Heroines of the Crusades
Nay, rather let me, like a page, Your sword and target bear, That on my breast the blows may light, That should offend you there.
" Or 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 enjoy,
No toil I will refuse ;
But wanting you my life is death,
Nay, death I'd rather choose."
" Content thyself, my dearest love ;
Thy rest at home shall be,
In England's sweet and pleasant soil ;
For travel suits not thee.
Fair ladies brook not bloody wars ;
Sweet peace, their pleasures breed
The nourisher of heart's content,
Which Fancy first did feed.
" My Rose shall rest in Woodstock's bower,
With music's sweet delight,
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 love's defence,
Be careful of my gallant Rose
When I am parted hence."
And therewithal he fetched 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 had passed the seas,
And into France was gone,
Queen Eleanor with envious heart
To Woodstock came anon.