The Complaint of Rosamond

The peculiarities of this impression (probably the earliest) of
Daniel’s most popular poem were, we believe, first pointed out
in the ” Bibliographical and Critical Account of Rare Books,” 8vo,
1865, I. 170. The “Rosamond” in this form exists only in a
single copy appended to the same author’s ” Delia,” 1592 ; but
as it has no separate title-page, the precise date when it originally
appeared is uncertain.

The fact seems to be that Daniel wrote his ” Complaint of
Rosamond ” between the years 1585 and 1591 : he subsequently
collected his scattered love-sonnets ; and having printed them
under the title of ” Delia ” in 1592, he added to them his previ-
ously published ” Complaint of Rosamond,” so that they were
then sold together by Waterson, the stationer.

Some of the earliest copies of *’ Delia ” are followed by the
second impression of ” Rosamond”, and such was the case with
the reproduction we issued a few months ago. We therefore now
reprint the oldest known copy of ” The Complaint of Rosamond.”

The differences between the two impressions of the ” Com-
plaint ” will be found numberless : in some places words and
lines were substituted, and in one instance nineteen consecutive
stanzas were added, while others were separately inserted : thus,
in the typographical fac-simile here offered to the reader, the first
thoughts and expressions of the great poet are preserved.

J. P. C.




OVT from the horror of infernall deepes,
My poore afflidted ghoft comes heere to plaine it- :
Attended with my fhame that neuer flecpes,
The spot wherewith my kinde, and youth did ftaine it :
My body found a graue where to containe it,
A Iheete could hide my face, but not my fm.
For Fame finds neuer tombe t’ inclofe it in.

And which is worfe, my foule is nowe denied,

Her tranfport to the fweet Elifean reft,

1 he ioyfull bliffe for ghofts repurified,

Th’ euer fpringing Gardens of the bleft,

Caron denies me waftage w^ith the reft.
And fayes my foule can neuer paffe that Riuer,
Till Louers fighes on earth fhall it deliuer.

So Ihall I neuer paffe ; for how fhould I
Procure this facrifice amongft the lining?
Time hath long fmce worne out the memorie,
Hoth of my life, and Hues vniuft depriuing :
Sorrow for me is dead for aye reuiuing.
Rofa)nond\Yc\\\\ little left her but her name,
And that difgrac’d, for time hath wrong’d the fame.

H. ^ No


No Mufe fuggefts the pittie of my cafe,
Each penne dooth ouerpaffe my iuft complaint,
Whilft others are preferd, though farre more bafe :
Shores wife is grac’d, and paffes for a Saint ;
Her Legend iuftifies her foule attaint ;

Her well-told tale did fuch compaffion finde,
That (he is paffd, and I am left behinde.

Which feene with griefe, my myferable ghoft,
{fVkilojJte inuefted in fo faire a vaile,
Which whilft it liu’d, was honoured of the moft,
And being dead, giues matter to bewaile)
Comes to follicit thee, fmce others faile.
To take this tafke, and in thy wofull Song
To forme my cafe, and regifter my wrong.

Although I knowe thy iuft lamenting Mufe,
Toylde in th’ afflidlion of thine owne diftreffe,
In others cares hath little time to vfe.
And therefore maift efteeme of mine the leffe :
Yet as thy hopes attend happie redreffe.
Thy ioyes depending on a womans grace,
So moue thy minde a wofull womans cafe.



Dc/i(r may happe to deyngc to read our (lory,
And ofter vp her figh among the reft,
\Miofe merit would fuffice for both our glorie,
Whereby thou might'ft be grac'd, and I be bleft,
That indulgence would profit me the beft ;

Such powre llie hath by whom thy youth is lead,
To ioy the liuing and to bleffe the dead.

So I through beautie made the wofull'ft wight.
By beautie might haue comfort after death :
That dying fayreft, by the fayreft might
Finde life aboue on earth, and reft beneath :
She that can bleffe vs with one happy breath,

Giue comfort to thy Mufe to doe her beft.

That thereby thou maift ioy, and I might reft.

Thus faide : forthwith mou'd with a tender care
And pittie, which my felfe could neuer finde :
What fhe defir'd, my Mufe deygn'd to declare,
And therefore will'd her boldly tell her minde :
And I more willing tooke this charge affignd,
Becaufe her griefes were worthy to be knowne.
And telling hers, might hap forget mine owne.

