She it is who could vanquish the ancient Sabine women in devotion, and in dignity the holy, half-divine heroines of Greece.

She could equal the unselfish love of Alcestis or, in her unfailing judgment, outdo Tanaquil. In her expression, in her countenance, there is a remarkable beauty uniquely appropriate for one so great and good. The well-spoken Cornelia would yield to her in eloquence; she is like Penelope in loyalty to a husband.

This lady, prince, vowed to you for many years, through a long time of waiting remained alone for love of you. Neither her own sister nor her native land could win her from her way; neither her mother nor her father could dissuade her. It was you, none other, whom she preferred to her mother, sister, native land, and beloved father.

This blessed lady has joined in lasting alliance two nations, each of them powerful.She is descended from great kings, to be sure; and she will be the mother of kings as great as her ancestors. Until now one anchor has protected your ship of state— a strong one, yet only one.  But your queen, fruitful in male offspring, will render it on all sides stable and everlasting. Great advantage is yours because of her, and similarly is hers because of you.

There has been no other woman, surely, worthy to have you as husband, nor any other man worthy to have her as wife. England! bring incense, and an offering more potent than all incense—loyal hearts and innocent hands, that heaven, as it has made this marriage, may bless it, that the scepter may be swayed with the help of heaven that gave it, and that these crowns may long be worn by these two, and may at length be worn by their son’s son and their descendants thereafter.

—from Coronation Ode of King Henry VIII (1509)