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

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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century


Works of Sir Thomas Wyatt




SOMETIME I fled the fire, that me so
  By sea, by land, by water, and by wind ;
And now the coals I follow that be quent,
From Dover to Calais, with willing mind.
Lo! how desire is both forth sprung, and spent!        
And he may see, that whilom was so blind,
    And all his labour laughs he now to scorn,
    Meashed in the briers, that erst was only torn.

[AJ Notes:

brent, burned.
quent, quenched (extinguished).
whilom, at one time, formerly.
labour, i.e. his efforts to gain favor.
meashed, meshed (entangled).
briers, briars.
erst, earlier, before.

This is another of the poems thought to have been written
in reference to Anne Boleyn. Wyatt accompanied Anne and
Henry VIII to Calais in 1532, from which time this poem
possibly dates.]

Manuscript image of Wyatt's 'Sometime I fled the fire' from the Egerton MS
Manuscript image from
BL Egerton MS 2711, f. 40r.

Manuscript image of Wyatt's 'Sometime I fled the fire' from the Devonshire MS
Manuscript image from
BL Add MS 17492, f. 38v.

Yeowell, James, Ed. The Poetical Works of Sir Thomas Wyatt.
London: George Bell and Sons, 1904. 171.

Back to Sir Thomas Wyatt

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Created by Anniina Jokinen on June 15, 2008. Last updated December 23, 2018.


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Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
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Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
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Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR

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