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Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–42). The Poetical Works. 1880.


Of the Contrary Affections of the Lover

SUCH hap as I am happed in,

Had never man of truth I ween;

At me Fortune list to begin,

To shew that never hath been seen,

A new kind of unhappiness;

Nor I cannot the thing I mean

Myself express.

Myself express my deadly pain,

That can I well, if that might serve;

But when I have not help again,

That know I not, unless I sterve,

For hunger still amiddes my food

[Lacking the thing] that I deserve

To do me good.

To do me good what may prevail,

For I deserve, and not desire,

And still of cold I me bewail,

And raked am in burning fire;

For though I have, such is my lot,

In hand to help that I require,

It helpeth not.

It helpeth not but to increase

That, that by proof can be no more;

That is, the heat that cannot cease;

And that I have, to crave so sore.

What wonder is this greedy lust!

To ask and have, and yet therefore

Refrain I must.

Refrain I must; what is the cause?

Sure as they say, ‘So hawks be taught.’

But in my case layeth no such clause;

For with such craft I am not caught;

Wherefore I say, and good cause why,

With hapless hand no man hath raught

Such hap as I.