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The amazing web site of Shakespeare's Thomas Wyatt, poems, rondeaus 1-9.

 

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IR THOMAS WYATT       

 

POEMS            (RONDEAUS)

 

This is part of the web site of Shakespeare's sonnets

HAKESPEARE'S   ONNETS


 

Thomas Wyatt

POEMS

Rondeaus  Misc poems I Misc poems II Misc poems III Epigrams Sonnets1-20 Sonnets 21-31 Satires
     

 

The text of this edition is taken from The Poems of Sir Thomas Wiat edited by A.K. Foxwell, London 1913. The modern spelling version and the notes are provided by the Webmaster of this site. The notes are not intended to be exhaustive, but to provide the minimum assistance to students for whom the poems are new.
 

 

 

 RONDEAU 1
 
 
   Behold love, thy power how she dispiseth :
  My great payne, how litle she regardeth
  The holy oth, wherof she taketh no cure
  Broken she hath : and yet she bideth sure
  Right at her ease, and litle she dredeth.
  
  Wepened thou art, and she unarmed sitteth
  To the disdaynfull her liff she ledeth :
  To me spitefull without cause or mesur.
                                     Behold love.
  
I ame in hold : if pitie the meveth,
  Goo bend thy bowe, that stony hertes breketh,
  And with some stroke revenge the displeasur
  Of the and him, that sorrowe doeth endur,
  And as his lorde the lowly entreateth.
                                     Behold love.
 

  Behold love, thy power how she despiseth :
  My great pain, how little she regardeth
  The holy oath, whereof she taketh no cure
  Broken she hath : and yet she bideth sure
  Right at her ease, and little she dreadeth.
  
  Weaponed thou art, and she unarmed sitteth
  To thee disdainful her life she leadeth :
  To me spiteful without cause or measure.
                                     Behold love.
  
I am in hold : if pity thee moveth,
  Go bend thy bow, that stony hearts breaketh,
  And with some stroke revenge the displeasure
  Of thee and him, that sorrow doth endure,
  And as his lord thee lowly entreateth.
                                     Behold love.
 
   

 

 

NOTES

no cure = no care.
she bideth sure = she is unaffected, untroubled.
To thee disdainful = being disdainful of you.
I am in hold = I am held securely (by her).
And as his lord thee lowly entreateth = and entreats you humbly as his lord. The subject is 'him, that sorrow doth endure'.

 

 

RONDEAU 2
  
   
What vaileth trouth ? or by it to take payn?
  To stryve, by stedfastnes, for to be tayne ?
  To be juste and true : and fle from doublenes ?
  Sythens all alike, where ruleth craftines,
  Rewarded is boeth fals, and plain.
  
  Sonest he spedeth, that most can fain :
  True meaning heart is had in disdayn :
  Against deceipte and doublenes
                                     What vaileth trouth ?
  
Deceved is he, by crafty trayn,
  That meaneth no gile : and doeth remayn
  Within the trapp, without redresse :
  But, for to love, lo, such a maistres,
  Whose crueltie nothing can refrayn,
                                     What vaileth trouth ?
  
 

 What vaileth truth ? or by it to take pain?
  To strive, by stedfastness, for to be ta'en ?
  To be just and true : and flee from doubleness?
  Sythence all alike, where ruleth craftiness,
  Rewarded is both false, and plain.
  
  Soonest he speedeth, that most can feign :
  True meaning heart is had in disdain :
  Against deceit and doubleness
                                     What vaileth truth ?
  
Deceived is he, by crafty train,
  That meaneth no guile : and doth remain
  Within the trap, without redress :
  But, for to love, lo, such a mistress,
  Whose cruelty nothing can refrain,
                                     What vaileth truth ?
  
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES

vaileth = availeth.
for to be ta'en = to be accepted as true and honest ??
doubleness = duplicity.
Sythence = since.
Soonest he speedeth = that man is most successful who.
by crafty train = by trickery ??
That meaneth no guile = who is not himself crafty.
refrain = restrain.

