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Shakespeare's Sonnets

Poems (From the Devonshire manuscript. Part IIb.)

11

Hate whom ye list for I care not; Love whom ye list and spare not; Do what ye list and dread not; Think what ye list, I fear not; 4 For as for me I am not But even as one that recks not Whether ye hate or hate not. For in your love I dote not, 8 Wherefore I pray you forget not, But love whom ye list, for I care not.
Hate whom ye list for I kare not : Love whom ye list and spare not : Do what ye list and drede not : Think what ye list I fere not : For as for me I am not, But even as one that reckes not, Whyther ye hate or hate not ; For in your love I dote not, Wherefore I pray you forget not, But love whome ye list, for I care not.

NOTES

4 - 7. For as for me etc. = For I am not even like one who bothers to care whether you love or hate. 9. forget not - i.e. do not forget what I have just said.

12

Grudge on who list, this is my lot, No thing to want if it were not. 2 My years be young even as ye see, All things thereto doth well agree, In faith, in face, in each degree Nothing doth want as seemeth me, 6 If it were not. Some men doth say that friends be scarce, But I have found as in this case A friend which giveth to no man place, But makes me happiest that ever was, 11 If it were not. Refrain Grudge on who list this is my lot, No thing to want if it were not. 14 A heart I have besides all this, That hath my heart and I have his; If he doth well it is my bliss, And when we meet no lack there is 18 If it were not. If he can find that can me please, A thinks he does his own heart's ease, And likewise I could well appease The chiefest cause of his misease, 23 If it were not. Refrain Grudge on who list, this is my lot No thing to want if it were not. 26 A master eke God hath me sent To whom my will is wholly bent To serve and love, for the intent That both we might be well content, 30 If it were not. And here an end, it doth suffice To speak few words among the wise; Yet take this note before your eyes: My mirth should double once or twice 35 If it were not. Refrain Grudge on who list, this is my lot, No thing to want if it were not. 38
Grudge on who liste, this ys my lott No thing to want if it ware not My yeris be yong even as ye see, All thinges therto doeth well agre, Yn faithe, in face, in eche degre Nothing doth want as semith me, If yt ware not. Som men dothe say that frendes be skarce, But I have founde as in this cace A frend wiche gyveth to no man place, But makis me happiest that ever was, If it ware not. Refrain Grudge on who list this is my lot No thing to want if yt ware not. A hart I have besidis all this, That hath my herte and I have his ; If he doeth well yt is my blis, And when we mete no lak ther is If it want not. If he can finde that can me please, A thinckes he dois his owne hertes ease ; And likewise I could well apease The chefest cause of his misease, If it ware not. Refrain Grudge on who liste, this is my lot No thing to want if it ware not. A master oke God hath me sente To have my will, is hollye lent To serve and love, for the entente That bothe, we myght be well contente, If it ware not. And here an end, it doeth suffise To speke fewe wordes among the wise ; Yet take this note before your eyes : My mirth shulde double ons or twise If yt ware not. Refrain Grudge on who liste, this ys my lott No thing to want if it ware not.

NOTES

The meaning of this poem hinges on the enigmatic phrase in the refrain 'If it were not'. The speaker is a woman (See l.16). The mysterious 'it' which prevents the lady from experiencing happiness to the full is possibly her undesired marriage or betrothal to another man. 1. lot = fate. 2. to want = to lack; to desire. 4. All things thereto etc. = Everything else is in harmony with my youth, i.e. trust (in the beloved), appearance, 5. in each degree = in all divisions and , in all ways. 10. giveth to no man place = is superior to all others. 15. heart = sweetheart, lover. 16. that hath my heart and I have his - This shows that the phrase '(He) (My true love) hath my heart and I have his' was current long before Sidney made it famous. 18. no lack there is = (?) there is no lack of anything; all is joyousness. 19. If it were not - Foxwell gives 'If it want not', possibly a mis-reading. 20. that = that which. 21. A thinks = he thinks. 'a' for 'he ' was a common usage of the time. 22. appease = satisfy. 23. The chiefest cause etc. - Perhaps her inability to marry him. 27. eke = also. However Foxwell gives 'oke' which presumably is taken to be a mistake by later editors. (Muir gives eke). I think it would be possible to construe this phrase as 'a master oak' to which the holly is subservient. Holly trees do grow in oak woods, sometimes under the oak itself. 29. intent = intention, purpose. 33. That the wise need few words is proverbial.

