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WYATT, Thomas


The recured Lover renounceth his fickle Mistress for her Newfangleness


Thou hast no faith of him that hath none,

But thou must love him needs by reason;

For as saith 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 hot nor cold is mine affection!

For since thine heart is so mutable,

Thou hast no faith.

I thought thee true without exception,

But I perceive I lacked discretion

To fashion faith to words mutable,

Thy thought is too light and variable

To change so oft without occasion.

Thou hast no faith!


To Sir Francis Bryan


SIGHS are my food, my drink are my tears;

Clinking of fetters would such music crave;

Stink, and close air away my life it wears;

Poor innocence is all the hope I have:

Rain, wind, or weather judge I by my ears:

Malice assaults, that righteousness should have.

Sure am I, Bryan, this wound shall heal again,

But yet, alas, the scar shall still remain.



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!