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


The Lover’s Lute cannot be blamed though it sing of his Lady’s Unkindness

BLAME not my Lute! for he must sound

Of this or that as liketh me;

For lack of wit the Lute is bound

To give such tunes as pleaseth me;

Though my songs be somewhat strange,

And speak such words as touch thy change,

Blame not my Lute!

My Lute! alas! doth not offend,

Though that perforce he must agree

To sound such tunes as I intend,

To sing to them that heareth me;

Then though my songs be somewhat plain,

And toucheth some that use to feign,

Blame not my Lute!

My Lute and strings may not deny,

But as I strike they must obey;

Break not them then so wrongfully,

But wreak thyself some other way;

And though the songs which I indite

Do quit thy change with rightful spite,

Blame not my Lute!

Spite asketh spite, and changing change,

And falsed faith must needs be known;

The faults so great, the cause so strange;

Of right it must abroad be blown:

Then since that by thine own desert

My songs do tell how true thou art,

Blame not my Lute!

Blame but thyself that hast misdone,

And well deserved to have blame;

Change thou thy way, so evil begone,

And then my Lute shall sound that same;

But if ’till then my fingers play,

By thy desert their wonted way,

Blame not my Lute!

Farewell! unknown; for though thou break

My strings in spite with great disdain,

Yet have I found out for thy sake,

Strings for to string my Lute again:

And if, perchance, this sely rhyme

Do make thee blush, at any time,

Blame not my Lute!