EARLY RENAISSANCE POETRY: THE POEMSSource Text: Ferguson, Margaret, et al (eds). The Norton Anthology ofPoetry.Fifth Edition. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005.1Thomas Wyatt1503 – 1542The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor1The long˚ love, that in my thought doth harbour,˚enduring/lodgeAnd in mine heart doth keep his residence,Into my face presseth with bold pretence,And therein campeth, spreading his banner.2She that me learneth˚ to love and suffer, teachesAnd wills that my trust and lust’s negligenceBe reined3by reason, shame and reverence,With his hardiness˚taketh displeasure.boldnessWherewithal, unto the hearts4forest he fleeth,Leaving his enterprise with pain and cry;And there him hideth and not appeareth.What may I do when my master fearethBut in the field with him to live and die?For good is the life, ending faithfully.E. MS.Whoso List5to HuntWhoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,˚ female deerBut as for me, alas, I may no more:The vain travail hath wearied me so sore.I am of them that farthest cometh behind;Yet may I by no means my wearied mindDraw from the deer; but as she fleeth afore,Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,1Translated from Petrarch, Rime 140. Cf. The translation by Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, “Love, That DothReign and Live within My Thought.”2Raising the flag, i.e. taking up a position for battle and, figuratively, blushing.3Checked; with a probable pun on reigned.4With a pun on heart and hart (as deer).5Whoever likes.
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,As well as I may spend his time in vain:And, graven in diamonds, in letters plainThere is written her fair neck round about:Noli me tangere,6for Caesars I am;And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.E. MS.My Galley7My galley charged˚ with forgetfulnessloadedThorough˚ sharp seas in winter nights doth passthroughTween rock and rock; and eke˚ mine enemy, alas,alsoThat is my lord,8steereth with cruelness;And every oar a thought in readiness,As though that death were light in such a case.An endless wind doth tear the sail apaceOf forced sighs and trusty fearfulness.A rain of tears, a cloud of dark disdain,Hath done the wearied cords9great hinderance;Wreathed with error and eke with ignorance.The stars10be hid that led me to this pain;Drowned is reason that should me consort,˚ accompanyAnd I remain despairing of the port.E. MS.6Touch me not (Latin). The phrase (in Italian in Petrarch) has roots in both Petrarch’s sonnet Rime 190 –Wyatt’s main source – and in the Bible (see especially the Catholic Bible, the Vulgate: John 20: 17 and Matthew22: 21). Renaissance commentators on Petrarch maintained that the deer in Caesar’s royal forest wore collarsbearing a similar inscription, to prevent anyone from hunting the animals. The allusion raises questions aboutWyatt’s relation to King Henry VIII (“Caesar,” line 13). Wyatt was accused during his lifetime of having been thelover of Anne Boleyn, who became Henry VIII’s second wife and a major cause of his break with the CatholicChurch.7It is difficult to say with certainty when Wyatt intended an –ed ending to be pronounced as a second syllableand when not. Hence no attempt has been made to mark syllable endings with an accent in any of Wyatt’spoems (although in this particular poem such endings may occur in lines 1, 8, 11, and 13). Wyatt’s poem isbased on Petrarch’s Rime 1898i.e., the god of love.9The worn lines of the sail, with a possible pun on the Latin for heart (cor, cordis).10I.e., the lady’s eyes.
IIQueen Elizabeth 1[The Doubt of Future Foes Exiles My Present Joy]11The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy;12For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects faith doth ebb,Which should not be if reason ruled or wisdom weaved the web.But clouds of joys untried do cloak aspiring minds,Which turn to rain of late repent by changed course of winds.The top of hope supposed the root upreared shall be,13And fruitless all their grafted guile,14as shortly ye shall see.The dazzled eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds,Shall be unsealed by worthy wights15whose foresight falsehood finds.The daughter of debate that discord aye doth sowShall reap no gain where former rule still peace hath taught to know.No foreign banished wight16shall anchor in this port;Our realm brooks not seditious sects, let them elsewhere resort.My rusty sword through rest shall first his edge employTo poll their tops17that seek such change or gape for future joy.11This poem is written in poulter’s measure – alternating lines of six and seven beats . . . – a popular form atthis time. . . . It appears to answer a sonnet written by Elizabeth’s cousin Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland, inwhich Mary, who had fled to England from imprisonment in Scotland in 1568, asks to see Elizabeth. Until herexecution in 1587, Mary was a constant threat, the impetus of many plots to depose Elizabeth and seat herselfon the English throne. “The daughter of debate” in line 11 and the “foreign banished wight” in line 13apparently refer to Mary. Versions of this poem appear in six manuscripts and two early printed texts,including George Puttenham’sArt of English Poetry (1589). Our text follows that of Bodleian MS. Rawlinson,thought to have been compiled around 1570.12I.e., cause me discomfort or trouble.13Variations on this line include: “The top of hope suppressed the root upreared *i.e., exalted+ shall be” and“The top of hope supposed the root of ruth *sorrow+ will be.”14The image of grafting, or inserting a shoot into the root stock of another tree or plant, suggests thatconspirators have attempted to plant their own seditious thoughts in the minds of others.15People.Unsealed: unsewn or unopened, as the eyes of a hawk in the sport of hawking.16I.e., no person exiled to a foreign land.17I.e., cut off their heads.