 

 

RONDEAU 3
  
 
  Ffor to love her for her lokes lovely
   My hert was set in thought right fermely,
   Trusting by trouth to have had redresse :
   But she hath made anothr promes,
   And hath geven me leve full honestly.
  
   Yet do I not reioyse it greatly :
   For on my faith I loved to surely :
   But reason will that I do cesse
                                     For to love her.
  
Syns that in love the paynes ben dedly,
   Me thincke it best that reddely
   I do retorn to my first adresse ;
   For at this tyme to great is the prese
   And perilles appere to abundauntely
                                     For to love her.

 For to love her for her looks lovely
   My heart was set in thought right firmly,
   Trusting by truth to have had redress :
   But she hath made another promise,
   And hath given me leave full honestly.
  
   Yet do I not rejoice it greatly :
   For on my faith I loved too surely :
   But reason will that I do cease
                                     For to love her.
  
Since that in love the pain's been deadly,
   Me think it best that readily
   I do return to my first address ;
   For at this time too great is the press
   And perils appear too abundantly
                                     For to love her.
   

 

NOTES

redress = satisfaction
hath made another promise = has made a promise to another (man).
And hath given me leave full honestly = and has frankly told me to go, has released me from my obligations to her.
I do return to my first address = I go back to a former lover ?? I try to woo her again ??
too great is the press = the pressure and pain is too great (to continue as I am)

 

 

 RONDEAU 4
  
 
 

 Helpe me to seke for I lost it ther,
   
And if that ye have founde it ye that be here,
   
And seke to convaye it secretely,
   
Handell it softe, and trete it tenderly :
   
Or els it will plain and then appere ;

But rather restore it mannerly,
   
Syns that I do aske it thus honestly ;
   
For to lese it, it sitteth me to neere;
                                   
Helpe me to seke.

Alas and is there no remedy ?
   
But have I thus lost it wilfully ?
   
I wis it was a thing all to dere
   
To be bestowed, and wist not where :
   
It was myn hert, I pray you hertely
                                   
Helpe me to seke.

  Help me to seek for I lost it there,
   
And if that ye have found it, ye that be here,
   
And seek to convey it secretly,
   
Handle it soft, and treat it tenderly :
   
Or else it will plain and then appear ;

But rather restore it mannerly,
   
Since that I do ask it thus honestly ;
   
For to leese it, it sitteth me too near;
                                   
Help me to seek.

Alas and is there no remedy ?
   
But have I thus lost it wilfully ?
   
I wis it was a thing all too dear
   
To be bestowed, and wist not where :
   
It was mine heart, I pray you heartily
                                   
Help me to seek.
   

 

 

NOTES

convey = hide.
plain = complain
leese = lose; it sitteth me too near = it cuts me to the quick; it is too close for comfort.
I wis = I know, I realise.
and wist not where = and not know where.

 

 

 RONDEAU 5
  
 
 

 Yf it be so that I forsake the,
   
As banished from thy company,
   
Yet my hert, my mynde, and my affection,
   
Shall still remain in thy perfection,
   
But right as thou lyst so order me.

But som would saye, in their opinion
   
Revoultid is thy good intention ;
   
Then may I well blame thy cruelte
                                  
Yf it be so.

But my selfe, I say on this fasshion :
   
I have her hert in my possession,
   
And of itself there cannot perdy
   
By no meanes love an herteles body,
   
And on my faith good is the reason
                                  
If it be so.

  If it be so that I forsake thee,
   
As banished from thy company,
   
Yet my heart, my mind, and my affection,
   
Shall still remain in thy perfection,
   
But right as thou list, so order me.

But some would say, in their opinion
   
Revolted is thy good intention ;
   
Then may I well blame thy cruelty
                                  
If it be so.

But my self, I say on this fashion :
   
I have her heart in my possession,
   
And of itself there cannot perdy
   
By no means love an heartless body,
   
And on my faith good is the reason
                                  
If it be so.

