Thomas Lodge's romance includes several inset poems, including a verse dialogue on the vocation of poetry. "It contains a Spenserian 'Eglog between Montanus and Coridon,' prototypes of Shakespeare's youthful lover Silvius and the aged Shepherd Corin" Herbert E. Cory, "Spenserian Pastoral" (1910) 244. Rosalynde was published anonymously.
Samuel Egerton Brydges: "Dr. Thomas Lodge was of a Lincolnshire family, born about 1556, educated at Trinity College, Oxford, 1574. He practised as a physician in England, and was much patronized by the Catholics. He died (of the plague, it is supposed) in 1625" British Bibliographer 3 (1812) xi.
John Payne Collier: "It seems not unlikely that Thomas Lodge, who, in 1590, printed the beautiful story on which Shakespeare founded his As You Like It, under the title of Rosalynd, Euphues' Golden Legacy, intended to write a work, perhaps in imitation of Spenser's Shepheardes Calender, to be called The Sailor's Kalender. He mentions it at the very end of his Rosalynd; and, as that production was written at sea, possibly he meant his own Sailor's Kalender to relate his own adventures on shipboard. If he designed a series of Marine Eclogues, the work would (like Phineas Fletcher's Piscatory Eclogues, 1633) have had entire novelty to recommend it, even if Lodge had failed to display in it his usual taste, invention, and ability. He never fulfilled his promise" Poetical Works of Spenser (1862; 1875) 1:xli-ii n.
Edmund Gosse: "This beautiful and fantastic book is modelled more exactly upon the masterpiece of Sannazaro than any other in our language. The poet defined his romance as containing 'perhaps some leaves of Venus' myrtle, but hewn down by a soldier with his curtle axe, not bought with the allurement of a filed tongue.' He wrote it on board ship, while becalmed off Terceira in the Azores, and it retains not a little of the tropic environment of its composition. To us moderns the great interest of Rosalynde lies in the exquisite and varied lyrics that intersperse its pages in the Italian manner. The fair and beauteous shepherdess, Aliena, deprecates the amorous insanity of a muse-mad swain; the forester, Rosader, excites the wonder of the page, Ganymede, by the melodious ecstacy of his praise of Rosalynde; the 'gorgeous nymph,' Phoebe, replies in lines of serious music to the passion of the love-lorn shepherd, Montanus, she being dressed in a scarlet petticoat, with a green mantle, and a wreath of roses to shield her wonderful eyes from the sun. All is courtly and elegant: the romance moves with a rhythmical swing, like the steps of some stately round, danced upon a smoothly shaven lawn. Without the passages of rhyme, perhaps, Rosalynde would have few readers now-a-days, but it is evident that it exactly struck the taste of the last decade of the sixteenth century, and was perhaps more instrumental than any other book in rendering this artificial kind of pastoral popular" Complete Works of Spenser, ed. Grosart (1882-84) 3:xxiii.
George Saintsbury: "The connection between Lodge and Greene was so close, and the difficulty of ascertaining the exact dates of their compositions is so great, that it is impossible to be sure which was the precise forerunner. Certainly if Lodge set Greene an example in the Alarum against Usurers, he followed Greene's lead in Forbonius and Prisceria some years afterwards, having written it on shipboard in a venture against the Spaniards. Lodge produced the most famous book of the euphuist school, next to Euphues itself, as well as the best known of this pamphlet series, in Rosalynde or Euphues' Golden Legacy, from which Shakespere took the story of As you Like It" History of Elizabethan Literature (1887; 1909) 229.
Thomas Lodge proposes a "Sailers Kalender" possibly with reference to Spenser's title: "If you gather any fruits by this Legacie, speake well of Euphues for writing it, and me for fetching it. If you grace me with that favour, you encourage me to be more forward: and assoone as I have overlookt my labours, expect the Sailers Kalender" p. 66.
Say shepheards boy, what makes thee greet so sore?
Why leaves thy pipe his pleasure and delight?
Yoong are thy yeares, thy cheeks with Roses dight:
Then sing for joy (sweet swain) and sigh no more.
This milk-white Poppy and this climbing Pine
Both promise shade, then sit thee downe and sing,
And make these woods with pleasant notes to ring,
Till Phoebus daine all Westward to decline.
Ah (Coridon) unmeet is melody
To him whom proud contempt hath overborn,
Slain are my joyes by Phoebus bitter scorn,
Far hence my weale and nere my jeopardy.
Loves burning brand is couched in my brest,
Making a Phoenix of my faintfull hart:
And though his fury doo inforce my smart,
Ay blyth am I to honour his behest.
Preparde to woes since so my Phoebe wils,
My lookes dismaid since Phoebe will disdain,
I banish blisse and welcome home my pain,
So stream my tears as showers from Alpine hils
In errors maske I blindfold judgements eye,
I fetter reason in the snares of lust,
I seeme secure, yet know not how to trust,
I live by that, which makes me living dye.
Devoyd of rest, companion of distresse,
Plague to my selfe, consumed by my thought,
How may my voyce or pipe in tune be brought?
