Sir Thomas Wyatt

(1503-1542 / Kent / England)

The Long Love


The long love that in my thought doth harbour,
And in mine heart doth keep his residence,
Into my face presseth with bold pretence,
And therein campeth, spreading his banner.
She that me learneth to love and suffer,
And wills that my trust and lust's negligence
Be reined by reason, shame, and reverence,
With his hardiness taketh displeasure.
Wherewithal, unto the heart's forest he fleeth,
Leaving his enterprise with pain and cry;
And there him hideth, and not appeareth.
What may I do when my master feareth
But in the field with him to live or die?
For good is the life ending faithfully.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • John Fletcher (6/10/2009 7:06:00 AM)

    A witty and poignant poem about being true to the very desire that 'masters' one, however volatile and unreliable its 'hardiness' may be. Very rhythmically supple verse, esp. when compared to Surrey's more staid and static translation of the same Petrarch original.
    A favourite since my undergraduate dissertation on Wyatt. (Report) Reply

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