100. Rosaline

Thomas Lodge. 1556?-1625

LIKE to the clear in highest sphere
  Where all imperial glory shines,
Of selfsame colour is her hair
  Whether unfolded or in twines:
      Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,
  Resembling heaven by every wink;
The gods do fear whenas they glow,
  And I do tremble when I think
      Heigh ho, would she were mine!

Her 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 Rosaline!
Her lips are like two budded roses
  Whom ranks of lilies neighbour nigh,
Within whose bounds she balm encloses
  Apt to entice a deity:
      Heigh ho, would she were mine!

Her neck like to a stately tower
  Where Love himself imprison'd lies,
To watch for glances every hour
  From her divine and sacred eyes:
      Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Her paps are centres of delight,
  Her breasts are orbs of heavenly frame,
Where Nature moulds the dew of light
  To feed perfection with the same:
      Heigh ho, would she were mine!

With orient pearl, with ruby red,
  With marble white, with sapphire blue,
Her body every way is fed,
  Yet soft to touch and sweet in view:
      Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
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!

Then muse not, Nymphs, though I bemoan
  The absence of fair Rosaline,
Since for a fair there 's fairer none,
  Nor for her virtues so divine:
      Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Heigh ho, my heart! would God that she were mine!

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition