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EBBA 20235

Magdalene College - Pepys
Ballad XSLT Template
A Lamentable Ballad of Fair Rosamond , K ing Henry the Second's Concubine,
Who was put to death by Queen Elinor , in Woodstock Bower near Oxford .
The Tune is, Flying Fame.

W Hen as King Henry rul'd this Land,
the second of that Name,
Besides the Queen he dearly lov'd,
a fair and comely dame:
Most Peerless was her beauty found,
her favour and her face,
A sweeter creature in this world,
did never Prince imbrace.

Her crisped Locks like threads of Gold,
appear'd to each mans sight,
Her comely eyes like orient Pearls,
did cast a Heavenly light:
The blood within her Cristial cheeks,
did such a colour drive,
As though the Lilly and the Rose,
for mastership did strive.

Yea Rosamond , fair Rosamond ,
her name was called so,
To whome dame Elinor 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 never seen.

Most curiously that Bower was built,
of Stone and Timber strong,
A hundred and fifty doors,
did to this Bower belong,
And they so cunningly contriv'd,
with turnings round about,
That none but with a clew of thread,
could enter in or out.

And for his Love and Ladies sake,
that was so fair and bright,
The keeping of this Bower he gave,
unto a valiant Knight:

But Fortune that doth often frown,
where it before did smile,
The Kings delight, the Ladies joy,
full soon she did beguile.

For why, the Kings ungracious Son,
whom he did high advance,
Against his Father raised Wars,
within the Realm of France ,
But yet before our comely King
the English Land forsook,
Of Rosamond his Lady fair,
his farewel thus he took.

My Rosamond , my only Rose,
that pleasest best mine eye,
The fairest flower in all the world,
to feed my fantasie:
The flower of my affected heart,
whose sweetness doth excell,
My Royal Rose a hundred times,
I bid thee now farewell.

For I must leave my fairest flower;
my sweetest Rose a space,
And cross 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 when hence I am,
I'le bear my Rose with me.

When Rosamond , that Lady bright,
did hear the King say so,
The sorrow of her grieved heart,
her outward looks did show:
And from her clear and cristial eyes,
the tears gusht out apace,
Which like the silver pearled dew,
ran down her comely face.

Her lips like to the corral red,
did wax both wan and pale,
And for the sorrow she conceiv'd,
her vital spirits did fail:
And falling down all in a swound,
before King Henries face,
Full oft within his Princely arms,
her body did imbrace.

And tw[e]nty times with watery eyes
he kist her tender Cheek,
Until he had reviv'd again,
her senses mild and meek:
Why grieves my Rose, my sweetest Rose
the King did often say,
Because quoth she, to bloody wars,
my Lord must pass away.

But since your Grace in forraign coasts
amongst your foes unkind,
Must go to hazard life and limb,
why should 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 you there.

O let me in your Royal Tent,
prepare your bed at night,
And with sweet baths refresh your grace,
at your return from fight,
So I your presence may injoy,
no toyl I will refuse,
But wanting you my life is death,
which doth true Love abuse.

Content thy self my dearest Love,
thy rest at home shall be,
In Englands sweet and pleasant soil,
for travel fits not thee:
Fair Ladies brook no bloody wars,
sweet peace their pleasure breed,
The nourisher of hearts content,
which fancy first did feed.

My Rose shall rest in Woodstoock Bower,
with Musick sweetly dight,
Whilst I among the piercing Pikes
against my foes do fight:
My Rose in Robes of Pearl and Gold,
with Diamonds richly dight,
Shall dance the Galliards of my love,
while I my foes do smite.

And you Sir Thomas whom I trust,
to be my Loves defence,
Be careful of my gallant rose,
when I am parted hence:
And therewithal he fetcht 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 see no more:
For when his Grace was past the Seas,
and into France was gon,
Queen Elinor with envious heart,
to Woodstock came anon.

And forth she calls this trusty Knight,
which kept this curious Bower,
Who with his clew of twined thread,
came from the famous Flower:
And when that they had wounded him,
the Queen his Thred did get,
And went where Lady Rosamond ,
was like an Angel set.

But when the Queen with stedfast Eye
beheld her heavenly Face,
She was amazed in her mind
at her exceeding grace.
Cast off from thee these Robes (she said)
that rich and costly be.
And drink thou up this deadly draught,
which I have brought to thee.

But presenntly upon her knees,
sweet Rosamond did fall,
And pardon of the Queen she crav'd,
for her offences all:
Take pitty on my youthful years
(fair Rosamond did cry)
And let me not with poison strong
enforced be to die.

I will renounce my sinful life,
and in some Cloyster bide
Or else be banished if you please,
to range the World so wide,
And for the fault that I have done,
though I was forc'd thereto,
Preserve my life and punish me,
as you think good to do.

And with these words her Lilly hands,
she wrung full often there,
And down along her comely face,
proceeded many a tear:
But nothing could this furious Queen,
therewith appeased be,
The cup of deadly poyson strong,
as she sat on her knee.

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

And when that death through every lim[b]
had done her greatest spight,
Her chiefest foes did there confess,
she was a glorious wight:
Her body then they did entomb,
when life was fled away,
At Woodstock near to Oxford Town,
as may be seen this day.


Printed for W. Thackeray, and T. Passinger.

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