Later poems II (after 1536)


Treizaine If in the world there be more woe Than I have in my heart, Where so it is, it doth come fro, And in my breast there doth it grow, 4 For to increase my smart. Alas I am receipt of every care, And of my life each sorrow claims his part. 8 Who list to live in quietness By me let him beware, For I by high disdain Am made without redress, 12 And unkindness alas hath slain My poor true heart all comfortless.
Treizaine Yf in the world ther be more woo Than I have yn my harte, Wher so ytt is, itt doithe com fro, And in my brest there doithe itt gro, For to encrease my smarte. Alas I ame recepte of every care, And of my liff eche sorrow claymes his parte. Who list to lyve yn quyetnes By me lett hym beware, Ffor I by highe disdayne Ame made withoute redresse, And unkyndenes alas hathe slayne My poore trew hert all comfortles.


3. Where so it is = wherever it is. it does come fro = it comes forth. 5. for to = in order to. 6. receipt = receptacle.


The answer that ye made to me my dear Whan I did sue for my poor heart's redress Hath so appalled my countenance and my cheer, That in this case I am all comfortless 4 Since I of blame no cause can well express. I have no wrong where I can claim no right, Nought ta'en me fro, where I nothing have had. Yet of my woe I cannot so be quit, Namely, since that another may be glad 9 With that that thus in sorrow maketh me sad. Another, why, shall liberty be bond! Free heart may not be bond but by desert, 12 * * * * * * * * * * * * Nor none can claim, I say, by former grant That knoweth not of any grant at all, And by desert I dare well make avaunt, Of faithfull will there is no where that shall 16 Bear you more truth, more ready at your call. Now good then, call again that friendly word That sayeth 'Your friend' in saving of his pain And say, my dear, that it was said in bourd. Late or too soon let that not rule the gain 21 Where with free will true desert retain.
Thanswere that ye made to me my dere Whan I did sewe for my poore hartes redresse Hath so appalld my countenance and my chere, That yn this case I ame all comfortlesse Sins I of blame no cawse can well expresse I have no wrong where I can clayme no right : Nowght tane me fro, wher I nothing have had : Yete of my wo I can nott so be quyte : Namely, sins that anothr may be glad With that, that thus in sorowe makethe me sad. Another, why, shall lyberty be bond ! Ffre hert may not be bond but by desert * * * * * * * * * * * * Nor none can clayme I say by former graunte That knowithe nott of any graunt att all And by deserte I dare well make avaunt, Of faythfull will, ther is no wher that shall Bere you more trowthe, mor redy att your call. Now, good then call agayne that frendly worde That seithe your frende in saving of his payne And say, my dere, that it was sayde in borde Late or too sone lett that nott rule the gayne Wher with free will trew deserte retayne.


The answer referred to in line 1 which his mistress gave him has to be conjectured. The context implies a painful refusal of some sort, perhaps even a denial that she ever spoke to him of love except in jest. 5. of blame etc. = I cannot see any fault that you might attribute to me. 6. I have no wrong = I have not been wronged. 7. Nought ta'en me fro = nothing has been taken from me. 8. so be quit = be so easily satisfied or recompensed. 9. another may be glad = another lover may reap the reward. 10. with that = with your answer (which shows your love for him, and your dislike of me). 11. shall liberty be bond = shall a free spirit be chained up? 11-12. The stanza is incomplete. 16. no where that shall = nowhere any lover who could. 18. call again = call back, deny, make as unsaid. 19. 'Your friend' - the implication is that she calls herself his friend (his beloved) only so as not to hurt him by denial of the fact. 20. in bourd = in jest, not seriously. The speaker asks that his beloved declare that her pretence that she called himself his friend was only a jesting pretence. She really meant what she said. 21-2. Of uncertain meaning. The whole of this last stanza is difficult, and editors supply various interpretations. Some emend 'seithe' to 'slayeth'.


(Argument) Débat Most wretched heart most miserable, Since the comfort is from thee fled, Since all the truth is turned to fable, Most wretched heart why art thou not dead? 4 (Reply) No! no! I live and must do still, Whereof I thank God and no mo, For I my self have all my will, And he is wretched that weens him so. 8 (A) But yet thou hast both had, and lost The hope so long that hath thee fed, And all thy travail, and thy cost; 11 Most wretched heart why art thou not dead? (R) Some other hope must feed me new; If I have lost, I say, what though? Despair shall not through it ensue, For he is wretched that weens him so. 16 (A) The sun, the moon doth frown on thee, Thou hast darkeness in daylight's stead, As good in grave as so to be; 19 Most wretched heart why art thou not dead? (R) Some pleasant star may show me light But though the heaven would work me woe, Who hath himself shall stand up right, And he is wretched that weens him so. 24 (A) Hath he himself that is not sure? His trust is like as he hath sped; Against the stream thou may'st not dure; 27 Most wretched heart why art thou not dead? (R) The last is worse, who fears not that, He hath himself where so he go, And he that knoweth what is what Sayeth he is wretched that weens him so. 32 (A) Seest thou not how they whet their teeth, Which to touch thee sometime did dread? They find comfort for thy mischief; 35 Most wretched heart why art thou not dead? (R) What though that curs do fall by kind On him that hath the overthrow? All that can not oppress my mind, For he is wretched that weens him so. 40 (A) Yet can it not be then denied, It is as certain as thy creed, Thy great unhap thou canst not hide; Unhappy then, why art thou not dead? 44 (R) Unhappy, but no wretch therefore, For hap doth come again and go; For which I keep my self in store, Since unhap cannot kill me so. 48
