SIR RICHARD ROS (b. 1429), English poet, son of Sir Thomas Ros, lord of Hamlake (Helmsley) in Yorkshire and of Belvoir in Leicestershire, was born on the 8th of March 1429. In Hari. MS. 372 the poem of "La Belle Dame sanz Mercy," first printed in W. Thynne's Chaucer (1532), has the ascription "Translatid out of Frenche by Sir Richard Ros." "La Belle Dame sanz Mercy" is a long and rather dull poem from the French of Alain Chartier, and dates from about the middle of the 15th century. It is written in the Midland dialect, and is surprisingly modern in diction. The opening lines "Half in a dreme, not fully wel awaked, The golden sleep me wrapped under his wing," have often been quoted, but the dialogue between the very long-suffering lover and the cruel lady does not maintain this high level.
See W. W. Skeat, Chaucerian and Other Pieces (1897); and Dr. H. Grbhler, Ueber Richard Ros' mittelenglische Uebersetzung. .. (Breslau, 1886).
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