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Occasion'd by her Brother's unadvisedly praising
her Beauty to Two young Knights of Salisbury, as they rid on the Road.
To the Tune of The Court Lady.
Rosamond, the Daughter of Walter Lord
Clifford, was, as the Writers of that Age assure us, a young Lady of infinite Beauty; on the bare Report of which, King Henry the Second fell in Love with her and having
the IIId, who by his Father's Indulgence
guided into it by a
Clue of Thread, as has erroneously been believ'd; but by a subterraneous Way, digg'd from Godstow Nunneryto Woodstock Bower, tho' Five Miles distant from each other, and carried even under the Isis,anavigable River. The Plot of Mr. Addison's Opera on this Subject, is generally believd a Poetical FiEtion ; because he does not kill Rosamond, but fupposes her to be carry'd away to the Nunnery alive: However, I believe, he has better Authority for this, than most People have for affirming that the Queen poison'd her, and that she dy'd on the Spot. Certain it is, she did not live long, at least not in the Bower, after this Vifit; for, dead or alive, she was brought by the same subterraneous Pasage into the Nunnery, the Entrance of which is still to be seen amongst its Ruins. The Walls of the Chapel Choir (where me lies interr'd) are standing : Her Grave is mark'd round with a narrow
Ridge of Stone, and on the Wall is writ, Hic jacet in Tumulo Rosamunda, non Rosa
Mundi; Non redolet, sed olet, quæ redolere folet.
And several of the Letters having (thro' Injury of Time) been defaced, have lately been repair'd. This Lady had Two Sons by the King : the Eldest, William, marry'd the Daughter and sole Heiress of the Earl
of Salisbury; the other, Geoffrey, was first made Bishop of Lincoln, afterwards Archbishop of York ; and died in Banishment during the Reignof his Brother, King John.
WEET, youthful, charming Ladies
On the unhappy Fate
Prov'd most unfortunate.
When as the Second Henry reign'd
On the Imperial Throne,
To you I shall make known:
Which did her Life attend;
And of her fatal End.
As Three young Knights of Sal'sbury
Were riding on the way,
Within her Bow'r so gay:
But few Men do her know;
Like Drops of Blood on Snow:
My Sister's Locks of curled Hair
Outshine the golden Oar;
With the fine Lilly Flow'r :
Like to the driven Snow:
King Henry should her know.
Where they were riding by,
Thought he immediately,
For that fair White and Red ;
To grace my Royal Bed.
Wou'd not his Fancy pall;
He did young Clifford call;
Come hither unto me;
My Messenger thou'lt be:
Three Letters seal'd with Gold;
As you : Therefore, behold,
Make not the least delay :
And my Commands obey.
From Henry's Royal Hand,