H. 4. Then


Then write quoth fhee the mine of my youth,
Report the doune-fall of my flippry ftate :
Of all my life reueale the fimple truth,
To teach to others, what I learnt too late :
Exemplifie my frailtie, tell how Fate

Keepes in eternall darke our fortunes hidden.
And ere they come, to know them tis forbidden.

For whilft the funn-fhine of my fortune lafted,
I ioy'd the happieft warmth, the fweeteft heat
That euer yet imperious beautie tafted,
I had what glory euer flefh could get :
But this faire morning had a (hamefull fet ;

Difgrace darkt honor, fmne did clowde my browe.
As note the fequel, and He tell thee how.

The blood I ftaind was good and of the beft,
My birth had honor, and my beautie fame :
Nature and Fortune ioyn'd to make me bleft.
Had I had grace t' haue knowne to vfe the fame :
My education fhew'd from whence I came,
And all concur'd to make me happy furft,
That fo great hap might make me more accurft.



Ilappie liu'd I whilft Parents eye did guide,
The indifcretion of my feeble wayes :
And Country home kept nie from being eyde,
Where bert vnknowne I fpent my fweeteft dayes ;
I'ill that my frindes mine honour fought to rayfe,
To higher place, which greater credite yeeldes,
Deeming fuch beauty was vnfit for feeldes.

From Country then to Court I was preferred,
From calme to ftormes, from (hore into the deepes :
There where I perifh'd, where my youth firft err'd ;
There where I loft the Flowre which honour keepes,
rhere where the worfer thriues, the better weepes ;
Ah me poore wench, on this vnhappy fhelfe
I grounded me, and caft away my felfe.

For thither com'd, when yeeres had arm'd my youth
With rareft proofe of beautie euer feene :
When my reuiuing eye had learnt the truth,
That it had powre to make the winter greene.
And flowre affections whereas none had beene :
Soone could I teach my browe to tyrannize.
And make the world do homage to mine eyes.

I. For


For age I faw, though yeeres with cold conceit,
Congeald theyr thoughts againft a warme defire :
Yet figh their want, and looke at fuch a baite,
I faw how youth was waxe before the fire :
I faw by ftealth, I fram'd my looke a lire,
Yet well perceiu'd how Fortune made me then,
The enuy of my fexe, and wonder vnto men.

Looke how a Comet at the firft appearing,
Drawes all mens eyes with wonder to behold it :
Or as the faddeft tale at fuddaine hearing,
Makes filent liftning vnto him that told it ;
So did my fpeech when rubies did vnfold it ;
So did the blafing of my blufh appeere,
T' amaze the world, that holds fuch fights fo deere,

Ah beauty Syren, fayre enchaunting good.
Sweet filent rethorique of perfwading eyes :
Dombe eloquence, whofe powre doth moue the blood,
More then the words, or wifedome of the wife :
Still harmonic, whofe diapafon lyes

Within a brow, the key which paffions moue.
To rauifh fence, and play a world in loue.



What might I then not doe whofe powre was fuch?

What cannot women doe that know theyr powre ?

What women knowes it not I feare too much,

How bliffe or bale lyes in theyr laugh or lowre?

Whilft they enioy their happy blooming flowre,
Whillt nature decks her with her proper fayre
Whichcheeres the worlde,ioyeseach fight, fweetensth'ayre.

^iich one was I, my beautie was mine owne,
\'o borrowed blufli which banck-rot beauties feeke :
The newfound fhame, a finne to vs vnknowne,
Th' adulterate beauty of a falfed cheeke :
\'ild ftaine to honor and to women eeke.

Seeing that time our fading muft deted:,

Thus with defed: to couer our defedt.

Impiety of times, chaftities abator,
Fallliod, wherein thy felfe, thy felfe deniefi: :
Treafon, to counterfeit the feale of nature.
The flampe of heauen, impreffed by the hiefl :
Difgrace vnto the world, to whom thou lyeft,

Idol vnto thy felfe, fhame to the wife,

And all that honors thee idolatrife.

I. 2. Farre


Farre was that finne from vs whofe age was pure,
When fimple beautie was accounted beft,
The time when women had no other lure
But modeftie, pure cheekes, a vertuous breft :
This was the pompe wherewith my youth was bleft ;
Thefe were the weapons which mine honour wunne,
In all the conflicts that mine eyes begunne.