(Argument) Débat Most wretched hart most myserable, Syns the comfort is from the fled, Syns all the trouthe is turned to fable, Most wretched harte why arte thow nott ded ? (Reply) No ! no ! I lyve and must doo still, Whereof I thank God and no mo. Ffor I me selff have all my will, And he is wretched that wens hym so. (A) Butt yete thow hast bothe had, and lost The hope so long that hath the fed, And all thy travayle, and thy cost ; Most wretched harte why arte thow nott ded? (R) Som other hope must feed me new ; Yff I have lost, I say, what tho ? Dyspayre shall nott throwghe ynsew For he is wretched that wenys hym so. (A) The sonne the mone doeth frowne on the, Thou hast darkenes in daylyghtes stede, As good in grave as soo to be ; Moost wretched hert why art thou not ded? (R) Some plesaunt sterre may shewe me light But tho the heven wold worke me woo, Who hath himself shal stand up right, And he is wretched that wens him soo. (A) Hath he himself that is not sure ? His trust is like as he hath sped ; Against the streme thou maist not dure ; Most wretched herte why art thou not ded ? (R) The last is worse, who feres not that ? He hath himself where so he goo, And he that knoweth what is what Sayeth he is wretched that wens him soo. (A) Seist thou not how they whet their teth, Which to touche the sometime ded drede ? They finde comforte for thy mischief ; Moost wretched hert why art thou not dede ? (R) What tho that currs do fall by kinde On him that hathe the overthro ? Al that can not opresse my mynde, For he is wretched that wens him soo. (A) Yet can it not be thenne denyd It is as certain as thy crede ; Thy gret unhap thou canst not hid ; Unhappy thenne, why art thou not dede ? (R) Unhappy, but no wretche therefore, For happe doth come agayne and goo ; For whiche I kepe my self in store, Sins unhap cannot kil me so.


The debate is perhaps between the heart and its alter ego. The poem bears a loose relationship to Chaucer's poem, Fortune, and the refrain echoes Chaucer's No man is wrecched, but him-self hit wene. Fortune 25. The heart seems to be fighting a battle against despair because the loved one does not respond, or because of other unspecified disasters in the speaker's present circumstances. 7. all my will = all that I desire. 8. Similar to Hamlet's ........There is nothing either good or bad, But thinking makes it so. ween = think. 19. Better to be dead than endure such misery. 26. like as he has sped = based on the supposition that he has been successful. 27. dure = endure, stand up. 29 The last = death, one's final day. 30. where so he go = wherever he goes. 31. He that knoweth etc. - A reference to Chaucer. See intro above. 33-4. Do you not see how your enemies, who once feared you, now that you are down seek to sink their fangs into you? The reference is possibly to political enemies. 35. for thy mischief = from your misfortunes. 37. by kind = according to their nature. 42. creed = credo, belief in God. 43. unhap = ill fortune. 46. hap doth come again and go = Fortune is variable.


And if an eye may save or slay And strike more deep than weapon long; And if an eye by subtle play May move one more than any tongue; 4 How can ye say that I do wrong Thus to suspect without desert? For the eye is traitor of the heart. 7 To frame all well I am content That it were done unwittingly; But yet I say, who will assent To do but well, do no thing why 11 That men should deem the contrary? For it is said by men expert, That the eye is traitor of the heart. 14 But yet alas, that look all sole That I do claim of right to have, Should not methinks go seek the school To please all folk: for who can crave 18 Friendlier thing than heart vouchsafe By look to give, in friendly part. For the eye is traitor of the heart. 21 And my suspect is without blame, For as ye say, not only I But other moe have deemed the same; Then it is not Jealousy, 25 But subtle look of reckless eye Did range too far to make me smart, For the eye is traitor of the heart. 28 But I, your friend, shall take it thus, Since you will so, as stroke of chance, And leave further for to discuss Whether the stroke did stick or glance; 32 But scuse who can, let him advance Dissembled looks. But for my part My eye must still betray mine heart. 35 And of this grief ye shall be quit In helping truth steadfast to go; The time is long that doth sit Feeble and weak and suffereth woe. 39 Cherish him well, continue so Let him not fro your heart astart, Then fears not the eye to show the heart. 42
And if an Iye may save or sleye And streke more diepe than wepon longe ; And if an Iye by subtil play, May move oon more then any tonge ; How can ye say that I do wronge Thus to suspect without deserte ? For the Iye is traitor of the herte. To frame all wel, I am content That it were done unwetingly ; But yet I say, who wol assent To do but wel, do no thing whie That men shuld deme the contrary ? For it is said by men expert, That the Iye is traitor of the hert. But yet alas, that loke all sowle That I doo clayme of right to have, Shuld not methinkes goo seke the scole To plese all folke : for who can crave Frendlier thing then hert witsave ? By loke to give in frendely parte ; For the Iye is traitor of the hert. And my suspect is without blame, For as ye saye, not only I But othr moo have denied the same ; Then it is not Jelowsye, But subtill loke of rekeles Iye Did raunge to farre to make me smart, Ffor the Iye is traitor of the hert. But I, your frende, shall take it thus, Sins you wol soo, as stroke of chaunce, And leve furder for to discus Wither the stroke did sticke or glaunce ; But scuse who can, let him avaunce Dissembled lokes : but for my parte My Iye must stil betray myn herte. And of this grief ye shalbe quitte In helping trowth stedfast to goo ; The time is longe that doeth sitt Feble and weike and suffreth woo. Cherish him well, continewe soo Let him not fro your hart ascart Thenne feres not the Iye to shewe the hert.