   

 

 

 NOTES

Shall still remain in thy perfection = shall always remain true to you, who are so perfect.
But right as thou list, so order me = but exactly as you desire, order me accordingly.
Revolted = turned away (from me)
And of itself there cannot perdy
/ By no means love an heartless body, = and, by God, a body without a heart simply cannot love. perdy = par dieu, Fr. By God!.

 

 

 RONDEAU 6
  
 
 

 Thou hast no faith of him that hath none,
   
But thou must love him nedes by reason,
   
For as saieth a proverb notable,
   
" Eche thing seketh his semblable "
   
And thou hast thyn of thy condition.

Yet is it not the thing I passe on,
   
Nor hote nor cold is myn affection,
   
For syns thine hert is so mutable,
                                    
Thou hast no faith.

I thought the true without exception,  
   
But I perceve I lacked discretion
   
To fasshion faith to wordes mutable ;
   
Thy thought is so light and variable
   
To chaunge so oft without occasion,
                                    
Thou hast no faith.

  Thou hast no faith of him that hath none,
   
But thou must love him needs by reason,
   
For as sayeth a proverb notable,
   
" Each thing seeketh his semblable "
   
And thou hast thine of thy condition.

Yet is it not the thing I pass on,
   
Nor hote nor cold is mine affection,
   
For since thine heart is so mutable,
                                    
Thou hast no faith.

I thought thee true without exception,  
   
But I perceiveI lacked discretion
   
To fashion faith to words mutable ;
   
Thy thought is so light and variable
   
To change so oft without occasion,
                                    
Thou hast no faith.

   

 

 

NOTES

of him that hath none = (possibly) in him who has no faith in you ?? in him who has nothing ??
But thou must love him needs by reason, = but you ought to love him as it is reasonable to do so ??
semblable = like (noun).
And thou hast thine of thy condition - uncertain meaning. Perhaps 'You have found one who is like yourself'.
pass on = dwell on, insist upon ?? surpass in ??

 

 

  RONDEAU 7
  
 
 

 Goo burnyng sighes ! unto the frozen hert
   
Goo, breke the ise which pites paynfull dert
   
Myght never perse, and if mortall prayer
   
In hevyn may be herd ; at lest I desir
   
That deth or mercy be ende of my smert.

Take with the payne whereof I have my part ;
   
And eke the flame from which I cannot stert :
   
And leve me then in rest I you require.
                                   
Goo, burning sighes !

I must go worke I se by craft and art,
   
For trueth and faith in her is laide apart;
   
Alas I cannot therefor assail her
   
With pitefull plaint and scalding fyer
   
That oute of my brest doth straynably stert
                                   
Goo, burning sighes !

 Go burning sighs! unto the frozen heart
   
Go, break the ice which pity's painful dart
   
Might never pierce, and if mortal prayer
   
In heaven may be heard; at least I desire
   
That death or mercy be end of my smart.

Take with the pain whereof I have my part ;
   
And eke the flame from which I cannot start :
   
And leave me then in rest I you require.
                                   
Go, burning sighs !

I must go work, I see by craft and art,
   
For truth and faith in her is laid apart;
   
Alas I cannot therefore assail her
   
With pitiful plaint and scalding fire
   
That out of my breast doth strainably start
                                   
Go, burning sighs !

   

 

 

NOTES

Take with the pain whereof I have my part = take with you the pain which I have.
eke the flame from which I cannot start = also the flame (passion) from which I cannot escape.
go work = go to work.
is laid apart = is set aside.
plaint = complaint(s).
strainably = with straining and effort.
start = leap out, emerge.

 

 

  RONDEAU 8
  
 
 

 Ye olde mule that think your self so fayre,
   
Leve off with craft your beautie to repaire,
   
For it is time withoute any fable;
   
No man setteth now by riding in your saddell;
   
To muche travaill so do your train apaise,
                                   
Ye old mule!

With fals favoure though you deceve thayes,
   
Who so taste you shall well perceve your layes
   
Savoureth som what of a kappurs stable,
                                   
Ye old mule !

Ye must now serve to market and to faire,
   
All for the burden, for panniers a paire ;
   
For syns gray heres ben powdered in your sable,
   
The thing ye seke for you must yourself enable
   
To pourchase it by payement and by prayer,
                                   
Ye old mule !

 Ye old mule that think your self so fair,
   
Leave off with craft your beauty to repair,
   
For it is time without any fable;
   
No man setteth now by riding in your saddle;
   
Too much travail so do your train appease,
                                   
Ye old mule!

With false favour though you deceive th'eyes,
   
Who so taste you shall well perceive your lays
   
Savoureth somewhat of a kappur's stable,
                                   
Ye old mule !

Ye must now serve to market and to fair,
   
All for the burden, for panniers a pair ;
   
For since gray hair's 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 !

   

 

 

NOTES

without any fable = without more ado, without beating about the bush.
setteth = sets any store by, desires to.
Too much travail so do your train appease - uncertain meaning. Perhaps 'It is too much hard work to satisfy you and your continuous demands'.
lays = layering on of cosmetics?? Tricks?
kappur = colt (Not given in OED).
Ye must now serve to = you are only fit for.
All for the burden, for panniers a pair = to carry burdens and take a pair of panniers (as a mule). Panniers are the sacks slung across a mule's back.
For since gray hair's been powdered in your sable = since you have powdered your hair with black.
The thing ye seek for = sex, love.

 

 

 RONDEAU 9
  
 
 

 What no perdy ye may be sure !
   
Thinck not to make me to your lure,
   
With wordes and chere so contrarieng,
   
Swete and soure contrewaing ;
   
To much it were still to endure ;
   
Trouth is tryed where craft is in ure ;
   
But though ye have hade my hertes cure
   
Trow ye I dote withoute ending ?
                                   
What no perdy !

Though that with pain I do procure
   
For to forgett that ons was pure,
   
Within my hert shall still that thing
   
Unstable, unsure, and wavering
   
Be in my mynde withoute recure ?
                                   
What no perdy !

 What no, perdy, ye may be sure !
   
Think not to make me to your lure,
   
With words and cheer so contrarying,
   
Sweet and sour counterweighing ;
   
Too much it were still to endure ;
   
Truth is tried where craft is in ure ;
   
But though ye have had my heart's cure
   
Trow ye I dote without ending ?
                                   
What no, perdy !

Though that with pain I do procure
   
For to forget that once was pure,
   
Within my heart shall still that thing
   
Unstable, unsure, and wavering
   
Be in my mind without recure ?
                                   
What no, perdy !

   

 

 

NOTES

perdy = par dieu, Fr. By God!
Think not to make me to your lure = do not endeavour to trap me with this bait. Probably a metaphor from
hawking.
contrarying = contrary, at variance.
counterweighing = counterbalancing.
tried = put to the test; in ure = in use, employed.
cure = care.
Trow ye = do you think that?
procure = manage, succeed in (forgetting)

   
 
Thomas Wyatt

POEMS

Rondeaus  Misc poems I Misc poems II Misc poems III Epigrams Sonnets1-20 Sonnets 21-31 Satires

     
   
   
 
     

Sir Thomas Wyatt

   
 

 Portrait of Sir Thomas Wyatt, by Holbein. In His Majesty's Collection.
 
 

 From a print published by J. Chamberlain 1st. Jan. 1812.
 

 

 


Home Sonnets 1 - 50 Sonnets 51 - 100 Sonnets 101 - 154 A Lover's Complaint. Sonnet no. 1
First line index Title page and Thorpe's Dedication Some Introductory Notes to the Sonnets Sonnets as plain text 1-154 Text facsimiles Other related texts of the period
Picture Gallery
Thomas Wyatt Poems Other Authors General notes  for background details, general policies etc. Map of the site Valentine Poems
London Bridge   as it was in Shakespeare's day, circa 1600. Views of London   as it was in 1616. Views of  Cheapside  London, from a print of 1639. The Carrier's  Cosmography.   A guide to all the Carriers in London.  As given by John Taylor in 1637. Oxquarry Books Ltd
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