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Language: English

Like to the clear in highest sphere
  Where all imperial glory shines,
Of self-same colour is her hair
  Whether unfolded or in twines:
    Heigh ho, fair Rosaline.
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,
  [Resembling]1 heav'n by ev'ry 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]2 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]3 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]4 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!

C. Parry sets stanzas 1-2, 5
E. Moeran sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Moeran, Parry: "Refining"
2 Moeran, Parry: "which"
3 Moeran: "in"
4 Moeran, Parry: "her"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:39
Line count: 46
Word count: 278

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