That the eyes were the windows of the soul was proverbial. The poet here seems to be questioning the faithfulness of his beloved, for she has been letting her eyes roam onto other men, and deeply wounding him thereby. He is prepared to admit that it could be accidental but cannot entirely annul his suspicions. 7. Either 'For the eye betrays what the heart thinks', or, 'For the eye leads the heart to ditch old lovers and find new ones'. 8. To frame all well = to put a favourable gloss on all these events. 9. That it were done = to allow that it was done. 10-12. Yet I assert that those who have good intentions do not do actions which lead men to believe the contrary. 15. that look all sole = that look of yours which is solely mine to have (because of our mutual love). 17. go seek the school = learn how to. 19. Friendlier thing = a more loving act or disposition. I.e. there is nothing more sacred than the look that the beloved deigns to beatow on the lover. 22. suspect = suspicion. 23. without blame = is not unfounded; cannot be claimed to be other than impartial. 24. other moe = many others. deemed = thought. - I have adopted the usual emendation of 'denied'. 30. Since you will so = since that is your wish. 32. the stroke did stick or glance = the glance from your eye pierced him (the other man you looked at) to the heart, or merely glanced off him. 33. But scuse who can - scuse= excuse. It is not clear if these words refer to a general observer, who might wish to excuse and explain such behaviour, and whether he also is addressed in the words that follow 'Let him advance (arguments etc. for dissembling)'. 36. grief = the grief of being suspected. quit = freed. 38. that doth sit - Rebholz emends to 'that he doth sit' which seems to make better sense. 41. astart = start away, fly off.


What rage is this? What furor of what kind? What power, what plague doth weary thus my mind? Within my bones to rankle is assigned What poison, pleasant sweet? 4 Lo see mine eyes swell with continual tears, The body still away sleepless it wears, My food nothing my fainting strength repairs, Nor doth my limbs sustain. 8 In deep wide wound the deadly stroke doth turn, To cured scar that never shall return. Go to, triumph, rejoice thy goodly turn, Thy friend thou dost oppress. 12 Oppress thou dost and hast of him no cure, Nor yet my plaint no pity can procure, Fierce tiger fell, hard rock without recure, Cruel rebel to love. 16 Once may thou love never be loved again; So love thou still and not thy love obtain; So wrathful love, with spites of just disdain May threat thy cruel heart. 20
What rage is this ? What furour of what kynd ? What powre, what plage doth wery thus my mynd ? With in my bons to rancle is assind What poyson, plesant swet ? Lo se myn iyes swell with contynuall terys The body still away sleples it weris : My fode nothing my faintyng strenght reperis, Nor doth my lyms sustayne. In diepe wid wound the dedly stroke doth torne To curid skarre that never shall retorne. Go to, triumph, reioyse thy goodly torne, Thi frend thow dost opresse. Opresse thou dost and hast off hym no cure : Nor yett my plaint no pitie can procure : Fiers tygre fell, hard rok without recure Cruell rebell to love. Ons may thou love never belovffd agayne ; So love thou still and not thy love obtayne ; So wrathful love, with spites of just disdayne May thret thy cruell hert.


Tottel entitles this poem 'To his unkind love''. 1. furor = raging fury. 3. assigned = designated, appointed. 4, pleasant sweet - presumably a term of endearment addressed to his mistress. 3-4. What poison, dearest, has been chosen to lodge in my bones and eat at my heart? 6. still away sleepless it wears = wastes away continually in sleeplessness. 7. nothing my fainting strength repairs = is unable in any way to cure my exhausted condition. 9. The violent stroke of your love has created a deep wound in me. 10. Which can never become scarred over and cured. 13. cure - perhaps a synonym for care. 15. fell = savage. recure = improvement, cure. 17. once = at some time. may thou love = let it be your fate to love. 18. still = always. 19. wrathful love = Love, which has been angered by your previous refusal to honour him. spites = harsh and bitter treatment.