IIISir Walter RaleghCa. 1552 – 1618A Vision upon the Fairy Queen18Methought I saw the grave where Laura19lay,Within that temple where the vestal flame20Was wont˚ to burn; and, passing by that way,accustomedTo see that buried dust of living fame,Whose tomb fair Love, and fairer Virtue kept:All suddenly I saw the Fairy Queen;At whose approach the soul of Petrarch wept,And, from thenceforth, those Graces21were not seen:For they this queen attended; in whose steadOblivion laid him down on Lauras hearse:˚ tombHereat the hardest stones were seen to bleed,And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did pierce:Where Homers spright22did tremble all for grief,And cursed the access of that celestial thief.159018This poem appeared in both the 1590 and the 1596 editions of Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The FaerieQueene.19The woman to whom the Italian poet Petrarch (1304-1374) addressed his sonnet sequence; with a pun on“laurel,” a symbol of poetic achievement.20The sacred fire, guarded by virgin priestesses, in the temple of Vesta, Roman goddess of the hearth; thus anallusion to Laura’s chastity and purity.21I.e., Love and Virtue.22Ghost of the ancient Greek poet credited with composing the Iliad and the Odyssey.
1VEdmund Spenser1552 – 1599FROM THE FAERIE QUEENEThe First BookeContayningThe Legende of theKnight of the Red Crosse,OrOf Holinesse231Lo I the man, whose Muse24whilome˚ did maske, formerlyAs time her taught, in lowly Shepheards weeds,25Am now enforst a far unfittertaske,For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds,26And sing of Knights and Ladies gentle˚ deeds;nobleWhose prayses having slept in silence long,Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds2723In a letter to the English poet Sir Walter Ralegh (ca. 1552-1618) published with the first edition, Spenserdeclares that his principal intention in writing the poem is “to fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuousand gentle discipline.” Thus he sets forth a plan to write twelve books, each one having a hero distinguishedfor one of the private virtues; twelve books on the public virtues will follow. The six books that Spensercompleted (the first three published in 1590, the remaining three published in 1596) present the virtues ofHoliness, Temperance, Chastity, Friendship, Justice, and Courtesy. In addition, two cantos on Mutability (theprinciple of constant change in nature) were published in 1609 after Spenser’s death, although no knownauthority exists for their division and numbering, or for the running title, “The Seventh Booke.” The title of thepoem contains a dual reference to its character, Gloriana, the Fairy Queen, who bids the poem’s heroes to setout on particular adventures, and to Queen Elizabeth 1 (1533-1603), England’s ruler from 1558 until 1603, orfor almost all of Spenser’s life; as an “Allegory, or darke conceit” (again, a claim that Spenser makes in theletter to Ralegh), the poem mirrors Elizabeth not only in the figure of Gloriana but also in several othercharacters. In addition to various modes of allegory, the poem draws on many Renaissance genres, some ofthe most important being the courtesy book, the romance, and the epic.24One of the nine Greek sister goddesses believed to be sources of inspiration for the arts.25Garments; i.e., the poets who before wrote humble pastoral poetry. Lines 1-4 imitate verses prefixed toRenaissance editions of the ancient Roman poet Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid and signal Spenser’s imitation ofVirgil, who began his poetic career with pastoral poetry and moved on to the epic, a move that Spenser copied(with the 1579 publication of The SheperardesCalender, followed by the 1590 publication of The FaerieQueene). Spenser’s organization of each book into twelve cantos also imitates the twelve books of Virgil’sAeneid.26Or pipes, a symbol of pastoral poetry.Trumpets: a symbol of epic poetry.
