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WYATT, Thomas


They Flee from Me

They flee from me that sometime did me seek

With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.

I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,

That now are wild and do not remember

That sometime they put themselves in danger

To take bread at my hand; and now they range,

Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise

Twenty times better; but once in special,

In thin array after a pleasant guise,

When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,

And she me caught in her arms long and small;

Therewithall sweetly did me kiss,

And softly said, “Dear heart, how like you this?”

It was no dream: I lay broad waking.

But all is turned thorough my gentleness

Into a strange fashion of forsaking;

And I have leave to go of her goodness,

And she also, to use newfangleness.

But since that I so kindly am served,

I would fain know what she hath deserved.


The Appeal

An Earnest Suit to his Unkind Mistress, not to Forsake him

AND wilt thou leave me thus!

Say nay, say nay, for shame!

—To save thee from the blame

Of all my grief and grame.

And wilt thou leave me thus?

Say nay! say nay!

And wilt thou leave me thus,

That hath loved thee so long

In wealth and woe among:

And is thy heart so strong

As for to leave me thus?

Say nay! say nay!

And wilt thou leave me thus,

That hath given thee my heart

Never for to depart

Neither for pain nor smart:

And wilt thou leave me thus?

Say nay! say nay!

And wilt thou leave me thus,

And have no more pitye

Of him that loveth thee?

Alas, thy cruelty!

And wilt thou leave me thus?

Say nay! say nay!