Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
II. Recollections of the Time He Spent in Windsor Castle
By Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–1547)
WHEN Windsor walls sustained my wearied arm,
My hand my chin, to ease my restless head,
The pleasant plot, revested green with warm, 1
The blossomed boughs with lusty Ver 2 y-spread,
The flowered meads, the wedded birds so late,        5
Mine eyes discover; and to my mind resort
The jolly woes, the hateless short debate,
The rakehell 3 life, that ’longs to love’s disport;
Wherewith, alas! the heavy charge of care
Heaped in my breast breaks forth against my will        10
In smoky sighs that overcast the air:
My vapored eyes such dreary tears distil,
  The tender spring which quicken where they fall;
  And I half bend, to throw me down withal. 4
Note 1. warmth. [back]
Note 2. spring. [back]
Note 3. More properly,—says a note in Robert Bell’s edition of Surrey,—“rakel, rash, careless, reckless. Rakehel was used to designate a dissolute profligate fellow.” Some commentators, however, might choose to suppose that there was an involuntary, if not a candid, propriety in the word, when speaking of the Court of Henry VIII. [back]
Note 4. Some of the sentences in these verses are ill put together, perhaps were incorrectly copied from the manuscript; but the picture at the beginning, some of the expressions in the middle,—such as “jolly woes” and “hateless debate,”—and the evidence of passionate emotion at the close, render it worth transcribing. In a subsequent poem—not a sonnet—written when Surrey was put into confinement in the same place in consequence of a quarrel, he again mourns the pleasures he once enjoyed there:—
  “Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour;
The large green courts, where we were wont to hove (hover),
With eyes cast up into the Maidens’ tower (the Maids of Honor),
And easy sighs, such as folk draw in love.”

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