13

Greeting to you both in hearty wise As unknown I send, and this my intent As I do here, you to advertise, Lest that perchance your deeds you do repent. The unknown man dreads not to be shent 5 But says as he thinks: so fares it by me. That neither fear nor hope in no degree. 7 The body and the soul is held together, It is but right, and reason will the same, And friendly the one to love the other, 10 It increaseth your beauty and also your fame; But mark well my words, for I fear no blame, Trust well yourselves, but ware ye trust no mo, 13 For such as ye think your friend, may fortune be your foe. Beware friendly ear ye have any need, And to friends reconciled trust not greatly; For they that once with hasty speed Exiled themselves out of your company, 18 Though they turn again and speak fairly, Feigning themselves to be your friends fast 20 Beware of them for they will deceive you at last. Fair words makes fools fain, And bearing in hand causeth much woe; For time trieth truth, therefore refrain, 24 And from such as be ready to do - None do I name but this I know, That by this fault cause causeth much, Therefore beware if you do know any such. 28 "To wise folks few words" is an old saying, Therefore at this time I will write no more, 30 But this short lesson take for a warning, By such light friends set little store; If ye do otherwise ye will repent it sore, And thus of this letter making an end, 34 To the body and the soul I me commend. Writing lifeless at the manor place 36 Of him that hath no chaff nor nowhere doth dwell, But wandering in the wild world, wanting that he has, And neither hopes nor fears heaven nor hell, But liveth at adventure, ye know him full well. 40 The twentieth day of March he wrote it in his house, And hath him recommended to the cat and the mouse.
Greting to you both yn hertye wyse As unknowen I sende, and this mye entente As I do here, you to advertyse, Lest that perchaunce your deades you do repente. The unknowen man dredes not to be shente But sayes as he thinks : so fares it bye me. That nother ffere nor hope in no degre. The bodye and the sowle is helde togidder, Yt is but right, and reason woll the same, And fryndelie the oon to love the other, Yt encresith your beautye and also your fame ; But marke well my wordes, for I fere no blame, Truste well yourselves, but ware ye trust no mo For suche as ye think your frende, may fortune be your ffoo. Beware frendelye ere ye have enye nede, And to frendes reconsilide trust not greatelye; For they that ons with hastie spede Exiled themselves oute of your companye, Tho theye torne againe and speke farelye, Fayning themselves to be your frendes faste Beware of them for thye will disseyve you at laste. Fayre wordes makis foolys fayne, And bering in hande causith moche woo ; For tyme tryeth trothe, therefore refrayne : And from suche as be redye to doo : - None doo I name but this I kno, That by this faute cause causith moche, Therefore beware if yo do know anye suche. "To wise folkes few wordes" is an old sayeng, Therfore at this tyme I will write nomore, But this short lesson take for a warning, By soche light frendes set litill store ; If ye do otherwise ye will repent it sore ; And thus of this lettre making an ende, To the boddye and the sowle I me commend. Wryting lyfles at the manner place Of him that hath no chave nor nowere dothe dwell ; But wandering in the wilde worlde wanting that he hase, And nothr hopis nor fearis heven nor hell ; But lyveth at adventure ye kno him full well. The twentie daye of marche he wrote yt yn his house, And hathe him recommendyd to the kat and the mowse.

