Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


ROSALIND'S DESCRIPTION

209Like to the clear in highest sphere
Where all imperial glory shines,
Of selfsame color is her hair,
Whether unfolded or in twines.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,
Refining heaven by every wink.
The gods do fear whenas they glow,
And I do tremble when I think.
Heigh ho! Would she were mine.

210Her cheeks are like the blushing cloud
That beautifies Aurora's face,
Or like the silver crimson shroud
That Phoebus' smiling looks doth grace.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!

211Her lips are like two budded roses,
Whom ranks of lilies neighbor nigh,
Within which bounds she balm encloses,
Apt to entice a deity.
Heigh-ho! Would she were mine.

212Her neck, like to a stately tower
Where Love himself imprisoned lies,
To watch for glances every hour
From her divine and sacred eyes.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!
Her paps are centers of delight,
Her paps are orbs of heavenly frame,
Where nature molds the dew of light,
To feed perfection with the same.
Heigh-ho! Would she were mine.

213With orient pearl, with ruby red,
With marble white, with sapphire blue,
Her body every way is fed,
Yet soft in touch, and sweet in view.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!
Nature herself her shape admires;
The gods are wounded in her sight,
And Love forsakes his heavenly fires
And at her eyes his brand doth light.
Heigh-ho! Would she were mine.

214Then muse not, nymphs, though I bemoan
The absence of fair Rosalind,
Since for her fair there is fairer none,
Nor for her virtues so divine.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!
Heigh-ho, my heart, would God that she were mine!

215 Periit, quia deperibat.

216"Believe me," quoth Ganymede, "either the forester is an exquisite painter, or Rosalind far above wonder; so it makes me blush to hear how women should be so excellent, and pages so unperfect."

217Rosader, beholding her earnestly, answered thus:

218"Truly, gentle page, thou hast cause to complain thee, wert thou the substance, but, resembling the shadow, content thyself; for it is excellence enough to be like the excellence of nature."

219"He hath answered you, Ganymede," quoth Aliena, "it is enough for pages to wait on beautiful ladies and not to be beautiful themselves."

220"O mistress," quoth Ganymede, "hold you your peace, for you are partial. Who knows not but that all women have desire to tie sovereignty to their petticoats and ascribe beauty to themselves? Where if boys might put on their garments, perhaps they would prove as comely; if not as comely, it may be, more courteous. But tell me, forester," and with that she turned to Rosader, "under whom maintainest thou thy walk?"

221"Gentle swain, under the king of outlaws," said he, "the unfortunate Gerismond, who, having lost his kingdom, crowneth his thoughts with content, accounting it better to govern among poor men in peace than great men in danger."

222"But hast thou not," said she, "having so melancholy opportunities as this forest affordeth thee, written more sonnets in commendations of thy mistress?"

223"I have, gentle swain," quoth he, "but they be not about me. Tomorrow by dawn of day, if your flocks feed in these pastures, I will bring them you, wherein you shall read my passions whilst I feel them. Judge my patience when you read it. Till when I bid farewell." So, giving both Ganymede and Aliena a gentle gooD night, he resorted to his lodge, leaving Aliena and Ganymede to their prittle-prattle.

224"So, Ganymede," said Aliena, the forester being gone, "you are mightily beloved! Men make ditties in your praise, spend sighs for your sake, make an idol of your beauty. Believe me, it grieves me not a little to see the poor man so pensive and you so pitiless."

225"Ah, Aliena," quoth she, "be not peremptory in your judgments. I hear Rosalind praised as I am Ganymede, but, were I Rosalind, I could answer the forester. If he mourn for love, there are medicines for love. Rosalind cannot be fair and unkind. And so, madam, you see it is time to fold our flocks, or else Corydon will frown and say you will never prove good housewife."

226With that they put their sheep into the cotes and went home to her friend Corydon's cottage, Aliena as merry as might be that she was thus in the company of her Rosalind. But she, poor soul, that had love her lodestar and her thoughts set on fire with the flame of fancy, could take no rest, but being alone began to consider what passionate penance poor Rosader was enjoined to by love and fortune, that at last she fell into this humor with herself: