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IR THOMAS WYATT       

 

POEMS            (RONDEAUS)


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.
 

 

 

30
 
 
 

 

 1.

In eternum I was ons determined,
For to have lovid and my minde affermed,
That with my herte it shuld be confermed,

                                                 
In eternum.

2

Forthwith I founde the thing that I might like,
And sought with love to warme her hert alike,
For as me thought I shulde not se the like,

                                                 In eternum.

3

To trace this daunse I put myself in prese,
Vayne hope did led, and bad I shuld not cese
To serve, to suffer, and still to hold my pease,

                                                 In eternum.

4

With this first rule I fordred me a pase,
That as me thought, my trouthe had taken place
With full assurans to stand in her grace,

                                                  In eternum.

5

It was not long er I by proofe had found
That feble bilding is on feble grounde;
For in her herte this worde ded never sownde,

                                                 In eternum.

6

In eternum then from my herte I kest
That I had first determined for the best ;
Nowe in the place anothr thought dothe rest,

                                                 In eternum.


 

 

 1.

In aeternum I was once determined,
For to have loved and my mind affirmed,
That with my heart it should be confirmed,
                                                 
In aeternum.

2

Forthwith I found the thing that I might like,
And sought with love to warm her heart alike,
For as me thought I should not see the like,
                                                 In aeternum.

3

To trace this dance I put myself in press,
Vain hope did lead, and bade I should not cease
To serve, to suffer, and still to hold my peace,
                                                 In aeternum.

4

With this first rule I furthered me apace,
That as me thought, my truth had taken place
With full assurance to stand in her grace,
                                                  In aeternum.

5

It was not long ere I by proof had found
That feeble building is on feeble ground;
For in her heart this word did never sound,
                                                 In aeternum.

6

In aeternum then from my heart I cast
That I had first determined for the best ;
Now in the place another thought doth rest,
                                                 In aeternum.


 

   

 

NOTES

1. in aeternum = for eternity (Latin).
my mind agreed = my mind agreed.
That with my heart etc. = that it (my mind) would work with my heart strongly in conjunction .
3. trace = copy, perform.

in press = in a throng of people; into great exertion.
4.
my truth had taken place =my faithfulness had secured a place (in her heart).
5. this word = this word of truthfulness, or of love.

 

31
 

 

1.

Syns ye delite to knowe,
      
That my torment and woo
         
Should still encrese
      
Withoute relese,
   
I shall enforce me so,
That liff and all shall goo,
For to content your cruelnes.

2

And so this grevous trayne
      
That I so long sustayn,
         
Shall sometime cese,
      
And have redresse,
   
And you also remain
Full pleased with my pain,
For to content your cruelnes.

3

Onles that be to light
      
And that ye would ye myght
         
Se the distresse
      
And hevines
   
Of oon slain owte right,
Therewith to please your sight,
And to content your cruelnes.

4

Then in your cruell mode,
      
Would God fourthwith ye woode,
         
With force expresse,
      
My hert oppresse,
   
To do your hert suche good,
To se me bathe in blode,
For to content your cruelnes.

5

Then cowld ye aske no more,
      
Then should ye ease my sore,
         
And the excesse
      
Of myn excesse ;
   
And you should evermore
Defamed be, therefore,
For to repent your cruelnes.

 

 

1.

Since ye delight to know,
      
That my torment and woe
         
Should still increase
      
Without release,
   
I shall enforce me so,
That life and all shall go,
For to content your cruelness.

2

And so this grievous train
      
That I so long sustain,
         
Shall sometime cease,
      
And have redress,
   
And you also remain
Full pleased with my pain,
For to content your cruelness.

3

Unless that be too light
      
And that ye would ye might
         
See the distress
      
And heaviness
   
Of one slain outright,
Therewith to please your sight,
And to content your cruelness.

4

Then in your cruel mode,
      
Would God forthwith ye would,
         
With force express
      
My heart oppress
   
To do your heart such good,
To see me bathe in blood,
For to content your cruelness.

5

Then could ye ask no more,
      
Then should ye ease my sore,
         
And the excess
      
Of mine excess;
   
And you should evermore
Defamed be, therefore,
For to repent your cruelness.

   

 

NOTES

1. still = continually.
enforce me = constrain myself.
2.
grievous train = continuation of suffering.
sometime = at last.
3. that be too light = the release of death might be too easy an option.

that ye would ye might = that which you prefer you desire to enforce and see etc.
4. force express = immediate violence.
my heart oppress = do me to death.
5. the excess / Of mine excess = the superfluity of my grief.