So feeble is the thread that doth the burden stay Of my poor life, in heavy plight that falleth in decay, That but it have elsewhere some aid or some secourse, The running spindle of my fate anon shall end his course. For sins th' unhappy hour that did me to depart 5 From my sweet weal, one only hope hath stayed my life apart; Which doth persuade such words unto my sorry mind: Maintain thyself o woeful sprite some better luck to find. For though thou be deprived from thy desired sight, Who can thee tell if thy return be for thy most delight? Or who can tell thy loss, if thou once may'st recover, 11 Some pleasant hour thy woe may rape and thee defend and cover? This is the trust that yet hath my life sustained; 13 And now, alas, I see it faint, and I by trust am trained. The time doth fleet, and I perceive th' hours how they bend So fast that I have skant the space to mark my coming end. Westward the sun from out th'east scant doth show his light, When in the west he hides him straight within the dark of night; And comes as fast where he began his path awry 19 From east to west, from west to th' east so doth his journey lie. The life so short, so frail, that mortal men live here, So great a weight, so heavy charge the body that we bear, That when I think upon the distance and the space That doth so far divide me from my dear desired face, 24 I know not how t'attain the wings that I require, To lift my weight that it might fly to follow my desire; Thus of that hope, that doth my life something sustain Alas, I fear and partly feel full little doth remain. 28 Each place doth bring me grief where I do not behold Those lively eyes which of my thoughts were wont the keys to hold. Those thoughts were pleasant sweet whilst I enjoyed that grace; My pleasure past, my present pain here I might well embrace; But for because my want should more my woe increase, 33 In watch, in sleep, both day and night, my will doth never cease That thing to wish whereof, since I did leese the sight I never saw the thing that might my faithful heart delight. Th' uneasy life I lead doth teach me for to meet The floods, the seas, the land and hills, that doth them intermeet Tween me and those shining lights, (that wonted to clear 39 My dark pangs of cloudy thoughts) as bright as Phoebus' sphere. It teacheth me also what was my pleasant state, The more to feel by such record how that my wealth doth bate.42 If such record alas provoke th' inflamed mind, Which sprang that day that I did leave the best of me behind; If love forget himself by length of absence let, Who doth me guide, O woeful wretch, unto this baited net Where doth increase my care? Much better were for me 47 As dumb as stone, all thing forgot, still absent for to be. Alas the clear crystal, the bright transparent glass, Doth not bewray the colour hid which underneath it has, As doth th' encumbered sprite thoughtful throes discover 51 Of fierce delight of fervent love that in our hearts we cover; Out by these eyes it showeth, that evermore delight 53 In plaint and tears to seek redress, and that both day and night. These new kinds of pleasures wherein most men rejoice To me they do redouble still of stormy sighs the voice; For I am one of them whom plaint doth well content: It sits me well mine absent wealth meseems me to lament, And with my tears for to assay to charge mine eyes twain, Like as mine heart above the brink is fraughted full of pain; And for because thereto, of those fair eyes to treat, 61 Do me provoke, I shall return my plaint thus to repeat. For there is nothing else that touches me so within Where they rule all and I alone nought but the case or skin. Wherfore I do return to them, as well or spring, 65 From whom descends my mortal woe above all other thing. So shall mine eyes in pain accompany mine heart, That were the guides that did it lead of love to feel the smart. The crisped gold that doth surmount Apollo's pride, The lively streams of pleasant stars that under it doth glide, Wherein the beams of love doth still increase their heat 71 Which yet so far touch me so near in cold to make me sweat; The wise and pleasant talk, so rare or else alone, That did me give the courteous gift that such had never none, Be far from me, alas; and every other thing I might forbear with better will, than that that did me bring With pleasant word and clear, redress of lingered pain, And wonted oft in kindled will to virtue me to train. 78 Thus am I driven to hear and hearken after news, My comfort scant my large desire in doubtful trust renews. And yet with more delight, to moan my woeful case, 81 I must complain those hands, those arms, that firmly do embrace Me from myself, and rule the stern of my poor life. The sweet disdains, the pleasant wraths, and eke the lovely strife That wonted well to tune, in temper just and meet 84 The rage that oft did make me err by furor undiscreet. All this is hid me fro with sharp and cragged hills; At other's will my long abode, my deep despair fulfils. But if my hope sometime rise up by some redress, It stumbleth straight, for, feeble faint, my fear hath such excess, Such is the sort of hope, the less for more desire, 91 Whereby I fear, and yet I trust to see that I require, The resting place of love where virtue lives and grows, 93 Where I desire my weary life may sometime take repose. My song, thou shalt attain to find that pleasant place, 95 Where she doth live, by whom I live; may chance thou have this grace. When she hath read, and seen the dread wherein I starve, Between her breasts she shall thee put, there shall she thee reserve. Then tell her that I come, she shall me shortly see, 99 If that for weight the body fail, this soul shall to her flee.
