Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature Tudor Rose Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Elder

Renaissance English Literature | Sir Thomas Wyatt | Biography | Works | Essays | Resources | Bookstore | Discussion Forum



Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century


Works of Sir Thomas Wyatt



M Y lute awake, perform the last
   Labour, that thou and I shall waste,
   And end that I have now begun :
    And when this song is sung and past,
My lute ! be still, for I have done.
    As to be heard where ear is none ;
As lead to grave in marble stone ;
My song may pierce her heart as soon.
Should we then sigh, or sing, or moan ?
No, no, my lute !  for I have done.
    The rocks do not so cruelly
Repulse the waves continually,
As she my suit and affection :
So that I am past remedy ;
Whereby 2 my lute and I have done.
    Proud of the spoil that thou hast got
Of simple hearts through Love's shot,
By whom, unkind, thou hast them won :
Think not he hath his bow forgot,
Although my lute and I have done.
    Vengeance shall fall on thy disdain,
That makest but game on earnest pain ;
Think not alone under the sun
Unquit 3 to cause thy lovers plain ;
Although my lute and I have done.
    May chance thee 4 lie withered and old                
The winter nights, that are so cold,
Plaining in vain unto the moon ;
Thy wishes then dare not be told :
Care then who list, for I have done.
    And then may chance thee to repent
The time that thou hast lost and spent,
To cause thy lovers sigh and swoon :
Then shalt thou know beauty but lent,
And wish and want as I have done.
    Now cease, my lute !  this is the last
Labour, that thou and I shall waste ;
And ended is that we begun :
Now is this song both sung and past ;
My lute !  be still, for I have done.

  1  This charming Ode is ascribed to Lord Rochford in
Nugæ Antiquæ, ii.400, edit. Park ; but it is contained in
Sir Thomas Wyatt's own MS, and is signed with his name
in his own handwriting.—Nott's Wyatt, p.20.
  2  Wherefore.
  3  Unacquitted, free.
  4  It may chance you may, &c.

Manuscript image of the first page Wyatt's 'My lute awake' from the Egerton MS
Manuscript image of the second page Wyatt's 'My lute awake' from the Egerton MS
Manuscript images of
BL Egerton MS 2711, ff. 43v-44r.

Manuscript image of the first page Wyatt's 'My lute awake' from the Devonshire MS
Manuscript image of the second page Wyatt's 'My lute awake' from the Devonshire MS
Manuscript images of
BL Add MS 17492, ff. 14v-15r.

Yeowell, James, Ed. The Poetical Works of Sir Thomas Wyatt.
London: George Bell and Sons, 1904. 29-30.

Back to Sir Thomas Wyatt

Site copyright ©1996-2018 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on August 6, 2000. Last updated December 22, 2018.


The Tudors

King Henry VII
Elizabeth of York

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Lady Jane Grey
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I

Renaissance English Writers
Bishop John Fisher
William Tyndale
Sir Thomas More
John Heywood
Thomas Sackville
John Bale
Nicholas Udall
John Skelton
Sir Thomas Wyatt
Henry Howard
Hugh Latimer
Thomas Cranmer
Roger Ascham
Sir Thomas Hoby
John Foxe
George Gascoigne
John Lyly
Thomas Nashe
Sir Philip Sidney
Edmund Spenser
Richard Hooker
Robert Southwell
Robert Greene
George Peele
Thomas Kyd
Edward de Vere
Christopher Marlowe
Anthony Munday
Sir Walter Ralegh
Thomas Hariot
Thomas Campion
Mary Sidney Herbert
Sir John Davies
Samuel Daniel
Michael Drayton
Fulke Greville
Emilia Lanyer
William Shakespeare

Persons of Interest
Visit Encyclopedia

Historical Events
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
The Babington Plot, 1586
The Spanish Armada, 1588

Elizabethan Theatre
See section
English Renaissance Drama

Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR

Search | Luminarium | Encyclopedia | What's New | Letter from the Editor | Bookstore | Poster Store | Discussion Forums