NOTES

1-3. It is thought that the poem might be addressed to the body and soul (you both), sent by a departed spirit. It probably depends on a lost original, for it contains typical moralistic advice to those setting out on life's voyage, advice which was not uncommon at the time and was often full of disguised cynicism. 3. advertise = warn. Lines 1-3 are probably corrupt. 5. the unknown man = the speaker (who, being a spirit, addresses the generality of mankind, but remains unknown). shent = castigated, reproached. 7. in no degree = in no way. 9. reason will = reason desires. 10. friendly the one = it is a friendly thing for the one etc. 13. ware = beware. mo = more. 14. may fortune = may by chance. 15. friendly ear etc = that you have any need of a friendly ear (which may deceive you). 22. makes fools fain = makes willing fools. 23. bearing in hand = hoodwinking. 24. refrain = hold back. 25. such as be ready to do = (?) those who advertise themselves to you as friends. 27. this fault = (?) fair speaking, which can be deceitful. cause causeth much = (?) there arises much grief. 35. the body and soul - the supposed addressees of the poem. 36. Writing lifeless = written by one who has departed this life. At the manor place - The line is a sort of 'signing off' typical of letters of the period. 'Written by such and such at such and such place'. 37. chaff = provender, income. 36-8 are ironical. 'Written by him whose manor is nowhere, who has no house or sustenance, nor need of anything, but wanders the wide world as a disembodied spirit'. 40. at adventure = with whatever chance sends. 42. Of doubtful meaning. Perhaps it suggests that he is prepared for whatever comes, having backed both sides. The phrase is probably proverbial.

14

Tangled I was in love's snare, Opressed with pain, torment with care, Of grief right sure, of joy full bare, Clean in despair by cruelty, 4 But ha! ha! ha! full well is me, For I am now at liberty. 6 The woeful day so full of pain, The weary night all spent in vain, The labour lost for so small gain: To write them all it will not be, 10 But ha! ha! ha! full well is me, For I am now at liberty. 12 Everything that fair doth show, When proof is made it proveth not so, But turneth mirth to bitter woe, Which in this case full well I see. 16 But ha! ha! ha! full well is me, For I am now at liberty. 18 Too great desire was my guide, And wanton will went by my side; Hope ruled still, and made me bide Of love's craft th'extremity. 22 But ha! ha! ha! full well is me, For I am now at liberty. 24 With feigned words that were but wind, To long delays I was assiged. Her wily looks my wits did blind; Thus as she would I did agree. 28 But ha! ha! ha! full well is me, For I am now at liberty. 30 Was never bird tangled in lime, That brake away in better time, Than I that rotten boughs did climb, And had no hurt but scaped free. 34 But ha! ha! ha! full well is me, For I am now at liberty. 36
Tanglid I was in loves snare, Oprest with payne, torment with care ; Of grefe right sure, of joye full bare, Clene in dispaire bye crueltye ; But ha ! ha ! ha ! full well is me, For I am now at libertye. The wofull daye so full of paine, The werye nyght all spent in vayne, The labor lost for so small gayne ; To wryte them all yt wyll not be, But ha ! ha ! ha ! full well is me, For I am now at libertye. Everything that faire doeth sho, When prof is made it proveth not soo, But torneth mirthe to bittre woo, Wich in this case full well I see ; But ha ! ha ! ha ! full well is me For I am now at libertye. To grete desire was my guide, And wanton wyll went bye my syde ; Hope rulid still, and made me byde Of loves craft thextremitye. But ha ! ha ! ha ! full well is me For I am now at libertye. With faynid wordes that ware but winde, To long delayes I was assind : Her wylye lokes my wyttes ded blinde : Thus as she wolde I ded agree. But ha ! ha ! ha ! full well is me For I am now at libertye. Was never birde tanglid in lyme, That brake awaye yn better tyme, Then I that rotten bowes ded clyme, And had no hurte but scaped fre. But ha ! ha ! ha ! full well is me For I am nowe at libertye.

NOTES

2. torment = tormented. 10. to write them all = to describe them all (My pains and sorrows). 14. proof = test. proveth = turns out to be. 20. wanton will = unbridled desires, lust. 21. bide = endure. 22. the extremes to which love's deceits bring the lover. 28. as she would I did agree = I did as she bid me. 31. lime = birdlime, a viscous sticky substance prepared from the bark of the holly and used to catch small birds. (OED 1a). 32. That brake away = which escaped. 34. scaped = escaped.