So feble is the threde that doth the burden stay Of my pore lyff. In hevy plyght that fallyth in dekay That but it have elles where some aide or some socours, The runyng spyndell of my fate anon shall end his cours; Ffor sins thunhappy howre that did me to depart From my swete wele, one only hope hath staide my lyff apart; Wych doth perswade such wordes unto my sory mynd: Mayntene thy sellff o wofull spryte some better luk to fynd: For tho thou be depryffd from thy desyerd syght, Who can the tell iff thi retorne be for thy most delyght? Or who can tell thy losse, if thou ons maist recover Some plesant howre thy wo may wrape and the defend and cover? This is the trust that yet hath my lyff sustaynid ; And now, alas, I se it faint, and I by trust am trainid. The tyme doth flete, and I perceyve thowrs how thei bend So fast that I have skant the space to marke my comyng end. Westward, the sonne from out thest skant doth show his lyght, When in the west he hyds hym straite within the darke of nyght; And coms as fast where he began his path a wrye From est to west, from west to thest so doth his jornei ly. The lyff so short, so fraile, that mortall men lyve here, So gret a whaite, so hevy charge the body that we bere ; That when I thinke upon the distance and the space That doth so far devid me from my dere desird face, I know not how tattayne the winges that I require, To lyfft my whaite that it myght fle to folow my desyre ; Thus off that hope, that doth my lyff some thing sustayne Alas I fere and partly fele full litill doth remayne. Eche place doth bryng me grieff wher I do not behold Those lyvely Iyes wich off my thoughtes were wont the kays to hold. Those thowghtes were plesaunt swete whilst I enioyd that grace: My plesure past, my present payne wher I might well embrace; But for becawse my want shold more my wo encresse, In wache, in slepe, both day and nyght, my will doth never cesse That thing to wishe wheroff, sins I did lese the syght I never saw the thing that myght my faythfull hert delyght. Th unesy lyff I lede doth teche me for to mete The flowdes, the sees, the land and hilles, that doth them entremete Twene me and those shining lyghtes, (that wontyd to clere My darke panges off clowdy thowghtes) as bryght as Phebus spere; It techith me also what was my plesant state, The more to fele by such record how that my welth doth bate. If such record alas provoke thenflamid mynd, Wich sprang that day that I did leve the best of me behynd; If love forgett hym selff by lenght of absence let, Who doth me guyd, O wofull wrech, unto this baytid net Where doth encresse my care ? Much better were for me As dome as stone, all thing forgott, still absent for to be. Alas the clere crystall, the bryght transparant glas, Doth not bewray the colour hyd wich underneth it has, As doth thaccomberd sprite thowghtfull throws discover Off fiers delyght of fervent love that in our hertes we cover; Owt by thes Iyes it shewth, that evermore delyght In plaint and teres to seke redresse, and that both day and nyght. Thes new kyndes of plesurs wherin most men reioyse To me thei do redowble still off stormye syghes the voyce; Ffor I ame one of them whom plaint doth well content : It sittes me well, myn absent welth meseems me to lament, And with my teris for to'assay to charge myn Iyes tweyne, Lyke as myn hert above the brink is frawtid full of pa[yne]; And for bycawse therto, off those fayre Iyes to trete, Do me provoke, I shall retorne my plaint thus to repete. Ffor there is nothing elles that towches me so within Where thei rule all, and I alone nowght but the cace or skyn. Wherfore I do retorne to them, as well or spryng, From whom descendes my mortal wo above all othr thing. So shall myn Iyes in payne accompanie myn hert, That were the guydes that did it lede of love to fele the smert. The cryspid gold that doth sormount Apollos pryd The lyvely stremes of plesaunt sterres that under it doth glyd; Where in the bemes off love doth still encrese their hete Wich yet so farre towch me so nere in cold to make me swet(e; The wise and plesaunt talk, so rare or elles alone, That did me gyve the courtese gyfft that such had never none, Be ferre from me, alas ; and every other thing I myght forbere with better will, than that that did me bryng With plesant word and clere, redresse of lingerd payne, And wontyd offt in kendlid will to vertu me to trayne. Thus ame I dryven to here and herken affter news My comfort skant my large desire in dowtfull trust renews. And yet with more delyght, to mone my wofull cace, I must complaine those handes, those armes, that fermely do embrace Me from my sellff, and rule the sterne of my pore lyff. The swete disdaynes, the plesant wraths, and eke the lovely stryff That wontid well to tune, in tempre just and mete The rage that oft did make me erre by furour undiscrete. All this is hid me fro with sharp and craggyd hilles ; At othrs wyll my long abode, my diepe dispaire fulfilles. But if my hope somtyme rise up by some redresse, It stumbleth strait, for feble faint, my fere hath such excesse, Such is the sort off hope, the lesse for more desyre, Wherby I fere, and yet I trust, to se that I requyre, The restyng place of love where vertu lyves and grose, Where I desire my wery lyff may sometyme take repose. My song, thou shalt ataine to fynd that plesant place, Where she doth lyve, by whome I lyve; may chaunce thou have this grace: When she hath red, and seene the dred where in I sterve, Bytwene her brestes she shall the put, there shall she the reserve. Then tell her that I come, she shall me shortly se, If that for whayte the body fayle, this sowle shall to her fle.


Tottel entitles the poem 'Complaint of the absence of his love'. It was probably written between June 1537 and June 1539, when Wyatt was ambassador to Spain. Over most of the period he was anxious to return, but it is uncertain who (if any) the beloved was. The poem translates Petrarch's Rime 37 keeping fairly close to the original, so it could be merely an exercise in the language of love. The closing six line coda is however much more direct and intense than the original. The Petrarchan version is given opposite in a modern English translation. 1. stay = support. 3. secourse = succour, help. 3. the running spindle - according to classical mythology the three Fates spun the thread of each human's life from a spindle, and continued spinning it until 'the blind Fury with the abhorred shears' cut the thread of that person's life. 6. weal = welfare, well-being. 7. such words = words of encouragemnent such as he speaks to himself in the following lines. 11. who can tell thy loss = your loss may be slight. 12. thy woe may rape = may seize and destroy your sorrow. 15. fleet = speed fastly. 19. his path awry = (?) his (the sun's) crooked path through the signs of the zodiac. 19-20. This perhaps refers to the sun's daytime path (East to West), and his nightime path behind the earth (West to East). 27 something = in part. 32. Would that I could embrace the immediate pain of your absence as readily as I seized in the past the pleasure of being with you. 33. But for because = except that. 34. my will = my desire. 