Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
Sir Thomas Wyatt. 1503–1542
38. 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.         5
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.  10
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.  15
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.  20
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.  25
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.  30
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.  35
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.  40
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