Since I am reft of solace and delight.
Ah Lorrell lad, what makes thee Herry love?
A sugred harme, a poyson full of pleasure,
A painted shrine ful-fild with rotten treasure,
A heaven in shew, a hell to them that prove.
Againe, in seeming shadowed stil with want,
A broken staffe which follie doth upholde,
A flower that fades with everie frostie colde,
An orient Rose sprong from a withred plant.
A minutes joy to gaine a world of griefe,
A subtil net to snare the idle minde,
A seeing Scorpion, yet in seeming blinde,
A poore rejoyce, a plague without reliefe.
For thy Montanus follow mine arreede,
(Whom age hath taught the traines that fancy useth)
Leave foolish love, for beautie wit abuseth,
And drownes (by folly) vertues springing seede.
So blames the childe the flame, because it burnes,
And bird the snare, because it doth intrap,
And fooles true love, because of sorry hap,
And saylers cursse the ship that overturnes.
But would the childe forbeare to play with flame,
And birds beware to trust the flowlers gin,
And fooles foresee before they fall and sin,
And maisters guide their ships in better frame.
The childe would praise the fire, because it warmes,
And birds rejoyce, to see the fowler faile,
And fooles prevent, before their plagues prevaile,
And saylers blesse the barke that saves from harmes.
Ah Coridon, though many be thy yeares;
And crooked elde hath some experience left,
Yet is thy mind of judgement quite bereft,
In view of love, whose power in me appeares.
The ploughman litle wots to turn the pen,
Or bookeman skils to guide the ploughmans cart,
Nor can the cobler count the tearmes of Art,
Nor base men judge the thoughts of mighty men.
Nor withered age (unmeet for beauties guide,
Uncapable of loves impressien)
Discourse of that, whose choyce possession
May never to so base a man be tied.
But I (whom nature makes of tender mold,
And youth most pliant yeelds to fancies fire)
Do build my haven and heaven on sweet desire,
On sweet desire more deere to me than gold.
Thinke I of love, O how my lines aspire?
How hast the Muses to imbrace my browes,
And hem my temples in with lawrell bowes,
And fill my braines with chast and holy fire?
Then leave my lines their homely equipage,
Mounted beyond the circle of the Sunne:
Amazd I read the stile when I have done,
And Herry Love that sent that heavenly rage.
Of Phoebe then, of Phoebe then I sing,
Drawing the puritie of all the spheares,
The pride of earth, or what in heaven appeares,
Her honoured face and fame to light to bring.
In fluent numbers and in pleasant vaines,
I robbe both sea and eath of all their state,
To praise her parts: I charme both time and fate
To blesse the Nymph that yeelds me love sicke paines.
My sheepe are turnd to thoughts, whom froward will
Guydes in the restles Laborynth of Love,
Feare lends them pasture where so ere they move,
And by their death their life renueth still.
My sheepehooke is my pen, mine oaten reed,
My paper, where my many woes are written:
Thus silly swaine (with love and fancie bitten)
I trace the plaines of paine in wofull weed.
Yet are my cares, my broken sleepes, my teares,
My dreames, my doubts, for Phoebe sweet to me:
Who wayteth heaven in sorrowes vale must be,
And glory shines where daunger most appeares.
Then Coridon although I blith me not,
Blame me not man since sorrow is my sweet:
So willeth Love, and Phoebe thinkes it meet,
And kind Montanus liketh well his lot.
Oh staylesse youth, by errour so misguided,
Where will prescribeth lawes to perfect wits,
Where reason mournes, and blame in triumph sits,
And folly poysoneth all that time provided.
With wilfull blindnesse bleard, prepard to shame,
Prone to neglect Occasion when she smiles:
Alas that Love by fond and froward guiles,
Should make thee tract the path to endlesse blame.
Ah (my Montanus) cursed is the charme,
That hath bewitched so thy youthfull eyes?
Leave off in time to like these vanities,
Be forward to thy good, and fly thy harme.
As many bees as Hibla daily shields,
As many frie as fleet on Oceans face,
As many heards as on the earth do trace,
As many flowers as decke the fragrant fields.
As many stars as glorious heaven contains,
As many storms as wayward winter weepes,
As many plagues as hell inclosed keepes:
So many griefs in love, so many pains.
Suspitions, thoughts, desires, opinions, prayers;
Mislikes, misdeeds, fondioies, and fained peace,
Illusions, dreames, great paines, and small increase,
Vowes, hope, acceptance, scorns, and deepe despaires.
Truce, warre, and wo do wait at beauties gate:
Time lost, laments, reports, and privy grudge,
And last, fierce Love is but a partiall Judge,
Who yeelds for service shame, for friendship hate.
All adder-like I stop mine eares (fond swaine)
So charme no more, for I will never change.
Call home thy flocks betime that stragling range:
For loe, the Sunne declineth hence amaine.
Terentius. In amore haec insunt vitia: induciae, inimicitia, bellum, pax rursum: incerta haec situ postules, ratione cert a fieri nihilo plus agas, quam fides operam, ut cum ratione insanias.