Verse > Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey > Poetical Works
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Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–47).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
 
Songs and Sonnets
Description of the restless State of a Lover, with Suit to his Lady, to rue on his dying Heart
 
THE SUN hath twice brought forth his tender green,
Twice clad the earth in lively lustiness;
Once have the winds the trees despoiled clean,
And once again begins their cruelness;
Since I have hid under ray breast the harm        5
That never shall recover healthfulness.
The winter’s hurt recovers with the warm;
The parched green restored is with shade;
What warmth, alas! may serve for to disarm
The frozen heart, that mine in flame hath made?        10
What cold again is able to restore
My fresh green years, that wither thus and fade?
Alas! I see nothing hath hurt so sore
But Time, in time, reduceth a return:
In time my harm increaseth more and more,        15
And seems to have my cure always in scorn.
Strange kinds of death in life that I do try!
At hand, to melt; far off in flame to burn.
And like as time list to my cure apply,
So doth each place my comfort clean refuse.        20
All thing alive, that seeth the heavens with eye,
With cloak of night, may cover, and excuse
It self from travail of the day’s unrest.
Save I, alas! against all others use,
That then stir up the torments of my breast;        25
And curse each star as causer of my fate.
And when the sun hath eke the dark opprest,
And brought the day, it doth nothing abate
The travails of mine endless smart and pain.
For then, as one that hath the light in hate,        30
I wish for night, more covertly to plain;
And me withdraw from every haunted place,
Lest by my chere my chance appear too plain.
And in my mind I measure pace by pace,
To seek the place where I myself had lost,        35
That day that I was tangled in the lace,
In seeming slack, that knitteth ever most.
But never yet the travail of my thought,
Of better state, could catch a cause to boast.
For if I found, some time that I have sought,        40
Those stars by whom I trusted of the port,
My sails do fall, and I advance right nought;
As anchor’d fast my spirits do all resort
To stand agazed, and sink in more and more 1
The deadly harm which she doth take in sport.        45
Lo! if I seek, how I do find my sore!
And if I flee, I carry with me still
The venom’d shaft, which doth his force restore
By haste of flight; and I may plain my till
Unto myself, unless this careful song        50
Print in your heart some parcel of my tene. 2
For I, alas! in silence all too long,
Of mine old hurt yet feel the wound but green.
Rue on my Life; or else your cruel wrong
Shall well appear, and by my death be seen.        55
 
Note 1. To stand at gaze and suck in more and more. MSS. cited by Dr. Nott. [back]
Note 2. i. e. Sorrow. [back]
 
 
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