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

Songs and Epigrams

The Lover complaineth and his Lady comforteth

LOVER.It burneth yet, alas, my heart’s desire.

LADY.What is the thing that hath inflamed thy heart?

LOVER.A certain point as fervent as the fire.

LADY.The heat shall cease, if that thou wilt convert.

LOVER.I cannot stop the fervent raging ire.

LADY.What may I do, if thyself cause thy smart?

LOVER.Hear my request, and rue my weeping chere.

LADY.With right good will, say on: lo, I thee hear.

LOVER.That thing would I, that maketh two content,

LADY.Thou seekest, perchance, of me, that I may not.

LOVER.Would God, thou wouldst, as thou mayst, well assent.

LADY.That I may not the grief is mine, God wot.

LOVER.But I it feel, whatso thy words have meant.

LADY.Suspect me not: my words be not forgot.

LOVER.Then, say, alas, shall I have help or no?

LADY.I see no time to answer yea, but no.

LOVER.Say yea, dear heart, and stand no more in doubt.

LADY.I may not grant a thing that is so dear.

LOVER.Lo, with delays thou drivest me still about.

LADY.Thou wouldst my death, it plainly doth appear.

LOVER.First, may my heart his blood, and life bleed out.

LADY.Then for my sake, alas, thy will forbear.

LOVER.From day to day thus wastes my life away.

LADY.Yet for the best, suffer some small delay.

LOVER.Now good, say yea: do once so good a deed.

LADY.If I said yea, what should thereof ensue?

LOVER.A heart in pain of succour so should speed:

’Twixt yea and nay, my doubt shall still renew.

My sweet, say yea; and do away this dread.

LADY.Thou wilt needs so: be it so; but then be true.

LOVER.Nought would I else, nor other treasure none.

Thus hearts be won by love, request, and moan.