Which were not fmall, I wrought on no meane obied,
A crowne was at my feete, Scepters obaide mee :
Whom Fortune made my King, Loue made my Subiedt,
Who did commaund the Land, moft humbly praid mee,
Henry the fecond, that fo highly weigh'd mee,
Founde well by proofe the priuiledge of Beautie,
That it hath powre to counter-maund all duetie.

For after all his victories in Fraunce,
Tryumphing in the honour of his deedes :
Vnmatch'd by fword, was vanquilht by a glaunce,
And hotter warres within his bofome breedes :
Warres whom whole Legions of defires feedes,
Againft all which my chaftitiy oppofes,
The fielde of honour, vertue neuer lofes.



No armour might bee founde that coulde defend,
Tranfpearcing rayes of Chriflall-pointed eyes :
\o Stratagem, no reafon could amend,
No not his age ; yet olde men fliould be wife :
lUit (hewes deceiue, outward appearance lyes ;
Let none for feeming fo, thinke Saints of others,
For all are men, and all haue fuckt their Mothers.

Who would haue thought, a Monarch would haue euer

Obayed his handmaide, of fo meane a ftate ;

Wiltur ambition feeding on his lyuer,

Age hauing worne his pleafures out of date :

But happe comes neuer or it comes too late,

r'^or fuch a daintie which his youth found not,

\^nto his feeble age did chaunce allot.

Ah Fortune neuer abfolutely good,

For that fome croffe ftill counterchecks our luck :

As heere beholde th' incompatible blood,

Of age and youth was that where on we ftuck :

Whofe loathing, we from natures brelts do fuck.

As oppofit to what our blood requires ;

F(^r cquall age doth equall like defires.

I. 3. But


But mightie men in higheft honor fitting,
Nought but applaufe and pleafure can behold :
Sooth'd in their liking, careleffe what is fitting,
May not be fuffred once to thinke the are old :
Not trufting what they fee, but what is told.
Miferable fortune to forget fo farre,
The ftate of flefli, and what our frailties are.

Yet muft I needes excufe fo great defed:.
For drinking of the Lethe of myne eyes : '
H' is forc'd forget himfelfe, and all refped:
Of maieftie whereon his ftate relyes :
And now of loues, and pleafures muft deuife.
For thus reuiu'd againe, he femes and fu'th,
And feekes all meanes to vndermine my youth.

Which neuer by affault he could recover,

So well incamp'd in ftrength of chafte defires :

My cleane-arm'd thoughts repell'd an vnchaft louer,

The Crowne that could commaund what it requires,

I leffer priz'd then chaftities attires,

Th' vnftained vaile, which innocents adornes,
Th' vngathred Rofe, defended with the thornes.


(^1- ROS \ M()\ I).

And fafe mine honor ftoode till that in truth,

One of my Sexe, of place, and nature bad :

AV^as fet in ambufli to intrap my youth,

( )ne in the habit of like frailtie clad, .

( )ne who the liu'ry of like weakenes had.
A feeming Matrone, yet a finfull monfter,
As by her words the charter fort may confter.

Shee fet vpon me with the fmootheft fpeech,
That Court and age could cunningly deuife :
Th' one autentique made her fit to teach.
The other learnt her how to fubtelife :
Both were enough to circumuent the wife.
A document that well may teach the sage.
That there's no truft in youth, nor hope in age.

Daughter (faith Ihe) behold thy happy chaunce,
That haft the lot caft downe into thy lap,
Whereby thou maift thy honor great aduaunce,
W'hilft thou (vnhappy) wilt not fee thy hap :
Such fond refpect thy youth doth fo inwrap,

T' oppofe thy felfe againft thine owne good fortune,
That points thee out, and feemes thee to importune.



Dooft thou not fee how that thy King thy youe,
Lightens foorth glory on thy darke eftate :
And (howres downe golde and treafure from aboue,
Whilft thou dooft fhutte thy lappe againft thy fate :
Fye fondling fye, thou wilt repent too late
The error of thy youth ; that canft not fee
What is the fortune that dooth followe thee.

Thou mufl: not thinke thy flowre can alwayes florifh,
And that thy beautie will be ftill admired :
But that thofe rayes which all thefe flames doe nourifh,
Canceld with Time, will haue their date expyred,
And m.en will fcorne what now is fo defired :
Our frailtyes doome is written in the flowers,
Which florifh now and fade ere many howers.

Reade in my face the mines of my youth,
The wracke of yeeres vpon my aged brow :
I haue beene faire, I muft confeffe the trueth.
And ftoode vppon as nice refpedts as thow ;
I loft my time, and I repent it now ;

But were I to beginne my youth againe,
I would redeeme the time I fpent in vayne.



