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The Rose of England

No: 166; variant: 166A

  1. THROUGHOUT a garden greene and gay, A seemlye sight itt was to see How fflowers did flourish fresh and gay, And birds doe sing melodiouslye.
  2. In the midst of a garden there sprange a tree, Which tree was of a mickle price, And there vppon sprang the rose soe redd, The goodlyest that euer sprange on rise.
  3. This rose was ffaire, ffresh to behold, Springing with many a royall lance; A crowned king, with a crowne of gold, Ouer England, Ireland, and of Ffrance.
  4. Then in came a beast men call a bore, And he rooted this garden vpp and downe; By the seede of the rose he sett noe store, But afterwards itt wore the crowne.
  5. Hee tooke the branches of this rose away, And all in sunder did them teare, And he buryed them vnder a clodd of clay, Swore they shold neuer bloome nor beare.
  6. Then came in an egle gleaming gay, Of all ffaire birds well worth the best; He took the branche of the rose away, And bore itt to Latham to his nest.
  7. But now is this rose out of England exiled, This certaine truth I will not laine; But if itt please you to sitt a while, I'le tell you how the rose came in againe.
  8. Att Milford Hauen he entered in; To claime his right, was his delight; He brought the blew bore in with him, To encounter with the bore soe white.
  9. The[n] a messenger the rose did send To the egles nest, and bidd him hye: 'To my ffather, the old egle, I doe [me] comend, His aide and helpe I craue speedylye.'
  10. Saies, I desire my father att my cominge Of men and mony att my need, And alsoe my mother of her deer blessing; The better then I hope to speede.
  11. And when the messenger came before thold egle, He kneeled him downe vpon his knee; Saith, Well greeteth you my lord the rose, He hath sent you greetings here by me.
  12. Safe ffrom the seas Christ hath him sent, Now he is entered England within: 'Let vs thanke God,' the old egle did say, 'He shall be the fflower of all his kine.
  13. 'Wend away, messenger, with might and maine; Itt's hard to know who a man may trust; I hope the rose shall fflourish againe, And haue all things att his owne lust.'
  14. Then Sir Rice ap Thomas drawes Wales with him; A worthy sight itt was to see, How the Welchmen rose wholy with him, And shogged them to Shrewsburye.
  15. Att that time was baylye in Shrewsburye One Master Mitton, in the towne; The gates were strong, and he mad them ffast, And the portcullis he lett downe.
  16. And throug a garrett of the walls, Ouer Severne these words said hee; 'Att these gates no man enter shall;' But he kept him out a night and a day.
  17. These words Mitton did Erle Richmond tell (I am sure the chronicles of this will not lye); But when lettres came from Sir William Stanley of the Holt castle, Then the gates were opened presentlye.
  18. Then entred this towne the noble lord, The Erle Richmond, the rose soe redd; The Erle of Oxford, with a sword, Wold haue smitt of the bailiffes head.
  19. 'But hold your hand,' saies Erle Richmond, 'Ffor his loue that dyed vpon a tree! Ffor if wee begin to head so soone, In England wee shall beare no degree.'
  20. 'What offence haue I made thee,' sayd Erle Richmonde, 'That thou kept me out of my towne?' 'I know no king,' sayd Mitton then, 'But Richard now, that weares the crowne.'
  21. 'Why, what wilt thou say,' said Erle Richmonde, 'When I haue put King Richard downe?' 'Why, then Ile be as true to you, my lord, After the time that I am sworne.'
  22. 'Were itt not great pitty,' sayd Erle Richmond, 'That such a man as this shold dye, Such loyall service by him done? (The cronickles of this will not lye.)
  23. 'Thou shalt not be harmed in any case;' He pardone[d] him presentlye; They stayd not past a night and a day, But towards Newport did they hye.
  24. But [at] Attherston these lords did meete; A worthy sight itt was to see, How Erle Richmond tooke his hatt in his hand, And said, Cheshire and Lancashire, welcome to me!
  25. But now is a bird of the egle taken; Ffrom the white bore he cannot fflee; Therfore the old egle makes great moane, And prayes to God most certainly.
  26. 'O stedfast God, verament,' he did say, 'Thre persons in one god in Trinytye, Saue my sonne, the young egle, this day Ffrom all ffalse craft and trecherye!'
  27. Then the blew bore the vanward had; He was both warry and wise of witt; The right hand of them he tooke, The sunn and wind of them to gett.
  28. Then the egle ffollowed fast vpon his pray, With sore dints he did them smyte; The talbott he bitt wonderous sore, Soe well the vnicorne did him quite.
  29. And then came in the harts head; A worthy sight itt was to see, The iacketts that were of white and redd, How they laid about them lustilye.
  30. But now is the ffeirce ffeeld foughten and ended, And the white bore there lyeth slaine, And the young egle is preserued, And come to his nest againe.
  31. But now this garden fflourishes ffreshly and gay, With ffragrant fflowers comely of hew, And gardners itt doth maintaine; I hope they will proue iust and true.
  32. Our king, he is the rose soe redd, That now does fflourish ffresh and gay: Confound his ffoes, Lord, wee beseeche, And loue His Grace both night and day!