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A Mournfull Dittie, on the death of Rosamond, King Henry the seconds Concubine

To the Tune of When flying Fame.
Wenas King Henry rul’d this land,
the second of that name,
Besides the Queene, he deerely lou’d
a faire and Princely Dame.
Most peerelesse was her beauty found,
her fauour and her face:
A sweeter creature in this world,
did neuer Prince embrace.
Her crisped locks like threds of Gold
appeared to each mans sight:
Her comely eyes like Orient pearles,
did cast a heauenly light.
The bloud within her Christall cheekes,
did such a colour driue:
As though the Lilly and the Rose
for maistership did striue.
Yea Rosamond, faire Rosamond,
her name was called so:
To whom Dame Elinor the Queene,
was knowne a cruell foe.
The King therefore, for her defence,
against the furious Queene,
At Woodstocke builded such a bower,
the like was neuer seene.
Most curiously this Bower was built
of stone and timber strong,
An hundred and fifty doores
did to that bower belong.
And they so cunningly contriu’d
with turnings round about,
That none but with a clew of threed,
could enter in or out.
And for his loue and Ladies sake,
that was so faire and bright:
The keeping of that bower he gaue
vnto a valiant Knight.
But fortune that doth often frowne,
where she before did smile:
The Kings delight, the Ladies ioy,
full soone she did beguile.
For why, the Kings vngracious sonne,
whom he did high aduance:
Against his Father raised warre,
within the Realme of France.
But yet before our comely King,
the English land forsooke:
Of Rosamond his Lady faire,
his farewell thus he tooke.
My Rosamond, the onely Rose
that pleaseth best mine eye:
The firest Rose in all the world
to feed my fantasie.
The flower of mine afflicted heart,
whose sweetnesse doth excell:
My royall Rose a thousand times,
I bid thee now farwel.
For I must leaue my fairest flower,
my sweetest Rose a space.
And crosse the seas to famous France,
proud Rebels to abase.
But yet, my Rose be sure thou shalt
my coming shortly see:
And in my heart while hence I am
Ile beare my Rose with me.
When Rosamond, the Lady bright,
did heare the King say so:
The sorrow of her grieued heart,
her outward lookes did show;
And from her cleare and cristall eyes,
the teares gusht out apace:
Which, like a siluer pearled dew,
ran downe her comly face.
Her lips, like to a Corall red,
did wax both wan and pale,
And for the sorrow she conceiu’d,
her vitall spirits did faile.
So falling downe all in a swoond
before King Henries face:
Full oft betweene his Princely armes
her corpes he did embrace.
And twenty times, with watry eyes,
he kist her tender cheeke:
Vntill she had receiu’d againe
her senses mild and meeke.
Why grieues my Rose, my sweetest Rose
the King did euer say;
Because (quoth she) to bloudy warres,
my Lord must part away.
But sith your grace, in forren coast,
among your foes vnkind,
Must go to hazard life and limbe,
why should I stay behind;
Nay rather let me, like a Page,
your shield and Target beare,
That on my brest the blow may light,
that should annoy you there.
O let me in your Royall Tent
prepare your bed at night:
And with sweet baths refresh your Grace
at your returne from fight.
So I your presence may enioy,
no toyle I must refuse:
But wanting you my life is death,
which doth true loue abuse.
Content thy selfe my dearest loue,
thy rest at home silall be:
In Englands sweet and pleasant soile,
for trauel fits not thee.
Faire Ladies brooke not bloudy warrs,
sweet peace their pleasure breede:
The nourisher of hearts content,
which fancy first doth feed.
My Rose shall rest in Woodstocke Bower,
with Musickes sweet delight:
While I among the piercing pikes
against my foes do fight.
My Rose, in robes and pearles of Gold,
with Diamonds richly dite:
Shall dance the Galliard of my loue,
while I my foes do smite.
And you, Sir Thomas, whom I trust
to be my loues 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 Rosamond, for inuard griefe,
not one plaine word could speake.
For at his parting, well they might
in heart be grieued sore:
After that day, faire Rosamond the King did see no more.
For when his grace had past the seas,
and into France was gone:
Queene Elinor, with enuious heart,
to Woodstocke came anon.
And forth she cal’d this trusty Knight,
which kept this curious Bower:
Who, with his clew of twined thred,
came from that famous flower.
And when that they had wounded him
the Queene his thred did get:
And came where Lady Rosamond was like an Angell set.
But when the Queene with stedfast eyes
beheld her heauenly face:
She was amazed in her mind,
at her exceeding grace.
Cast off thy Robes from thee, she said,
that rich and costly be:
And drink thee vp this deadly draught
which I haue brought for thee.
But presently vpon her knee,
sweet Rosamond did fall:
And pardon of the Queene she crau’d
for her offences all.
Take pitty on my youthfull yeares,
faire Rosamond did cry:
And let me not with poyson strong,
enforced be to dye.
I will renounce this sinfull life,
and in a cloister bide:
Or else be banisht, if you please,
to range the world so wide.
And for the fault that I haue done,
though I were forct thereto:
Preserue my life, and punish me,
as you thinke best to do.
And with these words her Lilly hands
she wrung full often there:
And downe along her louely cheekes,
proceeded many a teare.
But nothing could this furious Queene
therewith appeased be:
The cup of deadly poyson fil’d,
as she sat on her knee.
She gaue this comely Dame to drinke,
who tooke it from her hand:
And from her bended knee arose,
and on her feet did stand;
And casting vp her eyes to Heauen,
she did for mercy call:
And drinking vp the poyson then,
her life she lost with all.
And when that death through euery limbe,
had done his greatest spight:
er chiefest foes did plaine confesse
she was a glorious wight.
Her body then they did intomb,
when life was fled away:
At Godstow, neere to Oxford Towne
as may be seene this day.

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A Mournfull Dittie, on the death of Rosamond, King Henry the seconds Concubine - THOMAS DELONEY