Hut thou haft yeeres and priuiledge to vfe them,
I hy priuiledge doth beare beauties great feale :
Hefides, the law of nature doth excufe them,
To whom thy youth may haue a iu(l appeale :
lifteeme not fame more then thou dooft thy weale,

Fame, wherof the world feemes to make fuch choyce :

Is but an Eccho, and an idle voyce.

Then why fhould thys refpedl of honor bound vs,

In th' imaginary lifts of reputation ?

Titles which cold feueritie hath found vs,

Breath of the vulgar, foe to recreation :

Melancholies opinion, cuftoms relation ;

Pleafures plague, beauties fcourge, hell to the fayre,
To leaue the fweete for Caftles in the ay re.

Pleafure is felt, opinion but conceau'd,

Honor, a thing without vs, not our owne :

W'hereof we fee how many are bereau'd,

\\' hich fliould haue rep'd the glory they had fowne,

And many haue it, yet vnworthy knowne.

So breathes his blafts this many-headed beaft,
Whereof the wifeft haue efteemed leaft.

K. The


The fubtile Citty-women better learned,
Efteeme them chaft ynough that beft feeme fo :
Who though they fport, it (hall not be difcerned,
Their face bewraies not what their bodies doe ;
Tis warie walking that doth faflieft goe.

With (hew of vertue, as the cunning knowes,
Babes are beguild with fweetes, and men withlhowes.

Then vfe thy tallent, youth (hall be thy warrant,
And let not honor from thy fports detradl :
Thou muft not fondly thinke thy felfe tranfparent.
That thofe who fee thy face can iudge the fact ;
Let her haue fhame that cannot clofely act.
And feeme the chaft, which is cheefeft arte,
For what we feeme each fees, none knowes our harte.

The mightie who can with fuch (innes difpence.
In fteed of fhame doe honors great beftow :
A worthie author doth redeeme th' offence.
And makes the fcarelet finne as white as fnow.
The Maieftie that doth defcend fo low.

Is not defilde, but pure remaines therein :

And being facred, fandlifies the fmne.



What, dooft thou ftand on thys, that he is olde,
I hy beauty hath the more to worke vppon :
Thy pleafures want (hal be fupply'd with gold,
(Old age dotes mod when the heate of youth is gone :
1 nticing words preuaile with fuch a one.
Alluring Ihewes moft deepe impreffion ftrikes,
For age is prone to credite what it likes.

Ileere interrupt Ihe leaues me in a doubt,
When loe began the combat in my blood :
Seeing my youth inuirond round about,
1 he ground vncertaine where my reafons flood ;
Small my defence to make my party good,

Againft fuch powers which were fo furely layde,
To ouerthrow a poore vnfkilful mayde.

Treafon was in my bones my felfe confpyring.

To fell my felfe to luft, my foule to fmne :

Pure-bluihing fliame was in retiring,

Leaning the facred hold it glory 'd in.

Honor lay proftrate for my flefh to win,

When cleaner thoughts my weakenes can vpbray
Againft my felfe, and Ihame did force me fay,

K. 2. Ah


Ah Ro/amond, what doth thy flefh prepare,
Deftrudlion to thy dayes, death to thy fame :
Wilt thou betray that honor held with care,
T' intombe with blacke reproch a fpotted name,
Leaning thy blufh the collours of thy fhame.
Opening thy feete to fmne, thy foule to luft,
Graceleffe to lay thy glorie in the duft.

Nay firft let th' earth gape wide to fwallow thee,
And fhut thee vp in bofome with her dead :
Ere Serpent tempt thee tafte forbidden tree,
Or feele the warmth of an vnlawfull bed :
Suffring thy felfe by luft to be mifled ;

So to difgrace thy felfe and grieue thine heires,
That Cliffords race fhould fcorne thee one of theyrs.

Neuer wifh longer to inioy the ayre.
Then that thou breath'ft the breath of chaftitie :
Longer then thou preferu'ft thy foule as faire.
As is thy face, free from impuritie :
Thy face that makes th' admired in euery eye :
Wher natures care fuch rarities inroule.
Which vf'd amiffe, may feme to damne thy foule.



