Sexual Fables

This article accompanies the fable
The Woman in the Bower

Chaucer and Balade to Rosemounde

Geoffrey Chaucer gently satirized the legend in this undated poem, in which he takes the role of the pining poet whose affections are not returned by the Lady but oh, the suffering is worth it: "For though I weep a basin of tears,/Yet may that woe not confound my heart." It anticipates Shakespeare's "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun."

Below is John William Waterhouse's Fair Rosamond of 1917 - one of his last paintings - he was suffering from cancer and he died the same year.


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