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

The Lover Curseth the Time When First He Fell in Love

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–1542)

WHEN first mine eyes did view and mark

Thy beauty fair for to behold,

And when mine ears ’gan first to hark

The pleasant words that thou me told;

I would as then I had been free

From ears to hear and eyes to see.

And when my hands did handle oft

That might thee keep in memory,

And when my feet had gone so soft

To find and have thy company;

I would each hand a foot had been,

And eke each foot a hand had seen.

And when in mind I did consent

To follow thus my fancy’s will,

And when my heart did first relent

To taste such bait myself to spill,

I would my heart had been as thine,

Or else thy heart as soft as mine.

Then should not I such cause have found

To wish this monstrous sight to see,

Nor thou, alas! that mad’st the wound,

Should not deny me remedy:

Then should one will in both remain,

To ground one heart which now is twain.