But what ? he is my King and may conftraine mc,
Whether I yeelde or not I Hue defamed :
The worlde will thinke authority did gaine me,
I (hal be iudg'd hys loue, and fo be fhamed :
We fee the fayre condemned, that neuer gamed.
And if I yeeld, tis honorable fhame,
If not, I Hue difgrac'd, yet thought the fame.

What way is left thee then vnhappy mayde.
Whereby thy fpotleffe foote may wander out
Thys dreadfull danger, which thou feefl is layd,
Wherein thy fhame doth compaffe thee about ?
Thy fimple yeeres cannot refolue this doubt.
Thy youth can neuer guide thy foote fo euen,
But in defpight fome fcandall will be giuen.

Thus flood I ballanc'd equallie precize.
Till my fraile flefh did weigh me downe to finne :
Till world and pleafure made me partialize,
And glittering pompe my vanitie did winne ;
When to excufe my fault my lufts beginne,

And impious thoughts alledg'd this w^anton claufe,
That though I fmn'd, my fmne had honeft caufe.

K. ^ So


So well the golden balles caft downe before me,
Could entertaine my courfe, hinder my way :
Whereat my rechleffe youth flooping to ftore me,
Loft me the gole, the glory, and the day.
Pleafure had fet my wel-fkoold thoughts to play,
And bade me vfe the vertue of mine eyes,
For fweetly it fits the fayre to wantonife

Thus wrought to fmne, foone was I traind from Court,
To a folitarie Grange there to attend :
The time the King (hould thether make refort.
Where he loues long defired-work fhould end.
Thether he daily meffages doth fend.

With coftly iewels orators of loue :

Which (ah too well men know) doe women moue.

The day before the night of my defeature.
He greets me with a Cafket richly wrought :
So rare, that arte did feeme to ftriue with nature,
T' expreffe the cunning work-mans curious thought ;
The miftery whereof I prying fought.
And found engrauen on the lidde aboue,
Amymone how fhe with Neptune ftroue.



Amymone old Danaus fayreft daughter,
As ihe was fetching water all alone
At Lcnia : whereas Neptune came and caught her,
From whom Hie flriu'd and ftrugled to be gone,
Beating the ayre with cryes and pittious mone.
But all in vaine, with him fh' is forc'd to goe :
Tis fhame that men fhould vfe poore maydens fo.

There might I fee defcribed how fhe lay,
f At thofe proude feete, not fatisfied with prayer :
Wailing her heauie hap, curfmg the day.
In adl fo pittious to expreffe difpaire :
I And by how much more greeu'd, fo much more fayre ;
Her teares vpon her cheekes poore carefull gerle.
Did feeme againft the funne criftall and perle.

Whofe pure cleere ftreames, which loe fo faire appeares,
Wrought hotter flames, O myracle of loue,
That kindles fire in water, heate in teares.
And makes negledled beautie mightier proue :
Teaching afflid:ed affed;s to moue ;

To fhew that nothing ill becomes the fayre.
But crueltie, that yeeldes vnto no prayer.



This hauing viewd and therewith fomething moued,
Figured I found within the other fquares :
Transformed lo, I ones deerely loued,
In her afflidlion how fhe ftrangely fares,
Strangelie diftreffd, (O beautie borne to cares)
Turn'd to a Heiffer, kept with iealous eyes,
Alwaies in danger of her hatefull fpyes.

Thefe prefidents prefented to my view,
Wherein the prefage of my fall was fhowne :
Might haue fore-warn'd me well what would enfue,
And others harmes haue made me fhunne mine owne ;
But fate is not preuented though fore-knowne.
For that muft hap decreed by heauenly powers.
Who worke our fall, yet make the fault ftill ours.

Witnes the world, wherein is nothing rifer.
Then miferies vnkend before they come :
Who can the characters of chaunce difcipher,-
Written in clowdes of our concealed dome ?
Which though perhaps haue beene reueald to fome.
Yet that fo doubtfull as fucceffe did proue them.
That men muft know they haue the heauensabouethel



I fawe the finne wherein my foote was entring,

I fawe how that difhonour did attend it,

I fawe the fhame whereon my flefh was ventring,

Vet had I not the powre for to defende it ;

So weake is fence when error hath condemned it :

We fee what s good, and thereto we confent vs ;

But yet we choofe the worft, and foone repent vs.

And now I come to tell the worft of ilnes.
Now drawes the date of mine affliction neere :
Now when the darke had wrapt vp all in ftilnes,
And dreadfull blacke, had difpoffeffd the cleere :
Com'd was the night, mother of fleepe and feare.
Who with her fable mantle friendly couers.
The fweet-ftolne fports, of ioyfull meeting Louers.

