Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


THE WOOING ECLOGUE BETWIXT ROSALIND AND ROSADER

269ROSADER

270I pray thee, nymph, by all the working words,
By all the tears and sighs that lovers know,
Or what or thoughts or faltering tongue affords,
I crave for mine in ripping up my woe.
Sweet Rosalind, my love (would God, my love),
My life (would God, my life), ay, pity me!
Thy lips are kind, and humble like the dove,
And, but with beauty, pity will not be.
Look on mine eyes, made red with rueful tears,
From whence the rain of true remorse descendeth;
All pale in looks am I though young in years,
And naught but love or death my days befriendeth.
Oh, let no stormy rigor knit thy brows,
Which love appointed for his mercy seat.
The tallest tree by Boreas' breath it bows;
The iron yields with hammer and to heat.
O Rosalind, then be thou pitiful,
For Rosalind is only beautiful.

271ROSALIND

272Love's wantons arm their trait'rous suits with tears,
With vows, with oaths, with looks, with showers of gold;
But when the fruit of their affects appears,
The simple heart by subtle sleights is sold.
Thus sucks the yielding ear the poisoned bait,
Thus feeds the heart upon his endless harms,
Thus glut the thoughts themselves on self-deceit,
Thus blind the eyes their sight by subtle charms.
The lovely looks, the sighs that storm so sore,
The dew of deep-dissembled doubleness,
These may attempt, but are of power no more
Where beauty leans to wit and soothfastness.
O Rosader, then be thou wittiful,
For Rosalind scorns foolish pitiful.

273ROSADER

274I pray thee, Rosalind, by those sweet eyes
That stain the sun in shine, the morn in clear,
By those sweet cheeks where Love encampèd lies
To kiss the roses of the springing year;
I tempt thee, Rosalind, by ruthful plaints,
Not seasoned with deceit or fraudful guile,
But firm in pain, far more than tongue depaints:
Sweet nymph, be kind, and grace me with a smile!
So may the heavens preserve from hurtful food
Thy harmless flocks; so may the summer yield
The pride of all her riches and her good,
To fat thy sheep, the citizens of field.
Oh, leave to arm thy lovely brows with scorn!
The birds their beak, the lion hath his tail,
And lovers naught but sighs and bitter mourn,
The spotless fort of fancy to assail.
O Rosalind, then be thou pitiful,
For Rosalind is only beautiful.

275ROSALIND

276The hardened steel by fire is brought in frame.

277ROSADER

278And Rosalind, my love, than any wool more softer;
And shall not sighs her tender heart inflame?

279ROSALIND

280Were lovers true, maids would believe them ofter.

281ROSADER

282Truth and regard and honor guide my love.

283ROSALIND

284Fain would I trust, but yet I dare not try.

285ROSADER

286Oh, pity me, sweet nymph, and do but prove!

287ROSALIND

288I would resist, but yet I know not why.

289ROSADER

290O Rosalind, be kind, for times will change.
Thy looks ay nill be fair as now they be;
Thine age from beauty may thy looks estrange:
Ah, yield in time, sweet nymph, and pity me.

291ROSALIND

292O Rosalind, thou must be pitiful,
For Rosader is young and beautiful.

293ROSADER

294Oh, gain more great than kingdoms or a crown!

295ROSALIND

296Oh, trust betrayed if Rosader abuse me!

297ROSADER

298First let the heavens conspire to pull me down
And heaven and earth as abject quite refuse me;
Let sorrows stream about my hateful bower,
And restless horror hatch within my breast!
Let beauty's eye afflict me with a lour,
Let deep despair pursue me without rest,
Ere Rosalind my loyalty disprove,
Ere Rosalind accuse me for unkind.

299ROSALIND

300Then Rosalind will grace thee with her love;
Then Rosalind will have thee still in mind.

301ROSADER

302Then let me triumph more than Tithon's dear,
Since Rosalind will Rosader respect.
Then let my face exile his sorry cheer,
And frolic in the comfort of affect;
And say that Rosalind is only pitiful,
Since Rosalind is only beautiful.

303When thus they had finished their courting eclogue in such a familiar clause, Ganymede, as augur of some good fortunes to light upon their affections, began to be thus pleasant:

304"How now, forester, have I not fitted your turn? Have I not played the woman handsomely, and showed myself as coy in grants as courteous in desires, and been as full of suspicion as men of flattery? And yet to salve all, jumped I not all up with the sweet union of love? Did not Rosalind content her Rosader?"

305The forester at this smiling, shook his head, and, folding his arms, made this merry reply:

306"Truth, gentle swain, Rosader hath his Rosalind; but as Ixion had Juno, who, thinking to possess a goddess, only embraced a cloud, in these imaginary fruitions of fancy I resemble the birds that fed themselves with Zeuxis' painted grapes; but they grew so lean with pecking at shadows that they were glad, with Aesop's cock, to scrape for a barley cornel. So fareth it with me, who, to feed myself with the hope of my mistress's favors, soothe myself in thy suits and only in conceit reap a wished-for content; but if my food be no better than such amorous dreams, Venus at the year's end shall find me but a lean lover. Yet do I take these follies for high fortunes, and hope these feigned affections do divine some unfeigned end of ensuing fancies."