To blazon28broad emongst her learned throng:Fierce warres and faithfull loves shall moralize my song.2Helpe then, O holy Virgin chiefe of nine,Thy weaker˚ Novice to performe thy will,too weakLay forth out of thine everlasting scryne˚ coffer or shrineThe antique rolles, which there lye hidden still,Of Faerie knights and fairest Tanaquill,29Whom that most noble Briton Prince30so longSought through the world, and suffered so much ill,That I must rue his undeservèd wrong:O helpe thou my weake wit, and sharpen my dull tong.3And thou most dreaded impe31of highest Jove,Faire Venus sonne, that with thy cruell dartAt that good knight so cunningly didst rove,˚ shootThat glorious fire it kindled in his hart,˚ heartLay now thy deadly Heben˚ bow apart,ebonyAnd with thy mother milde come to mine ayde:Come both, and with you bring triumphant Mart,˚ MarsIn loves and gentle jollities arrayd,After his murdrousspoiles and bloudy rage allayd.4And with them eke,˚ O Goddesse heavenly bright,alsoMirrour of grace and Majestie divine,Great Lady of the greatest Isle, whose lightLike Phoebus lampe32throughout the world doth shine,Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne,And raise my thoughts too humble and too vile,To thinke of that true glorious type of thine,The argument˚ of mine afflicted stile:33subjectThe which to heare, vouchsafe, O dearest dred34a-while.27Commands and instructs. Sacred Muse: perhaps Clio, the Muse of history, often said to be the eldest of thenine Muses; or perhaps Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry; the “holy Virgin chiefe of nine” (line 10) also seemsto refer to one of these two Muses.28To proclaim (from blaze, to announce by blowing a trumpet).29The wife of Tarquin, the first Etruscan king of Rome; noted for her chastity; i.e., a reference to Gloriana.30I.e., Arthur, first mentioned in canto 9.31Offspring, i.e., Cupid, Roman god of love, whose arrows (cruel dart,” line 21) caused their victims to fall inlove; he was the son of Venus, goddess of love and beauty. Mars, god of war and lover of Venus, was oftensaid to be Cupid’s father, but Spenser stresses the line of descent from Jove, Venus’s father and ruler of thegods.32The sun; Phoebus Apollo was the Roman god of the sun; Spenser is comparing Apollo to Queen Elizabeth,the “Goddesse” of line 28.33Humble pen; also, “stile” may refer to the poem itself.
1590FROM AMORETTISonnet 54Of this worlds Theatre in which we stay,My love lyke the Spectàtorydly sitsBeholding me that all the pageants˚ play,rolesDisguysingdiversly my troubled wits.Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits,And mask35in myrthlyke to a Comedy:Soone after when my joy to sorrow flits,I waile and make my woes a Tragedy.Yet she beholding me with constant eye,Delights not in my merth nor rues˚ my smart:˚ pities / hurtBut when I laugh she mocks, and when I cryShe laughes, and hardens evermore her hart.˚ heartWhat then can move her? if nor merth nor mone,˚ moanShe is no woman, but a senceless stone.Sonnet 75One day I wrote her name upon the strand,But came the waves and washèd it away:Agayne I wrote it with a second hand,But came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.Vayne man, sayd she, that doest in vaine assay,˚ attemptA mortall thing so to immortalize,For I myselve shall lyke to this decay,And eek my name beewypèd out lykewize.Not so (quod I), let baser things devizeTo dy in dust, but you shall live by fame:My verse your vertues rare shall eternize,And in the hevenswryte your glorious name.Where whenas Death shall all the world subdew,Out love shall live, and later life renew.34Object of awe and fear. Vouchsafe: bestow (i.e., confer your ear upon my poem).35Cover (or mask) his emotions; also, act in a masque, a short, allegorical drama.
VSir Philip Sidney1554 – 1586FROM ASTROPHIL AND STELLASonnet 31With how sad steps, Oh Moon, thou climbst the skies,How silently, and with how wan˚ a face! paleWhat, may it be that even in heav’nlyplaceThat busy archer36his sharp arrows tries?Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyesCan judge of love, thou feelst a lovers case;I read it in thy looks: thy languished grace,To me that feel the like, thy state descries.˚ revealsThen, even of fellowship, Oh Moon, tell me,Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?Are beauties there as proud as here they be?Do they above love to be loved, and yetThose lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?Do they call virtue there ungratefulness?37Sonnet 52A strife is grown between Virtue and Love,While each pretends˚ that Stella must be his:claimsHer eyes, her lips, her all, saith Love, do this,Since they do wear his badge,38most firmly prove.But Virtue thus that title doth disprove:That Stella (O dear name) that Stella isThat virtuous soul, sure heir of heavnly bliss,Not this fair outside, which our hearts doth move.And therefore, though her beauty and her graceBe Loves indeed, in Stellas self he mayBy no pretense claim any manner˚ place. kind ofWell, Love, since this demur˚ our suit will stay,˚ objection / detainLet Virtue have that Stellas self; yet thus,That Virtue but that body grant to us.36I.e., Cupid.37I.e., do they give the name of virtue to ungratefulness?38Clothing or device worn to identify someone’s (here Cupid’s) servants.