15

Longer to muse On this refuse I will not use, But study to forget; 4 Let my all go, Since well I know, To be my foe Her heart is firmly set. 8 Since my intent, So truly meant, Cannot content Her mind as I do see; 12 To tell you plain, It were in vain, For so small gain To lose my liberty. 16 For if he thrive That will go strive A ship to drive Against the stream and wind, 20 Undoubtedly Then thrive should I To love truly A cruel hearted mind. 24 But sith that so The world doth go That every woe By yielding doth increase, 28 As I have told I will be bold * * * * * Thereby my pains to cease. 32 Praying you all That after shall By fortune fall Into this foolish trade, 36 Have in your mind As I do find, That oft by kind All women's love do fade. 40 Wherefore apace Come, take my place, Some man that has A lust to burn the feet; 44 For since that she Refuseth me, I must agree And perdy to forget. 48
Longer to muse On this refuse I will not use, But studye to forget ; Lett my all goo, Sins well I kno, To be my foo Her herte is fermely sett. Sins my entente, So trulye mente, Cannot contente Her minde as I do see ; To tell you playne, Yt ware in vayne, For so small gaine To lose my libertie, For if he thryve That will go stryve A shipp to dryve Againste the streme and winde, Undoutedlye Then thryve shulde I To love trulye A cruel hertid mynde. But sith that so The worlde doeth goo That everye woo By yelding doth incresse, As I have tolde I wilbe bolde Therbye my paynis to cese. Praying you all That after shall Bye fortune fall Ynto this folishe trade, Have yn your minde As I do finde, That oft be kinde All womens love do fade. Wherefore a pace Come, take my place, Some man that hase A lust to berne the fete ; For sins that she Refusith me, I must agre And perdye to forgett.

NOTES

2. refuse = refusal. 3. Iwill not use = I will not habituate myself; I will not. 17. If he thrive = If there is any man who could thrive. 25. sith = since. 28. yielding = (?) giving in to the demands of she who causes the woe. 31. The rhyme scheme suggests that a line is missing. 36. trade = way of life. 39. by kind = according to their nature. 44. A lust to burn the feet - i.e. by dipping his feet into hot water.

16

Love doth again Put me to pain And yet all is but lost. 3 I serve in vain And am certain Of all, misliked most. 6 Both heat and cold Doth so me hold And cumbers so my mind, 9 That when I should Speak and behold It driveth me still behind. 12 My wits be past, My life doth waste, My comfort is exiled, 15 And I in haste Am like to taste How love hath me beguiled. 18 Unless that right May in her sight Obtain pity and grace, 21 Why should a wight Have beauty bright If mercy have no place? 24 Yet I alas Am in such case That back I cannot go, 27 But still forth trace A patient pace And suffer secret woe. 30 For with the wind My fired mind Doth still inflame, 33 And she unkind That did me bind Doth turn it all to game. 36 Yet may no pain Make me refrain Nor here and there to range, 39 I shall retain Hope to obtain Her heart that is so strange. 42 But I require The painful fire That oft doth make me sweat, 45 For all my ire, With like desire To give her heart a heat. 48 Then shall she prove How I her love, And what I have offered, 51 Which should her move For to remove The pains I have suffered. 54 And better fee Than she gave me She shall of me attain, 57 For whereas she Showed cruelty, She shall my heart obtain. 60
Love doth againe Put me to payne And yet all is but lost, I serve yn vayne And am certayne Of all, mislikid most. Both heate and colde Doth so me holde And combred so my minde, That when I shulde Speke and beholde It dryveth me still behinde. My wittis be paste, My lif doeth waste, My comforte is exild, And I in haste Am lyke to taste How love hathe me begilde. Onles that right May yn her sight Obtaine pitye and grace, Whye shulde a wight Have bewtye bright Yf mercye have no place ? Yett I alas Am in soche cace That bak I cannot goo, But still forth trace A patiente pace And suffre secret woo. Ffor with the winde My fyred mynde Doth still inflame, And she unkinde That ded me binde Doth torne yt all to game. Yet may no payne Make me refraine Nor here and there to range, I shall retaine Hope to obtayne Her hert that is so straunge. But I require The paynefull fire That oft doth make me swete, For all my yre, Withe lyke desire To gyve her herte a hete Then shall she prove Howe I her love, And what I have offerde, Whiche shulde her move For to remove The paynes I have suffrd. And better ffe Than she gave me She shall of me attayne, For whereas she Showde crueltye, She shall my hert obtayne.