When loe I ioynde my Louer not my Loue,
And felt the hand of luft moft vndefired :
linforc'd th' vnprooued bitter fweete to proue.
Which yeeldes no mutuall pleafure when tis hired.
Loue's not conftrain'd, nor yet of due required,
ludge they who are vnfortunately wed,
What tis to CO come vnto a loathed bed.

L. But


But foone his age receiu'd his fhort contenting,
And fleepe feald vp his languifhing defires :
When he turnes to his reft, I to repenting,
Into my lelfe my waking thought retires :
My nakednes had prou'd my fences Hers.
Now opned were mine eyes to looke therein.
For firft we tafte the fruite, then fee our fm.

Now did I find my felfe vnparadifd.
From thofe pure fieldes of my fo cleane beginning :
Now I perceiu'd how ill I was aduifd.
My flefh gan loathe the new felt touch of finning :
Shame leaues vs by degrees, not at firft winning.
For nature checks a new offence with lothing :
But vfe of finne doth make it feeme as nothing.

And vfe of finne did worke in me a boldnes.
And loue in him, incorporates fuch zeale :
That iealofie increaf'd with ages coldnes.
Fearing to loofe the ioy of all his weale.
Or doubting time his ftealth might els reueale,
H' is driuen to deuife fome fubtile way.
How he might fafelieft keepe fo rich a pray.


V ftatcly Pallace he foorthwith did buyldc,
Whofc intricate innumerable wayes,
XVith fuch confufed errors fo beguil'd
Th' vnguidcd entrers with vncertaine ftrayes,
And doubtfull turnings kept them in delayes,
With bootleffe labor leading them about,
Able to finde no way, nor in, nor out.

Within the clofed bofome of which frame,
That feru'd a Center to that goodly round :
Were lodgings, with a garden to the fame.
With fweeteft flowers that eu'r adorn'd the ground,
And all the pleafures that delight hath found,
T' entertaine the fence of wanton eyes,
Fuell of loue, from whence lufts flames arife.

lleere I inclofd from all the world a funder.
The Minotaure of fhame kept for difgrace :
The monfter of fortune, and the worlds wonder,
Liu'd cloyftred in fo defolate a cafe :
None but the King might come into the place.
With certaine maides that did attend my neede.
And he himfelfe came guided by a threed.

L. 2. O


O lealoufie, daughter of enuy' and loue
Mofl wayward iffue of a gentle Syer ;
Foftred with feares, thy Fathers ioyes t' improue,
Myrth-marring Monfter, borne a fubtile Iyer ;
Hatefull vnto thy felfe, flying thine owne defier :
Feeding vpon fufped: that doth renue thee,
Happie were Loners if they neuer knewe thee.

Thou haft a thoufand gates thou entereft by,
Conducing trembling paffions to our hart :
Hundred eyed Argos, euer waking Spye,
Pale hagge, infernall fury, pleafures fmart,
Enuious Obferuer, prying in euery part ;
Sufpicious, fearefull, gazing ftill about thee,
O would to God that loue could be without thee.

Thou didft depriue (through falfe fuggefting feare)

Him of content, and me of libertie :

The onely good that women holde fo deare,

And turnft my freedome to captiuitie,

Firft made a Prifoner, ere an enemy :

Enioynd the raunfome of my bodies fliame.
Which though I paide could not redeeme the fame.



What greater torment euer could haue beene,
Then to inforce the fayre to Hue retired ?
For what is Beautie if it be not feene,
Or what is 't to be feene vnleffe admired ?
And though admyred, vnleffe in loue defired ?
Neuer were cheekes of Rofes, locks of Amber,
Ordayn'd to Hue imprifond in a Chamber.

Nature created Beautie for the view.
Like as the fire for heate, the Sunne for light :
The Faire doe holde this priuiledge as due,
By auncient Charter, to Hue moft in fight,
And fhe that is debarred it, hath not right.

In vaine our friends in this vfe their dehorting,
For Beautie will be where is moft reforting.

W'itnefl: the fayreft fl:reetes that Thames doth vifit,
The wonrdous concourfe of the glittering Faire :
For what rare women deckt with Beautie is it,
That thither couets not to make repaire.
The folitary Country may not ftay her,
Heere is the center of all beauties befl:,
Excepting Delia, left to adorne the Weft.

