Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy



In sorrow's cell I laid me down to sleep,
But waking woes were jealous of mine eyes.
They made them watch, and bend themselves to weep,
But weeping tears their want could not suffice.
Yet since for her they wept who guides my heart,
They weeping smile, and triumph in their smart.245Of these my tears a fountain fiercely springs,
Where Venus bains herself, incensed with love,
Where Cupid bowseth his fair feathered wings;
But I behold what pains I must approve.
Care drinks it dry; but when on her I think,
Love makes me weep it full unto the brink.Meanwhile my sighs yield truce unto my tears;
By them the winds increased and fiercely blow.
Yet when I sigh the flame more plain appears,
And by their force with greater power doth glow.
Amid these pains, all phoenix-like I thrive,
Since love, that yields me death, may life revive. Rosader en esperance.

"Now, surely, forester," quoth Aliena, "when thou madest this sonnet, thou wert in some amorous quandary, neither too fearful as despairing of thy mistress' favors, nor too gleesome as hoping in thy fortunes."

"I can smile," quoth Ganymede, "at the sonnettos, canzones, madrigals, rounds, and roundelays that these pensive patients pour out when their eyes are more full of wantonness than their hearts of passions. Then, as the fishers put the sweetest bait to the fairest fish, so these Ovidians, holding amo in their tongues when their thoughts come at haphazard, write that they be rapt in an endless labyrinth of sorrow, when, walking in the large lease of liberty, they only have their humors in their inkpot. If they find women so fond that they will with such painted lures come to their lust, then they triumph till they be full-gorged with pleasures, and then fly they away, like ramage kites, to their own content, leaving the tame fool, their mistress, full of fancy, yet without even a feather. If they miss, as dealing with some wary wanton that wants not such a one as themselves, but spies their subtlety, they end their amours with a few feigned sighs; and so their excuse is, their mistress is cruel, and they smother passions with patience. Such, gentle forester, we may deem you to be, that rather pass away the time here in these woods with writing amorets than to be deeply enamored (as you say) of your Rosalind. If you be such a one, then I pray God, when you think your fortunes at the highest and your desires to be most excellent, then that you may with Ixion embrace Juno in a cloud and have nothing but a marble mistress to release your martyrdom. But if you be true and trusty, eye-pained and heart-sick, then accursed be Rosalind if she prove cruel; for, forester (I flatter not) thou art worthy of as fair as she."

250Aliena, spying the storm by the wind, smiled to see how Ganymede flew to the fist without any call; but Rosader, who took him flat for a shepherd's swain, made him this answer:

"Trust me, swain," quoth Rosader, "but my canzon was written in no such humor; for mine eye and my heart are relatives, the one drawing fancy by sight, the other entertaining her by sorrow. If thou sawest my Rosalind, with what beauties nature hath favored her, with what perfection the heavens hath graced her, with what qualities the gods have endued her, then wouldst thou say there is none so fickle that could be fleeting unto her. If she had been Aeneas' Dido, had Venus and Juno both scolded him from Carthage, yet her excellence, despite of them, would have detained him at Tyre. If Phyllis had been as beauteous, or Ariadne as virtuous, or both as honorable and excellent as she, neither had the filbert tree sorrowed in the death of despairing Phyllis, nor the stars been graced with Ariadne, but Demophoon and Theseus had been trusty to their paragons. I will tell thee, swain, if with a deep insight thou couldst pierce into the secret of my loves, and see what deep impressions of her idea affection hath made in my heart, then wouldst thou confess I were passing passionate, and no less endued with admirable patience."

"Why," quoth Aliena, "needs there patience in love?"

"Or else in nothing," quoth Rosader; "for it is a restless sore that hath no ease, a canker that still frets, a disease that taketh away all hope of sleep. If then so many sorrows, sudden joys, momentary pleasures, continual fears, daily griefs, and nightly woes be found in love, then is not he to be accounted patient that smothers all these passions with silence?"

"Thou speakest by experience," quoth Ganymede, "and therefore we hold all thy words for axioms. But is love such a lingering malady?"

255"It is," quoth he, "either extreme or mean, according to the mind of the party that entertains it; for, as the weeds grow longer untouched than the pretty flowers, and the flint lies safe in the quarry when the emerald is suffering the lapidary's tool, so mean men are freed from Venus's injuries when kings are environed with a labyrinth of her cares. The whiter the lawn is, the deeper is the mole; the more purer the chrysolite, the sooner stained; and such as have their hearts full of honor have their loves full of the greatest sorrows. But in whomsoever," quoth Rosader, "he fixeth his dart, he never leaveth to assault him till either he hath won him to folly or fancy; for, as the moon never goes without the star Lunisequa, so a lover never goeth without the unrest of his thoughts. For proof you shall hear another fancy of my making."

"Now, do, gentle forester," quoth Ganymede; and with that he read over this sonnetto: