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Best Famous Sir Thomas Wyatt Poems

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Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

They Flee from Me

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
   With naked foot stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle tame and meek That now are wild and do not remember That sometime they put themselves in danger To take bread at my hand; and now they range Busily seeking with a continual change.
Thanked be fortune, it hath been otherwise Twenty times better; but once in special, In thin array after a pleasant guise, When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall, And she me caught in her arms long and small; And therewithal sweetly did me kiss, And softly said, Dear heart, how like you this? It was no dream, I lay broad waking.
But all is turned thorough my gentleness Into a strange fashion of forsaking; And I have leave to go of her goodness And she also to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindely am served, I would fain know what she hath deserved.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

Satire II:The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse

 MY mother's maids, when they did sew and spin, 
They sang sometime a song of the field mouse, 
That for because her livelood was but thin [livelihood] 
Would needs go seek her townish sister's house.
She thought herself endured to much pain: The stormy blasts her cave so sore did souse That when the furrows swimmed with the rain She must lie cold and wet in sorry plight, And, worse than that, bare meat there did remain To comfort her when she her house had dight: Sometime a barleycorn, sometime a bean, For which she labored hard both day and night In harvest time, whilst she might go and glean.
And when her store was 'stroyed with the flood, Then well away, for she undone was clean.
Then was she fain to take, instead of food, Sleep if she might, her hunger to beguile.
"My sister," qoth she, "hath a living good, And hence from me she dwelleth not a mile.
In cold and storm she lieth warm and dry In bed of down, and dirt doth not defile Her tender foot, she laboreth not as I.
Richly she feedeth and at the rich man's cost, And for her meat she needs not crave nor cry.
By sea, by land, of the delicates the most Her cater seeks and spareth for no peril.
She feedeth on boiled, baken meat, and roast, And hath thereof neither charge nor travail.
And, when she list, the liquor of the grape Doth goad her heart till that her belly swell.
" And at this journey she maketh but a jape: [joke] So forth she goeth, trusting of all this wealth With her sister her part so for to shape That, if she might keep herself in health, To live a lady while her life doth last.
And to the door now is she come by stealth, And with her foot anon she scrapeth full fast.
The other for fear durst not well scarce appear, Of every noise so was the wretch aghast.
"Peace," quoth the town mouse, "why speakest thou so loud?" And by the hand she took her fair and well.
"Welcome," quoth she, "my sister, by the rood.
" She feasted her that joy is was to tell The fare they had; they drank the wine so clear; And as to purpose now and then it fell She cheered her with: "How, sister, what cheer?" Amids this joy there fell a sorry chance, That, wellaway, the stranger bought full dear The fare she had.
For as she looks, askance, Under a stool she spied two steaming eyes In a round head with sharp ears.
In France was never mouse so feared, for though the unwise [afraid] Had not yseen such a beast before, Yet had nature taught her after her guise To know her foe and dread him evermore.
The town mouse fled; she knew whither to go.
The other had no shift, but wondrous sore Feared of her life, at home she wished her, though.
And to the door, alas, as she did skip (Th' heaven it would, lo, and eke her chance was so) At the threshold her silly foot did trip, And ere she might recover it again The traitor cat had caught her by the hip And made her there against her will remain That had forgotten her poor surety, and rest, For seeming wealth wherein she thought to reign.
Alas, my Poynz, how men do seek the best [a friend of Wyatt] And find the worst, by error as they stray.
And no marvel, when sight is so opprest And blind the guide.
Anon out of the way Goeth guide and all in seeking quiet life.
O wretched minds, there is no gold that may Grant that ye seek, no war, no peace, no strife, No, no, although thy head was hoopt with gold, [crowned] Sergeant with mace, haubert, sword, nor knife Cannot repulse the care that follow should.
Each kind of life hath with him his disease: Live in delight even as thy lust would, [as you would desire] And thou shalt find when lust doth most thee please It irketh strait and by itself doth fade.
A small thing it is that may thy mind appease.
None of ye all there is that is so mad To seek grapes upon brambles or breers, [briars] Not none I trow that hath his wit so bad To set his hay for conies over rivers, [snares for rabbits] Ne ye set not a drag net for an hare.
[nor] And yet the thing that most is your desire Ye do misseek with more travail and care.
Make plain thine heart, that it be not notted With hope or dread, and see thy will be bare >From all effects whom vice hath ever spotted.
Thyself content with that is thee assigned, And use it well that is to thee allotted, Then seek no more out of thyself to find The thing that thou hast sought so long before, For thou shalt find it sitting in thy mind.
Mad, if ye list to continue your sore, Let present pass, and gape on time to come, And deep yourself in travail more and more.
Henceforth, my Poynz, this shall be all and some: These wretched fools shall have nought else of me.
But to the great God and to His high doom* [judgment] None other pain pray I for them to be But, when the rage doth lead them from the right, That, looking backward, Virtue they may see Even as She is, so goodly fair and bright.
And whilst they clasp their lusts in arms across Grant them, good Lord, as Thou mayst of Thy might, To fret inward for losing such a loss.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

Alas Madam for Stealing of a Kiss

 Alas, madam, for stealing of a kiss
Have I so much your mind there offended?
Have I then done so grievously amiss
That by no means it may be amended? 

Then revenge you, and the next way is this:
Another kiss shall have my life ended, 
For to my mouth the first my heart did suck; 
The next shall clean out of my breast it pluck.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

I Find No Peace

 I find no peace, and all my war is done.
I fear and hope.
I burn and freeze like ice.
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise; And nought I have, and all the world I season.
That loseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison And holdeth me not--yet can I scape no wise-- Nor letteth me live nor die at my device, And yet of death it giveth me occasion.
Without eyen I see, and without tongue I plain.
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health.
I love another, and thus I hate myself.
I feed me in sorrow and laugh in all my pain; Likewise displeaseth me both life and death, And my delight is causer of this strife.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

Unstable Dream

 Unstable dream, according to the place,
Be steadfast once, or else at least be true.
By tasted sweetness make me not to rue The sudden loss of thy false feignèd grace.
By good respect in such a dangerous case Thou broughtest not her into this tossing mew But madest my sprite live, my care to renew, My body in tempest her succour to embrace.
The body dead, the sprite had his desire, Painless was th'one, th'other in delight.
Why then, alas, did it not keep it right, Returning, to leap into the fire? And where it was at wish, it could not remain, Such mocks of dreams they turn to deadly pain.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

Lux My Fair Falcon

 Lux, my fair falcon, and your fellows all, 
How well pleasant it were your liberty.
Ye not forsake me that fair might ye befall, But they that sometime liked my company, Like lice away from dead bodies they crawl.
Lo, what a proof in light adversity.
But ye, my birds, I swear by all your bells, Ye be my friends, and so be but few else.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

Whoso List to Hunt

 Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind, 
But as for me, helas! I may no more.
The vain travail hath worried me so sore, I am of them that furthest come behind.
Yet may I by no means, my worried mind Draw from the deer; but as she fleeth afore Fainting I follow.
I leave off therefore, Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt, As well as I, may spend his time in vain; And graven in diamonds in letters plain There is written, her fair neck round about, "Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am, And wild to hold, though I seem tame.
"
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

My Lute Awake

 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 sung 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 sigh or sing 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 affection; 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 on earnest pain.
Think not alone under the sun Unquit to cause thy lovers plain, Although my lute and I have done.
Perchance thee lie wethered 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 hast lost and spent To cause thy lovers 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.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

With Serving Still

 With serving still 
This I have won, 
For my goodwill 
To be undone.
And for redress Of all my pain, Disdainfulness I have again.
And for reward Of all my smart, Lo, thus unheard, I must depart.
Wherefore all ye That after shall By fortune be, As I am, thrall, Example take What I have won, Thus for her sake To be undone.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

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.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

Is It Possible

 Is it possible
That so high debate,
So sharp, so sore, and of such rate,
Should end so soon and was begun so late?
Is it possible?

Is it possible
So cruel intent,
So hasty heat and so soon spent,
From love to hate, and thence for to relent?
Is it possible?

Is it possible
That any may find
Within one heart so diverse mind,
To change or turn as weather and wind?
Is it possible?

Is it possible
To spy it in an eye
That turns as oft as chance on die,
The truth whereof can any try?
Is it possible?

It is possible
For to turn so oft,
To bring that lowest which was most aloft,
And to fall highest yet to light soft:
It is possible.
All is possible Whoso list believe.
Trust therefore first, and after preve, As men wed ladies by licence and leave.
All is possible.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

Ye Old Mule

 Ye old mule that think yourself so fair,
Leave off with craft your beauty to repair,
For it is true, without any fable,
No man setteth more by riding in your saddle.
Too much travail so do your train appair.
Ye old mule With false savour though you deceive th'air, Whoso taste you shall well perceive your lair Savoureth somewhat of a Kappurs stable.
Ye old mule Ye must now serve to market and to fair, All for the burden, for panniers a pair.
For since gray hairs been powdered in your sable, The thing ye seek for, you must yourself enable To purchase it by payment and by prayer, Ye old mule.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

Mine Own John Poynz

 Mine own John Poynz, since ye delight to know
The cause why that homeward I me draw,
And flee the press of courts, whereso they go,
Rather than to live thrall under the awe
Of lordly looks, wrappèd within my cloak,
To will and lust learning to set a law:
It is not for because I scorn or mock
The power of them, to whom fortune hath lent
Charge over us, of right, to strike the stroke.
But true it is that I have always meant Less to esteem them than the common sort, Of outward things that judge in their intent Without regard what doth inward resort.
I grant sometime that of glory the fire Doth twyche my heart.
Me list not to report Blame by honour, and honour to desire.
But how may I this honour now attain, That cannot dye the colour black a liar? My Poynz, I cannot from me tune to feign, To cloak the truth for praise without desert Of them that list all vice for to retain.
I cannot honour them that sets their part With Venus and Bacchus all their life long; Nor hold my peace of them although I smart.
I cannot crouch nor kneel to do so great a wrong, To worship them, like God on earth alone, That are as wolves these sely lambs among.
I cannot with my word complain and moan, And suffer nought, nor smart without complaint, Nor turn the word that from my mouth is gone.
I cannot speak and look like a saint, Use willes for wit, and make deceit a pleasure, And call craft counsel, for profit still to paint.
I cannot wrest the law to fill the coffer With innocent blood to feed myself fat, And do most hurt where most help I offer.
I am not he that can allow the state Of him Caesar, and damn Cato to die, That with his death did scape out of the gate From Caesar's hands (if Livy do not lie) And would not live where liberty was lost; So did his heart the common weal apply.
I am not he such eloquence to boast To make the crow singing as the swan; Nor call the liond of cowardes beasts the most That cannot take a mouse as the cat can; And he that dieth for hunger of the gold Call him Alexander; and say that Pan Passeth Apollo in music many fold; Praise Sir Thopias for a noble tale, And scorn the story that the Knight told; Praise him for counsel that is drunk of ale; Grin when he laugheth that beareth all the sway, Frown when he frowneth and groan when is pale; On others' lust to hang both night and day: None of these points would ever frame in me.
My wit is nought--I cannot learn the way.
And much the less of things that greater be, That asken help of colours of device To join the mean with each extremity, With the nearest virtue to cloak alway the vice; And as to purpose, likewise it shall fall To press the virtue that it may not rise; As drunkenness good fellowship to call; The friendly foe with his double face Say he is gentle and courteous therewithal; And say that favel hath a goodly grace In eloquence; and cruelty to name Zeal of justice and change in time and place; And he that suffer'th offence without blame Call him pitiful; and him true and plain That raileth reckless to every man's shame.
Say he is rude that cannot lie and feign; The lecher a lover; and tyranny To be the right of a prince's reign.
I cannot, I; no, no, it will not be! This is the cause that I could never yet Hang on their sleeves that way, as thou mayst see, A chip of chance more than a pound of wit.
This maketh me at home to hunt and to hawk, And in foul weather at my book to sit; In frost and snow then with my bow to stalk; No man doth mark whereso I ride or go: In lusty leas at liberty I walk.
And of these news I feel nor weal nor woe, Save that a clog doth hang yet at my heel.
No force for that, for it is ordered so, That I may leap both hedge and dyke full well.
I am not now in France to judge the wine, With saffry sauce the delicates to feel; Nor yet in Spain, where one must him incline Rather than to be, outwardly to seem: I meddle not with wits that be so fine.
Nor Flanders' cheer letteth not my sight to deem Of black and white; nor taketh my wit away With beastliness; they beasts do so esteem.
Nor I am not where Christ is given in prey For money, poison, and treason at Rome-- A common practice used night and day: But here I am in Kent and Christendom Among the Muses where I read and rhyme; Where if thou list, my Poinz, for to come, Thou shalt be judge how I do spend my time.
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

A Revocation

 WHAT should I say? 
 --Since Faith is dead, 
And Truth away 
 From you is fled? 
 Should I be led 
 With doubleness? 
 Nay! nay! mistress.
I promised you, And you promised me, To be as true As I would be.
But since I see Your double heart, Farewell my part! Thought for to take 'Tis not my mind; But to forsake One so unkind; And as I find So will I trust.
Farewell, unjust! Can ye say nay But that you said That I alway Should be obeyed? And--thus betrayed Or that I wist! Farewell, unkist!
Written by Sir Thomas Wyatt | Create an image from this poem

Avising The Bright Beams

 Avising the bright beams of these fair eyes 
Where he is that mine oft moisteth and washeth,
The wearied mind straight from the heart departeth
For to rest in his worldly paradise
And find the sweet bitter under this guise.
What webs he hath wrought well he perceiveth Whereby with himself on love he plaineth That spurreth with fire and bridleth with ice.
Thus is it in such extremity brought, In frozen thought, now and now it standeth in flame.
Twixt misery and wealth, twixt earnest and game, But few glad, and many diverse thought With sore repentance of his hardiness.
Of such a root cometh fruit fruitless.