Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
 
Extracts from Songs and Sonnets
By Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–1542)
 
[The lover having dreamed enjoying of his love, complaineth that the dream is not either longer or truer.]

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 feigned grace.
By good respect, in such a dangerous case,        5
Thou broughtest not her into these tossing seas;
But madest my sprite to live, my care to encrease,
My body in tempest her delight to embrace.
The body dead, the spirit had his desire;
Painless was the one, the other in delight.        10
Why then, alas, did it not keep it right,
But thus return to leap into the fire;
  And when it was at wish, could not remain?
  Such mocks of dreams do turn to deadly pain.
 
[The lover beseecheth his mistress not to forget his stedfast faith and true intent.]

FORGET not yet the tried intent
        15
Of such a truth as I have meant;
My great travail so gladly spent,
        Forget not yet!
 
Forget not yet when first began
The weary life ye know, since whan        20
The suit, the service none tell can;
        Forget not yet!
 
Forget not yet the great assays,
The cruel wrong, the scornful ways,
The painful patience in delays,        25
        Forget not yet!
 
Forget not! oh! forget not this,
How long ago hath been, and is
The mind that never meant amiss.
        Forget not yet!        30
 
Forget not then thine own approved,
The which so long hath thee so loved,
Whose steadfast faith yet never moved:
        Forget not yet!
 
[The lover complaineth of the unkindness of his love.]

MY lute, awake! perform the last
        35
Labour that thou and I shall waste;
And end that I have now begun:
And when this song is sung and past,
My lute! be still, for I have done.
 
As to be heard where ear is none;        40
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 rock doth not so cruelly,        45
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        50
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,        55
That makest but game of earnest pain;
Trow not alone under the sun
Unquit to cause thy lovers plain,
Although my lute and I have done.
 
May chance thee lie withered and old        60
In 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        65
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        70
Labour that thou and I shall waste;
And ended is that we begun:
Now is thy song both sung and past;
My lute, be still, for I have done.
 
On His Return from Spain

TAGUS farewell! that westward with thy streams
        75
Turns up the grains of gold already tried;
For I with spur and sail go seek the Thames
Gainward the sun that showeth her wealthy pride
And to the town that Brutus sought by dreams,
Like bended moon that leans her lusty side;        80
My king, my country alone for whom I live,
Of mighty Love the winds for this me give! 1
 
Note 1. Al.
  My king, my country, I seek, for whom I live;
O mighty Jove, the winds for this me give!
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