NOTES

12. driveth me still behind = always drives me away from her. 13. My wits be past = I am at my wit's end. 22. a wight = a person (in this case the woman). 33. inflame = burn. 36. turn it all to game = makes a sport of the whole thing. 42. strange = foreign, like a stranger. 49. prove = make trial of. 55. better fee = a better reward, pay off.

17

With serving still This have I won, For my goodwill To be undone. 4 And for redress Of all my pain, Disdainfulness I have again. 8 And for reward Of all my smart, Lo, thus unheard I must depart! 12 Wherefore all ye That after shall By fortune be As I am, thrall, 16 Example take, What I have won Thus for her sake To be undone! 20
With serving still This have I wone, For my goodwyll To be undon. And for redress Of all my payne, Disdaynefulnes I have againe. And for reward Of all my smarte, Lo, thus unharde I must departe ! Wherefore all ye That after shall Bye ffortune be As I am, thrall, Example take, What I have won Thus for her sake To be undone !

NOTES

14. That after shall = who shall, in future times.

18

Now all of change Must be my song, And from my bond now must I break, Since she so strange 4 Unto my wrong Doth stop her ears to hear me speak. 6 Yet none doth know So well as she My grief which can have no restraint; That fain would follow 10 Now needs must flee, For fault of ear unto my plaint. 12 I am not he By false assays Nor feigned faith can bear in hand, Though most I see 16 That such always Are best for to be understond. 18 But I that truth Hath always meant, Doth still proceed to serve in vain, Desire pursueth 22 My time misspent, And doth not pass upon my pain. 24 O fortune's might That each compels, And me the most. It doth suffice Now for my right 28 To ask nought else, But to withdraw this enterprise. 30 And for the gain Of that good hour, Which of my woe shall be relief, I shall refrain 34 By painful power, The thing that most hath been my grief. 36 I shall not miss To exercise The help thereof that doth me teach, That after this 40 In any wise To keep right within my reach. 42 And she injust, Which feareth not, In this her fame to be defiled, Yet once I trust 46 Shall be my lot, To quit the craft that me beguiled. 48
Now all of change Must be my songe, And from mye bonde nowe must I breke, Sins she so strange Unto my wrong Doth stop her eris to here me speke. Yet none doth kno So well as she My greffe wiche can have no restrainte ; That faine wolde follo Nowe nedes must fle, For faute of ere unto my playnte. I am not he By fals assayes Nor faynid faith can bere in hande, Tho most I see That such alwaies Are best for to be understonde. But I that truth Hath alwaies mente, Doeth still procede to serve in vayne, Desire pursuith My tyme mispent, And doeth not passe upon my payne. O fortunes might That each compellis, And me the most yt doeth suffice Now for my ryght To aske nought ells, But to withdraw this enterprise : And for the gaine Of that good howre, Wiche of my woo shall be relefe, I shall refrayne Bye paynefull powre, The thing that must have bene my grefe. I shall not miss To exersyse The helpe therof that doth me teche, That after this In any wise To kepe ryght within my reche. And she injuste, Which ferith not, Yn this her fame to be defilyd, Yett ons I trust Shalbe my lott, To quite the craft that me begilid.

NOTES

6. stop her ears to hear me = stops up her ears to prevent herself from hearing me. 12. fault of = lack of. 15. bear in hand = use deceit, hoodwink. 18. understond = understood. I.e. those who use deceit are more likely to be accepted. 22-24. Desire harasses me through all my misspent time, and it cares not about my pain. 30. to withdraw this enterprise = to cease this pursuit of love. 34. refrain = refrain from (seeing). 35. painful power = by exercesing will power, though it causes pain to do so. 37-8. miss / To exercise = fail to make use of . 41. In any wise = in any way I can. 42. right = justice, good sense. 45. her fame = (?) her beauty, her reputation. 45. to be defiled - the suggestion seems to be that her reputation will be tainted by the poet abandoning her. 46. once = on one occasion at least; at last. 48. to quit the craft = to requite the deceit, to have my revenge.

