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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,
Besides the queene, he dearly lovde

A faire and comely dame.

Most peerlesse was her beautye founde,

Her favour, and her face;
A sweeter creature in this worlde

Could never prince embrace.

Her crisped lockes like threads of golde

Appear'd to each man's sight;
Her sparkling eyes, like orient pearles,

Did cast a heavenlye light.

The blood within her crystal cheekes

Did such a colour drive,
As though the lillye and the rose

For mastership did strive.

Yea Rosamonde, fair Rosamonde,

Her name was called so,
To whom our queene, dame Ellinor,

Was known a deadlye foe.

The king therefore, for her defence,

Against the furious queene,
At Woodstocke builded such a bower,

The like was never seene.

Most curiously that bower was built

Of stone and timber strong,
An hundered and fifty doors

Did to this bower belong:
And they so cunninglye contriv'd

With turning round about,
That none but with a clue of thread,

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:
The fairest flower in all the worlde

To feed my fantasye:
The flower of mine affected heart,

Whase sweetness doth excelle:
My royal Rose, a thousand times

I bid thee nowe farewelle!

For I must leave my fairest flower,

My sweetest Rose, a space,
And cross the seas to famous France,

Proud rebelles to abase.

But yet, my Rose, be sure thou shalt

My coming shortlye see,
And in my heart, when hence I am,

Ile beare my Rose with mee.”
When Rosamond, that ladye brighte,

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,
And for the sorrow she conceivde

Her vitall spirits faile;
And falling down all in a swoone

Before king Henryes face,
Full oft he in his princelye armes

Her bodye did embrace:
And twentye times, with watery eyes,

He kist her tender cheeke,
Untill he had revivde againe

Her senses. milde and meeke. Why grieves my Rose, my sweetest Rose?”

The king did often say.
Because," quoth shee, “to bloodye warres
My lord must part awaye.

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.
So I your presence may enjoye

No toil I will refuse;
But wanting you, my life is death;

Nay, death Ild rather chuse !"

“ Content thy self, my dearest love;

Thy rest at home shall bee
In Englandes sweet and pleasant isle;

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.
My Rose shall shine in pearle, and golde,

Whilst Ime in armour dighte;
Gay galliards here my love shall dance,

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 :
After that daye faire Rosamonde

The king did see no more.
For when his grace had past the seas,

And into France was gone;
With envious heart, queene Ellinor,

To Woodstocke came anone.
And forth she calles this trustye knighte,

In an unhappy houre;
Who with his clue of twined thread,

Came from this famous bower.

And when that they had wounded him,

The queene this thread did gette,
And went where ladye Rosamonde

Was like an angell sette.
But when the queene with stedfast eye

Beheld her beauteous face,
She was amazed in her minde

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.

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