Life and death of fair Rosamond (1850-1860)

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Life and Death of Fair Rosamond (1850s)
3286840Life and Death of Fair Rosamond1850s









Fair Rosamond.

When as King Henry ruled this land,
the second of that name;
Besides the queen he loved dear,
a fair and comely dame.
Most peerless was her beauty found,
her favour and her face:
A sweeter creature in the world,
could never prince cmbrace.

Her crisped locks like threads of gold,
appear'd to each man s sight,
Her comely eyes like orient pearl,
did cast a heavenly light.
The blood within her crystal cheeks,
did snch a colour drive.
As though the lily and the rose
for mastership did strive

Fair Rosamond fair Rosamond,
her name was called so
To whom dame Eleanor our queen
was known a deadly foe.
The king therefore for her defence,
against the furious queen,
At Woodstock builded such a bower;
the like was ncver seen.

Most curiously the bower was built,
of stone and timber strong,
An hundred and fifty doors
did to this tower belong,
And they so cunningly contrived,
with turnings ronnd about,
That none without a clue or thread
could enter in or out.

Now for his love and lady's sake
who was both faie and bright
The keeping of the bower he gave,
unto a valiant knight
But fortune that doth often frown
where it before did smile.
The king's delight the lady's joy
full soon she did beguile.

For why the king's ungracious son,
whom he did high advance,
Against his father raised wars,
within the realms of france
But yet before our gracious king
the engish land forsook.
Of Rosamond his lady fair,
His farewel' thus he took.

My Rosamond my lovely Rose,
who pleaeth best mine eye.
The fairest flower in all the world
to feed my phantasy.

The flower of my affected heart,
whose sweetness doth excell
My Royal Rose an hundred times
I bid you now farewell
For I must leave my fairest Rose,
my sweetest Rose apace,
And cross the ocean into France,
proud rebels to debase;

But still my Rose be sure thou shalt
my coming shortly see
And in my heart when hence I am;
I'll bear my Rose with me
When Rosamond the lady bright
did hear the king say so,
The sorrows of it grieved her so
her outward looks did show.

And from her clear and crystal eyes
the tears gush'd out apace
And like the silver pearl dew
ran down her comely face
And falling down into a swoon,
before King Henry's face;
Full oft within his princely arms,
her body did embrace.

And twenty times with wat'ry eyes
he kiss'd her tender cheek
Until he had revived again
her spirit mild and meek

Why grieves my Rose? my sweetest Rose
the king did often say
Because said she to bloody wars
my lord must pass away.
But since your grace in foreign parts
amongst your foes unkind
Must go to hazard life and lamb
why must I stay behind?

Nay rather let me like a page
thy sword and target bear
That on my breast the blow may light
that should offend my dear
O let me in your royal tent
prepare your bed at night
And with sweet baths refresh you there
as you return from fight

So I your presence will enjoy
no toil I will refuse:
But wanting you my life is death
which doth true love abuse
Content thyself my dearest love
thy rest at home shall be
In England's sweet and pleasing court
for travels fit not thee.

Fair ladies brook not bloody wars
sweet peace their pleasure breed
The nourisher of hearts content
whose fancy first did feed.

My Rose shall rest in Woodstock bower,
with music's sweet delight
While I among the piercing pikes
against the foes do fight
My Rose in robes of pearl and gold
with diamonds rich and bright
Shall dance the galliards of my love
while I my foes do smite.

And you Sir Thomas whom I trust
to be my love's befence
Be careful of my gallant Rose
when I am parted hence.
And here withal he fetched a sigh
as though his heart would break
And Rosamond for very grief
not one plain word could speak.

And at their parting well they might
in heart be grieved sore
After that day fair Rosamond
the king did ne er see more,
For when his grace had passed the seas
and into France was gone,
Queen Eleanor with envious heart
to Woodstock came anon.

And forth she calls the trusty knight,
who kept this curious bower.
And with a clue of twisted thread
come from this famous flower.
But when they had wounded hin;
the queen his thread did get,
And went where Lady Rosamond
was like a lady set.

But when the queen with stedfast eyes
beheld her lovely face,
She was amazed in her mind,
at such exceeding graee.
Cast off, said she these fine wrought (robes
that rich and costly be,
And drink yon up this deadly draught
which I have brought to thee.

But presently upon her knees,
Fair Rosamond did fall,
And pardon of the queen she craved,
For her offences all,
Take pity of my youthfull years,
fair Rosamond did ery;
And let me not with poison strong,
be forced for to die.

I wid renounce my sinful life,
and in some cloister bide,
Or else be banished if you please,
to range the world so wide.
And sure the fault whieh I have done
I was forced thereunto,
Preserve my life and punish me,
as you think fit to do.

And with these words her lily hands,
she wrung full often there,
And down her comely face,
proceeded many a tear.
But nothing could this furious queen,
herewith appeased be,
The cup of deadly poison strong,
which she held on her knee,

She gave this comely dame to drink,
who took it from her hand,
And from her bended knees arose,
and on her feet did stand:
When casting up her eyes to heaven,
she did for mercy call
And drinking up the poison strong,
she lost ner life withal.

And when that death thro' every limb
had done its greatest spite,
Her chief foes could but confess,
she was a glorious sight.
Her body then they did entomb,
when life was fled away,
At Woodstock near to Oxford town,
as may be seen this day.


This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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