35. That thing to wish whereof = to desire that thing (your presence) of which. leese = lose. 38. them intermeet = interpose themselves. 39 shining lights - i.e his mistress' eyes. 42. record = recollection, remembrance. bate = abate. 45. let = impeded, prevented. The general sense seems to be: If love, prevented by distant separation, cannot forever remember the beloved, what is it that guides me, poor wretch, always to remember her and to swallow the painful bait of this memory. 49-50. The thought is that glass and crystal do not show the colour which lies underneath them as clearly as his eyes reveal what is in his soul. 51. th' encumbered sprite = the burdened soul. discover = uncover, reveal. 58. sits = suits. 59. to assay to charge = to attempt to fill. 60. fraughted = laden, weighed down. 61-2. ?? Perhaps 'And in order to speak again (thereto) of those fairs eyes which provoke my pain I shall return again to my doleful lament'. 65. return to them - sc. his mistress' eyes. 69. crisped gold = curled gold (of her hair). surmount = surpass. Apollo's pride = the sun. 70. This seems to be a reference to the beloved's glances, her looks of love which stream down like the beams of a multitude of stars. (See the original Petrarchan poem opposite). 72. Which yet, being so far removed, seem near, and make me sweat, even though I freeze because of her absence. 73. or else alone = perhaps unique. 77. redress of lingered pain = cure of long lasting pain. 78. And often used to turn my fiery passion to virtuous thoughts. 80. The small comfort I receive from the little news I hear leads me to put in doubt the validity of my love and the confidence I may have in it. 81. And yet with more delight to moan etc. - suggestive of a masochistic element in his love for the lady. 82-3. embrace / Me from myself = embrace me and make me forget myself (so deep is the joy). 83. rule the stern = steers me by the rudder. 86. hid me from = hidden from me. 87. At other's will my long abode = my distant abode (from you) dictated by another's will (i.e. the King's, who had ordered him to remain as ambassador in Spain). 96. may chance = it may chance that. 97. thee dread wherein I starve = the dreadful suffering of absence which causes my soul to starve. 98. reserve = keep, preserve, hide. PETRARCH'S Rime 37 tranlated by J.G. Nichols Carcanet Press, Manchester UK. My heavy life is hanging on a thread, a thread that is so worn if help does come soon it will have run its course out to the end; for, after I had suffered and had gone from what I held most dear, one hope alone remained, one reason why I had to stay alive; it said 'Since you mus live out of your loved one's sight, look to yourself, resist. Who knows that better times will not return, and much more happy days, and you regain the good that you have lost?' This hope sustained me once upon a time: now I indulge it like an empty dream. Time passes, and the hours go by so fast to see life's journey out that I have no a moment even to think about my race to death. The sun has hardly risen in the East before you see light break on the opposing peak arrived at by a long and curving track. Life is so very short, bodies of mortal men so heavy and so weak, that when I think how I am kept apart from what I love, her face -- such weakness in the wings of my desire -- all customary comfort must fall short. And how long can I live in such a state? All places sadden where I do not see those beautiful bright eyes which took with them the keys of all my thoughts (pleasant while God allowed); and, all to make my hard exile more hard, I long for nothing else, sleeping, walking, or sitting, and nothing I see after them can please. What mountains and what waters, what oceans, and what rivers, hide from me those bright eyes which brought an open sky and midday sun to birth from clouds of mine, only to wear me down with memories, only to show my former happiness in contrast with my present cruel distress! Alas, if speaking of it only kindles desire into a blaze (desire was born that day I left the better part of me behind), and love with long oblivion fades away, why do I take the bait which but augments my trouble? and why not rather be a silent stone? Crystal or clearest glass never allowed to pass bright colours kept within as clearly as my soul shows through my eyes what thoughts I entertain, what savage sweetness trembles in my heart, through eyes that night and day desire to weep, looking for her to put desire to sleep. What things we mortals find to give us pleasure! All too often we love whatever is most strange and brings along the biggest crowd of sighs! I too am one whom weeping seems to please, tiring my brains to fill my eyes with tears, as all my heart is brimming with unhappiness; and since to speak of her bright eyes augments desire, and nothing touches me so closely where my feelings run so deep, I turn back to my theme - her eyes which lead my eyes to weep and weep; so that my eyes are punished, having led me all along the way which is Love's road. That golden hair, enough to make the sun move enviously away, and that bright glance, sublime and yet so blazing with the rays of Love it makes me fade away before my time, that skilful way you speak, rare in this world, unique, which came to me so very courteously - all these are taken away. I could more readily pardon a worse offence than lose that greeting, like an angel's greeting, which used to raise my powers with all the blazing of my heart's desires; and nothing I still hope to hear will rouse me now to anything but heaving sighs. And, so that I may weep with more delight, her hands which are so white, those noble arms of hers, her gestures which are haughty and yet sweet, and her disdain which is so proud yet humble, and her lovely young breat, a tower of intellect, are hidden from me by rough mountain places; I do not know: shall I see her before I die? I know from time to time my hopes arise; but they are never firm. What hope have I to see her ever again who has all honour in heaven, see her where courtesy and virtue dwell, and where I pray that I may live as well? Canzone, if in Provence you chance to find our lady, I think you think that maybe she will reach out to you her lovely hand, from which I stray so far. Do not touch it; but, falling at her feet, say I shall come as swiftly as I can, a naked spirit, or with flesh and bone.


