Home  »  The Book of Elizabethan Verse  »  Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–1542)

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Vixi Puellis Nuper Idoneus

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–1542)

THEY flee from me that sometime did me seek,

With naked foot stalking within my chamber:

Once have I seen them gentle, tame, and meek,

That now are wild, and do not once remember

That sometime they have put themselves in danger

To take bread at my hand; and now they range,

Busily seeking in continual change.

Thanked be fortune, it hath been otherwise

Twenty times better; but once especial.—

In thin array: after a pleasant guise,

When her loose gown did from her shoulders fall,

And she me caught in her arms long and small,

And therewithal so sweetly did me kiss,

And softly said, ‘Dear heart, how like you this?’

It was no dream; for I lay broad awaking:

But all is turn’d now, through my gentleness,

Into a bitter fashion of forsaking;

And I have leave to go of her goodness;

And she also to use new-fangleness.

But since that I unkindly so am servèd,

‘How like you this?’—what hath she now deservèd?