307"And thereupon," quoth Aliena, "I'll play the priest: from this day forth Ganymede shall call thee husband, and thou shall call Ganymede wife, and so we'll have a marriage."

308"Content," quoth Rosader, and laughed.

309"Content," quoth Ganymede, and changed as red as a rose. And so with a smile and a blush they made up this jesting match, that after proved to a marriage in earnest, Rosader full little thinking he had wooed and won his Rosalind.

310But all was well. Hope is a sweet string to harp on, and therefore let the forester awhile shape himself to his shadow and tarry fortune's leisure till she may make a metamorphosis fit for his purpose. I digress; and therefore to Aliena, who said the wedding was not worth a pin unless there were some cheer, nor that bargain well made that was not stricken up with a cup of wine; and therefore she willed Ganymede to set out such cates as they had and to draw out her bottle, charging the forester, as he had imagined his loves, so to conceit these cates to be a most sumptuous banquet, and to take a mazer of wine and to drink to his Rosalind; which Rosader did, and so they passed away the day in many pleasant devices. Till at last Aliena perceived Time would tarry no man, and that the sun waxed very low, ready to set, which made her shorten their amorous prattle and end the banquet with a fresh carouse, which done, they all three arose, and Aliena broke off thus:

311"Now, forester, Phoebus, that all this while hath been partaker of our sports, seeing every woodman more fortunate in his loves than he in his fancies, seeing thou hast won Rosalind when he could not woo Daphne, hides his head for shame and bids us adieu in a cloud. Our sheep, they poor wantons, wander towards their folds, as taught by nature their due times of rest, which tells us, forester, we must depart. Marry, though there were a marriage, yet I must carry this night the bride with me, and tomorrow morning, if you meet us here, I'll promise to deliver you her as good a maid as I find her."

312"Content," quoth Rosader, "'tis enough for me in the night to dream on love, that in the day am so fond to doat on love; and so till tomorrow you to your folds, and I will to my lodge." And thus the forester and they parted.

313He was no sooner gone but Aliena and Ganymede went and folded their flocks, and, taking up their hooks, their bags, and their bottles, hied homeward. By the way Aliena, to make the time seem short, began to prattle with Ganymede thus:

314"I have heard them say that what the Fates forepoint, that Fortune pricketh down with a period; that the stars are sticklers in Venus's court, and desire hangs at the heel of destiny. If it be so, then by all probable conjectures this match will be a marriage; for if augurism be authentical, or the divines' dooms principles, it cannot be but such a shadow portends the issue of a substance, for to that end did the gods force the conceit of this eclogue, that they might discover the ensuing consent of your affections; so that ere it be long, I hope, in earnest, to dance at your wedding."

315"Tush," quoth Ganymede, "all is not malt that is cast on the kiln. There goes more words to a bargain than one. Love feels no footing in the air, and fancy holds it slippery harbor to nestle in the tongue; the match is not yet so surely made but he may miss of his market. But if Fortune be his friend, I will not be his foe. And so I pray you, gentle mistress Aliena, take it."

316"I take all things well," quoth she, "that is your content, and am glad Rosader is yours; for now I hope your thoughts will be at quiet. Your eye, that ever looked at love, will now lend a glance on your lambs, and then they will prove more buxom and you more blithe, for the eyes of the master feeds the cattle."

317As thus they were in chat, they spied old Corydon where he came plodding to meet them, who told them supper was ready, which news made them speed them home. Where we will leave them to the next morrow, and return to Saladin.

318All this while did poor Saladin, banished from Bordeaux and the court of France by Torismond, wander up and down in the forest of Arden, thinking to get to Lyons and so travel through Germany into Italy; but the forest being full of bypaths, and he unskillful of the country coast, slipped out of the way and chanced up into the desert, not far from the place where Gerismond was and his brother Rosader. Saladin, weary with wandering up and down and hungry with long fasting, finding a little cave by the side of a thicket, eating such fruit as the forest did afford and contenting himself with such drink as nature had provided and thirst made delicate, after his repast he fell in a dead sleep. As thus he lay, a hungry lion came hunting down the edge of the grove for prey, and espying Saladin began to seize upon him. But seeing he lay still without any motion, he left to touch him, for that lions hate to prey on dead carcasses; and yet, desirous to have some food, the lion lay down and watched to see if he would stir. While thus Saladin slept secure, Fortune, that was careful of her champion, began to smile, and brought it so to pass that Rosader, having stricken a deer that but lightly hurt fled through the thicket, came pacing down by the grove with a boar-spear in his hand in great haste. He spied where a man lay asleep, and a lion fast by him. Amazed at this sight, as he stood gazing his nose on the sudden bled, which made him conjecture it was some friend of his. Whereupon drawing more nigh he might easily discern his visage, perceived by his physnomy that it was his brother Saladin, which drave Rosader into a deep passion, as a man perplexed at the sight of so unexpected a chance, marveling what should drive his brother to traverse those secret deserts, without any company, in such distress and forlorn sort. But the present time craved no such doubting ambages, for either he must resolve to hazard his life for his relief or else steal away and leave him to the cruelty of the lion. In which doubt he thus briefly debated with himself: