Oh Death Rock Me Asleep
The poem is generally attributed to Anne Boleyn., and is assumed to have been composed whilst she was imprisoned in the Tower of London. However, the evidence for her authorship isn't entirely conclusive. It has been postulated that it was in fact written by Anne's brother Lord Rochford.
The poem was written in the last days of Anne's life, and is a reflection on her suffering. In it she observes that her end cannot be avoided, and that it will at least give her peace and an escape from her present sufferings.
The poem has a fairly loose structure, with most lines either being tetrameter or trimeter. At the end of each major stanza there is a refrain, varying slightly, about the nearing of death and it being inevitable.
- Nist, Elizabeth (1984) 'Tattle's Well's Faire: English Women Authors of the Sixteenth Century' in College English Vol. 46, No. 7 (Nov., 1984), (Greensboro: NCTE) pg705