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forgotten, was in the Poet's own day ranked with the Iliad and the Ænied, and went through four large impressions in the author's lifetime. Popular, however, as he must have been, of his history there is nothing now known, further than that he died suddenly in his bed, without any previous trouble, at Amwell in Herts, March 9th, 1408-9.
When as king Henry rulde this land,
The second of that name,
A faire and comely dame.
Most peerlesse was her beautye founde,
Her favour, and her face;
Could never prince embrace.
Her crisped lockes like threads of golde
Appear'd to each man's sight;
Did cast a heavenlye light.
The blood within her crystal cheekes
Did such a colour drive,
For mastership did strive.
Yea Rosamonde, fair Rosamonde,
Her name was called so,
Was known a deadlye foe.
The king therefore, for her defence,
Against the furious queene,
The like was never seene.
Most curiously that bower was built
Of stone and timber strong,
Did to this bower belong:
With turning round about,
Could enter in or out.
And for his love and ladyes sake,
That was so faire and brighte, The keeping of this bower he gave
Unto a valiant knighte.
But fortune, that doth often frowne
Where she before did smile, The kinges delighte and ladyes joy
Full soon shee did beguile:
For why, the kinges ungracious sonne,
Whom he did high advance, Against his father raised warres
Within the realme of France.
But yet before our comelye king
The English land forsooke, Of Rosamond, his lady faire,
His farewelle thus he tooke:
“ My Rosamonde, my only Rose,
That pleasest best mine eye:
To feed my fantasye:
Whase sweetness doth excelle:
I bid thee nowe farewelle!
For I must leave my fairest flower,
My sweetest Rose, a space,
Proud rebelles to abase.
But yet, my Rose, be sure thou shalt
My coming shortlye see,
Ile beare my Rose with mee.”
Did heare the king saye soe, The sorrowe of her grieved heart
Her outward lookes did showe; And from her cleare and crystall eyes
The teares gusht out apace, Which like the silver-pearled dewe
Ranne downe her comely face. Her lippes, erst like the corall redde,
Did waxe both wan and pale,
Her vitall spirits faile;
Before king Henryes face,
Her bodye did embrace:
He kist her tender cheeke,
Her senses. milde and meeke. “ Why grieves my Rose, my sweetest Rose?”
The king did often say.
But since your grace on forrayne coastes
Amonge your foes unkinde Must goe to hazard life and limble,
Why should I staye behinde?
Nay rather, let me, like a page,
Your sworde and target beare; That on my breast the blowes may lighte, Which would offend
Or lett mee, in your royal tent,
Prepare your bed at nighte, And with sweete baths refresh your grace,
At your return from fighte.
No toil I will refuse;
Nay, death Ild rather chuse !"
“ Content thy self, my dearest love;
Thy rest at home shall bee
For travell fits not thee.
Faire ladies brooke not bloodye warres ;
Soft peace their sexe delightes; • Not rugged campes, but courtlye bowers;
Gay feastes, not cruell fightes.' My Rose shall safely here abide,
With musicke passe the daye; Whilst I, amonge the piercing pikes,
My foes seeke far awaye.
Whilst Ime in armour dighte;
Whilst I my foes goe fighte.
And you, sir Thomas, whom I truste
To bee my loves defence; Be carefull of my gallant Rose
When I am parted hence.” And therewithall he fetcht a sigh,
As though his heart would breake: And Rosainonde, for very griefe,
Not one plaine word could speake. And at their parting well they mighte
In heart be grieved sore :
The king did see no more.
And into France was gone;
To Woodstocke came anone.
In an unhappy houre;
Came from this famous bower.
And when that they had wounded him,
The queene this thread did gette,
Was like an angell sette.
Beheld her beauteous face,
At her exceeding grace. Cast off from thee those robes, she said,
That riche and costlye bee; And drinke thou up this deadlye draught,
Which I have brought to thec.