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Rosalind’s Madrigal

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Love in my bosom like a bee
Doth suck his sweet;
Now with his wings he plays with me,
Now with his feet.
Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
His bed amidst my tender breast;
My kisses are his daily feast,
And yet he robs me of my rest.
Ah, wanton, will ye?

And if I sleep, then percheth he
With pretty flight,
And makes his pillow of my knee
The livelong night.
Strike I my lute, he tunes the string;
He music plays if so I sing;
He lends me every lovely thing;
Yet cruel he my heart doth sting.
Whist, wanton, still ye!

Else I with roses every day
Will whip you hence,
And bind you, when you long to play,
For your offense.
I’ll shut mine eyes to keep you in,
I’ll make you fast it for your sin,
I’ll count your power not worth a pin.
Alas! what hereby shall I win
If he gainsay me?

What if I beat the wanton boy
With many a rod?
He will repay me with annoy,
Because a god.
Then sit thou safely on my knee,
And let thy bower my bosom be;
Lurk in mine eyes, I like of thee.
O Cupid, so thou pity me,
Spare not, but play thee!

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Rosalind’s Madrigal

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  • Poet, playwright, and physician Thomas Lodge was the son of a lord mayor of London. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford, Lodge attracted notice with one of the first defenses of poetry written in response to Stephen Gosson’s School of Abuse (1579). Lodge wrote other tracts, including An Alarum Against Usurers (1584), a warning against money lending. Though not autobiographical, the tract was informed by Lodge’s own persistent money troubles. Lodge gained renown as a playwright, poet, and writer of “narrative fictions.” A Looking-Glass for London and England and The Wounds of Civil War, his first plays with Robert Greene, were written between 1584 and 1589 but printed in 1594.
    By 1589, Lodge had turned his attention to long poems and fictions, publishing such works as Scillas Metamorphosis (1589); Rosalynde: Euphue Golden Legacie (1590), which Shakespeare famously drew on for As You Like It; The Famous, True and Historicall...

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