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Works of Sir Thomas Wyatt


Detail. Garden of Love from the Roman de la Rose

THE LOVER'S LUTE CANNOT BE BLAMED

THOUGH IT SING OF HIS LADY'S UNKINDNESS.


B LAME 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 falsèd faith must needs be known ;
The fault so great, the case so strange ;
Of right it must abroad be blown :
Then since that by thine own desart
My songs do tell how true thou art,
                    Blame not my Lute !
Blame but thyself that hast misdone,
And well deservèd 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 !




Source:
Yeowell, James, Ed. The Poetical Works of Sir Thomas Wyatt.
London: George Bell and Sons, 1904. 96-98.




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