 

 

32
  
 
 

1

Hevyn and erth and all that here me plain,
  
Do well perceve what care doeth cause me cry,
  
Save you alone, to whome I cry in vain,
Mercy ! madame alas, I dy ! I dy !

2

If that you slepe, I humbly you require
  
Forbere, a while, and let your rigor slake ;
  
Syns that by you I burn thus in this fyer,
To here my plainte, dere hert, awake ! awake !

3

Syns that so ofte ye have made me to wake
  
In plaint and teres, and in right pitious case,
  
Displease you not if force do now me make
To breke your slepe crieng alas ! alas !

4

It is the last trouble that you shall have
  
Of me, madame, to here my last complaint ;
  
Pitie at lest your poure unhappy slave
For in dispere alas I faint ! I faint !

5

It is not now but long and long ago,
  
I have you served as to my powre and myght,
  
As faithfully as any man might do,
Clayming of you nothing of right, of right.

6

Save of your grace only to save my liff
  
That fleith as fast as clowd afore the wynde
  
For sins that first I entred in this stryff
An inward deth hath fret mynde, my mynd.

7

If I had suffred this to you, unware,
  
Myn were the fawte and you nothing to blame
  
But syns you know my woo and all my care
Why do I dy alas for shame, for shame.

8

I know right well my face, my lowke, my teres,
  
Myn Iyes, my Wordes, and eke my drery chiere,
  
Have cryd my deth full oft into your eres,
Herd of belefe it doeth appere, appere.

9

A better prouff I se that ye would have
  
How I ame dede ; therefore when ye here tell
  
Beleve it not, all tho ye se my grave
Cruell ; unkynd ! I say farewell ! farewell !

1

Heaven and earth and all that here me plain,
  
Do well perceive what care doth cause me cry,
  
Save you alone, to whom I cry in vain,
Mercy ! madame alas, I die! I die!

2

If that you sleep, I humbly you require
  
Forbear, a while, and let your rigour slack;
  
Since that by you I burn thus in this fire,
To hear my plaint, dear heart, awake! awake!

3

Since that so oft ye have made me to wake
  
In plaint and tears, and in right piteous case,
  
Displease you not if force do now me make
To break your sleep crying alas! alas!

4

It is the last trouble that you shall have
  
Of me, madame, to hear my last complaint;
  
Pity at last your poor unhappy slave
For in despair alas I faint! I faint!

5

It is not now but long and long ago,
  
I have you served as to my power and might,
  
As faithfully as any man might do,
Claiming of you nothing of right, of right.

6

Save of your grace only to save my life
  
That fleeth as fast as cloud afore the wind
  
For since that first I entered in this strife
An inward death hath fret my mind, my mind.

7

If I had suffered this, to you unware,
  
Mine were the fault and you nothing to blame
  
But since you know my woe and all my care
Why do I die, alas? For shame! For shame!

8

I know right well my face, my look, my tears,
  
Mine eyes, my words, and eke my dreary cheer,
  
Have cried my death full oft into your ears,
Hard of belief it doth appear, appear.

9

A better proof I see that ye would have
  
How I am dead; therefore when ye hear tell
  
Believe it not, although ye see my grave
Cruel; unkind! I say farewell! Farewell!

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES

1. plain = complain.
care = sorrow, distress.
2. Forbear = be considerate; restrain your anger.
let your rigour slack = soften your harshness towards me.
3. Displease you not = be not displeased.
force = passion, emotional breakdown.
5. as to my power and might = with all my strength and resilience.
6. fret = eroded, damaged.
8. eke my dreary cheer = my sad appearance also.
hard of belief = hence it is hard to believe (since you have heard it so often). Or - it is hard to persuade you of anything.

 

 

  33
  
 
 

1

 Comfort thy self my wofull hert,
   
Or shortly on thy self the wreke ;
   
For lenght redoubleth dedly smert ;
   
Why sighes thou hert and woult not breke !

2

To wast in sighes were pitious deth,
   
Alas, I fynd the faynt and weke,
   
Enforce thyself to lose thy breth,
   
Why sighes thou hert and woult not breke !

3

Thou knowest right well that no redresse
   
Is thus to pyne, and for to speke,
   
Pardy it is remediles !
   
Why sighes thou then and woult not breke !

4

It is to late for to refuse
   The yoke when it is on thy neck ;
   To shake it of vaileth not to muse :
   
Why sighes thou then and woult not breke !

5.

To sobb and sigh it were but vain,
   Syns there is none that doeth it reke ;
   Alas thou doyst prolong thy pain,
   Why sighes thou then and woult not breke !

6

Then in her sight, to move her hert,
   Seke on thyself thyself to wreke,
   That she may knowe thou sufferdst smert,
Sigh there thy last : and therewith breke.

1

 Comfort thy self my woeful heart,
   
Or shortly on thy self thee wreak,
   
For length redoubleth deadly smart.
   
Why sighs thou heart and wilt not break!

2

To waste in sighs were piteous death,
   
Alas, I find thee faint and weak;
   
Enforce thyself to lose thy breath,
   
Why sighs thou heart and wilt not break!

3

Thou knowest right well that no redress
   
Is thus to pine, and for to speak,
   
Perdy it is remedyless!
   
Why sighs thou then and wilt not break!

4

It is to late for to refuse
   The yoke when it is on thy neck ;
   To shake it off vaileth not to muse :
   
Why sighs thou then and wilt not break!

5.

To sob and sigh it were but vain,
   Since there is none that doth it reck;
   Alas thou dost prolong thy pain,
   
Why sighs thou then and wilt not break!

6

Then in her sight, to move her heart,
   Seek on thyself thyself to wreak,
   That she may know thou sufferest smart,
Sigh there thy last: and therewith break.

   

 

NOTES

1. wreak = do harm, avenge, be violent with.
length = long period of devotion.
smart = anguish, pain, sorrow.
2. waste = waste away, decay.
enforce = use force against.
3. no redress / Is thus to pine = it is profitless to pine in this way.
Perdy = par dieu, by god!
4. vaileth not to muse = it is of no avail (to consider the option to etc.).
5. reck = take account of.
6. to wreak - see stanza 1.

 

 

  34
  
 
 

 

1

To cause accord or to aggre
   
Two contraries in oon degre,
   
And in oon poynct, as semeth me,
   
To all mans wit it cannot be
                                                   
It is impossible !

2

Of hete and cold when I complain,
   
And say that hete doeth cause my pain,
   
And cold doeth shake me every vain,
   
And boeth at ons, I say again
                                                   
It is impossible !

3

That man that hath his hert away,
   
If lyff lyveth there as men do say
   
That he, hertles, should last on day
   
Alyve, and not to torn to clay.
                                                   
It is impossible !

4

Twixt lyff and deth, say what who sayth,
   
Ther lyveth no lyff that draweth breth,
   
They joyne so nere : and eke i faith
   
To seke for liff by wissh of deth
                                                   
It is impossible !

5

Yet Love, that all things doeth subdue,
   
Whose power ther may no liff eschew,
   
Hath wrought in me, that I may rew
   
These miracles to be so true,
                                                   
That are impossible.

 

1

To cause accord or to agree
   
Two contraries in one degree,
   
And in one point, as seemeth me,
   
To all men's wit it cannot be,
                                                   
It is impossible !

2

Of heat and cold when I complain,
   
And say that heat doth cause my pain,
   
And cold doth shake my every vein,
   
And both at once, I say again
                                                   
It is impossible !

3

That man that hath his heart away,
   
If life liveth there as men do say
   
That he, heartless, should last one day
   
Alive, and not to turn to clay.
                                                   
It is impossible !

4

Twixt life and death, say what who saith,
   
There liveth no life that draweth breath,
   
They join so near. And eke in faith
   
To seek for life by wish of death
                                                   
It is impossible !

5

Yet Love, that all things doth subdue,
   
Whose power there may no life eschew,
   
Hath wrought in me, that I may rue
   
These miracles to be so true,
                                                
That are impossible.

 

Mary Souch, who was a handmaid of Lady Jane Seymour.

After Holbein.

 

 NOTES


1. to cause accord = to cause harmony (between two contrary things)
or to agree = or that they (two contraries) should agree.
in one point = at the same level of intensity.
To all man's wit= in the judgement of all men
2. my every vein = every vein in me.
3. hath his heart away = who has lost his heart; in whom the heart is missing.
and not to turn = and does not turn.
4. say what who saith = let anyone say what they will, i.e. it does not matter what anyone says.
that draweth breath = but that it must draw breath.
They join so near = they are so closely tied to each other (i.e. life and breath).
eke = also.
in faith = by my faith (a mild oath).
5. Whose power there may no life eschew = the power of whom (Love, Cupid) there is no one who lives who may belittle or set aside.
Hath wrought in me = has worked to such effect in me.
rue = regret, lament sorrowfully.

 

 

 

 

   
 

Thomas Wyatt

POEMS

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

  Portrait of Wyatt

   
 

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

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

 


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