Learn a Rhyme

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Old Mother Hubbard

Old mother Hubbard,
Went to the cupboard,
To get her poor dog a bone.
But when she got there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

This rhyme was first published in 1805

The rhyme is thought to refer to Thomas Wolsey's failure to secure Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon to enable him to marry Anne Boleyn. In the rhyme Wolsey is Old mother Hubbard, Henry VIII is the dog while the bone is the divorce and the cupboard the Catholic church.