Sir Thomas Wyatt

(1503-1542 / Kent / England)

To His Lute


MY lute, awake! perform the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,
   And end that I have now begun;
For when this song is said and past,
   My lute, be still, for I have done.

As to be heard where ear is none,
As lead to grave in marble stone,
   My song may pierce her heart as soon:
Should we then sing, or sigh, or moan?
   No, no, my lute! for I have done.

The rocks do not so cruelly
Repulse the waves continually,
   As she my suit and affectiòn;
So that I am past remedy:
   Whereby my lute and I have done.

Proud of the spoil that thou hast got
Of simple hearts thorough Love's shot,
   By whom, unkind, thou hast them won;
Think not he hath his bow forgot,
   Although my lute and I have done.

Vengeance shall fall on thy disdain,
That makest but game of earnest pain:
   Trow not alone under the sun
Unquit to cause thy lover's plain,
   Although my lute and I have done.

May chance thee lie wither'd and old
The winter nights that are so cold,
   Plaining in vain unto the moon:
Thy wishes then dare not be told:
   Care then who list! for I have done.

And then may chance thee to repent
The time that thou has lost and spent
   To cause thy lover's sigh and swoon:
Then shalt thou know beauty but lent,
   And wish and want as I have done.

Now cease, my lute! this is the last
Labour that thou and I shall waste,
   And ended is that we begun:
Now is this song both sung and past--
   My lute, be still, for I have done.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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