Remembrance

By Sir Thomas Wyatt 1503–1542 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;
         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 kindly am served,
         I would fain know what she hath deserved.

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Poet Sir Thomas Wyatt 1503–1542

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Love

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Sir  Thomas  Wyatt

Biography

Born in Kent, England, Sir Thomas Wyatt was an ambassador to France and Italy for King Henry VIII. Wyatt’s travels abroad exposed him to different forms of poetry, which he adapted for the English language — most notably, the sonnet. Rumored to be Anne Boleyn’s lover, he spent a month in the Tower of London until Boleyn’s execution for adultery. Many consider his poem “Whoso List to Hunt” to be about . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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