When Dido feasted first the wandering Trojan knight, Whom Juno's wrath with storms did force in Lybic sands to light; That mighty Atlas did teach, the supper lasting long, With crisped looks, on golden harp, Iopas sang in his song : 4 That same, quod he, that we the world do call and name, Of heaven and earth with all contents, it is the very frame; Or thus, of heavenly powers, by more power kept in one Repugnant kinds, in midst of whom the earth hath place alone, 8 Firm, round, of living things, the mother place and nurse; Without the which, in equal weight, this heaven doth hold his course, And it is called by name, the first moving heaven; The firmament is next containing th'other seven. 12 Of heavenly powers that same is planted full and thick As shining lights which we call stars, that therein cleave and stick. With great swift sway the first, and with his restless source Carrieth it self, and all those eight, in even continual course. 16 And of this world so round within that rolling case, There be two points that never move but firmly keep their place; The t'one we see alway, the t'other stands object Against the same, dividing just the round by line direct; 20 Which by imagination drawn from t'one to t'other, Toucheth the centre of the earth, for way there is no nother. And these be called the poles, described by stars not bright, Arctic the t'one northward we see, Antarctic t'other hight. 24 The line that we devise from t'one to t'other so As axle is, upon the which th' heavens about doth go; Which of water, nor earth, of air, nor fire have kind. Therefore the substance of those same were hard for man to find. 28 But they been uncorrupt, simple and pure unmixed, And, so we say, been all those stars that in those same been fixed: And eke those wandering seven, in circles as they stray, So called because against that first they have repugnant way. 32 And smaller byeways too, scant sensible to man, Too busy work for my poor harp, let sing them he that can. The widest save the first, of all these nine above, One hundred year doth ask of space for one degree to move. 36 Of which degrees we make, in the first moving heaven, Three hundred and three score in parts justly divided even. And yet there is another between those heavens two Whose moving is so sly, so slack, I name it not for now. 40 The seventh heaven, or the shell, next to the starry sky All those degrees that gather'th up with aged pace so sly; And doth perform the same, as elders' compt hath been, In nine and twenty years complete, and days almost sixteen, 44 Doth carry in his bowt the star of Saturn old, A threatener of all living things with drought and with his cold. The sixth whom this contains doth stalk with younger pace, And in twelve year doth sum what more than t'others' voyage was; 48 And this in it doth bear the star of Jove benign, Tween Saturn's malice and us men, friendly defending sign. The fifth bear'th bloody Mars, that in three hundred days And twice eleven, with one full year hath finished all those ways. 52 A year doth ask the fourth, and hours thereto six, And in the same the day his eye the sun therein he sticks. The third that governed is by that, that govern'th me: And love for love and for no love, provokes as oft we see. 56 In like space doth perform that course that did the t'other, So doth the next to the same that second is in order. But it doth bear the stern that call'd is Mercury That many a crafty secret step doth tread, as calcars try. 60 That sky is last and first next us; those ways hath gone In seven and twenty common days, and eke the third of one; And beareth with his sway the diverse moon about, Now bright, now brown, now bent, now full, and now her light is out. 64 Thus have they of their own two movings all those seven; One: wherein they be carried still each in his several heaven; An other: of him selfless where their bodies been laid. In by ways, and in lesser rounds, as I afore have said 68 Save of them all, the sun doth stray least from the straight, The starry sky hath but one course, that we have calld the eight. And all these moving eight are meant from west to th'east, Although they seem to climb aloft, I say, from east to west. 72 But that is but by force of the first moving sky, In twice twelve hours from east to th' west that carrieth them by and by. But mark me well also: these movings of these seven Be not about that axle tree of the first moving heaven; 76 For they have their two poles directly t'one to t'other, . . . .
When Dido festid first the wandryng Trojan knyght, Whom Juno's wrath with stormes did force in Lybyke sandes to lyght ; That myghty' Atlas did teche ; the soupor lastyng long, With cryspid lokkes, on golden harpe, Iopas sang in his song : That same, quod he, that we the world do call and name, Off hevin and yerth with all contentes, it is the very frame ; Or thus, off hevinly powrs, by mor power kept in one Repugnant kyndes, in myddes of whome the yerth hath place alone, Firme, round, off living thynges, the moder place and nourse ; Withowt the wych, in egall whaight, this hevin doth hold his course, And it is calld by name, the first moving hevin ; The firmament is next containing other sevyn. Off hevinly powrs that same is plantid full and thikk As shyning lyghtes wych we call sterres, that therin cleve and stikk. With great swifft sway the first, and with his restless sours Caryth it selff, and all those eight, in evin continuall cours. And off this world so rownd with in that rolling case, There be two pointes that never move but fermely kepe ther pla(ce) ; The tone we se alway, the tothr stondes obiect Against the same, deviding just the round by line direct ; Wich by ymagination draune from ton to tothr, Towchith the centre of the yert, for way ther is no nothr. And thes bene calld the poles, discribd by sterres not bryght, Artyke the tone northward we see, Antartyke tothr hight. The lyne that we devise from ton to tothr so As Axell is, apon the wich thevins abowt doth go ; Wich of water, nor yerth, of ayre, nor fyre have kynd. Therfore the substance of those same were herd for man to fynd. But thei ben uncorrupt, symple and pure unmixt, And, so we say, bene all those sterrys that in those same bene fixt : And eke those wandryng sevin, in cyrcles as thei stray, So calld by cawse against that first thei have repugnant way. And smaller by ways to, skant sensible to man, To busy work for my pore harp let sing them he that can. The widest saff the first, off all thes nyne above, On hunderd yere doth aske of space for on degre to move. Off wich degres we make, in the first moving hevin, Thre hunderd and thre skore in partes justly devided evin. And yet ther is anothr by twene those hevins tow Whose moving is so sli, so slake, I name it not for now. The sevent hevyn, or the shell, next to the sterry skye All those degres that gaderth up with agid pace so slye ; And doth performe the same, as elders compt hath bene, In nyne and twenty yeres complet, and days almost sixtene, Doth cary in his bowght the sterr of Saturne old, A thretner of all lyving thinges with drought and with his cold. The sixt whom this containes doth staulk with yonger pase, And in twelff yere doth sum what more than tothrs viage wase ; And this in it doth bere the sterre of Jove benigne, Twene Saturnes malice and us men, frendly defending signe. The fift berth blody Mars, that in three hunderd days And twise elefn, with on full yere hath finisht all those ways. of the Sun, the Moon, and Mercury. A yere doth aske the fourt, and houres thereto six, And in the same the day his Iye the sonne therin he stix. The third that governd is by that, that governth me : And love for love and for no love, provokes as offt we se. In like space doth performe that course that did the tothr, So doth the next to the same that second is in order. But it doth bere the stern that calld is Mercury That mayni a craffty secret stepp doth tred, as calcars try. That skye is last and first next us ; those ways hath gone In sevin and twenty comon days, and eke the third of one ; And beryth with his sway the diverse mone abowt, Now bryght, now browne, now bent, now full, and now her lyght is owt. Thus have they of their owne two movinges all those sevin ; One : wherin thei be carid still eche in his severall hevin ; An othr : of hym sellffles where their bodis ben layd. In by ways, and in lesser rowndes, as I afore have sayd Saff of them all, the sonne doth stray lest from the straight, The sterry sky hath but on course, that we have calld the eight. And all these moving eight ar ment from west to thest, Altho thei seme to clymb aloft, I say, from est to west. But that is but by force of the first moving skye, In twise twellff howres from est to thest that caryth them bye and bye. But mark me well also : these movinges of these sevin Be not about that axell tre of the first moving hevin ; For thei have theire two poles directly tone to tothr, . . . .