L. 3. Heere


Heere doth the curious with iudiciall eyes,

Contemplate beauty glorioufly attired :

And heerein all our cheefefl glory lyes,

To Hue where we are praif'd and moft defired.

O how we ioy to fee our felues admired,
Whilft niggardly our fauours we difcouer,
We loue to be belou'd, yet fcorne the Louer.

Yet would to God my foote had neuer moued
From Countrey fafety, from the fields of reft :
To know the danger to be highly loued.
And lyue in pompe to braue among the beft,
Happy for me, better had I beene bleft ;
If I vnluckely had neuer ftrayde :
But liu'd at home a happy Country mayde.

Whofe vnafifedled innocencie thinks
No guilefull fraude, as doth the Courtly liuer :
Sh's deckt with trueth, the Riuer where fhe drinks
Doth feme her for her glaffe, her counfell giuer :
She loues fmcerely, and is loued euer.

Her dayes are peace, and fo fhe ends her breath,
True life that knowes not what 's to die till death.



So Ihould I neuer haue beene regiflred,
1 11 the blacke booke of the vnfortunate :
\or had my name enrold with Maydes mifled,
W hich bought theyr pleafures at fo hie a rate.
Nor had I taught through my vnhappy fate,
This leffon which my felfe learnt with expence,
How moft it hurts that moft delights the fence.

Shame followes finne, difgrace is duly giuen,
1 nipietie will out, neuer fo clofely doone :
Xo walles can hide vs from the eyes of heauen,
1 or fhame muft end what wickedneffe begun :
Forth breakes reproch when we leaft thinke thereon.
And thys is euer propper vnto Courts :
That nothing can be doone but Fame reports.

1 ame doth explore what lyes moft fecrete hidden,
Entring the clofet of the Pallace dweller :
Abroade reuealing what is moft forbidden.
Of trueth and falfhood both an equall teller :
Tis not a guarde can feme for to expell her.
The fword of iuftice cannot cutte her wings.
Nor ftop her mouth from vtt'ring fecrete things.



And this our ftealth fhe could not long conceale,
From her whom fuch a forfeit moft concerned :
The wronged Queene, who could fo clofely deale :
That (he the whole of all our pradlife learned,
And watcht a time when leaft it was difcerned,
In abfence of the King, to wreake her wrong.
With fuch reuenge as fhe defired long.

The Laberinth fhe entred by that threed
That feru'd a condudl to my abfent Lord :
Left there by chaunce, referu'd for fuch a deede,
Where fhe furpriz'd me whom fhe fo abhord.
Enrag'd with madnes, fcarce fhe fpeakes a word,
But flyes with eger fury to my face,
Offring me moft vnwomanly difgrace.

Looke-how a Tygreffe that hath loft her whelpe.
Runs fearcely raging through the woods aftray :
And feeing her felfe depriu'd of hope or helpe,
Furioufly affaults what 's in her way.
To fatisfie her wrath, not for a pray :
So fell fhe on me in outragious wife.
As could Difdaine and lealoufie deuife.



And after all her vile reproches vfcd,
She forc'd me take the poyfon (he had brought :
I'o end the lyfe that had her fo abufed,
And free her feares, and eafe her iealous thought.
No crueltic her wrath would leaue vnwrought,
No fpightfull aft that to reuenge is common :
For no beaft fearcer then a iealous woman.

Thofe handes that beauties minifters had bin,
Muft now gyue death, that me adorn'd of late :
That mouth that newly gaue confent to fin,
Muft now receiue deftrudlion in there-at.
That body which my lufts did violate,

Muft facrifice it felfe t' appeafe the wrong.
So fliort is pleafure, glory lafts not long.

The poyfon foone difperc'd through all my vaines,
Had difpoffeffd my liuing fences quite :
When naught refped:ing, death the laft of paines,
Plac'd his pale collours, the 'nfigne of his might,
Vpon hys new-got fpoyle before his right ;

Thence chac'd my foule, fetting my day ere noone.
When I leaft thought my ioyes could end fo foone.

M. And


And as conuaid t' vntimely funerals,
My fcarce colde corfe not fuffred longer ftay :
Behold the King (by chance) returning, falls
T' incounter with the fame vpon the way,
As he repaird to fee his deereft ioy.

Not thinking fuch a meeting could haue beene.
To fee his loue, and feeing beene vnfeene.

ludge thofe whom chaunce depriuesof fweetefttreafure,

What tis to lofe a thing we hold fo deare :

The beft delight, wherein our foule takes pleafure.

