Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

My Galley, Charged with Forgetfulness

 MY galley chargèd with forgetfulness
   Thorough sharp seas, in winter nights doth pass
   'Tween rock and rock; and eke mine enemy, alas,
That is my lord, steereth with cruelness,
And every oar a thought in readiness,
As though that death were light in such a case.
An endless wind doth tear the sail apace
Of forcèd sighs and trusty fearfulness.
A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain,
Hath done the wearied cords great hinderance;
Wreathèd with error and eke with ignorance.
The stars be hid that led me to this pain.
    Drownèd is reason that should me consort,
    And I remain despairing of the port.


The source of this poem is Petrarch's 189th (156th) sonnet (Mestica, 268-69)

Petrarch/ Wyatt / Surrey: Invention of the Sonnet

Petrarch (1304-1374), Rime 140                 

Trans. Anna Maria Armi (1946)*

Amor, che nel penser mio vive e regna             

Love who within my thought does live and reign,

E 'l suo seggio maggior nel mio cor tène,         

Who keeps his favoured seat inside my heart,

Talor armato ne la fronte vène,                         

Sometimes likes on my forehead to remain,

Evi si loca, et ivi pon sua insegna.                     

And there in arms displays his bow and dart.

Quella ch'amare e sofferir ne 'ensegna             

She who taught us to love and suffer pain,

E vòl che 'l gran desio, l'accesa spene,             

Who demands that desire and ardent hope

Ragion, vergogna e reverenza affrene,               

Be bound by reason, within worship's scope,

Di nostro ardir fra se stessa si sdegna

Feels for our daring an inner disdain.

Onde Amor paventuoso fugge al core,             

Hence Love in fright again to the heart flies,

Lasciando ogni sua impresa, e piange, e trema;            

Abandoning all tasks, tries to hide,

Ivi s'asconde, e non apar piú fòre.                 

Trembles and weeps and comes no more outside.

Che poss'io far, temendo il mio signore,

What can I do, who fear my master's power,

Se non star seco in fin a l'ora estrema?             

But stay with him until the final hour?

Ché bel fin fa chi ben amando more.                 

Because he ends well who well loving dies.


Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542),
"The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor"                 

Henry Howard, earl of Surrey (1517-1547),
"Love That Doth Reign and Live Within My Thought"



The long love that in my thought doth harbor,                 

Love, that doth reign and live within my thought,

And in mine heart doth keep his residence,

And built his seat within my captive breast,

Into my face presseth with bold pretense

Clad in arms wherein with me he fought,

And therein campeth, spreading his banner,         

Oft in my face he doth his banner rest.

She that me learneth to love and suffer                         

But she that taught me love and suffer pain,

And will that my trust and lust's negligence

My doubtful hope and eke my hot desire

Be reined by reason, shame, and reverence

With shamefast look to shadow and refrain,

With his hardiness taketh displeasure.  

Her smiling grace converteth straight to ire.

Wherewithal unto the heart's forest he fleeth                 

And coward Love, then, to the heart apace

Leaving his enterprise with pain and cry,

Taketh his flight, where he doth lurk and plain,

And there him hideth, and not appeareth.                     

His purpose lost, and dare not show his face.

What may I do, when my master feareth,

For my lord's guilt thus faultless bide I pain,

But in the field with him to live and die?                        

Yet from my lord shall not my foot remove:

For good is the life ending faithfully.                             

Sweet is the death that taketh end by love.


Sir Philip Sidney, from Astrophel and Stella (1581),

Sonnet  #47

What, have I thus betrayed my liberty?
Can those black beams such burning marks engrave
In my free side? or am I born a slave,
Whose neck becomes such yoke of tyranny?
Or want I sense to feel my misery?
Or sprite, disdain of such disdain to have,
Who for long faith, though daily help I crave,
May get no alms but scorn of beggary?
Virtue awake, beauty but beauty is;
I may, I must, I can, I will, I do
Leave following that, which it is gain to miss.
Let her go! Soft, but here she comes. Go to,
Unkind, I love you not. Oh me, that eye
Doth make my heart give to my tongue the lie.


Sir Edmund Spenser, from Amoretti (1595)


Like as a huntsman after weary chase,
  Seeing the game from him escaped away:
  sits down to rest him in some shady place,
  with panting hounds beguilèd of their prey.
So after long pursuit and vain assay,
  when I all weary had the chase forsook,
  the gentle deer returned the self-same way,
  thinking to quench her thirst at the next brook.
There she beholding me with milder look,
  sought not to fly, but fearless still did bide:
  till I in hand her yet half trembling took,
  and with her own goodwill her firmly tied.
Strange thing me seemed to see a beast so wild,
  so goodly won with her own will beguiled.


MOST glorious Lord of life that on this day,
  Didst make thy triumph over death and sin:
  and having harrowed hell didst bring away,
  captivity thence captive us to win.
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
  and grant that we for whom thou didest die
  being with thy dear blood clean washed from sin,
  may live forever in felicity.
And that thy love we weighing worthily,
  may likewise love thee for the same again:
  and for thy sake that all like dear didst buy,
  with love may one another entertain.
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought,
  love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.