1. The wandering Trojan knight = Aeneas, the hero of Virgil's poem The Aeneid, written in Augustus's reign. Aeneas survives the fall of Troy and wanders the world until he lands in Italy and becomes the founder of Rome. In his wanderings he visits Carthage and is entertained by Queen Dido. 2. Juno's wrath - Juno was enraged against Aeneas because she foresaw the eventual destruction of Carthage by Rome. The reasons for her anger were more deep seated (alta mente repostum) and originated from the slight she received by the judgement of Paris, when Venus, Aeneas' mother, was chosen instead of her by Paris as the most beautiful goddess. Hence Juno hated Aeneas who was the son of her rival. 2. in Lybic sands to light = to alight on Lybian sands. 3-4. Iopas, whom mighty Atlas taught, began his song etc. See Aeneid I 740-1. Iopas was a minstrel with curled locks and a golden harp. 5-12. This stanza is somewhat obscure, not helped by the fact that 'heaven' can refer either to the entire sky above the earth, or the sphere containing the fixed stars, (sometimes called the firmament), or the numinous body or power which controls the universe. The first two lines paraphrase perhaps as 'The universe, or world, is the structure which underpins the working of the earth and the heavens which revolve around it'. The word 'heaven' of line 6 refers to the entire sky observable from the earth, the whole arrangement of concentric spheres, and not to any particular sphere. 7. Or thus - introduces an alternative description, i.e. that some heavenly power governs the disposition of the earth and the spheres surrounding it. 10. Without the which = outside of which (i.e. the earth); surrounding. in equal weight = in equipose, perfectly balanced. 10. this heaven = the heaven of fixed stars. This was the outermost sphere (see next kine). 12. th'other seven = the other seven spheres making eight in all. These contained the fixed stars; Jupiter; Saturn; Mars; Venus; Mercury; the sun; the moon. 13. that same = the first moving heaven (line 11). 16. and all those eight = presumably this includes the first one, which appears to be the prime mover of all the others. 17-24. This stanza deals with the poles, as defined by the pole star in the northern hemisphere, and the southern cross in the south. 19. object = opposite. 24 hight = called. 27. which - refers to the eight (?) revolving heavens, or spheres, rather than to the axle. 29. But they been = unless they were. 31. those wandering seven = the five planets and the sun and moon. 32. repugnant way = a contrary direction. The planets do not appear to rotate simply around the earth, but at times they go backwards, a phenomenon explained by Ptolemy by the hypothesis that they at times revolved around a point set in the surface of the sphere to which they were allocated. The plane of rotation was normal to that of the line joining the point to the earth. 35. The widest save the first = the sphere that is the second one in from the most distant. It took 36,000 years to rotate. (See next three lines). 39. another between these heavens two - this would bring the total number of revolving spheres to ten. Iopas declines to commit himself to it absolutely. 44. bowt = orbit, revolution. 55. the third = the sphere that carries Venus, goddess of love. 60 as calcars try = as astronomers and astrologers compute. 61. That sky is last = the final sphere nearest to us is the sky (which contains the moon and revolves in 27 and one third days). 68. This refers once again to the erratic motions of the planets. It is conjectured that this poem was unfinished because of Wyatt's death. It has also been suggested that it was written to help celebrate the installation of the great clock in St. James's Palace in 1539, and that it's completion was interrupted by Wyatt's departure for Spain at the end of that year. (See notes p.490 in the Penguin Edition, ed. R. A. Rebholz). The poem celebrates Ptolemaic cosmology, an explanation of the universe and the heavenly bodies which derives from the ancient astronomer Ptolemy (born c. AD 70) who postulated a universe with the earth fixed at the centre. All the other heavenly bodies, sun, moom, planets, and the fixed stars were conjectured to reside in certain transparent concentric spheres which rotated around the earth with varying periods of circumnavigation. The number of spheres (between seven and ten) depended on how many planets were known and on the whim of the author who was describing the system. Foxwell suggests that this poem is one of many which reflect the general antipathy to the new Copernican ideas which were beginning to permeate through to all intellectual circles, and points to a love of the old established order ot things. Whether this be true or not, the poem is an interesting example of the poeticisation of the amusingly idiotic Ptolemaic theories, which were nevertheless scientific in that they had as their main objective the task of 'saving the phenomena', that is, producing an explanation which gave reasons for the erratic behaviour of the heavenly bodies, the moon and the planets. It should be remembered that the Ptolemaic theory of the universe held sway for 1500 years, even though some earlier Greek philosophers had suggested a universe in which the earth and planets revolved around the sun. Wyatt's poem has been shown to be dependent on Johannes de Sacrobosco's Tractatus de Sphaera, a textbook on astronomy used from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. It explains the world according to the prevailing Ptolemaic theory.