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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sonnetsday 5

by Sir Thomas Wyatt

MY heart I gave thee, not to do it pain,
   But to preserve, lo, it to thee was taken.
   I served thee, not that I should be for-
                                    saken ;
But, that I should receive reward again,
I was content thy servant to remain ;
And not to be repayed after this fashion.
Now, since in thee there is none other reason,
Displease thee not, if that I do refrain.
Unsatiate of my woe, and thy desire ;
Assured by craft for to excuse thy fault :
But, since it pleaseth thee to feign default,
Farewell, I say, departing from the fire.
        For he that doth believe, bearing in hand,
        Plougheth in water, and soweth in the sand.


Before Shakespeare, before Spenser and Sidney, came Sir Thomas Wyatt and Sir Henry Howard, the fathers of the English Sonnet.  Their sonnets were published in printer Richard Tottel's Songs and Sonnets written by the Right Honorable Lord Henry Howard late Earl of Surrey and other in 1557. Until modern times it was called simply Songs and Sonnets, but now it is generally known as Tottel's Miscellany.

Tags: Sonnets

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