The fweet of life, that penetrates fo neare.

What paffions feeles that heart, inforc'd to beare

The deepe impreffion of fo ftrange a fight ?

Tongue, pen, nor art, can neuer fhew a right.

Amaz'd he ftandes, nor voyce nor body fteares.
Words had no paffage, teares no iffue found :
For forrow fhut vp words, wrath kept in teares,
Confufd affed:s each other doe confounde :
Oppreff'd with griefe his paffions had no bounde :

Striuing to tell his woes, wordes would not come ;

For light cares fpeake, when mightiegriefes are dombe.



At Icng^th extremitie breakes out away,
1 hrough which th'imprifoned voice with teares attended,
Wayles out a found that forrowes doe bewray :
With amies a croffe and eyes to heauen bended,
Vauporing out fighes that to the fkyes afcended.
Sighes, the poore eafe calamitie affords.
Which ferue for fpeech when forrow wanteth words

O heauens (quoth he) why doe myne eyes behold,
The hatefull rayes of this vnhappy fonne ?
W^hy haue I light to fee my finnes controld,
With blood of mine owne fhame thus vildly donne ?
TIow can my fight endure to looke thereon ?
Why doth not blacke eternall darknes hide,
That from myne eyes my hart cannot abide ?

What faw my life, wherein my foule might ioy ?
What had my dayes, whom troubles ftill afflicted ?
But onely this, to counterpoize annoy.
This ioy, this hope, which death hath interdicT:ed :
This fweete, whofe loffe hath all diflreffe afflided.
This that did feafon all my fowre of life,
Vcxt ftill at home with broyles, abroade in ftrife.

M. 2. Vcxt


Vext ftyll at home with broyles, abrode in ftrife,
Diffenfion in my blood, iarres in my bed :
Diftruft at boord, fufped:ing ftill my life,
Spending the night in horror, dayes in dred ;
Such life hath tyrants, and thys lyfe I led.

Thefe myferies goe mafk'd in glittering fhowes.
Which wifemen fee, the vulgar little knowes.

Thus as thefe paffions doe him ouer-whelme,
He drawes him neere my bodie to behold it :
And as the Vine maried vnto the Elme
With ftridl imbraces, fo doth he infold it ;
And as he in hys carefull armes doth hold it.
Viewing the face that euen death commends.
On fenceleffe lips, millions of kyffes fpends.

Pittifull mouth (quoth he) that lining gaueft
The fweeteft comfort that my foule could wifh :
O be it lawfull now, that dead thou haueft,
Thys forrowing farewell of a dying kiffe.
And you fayre eyes, containers of my bliffe,
Motiues of loue, borne to be matched neuer :
Entomb'd in your fweet circles fleepe for euer.



Ah how me thinks I fee death dallying feekes,
lo cntertaine it felfe in loues fweet place :
Decayed Rofes of difcoloured cheekes,
T^oe yet retaine deere notes of former grace :
\nd ougly death fits faire within her face ;
Sweet remnants refting of vermilion red,
That death it felfe, doubts whether flie be dead.

Wonder of beautie, oh receiue thefe plaints,
The obfequies, the laft that I fhall make thee :
For loe my foule that now already faints,
(That lou'd thee lyuing, dead will not forfake thee,)
1 laftens her fpeedy courfe to ouer-take thee.
He meete my death, and free my felfe thereby,
For ah what can he doe that cannot die ?

Yet ere I die, thus much my foule doth vow,
Reuenge fiiall fweeten death with eafe of mincic :
And I will caufe pofterity fhall know,
How faire thou wert aboue all women kind.
And after ages monuments fhall find.

Shewing thy beauties title not thy name,
Rofe of the world that fweetned fo the fame.

M. 3. This


This faid, though more defirous yet to fay,
(For forrow is vnwilling to giue ouer)
He doth repreffe what griefe would els bewray,
Lead that too much his paffions might difcouer :
And yet refpedl fcarce bridles fuch a Louer.

So farre tranfported that he knowes not whether.
For loue and Maieftie dwell ill together.

Then were my funerals not long deferred,
But doone with all the rites pompe could deuife :
At God/low, where my body was interred.
And richly tomb'd in honorable wife.
Where yet as now fcarce any note defcries

Vnto thefe times, the memory of me.

Marble and Braffe fo little lafting be.

For thofe walles which

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Complaint of Rosamond

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.