19

Driven by desire I did this deed, To danger myself without cause why, To trust the untrue not like to speed, To speak and promise faithfully. 4 But now the proof doth verify, That who so trusteth ere he know, Doth hurt himself and please his foe. 7
Dryven bye desire I dede this dede, To daunger myself without cause whye, To trust the untrue not lyke to spede, To speke and promise faithefullie. But now the proof dothe verifie, That who so trustithe ere he kno, Doth hurte himself and please his ffoo.

NOTES

3. untrue = untruthful (person). not like to speed = unlikely to succeed. 5. proof = outcome, experience.

20

Perdy I said it not Nor never thought to do, As well as I ye wot, I have no power thereto. 4 And if I did, the lot That first did me enchain Do never slack the knot, But strait it to my pain. 8 And if I did, each thing That may do harm or woe, Continually may wring My heart whereso I go; 12 Report may always ring Of shame of me for aye, If in my heart did spring The word that ye do say. 16 If I said so, each star That is in heaven above, May frown on me to mar The hope I have in love; 20 And if I did, such war As they brought out of Troy, Bring all my life afar From all this lust and joy. 24 And if I did so say, The beauty that me bound, Increase from day to day More cruel to my wound; 28 With all the moan that may, To plaint may turn my song; My life may soon decay, Without redress, by wrong. 32 If I be clear from thought Why do ye then complain? Then is this thing but sought To turn me to more pain. 36 Then that that ye have wrought, Ye must it now redress, Of right therefore ye ought, Such rigour to repress. 40 And as I have deserved, So grant me now my hire; Ye know I never swerved, Ye never found me liar. 44 For Rachel have I served, (For Leah cared I never) And her have I reserved Within my heart for ever. 48
Perdye I saide it not Nor never thought to do, As well as I ye wott, I have no powre therto : And if I ded, the lott That first ded me enchain Do never slake the knott, But strayte it to my payne. And if I ded, eche thing That maye do harme or woo, Contynuallye maye wring My herte wherso I goo ; Reporte may alwayes ring Of shame of me for aye, Yf yn my herte ded spring The worde that ye doo saye. If I saide so, eche sterre That is in heven above, Maye frowne on me to marre The hope I have yn love ; And if I ded, such warre As they brought out of Troye, Bring all my lyff afarre From all this lust and joye. And if I ded so say, The bewtye that me bound, Encresst from daye to daye More cruell to my wounde ; With all the mone that may, To playnte may torn my song ; My lif may sone dekay, Without redresse bye wrong. Yf I be clere fro thought Whye do ye then complaine ? Then ys this thing but sought To torne me to more payne. Then that that ye have wrought, Ye must it now redresse, Of right therfore ye ought, Such rigor to represse. And as I have deservid, So graunte me nowe my hire ; Ye kno I never swervid, Ye never fownd me lyre. For Rachell have I servid, (For Lya carid I never) And her have I reservid Within my herte for ever.

NOTES

The poem is based loosely on a canzone by Petrarch. Wyatt modifies the original and gives it more directness. He is defending himself against the charge, made by his mistress, that he said he loved someone else, or said he did not love her. 1. Perdy = by God! a mild oath. 2. Nor never thought = (I neither said it), nor did I even think it. 3. As well as I etc. = You know as well as I do. 4. thereto = in that respect, with regard to that. 5. the lot = the fate. 7. Do never = does not ever (i.e. his fate does not release him). 8. strait = tightens (the knot). 11. may wring = let it wring. 12. whereso = wheresoever. 23. Bring all my life afar = may it take me far away from. 27. Increase = let it increase. 28. More cruel to etc. = so that it hurts me even more than it does at present, (by its cruelty). 32. by wrong - i.e. the wrong you do to me will cause my life to wither and decay. 37. that that = that harm which 42. grant me now my hire = pay me (for my just deserts). 45-6. Rachel ... Leah = Biblical names which stand in place of the beloved lady, and the other whom he is supposed to have swerved toward. I.e. I have always been faithful to you alone. Leah contains a pun on 'liar'. 47. reserved = kept aside, kept separate.