A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poem of the Day: Thomas Wyatt

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, 
And therewith all 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 kindely am served, 
I fain would know what she hath deserved. 
--Thomas Wyatt

A paranoid love poem, just what you'd expect from someone in Henry VIII's court. I'll leave it to the scholars to determine whether the poem is about Anne Boleyn, with whom Wyatt is supposed to have had an affair. The thing I like about this poem is the blend of sex and danger, along with the bittersweet note of self-reproach.                      

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